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October 10, 2004: The French - Upset?

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Ric Erickson of MetropoleParis sent a note Saturday morning the ninth, as he has been reading his local papers.  As you recall Charles A. Duelfer submitted the final official report on Iraq and WMD - all one thousand pages – there weren’t any, and hadn’t been any.  The New York Times ran an article on a secondary issue raised in the report, that there seems do have been some backdoor dealing between Iraq and France.  The Iraqis were paying the French big bucks to get their help in lifting the sanctions?  The French deny it and say the Bush administration, by accusing the French of this, have thrown away a year of efforts to patch things up between our two countries.


As your recall, when the war came up at the UN – should the UN jump in a support the US and go to war with us in some way? - France said the UN should let the WMD inspections continue and war was not necessary quite yet, as nothing was certain.  They said we were jumping the gun.  China, Russia, Germany, agreed.  We said we KNEW that there were weapons – we had PROOF (Colin Powell presented it in open session in the Security Council) - and said the UN inspections were a farce, and if we didn’t have this war, now, we’d all die horrible deaths.  And damn it, the UN said there would be consequences for Iraq not disarming, and we wanted consequences!  At least that is the board outline.


So we had our war.  Colin Powell apologized.


And now what?  We now say the French were the bad guys too.


Ric on the story -


Source: Le Parisien, Friday, 8 October - (Faits Divers, page 15)


Le Parisien writes that the Duelfer report was 'published' on Thursday, 7 October, while the New York Times story above, dated Friday, 8 October, first appeared online on Saturday, 9 October.  No mention of the story in today's Le Monde (yet) online nor in AFP reports.


According to Le Parisien, it says the report accuses Pierre Joxe of having received a million dollars for the Social Party in 1988.  "The Iraqi regime sought the aid of France to lift the UN sanctions," according to the Duelfer report.  Joxe said it was ridiculous.  The sanctions were not put in place until 1990.


The report also says Iraqi secret services targeted 'a certain number of French' close to Chirac (without mentioning any date - and Chirac became president in 1995.)


According to Le Parisien, certain US journalists were privately informed about some of the report's details, particularly concerning France and Russia.  As the New York Times mentions, French diplomats were not given the actual report, but were directed to its online version at a Web site run by the CIA.


There is no follow-up to the story in Saturday's edition of Le Parisien.


Curious.  The Iraqis paid the French Socialist Party this substantial block of money for help in lifting UN sanctions two full years before there were any UN sanctions?  Man, that Hussein crew was sneaky folks.  How did they KNOW?


And some other unnamed people, at some time or other, who knew Chirac, at sometime or other, got some Iraqi money, but one doesn’t know why, or when, or exactly who?


Well, as they say in the Valley – DUH!  These are allegations made to make the American electorate wonder once again about the French, and wonder about the fellow who is running against Bush, whose French is pretty good and has distant French relatives – see this. 


And what is more important?  Bilateral relations with a nation that has been our ally, however troublesome, since the 1770s, or getting reelected?


I’m sure Bush will call Chirac in mid-November, from the Oval Office, and say it was nothing personal – just politics.  Chirac will be expected to understand.  After all, it worked with John McCain after the 1999 South Carolina primary, where McCain was somehow rumored to be mentally unstable and the father of a child by a black prostitute, as you recall.  McCain got over it.  Jacques and Pierre will too.  Maybe.


Just politics.




I scanned my photographs from trips to France and this is as close I can come to images of unhappy French guys.  A demonstration in Paris in June 2000 near one of the ministries in the Seventh Arrondissement, near some ministry or another. 

Click here for separate image...


Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
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