Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Comment dit-on "chutzpah" en francais? Peut-etre "Gilles Meunier"? As a board member of the "French-Iraq Association for Economic Cooperation", M. Meunier has high hopes for heavy French involvement in Iraq's reconstruction, according to the Associated Press (via The Command Post's "Dustin").

Why French companies, rather than, say, American ones? First of all, as officials in Paris point out, French firms have much more experience working in Iraq. (But, as Rummy would say, that's old Iraq.) Secondly, says Meunier, "I don't see how American executives can work when their lives will be at risk....There will be such hatred toward Americans." No, no, Iraq is where they'll be trying to work--not France....

(An aside: I don't share the virulent anti-French hostility being expressed by some Americans these days. The French may be indulging in a lot of venal, cowardly appeasement of brutal regimes lately, but in doing so, they only highlight their own essential harmlessness. Both Iraq and France have weapons of mass destruction, after all, but while one slaughters its own people and threatens its neighbors, France pummels America with the full weight of its resolute UN obstructionism. The only thing truly dangerous about that is the way some people take it far too seriously.)

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