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The US and France

Tim Brown, who protests that he is a great friend of France, says "America's positive attitude towards France has largely evaporated and may never fully recover, at least not in my lifetime. And for what? Twelve more days or twelve more weeks of inspections after twelve years of failure at the cost of a hundred or a thousand American soldiers more than are necessary being prostrated by Iraq's summer heat to try for another three months to appease a France that has, on the issue of Saddam Hussein become, for some reason, unappeasable? Spend an extra $10 million a day, or whatever it is costing us, for 90 or 120 more days to keep and army in the Middle East trying to make Chirac happy when that has become patently impossible? And pay such prices to try to satisfy a man who has not sent a single soldier into the potential war zone or spent a dime of his country's money to enforce UN resolutions he himself ordered his country to vote for? Why? Whether we should be going to war against Iraq can be debated. But I cannot believe that it is so absolutely vital to France's national interests that we not do so that it is worth France sacrifice two centuries of Franco-American friendship, undermine NATO, and shake the unity of the European Union to its roots".

RH: We must try to find the real, not just declared, motives of all parties involved. It would be naive to believe that oil is not an element in their calculations, One detail to consider is the intense rivalry between Boeing and France-based Airbus and between US and European airlines. Many airlines face disaster, in which the high price of fuel is a factor. The US and France do not have a permanent friendship, oratory to the contrary notwithstanding.

Ronald Hilton - 3/15/03