Thursday, August 23

The French Connection in Iraq: what George Will is overlooking

George Will's latest op-ed cautions that General Petraeus's September report is likely to only harden positions on Iraq held by the opposing congressional camps.

In 2005, Pundita wrote a post in which I branded the Democrats the "Eurocrat" party because they had become so influenced by the thinking in Brussels and particularly West Europe. Agree or disagree, there is no question that America's (overwhelmingly Democratic) antiwar stand on Iraq was profoundly influenced by West Europe's antiwar movement.

Yet August is showing evidence of being the month of a major shift in West European thinking on Iraq. That doesn't mean they have rethought their opposition to the US invasion; they are simply taking events as they stand now and coming round to the view that Americans need help in Iraq.

In her most recent announcements on Iraq, Hillary Clinton is showing herself to be ahead of the Democrat pack in being sensitive to the changes in European thinking on Iraq. If she continues on this path, she is making an incredibly smart move -- so smart that Clinton would really be positioning herself to win the presidential election.

In the Iraq U-turn Dept.: Today's Christian Science Monitor notes:
France's sudden shift on Iraq "is almost as spectacular as the refusal of France to take part in the American intervention in Iraq," noted the left French daily Le Monde. "It is time to stop lecturing the Americans about their errors and start contributing to a solution." [...]
And France's foreign minister is admirably positioned to make fast progress in promoting conciliation between Iraq's major factions. See the Monitor story for details.

Wouldn't the French just love to be the saviors of the Americans in Iraq! Wouldn't they gloat! That's okay by Pundita. By any which way. Blowing kisses at Iran and Syria, letting France play older brother: these are things one does, once one gets dead serious about eking out a victory in a theater of war.

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