Remember 2003? The US, hell bent on war, concocts the lie that Iraq is a "threat", insisting that it possesses weapons of mass destruction. Iraq's denials are ignored by the US, knowing that Iraq cannot do the impossibleand prove a negative. France, represented by President Chirac and Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin, is admired around the world for upholding the UN Charter and condemning the drive to an unprovoked war of aggression.

It is now four and a half years into a brutal US occupation, the horror of which continues today. Years of US bombings, mass slaughter, torture, rape, suffering and misery. One million dead Iraqis. Four million refugees. No weapons of mass destruction.

September 2007. The US, hell bent on war, concocts the lie that Iran is a "threat", insisting that it wants to make a nuclear weapon. Iran's denials are ignored by the US, knowing that Iran cannot do the impossible and prove a negative. The similar feature of this latest manufactured "crisis" is that Iran is portrayed as a villain and a threat, based on no evidence, while the US brandishes its own real weapons and openly threatens Iran with attack.

Unlike the US, Iran has attacked no other country. Iran has occupied no
other country. Iran has threatened no other country. Iran is not bombing
and killing civilians daily. Iran does not think it has the right to dominate the world. The US insists that Iran should stop all uranium-enrichment, despite the fact that Iran's right to engage in this activity is guaranteed under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Teheran insists it only wants to master nuclear technology in order to produce electricity, but Iran is not to be permitted to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes because that does not meet with the approval of the US, an aggressive superpower getting away with both hypocrisy and murder on a global scale.

On 27 August, sixteen days only after his hot-dog lunch with George W. Bush, the newly-minted President Sarkozy declared "there is a catastrophic choice – between an Iranian bomb or the bombing of Iran". This utterly false "choice" not only is devoid of morality but also ignores the fact that there is no legal reason whatsoever to attack Iran. Rather than confronting the real threat of war by the aggressor, the United States, the French president accepts a future bombing of Iran, the victim, as legitimate. On 16 Sept, the Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner, spoke in the same vein by saying "We must prepare for the worst – the worst is war".

It is astonishing that these repugnant statements should have been made in the name of France, the nation which gave the world the declaration on the rights of man, the nation which not so long ago took a moral and independent stand against aggression.
If the possession of nuclear weapons is what truly concerns Nicolas Sarkozy and Bernard Kouchner, they do not explain why they speak of the non-existent nuclear capacity of Iran but remain mute about (1) the existing nuclear arsenal of the US, the most militarily aggressive state in the world; (2) the existing nuclear arsenal of Israel, the most rapacious state in the world, and (3) the existing nuclear arsenal of Pakistan, the most unstable state in the world. The absurdity and hypocrisy is there for all to witness. One may legitimately conclude that their concern has nothing, in fact, to do with nuclear weapons, but everything to do with stepping into the shoes of Tony Blair and his former foreign minister Jack Straw, George W's two ex-poodles.

The world remembers with admiration the moral courage displayed by President Chirac and Dominique de Villepin when they so fully represented the French people's abhorrence of war by refusing to endorse the US attack on Iraq. Some observers had predicted a change in French foreign policy with the arrival of a new president, but few imagined that the change would be so extreme and so noxious.

It is both tragic and deeply disturbing that France, the nation reputed for its tradition of commitment to human rights, should now be aligning itself with the most warmongering US administration in history.

19 September 2007

Americans Against the War - France