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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

France Jumps In Head First

If it wasn't so sad, it would be amusing to watch the Democratic leadership in this country doing everything in their power to force us into defeat as France now jumps in, head first.

PARIS: After years of shunning involvement in a war it said was wrong, France now believes it may hold the key to peace in Iraq, proposing itself as an "honest broker" between the Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish factions.

The shift was one of the most concrete consequences yet of the thaw in French-American relations following the election in May of President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose administration no longer feels bound by the adamant refusal to take a role in Iraq that characterized the reign of his predecessor, Jacques Chirac.

During a three-day visit to Baghdad that ended Tuesday, the French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, said that the time had come for France, and Europe, to play a greater role in Iraq.

"I believe this is the moment. Everyone knows the Americans will not be able to get this country out of difficulty alone," Kouchner told the French radio station RTL on Tuesday before returning to Paris. "I really believe that depending on what happens here it will change the world."

"This is about having an opinion and knowing what positive things one can do and what role France can play in this region," he said, adding that Iraq was "expecting something" from France.

The United States broadly welcomed Kouchner's visit to Baghdad this week, saying it was evidence that the world was increasingly intent on bringing stability to Iraq. British and German diplomats also hailed greater French involvement in the country.

As the world starts noticing our recent progress militarily in Iraq, France has decided that that military progress has obtained the "breathing room, needed to now start working on the political front, which is where they are offering their services.

Times Online reports that the French media is hailing "The French is returning to Iraq":

France proclaimed its desire to help restore peace in Iraq after a visit yesterday to Baghdad by its Foreign Minister ended the four-year diplomatic freeze that followed the US-led invasion.

As Paris media hailed “The French return to Iraq”, Bernard Kouchner concluded his three-day trip with a pledge that under President Sarkozy, France would no longer sit on the sidelines saying “we told you so”.

The position had changed since President Chirac led an international coalition against the invasion, he said. “The world knows that the Americans cannot get this country out of its troubles all alone. The more the Iraqis seek the intervention of the United Nations, the more France will help them,” he added.

“What plays out here will shape the world,” he said, talking of the risk of spreading religious conflict. “We want to be at the side of this large and important country at the birth of its democracy.”

This August recess for our politicians has got to be the worst vacation of their lives, watching changes they can do nothing to stop.

Sarkozy makes me proud again to have a French surname.

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