Jonah Goldberg's recent syndicated column on the French is well-worth a read. He makes a number of excellent points:
- The french-german notion that they are leading a "new Europe" based on the European peace of the last fifty years is a myth which forgets that that peace was established not by diplomacy but by American strength checking Soviet strength
- This has led to a "free-ride problem": "the Europeans -- or at least the French and Germans -- now take that stability for granted and berate the United States for doing what it sees as necessary to ensure continued peace and prosperity."
- France's long-term goal to prevent (anyone's) hegemony exhibits moral blindness: "French foreign policy has a tendency toward blindness when it comes to good guys and bad guys. (Witness the recent invitation of Zimbabwe's thug-in-chief Robert Mugabe to Paris.) Indeed, equating American and Soviet "domination" [as Charles de Gaulle did] -- even rhetorically -- as equal threats is not merely stupid; it is morally outrageous."
- It is France who wants access to Iraqi oil, not the US: "If we were hellbent on Iraqi oil, we would lift the sanctions tomorrow in exchange for fat oil contracts -- something Hussein has suggested in the past. Or we could have just taken Iraq's oil a decade ago when we briefly occupied the region. America has no interest in fighting a war for oil. But France desperately wants "peace for oil.""