[extropy-chat] urban sprawl as defense

Brett Paatsch bpaatsch at bigpond.net.au
Sat Aug 28 00:26:29 UTC 2004

Mike Lorrey wrote:

> --- Brett Paatsch <bpaatsch at bigpond.net.au> wrote:
> > 
> > But not just any one nation's head of state - it had to be
> > Chirac of France in particular that was challenged to come
> > up with a standard because Chirac of France in particular
> > was in the world media and heading the country most likely
> > to veto the formulation of an effective resolution BECAUSE
> > in no small part Chirac (like Bush) had his own domestic
> > constituency to deal with - many of whom wanted war no 
> > more than you did.
> So what you are saying, then, is since Chirac said that France
> would "never, never" vote for the UN to go to war that the UN
> is therefore without any teeth, and international law no longer
> exists on a de facto basis????

No. Your missing an important bit of what I am saying. 

I think perhaps you are too keen to hang this on France ;-).
Whereas I hang the failure on Bush's diplomatic skills.  

I am saying that that "never, never" statement by Chirac in the 
world's media constituted a diplomatic negotiating opportunity
for Bush (had he been alert enough and in good faith enough to
grasp it) to force Chirac to either BECOME practical or to 
SHOW the world that his manifest impracticality and irresponsibilty
left Bush with no choice other than to withdraw from the United
Nations as it could not possibly fulfill its mandate of maintaining
international peace and security. There is no way to remove a 
permanent security council member.
Chirac's "never, never" statement constituted an OPPORTUNITY
for Bush to give Chirac a diplomatic ultimatum in front of the
worlds media, to come up with a practical standard (heck Bush
could have even put a time limit of say two weeks on Chirac to
coming up with that standard) and that if Chirac had THEN and only
THEN conspicuously refused then it would be clear to the world that
Bush would have no practical choice himself but to find that the 
French position was such that the UN could not possibly fulfill its
mandate to maintain internation peace and security in the face of 
the new threat to it constituted by terrorists with WMD's. 

I cannot hang the failure on Chirac Mike, because Chirac like
Bush was having to use the media and Chirac had less freedom
to move diplomatically and to propose options to Bush that Bush
would have had to give a fair hearing too then Bush could to

Chirac always had to deal with the POSSIBILITY that the militarily 
powerful US President was not really operating in good faith. Or 
that he was not going to strike a reasonable balance. As a permanent
security council member head Chirac did have a responsibility to
counterbalance an over-exuberance to go to war too readily on the
part of the US President. 

On the other hand Bush, because he had the military in position
and 1441 was unanimously signed off, had more than enough time
to show that Chirac was being impractical and irresponsible if he

I suspect had Bush called out Chirac to come up with a standard
that Chirac would have done so and there would have be political 
credit in it for both of them. 

Together they'd have given the UN real teeth. Bush would have
lost some slight freedom of movement in exchange for legitimacy.

But, although I did not like Chirac's "never, never" statement,
on balance I think Chirac did the right thing in adopting the
negotiating stance he did. Chirac had to hold a strong line of 
restrain against an overwillingness to use  military force war to
balance Bush's media projected 'enthusiasm' for using it against

Chirac had to try to bring Bush to the table properly using the
media. Chirac had no other tool to use and his own population
(quite rightly) would not have let him just toady to Bush. 

Because Bush had the options and the freedom to move and
to tease out the weaknesses in Chirac's stated position and to
develop it into something workable, (whereas Chirac did not), 
the diplomatic failure and the failure of the UN goes, in my 
opinion to Bush.

Brett Paatsch

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