FW: [snow-news] Le Figaro: Chirac to oppose 'the logic of occupation'

David McDonald dbmcdonald at comcast.net
Tue Sep 23 11:54:14 MDT 2003

[ attachment stripped, staircase reformmated. ]

The entire article is fwded below because it is not available
elsewhere in English. Thanks to Mark Jensen for the translation.

David McDonald

-----Original Message-----
From: jensenmk [mailto:jensenmk at plu.edu]
Sent: Monday, September 22, 2003 11:32 PM
To: snow-news at lists.riseup.net
Subject: [snow-news] Le Figaro: Chirac to oppose 'the logic of occupation'

[Translated from Le Figaro (Paris)]

By Luc de Barochez

** UNITED NATIONS -- In New York, George Bush will solicit the UN's help
in Iraq, but the French president will insist on a rapid transfer of
sovereignty to Baghdad **

Le Figaro (Paris)
September 22, 2003


The UN's revenge has a bitter taste.  The United Nations Organization
returns to the international scene's center stage this week after
several months that count among the darkest it has ever known in the
55 years of its existence.  The UN was humiliated by the American
president George W. Bush, who invaded Iraq without its agreement.  It
has been, in large part, distanced from the political transition
there.  It was bruised on August 19 by an attack on its headquarters
in Baghdad.  And yet its annual General Assembly is attracting an
exceptional number of world leaders.  No fewer than 57 heads of state,
27 prime ministers, and a hundred foreign ministers have answered the
summons of the secretary general, Kofi Annan, and announced they would

The United States said that the UN would become "insignificant" if it
did not support it in the Iraq war.  Five months later, it is
soliciting the UN's help to get out of the Iraqi trap.  President Bush
will be one of the first to speak tomorrow, giving a speech at the
opening of the Assembly's minsters' debate.  The American leader's
task is not an easy one.  He wants to obtain a UN mandate supporting
his efforts in Iraq, while at the same time the US continues to manage
the political transition and oil resources of the country almost

His prinicipal nay-sayer, Jacques Chirac, is to speak immediately
after him.  The two men are scheduled to have a bilateral conversation
afterwards, their first in three months.  The French president is
convinced, according to those working with him, that the situation can
only continue to get worse in Iraq if the logic of occupation is
pursued.  This is why Chirac thinks it necessary as quickly as
possible to make the Iraqis responsible for their own country.  In the
president's entourage, there is talk of the need for "decolonisation."

However, Jacques Chirac does not intend to interfere with the draft
resolution that the Americans have submitted to the UN Security
Council, even if he thinks that the document does not go far enough in
the devolution of power to Iraqis.  At the most France will abstain if
its amendments, made in concert with Germany, are not taken into

The choice is no longer between peace and war.  The diplomatic context
doesn't amount to a trial of strength, but resembles more a chess
match in which each side is concerned about its position of influence
in the Arab-Muslim world, about its access to hydrocarbon resources,
and about the stability of the region.

The French president has accepted that the future multinational force
mandated by the UN will be placed under American command.  He
envisages a progressive transfer of responsibilities.  He is
renouncing the nomination of a UN administrator in the place of the
American governor, Paul Bremer.  He is not ruling out the possibility
of France contributing to the formation of the army and the police.
But he is still insisting on a rapid transfer of sovereignty and
financial transparence.  And he is refusing to send any French troops
to Iraq.

During his stay in New York, Jacques Chirac wants to take reflection
on the lack of order in the world further.  He will make a speech on
the roots of terrorism at a colloquium organized by Norway.  Tomorrow,
at the General Assembly's tribune, the president of the Republic will
toss a new stone into the American garden by proposing the
multilateral management of crises.  He will evoke means of adapting
the UN to today's crises and threats.  Finally, on Wednesday, before
leaving New York, he will hold a meeting with Gerhard Schröder of
Germany and Vladimir Putin of Russia.  This is a way of showing the
Americans that the "peace camp" is not dead and that
Paris-Berlin-Moscow cooperation can continue long after Iraq.

Translated by Mark K. Jensen
Associate Professor of French
Chair, Department of Languages and Literatures
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA 98447-0003
Phone: 253-535-7219
Webpage: http://www.plu.edu/~jensenmk/
E-mail: jensenmk at plu.edu

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