THE FRENCH GLOAT

They’re all but hoping for allied casualties and failure. Of course, they tend to exaggerate and panic at the slightest whiff of military difficulty as history attests. Here are some details from the Times of London about the astonishing unity among the French in their contempt for the Anglo-Americans:

France 2, the state television network, reported from London yesterday that “fear is now beginning to set in among a large part of the (British) people”. The main commentary on France-Inter’s equivalent of the BBC Today programme said that the allies had committed the serious error of underestimating their adversary. “They have lost the information battle to the extent that the communiqués from Baghdad are often more credible than those of Washington,” it said. “More than that, they are in danger of defeat in the battle for opinion.” Le Figaro’s scornful editorial was headed: “Neither shock nor awe.”

Worth remembering this. It seems to me that the alliance with France is now over. Any country that hopes for American defeat cannot be treated as an ally under any serious meaning of that term.

EMAIL OF THE DAY: “The UN confers political authority, not moral authority. It accomplishes virtually nothing else.
Would flushing Saddam be moral if the French had approved of the exercise? (We’d almost certainly have had UN approval in that event.) Nope. It would still be whatever it is today.
The UN is amoral by its very nature and composition. A pluralistic body comprising good and evil states that actively struggle against one another is necessarily morally neutral.
That’s the why the UN is worse than useless. Much worse. Moral neutrality that masquerades as good is affirmatively destructive: It obscures the line between good and evil.
The political approval the UN offers helps to mute criticism, which many — Tom Friedman included, to my surprise — confuse with the good. (Of course, the desire to withhold that kind of approval from the U.S. and the U.K. is precisely why the French refused to go along, isn’t it?)
The UN is institutionalized postmodernism. It isn’t bad because it doesn’t operate in the interests of the US. It’s bad because it is fundamentally incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong.
I do not believe that individual men are morally neutral. It follows that states that protect individual liberty and freedom are not morally neutral. The UN should draw its authority from those resources, not from mere pluralism, and if it doesn’t, we need to oppose it, not work within it.” – more sharp comments on the Letters Page.