There is something truly creepy about the unanimity on France right now, where Saddam Hussein’s war crimes and terror are far les worrisome than those “murderers,” Bush and Sharon. French intellectual Pascal Bruckner nailed it in an interview with Le Figaro this week. It’s translated by blogger, Cinderellabloggerfeller. Money quote:
I am not “pro-war” but “anti-Saddam Hussein”. If we had been able to overthrow the latter by peaceful means I would have been overjoyed. But all the pacifists wanted to do was to attack Bush, whom they called “that scabby, mangy [dog]” in order to avoid ever incriminating Saddam Hussein. We have just gone through several weeks of almost Soviet anti-interventionist unanimity, in which the internal French debate over Iraq has consisted in maintaining, throughout the media, that war is the supreme evil. All the French moral and intellectual authorities thought they were obliged to speak up and assure the prince [i.e. Chirac] that he was right to oppose Washington’s war machine. In this affair, it’s the “nice” left […] which has set the tone. But to end up where? To propose, as the only solution for Iraqi misery, the reintroduction of the status quo. Pacifism is an old French passion. It can be picturesque and derisory. What can you say, on the other hand, when “anti-war” protesters chant, without causing a scandal, the slogan “Bush, Sharon, murderers!” but forbid themselves mentioning the name of Saddam Hussein even occasionally. All these young people have begun to speak “Le Pen’s text” without knowing it, it’s this which has prompted me to put the stakes of the Iraqi conflict in terms which are the opposite of the consensus within France.
We sometimes forget what happened in the last French election. And how it’s still driving French policy today.