"There will be no war against Iran," Chirac is reported to have told a special emissary of the Islamic Republic who visited him in Paris last week. "Anything other than negotiations would be resolutely opposed by France." History may not be repeating itself, but it is hard not to remember similar pledges Chirac gave to Saddam Hussein up to March 2003, just weeks before the U.S.-led Coalition invaded Iraq.
It is now clear that Chirac's assurances played a crucial role in persuading Saddam not to offer the concessions that might have prevented war and regime change. From his prison cell, former Iraqi Vice President Tariq Aziz told U.S. and Iraqi interrogators that Saddam was convinced that the French and, to a lesser extent, the Russians would save his regime at the last minute.
Just hours before he flew to New York to attend the U.N. General Assembly, Chirac dropped the only condition that the "Five Plus One" groups (the five permanent members of the Security Council, plus Germany) had demanded of Teheran as a prelude to negotiations.
"Iran should not be asked to stop uranium enrichment as a precondition," Chirac said. "And there is no sense to refer the Islamic Republic back to the Security Council."
The Bush administration thus lost the only concession it received from its European allies as an inducement to join talks with Iran. Thanks to Chirac, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appears to have scored a major diplomatic victory over President Bush.
Nevertheless, the Islamic Republic continues to implement a strategy designed to counter any sanctions that might eventually be imposed.
One facet of this strategy is relocating Iranian assets in places where they cannot be seized or frozen. Recent months have seen billions of dollars in Iranian assets transferred from Western banks to financial institutions less likely to heed any advice from Washington.
Another is stockpiling dual-use products likely to be denied to Iranian importers when, and if, sanctions are imposed. Over the past few months Teheran has contacted scores of Iranian businessmen in Europe and America to give a helping hand, and make a quick buck, in speeding up the flow of sanction-busting goods."
Here's the scoop. We were going to war with Iraq come hell or high water. Islam needed a bloody nose, terrorists needed to realize that it was no longer a business as usual environment. And France obliged. Pledging to Saddam Hussein that Iraq would be protected, and he need not worry.
Fast-forward. Now it's Iran's turn, and what better way to set THEM back on their heels by having the French step in and avow that war is NOT an option.
What our enemies still do not understand is that we do not give a tinkers damn about what the French think. If it is in our national interest we will attack Iran with both barrels, and since this isn't real news to anyone, plans for such an enterprise are being worked on, night and day.
War is foisting your political will upon another. But hometown politics must be considered as well, and Bush awaits more smoking-guns from Ahmadimmerbulb's caveman nation before he starts making big holes in that unhallowed ground.
Rove is weighing their options. Before, or after the mid-term elections. But it's coming. Iran finances terrorism the world over, aids and abets our enemies in Iraq, and is responsible for the arming of the Hezbollah gorilla's. And they continue to quest for nuclear weapons.
Done deal. If is not the question, but rather when. With the fragile state of the Republican party, Bush never allows a RodHam-type to deal with such an enemy.