Monday, August 27, 2007

Have the French received a backbone implant?

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Monday a diplomatic push by the world's powers to rein in Tehran's nuclear program was the only alternative to "an Iranian bomb or the bombing of Iran."

As printed in today's International Herald Tribune, but not yet available on line, the story goes on to say:

Although Sarkozy's aides said that French policy had not changed, some foreign policy experts were stunned by the blunt, if brief, remarks. "This came out of the blue," said François Heisbourg, director of th Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris and author of a forthcoming book on the Iranian nuclear program. "To actually say that if diplomacy fails, the choice will be to accept a nuclear Iran or bomb Iran — this is a diplomatic blockbuster"

To describe a statement of the glaringly obvious as a "diplomatic blockbuster" makes me hang my head even lower in abject shame than it already did for obtaining an undergraduate degree in International Relations.


Blogger Bret said...

There's a continuous spectrum between words only diplomacy and bombing Iran. Examples: funding internal dissidents, covert operations, bribing or even abducting key Iranian scientists, etc.

But if you want to lower your head in abject shame, feel free.

August 28, 2007 10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the Euros have generally become incapable of distinguishing being resolved or resigned to war from wanting or seeking out war. About two years ago I was discussing Iran and the bomb with a Dutch diplomat here at my son's school. Expressing skepticism about the European declarations that war was not an option whatever happened, I was met with an icy "So, you want war!?". I doubt Talleyrand would have been impressed.

August 28, 2007 11:45 AM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...


Yes, that continuous spectrum is diplomacy.

If that entire list (you left out sternly worded letters), then there are only two games in town: accept Iran's possession of nuclear weapons, or remove them by force.

It is a Clausewitzian thing, although anyone capable of a two way process of elimination would come to the same end.

August 28, 2007 3:55 PM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...


You ran into a diplomat incapable of doing a two way process of elimination.

Head hangs in shame ...

August 28, 2007 3:56 PM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

I have been making my way through a stack of pro-appeasement books, attempting to understand what goes on in the heads of these people.

About 20 years ago, I read pretty seriously in the anti-Hitler literature of the '30s, but not in the pro-Appeasement camp.

Since then, and especially since 2001, there's been quite a bit of new stuff (including, especially interesting to me, the diaries of the leading pro-Appeasement newspaper men) and retrospective studies that find -- surprise, surprise! -- it really was quite a nice little policy, even if, as some idiot named Levy admits, 'it didn't work.'

Oh, well, when you're on the road to Perdition, getting there is more than half the fun.

August 28, 2007 7:19 PM  

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