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Catfish and Cod
Monday, October 27, 2003
A stupid move by the New Holy Roman Empire.
(Link path: CNN)

The French and Germans are still laboring under the delusion that a New World Order can be arranged uniting the world in opposition to American hegemony. Unfortunately, they are far freer with the stick and with the carrot. The east Europeans noticed this when Chirac publicly invited them to "keep quiet". Now Iraq has noticed as well.

Ayad Allawi, the current head of Iraq's U.S.-appointed governing council, said he hoped German and French officials would reconsider their decision not to boost their contributions beyond funds already pledged through the European Union.

"As far as Germany and France are concerned, really, this was a regrettable position they had," Allawi said. "I don't think the Iraqis are going to forget easily that in the hour of need, those countries wanted to neglect Iraq."

The shortsightedness of Franco-German (or "old European", or New Holy Roman Imperial) opposition to the U.S. is really quite astounding. It might have still made logical sense to oppose U.S. multilateral efforts as long as we were still working outside the UN framework -- the ostensible reason for Franco-German denouncements of the war on Iraq. But this is a UN donor conference, with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in attendance and full participation, and supported by a UN Security Council resolution that France and Germany both voted for. What is to be gained by being spiteful now?

Oh, yes. The maintenance of French pride. They cannot be seen as agreeing with the US on anything, because otherwise people might start noticing France's second-tier status and the ridiculous nature of her pretentions to being a World Power (TM).

UPDATE: The flow of money usually betrays where your real affections lie. The Arab nations aren't particularly interested in helping their Iraqi 'brethren', either. (Link path: Best of the Web, Washington Post)