Jewish World Review March 14, 2003 / 10 Adar II, 5763
Debra J. Saunders
No world order
"How is it possible for an order to collapse when all
who have a share in it regard it as the proper order?
To put it more precisely: How is it possible for it to be
destroyed by those who have a share in it, in the
absence of any extraneous influence -- to be
destroyed when no one wishes to attack it, to be
annihilated when no one repudiates it?"
In his biography "Caesar," historian Christian Meier
asks that question in regards to the collapse of the
Roman Republic after the assassination of Julius
Caesar and the rise of his heir Augustus. Augustus
ultimately filled the vacuum left by Caesar, which his
assassins could not fill.
It is very possible that future historians will look at
the United Nations' fall into global irrelevance and ask
the same question. How could U.N. leaders have so
Visualize Germany, France and the United Nations
as quibbling senators anxious to sabotage a powerful
compatriot in order to protect their petty power base
-- only to undermine it ultimately -- and you see the
Of course, the analogy doesn't fit perfectly. America
is no Caesar, Bush won't subjugate lands where U.S.
forces are victorious. But the outcome of the U.N.
Security Council's inaction, led by France, may well
be a sharp decline in the United Nations' global
I don't think French President Jacques Chirac
intended for his opposition to U.S. plans to go this
far. Not long ago, diplomatic circles whispered that,
in the end, France would support America. French
sources didn't predict today's split.
Chirac got carried away. Each swipe France took at
the United States inflated his popularity. On
Tuesday, an Agence France Press story hailed
Chirac as "reborn as a Gaullist man of destiny" who
made "France the pillar of an alternative --
nonAnglo-Saxon -- international coalition."
Encore, la gloire. The ride was too heady for Chirac
to jump off.
"My position is that, regardless of the
circumstances, France will vote no, " Chirac told
French television this week, as he dropped what is
known as the diplomatic atom bomb -- a pledge to
veto a U.N. resolution authorizing force against
Defenders will say that France shouldn't have to fight
in a war to which it objects. They're absolutely right.
Of course, the Bush administration isn't angry at
France for not wanting to fight in the war.
The Bush administration is angry that France is
trying to prevent the United States from fighting a war
that America must fight.
Europeans also have reason to be wary of an
imbalance that allows one superpower to determine
when the world goes to war.
France and Germany made the mistake, however, of
objecting when the cause is just and the president of
the United States is out on a limb, not to increase
America's power, but to restore a sense of order and
consequence in a world where rogues threaten the
powerless and powerful alike.
That same limb also holds 225,000 precious
American troops, as well as soldiers from the Great
Britain and Australia. Delaying the inevitable, as
Chirac would like to do, only makes war more
dangerous for these brave men and women.
Chirac told French television that he is convinced that
Franco-American relations won't suffer. It's true that
France has been a much valued ally in American
history. Still, Chirac is dreaming if he thinks
Americans will forget that France and its friends on
the U.N. Security Council made war more inevitable
by signaling early on that Hussein could fail to
disarm, and they would stand up for him.
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© 2000, Creators Syndicate