Jewish World Review Feb. 3, 2003 / 2 Adar I, 5763

Jack Kelly

Jack Kelly
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

The "Axis of Weasels" | Web logger Scott Ott (Scrappleface) scored another triumph for the blogosphere when he used the term "Axis of Weasels" to describe the joint efforts of France and Germany to prevent military action against Iraq. His satire flew around the internet. Soon, French and German reporters in Washington were having to explain to the home folks what it meant.

"Axis of Weasels," like Jonah Goldberg's description of the French as "cheese-eating surrender monkeys," seems likely to enter the lexicon of the increasing number of Americans who are fed up with the self-serving antics of these erstwhile "friends and allies."

The French and the Germans consider themselves morally and intellectually superior to Americans generally, and to our "cowboy" president in particular. But they exceed us only in their arrogance, cowardice, and short-sighted greed.

The "Axis of Weasels" controversy highlights a double standard by liberals. There are 19 nations in NATO. Most are willing to support military action against Iraq. But Germany has said it will veto this. Yet none who have expressed alarm at "unilateralism" by the United States have had a word of criticism for German unilateralism. The French have said they may veto a resolution authorizing force even if a majority on the Security Council favors it. There's been no denunciation of French unilateralism, either. The French have three fundamental reasons for opposing military action against Iraq. They have little to do with world peace.

The foremost reason is economic. The French have made huge economic investments in Saddam Hussein's regime, and are worried about losing them if the government in Iraq is changed. French trade with Iraq burgeoned to 660 million euros ($713 million) last year, up from 398 million euros in 2000, according to the German magazine Die Zeit. Some 130 French companies, foremost among them the oil conglomerate TotalFinalElf, which operates two huge oilfields in Western Iraq, do business with Saddam.

Another reason is coverup. The French do not want the world to remember that Saddam relied heavily on French assistance in his first attempt to acquire nuclear weapons. The Osirak reactor was built chiefly by French engineers, and was to rely on nuclear fuel supplied by France. Had the Israelis not destroyed it in 1981, the Gulf War could have ended in catastrophe. Saddam's overthrow likely would lead to revelation of French collaboration, past and present, with his odious dictatorship.

A third reason is jealousy. It galls the French that the "lingua franca" of the world is English. From deGaulle onwards, French politicans have sought to reclaim France's lost glory. They seek to do this chiefly by poking a stick in the eye of the United States, because they know they can do this safely. Annoying America has not had the historical consequences for France that, say, annoying Germany has had.

German participation in the Axis of Weasels flows chiefly from the political weakness of German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, now officially the most unpopular leader in the history of polling in that country.

Stung by the devastation of, and from having been the bad guys in World War II, Germans are deeply pacifist. Schroeder narrowly won re-election last fall running on an anti-war platform that crossed the line into anti-Americanism. Since then, because of a bad economy, Schroeder's approval rating has fallen to 25 percent. The only stance of his that remains popular is his opposition to war. With elections in two German states next month, he's beating that drum as loudly as he can.

Greed and coverup are also German motives. A Berlin newspaper, the Tageszeitung (Daily Times), reported that Iraq's 12,000-page submission to the UN indicates Germany has been the number one supplier of weapons components to Iraq. Some 80 German firms and research labs have delivered technical know-how, components, precursor substances and even entire technical facilities for development of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, the Tageszeitung said.

The Axis of Weasels has been profiting from the suffering of the Iraqi people. The real reasons why France and Germany oppose war with Iraq are among the reasons for war. They deserve more attention from the "mainstream" media than they have been getting.

Enjoy this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on JWR contributor Jack Kelly's column by clicking here.

01/29/03: A bit of the jitters
01/27/03: The world's mediocre intelligence agency
01/21/03: By reaffirming GOP opposition to racism, president demonstrates willingness to confront liars
01/16/03: Why the United States should withdraw all of its military forces from South Korea as rapidly as we reasonably can
01/14/03: Federal incompetence driven by political correctness, not trampling of civil liberties, is what we should fear
01/09/03: Bag this boondoggle: The V-22 Osprey would hurt our national defense
01/07/03: Another Korean war?
01/02/03: Ostriches
12/26/02: Learning from Canada's economic suicide
12/24/02: A moral dilemma: Support a vicious fascist dictator or the poor and downtrodden?
12/20/02: Time to tell the truth: The great movement of blacks to the Democratic Party took place for economic reasons, not because of civil rights
12/18/02: Nothing better illustrates Trent Lott's unfitness for the post of Senate Majority Leader than his desperate efforts to cling to it
12/16/02: Debunker mentality: It's hard work not seeing ties between Iraq and al-Qaida
12/12/02: GOP ideologues turning on Lott --- better sacrifice the leader than the party
12/06/02: Curing our democracy of afflictions
12/02/02: Conscription, like the horse cavalry, is an artifact of a bygone time
11/27/02: What Saddam faces
11/25/02: Why war with Iraq can be averted
11/19/02: A draft would harm the military
11/12/02: The 2002 elections and Nixon
11/07/02: Democratic overreaction to our recent "cosmically important" election
10/30/02: Show North Korea we're serious: Polish off Saddam
10/22/02: The squealing in the Pentagon is a proof of Rummy's effectiveness
10/16/02: The tactical challenge we face
10/10/02: Silence more despicable than seditious noise
10/08/02: Bu$h and the bu$ine$$ of war
10/01/02: Gore's calculated risk may well get him the Dems' nomination
09/25/02: Schroeder may find the fruits of victory sour
09/25/02: Making Saddam change his spots
09/19/02: Bush's resolve already has paid dividends
09/17/02: Courageous Iranians
09/13/02: If you never served in the military, you have no right to an opinion
09/10/02: Why the 'air marshals' will fail
09/05/02: Resurrecting the "Happy Darky"
08/31/02: Are Bush's inactions against Iraq calculated?
08/23/02: Dems can't take the minority vote for granted any longer
08/20/02: No proof of Saddam's wrongdoing? Yeah, right
08/15/02: Mineta's war on what?
08/13/02: When Gore said he wanted to be his 'own man,' what was he thinking!?
08/08/02: Picking a tree for Cheney's hanging
08/06/02: Fears about the Department of Homeland Security are misplaced
08/01/02: The greatest strategic deception since Eisenhower convinced Hitler the Allies were going to land at the Pas de Calais?
07/30/02: State Dept.'s anti-American actions
07/26/02: Journalists are making sure Americans can't differentiate between the stock market and the economy
07/23/02: Iran's is on the verge of a social and political explosion. So why is media ignoring it?
07/17/02: FBI isn't supposed to stand for Foolish, Blind and Incompetent
07/12/02: The ICC tramples on rights Americans take for granted
07/09/02: Was LA International Airport shooting, in fact, good news?
07/02/02: What the "intelligence community" can learn from Alexander the Great
06/28/02: Muslim link in Oklahoma City bombing revisited
06/25/02: A good environmental scare needs two ingredients - an impending catastrophe, and someone to blame for it
06/21/02: Stirring the security pot
06/18/02: Why the military is so messed up
06/14/02: Vast majority $68.7 billion proposed for weapons will be spent on systems of little use in the war on terror
06/12/02: Bush saw them and raised them, and he's holding the aces
06/10/02: Some heads need to roll
06/04/02: A new draft for the 'war on terror'?
05/31/02: So the FBI has finally caught up to our priorities?
05/29/02: Taking on common sense
05/23/02: Political terrorists
05/21/02: There is a great deal to fret about, but I've never been more optimistic
05/15/02: If there is a way for America to lose the war, Gen. Tommy Franks can find it
05/13/02: Impartial justice against Americans by the UN?
05/07/02: Want to win the 'war on terror'? Reinstate the draft
05/03/02: An expanded NATO is needed as a counterweight to the UN and the EU
04/29/02: Islamic 'smarts'
04/26/02: Did Bush play his Aces with Abdullah wisely?
04/23/02: Why peace in the Mideast is closer than ever
04/19/02: What the Arabs of Gaza and the West Bank gained from the "peace accords"
04/17/02: Logical Muslim allies
04/10/02: How to guarantee an infinite Mideast war
04/08/02: Saddam's American friends
04/05/02: Arab winners and sinners
04/01/02: Why is the commander of U.S. Central Command not coming clean to the American people?
03/31/02: Dubya under attack by conservatives
03/26/02: Saddam watch coming to an end?
03/21/02: Get the Jews!
03/19/02: It's time pols and gov bureaucrats be held to the same standard of accountability we insist for corporate execs
03/15/02: Khaki Throat
03/12/02: Making foreign cheaters pay
03/08/02: Timidity and indecision by senior American commanders
03/04/02: Why 9-11? Ex-CIA officials come clean
02/25/02: Don't rule out a quick victory --- even if prez says otherwise
02/21/02: Saving our military from itself
02/19/02: Front Page fiction
02/15/02: Our European allies are like the fat kid who wants to play quarterback
02/13/02: Is the Army in danger of becoming "irrelevant"?
02/11/02: So, I "propagate hatred"
02/06/02: Bush whacking the media
02/04/02: Why serious folks disregard the European Union --- and why Bush must, too
01/30/02: Give economy pneumonia in order to protect it from a cold
01/28/02: Media is its own worst enemy
01/25/02: Journalists making road to peace a bumpy ride, or: A case study in stupidity
01/23/02: Toward a stronger defense at a lower cost
01/21/02: How Bush could be Generations X and Y's Kennedy ... and guarantee a GOP victory in the midterm elections

© 2002, Jack Kelly