During a state visit to China, French Premier Raffarin threw support behind a law allowing China to attack Taiwan and continued to push for a lift of the EU arms embargo.France isn't even bothering with appearances anymore. I would be able to swallow this if we knew that France was mearly shoring up its sad wine industry, after all, it's only a matter of time before Chile and Argentina pass France as a major player in that industry. Never let it be said that the French 35-hour work week inhibits its capacity to do arms business with unstable communist imperialists (who are we to bitch? Clinton gave them valuable nuclear and missile tech.-ed.).
At the outset of a three-day visit to China, French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said he supported Beijing's "anti-secession" law on Taiwan, and vowed to keep pushing for an end to an EU arms embargo that could open the door for Paris to sell weapons to the Asian giant.
Raffarin also signed or finalized major business deals with Beijing valued at around $3.2 billion (2.4 billion euros).
Second (via Roger Simon): We see the UN trying to sexy-up the resignation of two of the main pillars of the Volker report, which supposedly cleared Kofi Annan of any wrong-doing. Roger has been pushing this story on his own for a month, but now CNN 'breaks' it:
Two investigators looking into allegations of corruption in the United Nations' $60 billion oil-for-food program in Iraq have resigned in what a panel spokeswoman described as a "personal decision."Roger Simon responds with a flurry that rips the feathers off of Goldstone:
The investigators, Robert Parton and Miranda Duncan, worked for a panel headed by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.
Another member of the Volcker panel, Richard Goldstone, discounted a media report that Parton and Duncan resigned to protest conclusions the panel reached about U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
Goldstone told CNN that was not his understanding, and that Parton and Duncan had already been set to leave after having completed their work. He said their departure would not affect the investigation.
Well, I am sorry Mr. Goldstone but I am actually amazed you would put your name publicly to such nonsense (next time I would advise speaking, as did your female cohort from the committee, on "condition of anonymity" or some such). Why am I so sure this is nonsense? Because I have known personally about Parton's disaffection from the committee for over a month - that is long before the committee made its interim report and therefore long before Parton, Duncan or anyone else had "completed their work." Indeed, I had learned some time ago that somewhere around or about March 11 Parton had already tried to resign, but then was presumably persuaded to stay on or talked out of it by other members of the committee. What promises were made to him at that time about the "thoroughness" of the investigation I do not know, but I strongly suspect they were trashed within weeks or even days after having been made.My screen nearly melted while reading that. Doesn't the UN know that Simon is mellow until he has to break a few thumbs? Fools! If anybody in Americas newsrooms has a brain, they'd be reading Roger as often as they read Drudge. He might just earn them a Peabody (chuckle, snort).
And I would be willing to testify about what I do know under oath. How about you, Mr. Goldstone? Oh, I'm sorry again., You were only testifying as to your "understanding." You're safe behind your weasel words. Smear Parton and Duncan. Smear Mouselli. Smear anybody you want to defend kleptocracy at the United Nations. Just don't expect the rest of us to believe you. Or believe your committee's final report. We would be idiots.
The third, but by no means the final, case for American unilateralism (known by those who shop at Wild Oats as "Cowboyism"):
THE European Commission's policymaking is almost paralyzed, so concerned is it not to upset French voters ahead of their national referendum on the European Union constitution next month.The EU is passing razors over the French referrendum and for good reason. The disintegration of 'New Europe' is a very possible scenario. Mix it with current demographic fact and you have set the stage for a possible classic European bloodbath in the near future. It will take clear thinking and swift action to address the attendant realities on the ground. We are capable of that , if only because of our 'unilateralism', which in this case is a large group of nations headed by the Anglosphere.
Helping the French Government combat the growing "no" vote is a top priority for the commission - albeit an unpublicised one - and it is shelving, downgrading or reversing legislation that may upset the French. A proposed minimum duty on wine has already been deferred.
"France is very sensitive. And we are very sensitive to France," one European commissioner said.
Officials fear that if the commission resorts to similar tactics ahead of sensitive referendums in Britain, The Netherlands, Denmark, Poland and the Czech Republic, the policymaking machinery will be "completely hamstrung" until late next year.
Tom adds: in regard to the explanation of France's mighty industrial prowess in the world's markets (its serious 35 hour work week), here's a heart warming story of French justice prevailing for all the world to see and hope for--via a very useful weblog run by American expats in France.