TREACHERY: HOW AMERICA'S FRIENDS AND FOES ARE SECRETLY ARMING OUR ENEMIES Book review from the Washington Times: http://washingtontimes.com/op-ed/20040927-084817-8300r.htm The old aphorism that "nations don't have friends, they have interests" may be true on a grand scale. However, in "Treachery: How America's Friends and Foes Are Secretly Arming Our Enemies," Bill Gertz accuses the French and Germans of taking this philosophy to ridiculous lengths to stab America in the back by arming its enemies. He makes a convincing case. Mr. Gertz uses a variety of unimpeachable sources to indict those two nations for high crimes and misdemeanors in this area. They add up to a damning case against our longtime "allies and friends" in Paris and Berlin. French missiles have shot down U.S. warplanes in Iraq; French technology helped arm the Iraqi air force in clear violation of U.N. sanctions. The Germans stand accused of allowing their companies also to arm Iraq. Mr. Gertz lays out the evidence in a clear and persuasive manner. Furthermore, he argues that Saddam Hussein personally financed the current French president for years so much for loyalty or gratitude. Only the Russians and Chinese topped the French in illicitly providing arms to Iraq. You'd expect that kind of behavior from communists and reformed, lapsed communists such as Vladimir Putin, but not from those who were twice saved from tyranny (as were the French) or those who were rescued from penury (as were the Germans, following World War II). For their part, the Germans went so far as to copy the U.S.-supplied Stinger missile and sell it to America's enemies. Both France and Germany are accused of providing "dual use" technology to nations that should not have it, so that they could produce weapons of mass destruction. This reckless disregard of non-proliferation agreements has made the world a much more dangerous place in the post-Cold War world than it was during the bad old days when the belligerents were responsible adults. The French and Germans have acted like parents who go away for the weekend and leave the liquor cabinet open. "You children behave yourselves and don't have any wild parties" (wink, wink). According to Mr. Gertz, nations such as North Korea, Iran, Libya and Pakistan have been partying too long due to the negligence of our so-called allies. Libya has supposedly reformed; that remains to be seen. The North Koreans and Iranians are defiant and unrepentant. But the Germans and French aren't alone in Mr. Gertz's indictment: Russia, Pakistan and China take hits as well. All three of these countries are ostensible allies in the global war on terrorism; all three have been notorious proliferators. In this, the Russians get the Hypocrite of the Year Award, since President Putin recently castigated the Bush administration for not properly supporting his own war on terrorism. In life, what goes around often comes around. If there is a criticism of the book, it is that Mr. Gertz may be too hard on the State Department. Nations have to play "good cop-bad cop" sometimes. In dealing with our rogue allies, the Pentagon usually comes off as the bad cop. The job of the State Department is to ensure that we don't burn our bridges. This may make Colin Powell and his staff hold their noses occasionally, but they can't afford the luxury of holding grudges. We must remember that there will be other crises. Mr. Gertz draws heavily on his own investigative reporting for this book's sources. He is a longtime military affairs columnist for The Washington Times and has a solid reputation for being one of the better reporters on the beat. When I was on active duty in the Marine Corps, there was a saying that "If Bill Gertz calls you, it is probably not to tell you you're doing a good job." I'm glad to say that I never had to talk to him. At the end of the book, the author offers some solutions. One of them is to support something called the Pillsbury Plan, which is a bold initiative to stop the kind of behavior uncovered here. Readers who don't know about Mike Pillsbury and his plan, but are interested, need to buy the book; it is too complicated to explain in a brief review. This brings us back to the French and the Germans. It is one thing to envy a successful younger brother; it is quite another to stab him in the back. In the military we always judged the merit of a man by one measure: Do you want him in the foxhole on your flank? Given the choice, I'll always take the Brits. ---------------- And now Franch wants to end the EU arms embargo and sell weapons to China. The French just love to do business with totalitarians. Besmirching the Tricolor January 29, 2004 - Thursday http://www.france.com/docs/342.html Politicians change their stances with the same ease as they flip the pages of a book. This is as true today as it was in the past. Only a few months ago, French President Jacques Chirac raised the moral banner high as he took the lead in criticizing a US-led war in Iraq. Chirac never forgot to mention "principles" and to pose as a savior of small nations the world over. Now he wears a different face as Chinese President Hu Jintao visits his country. He has forgotten about principles entirely as he criticizes -- with vitriol matching that of the Zhongnanhai leaders -- President Chen Shui-bian's plan to hold a referendum alongside the presidential election. The Chirac administration has also proposed the EU lift its arms embargo against China. Fortunately, however, the proposal was rejected by many other EU nations. People familiar with Franco-Taiwan relations were not surprised by Chirac's actions, since he has always been a good friend of China. Franco-Taiwan relations have not improved since he came to power. For three years in a row, France spoke against a proposal aimed at allowing Taiwan to participate in the UN. It has also repeatedly opposed Taiwan's participation in the World Health Organization. The purpose of such actions can only be to echo China's stance on Taiwan. Chirac's remarks on the March 20 referendum verge on cruelty and are tantamount to supporting a belligerent China pointing its missiles at small Taiwan. He also wants to sell weapons to China so that the thugs in the Zhongnanhai may use them to deal with dissent. Chirac's China policy is a textbook case of a politician's naked hypocrisy.