There's More to It Than France Violating the Arms & Trade Embargos http://www.factbook.net/chirac.php Stratfor.com reports that what Chirac called his "close, personal relationship" with Saddam dates back to late 1974, when Chirac traveled to Baghdad and met the #2 man in Iraq: Vice President Hussein. During that visit, their main negotiation issue was Iraq's purchasing of nuclear reactors. In September 1975, Chirac personally took Saddam on a tour of a French nuclear plant. He expressed his desire to help Iraq with its nuclear program, and "the Iraqis bought a 70-megawatt reactor along with six charges of 26 points of uranium enriched to 93%." That's enough weapons-grade uranium to produce three to four nuclear devices. Baghdad also purchased a one-megawatt "research reactor," and France agreed to train 600 Iraqi nuclear technicians and scientists. France also agreed to sell $1.5 billion worth of weapons to Iraq - for which they got a lucrative oil contract. In 1987, the Manchester Guardian Weekly quoted Chirac as saying that he was "truly fascinated" by Hussein. This was Chirac's doing, on his own and separate from France's government. Former French President Valerie Giscard D'Estaing said exactly that in 1994. When President D'Estaing found out about this deal, he kyboshed it. In preparation for the 1988 presidential campaign, Chirac claimed he had nothing to do with that reactor destroyed in 1981. This gets Clintonesque! In August of 1987, French magazine Le Canard en Chain published excerpts of a letter from Chirac to Hussein. The magazine writes that the letter "speaks of the cooperation launched more than 12 years ago...for the sovereignty, independence and security of your country." This is amazing stuff - and it may just be the tip of the iceberg. It's almost as though Iraq is France's #1 trading partner for oil and weapons. Chirac knows these Inspector Clouseaus will never uncover any evidence of his personal hand in arming Saddam, which is why he wants them given endless amounts of time. If Chirac was involved with that reactor and trying to get 93% enriched uranium to Saddam, then there's evidence to prove it, which we'll find if we invade. This is one of the things he's obviously trying to hide. The so-called idea that "it's just the French and they're pacifists" or trying to seek power at the EU may be true, but it doesn't explain this irrational behavior and the temper tantrums by Chirac - this news does.