Across the Bay

Friday, May 25, 2007

France Sticks to its Guns

When Bernard Kouchner made Lebanon his first trip abroad as Foreign Minister, I couldn't help but recall a typically slimy post by one of the Syrian regime's flacks:

there is little chance that even Sarkozy, should he be elected, will want to begin his presidency by placing his money on the March 14th government in Lebanon. Nor will he want to make the possibility of reopening dialogue with Syria more complicated, which the establishment of an international tribunal would certainly do. He has said that "Lebanon is important, but is not everything." Such ambiguous statements give him plenty of latitude.

The sinister, depraved (and in many ways, laughably delusional) projection is paradigmatic from someone who has consistently been advocating the abandonment of Lebanon and the return of brutal Syrian suzerainty, the scuttling of the tribunal and with it the complete discrediting of the Security Council, as well as advocating the defeat of the US in the ME. But it's ultimately funny, as these sick puppies of the regime all are.

For one, Kouchner said, "France and the international community are determined to establish the tribunal to try the assassins. ... The international community will never accept threats and terrorism, and we are determined to vote at the (UN) Security Council a resolution to establish the international tribunal."

Indeed, it's been reported that the draft resolution on the tribunal is being discussed today and may be submitted to a vote as early as later today.

And then, for all the enthusiastic Syria engagers out there, Kouchner added the following, "We are ready to talk with all personalities and representatives of groups who are in favor of Lebanon's unity, its autonomy and its territorial integrity. This clearly means we don't have to talk to Syrian leaders," he said, adding that France might be ready to resume contact as soon as the Syrian position on Lebanon changed.

In other words, as I've said before, the litmus test is Lebanon, not Iraq or the Palestinians. This is what Solana has told Assad and this is what the Saudis have told him. And since they got nothing -- predictably -- on that end, they stopped talking.

It's very simple: there is no basis for talks. No ground on which to build. The interests and goals, as I said before, are diametrically opposed. That's why in the end, Kouchner, the iconic Leftist, ends up sounding very much like the much-berated Bush administration -- oh and six United Nations Security Council resolutions. That's because it's not a "unilateral" Bush administration policy, as the Syrian regime and its flacks are trying to portray it. It's a broad, multilateral policy, involving transatlantic and regional allies as well as the UNSC.