(Article Updated - Re: Target Stores ownership)
French President Jacques Chirac sat on the world’s cheese ball once again. He has rejected a direct request from Israeli Foreign Minister, Silvan Shalom, to support the placement of Hezbollah on the European Union’s list of terrorist organizations. Until he does so, charitable groups in Europe are free to raise money in support of the terror group.
An intelligent person might believe that the war on terror is difficult enough. Mr. Chirac has once again climbed up on that wall of stubbornness, which is a troublesome barrier in effectively dealing with terrorists. Like some self-appointed Humpty Dumpty, he forces us to tiptoe around the wall, lest we should knock him down and chip his shell. The shell represents our alliance and the good will between us.
Jacques Chirac has used up his fair share of our patience. The time is near when Humpty’s great fall may become inevitable. In the nursery rhyme, all of the King’s soldiers and all the King’s men could not put Humpty together again. Unfortunately, for the sake of harmony in the world, America will be forced to do just that.
The days leading up to the war in Iraq brought the ire of many Americans, as the French President worked feverishly in the United Nations to thwart our every move. His actions worked in direct contradiction to a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Had Jacques Chirac joined with us in conveying a tough and unified message to Saddam, the dictator may well have capitulated and avoided the ensuing bloodshed.
What he accomplished instead, was to embolden the Iraqi regime. While Saddam defiantly ignored the will of responsible nations, he had ample time to stock schools and neighborhoods with guns, ammunition, and explosives. In fact, there is considerable evidence that Iraq acquired large quantities of these arms in the time leading up to our invasion. We can lay many of our own war casualties, directly at the feet of Jacques Chirac.
Now we are discovering a sticky mess in the United Nations, called the “Oil for Food” program. I do not believe that Paul Volcker’s final report has been released, but it is clear already that corrupt individuals from many nations participated in Saddam’s deception. A large portion of that corrupt pie is tied to France.
Americans are not going to take this abuse much longer. During the previous uproar, not-so-subtle hints were thrown for Chirac to see, such as the displacement of the word “French” with the word “Freedom” in some of our cuisine. Sales of French wines and cheese products were notably affected. Shoppers, suddenly aware of French ownership in companies such as the retailer Target, vowed not to spend hard-earned wages there. A significant problem here, as a reader pointed out to me, is that Target is not and has never been French owned.
Such actions may have more impact on Americans than on the foreign owners. For instance, Target Stores (which are not French-owned) are entrenched in many U.S. communities, providing thousands of jobs at various levels. If sales drop significantly for an extended period, American workers are going to pay the price, long before French shareholders, of any company, take notice. In the extreme, stores will close and Americans will be out of work. Foreign owners will simply cash in their chips and go home.
The answer to Jacques Chirac’s apparent lack of common sense is beyond me. If it is proven, that he was complicit in illegal deals with Saddam, he should be prosecuted and removed. Surely, the European Union has the capacity for dealing with that kind of treachery.
If he fears terrorist retribution, and finds it easier to sell us out, then there is not much we can do, but to apply severe economic pressure. The American people are prepared to “Fry the French” economically. It could be painful for our own economic interests, but there is no doubt which economy will survive. Facing complete ruin, the French people may decide to knock Humpty off the wall for us.
Copyright ©2005, Phil Harris – All Rights Reserved