clap clap blog: we have moved

Wednesday, April 23, 2003
So France goes, "I am rubber, you are glue! Nyeh!" I guess if I ever become an actual columnist, I can't represent tense diplomatic affairs in terms of schoolyard taunts, huh? Oh well, live for the moment.

The article also gives us some additional info about the spat. Excerpts:

Secretary Powell's comment on Tuesday, during a television interview, came a day after a White House meeting aimed at finding ways to punish France, which led the opposition to the United States-led military attack against Iraq and thwarted Washington's attempt to win United Nations support to the move.

Participants in the meeting reportedly considered actions ranging from lessening French influence in NATO to excluding the French from some international forums. "They are trying to find ways to create alternative mechanisms for dealing with the French, or rather without them, and not just at NATO," Agence France-Presse quoted a senior American official as saying...The vice president's office, backed by the Defense Department, was said to have been particularly vocal in pushing for punitive measures against France. There were indications that Mr. Powell, who wants French cooperation in the reconstruction of Iraq, was going along with talk of sanctions in order to help set limits to something he had been unable to block.


Some analysts said that while administration frustration with France was understandable from Washington's viewpoint, a punitive response might be short-sighted, given the countries' complex range of common interests. Jeremy Shapiro, associate director of the Center for the United States and France, at the Brookings Institution, said that the administration's approach appeared to be "a policy more of revenge and retaliation than of working toward the future."

Last week, President Jacques Chirac of France telephoned President Bush — their first talk in two months — in what was seen as a clearly conciliatory gesture; and earlier this week, France, in a move that at first blush appeared welcomed by the United States, conditionally supported an end to United Nations sanctions on Iraq. The comments by Mr. Powell seemed to show that Washington was hardly appeased. Some in the administration are disdainful of what they see as a broader effort by Mr. Chirac to limit, or supplant, American power.


In Brussels, a spokeswoman for the European Commission noted that rules of international relations limited the ways Washington could express its irritation. "I am sure that Colin Powell was not implying that any of those rules would be broken," said the spokeswoman, Emma Udwin.