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Letters to the editor

March 18, 2003

Roux and Massart are absolutely correct in stating that there are countries other than France who disagree with this nation's decision to pursue military action in Iraq. They are also correct in stating that, previous to this disagreement, our two nations have had a long-standing, healthy friendship. However, France was not singled out because Bush thinks that France is the enemy, or because the American people harbor this great animus toward the French.

France was singled out, particularly among the three dissenting permanent members of the Security Council, for a very practical reason. We expect the Chinese to disagree with us. We expect the Russians not to be particularly favorable to this action (despite the post-Cold War relationship of the two nations). We do not expect the French to oppose us, even after they removed their military 'support' from NATO in the '60s.

I was rather amused to hear that the French were openly opposing this action, as, I am sure, was Bush, because I would have thought that the French, considering the history of conflict in that nation, would have been one of the first to sign on with us. Further, let no man mistake that the claims of the French government for the economically self-interested stance that they have with the altruistic drive for peace they would like us to believe.

My question to the guest columnists of March 7 is simply this: what if the United States had thought that the fall of France to Germany in World War II was nothing more than a nation exercising its right to self-determination? The situations are not as different as you might like to believe, for what is a conquered people but the Iraqi people who are kept under military control, thrown around at every whim of the military or the 'president' of its 'republic?'

Brian D. Rowe

Computer Science, '05