Mansfield Fox

Law student. Yankees fan. Massive fraggle. Just living the American dream.

Monday, November 03, 2003

THERE'S SOME SERIOUS ALLEGATIONS AGAINST THE FRENCH over at Belgravia Dispatch, which apparently spring out of what Tariq Aziz is telling his interrogators about the situation in Iraq on the eve of the war.

It may be, of course, that Aziz is making this up. However, if what he's said is true then this is serious, and a further confirmation of my general sense that the French and Russians need to be taken behind the woodshed.

One note though: assume that Aziz is telling the truth. That means that Saddam didn't order a counterattack in the opening hours of the war because he believed, thanks to French and Russian advice, that the Americans were not serious about invading his country, and that if he just hunkered down and outlasted the airstrikes, the French and Russians would negotiate a ceasefire that would save his hide. An early counterattack would have produced many of the nightmare scenarios envisioned in prewar planning: massive numbers of oilfields set ablaze, Kuwait City and perhaps Riyadh pummelled from the air, perhaps the use of chemical weapons (if they existed) against our troops. At any rate, it would have made the invasion bloodier and more difficult.

In this case, Franco-Russian perfidy may have saved American, Kuwaiti and Iraqi lives, and aided in the overthrow of Saddam. Not deliberately, of course, but nevertheless...