France Out In The Cold

NATO Agrees to Begin Aid To Turkey (washingtonpost.com)
It’s amazing that we have to negotiate over things that should be automatic. Or maybe not. The inspectors in Iraq are negotiating for things that Iraq should be begging to give us based on the wording of 1441. We sit back and take it.

I saw John McCain on FNC Sunday and I liked his assessment of the situation. He said that Germany has been helpful in other ways, such as protecting our bases while our soldiers are gone and taking over some of the work in Afghanistan. This amounts to indirect aid as it frees up our troops.

The French, on the other hand, have done nothing but obstruct. Because Germany has been helpful in some areas its possible we’ll be able to repair our relations with them. France is a different. Once this war happens France should be locked out of any participation in both the war and in the rebuilding of Iraq and should have no input of any kind.

After an extraordinary marathon session in Brussels, NATO agreed late tonight to begin military planning for the defense of Turkey in the event of a U.S.-led war with Iraq, ending a month-long deadlock that threatened the future credibility and relevance of the military alliance.

The dispute had pitted three countries openly opposing an immediate military strike against Iraq — Germany, Belgium and France — against other NATO members who saw the defense of Turkey as a test of the alliance’s core commitment to assist one of its members.

The impasse was broken when the issue was taken to NATO’s Defense Planning Committee. France does not have a seat on the body, and the two other holdouts, Germany and Belgium, eventually gave in to pressure to accede to the formal Turkish request for help.

The decision allows NATO to begin moving alliance AWACS radar surveillance planes, Patriot missiles, and chemical and biological defense units to Turkey, to be used if Turkey is attacked during a war with Iraq.

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