Tuesday, February 25, 2003
Siding with Chiraq: Union-Tribune columnist James Goldsborough has chosen sides -- and he chooses the French.
In his Monday column, Goldsborough concurs with French President Jacques Chiraq's assessment of which countries are allowed to voice their opinions on foreign policy.
The declarations from the "new" Europe are freebies. Their positions are not quite as craven as the Turks, openly selling war support as if it were rugs in the bazaar (presumably "new" Europe, Turkey is acting very "old"), but they all expect a pay back.
Meanwhile, they are paying back France, Germany and Russia. To know the history of Eastern Europe is to understand why its nations would take glee in opposing almost anything that was simultaneously supported by Russia and Germany. Snubbing France doesn't bother them either.
Most of these nations were carved out of Russian and German empires after World War I, lost independence to Russians and Germans again in World War II and won it back with the collapse of the Soviet Union. They have scores to settle that have nothing to do with Iraq. Chirac is right that they missed a good occasion to shut up.
Normally one would expect a liberal like Goldsborough to defend someone's free speech rights. But he doesn't in this case? Why? Two reasons: First, he perceives their opposition to his viewpoint to be less than righteous. ("New Europe" wants to stick it to "Old Europe" to settle old scores -- and that's wrong. Of course, I would argue that "Old Europe" wants to stick it to the United States to settle old scores -- maybe France, Germany, Belgium and Russia [since when is Russia considered part of Europe?] should just shut up.) Second, "New Europe's" foreign policy position encourages Bush's drive to rid the world of Saddam Hussein. Support for "warmongering," especially coming from "enlightened Europe" is unacceptable.
I wonder if the ACLU will revoke Goldsborough's membership.