NetWar: Mending Frances

Contents Letter From Paris

Contents Letter From Paris

Monday, February 21, 2005


Mending Frances

And so, George W. comes to Paris with the intention of patching things up with the French after four stormy years. The French, who play an out-of-proportion star role in shaping Europe's policy because they are about the only ones trying or caring to do so, less-than-fervently supported by German chancellor Schroeder, that’s true. Chirac and Schroeder, two of a kind, are sort of Europe by default, now that Aznar isn’t there, Berlusconi acts like he wasn’t there and Blair, indeed, is somewhere else. If one sees Europe through the French-German eye-glasses, the European Union's mission would seem to be playing an increasingly important role in international affairs. A mission that would include acting as a moral check and balance of American unilateralism, at least if you want to put it in the terms dear to Jacques Honest Chirac, the man who needs to be president of France to stay out of jail.

I have the hunch that the visit won't be a walk in the Luxembourg Garden but it’ll turn out to be a success.

While America has achieved a lot by itself in Iraq and elsewhere, the French elite isn’t near admitting that its position in the Middle East hasn’t been exactly candid regarding its motivations. Indeed, many a French banker and a cohort of CEOs saw the toppling of Saddam Hussein as a major catastrophe. In the biggest embezzlement in History, the UN controlled oil-for-food program, guess twice who did the banking, furnished a fair share of overprized goods and paid juicy bribes to the Bagdad chosen few…

But then, to put it in realistic (or cynical) terms, toppled tyrants living in a jail cell seldom make good business partners. Instead, a dollar/euro parity of 1.30 really hurts European exports, winemakers in Bordeaux are desperately in need of getting back to the US market, where their product has been badly battered by anti-French sentiment and decent wines from Chile, Australia and California at a fraction of the price. And these are just two examples among many of what may entice Honest Jacques into giving a warm hospitable welcome to Re-elected George W. and accepting to play the great soul who accepts the Texan's niceties to forget the past and look into the (hopefully bright) future.

But then, there are other less distinct factors playing for the French and the Americans getting a fresh starts of sorts.

On the international scene, I think that the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, allegedly because of his opposition to the Syrian occupation of Lebanon, will prompt a rapprochement. The United States and France, co-sponsors of a U.N. resolution to rid Lebanon of Syrian troops, want a foreign-led investigation into the assassination. France’s stance on this one annoyed very much the Syrians… And rumors in Paris state that the (generally very competent) French counter-terrorist task force has been pretty busy since de Hariri murder.

And then, on the domestic French front there is the ever felt and never seen presence of Nicolas Sarkozy, the most popular politician in France. He's very competent and has become Chirac’s arch-rival. Sarkozy, who is openly pro-Atlantist, has been artfully lobbying in the United States and doesn’t hide his ambition to run for the presidency. To contain him, Chirac has to give up his natural inclination for arrogance and anti-American rhetoric.

Winds of Change

An example: this analysis of the March 11th attacks in Madrid, written 5 days later! Imposing.

Inspiring, passionate and decent

Iraq, the Model
A very goodview of what is going on in Iraq by Mohammad and Omar, two brothers... Check it out if you're fed up with the EuroPress

The Patriot Debates
Many provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act will expire at the end of 2005. This forum is devoted to civil and informed debate about these provisions and whether they should be renewed.

A serious visit to jihadist ideology

Michelle Malkin
Her column appears in nearly 200 US papers nationwide. Pretty conservative AND very articulate. I like her.

From Barcelona. I like it! And, by the way, it's getting better every day.

Across the Bay
Very good blog by Tony, an expert in in Ancient Near Eastern Studies with focus on Semitic Linguistics, Ancient Levantine history, religion....

Allah Pundit
It's quite consevative, but really funny!

Bjørn Stærk's blog
In the NetWar since 2001, this norwegian wonderkid is just worth reading.

Norman Geras's blog
I mean, READ HIM. He's bright, insightful and knows a lot about Marxism and la condition humaine... Yeeees! (thanks Stygius).

Dan Darling
Excellent Open Source analysis of al Qaeda!

Bilingual (FR&EN) and passionate!

The Politburo Diktat
Forthrightly, frankly, fully funny, comrades. Neo-Komintern Urgh.

Insults for use by the ideologically informed
Nice page of Real Socialist Nostalgia. Check it out, comrade!

Letters From New York City
Michele tells it from the place where the world changed three years ago.

Alphabet City by Robert Stevens
Very well informed "from the perimeter of Manhattan ;-)" Impresive collection of links.

Colt's Eurabia
If you want to know and follow politically incorrect debate, red it!
His motto is:"...the only secure basis for oligarchy is collectivism." George Orwell

Monitoring Media Coverage of the War On Terror

Political Correctness Watch
John Ray, a former university teacher gone blogger monitors political correctness around the globe. When you needthat cheering information that somewhere else it's even worse than in your home town...


Free Lance Corner
Emilio Alonso, madrileño sin pelos en la pluma, liberal y extremadamente sensato.

Guerra Eterna en Oriente Medio
Reportero español polí­ticamente correcto, buena gente y suavemente partisano

Español residente en Parí­s, liberal, vasco, polí­ticamente incorrecto, reflexiona sobre la situación en Euskadi (Paí­s Vasco)

Carmelo Jordá
Otro español, buen analista y políticamente incorrecto. Pertenece a la nueva ola de jovenes liberales (en el sentido europeo) que empiezan a poner en cuestión todo en Europa

Una Temporada en el Infierno
Interesante blog de Juan Pedro Quiñonero, escritor y periodista español que merece dos lecturas.

Location: Paris, France

I have been a journalist since I was 22. For a (long) while I worked as a reporter for the Swedish, Spanish (I was born in Spain) and American media, covering international affairs... After 1991 I recycled myself to the business press.

 A Must Read!
Note that on the above page you have BOTH a link to buy the book (US$ 20) AND
the links to all the 6 chapters in PDF for FREE.

Contents (PDF)
Chapter One: Introduction
Chapter Two: Conceptual Outlines
Chapter Three: A World in Flux - Ripe for Netwar Chapter Four: Varieties of Netwar
Chapter Five: Challenges for U.S Policy and Organization
Chapter Six: Implications for U.S. Doctrine and Strategy

And, by the way...
I love NYC French Hostages "Social Capital" "King Juan carlos" Barcelona Stockholm Iraq Bagdad Basora Volunteer shia Muqtada al-Sadr Islam Chirac Iraq Ossama Osama Bin laden Markawi Colin Powell London President Bush Paris Tony Blair Blog Allawi Geopolitics Iraqi police "Foreign Affairs" John Kerry campaign Policy Poll Bush Kerry Kofi China Madrid Japan warfare Sun-Tzu Unrestricted asymmetric strategy Survey Bush Kerry perception management Hispanic voters Sarkozy Chalabi oil for food Lebanon Donald Rumsfeld Beirut Pentagon marines Robert Kagan weapons neocon ideology neoconservative Alamut White House preventive Congress Washington Chicago New York Los Angeles Miami San Francisco Seattle California Illinois Massachussets Portland Aznar Zapatero Moratinos Saddam Syria