Thursday, March 27, 2003

Over at NRO, John Derbyshire points out that Turkey's refusal to allow US troops to use Turkey as a launching pad may have been influenced by France's threats to keep Turkey out of the (EU) club.

Well, we all know that Turkey is hot to join the EU. And, it's not surprising that France would make such threats - they've made them before, against other countries seen taking a less than sufficient anti-US position. What is surprising, and disappointing, is why the US let Turkey view their choice as not having negative consequences in terms of our relationship. After all, given a choice between good relations with the US and good relations with France, would Turkey choose France (even assuming, of course, that France actually could back up its threat)?

A number of writers have said that the US failed in its diplomatic efforts to build a larger coalition, to enlist the UN support for action, etc., etc. I've previously written that these claims miss the mark, that it was the other countries - France, Germany, China, Russia - who failed in their efforts to prevent this war from taking place. Where I will, however, criticize the US diplomatic efforts, is by pointing out that the State Department gave the world a pass. Not a single country was presented with a list of benefits that would be lost if they failed to support the US. Has Mexico lost anything? Has Cameroon? France? Germany? Well, perhaps Germany, in that Rumsfeld threatened to move US forces to other, more friendly, countries. But, as a general rule, the State Department went overboard to not pressure other countries, claiming we would look bad if we were seen doing otherwise. Was this just another case of the State Department acting in ways that are more supportive of other countries' interests, rather than our own?

France is certainly pulling no punches - why are we fighting with only one hand?