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  • That Had To Hurt

    Posted by Ralf Goergens on February 17th, 2003 (All posts by )

    The blockade that prevented NATO from helping Turkey to defend itself has finally been broken. The first reports were somewhat confusing, speaking of France having been shown the door. What actually happened is that the negotiations were moved to the defence planning committee where France has no seat and an unanimous vote is binding. That’s a lot smoother than France just being locked out of the decision-making process, if that can even be done to a member (I’m not that familiar with the procedural niceties of supranational organizations). This way an official insult to the French is avoided, but it still is a stinging diplomatic defeat. Even worse, de Gaulle once had taken France out of NATO as a gesture of national grandeur, and this has now come back to bite his successor Chirac. Talk about getting beaten with your own weapons (my apologies to Sylvain, but I can’t help gloating). Speaking of gloating: Reports claim that a compromise was worked out in the defence planning commitee, but that’s probably just supposed to help Schroeder and what’s-his-name from Belgium to save face. It’s much more likely that they simply didn’t have the guts to stand up to the others without Chirac at their side. Now, if only the Turkish government would find the guts to allow the deployment of American troops on Turkish territory…