View Full Version : If anyones curious as to why France is against the War

03-07-2003, 12:08 PM
Iraq strengthens air force with French parts
By Bill Gertz

A French company has been selling spare parts to Iraq for its fighter jets and military helicopters during the past several months, according to U.S. intelligence officials.

The unidentified company sold the parts to a trading company in the United Arab Emirates, which then shipped the parts through a third country into Iraq by truck.
The spare parts included goods for Iraq's French-made Mirage F-1 jets and Gazelle attack helicopters.
An intelligence official said the illegal spare-parts pipeline was discovered in the past two weeks and that sensitive intelligence about the transfers indicates that the parts were smuggled to Iraq as recently as January.
Other intelligence reports indicate that Iraq had succeeded in acquiring French weaponry illegally for years, the official said.
The parts appear to be included in an effort by the Iraqi military to build up materiel for its air forces before any U.S. military action, which could occur before the end of the month.
The officials identified the purchaser of the parts as the Al Tamoor Trading Co., based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. A spokesman for the company could not be reached for comment.
The French military parts were then sent by truck into Iraq from a neighboring country the officials declined to identify.
Iraq has more than 50 Mirage F-1 jets and an unknown number of Gazelle attack helicopters, according to the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.
An administration official said the French parts transfers to Iraq may be one reason France has so vehemently opposed U.S. plans for military action against Iraq. "No wonder the French are opposing us," this official said.
The official, however, said intelligence reports of the parts sale did not indicate that the activity was sanctioned by the French government or that Paris knows about the transfers.
The intelligence reports did not identify the French company involved in selling the aircraft parts or whether the parts were new or used.
The Mirage F-1 was made by France's Dassault Aviation. Gazelle helicopters were made by Aerospatiale, which later became part of a consortium of European defense companies.
The importation of military goods by Iraq is banned under U.N. Security Council resolutions passed since the 1991 Persian Gulf war.
Nathalie Loiseau, press counselor at the French Embassy, said her government has no information about the spare-parts smuggling and has not been approached by the U.S. government about the matter.
"We fully comply with the U.N. sanctions, and there is no sale of any kind of military material or weapons to Iraq," she said.
A CIA spokesman had no comment.
A senior administration official declined to discuss Iraq's purchase of French warplane and helicopter parts. "It is well known that the Iraqis use front companies to try to obtain a number of prohibited items," the official said.
The disclosure comes amid heightened anti-French sentiment in the United States over Paris' opposition to U.S. plans for using force to disarm Iraq.
A senior defense official said France undermined U.S. efforts to disarm Iraq last year by watering down language of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441 that last fall required Iraq to disarm all its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs.
France, along with Russia, Germany and China, said yesterday that they would block a joint U.S.-British U.N. resolution on the use of force against Iraq.
French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin told reporters in Paris on Wednesday that France "will not allow a resolution to pass that authorizes resorting to force."
"Russia and France, as permanent members of the Security Council, will assume their full responsibilities on this point," he stated.
France has been Iraq's best friend in the West. French arms sales to Baghdad were boosted in the 1970s under Premier Jacques Chirac, the current president. Mr. Chirac once called Saddam Hussein a "personal friend."
During the 1980s, when Paris backed Iraq in its war against Iran, France sold Mirage fighter bombers and Super Entendard aircraft to Baghdad, along with Exocet anti-ship missiles.
French-Iraqi ties soured after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait that led to the 1991 Persian Gulf war.
France now has an estimated $4 billion in debts owed to it by Iraq as a result of arms sales and infrastructure construction projects. The debt is another reason U.S. officials believe France is opposing military force to oust Saddam.
Henry Sokolski, director of the private Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, said French transfers of military equipment to Iraq would have "an immediate and relevant military consequence, if this was done."
"The United States with its allies are going to suppress the Iraqi air force and air defense very early on in any conflict, and it's regrettable that the French have let a company complicate that mission," Mr. Sokolski said.
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell last month released intelligence information showing videotape of an Iraqi F-1 Mirage that had been modified to spray anthrax spores.
A CIA report to Congress made public in January stated that Iraq has aggressively sought advanced conventional arms. "A thriving gray-arms market and porous borders have allowed Baghdad to acquire smaller arms and components for larger arms, such as spare parts for aircraft, air defense systems, and armored vehicles," the CIA stated.
Iraq also has obtained some military goods through the U.N.-sponsored oil-for-food program.
A second CIA report in October on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction stated: "Iraq imports goods using planes, trains, trucks, and ships without any type of international inspections — in violation of UN Security Council resolutions."

03-07-2003, 02:08 PM
Screw France!! Why do they even get a vote? Toy soldiers......

03-07-2003, 02:26 PM
That's only the tip of the iceberg ... France is dirty in this... they know it....and we know it....
Germany is not innocent either ....

03-07-2003, 02:37 PM
Because we made the stupid UN up right after WWII when France still mattered to anybody.

03-07-2003, 03:03 PM
I posted this in the Depths of the Sea some time ago... but I liked it so much, I'll revive it here...
It was written by an officer assigned to the NATO peacekeeping forces in Bosnia.....

A funny thing happened to me yesterday at Camp Bondsteel

A French army officer walked up to me in the PX, and told me he thought we (Americans) were a bunch of cowboys and were going to provoke a war. He said if such a thing happens, we wouldn't be able to count on the support of France.

I told him that it didn't surprise me. Since we had come to France's rescue in World War I, World War II, Vietnam, and the
Cold War, their ingratitude and jealousy was due to surface at some point in the near future anyway. That is why France is a third-rate military power with a socialist economy and a bunch of ******s for soldiers.

I additionally told him that America, being a nation of deeds and action, not words, would do whatever it had to do, and France's support was only for show anyway. Just like in ALL NATO exercises, the US would shoulder 85% of the burden, as evidenced by the fact that the French officer was shopping in the American PX, and not the other way around.

He began to get belligerent at that point, and I told him if he would like to, I would meet him outside in front of the Burger King and beat his ass in front of the entire Multinational Brigade East, thus demonstrating that even the smallest American had more fight in him than the average Frenchman. He called me a barbarian cowboy and walked away in a huff.

With friends like these, who needs enemies?

Mary Beth Johnson Lt.Col, USMC

I wasn't a Marine.... but she makes you want to call out "Semper Fi" doesn't she?

03-07-2003, 07:21 PM
You're damn right Wharf! I love the Marines. They are not lying when they say they build "Men". I've seen many a young boy go into the USMC and come out a "Changed Man" infact, I have encouraged my son to enter the Marine Corps. They are at the top of the class as far as reg. military is concerned.

You and I served in the same branch of service although I was about twelve years ahead of you. I don't think the "Jarheads" will be to upset if we say:

Semper Fi.

03-10-2003, 07:11 PM
Im thinking about joining the marines when i get older. I know im going into the military. ive always wanted to. my grandfater was in the army and my dad was too. now hes in the national guard.

03-10-2003, 08:50 PM
Originally posted by t2thejz
Im thinking about joining the marines when i get older. I know im going into the military. ive always wanted to. my grandfater was in the army and my dad was too. now hes in the national guard.

t2thejz, Should you decide do such a thing.. you would be well advised to learn EVERYTHING you can about the USMC,they are for real and take battle and themselves very seriously. Infact, that is the only reason they exist and they are very proud of this. It's not something you should do unless you are fully informed and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you want to be a Marine.

All I'm trying to tell you is if you do it make sure you do it for yourself.

You said you would like to do this when you become older. I'm assuming you are still in school, continue to disipline your mind. I read your post and you do have a good head on your shoulders

Now I will stand down from my soapbox and wish you my best.


03-10-2003, 09:23 PM
Originally posted by t2thejz
Im thinking about joining the marines when i get older. I know im going into the military. ive always wanted to. my grandfater was in the army and my dad was too. now hes in the national guard.

I thought the same thing when I was your age, but look at me now! :D

03-11-2003, 10:44 AM
Originally posted by t2thejz
Im thinking about joining the marines when i get older. I know im going into the military. ive always wanted to. my grandfater was in the army and my dad was too. now hes in the national guard.

I'd say Go Army, but I'm biased. If you'd like some unsolicited advice, I'd recomend getting at least a couple of years of college before you join up. It'd help broaden your horizons, and I think you'd get more out of the military experience that way. Hey, and they give you rank for college credits, so it's a win/win:cool:

03-11-2003, 01:57 PM
More to it than you think, this was in the papers last weekend.

France does an estimated $1.5 billion a year in trade with Iraq, and in the mid 90's French oil giant Total Fina Elf was granted EXCLUSIVE rights to develop two huge Iraqi oil fields near the Iranian border, which have the potential to produce 10 billion barrels of oil. The deal is on hold due to the sanctions against Iraq, and would be declared NULL AND VOID should Saddam be overthrown and a new regime inserted.

So there you have it. All the anti-war protestors claiming that the US is only in it for the oil and praising the French for their "nobility", and now we find out that their stance against war is only to line their own pockets, and more about oil than any US intent.


On the lighter side....a funny joke about the whole situation was emailed to me.

The only seat available on the train was directly adjacent to a well dressed middle aged French woman and the seat was being used by her dog.. The weary traveler asked, "Ma'am, could you please move your dog. I need that seat."

The French woman looked down her nose at the American, sniffed and said, "You Americans. Your are such a rude class of people. Can't you see my little FiFi needs that seat?"

The American walked away, determined to find a place to rest, but after another trip down to the end of the train, found himself again facing the woman with the dog. Again he asked, "Please, lady. May I sit there?" I'm very tired."

The French woman wrinkled her nose and snorted "You Americans! Not only are you rude, you are also arrogant....Imagine!"

The American didn't say anything else, he leaned over, picked up the dog, tossed it out the window of the train and sat down in the empty seat.

The woman shrieked and railed, and demanded that someone defend her honor and chastise the American.

An English man sitting across the aisle spoke up indignantly "You know, sir, you Americans do seem to have a penchant for doing the wrong thing. You eat holding the fork in the wrong hand. You drive your autos on the wrong side of the road. And now, Sir, you've thrown the wrong bitch out the window."

03-11-2003, 02:03 PM
Wow, a whopping 1.5 Billion. Woo hoo! When Canada or the US farts, at least two billion comes out of our collective asses every time...1.5 B is inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.

Everybody knows about the FINA/ELF deal....that's no secret.

03-11-2003, 02:08 PM
Maybe you miss the point. I'll spell it out. The French are coming off as "peaceful" when they want oil as much as anyone else. No s**t the US does more in trade, it's bigger and richer than France is. The point is that the French are trying to make every think they're taking the high road in all this when they're not.

If everyone knows about the deal, how come no one's calling France out on their BS stance?

03-11-2003, 02:25 PM
These would be the same "peaceful" French who are the only nuclear power that still conducts above ground nuclear testing, and sank GreenPeace's ship when they protested such testing?

03-11-2003, 02:53 PM
LOL, could you drag up any more sacred cows ? ;)

BTW, the US did @ 3.5 Billion in trade with Iraq last year.


What's your point ?

03-11-2003, 02:58 PM
Originally posted by Chauncey
LOL, could you drag up any more sacred cows ? ;)

BTW, the US did @ 3.5 Billion in trade with Iraq last year.


What's your point ?

I would think the difference would be the fact that our trade with Iraq wouldn't be impacted by the War. For France, Germany, and Russia, it would cost them billions in both owed monies, and future revinues. Not going to be quite as much of a market for arms sales into Iraq once we get through with it.

03-11-2003, 03:13 PM
Nobody's debating that the war is going to cost French oil interests money. They are obviously interested in no war and lifting of trade sanctions on Iraq, just as the US oil interests are interested in status quo on trade sanctions and possibly a war on Iraq. Each position has it's advantages for the interested parties.

03-11-2003, 03:39 PM
Actually, US "oil interests" benefit from oil prices being up OR down. It just depends on whether you're talking about "upstream" or "downstream" companies. Upstream likes high prices because they're involved in production, and it keeps their profits up. Downstream companies benefit from lower costs when oil prices are low. There's about as much downstream influence as upstream in America today, so I don't see how that's a big impact for us. Further, we aren't owed billions that would go out the window with a change in regime's.

03-11-2003, 03:54 PM
Thank you phinfan. That's what I was trying to say.