Axis of Small Mammals24 Jan 2003
Sometimes I go through phases where I write more as comments to other blogs than I post for myself. This week this has culminated my being cited by InstaPundit without a link, since lately I don't have anything to link to. Time to fix that. By the way, even though I don't share the sentiment of the Axis of Weasels, I think the phrase is as funny as hell.
When I first heard that Schröder and Chirac had announced their joint intention not to vote for a war resolution in the UN Security Council, I thought it was extremely stupid. Going public means that private talks aren't working and stating your intention in advance greatly inhibits your ability to influence other votes. I could only think that they wanted to prevent such a resolution from coming to a vote at all, or they wanted to extremely irritate Tony Blair. Surely the United States wouldn't even acknowledge such an announcement.
But then Rumsfeld blinked. He called Germany and France 'problems' and 'the Old Europe', and his reaction acknowledged that 'the Old Europe' does indeed make a difference. Maybe Chirac and Schröder had outfoxed Bush after all, blindsiding him by announcing their intentions before the Blix report that Bush has been waiting for. After the Blix report, the US will appear to be proactive by either bowing to the Security Council or by going ahead without them. Either option involves at a minimum a loss of face. That is, if France (and, parenthetically, Germany) really do follow through with their intentions.
I guess it's only stupid if it doesn't work.