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President Chirac of France, the Anti-War Axis

Posted February. 19, 2003 22:34,   


`From a corrupt politician to a Nobel Prize candidate`

The powerful daily newspaper, Le Monde, reported on the 18th that President Jacques Chirac of France has been nominated as a Nobel Peace Prize Candidate for his leading role in opposing the Iraq War. Just a year ago, President Chirac has been suspicious of various corruptions such as receipt of bribes as well as the misusage of the political fund. The support rate of the first vote was less than 20 % during the Presidential Election occurred in April of last year.

The reason why President Chirac was able to gain a support rate of over 60% as well as the candidacy of the Noble Prize in less than a year is because of his glaring anti-war diplomatic activities after the reelection. President Chirac hindered the United States who was about to carry out a war on Iraq through the first UN Security Council`s Resolution and he also accomplished the second phase of the resolution. Moreover, he displayed that he will exercise a refusal even on the 2nd Resolution, thus causes the United States and England to postpone the submission of the 2nd Resolution.

President Chirac, as the anti-war demonstration strengthened worldwide at the end of the last week, has risen as a prominent leader of an `anti-war axis`, as the French newspapers expressed.

Then, why is he in opposition of the war so strongly? First of all, there are political reasons to consider. Over 80% of the citizens of France oppose the Iraq War and among the residents of France, 8 million people are of Arab heritance. The fact that his political root is within the traditional de Gaulle Party has to receive an attention as well. Charles de Gaulle, the former President of France, had declared a withdrawal from the NATO`s military organization in 1966 and established France as a nuclear holding country.

The anxiety of France on the possibility of losing its influence in Europe due to the numerous pro-American countries of the Central and Eastern Europe enrolling in the European Union with its enlargement has also played a part in this, the European press analyzed. The Economist magazine of England reported that France is strengthening the 2nd Deliberation with Germany to secure the European Union, thus causing repulsions of other countries.

However, on the 18th, which is a day later after President Chirac displayed his intention of exercising a refusal on the 2nd Resolution, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, the Prime Minister of France, stated that “This is not the time to talk about the refusal.” However, President Chirac himself gave off reconciliation gestures to the United States by stating, “All the credit goes to the United States if Iraq gets disarmed,” at the interview with the Times on 17th.

This is because of the anxiety of France being left alone in the world if it opposes the war until the very last even when the attack on Iraq gets definite, reported the European press. The French press also analyzed that the movements of boycott activities on the French products within the United States and the position of the 60 French businesses already advanced in Iraq have affected the `double play` of President Chirac and Prime Minister Raffarin.

Jei-Gyoon Park phark@donga.com