Written by Simon Chege Ndiritu.
Over the last week, international news has been dominated by intense diplomatic gymnastics done by France in response to AUKUS. France has withdrawn from significant commemorations with the UK and recalled diplomats from the US and Australia. Simultaneously, the French foreign minister, Jean-Yves le Drain delivered scathing statement, decrying US-UK behavior, going as far as likening Biden’s behavior to Trumps’.
That was surely scornful for Biden, who was elected for acting more urbane as compared to Trump. Another point that is hard to escape notice is the pain and regrets that France has exhibited due to missed opportunity that would accrue ‘America is back’ tagline, which has only brought betrayal thus far. Western-Neocons-swamp creatures may have expected Biden to lead them to another oil-looting, Arab-killing escapade, like the Libyan, Syrian or Iraqi wars evolved under Obama-Biden-Hillary triad. Putin condemned this senseless medieval crusade of developed countries ganging and destroying infrastructure built by poor nations for generations. Back to neocons, things have taken an 180o turn, as swamp creatures have been dragged out of Afghanistan to dry at home, thanks to chaos in US. Before I digress, I posit that ‘AUKUS’ betrayal was it’s a moment of poetic justice in international relations.
French aimed to supply a good number of submarines to Australia at a cost of tens of billions in future. Before France could supply the product and cart home loads of money, Australia pulled out of the deal, opting for another layer of mutual defense contract with the US and UK, which would see it receive a number of nuclear powered submarines. It has been revealed that France was blindsided by the three Anglophone countries during negotiations that reportedly took place in G7, in which France was in attendance. Maybe the three negotiated in English; that must hurts! However, did someone serve France with its own medicine?
What did France do to Libya, France and Syria?
Recently, France has fancied breaking agreements and norms of good relations, all to please its Anglo-Saxon friends, for unexplained reason. The list here is interesting but includes Libya, Russia and Syria. In the Libyan case, both countries enjoyed working relations but due to the “we came, we saw, he died” attitude that France had borrowed from the US, France was among the first countries to recognize rebel government in Libya. It betrayed good international norms and contributed to the death of Gadhafi. It seemed very enthusiastic at it. It participated in bombing Libya, the most prosperous African country to the sorry case it has become. France did not seem to think this was a ‘stab in the back’, a phrase it used describing AUKUS. The level of happiness destruction of Libya brought to the US is seen in Hillary Clinton’s celebration of the same. This was not all, as France would betray its next victim for US-UK.
France-Russian relations go as far back as being the centers of evolution of the Ballet dance, arguably the most iconic item of European Cultural identity. In 2010, both countries were negotiating the sale of French Mistral-Class warships to Russia, in a contract that was worth about $1.7 billion. Some French diplomats taunted the agreement as a signal to the end of cold war policy. If such positive cooperation was continued, the concept of European Army that is now hopelessly peddled by France could have been more practical. What did France do? After the Euro-Maiden coup which was clearly orchestrated by the US, and which UK-US used to level numerous sanctions Russian, France did not miss any opportunity to demonstrate its blind loyalty to its western leaders. It rapidly abandoned this commercial agreement, denying its economy large sums. France did not think it was wrong to break commercial agreements or damage otherwise profitable relations to please the US-UK. With this reasoning, nothing could go wrong, but Syria has a worse story to narrate about France’s duplicity.
In 2001, when Assad took power in Syria, France presented him with the prestigious grand-Croix of the Légion d’honneur, which is the highest order of the class. While the motive of the award could have been mere opportunism, the award shows that both countries could develop profitable ties and expand business and cultural exchange for the benefit of all. However, France just waited for swamp creatures to start war against the remaining Arab countries and when Libya had fallen and Lebanon and Iraq hamstrung, the next stop was… Syria. ISIS, Al-Qaida and a plethora of “moderate rebels” sprung up, which were funded by the west. Here, France could not lose such an opportunity to stab Syria in the back. It launched the same information and military campaign the US-UK were waging against Syria. It was seen enthusiastically tailgating US and UK to stage bombing raids in research facilities, which the west had conveniently labelled as ‘chemical weapons sites’. So, the ‘caring’ western governments bombed such ‘chemical weapons sites’ without worrying that harmful materials would be released to civilians. Even after the facility was obliterated, no chemical weapon leaked, showing that the western narrative was a sham. What was the use of Syria having France as an ally? What was the need of France awarding grand-Croix of the Légion d’honneur to Assad? Couldn’t France show some objectivity and at least demand credible investigation before bombing Syria over claims made by terrorists? However, it saw no need. It even went ahead to strip President Assad off the award.
France has been backstabbing other countries at will, to fit into the US-UK club. It is only that the US-UK think that they need Australia more under the current circumstances, and wouldn’t mind betraying France. Other countries, say Russia and Syria were more sober and measured in their response to France’s duplicitous actions. For Syria, it readily gave back the award decrying how France had become a slave of the US. In this sense, France need to learn a thing or two from Syria, especially concerning how to handle betrayal.
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