Think Bush is cynical? Check out France in Ivory Coast

The French have been on a moral high horse since the American invasion of Iraq. They have been joined in their age-old pursuit of American bashing by other Europeans and a smattering of African urban ‘sophisticates’. French foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin, he of the square jaw and aristocratic mien, was on every television channel, patiently explaining the primacy of international law in regulating the foreign policies of states. It was, he said with much huff and puff, fundamentally immoral to ever take military action against another state without the approval of the UN Security Council if not in self defense. Well. If America broke international law to invade Iraq, then it must mean that France’s 3,800 soldiers in the Ivory Coast under a UN peacekeeping mandate must reflect French high moral standards, right? Not so, says Boubacar Boris Diop writing in Le Monde Diplomatique. France’s present role in that benighted country is only the latest chapter in its colonial misadventures in Africa. Praise for international law by the French has its roots in a desire to allow them to remain global players in a period when they are increasingly unable to hold as much sway as they used to. The ideals the likes of Villepin proclaim so proudly are in reality geopolitical machinations to subject American power to European dictates. In the 19th century when the tables were reversed, it was America that was heard to call for a rule of law in the international system. My point in going into all this is to caution Africans from reacting in knee jerk fashion when their former colonial masters try and recruit them as allies in Western power struggles. Follow this link to see how Boubacar Boris Diop has broken it down. You know what? I really have no technical skills so I do not know how to create links within these posts – help! So just go ahead and click on


About bulletsandhoney
I read my first book when I was three, then my second one a few weeks later. It has carried on this way for decades with only temporary distractions of eating, fighting, loving, heartbreak and other such irrelevant biographical details.

2 Responses to Think Bush is cynical? Check out France in Ivory Coast

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