On Sunday (2nd March) a demonstration will be held in Paris outside the U.S. embassy. The assembly point will be the place de la Concorde. The rally has an English name: “Friends and Freedom”, which in itself is unique.
It aims to promote: “Friendship and confidence between the French and American peoples” and “Friendship and solidarity between France and the United States of America”. The slogans are French. More details can be found here.
Among French libertarians there is the same division as in the US, with minarchists tending to support a war of liberation and both the anarcho-capitalists and the conservatives against. The Catholic liberals (almost the exact opposite of the socialist ‘liberal Catholics’) are opposed to war both for the damage it could cause (some French people remember the ‘collateral damage’ of Caen in 1944), and the fear that a successor government might be less religiously tolerant than Saddam. An example of this view can be found here.
I regard the different cases being forward (in public by Messrs Bush and Blair) for war with Iraq as poor because they are either wrong (the Iraqi dictator probably has fewer ‘weapons of mass destruction’ than either Kim Jong Il or General Musharraf) or contradictory (is Saddam an ally of Bin Laden Yes or No?). Tyranncide is good enough and UNESCO can go and get stuffed.
I also consider the British forces almost entirely incapable of offering any worthwhile help to the Americans for reasons I’ve mentioned here before. Lend-Lease the air tankers and the SAS to the US and that’s all. ‘The Borrowers’ are probably going to get in the way of a US air strike or hold up the advance when the British made tanks break down in “the wrong kind of sand”.
Despite these misgivings, I would certainly go to the place de la Concorde this Sunday if I could afford the fare. The nasty game being played by French and German political leaders is as much a threat to world peace and the prosperity of this corner of the planet as any gang of terrorists.