Saturday, September 24, 2005


If my friends do that, I can live with it. If my enemies do that I want to kill them. It's a matter of loyalty, not one of Reason. What happens if we find our loyalty is given to a cynic?

Below we have a short excerpt from wikipedia followed by an introduction to an essay on Chirac's relations with Islam and Arabia. The position here is obvious, so we won't interfere further with editorializing.

Plato said that only a man who is just can be loyal, and that loyalty is a condition of genuine philosophy. The philosopher Josiah Royce said it was the supreme moral good, and that one's devotion to an object mattered more than the merits of the object itself. In contrast, philosopher Michael E. Berumen thinks Royce turns morality on its head, and, for example, that a Nazi is not made more moral because of his extreme devotion to Nazism. Berumen contends that loyalty and adherence to duty are often conflated, mistakenly, and that one always ought to perform one's duty, notwithstanding one's feelings of loyalty, which might be directed towards something that is contrary to duty. Berumen maintains that unconditional loyalty is morally forbidden, for it does not recognize moral limits.

The Chirac Doctrine
Olivier Guitta

Under President Jacques Chirac, French foreign policy has become increasingly assertive - although one French academic recently described its raison d'ĂȘtre as to "oppose just to exist." But such descriptions are not entirely fair. While Chirac inherited a French foreign policy already tilted toward the Arab world, his pursuit of close personal ties to Arab leaders and his outreach to Islamists, rejectionist Arab states, and groups considered terrorists by the U.S. government is part of a broader strategy to increase French influence in the region.

The French approach to the Middle East changed after the Israeli victory in the 1967 Six-Day war. Then-President Charles De Gaulle began to espouse the decidedly pro-Arab policy that still prevails. According to the newsmagazine Le Point, De Gaulle explained, "The Arabs have for themselves their numbers, space, and time." It was a Machiavellian calculation. He pursued what he saw as a long-term strategy: sacrificing good ties with Israel in order to win the good will of the more populous and oil-rich Arab world.

Upon assuming the presidency in 1995, Chirac sought even closer ties to the Arab world. Speaking in Cairo in April 1996, he declared, " France's Arab policy must be a dimension of its foreign policy. I wish to give it a new boost." The French government expanded its trade and cultural exchanges with the Arab world. By 2002, France was among the top three trade partners for most Arab countries: first in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Saddam's Iraq, second in Lebanon, and Syria, and third in Egypt.

Chirac won Arab support as he repeatedly juxtaposed his pro-Arab stance with Washington's support for Israel. His popularity has become so great in recent years that a number of Palestinian families have named their sons "Chirac." During Ramadan in 2003, merchants in Cairo named the best quality dates-the traditional food with which Arabs break the sunrise to sunset fast- "Chiracs" to honor the French president. A May 2004 Zogby survey conducted in six Arab countries, found Chirac at the top of the list of world leaders in Egypt, Lebanon, and Morocco, and third in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. In contrast, the same polls found U.S. President George W. Bush the least favorite world leader after only Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Chirac has formed close personal relationships with a number of Arab leaders, including not only Arafat and the late prime minister of Lebanon, Rafik al-Hariri, but also with the late Syrian president Hafez al-Assad, his son and successor Bashar, as well as former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. These personal relationships have become the backbone of French Middle East policy.

Perhaps Chirac's deepest friendship has been with Saddam Hussein. The two first met in December 1974 when then-Prime Minister Chirac visited Baghdad to negotiate trade agreements, including the delivery of a nuclear reactor later destroyed by an Israeli air raid in 1981. When Hussein visited France the following September-his only visit to a Western country-Chirac said, "I welcome you as my personal friend. I assure you of my esteem, my consideration, and my affection."

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