- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 23, 2003

Now that U.S. and British military forces, assisted by an honorable "coalition of the willing," have embarked upon the necessary mission to enforce the 17 U.N. resolutions demanding the disarmament of Iraq, it's worth reviewing the pre-war actions taken by three allies, who gave the world what it does not need another German-Russian Nonaggression Pact.
The German-Russian agreement was penned earlier this month in Paris and co-signed by yet another appeasing French state. Indeed, the participation of Jacques Chirac's government calls to mind the regrettable diplomacy of a previous French regime, which participated in the notorious 1938 Munich Agreement. Agreeing with other European powers to transfer the Sudetenland of western Czechoslovakia to Hitler in an effort to appease him succeeded only temporarily, as France later learned the hard way.
The latest version of an unhelpful collaboration between the Germans and the Russians involves the joint statement their foreign ministers signed with France's. Willfully indifferent to Saddam Hussein's 12-year campaign of obstruction and duplicity to thwart the enforcement of 17 U.N. disarmament resolutions, the three foreign ministers issued a statement "firmly call[ing] for the Iraqi authorities to cooperate more actively with the inspectors to fully disarm their country." Firmly?
This most recent German-Russian pact, endorsed by the French, sought to enforce nonaggression by pledging that the three governments "will not let a proposed [U.N. Security Council] resolution pass that would authorize the use of force" against Iraq by the United States and its coalition. It came as no surprise, therefore, that the Financial Times referred to the three nations recently as the "French-Russian-German axis." It is an apt metaphor that even Joseph Joffe, editor of the liberal German political weekly Die Zeit, employed. "The new 'axis' of Paris-Berlin-Moscow must be seen as an instance of classical balance-of-power politics," Mr. Joffe recently told The Washington Post. "This is about … [controlling] American power," observed Mr. Joffe, who blames the French, Germans and Russians for what he believes will prove to be the reversal of the Atlantic alliance.
In case President Bush did not get the message from the latest nonaggression pact, Vladimir Lukin, deputy speaker of the lower house of Russia's parliament and a former ambassador to the United States, compared America's determination to end 12 years of appeasement to actions taken by a "gangster." This, from a senior legislator of a nation whose president, Vladimir Putin, spent years as a KGB colonel enforcing Soviet domination over its East German satellite.
Needless to say, the New York Times editorial page was horrified. In the wake of the statement by Germany, Russia and France, the Times bemoaned that "a crippling deadlock" in the Security Council would be "the worst of all possible outcomes." Such a deadlock would "sever the few remaining restraints that have kept the Bush administration from going to war with its motley ad hoc coalition of allies."
Well, let's review who comprises this New York Times-disparaged "motley ad hoc coalition." Recently, in a gracious and eloquent letter to the Wall Street Journal acknowledging the "bravery and generosity of America," the leaders of Britain, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Denmark called for "unwavering determination and firm international cohesion on the part of all countries for whom freedom is precious." Contrary to the appeasement pursued by the Paris-Berlin-Moscow axis, these eight leaders rightly recognized that Iraq and its weapons "represent a clear threat to world security." A week later, 10 Central and East European countries Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia declared their support for U.S. policy.
"[M]otley ad hoc coalition"? Notice anything in particular about so many of these 18 nations for whom freedom is self-evidently so precious? Well, after World War II, the Sudetenland (see Munich Agreement above) was returned to what is now the Czech Republic, which (together with what is now Slovakia) the Russia-dominated Soviet Union (so ably served by Mr. Putin on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall) invaded in 1968, as it had invaded Hungary 12 years earlier. Poland? See above reference to the first German-Russian Nonaggression Pact, whose secret protocol divided Poland and delivered Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania into Stalin's murderous hands. (At the moment Stalin and Hitler reached their nonaggression pact, ever-helpful France was attempting to persuade Poland to accept Soviet troops on its territory.) All the other "motely" Central and East European coalition members, of course, spent decades behind the Soviet Union's Iron Curtain, suffering under the jackboot of communism.
"Gangster," Mr. Lukin? From you (and your president) to say nothing of the ungrateful French and the opportunist coalition running Germany Mr. Bush needs no moral direction when it comes to the use of force to protect U.S. national security.

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