Article Title

IBPP Research Associates: France


The original IBPP article included two fragments, or abstracts, from Le Monde Diplomatique (https://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/). All authors discuss governments that are more concerned with strategic security than with that of their citizens and that gives priority to military spending to the detriment of social expenditure.

The first abstract - A Culture of Peace by Ramon-Luis Acuna - may be found in part online at https://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/1999/11/ACUNA/3405. Full content of this article is reserved for subscribers and may be found at https://boutique.monde-diplomatique.fr/. Users may also access the article without a subscription (https://boutique.monde-diplomatique.fr/glm_onestepcheckout/onestep/).

The second abstract - The US Undermines International Law by Phyllis Bennis - may be found online (https://mondediplo.com/1999/12/). Users will find a link to the full text of Bennis's article on this page.

IBPP Commentary. Both of these fragments can be employed to shed some light on the recent French decision to deter a vote by the United Nations (UN) Security Council on sending an international inspection team back into Iraq to assess the presence of and the means to develop various weapons of mass destruction. A common perception is that the French have made a blatant decision to place the Iraqi threat of a loss of French business, economic, and financial benefits and opportunities over the putative Iraqi threat from the deployment, employment, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. However, matters may be somewhat more complicated. The French also may be noting what they perceived as the US penchant to place US strategic security interests above the interests of other countries. What's good for the US may not necessarily be good for France. A similar perspective may be relevant for moral and ethical values concerning human and civil rights. The US notion of the Good may not be that of France and of other countries. The French notion of the US as a hyperpower also has bearing here. Unlike a superpower, a hyperpower may claim dominance in the intrapsychic as well as the political spheres. Does all this justify French action at the UN? Perhaps it depends on whether the US is truly a hyperpower or whether the hyperpower construct is merely a rhetorical version of a force de frappe.