March 15, 2003
France Isn't in It For the Oil
I've heard time and time again the argument that France's opposotion to the war in is due to the worth of its many oil contracts with . I heard one person quote to me that France had $60 billion in oil contracts that would dissolve if there was a war. I never knew whether there was any truth to this -- but one of the most hawkish publications you can find anywere,Jane's Information Group, a compendium of everything about modern weaponry and military affairs, a publication that is for he who delights in all things military, says France will lose barrels of money by opposing the war:
France used to have large oil interests in , and a reasonable expectation of retaining some influence in the region. Chirac's current policy has put all this at risk.
The point is that France could have stood to gain a great deal from backing the U.S. war in , putting its hand out when the time to divvy up the oil contracts (and the other industrial contracts), but that France squandered that opportunity to enhance its standing as an international leader. I don't necessarily buy this (see above about France's oil deals with ), but, then again, France's prospective oil deals with all depended on the lifting of economic sancions against . So what's wrong with France saying, the inspection process can work, and eventually we will get Saddam to disarm, and we can lift econmic sanctions agianst him? Then everyone will be happy.
Posted by Tom Burka at 9:35 PM in Commentary