Jumping the gun

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In the American Revolution, the newborn United States racked up almost $11 million in foreign debt. The majority of the debt was owed to France. In fact, throughout the American Revolution, the French sent commanders to help train militia, weapons when they didn’t have money and a naval fleet to help end the war.

Fast forward to 2007 and the old hardline, helpful France, is back. According to a Sept. 17 CNN report, France’s Foreign Minister declared if Iran obtains nuclear weapons, the world should prepare to go to war. These threats have sparked a debate among the world about the right action to take.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner is calling for sanctions, even going as far as to say they will do it with or without UN support. This is rather bold – yet not surprising – language.

National Public Radio on Aug. 23 reported Iran publicly has called for the extermination of Israel on numerous occasions. These announcements are homicidal enough, but the story gets even scarier when Iran’s nuclear capability is factored in.

They recently announced enriched uranium fuel is ready to be shipped from Russia to Iran’s first nuclear power plant. Iran already has the ability to begin enriching small amounts of uranium.

France, Germany, and of course, Israel all are starting to prepare for a war in Iran. Defense Secretary Robert Gates reports the Bush administration stands firmly resolved to use diplomatic solutions.

It’s good to see they have learned they can’t just invade first and ask questions later.

It appears as though the world’s Middle East policy has come full circle. France is calling for tough sanctions and war; the United States wants diplomatic solutions.

It is even more interesting when you factor in our current societal hatred toward the French. We have even gone so far as to truly slap them in the fae by removing their name from fried potatoes.

While the United States might have been wrong to chastise them about not invading Iraq, it might be extremely beneficial for the United States to chastise France about its recent remarks.

The International Herald Tribune on Aug. 31 called France’s remarks weak and irrational. France might have alluded to war, but part of the sanctions they called for were not exactly steps that lead to war. Moreover, the remarks are not anything new to Iran.

Iran has been branded as part of the “axis of evil,” and has been threatened in about every way possible.

France would have an enormous amount of trouble invading Iran without the help of the global community, and right now war doesn’t reflect U.S. policy toward Iran.

Will Iran stop its nuclear program? Probably not. Despite the sanctions, negotiations and threats, war still might be on the horizon. But in this moment, this time, it seems we owe everyone just a little more time to try diplomatic solutions before doing what no one wants to do: invade.

Kevin Phillips is a senior in legal communication. Please send comments to opinion@spub.ksu.edu.

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