Are we blackmailing the UN Big Five?

Why are the Big Five UN Security Council members suddenly helping the US against the Tehran regime? The good news is that Russia, France, China, Britain and the US are all sending simultaneous "demarches" — diplotalk for 'put up or shut up' — to the Khomeiniacs in Tehran. They are being told to back down on their military nuke program, or else. The Big Five demarche may not work, but it's a step in the right direction.

In addition, there is news that France, of all countries, is helping to pressure Syria's dictator Bashar Assad to back down — after his assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri. Assad may even be forced to step down. France has been protecting Abdel Halim Khaddam,  Assad's former VP, who has been giving news interviews calling for a coup against his former boss: 

"After remaining silent for months, former Syrian vice—president Abdel Halim Khaddam is suddenly talking — using the international media to call for the toppling of his country`s government and suggesting Damascus had a hand in the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri."

Not only are the French moving against their old friend Assad, they are giving high—priority police protection to the man who is trying to overthrow him.

"Khaddam, who moved to Paris in September, is benefiting from French police protection at the Right Bank home where he now lives. Apart from this, the French government maintains he is a private citizen. A Foreign Ministry spokesman said Friday there is 'absolutely no political contact' with the former vice—president."

Well, that proves it.

All of which sounds like good news. We know of course that the UN Big Five are helping us because they are good neighbors who just want to stop the spread of WMD's to the world's madmen. Oops. Wrong planet.

Actually, we do know that France enjoyed whipping up an orgy of European hatred for the US in its drive to make Paris the real capital of the new Europe. It worked like gangbusters. Chirac and de Villepin are still in charge over there, and they are about as Machiavellian as even French politicians get. For his part, Putin would be happy to see us get a bloody nose, as payback for Russia's fall from superpower status a decade ago. As for China, the Chinese People's Army is in a major military build—up, its first objective being to drive the United States out of Asia.

So why are they all suddenly on our side against the regime in Tehran? This is a huge turnaround from successful  sabotage against the United States and the UK four years ago. The political calculations have changed. But why?

Here's a thought. The US has a big cache of documents showing that Chirac and de Villepin received Oil—for—Food moneys from Saddam, contrary to their own laws.   So did Putin. So did the Chinese. The US could leak some interesting stories to the international press, probably enough to defeat de Villepin's election run for president of France, and to embarass Putin in Moscow. Even China's corrupt politicians might get a little nervous. The Communist Party has been known to turn on corruption when it becomes too public.

The US has now had four years to study 2 million documents from Saddam's secret archives.  A lot of Baath Party torturers must have been eager to talk to the US, just as the Nazis were eager to cooperate after WWII. There must be thousands of Kurds and Shiites out there gunning for their old Baath enemies. So there must be a steady flow of intelligence about Oil for Food and a lot of other Saddam—era influence buying abroad. It defies belief to think that we just haven't asked anybody how Saddam managed to buy at least three of the five permanent members of the Security Council.

Would it be silly to think that we have the goods on Chirac and Putin? Do we know who was bought off by Saddam's oil in Beijing? Has Dr. Rice been dropping quiet hints in her travels to those places?

We've all been wondering why George W. Bush has been so quiet, in the face of an endless barrage of screaming accusations from the Left. Maybe he doesn't care about all that. Maybe he's onto bigger game — like knocking down the next most dangerous member of the Axis of Evil. And given the huge political corruption in France, Russia and China, maybe Bush—Cheney—Rice—Rumsfeld are just doing what adults sometimes have to: They are taking their lumps for the greater good. Maybe we are quietly twisting some arms.

It certainly would answer some puzzles.

Why are the Big Five UN Security Council members suddenly helping the US against the Tehran regime? The good news is that Russia, France, China, Britain and the US are all sending simultaneous "demarches" — diplotalk for 'put up or shut up' — to the Khomeiniacs in Tehran. They are being told to back down on their military nuke program, or else. The Big Five demarche may not work, but it's a step in the right direction.

In addition, there is news that France, of all countries, is helping to pressure Syria's dictator Bashar Assad to back down — after his assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri. Assad may even be forced to step down. France has been protecting Abdel Halim Khaddam,  Assad's former VP, who has been giving news interviews calling for a coup against his former boss: 

"After remaining silent for months, former Syrian vice—president Abdel Halim Khaddam is suddenly talking — using the international media to call for the toppling of his country`s government and suggesting Damascus had a hand in the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri."

Not only are the French moving against their old friend Assad, they are giving high—priority police protection to the man who is trying to overthrow him.

"Khaddam, who moved to Paris in September, is benefiting from French police protection at the Right Bank home where he now lives. Apart from this, the French government maintains he is a private citizen. A Foreign Ministry spokesman said Friday there is 'absolutely no political contact' with the former vice—president."

Well, that proves it.

All of which sounds like good news. We know of course that the UN Big Five are helping us because they are good neighbors who just want to stop the spread of WMD's to the world's madmen. Oops. Wrong planet.

Actually, we do know that France enjoyed whipping up an orgy of European hatred for the US in its drive to make Paris the real capital of the new Europe. It worked like gangbusters. Chirac and de Villepin are still in charge over there, and they are about as Machiavellian as even French politicians get. For his part, Putin would be happy to see us get a bloody nose, as payback for Russia's fall from superpower status a decade ago. As for China, the Chinese People's Army is in a major military build—up, its first objective being to drive the United States out of Asia.

So why are they all suddenly on our side against the regime in Tehran? This is a huge turnaround from successful  sabotage against the United States and the UK four years ago. The political calculations have changed. But why?

Here's a thought. The US has a big cache of documents showing that Chirac and de Villepin received Oil—for—Food moneys from Saddam, contrary to their own laws.   So did Putin. So did the Chinese. The US could leak some interesting stories to the international press, probably enough to defeat de Villepin's election run for president of France, and to embarass Putin in Moscow. Even China's corrupt politicians might get a little nervous. The Communist Party has been known to turn on corruption when it becomes too public.

The US has now had four years to study 2 million documents from Saddam's secret archives.  A lot of Baath Party torturers must have been eager to talk to the US, just as the Nazis were eager to cooperate after WWII. There must be thousands of Kurds and Shiites out there gunning for their old Baath enemies. So there must be a steady flow of intelligence about Oil for Food and a lot of other Saddam—era influence buying abroad. It defies belief to think that we just haven't asked anybody how Saddam managed to buy at least three of the five permanent members of the Security Council.

Would it be silly to think that we have the goods on Chirac and Putin? Do we know who was bought off by Saddam's oil in Beijing? Has Dr. Rice been dropping quiet hints in her travels to those places?

We've all been wondering why George W. Bush has been so quiet, in the face of an endless barrage of screaming accusations from the Left. Maybe he doesn't care about all that. Maybe he's onto bigger game — like knocking down the next most dangerous member of the Axis of Evil. And given the huge political corruption in France, Russia and China, maybe Bush—Cheney—Rice—Rumsfeld are just doing what adults sometimes have to: They are taking their lumps for the greater good. Maybe we are quietly twisting some arms.

It certainly would answer some puzzles.