>From the Publisher
In the wake of French behavior at the United Nations, where Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin systematically undermined the efforts of Secretary of State Colin Powell to convince the Security Council to authorize force against Iraq, Americans have at best come to suspect our ally of double dealing, and at worst view them as the enemy. Almost daily over the past eight months, new stories have emerged of how the government of French President Jacques Chirac has sought to undermine the U.S. war on terror, publicly sniping at America and inciting other countries to do the same. What's wrong with France, a nation and a people that have sided with America repeatedly over our 200 year shared history? What's behind their recent perfidy? According to Kenneth R. Timmerman, we don't know even half the story. After reading The French Betrayal Of America, American anger at France will turn into outrage.
Mr. Timmerman, who worked as a journalist in France for 18 years, and knows virtually every player in this story, lifts the veil of Jacques Chirac's scandalous love affair with Saddam Hussein, beginning in 1975 when he took him on a tour of top-secret French nuclear facilities. He traces their ongoing relationship right up through the saga of Chirac's desperate attempt to save Saddam Hussein just prior to Gulf War II. The French attitude toward Saddam, which seemed to baffle the Bush administration, was in fact entirely predictable. Put bluntly, it was all about money, oil and guns. Chirac needed Saddam's oil and Saddam's money, and Saddam needed French weapons and French nuclear technology. France grudgingly joined the coalition force in Gulf War I, walking a diplomatic tightrope with their trading partner, and in so doing losing billions of dollars in weapons contracts to the U.S. throughout the Middle East and beyond. They wouldn't make the same mistake twice. But it's one thing to sit out a war, and quite another to actively support the enemy of a supposed ally, engaging in dirty diplomacy and helping to sway other European countries to their side. French war coverage was not merely one-sided: It was viciously inaccurate, skewed and openly anti- American. And new evidence has come to light, including the fact that the French stood to gain $100 billion from secret oil contracts they had concluded with Saddam Hussein.
According to Timmerman, the Iraqi crisis exposed fundamental tensions in the U.S.-French relationship that have existed all along (and that he traces in detail in this book), but that were subordinated to other concerns in other times, such as the often secret military and strategic cooperation between the nations during the Cold War. But with no Cold War focusing the French on possible extinction, they are left to ponder French grandeur. Timmerman raises questions of whether the nuclear cooperation agreements still in force with the French today should be cancelled in light of French perfidy. The war in Iraq harshly exposed their treachery, and their desire to do business with the worst of international tyrants, putting their economy, their international standing, and their relationship with a 200-year-old friend in severe jeopardy. The French Betrayal Of America is the first and only book to tell the whole story, from the inside out.
About the Author:
Kenneth R. Timmerman is the author of Preachers of Hate: Islam and the War on America, the New York Times bestseller Shakedown: Exposing the Real Jesse Jackson, and Death Lobby: How the West Armed Iraq. He's an investigative reporter with more than two decades of experience writing for Time, Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, Insight magazine, and Reader's Digest. An expert on France, he spent 18 years stationed there as a journalist.
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