The way to control French foreign policy


The foreign policy of France is guided by two major principles: frustrate and weaken America; and reap money. Ideally, they try to get a two—fer by accomplishing both goals at the same time, as in France's oil—driven policy to support dictators like Saddam Hussein and the Sudanese leaders, despite genocides and wars committed by these nations.

Now Syria is capitalizing on this French character weakness by dangling a mixture of business deals ($link) before Jacques Chirac, in order to control French diplomatic policy. 

Syria has approached French oil giant Total, the Airbus consortium, and French construction firm Vinci with business deals, in order to ease the pressure on them to leave Lebanon. The French have always had a paternalistic interest in assuring Lebanese sovereignty because of the Catholic minority there, and because of France's colonial history with the country. Additionally, the murder of Rafik Harari —a personal friend of Chirac's — also angered the French leader. However, balanced against these interests are the pecuniary interests that increasingly influence French behavior. Stay tuned...

Ed Lasky  3 15 05