As you may remember from the build-up to the invasion of Iraq this sort of public relations campaign requires a few other countries to publicly agree that a crisis is looming that may require us to go to war, after all other options are exhausted of course. Right on cue we have the foreign minister of France doing a neo-con dance:
France’s foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, sought Monday to tone down remarks he made in a radio and television interview the day before that the world had to prepare for possible war against Iran.
Attacked verbally by Iran and quietly criticized within his own government, Mr. Kouchner shifted the focus away from the threat of war and back to a call for hard negotiations as the way to force Iran to abandon key nuclear activities.
“The worst situation would be war,” Mr. Kouchner told journalists en route to Moscow. “And to avoid the worst, the French position is very clear: negotiate, negotiate, negotiate, and work with our European friends on credible sanctions.”
On Sunday, Mr. Kouchner, a Socialist known for his blunt talk, said in an interview broadcast on RTL radio and LCI television: “We will negotiate until the end. And at the same time we must prepare ourselves.”
Asked what he meant in referring to preparation, he replied, “It is necessary to prepare for the worst,” adding, “The worst, it’s war, sir.”
Lost in the off-the-cuff and freewheeling remarks about war planning was his other, less alarmist message: that France is committed to using diplomacy to resolve the nuclear crisis with Iran, that no military action is planned and that he did not believe there would be an American military intervention while President Bush was in office.
Isn't that last sentence a masterpiece? The suggestion that President Bush is less likely to go to war with Iran than his successor is breath-taking in its sheer neo-con perversity.