Debra J. Saunders

"The worst thing it did was to come out and tell the world we are going to veto under any circumstance," Leach replied. That "sabotaged" the whole process, and made it impossible for the United States to win a majority of votes, he said.

Worse, by signaling that it would not authorize force, "All France did, in my opinion, is make military action more likely."

Why is France doing this?

"The French have a history of protecting Iraq. Why, I don't know."

Before becoming ambassador, Leach was a prominent San Francisco businessman and GOP donor. He arrived in Paris embracing the fraternite between France and America. He fondly remembers the outpouring of support the U.S. embassy enjoyed following Sept. 11. But he has seen disappointment in France's behavior turn to anger and camaraderie devolve into distrust.

When this is over, will France have a part in reconstructing Iraq?

That, Leach said, the United Nations will decide. He added: "Would France like a role? Yes. Will they have a role? I don't know."

Debra J. Saunders

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