Australian Prime Minister wants to kick out France from the UN Security Council

The Australian daily "The Age" ( reports that Australian Prime Minister John Howard is starting the process of making France pay for its hypocrisy and support of terrorist dictators:

Prime Minister John Howard wants to reform the United Nations, saying the presence of France as a permanent member of the Security Council "distorts" the council.

He wants Japan, a South American country and India to be represented on the Security Council. France was there only because it was a global power at the end of World War II, he said. [...]

France angered the war coalition nations with its strong opposition to a second UN resolution backing military action. Once the troops went into Iraq, President Chirac was a vocal opponent of the war.

Yep, France will pay - if you haven't already done so, please join the boycott of French products (click here for details). Thanks to the excellent LGF for publishing this - I copy the full article below.

Howard seeks to demote France in UN
By Louise Dodson, April 15 2003
Chief Political Correspondent, Canberra

Prime Minister John Howard wants to reform the United Nations, saying the presence of France as a permanent member of the Security Council "distorts" the council.

He wants Japan, a South American country and India to be represented on the Security Council. France was there only because it was a global power at the end of World War II, he said.

Asking France or any other permanent member of the Security Council to voluntarily surrender their seat was "a major undertaking", he conceded.

His comments risk the ire of France before the first visit to Australia by President Jacques Chirac, who is due in the country in July.

France angered the war coalition nations with its strong opposition to a second UN resolution backing military action. Once the troops went into Iraq, President Chirac was a vocal opponent of the war.

Mr Howard offered a compromise, which he said would make the UN more representative of the modern world - three levels of Security Council members, the permanent members, the rotating members and a new group of permanent members that had no veto. It would be "a far better expression of world opinion", he said.

Despite his criticism of the Security Council, Mr Howard said the UN had a complementary role to play in the reconstruction of Iraq. But the interim authority would be run by the US with help from Britain, Australia and others.

Mr Howard cautioned against moving too fast to a new Iraqi-controlled government, because the model had to be right. He suggested a federal system similar to Australia's could be suitable for Iraq. "When you reflect upon the strong Kurdish component in the north, the Shiite preponderance in the south and the Sunni preponderance in the middle, perhaps there is some merit in a federal experiment in Iraq," Mr Howard told the 13th Commonwealth Law Conference in Melbourne.

He mentioned the possible model with "some trepidation" in case he was accused of trying to impose an alien Australian solution on another country.

"But when you have strong ethnic and regional differences, it is only a federal system of government that perhaps might provide the means of holding the nation together."

Government officials said Australia's views on the shape of a postwar Iraqi government had been made known to the US and included two main principles - that it be determined by the Iraqi people and that it should allow for representatives of the three main groups and some further tribal groupings.

The Kurds should have a strong degree of autonomy, the officials said.

Australia has sent a number of officials to be part of the transitional authority headed by US retired general Jay Garner. The Department of Foreign Affairs official is Andrew Goledzinowski, an assistant secretary who has worked as a career diplomat and as the chief of staff to Mary Robinson, the former UN high commissioner for refugees.

Opposition foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd said Mr Howard should focus his intention on more immediate issues, such as the crisis at Baghdad's hospitals.

"The primary concern is to make sure the hospitals are no longer looted and medical supplies and services are being dispensed to the Iraqi people," Mr Rudd said.

Also yesterday, Mr Howard attacked "armchair generals" who criticised the conduct of the war, while it had run largely according to plan. "Of all the doomsday scenarios that were predicted, not one of them has been realised," he said.

Posted by David Melle
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The Australian PM, John Howard, is basically an IDIOT. He is like a trained dog who simply follows the USA for 4 main reasons. 1: Economically for better trade conditions with the US. 2: To get access to cheaper oil. 3: Economically, Australian companies will enjoy contracts in the "rebuilding" or stealing of Iraq. 4: US military assistance if Australia ever needed it.

John Howard is a cowardly moron.

Posted by: Daniel at April 18, 2003 05:45 AM

To Daniel:
You have absolutely no evidence of PM John Howard's motives. I'll bet you live in France (or some other "fence-sitting", pacifist country) - where, apparently, Freedom is free.
Step aside and let the men do the work. You boyish fools are too quick to criticize and too slow to eat your words.
1) Aussies and the US already have strong economic ties. They can't get much better.
2) I'll bet whatever country you're from would gladly accept cheaper oil - as it's the pillar of support of ANY western society. Think about it. Without oil energy, societies would collapse overnight. Auto, gasoline, air, travel and tourism, train, to name just five industries that would cease operations if oil was unavailable. I guess you would be one of the lucky ones that could walk or ride your bike to work if that happened. What about the millions of people to depend on cars, trains, aircraft to work each day?
3) Aussie military personelle put their lives on the line to rid Iraq of Saddam not like you or your country - tell me why their businesses don't deserve first crack at reconstruction contracts?
4 Look up the A.N.Z.U.S. treaty (Australia, New Zealand, United States). Don't talk to me about military assistance with the US over this Iraq crisis. It was already in place long ago.

Just a thought, but perhaps you're the moron.

Posted by: J at April 21, 2003 11:35 AM

Let me begin by stating that I AM an Australian and I have served with the Australian Armed Foces. While I feel that Daniel's statements above are simplistic in the extreme, there is a very strong sentiment here that John Howard has "sold out" Australia's previously respected foreign policies. Unfortunately for Mr Howard, most Australians do not feel that the end justifies the means in Iraq. Commiting Australian troops as aggressors in war for the first time in our history has undermined our relationship with many of our regional neighbours and has created great divide within the Australian population. Sad times indeed.

However, I digress. My main reason for writing was to respond to your "Defense" of John Howard.
1) If trade between the US and Australia is so good, why are we currently negotiating a Free Trade Agreement?
2) US economists predict that if oil consumption continues to increase at the current rate, we will deplete our reserves within as little as 20 years. The war for oil argument therefore has some merit as the contries who control oil reserves will be able to ensure their own supply for the longest possible time, by denying supply elsewhere. Do you really believe that the US, UK and Australia will allow the "Free and Democratic Iraq" they are helping create be the gatekeepers of that supply?
3) Yes, sadly Australian troops have had to risk their lives (thankfully without loss), but here you are tapping into the same nationalistic sentiment that John Howard divides us with. When asked "Do you support war in Iraq without UN backing" 87% of Australians polled answered NO! Then, after commiting troops anyway, We were asked "Do you support our Troops in Iraq?" Not suprisingly the results looked better for Howard at 50/50. Nationalistic tripe can make the figures resemble support for war, but again it's trying to use the end to justify the means.
4) The A.N.Z.U.S treaty was signed in 1951, and does not mention joint aggressive military action (hence, New Zealands decision to stay out of the conflict).

Please refrain in future from defending the stance of a Man who has completely undermined the democratic process in his own country, simply because it suits your anti-french point of view. Does "I'll bet you live in France (or some other "fence-sitting", pacifist country) ring a bell? I find it sad that following this comment, you defend "Australia" as your ally. Before John Howard came along, we were recognised internationally as a fence-sitting, pacifist country and we were proud of it.

John Howard may be your ally, but Australia is not.

Posted by: James Patterson at April 22, 2003 10:31 PM

Well put but sadly misplaced.
I'm Canadian by the way. I'm just as disgraced at my government for their fence-sitting. Luckily, we have an election coming up - and just watch what Canadians do as a result of this.

OK, here we go.
1) Free trade is becoming the norm around the world and it's great for enhancing trade options. IE: Europe's free trade agreement; Canada, US & Mexico free trade agreement. If Australia wishes to be left out - so be it. But i suspect (being a native economist of a country currently participating agreement) I think you'll come to regret that pretty soon. By the way, you could make a fabulous argument that Free Trade stops wars among its particpants.

2) I would think by now Aussie scientists would be working (as are Canadian and US scientific minds) at developing alternate fuel sources. There is already a Hydrogen-based energy cell (water) that seems to be prime to replace oil. The trick is implementing it. So I'd say the 20 years of time remaining for oil reserves to dry up gives us enough time to figure that out. Frankly, I can't wait to see what happens to middle east countries when that happens. Would you be willing to go to war over water? I sure would.

3) Again, Aussie soldiers bravely fought and, yes, thankfully none parished. If the Aussie public (and therefore the economy) wish not to reap the rewards of its soldiers sacrifice - again, so be it.

4)ANZUS is a military ASSISTANCE treaty. Who cares about agressiveness. Re-read Daniel's point #4.

Posted by: j at May 1, 2003 12:31 PM

I think 'making France pay' is a short-sighted policy. While it is true that Japan and perhaps Mexico or Brazil should be on the security council (not to mention Germany), it does not make sense to dump the French just because they didn't tow the party line. France has a lot of prestige in many parts of the world and can be very useful for African issues and for Euro issues. The UN should not be an anglo-saxon mutual appreciation society. Good honest debate is always useful.

Posted by: Jemenfoutisme at May 14, 2003 02:23 PM

Dear Jemenfoutisme,

and here your err. There is no "good" nor "honest" debate possible with a nation just as France. The international prestige of France only bases on appeasment of oriental despots and their kin worldwide. Chirac being proposed for the Nobel peace prize by the algerian dictator is for sure nothing to be proud of. The french impact on international politics is waning and its surrender to the dangerously growing muslim minority within its borders is a disgrace. African issues just as french support of Mugabe and his likes do not strengthen France's "moral" authority as well.

Posted by: Ephialtes at July 8, 2003 10:55 AM

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