The Iraq War and the French Left

Michel Taubmann

in A Matter of Principle

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780520244863
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932166 | DOI:
The Iraq War and the French Left

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Throughout the crisis in Iraq, French socialists melted into the national consensus against the war. The socialists remained traumatized by the four years of hell that Europe experienced between 1914 and 1918. Jacques Chirac played an active role in the decision taken by NATO to put an end to the wars in Yugoslavia by means of an intervention to liberate Kosovo in March 1999. The majority of the left, more so than the right, brought its support to the operation in Kosovo. Within the French left, the intervention in Afghanistan provoked more reservations than the intervention in Kosovo had. The Socialist Party's position became radicalized under the pressure of public opinion, becoming increasingly more hostile toward a war, and also for tactical reasons. Bernard Kouchner found himself alone among the socialist leaders in defending the legitimacy of intervention in Iraq under the mandate of the United Nations.

Keywords: Iraq war; French socialists; French left; Jacques Chirac; Afghanistan; Kosovo; Socialist Party; Bernard Kouchner; United Nations

Chapter.  6230 words. 

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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