But for all the talk of Evil Bush's misbegotten war, we can at least take grim satisfaction in this: the only people who have suffered worse than Bush politically are the ones who were noisiest in their opposition. Case in point: the dashingly poetic former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villipin who - between poetry readings, Napoleon worship, and UN speechifying - was also dashingly engaging in a cheesy effort to smear his great rival Nicholas Sarkozy. Now, de Villipin is on trial for corruption. Couldn't happen to a more deserving guy: Trial Is Likely To Bring French Secrets Into the Open
Arms sales, secret bank accounts and accusations of political skulduggery will become the staple diet for consumers of French news over the next month as former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin stands trial.Mmmmm...murky.
Mr. de Villepin and four others went on trial Monday in a civil case, which on the surface looks like a showdown between two political foes — Mr. de Villepin and President Nicolas Sarkozy — but is also likely to expose details of the relationship between the state and European Aeronautic Defense & Space, or EADS, along with a glimpse into the murky world of French intelligence
As usual, de Villipin's corruption has received much less publicity than his glamorous opposition to Cowboy Bush. Between him, Chirac, Schroeder, Annan, and Putin, it is clear that their opposition to the War for Oil was actually an expression of their own financial agendas - Oil for Food, anyone? - hidden under a fragrant perfume of rhetoric RE: Peace, the International Community, etc.
The scandal has been simmering since 2004, when the list was leaked to a judge, naming people, including captains of industry and politicians like Mr. Sarkozy, said to hold secret bank accounts at the Clearstream financial clearinghouse in Luxembourg. The accounts were supposedly linked to kickbacks related to the $2.8 billion sale of French frigates to Taiwan in 1991.
When the list first surfaced, both Mr. de Villepin and Mr. Sarkozy were ministers in President Jacques Chirac’s government and jockeying to succeed him. Mr. de Villepin, a career diplomat turned government minister, was Mr. Chirac’s anointed heir.
Subsequently, the list of names was ruled by a judge to be fake, but judicial inquiries continued, and in November 2008, Mr. de Villepin was charged by prosecutors with complicity in an alleged smear campaign.
This is the International Community to which we are now apologizing for offending. Credit to Bush for telling them to take a hike. Discredit to advocates of Smart Power who would work within such a corrupt system.