Straw takes war to the French in vitriolic United Nations tirade
So often the grey man of British diplomacy, Jack Straw last night let rip at the French foreign minister in front of a shocked UN Security Council, calling on the international community to enforce the disarmament of Iraq “on its own terms”.
In what one admiring American delegate referred to as a “diplomatic call to arms”, Mr Straw spelled out in the clearest terms that time had effectively run out for Saddam Hussein, his lies and his prevarications.
He launched an impassioned tirade at Dominique de Villepin and France’s policy on Iraq in an outburst that marked a new extreme of rhetoric in the row over how to deal with Saddam.
Staring M de Villepin in the eye and packing his speech with liberal references to “Dominique”, Mr Straw directed what turned into an ad hominem assault on his French counterpart.
Mr Straw heaped scorn on the logic of countries – especially France – that are set on giving Iraq more time. “Dominique, you said that the choice before us was disarmament by peace or disarmament by war,” Mr Straw said. “Dominique, that’s a false choice.”