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The French Betrayal of America Hardcover – March 16, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Forum; 1 edition (March 16, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400053668
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400053667
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,149,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Timmerman is particularly strong on the history of French relations with Iraq and the massive corruption involved in arms and oil deals between the two countries over three decades. As a reporter in France for eighteen years, he was a well-placed observer.” —Washington Post


From the Trade Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

Can we trust France? Apparently not. After more than 200 years of shared history and interests, the U.S.-France marriage looks as if it's ending in an acrimonious divorce. Here is the shocking insider account.

In the wake of French behavior at the United Nations, where Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin systematically undermined the efforts of Secretary of State Colin Powell to convince the Security Council to authorize force against Iraq, Americans have at best come to suspect our ally of double dealing, and at worst come to view them as the enemy. Almost daily over the past year, new stories have emerged of how the government of French President Jacques Chirac has sought to undermine the U.S. war on terror, publicly sniping at America and inciting other countries to do the same. What's wrong with France? What's behind their recent perfidy? According to bestselling author Kenneth R. Timmerman, the American public doesn't know half the story. After they read The French Betrayal of America, American anger at France will turn to outrage.

Timmerman, who worked as a journalist in France for eighteen years and knows the players on both sides, lifts the veil of Jacques Chirac's scandalous love affair with Saddam Hussein, beginning in 1975, when he took him on a tour of top-secret French nuclear facilities. The French attitude toward the dictator, which seemed to baffle American politicians, was in fact entirely predictable. Put bluntly, it was all about money, oil, and guns. Chirac needed Saddam's oil and Saddam's money, and Saddam needed French weapons and French nuclear technology.

Despite this, the relationship between France and America was not only amicable but at times very mutually beneficial. That was until the most recent war on Iraq, where France turned the tables, engaging in dirty diplomacy and helping to sway other European countries to their side. French war coverage was not merely one-sided: It was viciously inaccurate, skewed, and openly anti-American. Timmerman also presents incredible new evidence of France's duplicity, including the fact that the French stood to gain $100 billion from secret oil contracts they had concluded with Saddam Hussein.

The French Betrayal of America raises questions of whether the nuclear cooperation agreements still in force with the French today should be canceled in light of France's behavior. Our security interests no longer converge, and our economic systems increasingly appear to be at loggerheads. The war in Iraq harshly exposed French treachery and their desire to do business with the worst of international tyrants, putting their economy, their international standing, and their relationship with a 200-year-old friend in severe jeopardy.

Shocking new revelations in The French Betrayal of America

The French president lied to Bush and to the public about the war in Iraq.
President Jacques Chirac had personally told President George W. Bush well ahead of time that France would be at America's side.

France urged Saddam to commit genocide.
Saddam launched his genocidal campaign against the Marsh Arabs in southern Iraq to make their region "safe" for French oil engineers.

France helped build Saddam's long-range missiles and nukes.
Based on exclusive access to new documents, provided by Iraq to the United Nations -- that French defense companies were key partners in helping Saddam Hussein perfect the long-range missiles that killed U.S. soldiers in Saudi Arabia in 1991 and rained terror onto Israel.

Chirac has blocked cooperation on a high-profile terrorism case.
France's top counter-terrorism judge was ordered to stop cooperating with the United States in the prosecution of Zacarias Moussaoui despite mounds of documents that would have helped the United States to convict Moussaoui of conspiracy to commit mass murder.

France illegally sold U.S. military secrets to Saddam Hussein.
A prominent French defense company shipped U.S.-designed laser designator pods to Iraq in the 1980s that compromised the most high-tech weapons in the U.S. arsenal.

President Mitterrand, a Socialist, became Ronald Reagan's best ally in Europe.
The French Betrayal of America
reveals the extent of French strategic and intelligence cooperation with the United States at the peak of the Cold War, in areas that will surprise readers on both sides of the Atlantic. The French ran a key agent inside the KGB, whose "cosmic" reach -- right up to the general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union -- hastened the collapse of the Soviet Union.

President Chirac almost went to jail for corruption.
Chirac was on the verge of getting indicted on corruption charges in 1999 until he cooked up an immunity deal with the head of the French Supreme Court, former Socialist foreign minister Roland Dumas. While the French corruption scandals are well known in France, they have rarely been reported in the United States and will alternately shock and amuse American readers.

The Bush administration is now offering France the secrets of our national missile defense.
The French Betrayal of America
reveals the hitherto top secret missile defense cooperation between the United States and France that has taken off at precisely the same time the Chirac government was undermining the United States on Iraq. Meanwhile, United States and French nuclear weapons designers continue to meet to exchange secrets of maintaining our respective nuclear arsenals.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Regarding the book, it is actually far more critical of Chirac, in particular, than of France. The author has a strong opinion regarding the issues he discusses (not that you couldn't guess by the title), but the stories inside are reasonably well documented, and dovetail with accounts published in newspapers at the time (the 80's and 90's, for those of us old and interested enough to remember them). The author writes well, and the book is an easy read.
However, I keep wondering how many of the 1-star critics have actually *read* the book. Their reviews - almost hysterical in nature, with the odd exception - are the kind you would expect from someone who reads the book description, and, believing it opposite to their preconceived US/World view, decides to deflate it by writing a (pseudo) review and rating it 1-star. Instead of ranting against a perceived neocon cabal against France, it would be far better to point - and document - examples of the book's alleged factual errors; it would make the reviews much more useful to future potential buyers - if that is what the reviewers really want, of course...
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Joseph J. Slevin VINE VOICE on June 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Timmerman talks about his experience in France from a perspective one who as a journalist who lived and worked there among the great and near great for over 18 years.
This is not a book about France bashing to say the least. He reviews throughout the book not only recent history, he links it to the over 200 year relationship the French and the USA have had together since the American Revolution.
He likens our relationship to a marriage of sorts that is now on the rocks as Collin Powell put it, "in marriage counselling", with a change in the overall environment since the French decided not to assist us in Iraq.
This is a side of the story that only an insider can tell us about. Yes we did help Iraq against Iran in the '80s. Yet the French have assisted Iraq since then in building armaments and the French have resisted helping us in the war on terror in tracking and capturing known active terrorists.
Anyone who thinks that we are in the war for the oil may be enlightened by this book because oil and the rights to it is one of the reasons the French did not decide to back our decision to go in. In fact they undermined us to a large extent along with Germany. This new perspective, one which has grown through the years is possibly a result of the power that France shares in the new European Union. However, most of the EU states sided with us, along with Spain, Italy, Poland, because we share a common history with democracy.
One of my favorite quotes in the book is from Collin Powell, however it is truncated to; "We've asked for nothing but enough land to bury them (our soldiers) in." What Timmerman left out in this quote was that Powell was responding to accusations at a meeting in Europe where America was accused of attempting to take over the land of Iraq.
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64 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Sean D. Gerstenlauer on March 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The reviewer below didn't read the book. Timmerman presents a fairly balanced account. The crux of his argument is that the "French" betrayal is in many ways more of a "Chirac" betrayal, and Chirac really does seem like a cad. I found the narrative about the U.S./Mitterand (a Socialist) relationship to be saddening; how even when our two countries were deeply at odds the bond created by our shared values held fast. The "balance" in this book comes out during these parts. Germany, France, and to a much lesser degree, the US, were guilty of hardcore realpolitik in their support of Iraq over Iran. The French were frustrated by our lack of "sophistication" in our approach to the Arab world, but at the end of the day France, especially Mitterand would come out on the side of "freedom"(their words). Chirac's personal corruption and disturbingly close, personal relationship with Saddam Hussein and Tariq Aziz, the French Arm's industry's utter dependence on Iraqi purchases (which amounted to more than Frances own military), and abundant "oil" bribery left France under Chirac no choice but to betray its old friend in the US. It was pleasing to read that though many of the French have been completely steeped in anti-Americanism to justify this betrayal, ther are still many Frenchmen who find this knife in the back to be appalling. This book could have used a bit more in the way of personal interviews and quotes (this is when it is best) and a little less in the way of historic footnotes, but in the end its an important read.
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202 of 250 people found the following review helpful By Delgado on March 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Regardless of one's views on the Iraq war (I'm undecided), most Americans (war supporters and war protestors alike) were puzzled by France's ardently vicious, even hysterical, opposition to the war in Iraq. At first, the initial opposition just seemed rooted in the common anti-American sentiment found in France/Europe. However, after a few days, and after Mr. Chirac devoted all his time to seeking out allies for this opposition, many started to wonder WHY the French government was taking it so personally! No government would go this much out of their way just to promote "peace." Can anyone really believe that France and Mr. Chirac would go on such an intense campaign against the war simply because they believed in the war was morally wrong? C'mon! There had to be more to this... This "more" is what Mr. Timmerman lays out, with irrefutable evidence, in his book.
I found the book to be an outstanding testament to what France's true motivations were -- not peace, but rather greed. France did not want to see Saddam deposed because that would ruin it's oh-so-lucrative multi-billion dollar deals with the dictator's regime. In other words, France felt that allowing Americans to depose a dictator who unspeakably tortured people and, many argue, posed a threat to global security, came in second to its greed for oil and money. As Timmerman explains, France/Chirac had a cozy, quid-pro-quo arrangement with one another which was incredibly lucrative for both: France would sell Iraq top-secret military techology and weapons in exchange for Iraq's oil and money. Putting aside the fact that selling military technology and weapons to a ruthless dictator and world-safety-hazard like Hussein is highly questionable, what's even worse is the way the European media and Mr.
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