Published January 14, 2015
This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," June 29, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.
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BILL O'REILLY HOST: In the "Impact" segment tonight: Once again, France is helping terrorists. And don't be writing me they're not, because the Chirac government definitely is.
Today, France blocked a U.S. bid to deploy NATO's new strike force to safeguard free elections in Afghanistan. France says it doesn't want NATO to be, quote, "a toolbox to fix international problems," or something dumb like that.
Joining us now from Washington is Professor Charles Kupchan, who teaches International Relations at Georgetown University. You told our pre-interview person -- and we do that before each segment, because we want to know what your point of view is -- that you felt Chirac's actions in Afghanistan were silly. Can you explain that?
CHARLES KUPCHAN, GEORGETOWN LAW PROFESSOR: Well, the problem with what Chirac did today is that he's getting lost in the theoretical debate about should it be NATO that sends troops or should it be the European Union that sends troops? He wants to send the so-called Euro Corps.
But the bottom line is we need more troops on the ground in Afghanistan. And he ought to just leave off the theology and say, "Yes, let's get some people on the ground and get more security outside Kabul."
O'REILLY: Isn't the reason he doesn't do that in Afghanistan and Iraq and gives us a problem whenever we try to provide security for new governments because he doesn't like Bush? It's simple as that. It's personal. He doesn't like the Bush administration; he wants to embarrass America?
Professor, I've got 10 separate incidents in the last year-and-a-half right here, 10, where the French have either lied to the United States or embarrassed us unnecessarily because they disagree with our policy. Isn't that the truth?
KUPCHAN: I think there are two dimensions to French behavior. One is sort of in line with what you just articulated, and that is ever since de Gaulle was around, the French take a certain delight in poking their fingers in America's eyes.
On the other hand, the French have actually made some very good arguments over the last couple of years, particularly about Iraq and why the war would lead to consequences that we would not welcome. They were right about the consequences of the war. The Bush administration was wrong. So, they tend to mix good arguments with these silly arguments intended to trip up America.
And the other thing that I think is part of the story here is that there is an undercurrent of anti-American sentiment in Europe today, not just in France, but in Germany and other countries. And part of this is about electoral politics and catering to anti-American sentiment.
O'REILLY: Is that anti-American sentiment because the United States has taken aggressive posture against terrorism? Or is there something more to it?
KUPCHAN: Well, it really goes back to the situation well before Iraq and even before Bush took office. Clinton himself may have wanted to support the Kyoto Protocol in the International Criminal Court, but didn't because Congress wouldn't have support him.
Bush then comes into office and backs away from other pacts that the Europeans like. And then, all of this pressure builds up and creates a crisis over Iraq.
O'REILLY: I got it. Now...
KUPCHAN: Since that time, I think the prisoner abuse...
O'REILLY: ...and that makes -- professor, I think you articulated it very well for our audience, that there's been a building resentment because of a number of different things.
O'REILLY: But now we're in a war on terror where people are being beheaded, where people are being killed in mass slaughters. And you have a guy like Chirac who will not help out. He knows the danger -- anyone would -- but he will not help out because of spite.
And I say this to you, professor, that is the truth. And the United States has got to take that into account and either deal with him behind the scenes or say, "France, you're no longer our friend," and take economic sanctions against this country. What do you think?
KUPCHAN: I would put it differently, and that's that I don't think Chirac and the French are soft on terror. They just don't see the war in Iraq as having advanced the war on terror. I happen to believe that that's correct, that al Qaeda recruitment has picked up...
O'REILLY: Whoa, whoa, wait.
KUPCHAN: ... and that the Middle East is in a mess right now.
O'REILLY: Let's get out of the theoretical and into the real world. It doesn't really matter what you believe or what Chirac believes. It's best for the rest of the world as we stand now to have a civilized government in Iraq. Everyone admits that.
But Jacques Chirac will not help make that happen. So, theoretical is fine. Maybe you're right, maybe you're wrong; in the long run, history will tell. But right now, everyone knows the stability of Afghanistan in Iraq are vitally important to the world, and this guy Chirac stands in its way. No excuse for that, professor.
KUPCHAN: I don't argue with you, Mr. O'Reilly. I think that if you look back at the 20th century, Americans spent a lot of blood and treasure defending Europe from Nazism, from Communism. And it behooves the French and others to stand by our side now.
O'REILLY: But they are...
KUPCHAN: I agree with you that they ought to be sending troops to Iraq. And it's regrettable that they're not.
O'REILLY: Right. And -- but it's more than regrettable. It puts us in danger, and the whole world in danger to empower terrorists and thugs to do what they're doing in Iraq and Afghanistan. And Chirac sits back.
And I didn't even mention the oil for food corruption that's going to point right at his government and right at the Paris bank, that he was being bribed -- high officials being bribed by Saddam. I'll give you the last word.
KUPCHAN: I would be careful about pointing my finger at Chirac. I mean, let's ask the question: How did we get where we are today in Iraq? It was a war based on false pretenses. We Americans are ultimately responsible. But yes, the French and the Germans ought to be there helping us, because they are our traditional allies.
O'REILLY: All right, don't discount, professor, the oil for food scandal. Do not discount that. It's going to be a big story. Hey, we appreciate your point of view very much. Thanks for coming on.
And if you feel the way that I do about this situation, we have "Boycott France" bumper stickers available on billoreilly.com. Display them proudly all across the USA, please.
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