Sparrow in Hand
"Sparrow in hand is better than pigeon on tree".
This old proverb probably motivated France, Russia, Germany and all other Old Europe politicians when they decided to bury old hatchets and make sure that UN resolution about Iraq goes without any problems.
Some people in Bush-bashing and USA-bashing crowd might be disappointed. Some might even accuse Putin, Schroeder and Chirac of treachery. But this move makes perfect sense in strictly political terms.
At this time anyone who ever wanted to extract concession from US government – French, Russians, Germans, Chinese, Iraqi Kurds, Iraqi Shiites, even North Koreans and Baathists – can see their dreams come true.
Current US administration is in desperate need of some good news from Iraq. Even the hint of some kind of light at the end of tunnel would be helpful. Handover of sovereignty – after which pullout of US troops becomes distant but palpable certainty – could be interpreted as a sign that the worst days for Americans are over.
Of course, some may ask why Chirac, Schroeder, Putin and rest of the anti-war crowd decided to ultimately help Bush get re-elected. Was it more prudent to let Bush sink in Iraqi mud and have to deal with Kerry in January?
Wise men of Old Europe decided that the short term benefits of rescuing Bush were more apparent than long term benefits of helping Kerry get to White House.
Five months of American president telling "Hey fellows, you dropped your soap, would you let me pick it up" are preferable to four years of "How dare you ask any further favour after I've saved the world from such Texan monstrosity".