The French Resistance

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MAIN MAN: For better or worse, Chirac's stance has thrust him into the center of global debate

Jacques Chirac isn't looking for a ladder to climb down from his opposition to a military intervention in Iraq. In fact, he's offering George W. Bush a ladder to climb down from the brink of conflict. "If they were to ask me for my friendly advice, I would counsel against [war]," the French President said during an interview with TIME Saturday at his office in the Elysée Palace. If the reinforced inspection regime Chirac has proposed is taken up, and if — against experience and widespread expectation — it proves effective in disarming Saddam Hussein, Bush could claim a double victory:...

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