Chirac and Schroeder were both on the defensive today after television broadcasts showed jubilant Iraqi citizens welcoming U.S. soldiers and Marines to Baghdad.
Political opponents and media critics said the Iraqis' reaction lent legitimacy to the war. They called on Chirac and Schroeder to put the war behind them and focus on repairing severely strained relations with the United States.
Meanwhile, in Washington today, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul D. Wolfowitz testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that France had "created a big problem" with such moves as holding up aid to Turkey from the NATO alliance, and that a reconsideration of NATO decision-making structures might be advisable.
"I think we need to look very carefully at where France is benefiting from a one-way street, where they benefit and don't contribute," Wolfowitz said. He accused France of failing to acknowledge the help that NATO was giving a European Union peacekeeping mission in Macedonia.