Dominique de Villepin,
French foreign minister, emerged as one of the most outspoken critics of President Bush's pursuit of war in Iraq. He earned rare applause at a UN Security Council meeting in February, when he urged council members to give weapons inspectors and diplomacy more time. “No one can say today that the path of war would be shorter than the path of inspections. No one can claim either that it might lead to a safer, more just, and more stable world,” he said. He infuriated many in the Bush administration, who considered his protestations inflexible and arrogant.