Monday, May 14, 2007

France

“No Western nation has done more than the France of retiring President Jacques Chirac to undermine our foreign policy. But anti-Americanism in France, like anti-Americanism in America, largely is confined to a privileged elite... His win is the most significant because it was the most decisive; it came in the country where official anti-American sentiment was greatest, and because France has a seat on the UN Security Council. What this could mean is that the diplomatic cooperation we didn’t get from Europe with regard to Iraq may be forthcoming in confrontations with Iran and Syria. The (long) odds that their rogue behavior can be reined in without war have gone up. However heartened we are by the warm applause Mr. Sarkozy’s pro American sentiments received, we must assume he was elected more in spite of them than because of them. Sarko won because a solid majority of Frenchmen are disgusted with the sclerotic economy French socialism has produced, and are frightened and angered by a rising crime rate, especially in the Muslim-dominated suburbs. He will succeed or fail depending on how he does domestically... In the meantime, we have a friend in the Elysee Palace for the first time in a very, very long time. That’s something to toast with French champagne.” —Jack Kelly