Ten years ago the French were the cheese-eating surrender monkeys. These days, there’s plenty of cheese to go around in Washington.
The BBC’s State Department correspondent Kim Ghattas wrote on Sunday, “French diplomats have told me in recent years they believed the Obama administration was willing to concede too much too soon.”
Navon pointed to Hollande’s willingness to confront Iran’s proxy – the regime of President Bashar Assad in Syria, which was a French Mandate following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire – with military force.
He “gave the orders to shoot” but US President Barack Obama pulled the plug on missile strikes and deferred the dispute to Congress for approval.
Richard Landes, a distinguished historian at Boston University with an expertise in French history, told the Post, “The fact is that his [Hollande] administration has proven to be tougher than [former French president Nicolas] Sarkozy.”
Landes noted that Hollande rapidly made the decision to go into Mali. Commentators “did not anticipate this kind of backbone.”
France was never remotely pacifist. The French are quite trigger happy, especially when it comes to Africa, which made the liberal contention that we needed to be more like them rather debatable.
Differences over Iraq weren’t a philosophical gap between American cowboys and French pacifists. France had its own reasons for opposing the war. And they had nothing to do with pacifism.
France certainly appeases, but it’s ridiculously casual, by American standards, about sending the troops in. And hard nosed about its international interests.
French politics is corrupt and cynical, but in international affairs, it’s savvy in a way completely different from the American liberal ideal. The types of notions dragged out by American foreign policy experts would be laughed at as naive idiocy in Paris. And you can imagine the treatment that Kerry, with his bad French and his knee jerk appeasement approach, receives.