Thursday, March 17, 2011

France la téméraire

The use of France as a repoussoir in American foreign policy debates would make an interesting study. The latest to invoke French behavior as an object lesson is Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina:

"One test in foreign policy - at least be as bold as the French," Graham, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a release Wednesday. "Unfortunately, when it comes to Libya we're failing that test."


The implication, of course, is that since even the notoriously wimpish French are paying lip service to action, President Obama's reluctance to engage American forces is simply incomprehensible. The potential negative consequences of military intervention are not discussed.


Sen. Graham's memory is short: the Suez War of 1956 is not exactly ancient history, and at the time France's "boldness" had to be restrained by "wimpish" Dwight Eisenhower. As for Graham, his boldness seems to end with a no-fly zone, as if that would be enough to decide the outcome. France la hardie ou France la téméraire? 

4 comments:

meshplate said...

Never one to miss an opportunity to turn a genuine crisis into a occasion for narcissistic theatrics, Sarko says he wants to go to Japan to "show solidarity". Does he really think they need him poncing about there right now? Really what an a**.

From the beeb website: French President Nicolas Sarkozy may consider visiting Japan during his Asian visit at the end of March. "There's no question of bothering the Japanese authorities," Mr Sarkozy said, according to AFP. "But, obviously, if the opportunity presented itself and if the Japanese authorities agreed, it goes without saying that during my Asia tour, I would go there to show our solidarity."

meshplate said...

Viz a viz Sarko's French no fly zone; it's hardly more hardie for Sarko to talk tough than for Obama to do nothing. Once again he's shown that he's nothing more than a loud mouth.

Anonymous said...

mehplate:
BOTH CAME THROUGH.
Juppé just got the Security Council to vote a resolution for the nofly zone AND military intervention led by the Arab League - it's like watching history in direct. Qadaffi is bmbing Benghazi and promised people no mercy at this very minute, but things have changed because now Libyans aren't alone.
10 voted for the resolution, including France, the UK, and the US.
So, France and the US are now potentially at war with Qadaffi, but apparently they're trying to use long-range missiles.

meshplate said...

Well I am very glad they did, though at the dying seconds of the 59th minute of 11th hour. Until they start rocketing Gaddafi both on the battle field and in Tripoli, it's still just sabre rattling though. It may yet be too late.