Thursday, July 14, 2011

Raining on the Parade

Eva Joly doesn't like the Bastille Day parade:

"J'ai rêvé que nous puissions remplacer ce défilé (militaire) par un défilé citoyen où nous verrions les enfants des écoles, où nous verrions les étudiants, où nous verrions aussi les seniors défiler dans le bonheur d'être ensemble, de fêter les valeurs qui nous réunissent", a déclaré Mme Joly à l'AFP, en marge d'un rassemblement pour les valeurs de la République.
Yeah, well, I'm kinda with you on that, Eva, but when you're running to be commander-in-chief, it's probably better to keep such sentiments to yourself. Will this be Eva's bravitude moment?

Judt Colloquium in Paris

Eric Alterman recaps the recent Paris colloquium in honor Tony Judt. Among other things, this from Pierre Rosanvallon:

The French historian Pierre Rosanvallon noted that “it is here that the anti-immigration argument gets its force. On the left the view is one of nostalgia. An extremely weak response to a strong attack and it’s hard to see how it can survive the argument ‘the immigrants are stealing the welfare state.’” This story can be told almost anywhere in Europe and increasingly applies as well to the United States.

14 juillet Haka!

Hey, this is awesome (and don't miss Sarkozy's facial expressions):




(h/t Arun K.)

Casualties

Another French soldier was killed in Afghanistan today, bringing the toll to 6 in days. Coming immediately after Sarkozy's visit to Afghanistan and at the moment of France's national holiday, these losses send a message that is the opposite of the president's. Sarkozy insisted that one "must know how to end a war," that the time to end it had come, but that France would exit on its own timetable, with dignity, and only when "the mission is accomplished." But the message that the insurgents have tried to send over the past few days is that the mission is never accomplished in this kind of war.

Meanwhile, political attention has shifted to Libya, where progress is more tangible. The National Assembly voted a couple of days ago to grant its formal approval to the effort, with the Socialists on board. France has already spent €150 million on the effort.

Fête nationale

Happy Bastille Day! I will be celebrating later today at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, where the French consul is hosting a Bastille Day Bash. Hope to see some of you there.