Thursday, August 7, 2008

Balancing Act


President Sarkozy won't meet the Dalai Lama after all, but Mme Sarkozy will stand in for "Mon Mari," as Le Canard Enchaîné has her referring to him in its consistently amusing feature, "Carla Bruni's Diary." We thus have a shrewd dosage of symbolic gestures: Tibet ("How many divisions has the Dalai Lama?") reaps according to its capabilities, while China ("How many nuclear power plants can the world's fastest-growing economy absorb?) is rewarded in proportion to its wherewithal. Even George Bush, finding that old Republican strings are still available to be plucked, managed a somewhat more robust denunciation of Chinese human-rights abuses than has thus far been heard from France, which has been princely in its compliments for China's "accomplishments." In the end, I suppose, it hardly matters whether a country adopts a policy of fainthearted realpolitik or dilute moralism. Still, Sarko had made his freedom to meet with the Dalai Lama if he so chose an issue of manhood ("Who are the Chinese to tell the president of France what he can or cannot do?"), so it is particularly ironic that he has chosen to use his wife as his proxy. This of course leaves him free to go to the Games--surely the most politicized in recent memory--and mingle with the discus throwers and speed swimmers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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