Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Here Are the Secrets

OK, I take it back. US diplomats did know something that they couldn't have read on this blog: that DSK regarded Ségolène Royal's popularity as a "collective hallucination." As for Ségo herself, she confessed that she watches "Desperate Housewives" (hmmmmm), but that didn't prevent our crackerjack diplomatic corps from recognizing her allegedly "traditional leftist preconceptions, not to say prejudices" against the US. Oh, yes: and they also knew about Sarko chasing little Louis's dog and rabbit around the Élysée.

I mean, like, you know, Good grief! (Or WTF, in today's parlance.) So, sure, we negotiate with an impostor in Afghanistan, but what do we know about Afghanistan? We've only been at war there since 2001. France--our oldest ally, and this is the best we can do? Twaddle and tittle-tattle?


Anonymous said...

you can't, like, whatevs. I mean, this is HUGE!!!!!!!!
Sarkozy runs around instead of walking like a broken wind-up pigeon? Was he wearing nikes or adidas?

Seriously, there are some insights and funny stories there, but I really hope diplomats knew better. Also, I seem to remember that the Bush administration had sent a diplomat who couldn't speak French.
If they couldn't find a French-speaking ambassador imagine how easy they had it for a bilingual English/ Pashtun-speaking staff. Or perhaps that explains why the
The White House should snap up all the decent language majors, insist on cultural knowledge, put them through an intensive course where they learn a couple more, make them survive abroad, and then USE them. All cadets should reach advanced level in one language, preferably not Spanish (since it'd be everyone's first choice).
In the meanwhile, let us hope they DO read this blog. And that someone will spring one up dedicated to a few other countries.

Anonymous said...

* explains why the book _three cups of tea_ appeared so illuminating to so many military and civilian people dedicated to Afghanistan.
(At the time, I was surprised it hadn't been required reading for all who were sent to Afghanistan, along with _Born under a thousand shadows_, _Kite runner_, and a couple documentaries.)
Being surprised by the book after living in the country made it seem like top military officials knew nothing at all.
Better late than never, though.

FrédéricLN said...

Indeed, I did not expect those (reported) words of Mr Strauss-Kahn about Ms Royal.

Well - I heard the same opinion expressed by insider socialists; and I guess it's the opinion of their vast majority. But

1) it merely proves that non only insider officers, or second-rank leaders like Mr Moscovici or Mr Cambadélis, but even Mr Strauss-Kahn, completely loosed contact with real world and real people (see the end of this post by one of Ms Royal's highest-ranking supports, Jean-Louis Bianco : , and his own comment below).

2) I wouldn't have imagined Mr Strauss-Kahn might have expressed such an opinion to a diplomatic officer of the USA.

I've often disagreed with Mr Bayrou's reported hope that the PS might break down between irresponsible or archaist "socialists", and "democrats" or "social-democrats". Maybe the PS might break at last. But between a camp (allegedly) "believing in the people" such as Ms Royal, and a camp of "scientists of public management" such as Mr Strauss-Kahn or Mr Hollande.

The first camp hoping to create an Obama-like momentum (just forgetting some prerequisites, imho), the second camp hoping to grant France the Blair-Clinton administration the country would deserve (just forgetting times-are-a-changin', imho).

What about the left guard, Mr Hamon for example, and the leftist parties? Well, they would get in touch with the winner.