Sunday, March 6, 2011

Dueling Images

Tonight's news had an interesting juxtaposition of images. Alain Juppé, freshly installed, headed almost immediately to Tahrir Square to try to wrap France in the mantle of revolution. He met with  generals, but he also met with bloggers and Facebookers, and his bain de foule in the symbolic center of the revolution was meant to take priority over substance.

Meanwhile, in Tripoli, Saif Kadhafi, the son of the Leader, gave a relaxed interview to French newsmen comme si de rien n'était. Perfidiously, he reminded his visitors that President Sarkozy had welcomed his father to France only recently. "Libya still regards President Sarkozy as a friend," he said. He added, moreover, that when you're strong, everyone flatters and courts you, but when you're threatened, your former friends make themselves scarce. Finally, he echoed the Sarkozy line that the uprising would unleash hordes of refugees on Europe. The only difference--if it was a difference--was that the young Kadhafi called them "terrorists," a menace that Sarkozy had left implicit.

With stalemate threatening in Libya, France will face important choices--soon.

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