If for some reason, you lost interest in Franco-American relations in early 2007 and decided again this year to see how things were going with our country’s first ally, you’d think the tension between the United States and the Fifth Republic was a permanent state of affairs in the early twenty-first century.
In the middle part of the last decade, our relations suffered because of the duplicity of the French President and his Napoleon-loving sidekick, first serving as Foreign Minister, later as Prime Minster, currently under indictment. But, now it seems to be not the duplicity of the French that’s the problem, but the indifference of the Americans.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, initially dubbed Sarko the American for his pro-U.S. stance, is finding it much tougher to deal with Washington than he had anticipated and is recalibrating his policies accordingly.
Stung by perceived snubs from U.S. President Barack Obama and encouraged by the growing importance of the G20, Sarkozy is increasingly reaching out to non-aligned states in an effort to extend France’s international influence. . . .
These initiatives are being played out against a discordant tone in Franco-American relations.
Morrissey finds a delicious irony in the “discordant” tenor of our relations with the French:
The irony here is that the entire “unilateralist” meme started with France in the first place. Then-President George Bush decided to pursue his own coalition of nations to dislodge Saddam Hussein from Iraq when then-French President Jacques Chirac double-crossed the US and the UK at the United Nations. Despite having dozens of nations in the coalition, the lack of an eighteenth resolution from the UN and the public opposition of Chirac’s France allowed the American Left to paint Bush as a go-it-alone cowboy on the international stage.
Fascinating how it never occurred to the American Left to consider French perfidy as they evaluated the relations between our two nations when George W. Bush was president. Wonder if they’ll be blaming Obama for this increasingly discordant relationship with our allies.
Remember, the Democrat was supposed to fix the relationships with our allies Bush damaged. But, then again, to believe that W damaged our relationship with France, you’d have to have stopped paying attention to our relationships with France in 2007, just before Sarkozy was elected to replace Jacques Chirac, the aforementioned French President (during the first part of the current decade).
Things started warming up back in ’07, showing that the left’s theories notwithstanding, Chirac, not Bush, was largely responsible for the souring of Franco-American relations in the early pat of this century.
But, that notion just doesn’t fit their narrative. Maybe this time, they’ll blame the French President since he doesn’t share their contempt for an aggressive American foreign policy.