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Has Sarkozy Met US Expectations?

When Nicolas Sarkozy was elected president one year ago today, the US media was full of praise for him and expected a big improvement in transatlantic relations.

Sarkozy's pro-American rhetoric was very much appreciated, because it was a big contrast to Gerhard Schroeder's US critical election campaigns. With Schroeder replaced by Angela Merkel and Chirac now replaced by Sarkozy, many Americans were looking forward to a new era in transatlantic relations led by a younger generation of pro-American leaders in Europe.

I did not buy all this hype, but have been very critical of Sarkozy (and to a lesser extent of Merkel) and concluded in November that we are witnessing Better Transatlantic Relations in Style, but not in Substance. Kyle has been frustrated by Sarkozy as well: Sarkozy Makes Premature, Unnecessary, Familiar Statement on Kosovo.

In the last few months, however, President Sarkozy announced some policy changes that indicate more support for US interests, so perhaps I should reconsider my position on Sarko. Gaelle Fisher has written a very balanced analysis on the question "Has Sarkozy truly improved the state of transatlantic relations and earned his reputation as the most pro-American president France has ever had?" She presents three arguments in favor and three against in a pro & con feature on Atlantic Community: Sarkozy l' Américain? Here is a snippet:

Sarkozy has agreed to increase France's contribution to the war effort in Afghanistan by adding 1500 to 1700 to the existing French contingent of 1600, sending combat troops to the East, and providing military arsenal. Yet the main new element of French military cooperation with the United States is Sarkozy's commitment to reintegrating France into NATO's military wing.

Or is that Trojan horse?

On Sarko's first anniversary in power, the French are very critical of his domestic policies (and his style), but I wonder what Americans think of his foreign policy. Has he met your expectations? Has he repaired the damage in transatlantic relations as expected by many in the US media? Whether you are an American or not, I appreciate your comments here and on Atlantic Community.

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Elisabetta on :

Most Americans expected very little in substantive terms from the Sarkozy administration. Only pundits and foreign policy fellows allow themselves the indulgence to dare to dream about a co-operative France. In a nation of optimists, most people were cagey and skeptical; those who were not are in the business of pushing paper or selling themselves. That said, a non-oppositional France is a great boon in foreign policy. No need to put out fires in the francophonie or squash uprisings at the UN. It allows the already limited State Dept. the luxury to concentrate on the task at hand.

Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

[i]"In a nation of optimists, most people were cagey and skeptical; those who were not are in the business of pushing paper or selling themselves." [/i] That's so true!!! "Nation of optimists" indeed. And I sign the statement on "in the business of..." as well.

franchie on :

Sarkozy hasn't made more than Chirac in favor of the US interests just that he made the "public relations"; apparently, he said to the US, what they wanted to hear, that wecouldn't think of Chirac doing that, because of his education and of his nature. Anyway, even if Sarkozy wanted to do more towards the US, he wouldn't be able to achieve it, because of our relative state budget (that is equivalent to a lonely California), he can't renounce to the 60 years old policy that De Gaulle launched towards the Arabs countries, China... the east blocks, otherwise, that would meen thousands or millions loss of jobs in France. I say, wait a few more years, and history will make it more clear that Chirac was more an US alliee than the other presidents of France ; relations with the states office were renewed in 2004, the Lebanon crisis has been discussed between the US and France, he made the right decisions as far the possible helps that France was able to operate, such also as commun renseignments offices in Paris, went in Afghanistan at the first hour, I am sure I forget a few more details....

Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

Yep, and Schroeder/Fischer also supported the US led war es in Kosovo and Afghanistan, but hardly get any credit for it from US pundits Merkel has not sent any more soldiers to Afghanistan than Schroeder had. She is just continuing what Schroeder started. And yet she is considered that pro-American leader. "Just" because of the Iraq war controversy, transatlantic relations are supposed to have been bad under Schroeder and Chirac, while in fact it was "just" their rhetoric that was often Anti-American or US critical. But then again, I also agree with Elisabetta, who wrote "a non-oppositional France is a great boon in foreign policy." Let's face it: transatlantic relations are so bad, that the US does not expect much material help. Many Americans are happy if Europe does not stand in the way. That's enough. See the post "How to be a Good Ally of the United States? Just Smile": Six years ago the message to the world was 'you're with us or you're against us' now it's 'well, so long as you're not against us...' [url]http://atlanticreview.org/archives/922-How-to-be-a-Good-Ally-of-the-United-States-Just-Smile.html[/url]

Joe Noory on :

Jeorg – I hate to say it but I think you’re misinterpreting the US resignation of “standing there and smiling” as behaviour consistent with any notion of an alliance with any sort of depth. It isn’t. In the main, the governments have constructed a careful state of “politesse” for the sake of public consumption which partially conceals a permanent form of passive aggression against most anyone outside the continent, but with popular acclaim against the United States. That the United States takes none of their commitments with any sort of seriousness and offers lip service is the natural consequence of this. Of course the retort is the criticism of “going it alone” which to the European newspaper readers means going without a European right-of-refusal over America’s actions, not really “going it alone” in the world. Moreover, only from a view of anxious self-consciousness could “you’re either with us or against us” be construed as being directed at the Europeans – it was directed at those governments tacitly entertaining alliances with the sponsors of terror, and the speech dated to the week after 9-11. The European public’s expectation was to pretend that there was nothing about 9-11 for anyone to get worked up about because they weren’t attacked, and that the notion that the US wouldn’t carry the IMAGE of the magnanimously accepting victim would disturb their world view. If the protection of that world view comes at the cost of the long-term security of 300 million Americans, and further to 450 million Europeans, and countless millions of others at risk of experiencing the same chaos felt Arab societies trying to cope with terror themselves, then so be it. If the stance of passivity on the part of the Europeans (which is a sort of quiet insult and a delusion of effective power) amounts to a handful of troops somewhere, a form of smug theatre, and the sort of passive-aggression reminiscent of an unhappy adolescence, then the best they can expect is lip-service. They should also not expect to be taken seriously, nor have their rather fake cherished talking-shop institutions, or notions that having formerly been “superpower” taken very seriously either – not just by America, but by the rest of the world from which they seek admiration as some sort of font of wisdom. So what it boils down to, is that Sarkozy is nothing to lionize. His charm campaign of opinions, like those of most of continental Europe are to be taken for what they are – a reason to be polite in return and little else. I hope these governments aren’t so ignorant as to assume that the State Dept. and the White House haven’t seen that, or that international relations are so simplistic that their bizarre little charm offensives are accepted on their face value, because hiding underneath it is the relationship dynamics that have always been: the self-pitying allegation that Europe is somehow America’s “beaten wife”, when the bulk of contact European states have with the rest of the planet is largely mercantile and tries rather hard to make symbolic actions and press releases seem like engangement. As for the US’ war in Kosovo, I wonder just why it is that 4 times in a row we’ve seen that same preface of begging for US leadership, followed by hesitation, and later accusation that the US was cavalier for doing what the EU-3 couldn’t would come as any surprise. Imagine how hypocritical that stance looks in Washington, Ottawa, and Ankara – how childish it seems that no-one even imagined that the EU’s control of affairs in each of the post-war regions of the former Yugoslavia wasn’t a colonial-style Governor led occupation relationship in the way they view any and every American action. And to think that there are people in Europe who thinks the US should take it’s every opinion seriously. The very notion is ridiculous. It was ridiculous under Bush, then under Clinton, then under Bush, and expects a kind of polite nodding NOT from the Europeans acting like they’re waiting out a suicide watch, but the Americans and the rest of NATO politely pretending to be thankful.

franchie on :

"it was directed at those governments tacitly entertaining alliances with the sponsors of terror, and the speech dated to the week after 9-11." clear your thought, the alliances that are the very probant ones, are your alliances with Saudi Arabia, that sponsor all the terrorist jihadists on that earth "but by the rest of the world from which they seek admiration as some sort of font of wisdom" really, why is that that the opec countries think to make their exchanges into euros, that a county like Brazil choce Russia as main partner ? ... "when the bulk of contact European states have with the rest of the planet is largely mercantile and tries rather hard to make symbolic actions and press releases seem like engangement." yeah, and your country is only the good Samaritain ! what about exxon, and many others cies that papy Chesney is chairman, and I am only quoting one person the war in Kossovo, would have been resolved between EU states, but you country didn't envisage that we would manage that without the demonisation of the Serbs that your country orchestrated, just to show your nose with the heavy artillery, and set a vengeance spirit among the populations, so that you still could control these bloody Europeans, that are so puerils, so assisted... leave us alone, please !

Joe Noory on :

If you don't think that the Europeans aren't deeply entrenched with the same people, why is it that they seem so terribly willing to sell them aircraft, reactors, etc. with a reckless abandon compared to the United States, hm? Who could that be?!? It couldn't be! They're made of pure virtue and demand human rights for everyone!

franchie on :

I return you the question, could that be trade, humanitary helps, delits d'initiés... bye bye darling

Pamela on :

"the war in Kossovo, would have been resolved between EU states, but you country didn't envisage that we would manage that without the demonisation of the Serbs that your country orchestrated, just to show your nose with the heavy artillery, and set a vengeance spirit among the populations, so that you still could control these bloody Europeans, that are so puerils, so assisted... leave us alone, please !" This has to be the most fragrant piece of crap I've read in ages. Leave you alone? Gladly.

franchie on :

may-be you need sources other than yours : http://www.srebrenica-report.com/index.htm http://lamar.colostate.edu/~grjan/kosovohistory.html

franchie on :

need some different sources : http://lamar.colostate.edu/~grjan/kosovohistory.html http://www.srebrenica-report.com/index.htm

franchie on :

ya need different sources, posted, but filtered apparently

Pat Patterson on :

You might want to check carefully these two websites more carefully before referring to them. The Srebrenica-Report is written by apologists for Milosevic as well as being funded by the Serbian government and the latter is written by an amateur historian whose professional life was spent teaching and researching issues of nutrition. And whose description of the beginnings of socialism under Diocletian are simply not taken seriously by any reputable historian of the Roman or Byzantine Empires mainly because Dr. Jansen does not read Greek or Latin, appears that he doesn't know the difference between Salafists and Sufis and has been only self published when writing about non-scientific issues. Here the main problem is that he has argued that Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia have been infiltrated by Salafist missionaries and fighters sponsored by the Saudi's. Unfortunately Dr, Jansen seems to have confused Sufism with Salafism and also seems unaware that many of these missionaries and fighters were expelled and no mosques were built with Saudi largess. I imagine seeing the Kosovars and earlier the Macedonians and Albanians waving American flags was simply too much to bear.

franchie on :

OK, then what about Alexandre del Valle analyse ? would you say it's also biased because he is a french specialist ? http://mysoupis.blogspot.com/2008/02/blog-post_28.html

franchie on :

ok filtered again alexandre del Valle, a french specialist on orthodox countries and Balkans, thinks that the US role in the Balkans was "diviser pour reigner" (devide for reigning) unless you find also this specialist biased because he is french the link will appear as soon as the former post'll do

Don S on :

When, franchie? 1997? Before? After? Is there any serious evidence of a continuing US interest in the Balkans - at all?

franchie on :

Don, I am gone to confort your opinion, I would say no, but of course your capitol fellows think otherwise

Don S on :

I saw your post a while ago, but was largely unable to make out your (or Del Valle's) actual meaning. Here is one quote "Alexandre Del Valle shows the real objectives of Operation Allied Force, which is part of a total war of the United States against the rest of the world and more particularly against Europe" Sorry, but that sounds incredibly nuts. I know blloks like this sell very well in France, but mostly I ignore them. The technical phrase for theories about 'total war of the United States against the rest of the world' is flat out batso nuts. And this fellow is either post-sane or selling something, perhaps both.

franchie on :

here is [url=http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4jqqc_greater-albania_politics]a video with his talks with english subtitles[/url] here is the whole quotation : "The war in Kosovo, humanitarian intervention based on the right of interference, in contradiction with international law, has only trigger disaster prevention it claimed. One year later, and thanks to a geostrategic analysis, Alexandre Del Valle shows the real objectives of Operation Allied Force, which is part of a total war of the United States against the rest of the world and more particularly against Europe. This helps to understand among other things, beyond the war representations, the support of Wahhabi by Washington, conflicts in the Caucasus, Central Asia, Kosovo and Operation Desert Storm, but also the desire to integrate American Turkey to the European Union and separating Russia. This New World Order, which has evolved from benevolent hegemony of the United States, uses multiple local conflicts between the West headed by the Americans to block Orthodox and led to a new cold war. Europe, voluntary vassal of the system but also increasingly victim, it may take up this challenge? Alexandre Del Valle tries here a masterful synthesis of a complex situation unknown." a bit different if you sort of its context though this fellow scipts himself in the anti-jihad camp, apparently, in that case US made the part to the international jihadism belt, this was the Carter and his guru program, not abolished up to now one can constats also in the perspective of the good old cold war with the evil eastern Russian bear, that is here the real deal... how to undermine that bloody Russian bear, then put the mess where it can find a favorable soil : Balkans

Pat Patterson on :

What more needs to be said then Alexandre del Valle is the pen name of Arthur DuPont who writes constantly that the US's main foreign policy goal is to subvert all French initiatives and that the US and the Islamists have joined forces to create a Muslim Europe. But the true kicker is the theory that Anwar Sadat was an apostate member of the Muslim Brotherhood and was killed by order of Sheikh Abdul Rahman and carried out in Egypt by al Zawahiri with the cooperation of the US. Even though four US military advisors were seriously injured in the same attack, to further the goals of the Islamists. But mainly that del Valle is not a researcher but rather a essayist and polemicist who is also quite comfortable representing a revanchist right in France that blames the Jews, the Muslims and the Americans for France's diminished status.

franchie on :

I leave you responsable of your statements about Mr del Valle, funny when someone has a different view than yours, that disconforts your auto-satisfaction consciousness, ah those americaners, what good guys, that are the very missionnaries of this century, poor planet under the animist evil conspiration spirits, we , the americaners, bring you the true words, swallow them and you will be saved. yeah, from what ? cluster bombs, bomb, bomb bombings, the Serbs appreciated them, while their mafiosi jihadists envahissors had all the attention from Washington... history will talk one day derision apart, I bet you haven't read a piece of word of that man, neither watched the video It's not worth having a different parole with the kind of persons like you, Mr professor, tell me when you 'll have an opinion on the Picts, I might bring you some news (of course, that you ignore) Though I salute you on your olympic mont

Pat Patterson on :

I'll make no apologies about questioning the accuracy, the veracity or the intent of cited material because it is simply too easy to make arguments on the internet and then quote or refer to a source without checking the bona fides of that source. I will always criticize sources which are on the one hand apologogists for Pol Pot or wild fantasies from "researchers" that see dark plots and conspiracy theories straight out of Robert Ludlum.

franchie on :

up to you to accord importance to sources only when that fits your opinion

franchie on :

http://www.mondialisation.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8630 tranlate that, a German wrote it yeah, we are all conspirators

Joe Noory on :

Let me see if I understand the logic of people who run any one of a million reprint sites with the mname "mondialization" (as if it was better to live like a medieval peasant who would die if you couldn't grow enough of your own turnips in fall..): Americans pushed for Kosovar independence, There are Kosovars involved in organized crime. THEREfore....!!!!!!

franchie on :

therefore ... it's like your allegation about Unifil.... -----> BS that is a mask for your nice-looking mondialistion is a french creation didn't you know ? Joe, when China will be the nation that rules the whole earth, will you be on the Chinese side, cause I see you don't really know where you seat, unless it it' the master's side, oops, God's side : "Bienheureux les élus, le paradis leur est promis", how about your brothers ? l'enfer est leur paradis

Pat Patterson on :

Why don't you simply defend the sites you've chosen to cite with evidence that they are indeed accurate rather than simply whining that they are being rejected because they are of French origin? Or at the very least use primary sources instead of opinion sites!

franchie on :

Srebrenica report wasn't ? militaries, journalist etc that were there ? if youd do the same as far you take concern about us, then the discussion is opened

Pat Patterson on :

Again the Srebrenica-Report even with a cursory glance is simply a mouthpiece for Milosevic apologists. They are still repeating and amplifying claims that the Serbian Army but primarily the Bosnian Serb Army only intervened because thousands of Serbs had been killed and buried in mass graves which oddly enough have never been found or as the ICCJ noted only some nine hundred bodies were found and most of those in military uniform. But it would seem that the most obvious refutation of this theory is that the Bosnian Serb government officially ackowledged and apologized for their part in the mass murders in 2004. And made no mention of thousands of Serbs being killed as a causal factor in the planning of the massacre. [url]http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6455646/[/url]

franchie on :

"By facilitating shipments of illegal weapons to Muslim forces, the US helped turn safe zones into staging areas for conflict and tripwires for NATO intervention" [url=http://www.srebrenica-report.com/press.htm]These figures make it clear that at least 38,000 Srebrenica residents survived out of a population of 40,000 before the capture of the enclave[/url] Branco, a Portugese UN military official states that casualty estimates of 7,000 have been “used and manipulated for propaganda purposes.” He wrote in 1998 that “there is little doubt that at least 2,000 Bosnian Muslims died in fighting the better trained and better commanded BSA [Bosnian Serb Army]” in three years of fierce fighting. This is roughly the number of bodies (2,028) which were exhumed by the International Criminal Tribunal on Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the region by the year 2001. Many, perhaps most, of these deaths occurred before the fall of Srebrenica, according to Branco. Alija Izetbegovic, told them that Clinton had advised him that U.S. intervention would only occur if the Serbs killed at least 5,000 at Srebrenica That propaganda machine also conquered the liberals and much of the left in the United States, who swallowed the dominant narrative of the evil Serbs seeking hegemony, employing uniquely brutal and genocidal strategies, and upsetting a previous multi-cultural haven in Bosnia—run by Osama bin Laden’s friend and ally Alija Izetbegovic, and with rectification brought belatedly by Clinton, Holbrooke and Albright working closely with Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia! The liberal/left war coalition needed to find the Serbs demons in order to justify imperial warfare, and they did so by accepting and internalizing a set of lies and myths that make up the dominant narrative. [74] This liberal/”cruise missile left” (CML) combo was important in helping develop the “humanitarian intervention” rationale for attacking Serbia on behalf of the Kosovo Liberation Army, The Srebrenica massacre helped make the liberals and CML true believers in the crusade in the Balkans and gave moral backup to their servicing the expanding imperial role of their country and its allies. [url=http://www.srebrenica-report.com/politics.htm]propaganda machine[/url] What followed, was Operation Deliberate Force, a US-led NATO bombing campaign which had clearly been planned well in advance against Bosnian Serb targets in Vogosca and near Gorazde. “We have become the Muslim Air Force,” a US officer told former New York Times reporter David Binder. Less than a week later, Operation Storm was launched, when US-backed Croatian forces, attacked on all fronts against the Serbian civilian population of the Krajina region, driving 200,000 ethnic Serbs from their homes and then methodically killing the mostly elderly population who were unable to flee _________________________________________________________ so the 7500 victims were fictional, wether the Clinton administration was doomed, wether she knew about the manipulations, I doubt that : the interest there was to undermine the villan serbs (the traditional russians cousins and alliees)

Don S on :

I'm seeing a pattern in your comments, franchie. China will become the nation who rules the whole earth. You quote a writer who sees the US as waging 'total war' on the entire planet, and especially europe. Probabaly especially France within Europe. The world seems to be full to bursting with 'world dominators' it would seem! Frankly I don;t see it. One doesn't have to view the world through rose-colored glasses to come up with alternate hypotheses both less sweeping and a lot more plausible than every powerful country hankering for 'world domination'. And just because France weilds less clout than it did in the age of Louis XIVth or Napoleon is not proof of an evil anti-French plot! China notices the EU; France specifically perhaps less so although surely french membership on the UNSC keeps France in the spotlight. Some might see the US moving more of it's diplomatic out of the UN and into bilateral and regional agreements as an anti-French plot, but that is not strictly true. There is a kernel of truth to it in that it's in the US interest to move certain diplomatic dealings away from Turtle Bay and an environment which has become hostile to the US. Under Chirac France was a significant agent of that shift. I think the rapproachment under Sarko is largely due to his recognition that a major part of French 'grandeur' stems from it's prominent role in the UN; therefore the US putting the UN on the backburner of US diplomacy reduces french grandeur. But that is niot a plot, merely a nation-state behaving in what it percieves as it's best interest. Fully comparable to the earlier actions performmed by Chirac and others to make the UN into a hostile environment for US diplomacy.

franchie on :

funny, I didn't put France in the deal, and you reactivated it, with her pseudo "grandeur" ... your obsession, why is it when a french opens it, it's his nostalgy of "grandeur" that speaks... MR Montespan inspired you I see neither this "no writer" but essayist said that the US is wagging a global war on the planet, but was focusing the result of balkanisation that was orchestrated by the US might be the link of Drezner that you confound there you twist the things, dunno which avantage you take from it though

franchie on :

"U.S. promises cannot be trusted - Gorbachev 14:04 | 07/ 05/ 2008 MOSCOW, May 7 (RIA Novosti) - Promises made by U.S. leaders cannot be trusted, former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev said in an interview with The Daily Telegraph published on Wednesday. "The Americans promised that NATO wouldn't move beyond the boundaries of Germany after the Cold War, but now half of central and eastern Europe are members, so what happened to their promises? It shows they cannot be trusted," he said in Paris. He also said that Washington's claims that a missile defense system it is planning to build in central Europe was aimed exclusively at countering the threat from so-called rogue states could not be believed either. The Pentagon's missile shield deployment plans continue to be a major bone of contention in relations between the U.S. and Russia. Moscow considers the project a threat to its national security. Gorbachev said the missile shield plan jeopardized world peace and could lead to a new Cold War. He continued that that "erecting elements of missile defense is taking the arms race to the next level. It is a very dangerous step". "I sometimes have a feeling that the United States is going to wage war against the entire world," the former Soviet leader said. "The United States cannot tolerate anyone acting independently. Every U.S. president has to have a war," he concluded, also saying that the world had squandered the chance in the decade after the Cold War to "build a new world order." I think this man has the feeling of the "grandeur" either, once upon a time there was a great empire at the eastern front, it was called URSS, or the great Russia further times c'est n'importe quoi, ou je rève

Joe Noory on :

I made no allegation about UNIFIL. I was merely asking the question. If they want to mediate disputes in a contentions part of their near-in region, do they have the stomache for it? As for your pet theories about CHina, they appear to be a product of the talking culture of France, where an absence of "shocking" ideas meted out on a weekly basis on television and in magazines is unacceptably boring, and requires wilder and wilder theories to air in a competition for the attention of the "intellectuals" who spew them. They have always been this way. I can't even begin to count the wild assertions and predictions of the future by self-professed "authorities" on one subject or another that I've seen on ligitimate French television and in print. As for del Valle, he's a crackpot. He's been on that malicious hateful truther Theirry Ardisson's show several times, and is the typical hybrid of a poser-for-individual freedom/authoritarian dreamer who is pitching theories about "who runs the world" to a dim audience, much in the way people 100 years ago would find a fortune teller reassuring. As for getting all worked up about countries intervening on the imagined idyllic pastoralists of the world, what they hell was the idea behind arming one side in the Rwandan genocide, and why don't these same caped-crusader heroes for "justice" seem to care about it?

Kevin Sampson on :

I would have been more impressed if he had not committed the extra troops but instead relaxed the ROE of those already in-country to allow them to do some actual fighting.

Andrew Z on :

Can the news that Sarkozy no longer back Blair for EU president be perceived as a blow to the US? Perhaps it is a stretch, but I'm sure the US would be very happy to have Blair as the EU president and Sarkozy was one of Blair's biggest proponents for the position. Sarkozy likely recognized that there was too much opposition on the continent for a Blair presidency, and his change in stance shows that he values his position in Europe, not just the US. I agree with Elizabetta, in that the US will gladly settle for a non-oppositional France. That should quell any domestic calls for Freedom Fries at least.

franchie on :

Kevin, "I would have been more impressed if he had not committed the extra troops but instead relaxed the ROE of those already in-country to allow them to do some actual fighting." here are a few videos where you can see that our soldiers aren't on holidays vacation in afghanistan, but are training the troops there and go also to the fighting aeras [url=http://video.aol.com/video-detail/envoye-special--une-guerre-au-nom-de-la-paix-2/2900335510]afghanistan[/url] the extra- troops were requested by your gentle administration, didn't it ? ___________________________________________________________ Andrew, one thing is sure with Sarko, if he isn't that political animal like the ancient generation produced so many, contrary to this former generation, he is pragmatic, therefore he lets the wise Angela influenced him for the choice of the future of EU ; so far, Germany and France had much in commun as EU partners than the Brit play-boy ever had with us, except with his vagabondages in south of France. So, in businesses, Sarko forget the kind of relationship, even, the UK don't want him anymore. "I agree with Elizabetta, in that the US will gladly settle for a non-oppositional France. That should quell any domestic calls for Freedom Fries at least." that's your "murdock shit press" that made the France/US relations look that bad ; now, that I am in use to read your papers, and your right-wing blogosphere, I know how, you people, can demonise a nation that has a different voice, according to your freedom of speech, you are allowed to launch whatever BS that suits your agenda ! Now, it's you, that are going to eat back your fried freedom chicken : your going to get a black president, even with an islam education, this for the best, laughable, because, precisely, he represents the people your fighting or you abhorre the most.

Don S on :

"your going to get a black president, even with an islam education, this for the best, laughable, because, precisely, he represents the people your fighting or you abhorre the most." Who do we 'abhorre' so much? Bklack, muslim, or both? Pe4rsonally I don't abhor muslims, even religious muslims. I tend to feel we hold many similar views. I feel closer to muslims than to agressive 'secular humanists' much of the time. I don't wish to be ruled by them either politically or by 'reign of terror' - but I don't believe most muslims aspire to rule me. I also don't abhor blacks. I'm probably going to cast my ballot for Obama this November because I think he is the best choice available right now for the US. Even though I'm far more conservative politically than he is. I don't claim to being colour-blind - Obama's race is a factor in my judgement, a positive though not determinant factor.

franchie on :

"Who do we 'abhorre' so much? Bklack, muslim, or both?" I have come to read such awful things on the "both", for a conservative your a pretty exception "Time for a major rethink. Bring our treaties into congruence with observable reality" I think so too

Don S on :

"for a conservative your a pretty exception" Not really. If you read mainstream US press and mainstream blogs as opposed to the weird ones you would realise this. I think there are as many racists among the Democrats as in the GOP, though they usually mask it as something else - the open ones tend to be on the right, 'tis true. But very few in comparison with the total numbers of 'conservatives'.

Joe Noory on :

Don's right on the money. Moreover, it's the feeble idea that's been circulated over the years that the U.S. is "fighting a religious war" that has permitted a lot of Europeans who are more obsessed with religion (and not WHAT IT IS) that people actually believe and advocate that caused them to confirm their views of the U.S. About 5 years ago it sickened me to have to explain this to people over and over and over, and served only to give me reasons to hate THEM - the people who toss these casual, thoughtless opinions around because it lets them prove something to themselves. Being [url=http://no-pasaran.blogspot.com/2006/09/fascism-is-always-descending-on-united.html]blinkered[/url] is not a demonstration of wisdom.

Don S on :

Thanks Joe. I have an example for you. Does anyo ne here remember the Trent Lott affaire? Trent Lott was a US senator and one-time majority leader of the Sente for the GOP. On Decemebr 5, 2002, Lott made a remark praising former US senator and Dixiecrat presidential candidate Strom Thurmond: "When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over the years, either." Thurmond had been a strident foe of racial integration before cleaning up his act (some). He remains a controversial figure, and praising Thurmond was a step too far for many people, including myself. I won't get into why, but it's so. But not the mainstrwam media, and not Democrats. Lott and Thurmond were members of the GOP, and it was mainstream conservative bloggers who began and sustained a groundswell of outrage which caused Trent Lott to resign from his post as majority leader on December 20th, 2002. What brougt Lott down was the statement effectively praising segregation by praising Thurmond's efforts to fight racial integration. This was offensive to the maistream GOP (people like myself). Had Colin Powell run for President I would have voted for him, and if Condi Rice runs and satisfies reasonable concerns about her fitness for office (the way Obama has done) I would probably vote for her above all other candidates. Unfortunately she is not running, so that leaves us with a choice between three candidates. An aging senator who may lack the temperament and energy for the coming situation, a woman who I believe is very ill-fitted to the office, and Obama. Not a ringing endorsement of Obama I will admit, but he is the best candidate available this year. Assuming that Hikllary doesn't axe-murder him and drop him in a vat of acid, that is.

Zyme on :

"I tend to feel we hold many similar views. I feel closer to muslims than to agressive 'secular humanists' much of the time." Quite naturally. When one wants to overcome religiosity, one will not only find opposition in the muslim world, but in the US as well. Great company. When the pope visited the USA, there were brief notes in our press that around 4 in 10 americans go to church each week. Is that possible ? In the same articles it was noted that in Europe the same religious people represent about 1 in 10 - which relieves me quite a bit.

Joe Noory on :

In western Europe it's between 1 and 6%, and "overcoming religiosity" shouldn't be an issue. It's not what people believe, it's how they act. You don't need a identified believe system to be evil. In fact it's the postmodern absense of a belief in something larger than themselves that makes people reinvent for themselves basic human ethics to the detriment of humanity. Notions like the fixation on the public's religion, beliefs, and opinions so common to Europeans are precisely why nearly no thinking person is convinced that they understand freedom of thought and action, or even the rights of the individual. It's a shocking thing to see in a mature society, especially one that thinks it has so much to teach others. If things go the wrong way, an ascendant "Europe" gives energy to a negative potential trend toward distatorship beginning with adminstrative meddling in peoples' lives and extending to suppression of rights for the sake of a tranquil air on the front page of a newspaper and cheap asian holidays.

franchie on :

In fact it's the postmodern absense of a belief in something larger than themselves that makes people reinvent for themselves basic human ethics to the detriment of humanity. which humanity ? yours, ours, AQ, Lebanesation, China... do the Chineses share your human ethics ? what is your belief larger than yourself ? cause till now, I have seen only the belief in yourself as "especially one that thinks it has so much to teach others."

Zyme on :

Overcoming should be an issue. Religion basically means guidance. You can´t make up your own world view, so you import that of someone else. And you aren´t ashamed enough to accept a world view thousands of years old. Imagine how "many" inventions are still active that are thousands of years old. Your world view still is - isn´t that striking you as highly unsettling? When religion means guidance, it ends when people no longer want to be guided. They need the state for mundane matters, but they no longer need any promised afterlife to make life look worth living. This is why religion is going downhill in Europe. It just cannot stand the test of time. "It's not what people believe, it's how they act." What people believe often allows a conclusion how they will act, don´t you agree? "In fact it's the postmodern absense of a belief in something larger than themselves that makes people reinvent for themselves basic human ethics to the detriment of humanity." I see your point. Obviously you are right, reinventing the wheel can cause accidents. But this lies in the nature of using your ratio: The borders are not instantly defined, you have a conflict of different ideas. This will settle eventually.

Joe Noory on :

Someone's world view is not the business of the rest of society. None. They're even free to think socially negative awful things. If you try to "guide" people at all, you end up with either a paranoid society or a bunch of unthinking blissed-out zombies who only THINK that they're thinking for themselves. This hideous obsession Europeans have with what people's religion is, or wether they have any beilefs of their own at all is founded on a social concept that the state is the representative and leader of society. It's simplistic and cretinous. As for it being "old-think", so what? Either way, that's an opinion you're free to hold, bunt one you seem rather willing to banish among others. Even if you did believe that the concept of right and wrong somehow changed in the last century, what are you going to do, make certain things people think unlawful? Ban it, and then tell yourself how tolerant you are? It's one thing or the other - you can't have a civil society where though is enforced.

Zyme on :

"Even if you did believe that the concept of right and wrong somehow changed in the last century, what are you going to do, make certain things people think unlawful? Ban it, and then tell yourself how tolerant you are?" Of course bans don´t help here. They would not even help if one was not willing to be tolerant at all but would simply try to get rid of a religion. The history of Christianity in the Roman Empire should tell us that lesson. There are more efficient ways. The current monitoring of institutions that pose a threat for public security is only the first step. I think of something much more effective - religion should simply be stripped of its privileges. Churches should no longer be allowed to collect taxes. Religious "education" should not be allowed to enter our schools only to indoctrinate the most defenseless members of our societies, our children. It is these privileges that allow these organisations to survive here. Once such changes were incorporated, the remaining vitality of religion would bleed to death. Unchristened citizens now make up the biggest group of "religious affiliation" in Germany. Do they have any representation? Do they collect taxes? Do their organisations have any financial power for charity? Are they priviliged in any way? The answer is always a clear 'No' - and despite all these disadvantages their numbers keep growing. Implementing the above mentioned changes would speed up progress significantly.

Anonymous on :

"Has he met your expectations?" Pretty much. Actually he's exceeded my expectations, because I really expected nothing. Fine words no action. And what Sarko delivered was - something. Not a lot, not 'transformational' by any stretch of the imagination, but more than I expected. "Has he repaired the damage in transatlantic relations as expected by many in the US media?" Was this a reasonable goal to set for Sarko? I thought it was extreme hyperbole then and haven't changed my view. The 'damage' has been systemic and decades in the making - is any one leader going to magically repair the damage and restore thing to the supposed 'happy state' which presumably existed sometime in the mythic past? In one year while balancing a ball on his nose (why not?)? Surely not. I've come to view this as more of an organic process. Europe and the US are growing apart & it's long past time that our associations (of all kinds) be put on a new basis. Whether it's a reformed NATO, or no NATO, World Bank, IMF, UN, whatever. Time for a major rethink. Bring our treaties into congruence with observable reality.

Don S on :

oops. That was my posting.

franchie on :

"I made no allegation about UNIFIL. I was merely asking the question. If they want to mediate disputes in a contentions part of their near-in region, do they have the stomache for it?" my dear Joe, it's your state department in the person of Condi that discussed the unifil intervention, frenchs wanted chapter 7, which would allow the troops to fight, though only chapter 6 was availed, that meens they can't fight, unless they are attacked apparently it's not the case, and for the stomache, I ask you why you aren't there either, is is that you haven't stomache anymore since 1983 ? "As for del Valle, he's a crackpot. He's been on that malicious hateful truther Theirry Ardisson's show several times, and is the typical hybrid of a poser-for-individual freedom/authoritarian dreamer who is pitching theories about "who runs the world" to a dim audience, much in the way people 100 years ago would find a fortune teller reassuring." you certainly confound him with Tierry messian, that was the conspiracies theorist, bizarre he isn't in France anymore Del Valle is more serious, he doesn't appears in untertainments talk shows, but with real specialists in geopolities talk shows ruled by serious journalists one more BS on your side the rest is blabla that I am in use to read from you long life to Lebanon, a virtual country that none is caring, because "it's not a determinant country, that we should leave alone", ie an american diplomat in a lebanese paper last week... long life to Syria, next step ?

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