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Just Imagine

It’s hard to imagine Jacques Chirac, Mr. Sarkozy’s predecessor, speaking this way. (Mr. Sarkozy has also reportedly described French diplomats as “cowards” and proposed “[getting] rid of the Quai d’Orsay.” Imagine the media uproar if President Bush mused about doing the same to Foggy Bottom?) ~The Wall Street Journal

Does anyone outside of the lunatic asylum of the WSJ editorial board think that “getting rid” of either the Quai d’Orsay or Foggy Bottom is advisable?  There is a fairly good pattern down through the years, and it is this: government leaders that openly despise State or Foreign Ministry employees have a curious habit of also being the most amazing foreign policy buffoons.  Despite some initial promise of representing sound leadership, Sarkozy has done nothing to persuade that he is anything other than this.   

There is certainly a kind of irony in Sarkozy’s remarks about China, since Total just put together a very nice natural gas deal with the Russians.  Needless to say, French huffing and puffing about other nations’ “search for raw materials” is about as credible as our own holier-than-thou pundits lecturing Europeans and others about their oil interests in Iraq (because we naturally have no oil interests anywhere). 

I suppose some Frenchmen can be forgiven for mistaking Sarkozy for a neocon with a French passport.  He isn’t one, but he certainly likes to give the impression that he is as much of a foreign policy dunce as they are.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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