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                                                      [The Times, U.K.]

 

 

Tunis Hebdo, Tunisia

Sarkozy and Bush: 'De Gaulle

Must be Turning in His Grave'

 

"Charles de Gaulle - who did all he could to give France a certain freedom of action with respect with the United States, followed thereafter by all of his successors up to Chirac - must be turning in his grave."

 

By M'Hamed Ben Youssef

 

Translated By Sandrine Ageorges

 

September 24 to 30 Issue

 

Tunisia - Tunis Hebdo - Original Article (French)

Is Sarkozy's France aligning with America - Bush's America - which is a losing horse? All evidence leads us to believe we are seeing a major strategic change in regard to - among other things - the abandonment of an independent European defense in favor of an increasingly complete integration into NATO. This new “transatlantic friendship” hasn't failed to irritate Vladimir Putin.

 

Add to that the indelicate diplomatic interference of the Elysée [Presidential Palace] in the Iranian nuclear problem - to the point of threatening Teheran with “the worst of consequences WATCH .” Disconcerting more than one informed observer, this is the radical course French diplomacy has taken since Sarkozy's enthronement, which resulted in this less that approving commentary by the prestigious New York Times: “French President Nicolas Sarkozy made the wrong gesture at the wrong time by brandishing the possible use of force against Iran's nuclear weapons program in his first major foreign policy address" .

 

Charles de Gaulle  - who did all he could to give France a certain freedom of action with respect with the United States and followed thereafter by all of his successors up to Chirac, who further consolidated this stance - must be turning in his grave. This is how the immense prestige France had built up in the Arab-Muslim world had been derived; prestige that the new Franco-Hungarian upstart [Sarkozy] undertook to squander to the great advantage of the Israeli-American tandem.

 

The strangest thing about all this is that Iran is so far from France's zone of influence that it's hard to see how the arrogant Mahmoud Ahmedinejad's possession of nuclear power would in any way shape or form disturb Paris. Yet just scant decades ago France offered Israel the nuclear bomb on a silver platter - in order for it to better subjugate its Arab neighbors .

 

What is most serious, is that since Socialist Party renegade Bernard Kouchner took over as head of the Quai d'Orsay [French Foreign Ministry], he - like his master - appears fidgety to contribute to global tension and poke the fires of discord in the Persian Gulf - warning of the military threat from Iran. Yet even Carter [Jimmy?] hasn't ceased protesting that this country “doesn't constitute a direct threat to Israel.”

 

Kouchner's tactics resemble what is commonly called “the hot and the cold.” Sulfurous declarations worthy of a novice, followed the next day by pithy amendments or false denials. In the absence of a visionary strategy, this hot and cold is a “Kouchnerian specialty,” even at the risk of setting off a media tidal wave.

 

The beggarly position of France with regard to Iran, saw the big-mouthed Foreign Minister pushed around by peace activists in Washington recently, while holding a press conference in the company of Condoleezza Rice. [Actually, Kouchner was heckled at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, not at the Rice press conference WATCH ].

 

Accused of “blind conformity” in the first degree, the furtive Sarkozy-Kouchner duo hasn't ceased attracting to itself tremendous worldwide animosity, particularly on behalf of Uncle Sam's Republican-Party victims. In the footsteps of this couple, one finds not a crumb of the "realpolitik" which brought - until a few months ago - strength to the hexagon and respect to the Quai d'Orsay [Ministry of Foreign Affairs].

 

[Editor's Note: France is often called the hexagon because of the country's six sided shape].

 

Nevertheless, one would have been able to accept this active and abnormal pro-American approach if, for example, Bush had the wind at his back. But at home and abroad, he's losing on all fronts. The public image of the United States has never been so tarnished, and it will remain so for a long time to come. This is the worst president that the United States has ever known in its history! And despite these misfortunes, Sarkozy remains mesmerized. Worst still, he manages to associate himself with this Texan, who risks being charged with crimes against humanity in Iraq - even if the brave Cécilia [Sarkozy] refused to meet him and shake his hand!

 

[Editor's Note: When Nicolas Sarkozy met George Bush at Kennebunkport, French first lady Cécilia Sarkozy   suddenly came down with a throat infection and couldn't come ].

 

What will happen then, when the Democrats turn up at the White House in about 13 months? Will Paris consequently be forced to readjust its policies and our Sarkozy keep in check his fanatical American fervor, unless he finds common ground with them too … isn't this what one calls a pirouette!?

 

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General Charles de Gaulle: His carefully crafted policy of independence from Washington, kept by each of his successors until Nicolas Sarkozy - lies in tatters.

—BBC NEWS VIDEO: Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner warns that the world should be 'prepared for the worst,' in regard to Iran - and that means 'war' Sept. 17, 00:01:41WindowsVideo

—C-SPAN VIDEO: Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner speaks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, 01:16:43WindowsVideo

RealVideo[LATEST NEWSWIRE PHOTOS: Kouchner].

—C-SPAN VIDEO: Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice hold a press conference at the U.S. State Department, Sept. 21, 00:13:33WindowsVideo

Bernard and Condi at the State Department ... Are those sparks? ...





Kourchner: Diplomatic lady killer ...

—United Nations Video: French President Nicolas Sarkozy addresses the U.N. General Assembly, Sept. 25, 00:16:00WindowsVideo

French President Nicolas Sarkozy addresses the opening of the 62nd session of the the U.N. General Assembly, Sept. 27.





Presidents Bush and Sarkozy at the Bush family compound in Maine, Aug. 11.


The diminutive first lady of France, Cecilia Sarkozy: No diplomatic slouch herself, Madame Sarkozy has been instrumental in freeing Bulgarian nurses from Libyan custody, and - if official accounts are to be believed - arranging the first Sarkozy-Bush meeting since the French elections. But at the last minute, she reportedly came down with a throat infection, preventing her from meeting the Bush clan at its family compound in Maine. Curiously, the French press reported that she was seen out shopping the very next day ...