June 6, 2004

Criminel de guerre  

Roger Cohen has a comforting piece about the sohpisticated view in France that George W. Bush doesn't represent the true America -- the America honored today for its contributions sixty years ago to the freedom of Europe. Cohen treates every side to a healthy dose of sarcasm, but I think there's something to this -- certainly Bush doesn't have the strong support of the people today. The other side of the coin is that if we reelect Bush, it will legitimize every action he has taken in the past four years and marry America to that grand strategy in the eyes of the world.

Barrett  {June 7, 2004}

I was in France on September 11th, 2001 and was delayed coming home because of the FAA groundings. The French people we met were generous, gracious, and very sympathetic to us, as were all the Brits, Irish, and other Europeans in Paris.

We owe France for their help during the Revolutionary War, they owe us for our help during WWII. Our countries are too tied together historically to let a single administration's buffoonery sever those ties. We'll be friends again and even closer allies for having survived the Bush II years.

Haggai  {June 7, 2004}

"The other side of the coin is that if we reelect Bush, it will legitimize every action he has taken inthe past four years and marry American to that grand strategy in the eyes of the world."

I think that could be the single greatest threat of a Bush re-election. A Kerry win would surely lead to an extended honeymoon with most allied leaders, who would be so thrilled to be rid of Bush that they might be willing to go farther than they normally would on some issues, in order to re-build trust in US co-operation among their electorates. But the suspicion and mis-trust that a Bush re-election would solidify world-wide might take years and years for the US to recover from.

An interesting note about France is that among the major European powers over the past two centuries--I guess this means Spain, Britain, Germany, and Italy as well--the French are the only ones whom we've never been at war with. They're awfully tough to deal with, even during the best of times, and they surely think similarly about us, but it usually works out for the best.

paul  {June 7, 2004}

I agree with you Haggai... that's definitely the greatest threat from a Bush reelection, at least on the intl stage. There are certain choices for which an electorate must be held responsible...

(This, btw, sounds awfully like OBL's rationale for terror against the West: since leaders are democratically, electorates hold moral responsibility for the actions of their governments in the West, therefore it's OK to treat them as targets...)

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