Friday, April 27, 2007

Desperate And Behind, Ségolène Royal Plays The America Card

Socialist candidate Ségolène Royal has pulled out all the stops in an effort to close the gap between her and the front runner for the May 6 presidential runoff, Nicolas Sarkozy. She is now telling the people of France that Mr. Sarkozy has done something very unthinkable, for a French president to do.

From the NY Times comes this article.

Ségolène Royal, the Socialist candidate in the French presidential election on May 6, accused Nicolas Sarkozy, her conservative opponent, on Wednesday of having “apologized” to President Bush for France’s decision not to back the United States militarily in Iraq.

Mr. Sarkozy’s campaign team called her words “lies.”

“I am not for a Europe that aligns with the U.S.,” Ms. Royal said on France 2 television. “I have never been, and will never, go apologize to President Bush for the position of France on the issue of refusing to send our troops to Iraq.”


Although this is not surprising in the least, Madame Royal gives the appearance of being desperate in choosing this course. Still, she must know something that I have strongly suspected for a long time and yet is vehemently denied in some circles: the majority of the French people have a strong disdain for the United States.

Whether it's fear or jealousy, there is something to this or else why would she say something so extreme despite the evidence to the contrary?

Note the interviewer's response to her comment:

The interviewer noted that Mr. Sarkozy’s official position was that he had supported President Jacques Chirac’s opposition to the war and to French participation in military operations in Iraq.

But she would have none of it, and still refused to back down:

“Yes, well, listen,” Ms. Royal responded. “He still did this.”


Some questions for the thinking people of France to ask themselves here:

Was she there? I do not remember hearing this in the American media, is this some secret that only French people have heard? I know the meeting that took place between Bush and Sarkozy drew much speculation and criticism from the anti-American sector of the French population, but does anyone have proof of this?

Why is she coming out with this now so late in the game?

How is this different than when Nancy Pelosi visited the Syrian President and made her own foreign policy with him? Or how about Sego when she snuggled up to Hezbollah, a recognized terror organization?

If this approach works and this represents a turning point in the election, it will confirm my suspicions that most of France wants more of an adversarial relationship with the U.S., not less.

9 comments:

Greg said...

“I am not for a Europe that aligns with the U.S.,”

Of course she's not! She's the one who went to visit with a violent neo-nazi cult (Hezbollah) and said she agreed totally with their world view (though later she claimed she didn't understand what she was agreeing to. Perhaps she thought she was agreeing with Hezbollah's preference of soccer teams). Any wonder why I'm hoping for Sarkozy to win?

On what Sarkozy said during his trip to the US, it was something along the lines that he didn't like France's tone during its opposition to the Iraq war. But he didn't say he was sorry for it, or that he would have supported the war. His opponents now "remember" what he said differently.

Rocket said...

LA

When you've played out your card in the French political arena, there is always the trump that remains. This happens to be the Uncle Sam card. I hate to say it but French politicians have always played this card when in need of a boost especially the Gaullists. As for the French being anti-american. You ask is it jealousy or is it fear. It's both. You don't see it everyday in the streets but it's in the politicians bloodlines and as much as I hate to say it, It's those damn Normandy Beaches in 1944 and France's sudden and crushing defeat in 1940 that they still haven't gotten over. I don't think I am stereotyping but the French need an adversary. I used to think it was the US that needed an adversary but I have come to believe that the French need it more than we do. It's obvious in day to day relations and how people are treated by their bureaucracy and union corportate relations. Unfortunately for the French relations with America are a test of power and will always will be. But please do not think that all French are Anti-American. Unfortunately the French politicans and most of the media and others make for the poor state of relations we have with the French. This was not of Americas doing but now they are getting a taste of their own medicine and as we say they can dish it out but they can't take it.

Check out Charles Bremners interview with Sarkozy last night on France 2. It starts at 1 hour 20 minutes

http://programmes.france2.fr/a-vous-de-juger/30294069-fr.php

Other than that the fresh vegetables and cheese are good and the weather has been spectacular in Paris for the last 2 weeks. We are even in the 80°s. Might spell danger like in 2003

LASunsett said...

Greg, //His opponents now "remember" what he said differently.//

That's the way it always is with politics, anywhere. Political Alzheimer's Disease.

I know people that will bitch incessantly about their elected officials, but when election time comes around they get a mental block when they enter the booth. And politicians plan and hope for it that way. Have you ever wondered why election day is scheduled as far away from April 15, as possible?

LASunsett said...

Rocket,

//But please do not think that all French are Anti-American.//

I don't. I cannot believe that each and every French has the same worldview.

I am just utterly amazed that there is such an envy and such an over-sensitivity that many French feel the need to blast the US to forget (or feel better) about their own problems.

Praesidium Respublicae said...

If it is true that pride is one of the seven deadly sins, then what must we think of “false pride?” We might conclude that the origin of pride is an overabundance of self-confidence, and then infer that the origin of false pride is insecurity. From a historical perspective, we could argue that the entire age of imperialism evolved not from just a desire for resources, but also from national insecurity (unhealthy competition) in the quest spheres of influence. As a nation, France had a head start in the development of colonies in Africa and East Asia. Comparing the size of Imperial France to that of Britain, discounting mainland China, one can only be amazed at France’s accomplishments. More importantly, the income produced from areas of French Imperialism was second to none other.

Given the rapidity of France’s defeat to Germany in World War II, and the temporary loss of its colonies to the Germans and Japanese, one might understand the emergence of the national insecurity that such events might produce. The post-World War II Era was even more traumatic, because after having regained her prior colonies, each one began to collapse with the rise of nationalism – in Indo-China, North Africa, and West and Central Africa. While the British realized that they could no longer sustain its colonies – and granted independence to most of its colonial holdings prior to 1950, France only grudgingly arrived at this conclusion in the 1960s – and then only after sound defeat by Viet-Minh and Algerian nationalists in 1954 and 1964.

With this history, we might understand why France as a nation, and its people by default, resent America’s global prominence. When compared with France, Germany, Belgium, and the United Kingdom, America only flirted with imperialism – if one is to discount the western expansion of the USA and conquest of aboriginal peoples. In the quest to civilize the masses, all the British, French, Germans, and Belgians ever really accomplished was to anger future generations of those whom they conquered. Nevertheless, scant good comes from crying about decisions made by our ancestors – the proverbial spilled milk. What should happen now is that all of us (speaking of nations) should try to learn from our past mistakes, and get on with doing better in the future.

Ah, but what about that French insecurity and false pride? In the recent past, in the quest of national interest, it has led to rather poor decisions with respect to Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries. The government of France, ever the anti-Semite, has given counsel to terrorists while shunning Israel. There are even rumors to the effect that French government has allowed itself to be blackmailed by terrorists to do just that . . . which, while it may not surprise me, is nevertheless disappointing. Do you remember the Islamic riots in France not long ago? It was a demonstration to the government that it should “understand the terrorist point of view.” Sadly, the French caved in . . . and not even the French Police would go into Islamic neighborhoods to quell disturbances there.

If France intends to pursue foreign trade – great – but I think they ought to do it while maintaining the moral high ground. A little self-introspection would be a good thing for France, something it has not done during its period of self-imposed international “time out.” There are still Gaullists, a large number of communists, and an even large number of people who could care less one way or the other. The popularity of Madame Royale, as attractive as she may be, simply underscores the fact that France, as a nation, remains “not ready for prime time.”

jamal said...

~THese politicians will do anything for a vote!

LASunsett said...

Hi PR,

Welcome to PYY.

//If it is true that pride is one of the seven deadly sins, then what must we think of “false pride?” We might conclude that the origin of pride is an overabundance of self-confidence, and then infer that the origin of false pride is insecurity.//

I have always tried to teach my children (who are grown now) the difference between confidence and arrogance, healthy pride and false pride. Other than a few age-related missteps here and there, I am healthily proud of them.

//From a historical perspective, we could argue that the entire age of imperialism evolved not from just a desire for resources, but also from national insecurity (unhealthy competition) in the quest spheres of influence.//

I agree.

In the age you refer to, mercantilism was flourishing. With this push for a global economy, the result is a "neo-mercantilism. In those days you speak, they wanted silver, gold, diamonds, rubies, etc. Today it's about all of that, and oil.

No oil, no money made, no market for the precious commodities. All nations in this new-found competition must compete for it, to be successful.

So in short, I suspect the spheres of influence (as you mention) most important to the ultimate survival of the industrialized world, are the ones that include petroleum, first and foremost. And I can only conclude that France is no different than America or any other nation competing for their share.

LASunsett said...

Jamal,

Welcome.

//THese politicians will do anything for a vote!//

I do not think any country has a lock on that. Politicians are in a class all by themselves.

Anonymous said...

Good morning,
my opinion about ms Royal can not be written on a blog that might be read by children.
Still, as the French, the American, the Russian, the Australians and probably every other people on earth know, accusing a political opponent of being too foreign is always a winner in any election. For another good example, see the frenchness of Kerry. My personal bet ( and not secret wish) is that Sarko l'americain will do better than Kerry the frenchie.
Have a nice day.