Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sarkozy Still Getting It

Some have said I needed to reconsider my view on President Sarkozy, because of some things I wrote in a recent post. That was then, just after Kouchner made his now famous statement that many were irritated over. But fast forward to today, and we still see Sarkozy stating what many have been saying now for a long time.

By all appearances, it seems like he knows that this must be looked at this, realistically. And the reality here is, Iran must be stopped from getting a nuclear weapon. He knows that it makes no sense whatsoever to continue to sit idly by, while the time is being well-used by the Iranians to advance the research process. He knows the stakes are high.

Lately, there has been much written about this, new, brave, and bold vision of Le Presidente. Earlier, we had this story about Sarkozy's grand ambitions to invoke and bring about a new era of change for France. Before that, we had his post election comments, which sound resoundingly like those he has been making of late. We heard his clearly toned statements then, we here them now.

I could go on posting links to articles on this, but what's the use?

Like here in the States, politics being the beast that it is, he will continue to be demonized by many. Right now, the apologists are waging their war of words campaign to discredit the President, by making him Bush's pit bull. I am sure the mainstream French press hammers him daily. I am sure that many are calling him a warmonger.

Yet, he still continues to hammer back. And although I can find nothing that would indicate he wants war, he is still keeping up the pressure. You cannot warn the world of something, unless you spell out what that "something" entails. He seems to know that by backing down now (like Chirac would have), there could be no real viable solution to this problem.

Looking at this man's first few months in office, he certainly has made a shift in policy and has made good on what he said he'd do. With all of this, I wonder if this guy might just turn out to be France's Ronald Reagan, before it's all said and done.

12 comments:

Rocket said...

HI LA

Although initial appearances may seem to appear good, let's look at the situation in about 6 months.

You can talk a subject to death but push hasn't come to shove yet. As French journalists have stated for the last two weeks all of this muscled talk is well and good, but if there is military action, who is going to do the dirty work. Either the US or Israel, NOT FRANCE!

Lest we forget France's muscle flexing by setting off two nuclear tests down under in 1995. All new French Presidents especially on the right have to show France's muscle once they are elected.

Mitterrand a socialist just practically bankrupted France in 6 months when he took over to show that France still existed

Also I would advise you to avoid falling into a trap about this supposed so called love affair between France and the US. As I stated earlier in one my posts on this blog, Chirac came to the US for a charm offensive just after his election in 1995 and went on Larry King live speaking in English yet. (although he couldn't pronounce the word reliable). When he didn't agree with Bush, all hell broke loose. French politicians, most of them, have always had the sentiment that Americans are idiots that need to be educated. French educated! Thus a noble mission for the French leaders to undertake. Those who fail in this sacred mission often go about face big time!

Sarkozy has already backed down on several issues in France; Let's see how he does on the world stage. One, University reform and two balancing the budget for 2010. Look for a clash with the EU very soon on this last issue.

http://tinyurl.com/3a8c7p

He has tried to manipulate the European bank to which the French governor of the bank lashed out at him.

http://tinyurl.com/2o2zpq

France is talking about getting back into the NATO military command but only if their conditions are met. The last time they tried this in 1995 fortunately the Clinton administration had the intelligence to veto it.

And I quote

"He was speaking after President Nicolas Sarkozy gave the clearest sign yet of French intentions, telling the New York Times of two conditions for reintegration - a boosted EU defence body, and a guarantee of senior French posts inside Nato's top command structures."

http://www.news24.com/News24/World/News/0,,2-10-1462_2190003,00.html

Get back in ok, but earn it!

More storms are brewing on the horizon in France domestically which will certainly be a factor in determining if Sarkozy is as much of a "force nouvelle" as he claims. He is slipping in the polls here and this fall could usher in a period of protests. All of this may not be visible in the US so let's just give this some time before both sides jump into bed together.

And let us hope that our Dear Leaders in the US don't demonstrate a certain naiveté to believe that France is onboard after having been "offboard" for so many years.

The two sides just started dating again.

PS - I lost my sports channel!! It was just a free trial period. So no more MLB and NFL for the moment. Ughhhhh!

Rocket said...

"and this fall could usher in a period of protests."

By fall I mean Autumn

Rocket said...

Here's an interesting quote

"Even so, economist Emmanuel Lechypre of L'Expansion business magazine thinks Mr Sarkozy's presidency so far is "not rupture but the illusion of rupture. I am not saying he will fail, but when you look precisely at the things he has done, they are the same as (presidents) before."

http://tinyurl.com/3d3ywd

LASunsett said...

Rocket,

//Lest we forget France's muscle flexing by setting off two nuclear tests down under in 1995. All new French Presidents especially on the right have to show France's muscle once they are elected.//

and

//Mitterrand a socialist just practically bankrupted France in 6 months when he took over to show that France still existed//

Excellent point on both counts. You may be right in your assessments, but still I think that he is stepping up to the plate (even if it's just in word), whereas Chirac flip-flopped all over the place and said little.

//Also I would advise you to avoid falling into a trap about this supposed so called love affair between France and the US.//

I agree. I know that Sarkozy's affections can change. It will be interesting to see how the Franco-American relationship will evolve, if Hillary is elected.

L'Amerloque said...

Hi Rocket ! (Hi LAS !)

/*/ …/… PS - I lost my sports channel!! It was just a free trial period. So no more MLB and NFL for the moment. Ughhhhh! …/… /*/

The transmission stopped last Friday. Amerloque called to scream bloody murder and it turns out that there is a new option: “Tout Anglais” for 8 euros more per month. So Amerloque signed up, and now has, in addition to three or four schlock MTV stations for kids, a) BBC Prime and … b) NASN !

Took the jerkoffs (Amerloque is being polite, here) at Noos/Numericable until Tuesday to put NASN back up and transmitting. Has been coming thru loud and clear since then : Yay !

On Sport+, there is still NFL on Sunday nites and NCAA ball on Tuesdays daytime.

Pertinent comments re: Sarko. Amerloque is more or less on the same wavelength as Rocket, this time around …

Each of Sarko’s “successes” domestically has been watered down quite a bit … he’s heading for a clash on the amendment to the Constitution re: referendu about new EU members, but that’s down the road a bit … Mme Lagarde is going to be a huge lightning rod … (grin)

Best,
Amerloque

LASunsett said...

Hi Amerloque,

//Took the jerkoffs (Amerloque is being polite, here)//

I am aghast. Not that I wouldn't say something like that, mind you. I say stuff much worse than that, daily. It's just that I cannot imagine Amerloque cursing. ;)

//Each of Sarko’s “successes” domestically has been watered down quite a bit … he’s heading for a clash on the amendment to the Constitution re: referendu about new EU members, but that’s down the road a bit//

I understand both you and Rocket are looking at Sarko from both the domestic and foreign policy perspectives. But, I only need to concern myself with foreign policy.

If I may draw this comparison, I remember Gorbachev being loved and respected by Americans and other nations, while he was leading. But if you were to ask the people of the Soviet Union, they weren't so happy with him (despite the fact he brought more freedom and openness than had ever seen).

Maybe this is an example of the old saying, "a prophet has no honor in his own country"?

//Mme Lagarde is going to be a huge lightning rod …//

What is she doing? I mean news is slow here (gossip is always welcome when that's the case) ;)

Rocket said...

Hi Amerloque

I knew I could lure you back here with my Sports/Noos package "whoas" sp? Thanks as always for your helpful information. On my television interface they tell me to go to the Telescope on channel 90 to change my "abonnement" but I have no telescope on channel 90. I've got "encyclopedia" channel. Go figure

I haven't had the courage to call them yet but will do so after a great dose of Valium followed a few stiff drinks.

LA said

//Took the jerkoffs (Amerloque is being polite, here)//

"I am aghast. Not that I wouldn't say something like that, mind you. I say stuff much worse than that, daily. It's just that I cannot imagine Amerloque cursing. ;)"

LA, if you had this cable carrier you'd understand. It's a French thing! All I can say is thank goodness weapons are illegal in France.

However, I think there has already been several instances of hostage taking by irate clients in their (Noos/Numericable)boutiques.

Rocket said...

It's a good day for me in France. I called Noos and now I have my Sports package back up and running. It only took 30 minutes for it to come back after I made the call.

There was a small manipulation to get it back. Unplug box and replug and then put on TF1 for 30 minutes and voilà.

Thanks Amerloque.

LASunsett said...

Rocket,

//Thanks Amerloque.//

M. Amerloque, the one and only ex-pat superhero, saves the day again. Trouble with your cable company? Call M. Amerloque!!(Picture of Amerloque standing on top of the Arc de Triomphe with cape blowing in the wind)

L'Amerloque said...

Hi LAS !


/*/ ../… I am aghast. Not that I wouldn't say something like that, mind you. I say stuff much worse than that, daily. It's just that I cannot imagine Amerloque cursing. ;)…/… /*/

Oh, written discourse is quite different than oral, in Amerloque's world. (grin) As the French have it, "les paroles s'envolent, mais les ecrits restent", which might trans out to something like "spoken words evaporate, but the written word is forever". In person, Amerloque's language is, er, um, a bit more colorful than his meager written efforts (grin).

/*/ …/… If I may draw this comparison, I remember Gorbachev …/… /*/

Yes, an excellent comparison, in Amerloque's view !

/*/ …/… … /Mme Lagarde is going to be a huge lightning rod …//

What is she doing? I mean news is slow here (gossip is always welcome when that's the case) ;) …/… /*/

(grin) She's attempting to change quite a few things. Her heart seems to be in the "right" place (a free marketeer) but she seems unable to grasp that the French people are not willing to change just for change's sake: they must be convinced that any changes will bring improvement. That's where the problem lies, in Amerloque's view: the "improvements" she speaks of will only work in a society organized in the American fashion (where she was a roaring success) and not in the French fashion. She's predicting economic growth and suchlike, but does not understand that the major preoccupation in French people's lives is not "money" and "success" (as it is in hers) but rather quality of life. (sigh)

* * * * *

Hi Rocket !

re Noos/Numericable provider

/*/ …/… On my television interface they tell me to go to the Telescope on channel 90 to change my "abonnement" but I have no telescope on channel 90. I've got "encyclopedia" channel. Go figure…/… /*/

Amerloque has nothing at channel 90 except the sign in French that says "there is no signal on this channel". (grin)

/*: …/… LA, if you had this cable carrier you'd understand. It's a French thing! All I can say is thank goodness weapons are illegal in France. …/… /*/

The very same thought has crossed Amerloque's mind every day for the past 14 months, since the merger. (sigh) Only half-jokingly has Amerloque spoken of his desire to … (sigh) …

This private company is undoubtedly the worst in the history of world capitalism, bar none, and it controls 99% (!) of the cable TV / cable internet access in France ! It is a national disgrace and demonstrates that when the private market screws up, it can be catastrophic. (sigh)

During the election period unhappy people such as Amerloque were taking a break, but now, in the autumn, things have become far more organized. Users all over France have gathered in groups to make their views known. People in their official capacities have contacted députés in the National Assembly and Senators (Amerloque has done his part: his jobtitle opens some doors … ), and questions are going to be asked in the National Assembly about just how this company continues to screw users, and why, technically, it cannot supply a decent service.

There is some uncertainly as to whether the company still has a DSP (Delegation de Service Public) after all the mergers in recent years, and if so, how it can be revoked. Not a week goes by but that there is not something in the media about how lousy the service is. Every time he has a problem, Amerloque sends letter to his député: building a "dossier" is one of the more important things in a case like this in France. Amerloque's contacts in the Socialist Party state that a plank about "nationalizing Noos/Numericable" is to be adopted in the next "electoral project". (somewhat incredibly …)

There is a website (http://www.misericable.org) where the latest news can be found.

/*/…/… However, I think there has already been several instances of hostage taking by irate clients in their (Noos/Numericable)boutiques. …/*/

Oh, yes, several, in Paris and Lyon. The "fronde" began in the town of Vire in Normandy and has now spread throughout France. There are many, many lawsuits in progress. (Amerloque is biding his time, but will definitely be suing to recover all monies paid in subscriptions, since the service is not as contractually promised … he has a "dossier en beton" … ).

The cable TV and cable internet service is so bad that Amerloque has taken out a subscription with another provider to ensure that he can access Internet for professional reasons. The competitor has not been down once in over ten months … not once ! and it's on 24/7 … but it is only ADSL, alas, and the choice of TV channels is somewhat limited … so Amerloque has kept Noos/Numercable. (To be honest, when it works right, it's really good and fast. At least the internet access is. The TV access is another story … a simulacrum of what TV should be … ).

/*/…/… It's a good day for me in France. I called Noos and now I have my Sports package back up and running. It only took 30 minutes for it to come back after I made the call.

There was a small manipulation to get it back. Unplug box and replug and then put on TF1 for 30 minutes and voilà. …/… /*/

Yes, Amerloque did this several times on Friday, and Saturday, and Sunday, and Monday. (sigh) Turned out that Noos/Numericable supposedly needed to obtain the "droits" to rebroadcast. That's the official explanation, but the rumour in the corridors is that the technicians simply didn't put NASN at the top of the to-do list. There is also the question of sabotage by unhappy technicians: this is apparently quite common. It's not directed against the users, but against the company. By making the users unhappy, the thinking goes, the company will be forced to perform better … meanwhile, ce sont les utilisateurs qui trinquent …

The telephone hotline is hopeless. It has been offshored to Tunisia. The kids answering are pretty surly (well, with people like Amerloque calling and screaming, what can one expect ? (grin)) and haven't the faintest conception of what is going on. They're not stupid, just ignorant. They had a few hours of training and have a decision tree on screen in front of them. (Best time to call is around 9:30 PM – sometimes one can speak to an clued-in supervisor …) …

/*/ …/… Thanks Amerloque. …/… /*/

Quite welcome ! (Hey, don't forget that Amerloque did all the grunt work, sceaming insults at them on the phone for two or three days. (grin))

Best,
L'Amerloque

LASunsett said...

Amerloque,

//It is a national disgrace and demonstrates that when the private market screws up, it can be catastrophic.//

Private companies can work efficiently, but if the case is the same in France as it is here, it requires competition. The problem is, As you well know)cable companies here are like utilities, they have exclusive rights to certain areas. If you are mad at your company, you can't just switch.

Now, when satellite TV came out, cable companies realized they had to perform better or risk losing customers. My company is called Comcast. They were terrible until Direct TV and Dish TV premiered. Now outages are very infrequent and usually related to storms or other freaky events that cannot be controlled.

As an aside, the airwave analog signals are going to end here, in 2009. Many people will have useless TVs after that. You can read about it here.

//The telephone hotline is hopeless. It has been offshored to Tunisia.//

I have the same script here, only the country is India.

Rocket said...

Once again Amerloque, I am deep bowing in deep gratitude.

Arrigato gozai imashita!

I have kept my Wanadoo/Orange Internet provider service. No way I am touching Noos/Numericable on this nor any of the others even though that Alice chick is cute.

Sorry LA, It's a French thing! (wide grin)

http://tinyurl.com/2e39pc

I've heard too many horror stories so I've gone "parano" Even if I pay up the "gazooka" (where the sun doesn't shine) for all of these different providers, with a business I can't take the risk of losing my internet connection even for the afternoon.

PS - They are laying fiber optic cable in our area here at Gouvion St. Cyr in the 17th so I think soon we will go to 50MB. I'm paying 8 MB with Orange/Wanadoo but only getting less than 4MB when it reaches my computer on download. Upload is still under 400 KB. I will only make the change if I can use my current router and somebody just has to throw a switch. Once again, too paranoid about changing boxes.

"This private company is undoubtedly the worst in the history of world capitalism, bar none, and it controls 99% (!) of the cable TV / cable internet access in France !"

Amen brother!!! Thank god for dvd

I said

"It only took 30 minutes for it to come back after I made the call."

I forgot to mention the envelope with 5 crisp new 100€ notes inside. (major chuckle)