By the Force of Arms

By 2007.05.08 tags: . Comment»

While Britain can’t wait to rid itself of Blair, France has elected a Dubya-lover…but still no fool when it comes to futile foreign entanglements:

“Mr. Sarkozy has long defended France’s decision to stay out of the war, citing the bitter lessons of his country’s tortured history in Algeria and Vietnam.

‘We were kicked out of Algeria less than 50 years ago, so don’t tell us that we don’t remember and that we don’t understand,’ Mr. Sarkozy told an audience at Columbia University in 2004 in explaining France’s decision to stay out of the Iraq war. ‘We lived what you are living through in America before you. We were in Vietnam before you, and our young people died in Vietnam.’

He added: ‘In France, history is something that counts. Please don’t be angry with us because we remember what happened to us. Is there even a single country of the world, at any time of history, that was able to maintain itself in a sustained way in a country that was not its own, uniquely by the force of arms? Never, not a single one, even the Chinese.’

That analysis of the Iraq war sounds remarkably similar to the one articulated repeatedly by Mr. Chirac both publicly and during private meetings with Mr. Bush.

‘In Algeria, we began with a sizable army and huge resources, and the fighters for independence were only a handful of people, but they won,’ Mr. Chirac said in an interview in September 2003. ‘That’s how it is.'” – NYT

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