Friday, October 2, 2009

Sacre Bleu! A Lesson from the French

Wow, that Charles Krauthammer really knows how to turn a phrase. As does French President, Nicholas Sarkozy. Oh, yeah. Check out this article, Obama's French Lesson:
"President Obama, I support the Americans' outstretched hand. But what did the international community gain from these offers of dialogue? Nothing."

-- French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Sept. 24

When France chides you for appeasement, you know you're scraping bottom. Just how low we've sunk was demonstrated by the Obama administration's satisfaction when Russia's president said of Iran, after meeting President Obama at the United Nations, that "sanctions are seldom productive, but they are sometimes inevitable."

You see? The Obama magic. Engagement works. Russia is on board. Except that, as The Post inconveniently pointed out, President Dmitry Medvedev said the same thing a week earlier, and the real power in Russia, Vladimir Putin, had changed not at all in his opposition to additional sanctions. And just to make things clear, when Iran then brazenly test-fired offensive missiles, Russia reacted by declaring that this newest provocation did not warrant the imposition of tougher sanctions.

I should add, I don't have the same level of disdain for the French that some in this country have. In fact, I love France, and I love the people I have met there. I have not had the experience of French people looking down their noses at me because I'm American, even in Paris. In small villages in which I've traveled, even with my crappy French (I took Spanish in school), and the limited English the shop keepers had, we each worked hard to understand each other. One woman didn't speak a word of English, but would engage in pantomime (I'm sure there's a joke there about the French and mimes) to get her point across, AND she was funny, to boot. So, while I appreciate that some people have not had this experience, I won't jump on the French bashing bandwagon. Honestly, I can't wait until I get to go back there.

Back to the article,and Krauthammer's point:
Do the tally. In return for selling out Poland and the Czech Republic by unilaterally abrogating a missile-defense security arrangement that Russia had demanded be abrogated, we get from Russia . . . what? An oblique hint, of possible support, for unspecified sanctions, grudgingly offered and of dubious authority -- and, in any case, leading nowhere because the Chinese have remained resolute against any Security Council sanctions.

Confusing ends and means, the Obama administration strives mightily for shows of allied unity, good feeling and pious concern about Iran's nuclear program -- whereas the real objective is stopping that program. This feel-good posturing is worse than useless, because all the time spent achieving gestures is precious time granted Iran to finish its race to acquire the bomb.

Don't take it from me. Take it from Sarkozy, who could not conceal his astonishment at Obama's naivete. On Sept. 24, Obama ostentatiously presided over the Security Council. With 14 heads of state (or government) at the table, with an American president at the chair for the first time ever, with every news camera in the world trained on the meeting, it would garner unprecedented worldwide attention.

Unknown to the world, Obama had in his pocket explosive revelations about an illegal uranium enrichment facility that the Iranians had been hiding near Qom. The French and the British were urging him to use this most dramatic of settings to stun the world with the revelation and to call for immediate action.

Hmmm - WWHD? You know, What Would Hillary Do? Would she reveal this nugget of explosive information? My bet is ABSO-FREAKIN'-LUTELY. How about Obama? What would he do:
Obama refused. Not only did he say nothing about it, but, reports the Wall Street Journal (citing Le Monde), Sarkozy was forced to scrap the Qom section of his speech. Obama held the news until a day later -- in Pittsburgh. I've got nothing against Pittsburgh (site of the G-20 summit), but a stacked-with-world-leaders Security Council chamber it is not.

Why forgo the opportunity? Because Obama wanted the Security Council meeting to be about his own dream of a nuclear-free world. The president, reports the New York Times citing "White House officials," did not want to "dilute" his disarmament resolution "by diverting to Iran."

Diversion? It's the most serious security issue in the world. A diversion from what? From a worthless U.N. disarmament resolution?

Yes. And from Obama's star turn as planetary visionary: "The administration told the French," reports the Wall Street Journal, "that it didn't want to 'spoil the image of success' for Mr. Obama's debut at the U.N."

Image? Success? Sarkozy could hardly contain himself. At the council table, with Obama at the chair, he reminded Obama that "we live in a real world, not a virtual world."

He explained: "President Obama has even said, 'I dream of a world without [nuclear weapons].' Yet before our very eyes, two countries are currently doing the exact opposite."

Sarkozy's unspoken words? "And yet, sacré bleu, he's sitting on Qom!"

Uh, yeah. It seems like the perfect setting for exposing this information. Evidently, Sarkozy thought so, too. Others didn't realize what had just happened:
At the time, we had no idea what Sarkozy was fuming about. Now we do. Although he could hardly have been surprised by Obama's fecklessness. After all, just a day earlier in addressing the General Assembly, Obama actually said, "No one nation can . . . dominate another nation." That adolescent mindlessness was followed with the declaration that "alignments of nations rooted in the cleavages of a long-gone Cold War" in fact "make no sense in an interconnected world." NATO, our alliances with Japan and South Korea, our umbrella over Taiwan, are senseless? What do our allies think when they hear such nonsense?

Bismarck is said to have said: "There is a providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children, and the United States of America." Bismarck never saw Obama at the U.N. Sarkozy did. (

Mon Dieu! Those are some pretty strong words there. Appropriate, though. Can you imagine if any other president, who had the opportunity to chair this very important committee for the FIRST time, sat on that kind of information? No doubt, it wouldn't just be the French President who was upset about this. Thankfully, those who are less invested in the "aura" of Obama actually paid attention to this "oversight" on Obama's part at this critical juncture.

Once again, Obama has demonstrated how woefully prepared he is for the REAL World Stage.

(And C, if you're reading this far, I hope you appreciate the French phrases!)


Mary Ellen said...

I was just on a French blog that I used to visit regularly and was hoping to see something written about Sarkozy's message to Obama, but there was nothing there. I'll have to ask them what the reaction in France was to this statement.

Great job on the French phrases!

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

LOL - thanks, ME. My friend who got me started blogging went to France with us, and she LOVES those two phrases. Hence the little nod at the bottom.

And you are FULL of surprises! That's cool that you visit a French blog! I'd be interested in what they have to say, too. I completely understand his reaction now - makes perfect sense.

So - thoughts abt the IOC decision, or are you going to write abt it soon?

Connie said...

I love this blog and your French put a big smile on my face today. I too, look forward to hearing what the French think.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

:-D Good, Connie! You know I was thinking of you the whole time I was writing this one!

Hear that, Mary Ellen?? We want to know what you find out!

Hey, your boys are going great gangbusters tonight!!

Mary Ellen said...

Here ya go Amy....

Top Ten Reasons Chicago Did Not Get Olympics

10. Dead people can’t vote at IOC meetings

9. Obama distracted by 25 min meeting with Gen. McChrystal

8. Who cares if Obama couldn’t talk the IOC into Chicago? He’ll be able to talk Iran out of nukes.

7. The impediment is Israel still building settlements.

6. Obviously no president would have been able to acomplish it.

5. We’ve been quite clear and said all along that we didn’t want the Olympics.

4. This isn’t about the number of Olympics “lost”, it’s about the number of Olympics “saved” or “created”.

3. Clearly not enough wise Latina judges on the committee

2. Because the IOC is racist.

1. It’s George Bush’s fault.

I like number 4 the best. ;-)

Yeah, it's nice that the White Sox are finally playing well now that they blew the entire season, eh? Chumps.

Mary Ellen said...

From what I can see from two French sites I looked at today (which had supported the Obama election) they were discussing who discovered the Iranian nuclear facilities and were miffed that they are seeing in the American news that the American intelligence or the CIA "discovered information" but they said that the information was "credited accurate by the US" but given to them by British and French intelligence.

So, basically, they're pissed that Obama was able to take the credit for these discoveries when in fact he wouldn't have the information without the help of the British and French intelligence agencies.

They still are pretty much in love with Obama, though...but there are signs of cracks in the relationship. The French are a very proud people and they do not like the arrogance of the United States. They really hated Bush, and I think that's why they thought Obama was going to be so us, they are realizing that most of his campaign talk was nothing but political rhetoric.

I also read a post on another French blog yesterday where they were discussing unemployment in France. They have it pretty bad, too, but not as bad as we do. And at least with them, when they lose their jobs they don't lose their health care.

I haven't been over to the French blogs in a long time, so I'm not on top of what's going on with them.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

ME -

The Top Ten are HILARIOUS!!! True, especially the racist part, but I'm sure you knew that. Too funny.

I understand that at least half of Chicagoans didn't WANT the Olympics anyway - is that right?

THANK you for the info from the French blogs. I figured they had a positive image of Obama post-Bush. How could they not? But I can certainly appreciate their being miffed at Obama taking credit for someone else's work.

Gee, where have we heard THAT one before??

Thanks for the Top Ten and the French update - appreciate it!

Well, I hope your boys make the adjustments they need to make over the off season.

In the meantime, CC blew his chance at a 20th win this season. Oh well - better to lose the game now as opposed to next week, right?

Mary Ellen said...

Amy- Yeah, a good portion of Chicagoans didn't want the Olympics here. I think it was due to a combination of the corruption in the Daley machine politics, already high taxes and high unemployment, and the fact that our traffic is always so backed up.

Driving from my house in the western suburbs to the Loop during moderate traffic takes about 45 to 55 minutes. In rush hour it takes about 2 hours. Could you imagine rush hour AND the Olympics? Most of the visitors will have to stay in the suburbs and the transportation would be a mess! Sure, they could add more trains to the schedule, but we have no bus service from the suburbs to the city so you either have to drive or take the train.

I would also like to know how Daley planned on getting the athletes to the games on time, short of putting them on helicopters.

I'm so happy it's finally over. I'm so sick of hearing about how Oprah and Michelle Obama were going to save the day. Like they need more to stroke their already overblown egos.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

I saw a comment earlier at Larry's post on the bid failing abt a cab driver in Chicago saying people didn't want it. He said they should be putting the money toward all of the violence they have there instead of the Olympics.

I did a brief stint in Chicago, and I can't imagine where they would house all of those people, or get them back and forth. I was thinking it would be extraordinarily difficult on the people who live there.

Then there are the very few who would have benefited from it, and it sure isn't the regular folk. Add to that how much in debt cities go that DO host them, and it just begs the question of who's going to foot that bill...

Thanks for the great response, ME!