C'est la Vie; the Future of U.S.-French Relations

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), December 16, 2003 | Go to article overview

C'est la Vie; the Future of U.S.-French Relations


Byline: Tod Lindberg, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Some of my fellow American panelists at a conference here, sponsored by the French Center on the United States, were expecting to get an earful from French panelists and members of the audience on the subject of the prime-contractor restrictions against France, Germany and Russia for Iraq reconstruction. I was, too. Wrong. The subject was barely touched upon.

Why was that? Well, I think the simplest explanation is that on this subject, the French by and large think we are right. They had no great expectations about being invited to reap the profits of reconstruction when they opposed the war in the first place.

True, President Bush could have magnanimously invited the three most important naysayers to join more fully in the reconstruction effort, in the interest of improving strained relations. But it would have been precisely a gesture of magnanimity, and the French would have seen it as such. They are accordingly not especially bothered that the gesture was not forthcoming.

The hardcore anti-U.S. crowd in Paris would not have wanted French President Jacques Chirac to be in a position of accepting a magnanimous gesture from the American president anyway. They prefer continued confrontation in anticipation of the 2004 defeat of Mr. Bush - the prerequisite, in their view, for any improvement in French-U.S. relations.

Some of them perhaps harbor the delusional view that ongoing bad relations with France will contribute to Mr. Bush's defeat. And indeed, Mr. Bush can expect an attack from the Democratic nominee on grounds of his excessive unilateralism and insufficient multilateralism. They will blame him for losing support for the United States. But this attack will be mitigated, not assisted, by conspicuous anti-U.S. sentiment from Paris.

In fact, at bottom, the hardcore's is a rather primitive position by the standard of sophisticated French opinion itself, which is fully cognizant of the fact that Mr. Chirac and his foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin, are full partners in the breakdown in relations. (I would venture that the only people in Paris who are certain the conduct of Messrs. Chirac and Villepin was above reproach are Mr. Chirac and Mr. Villepin.)

Now, mind you, this more nuanced view would insist as well on blaming Mr. Bush and other officials of his administration for their part in the breakdown, and that is more than some Bush partisans will concede. And the party line in Paris is still that something happened in relation to U.S. intentions toward Iraq last January to which French policy was obliged to respond with opposition to war, as opposed to what I think is the far more accurate interpretation that Mr. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

C'est la Vie; the Future of U.S.-French Relations
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.