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Tag Archives: defense

High Diplomatic Dudgeon

Share the post "High Diplomatic Dudgeon" France is angry. She has recalled her ambassadors from the US and Australia. Yesterday, not one but two major news organizations contacted me for comment. “I can’t help you,” I said, and was surprised when one of them reacted indignantly, saying “We were told you that you had encyclopedic knowledge of French politics. How can it be that you have nothing to say about this?” Well, I’m as susceptible to flattery as the next fellow,...

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Lucidity and Brain-Death

Share the post "Lucidity and Brain-Death" Yesterday I had harsh words for Emmanuel Macron. Today I must pay respect: à tout seigneur, tout honneur. About yesterday’s post a friend commented, “Yes, but there is no alternative.” And that is the Macron problem in a nutshell: there is no alternative, either domestically or, as the president demonstrated in his interview with The Economist, published yesterday, internationally. What other Western leader is thinking and...

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General Hullaballoo

It's a very simple story, really. General de Villiers, brother of the far-right politician with whom Macron flirted on the campaign trail, forthrightly told deputies he would "not allow [himself] to be fucked like that,"  meaning by Macron's announced budget cuts for the military. Macron just as forthrightly told the general he didn't appreciate such airing of differences in the public square, much less in such salty language, and reminded the old soldier that, despite his youth, he was his...

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Obama on Sarkozy

From Jeffrey Goldberg's Atlantic piece on "The Obama Doctrine": Of France, he said, “Sarkozy wanted to trumpet the flights he was taking in the air campaign, despite the fact that we had wiped out all the air defenses and essentially set up the entire infrastructure” for the intervention. This sort of bragging was fine, Obama said, because it allowed the U.S. to “purchase France’s involvement in a way that made it less expensive for us and less risky for us.”

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