M. Chirac, Vous êtes très mal élevé
Betsy Newmark points out this morning that the Times of London does not think that French President Chirac is living up to the Franco "courteous, suave or diplomatic" reputation.
I'll offer this paragraph from their Op/Ed:
It is also legitimate for M Chirac to voice his enthusiasm for a “multi-polar” world — though it would have been useful if he had clarified whether this meant anything more than giving France a bigger megaphone. What is not acceptable, however, is to insist in one breath that he wants to see a strengthened transatlantic relationship and a Nato in which Europe and America pool their efforts for peace, and then ridicule US domination of the world “based on a logic of power” and qualify support for Nato by saying that its actions must have United Nations legitimacy. It is not simply the hypocrisy of juxtaposing his insistence that France would never forget what it owed America with his remark that the Bush Administration did not repay favours; it is his use of a visit to Britain to sneer at America and, by implication, Mr Blair’s trust in the US, that makes his behaviour so chiraquien.Let's be clear: That is the nodus. France is operating a machine of intellectual fraud, and when the operator is "drunk" – as Chirac now is – it will break down, fall apart. (Who is always called upon to reassemble such junk piles? Oh, don't answer.)
Chirac has met his match in Britain's Labour [sic] Prime Minister. (It seems almost quaint to reflect that Margaret Thatcher would have had the clown for lunch.)