November 1, 2009

TO BE ANY MORE FRENCH HE'D HAVE TO HAVE COLLABORATED WITH THE NAZIS...LIKE MITTERAND:

France's LBJ in the dock (Jim Hoagland, November 1, 2009 , Washington Post)

Let's be honest. Many Americans will be delighted. They remember only Chirac's final, bitter years in power, when he fought the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and set out to build "multipolar" coalitions of nations to reduce U.S. "hegemony" now and forever.

But this is far from being the whole story of Chirac, a truly likable man who was a bundle of debilitating contradictions and worthy impulses. Despite his political war with Washington and George W. Bush, Chirac is also the most American of all the French politicians I have ever met. [...]

For all its American echoes, the historic first prosecution of a former French president is an indelibly Gallic affair. It is a shipwreck not just of an aging politico who has lived rent-free in a Lebanese politician's spacious Paris apartment since leaving office, but also of the country's campaign finance system and the clans that manipulated it for personal gain. It is a tale of brutal personal conflicts over money, power and pride out of Balzac or, had he been French, Shakespeare.

The trial of Chirac could still be blocked by a procedural appeal. But his legacy is already being tarnished in other courtroom brawls. His former right-hand man, Charles Pasqua, was sentenced to a year in jail last week for taking bribes while interior minister. Pasqua immediately suggested that Chirac had secretly initiated the prosecution years ago to block him from running against Chirac for president.

At almost the same time, prosecutors were demanding the conviction of Chirac's former prime minister and political heir, Dominique de Villepin, on charges of having conspired to falsify documents intended to end the political career of Nicolas Sarkozy, who succeeded Chirac as president two years ago and who has vowed to hang "on a butcher's hook" those who plotted against him.


If you're a Beltway pundit you apparently think being American consists of big city Democrat corruption. If you're an American you more likely recognize that it consists of Crusading (never with any help from the French).

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 1, 2009 8:14 AM
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