Here is the full text from National Review (thanks to Gregory), in which perhaps the most important single sentence is the one that blows away that supposedly filled-with-meaning "fact" that with all those people and nations who are loudly denouncing its policies, Uncle Sam ought to be less arrogant/more humble and pay attention — "Being the sole superpower is like being the only rich guy in a town full of paupers: You can't walk down the street without getting hassled by somebody who wants something for nothing."
…when Chirac spoke on the eve of his visit to Tony Blair to celebrate, more than six months late, the centenary of the Entente Cordiale (a French term meaning "you may not shoot us while we sabotage you"), it was with typical Gallic arrogance. In a widely publicized interview with the Times, Chirac ridiculed Blair's support of the war in Iraq:I said then to Tony Blair: 'You absolutely have to obtain something in exchange for your support.' Well, Britain gave its support but I did not see much in return. I am not sure that it is in the nature of our American friends at the moment to return favours systematically.That, of course, is exactly what we should by now expect from Chirac — the notion that if it's not a bribe, it's not a deal. It would never occur to Chirac that what Blair got in exchange for liberating Iraq had nothing to do with the U.S. What Blair got was what he thought he'd get — the knowledge that he had done the right thing for his own country and for others.
What an unsophisticated way to see the world, non? A French leader would never say, "Either you are with us, or you're against us." In French, it translates like this: "Either you give us something, or we are against you." Chirac's remark explains a great deal about the deep, permanent animosity between the U.S. and France. And thanks in part to Jacques' cracks, it's now an antagonism George W. Bush overlooks at his peril.
This isn't Title IX or affirmative action or any of the other goofy things that Bush can shrug off because he knows his base isn't going anywhere. This is about who we are — and who Chirac is. When Bush said, "Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists," he said something that most Americans, Red and Blue, felt was absolutely true. And because it's true, it's immutable. The more nuance you add to that simple statement, the more false it becomes.
In making the choice clear, Bush gave Chirac and Schröder and their ilk the opportunity to do the right thing for their own countries and for others. But the French refused not only because they believe there's nothing in it for them, but also because they really are against us — as Le Figaro reports (and … as this BBC dispatch summarizes). Besides, as the vast U.N. scandal shows, France was already getting a great deal in exchange for its support of Saddam.
Being the sole superpower is like being the only rich guy in a town full of paupers: You can't walk down the street without getting hassled by somebody who wants something for nothing. It hasn't escaped Chirac's understanding that every demand he and Schröder make comes at the expense of America's national interests. Chirac and the other anti-American Europeans seem to think national interests are something we should surrender in exchange for — what? Being liked? In a speech in London on Thursday … Chirac once again called for a world order in which "no state could act independently," meaning, in practice, no state except France, of course.
Trying to insult the U.S. into acquiescing to some grand, egomaniacal French ambition is a fool's errand. Chirac is definitely the man for the job. According to the Guardian, Chirac told Blair, "Who is right or wrong, history will tell." Jacques, Petain couldn't have said it better, thank you very much.