Monday, February 13, 2006

French Courage and Principles

While France is ready to take on Uncle Sam (and the capitalist system) any day of the week, it is less vocal when it comes to régimes whose autocratic leaders tolerate no kind of criticism, from within or from abroad.

Nor is the EU, for that matter. So far, only Denmark and Norway have protested the attacks on their own embassies in the Middle East.

The land of human rights has not only refrained from showing many signs of solidarity (European or otherwise) with the beleaguered Scandinavians, as a Le Monde editorial admits. Jacques Chirac — who has condemned the cartoons while refraining from defending free speech — has kept mum about the attack on the French embassy in Iran!

This country, we are told, is an ally. This, we are told, is a friend. This, we are told, is a friend whose only reason for opposing America during the Iraq crisis, was out of its innate friendship and because it had no choice but to stand up for its traditional principles. This, we are told, is the country we can count on to hold up said principles in its dealings with the authorities of the Middle East, whether with the late régime of Saddam Hussein or in the nuclear weapons talks with the Mullahs of Tehran.

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