When Moscow rattles its sabers at its neighbors (and the principle-minded leaders in the French government state that they will manage the sensibilities of the Russians), the French (including the opposition) have little to no reaction. When China threatens Taiwan (and the peacemakers in the French government light the Eiffel Tower in red for the visit of a Chinese leader while trying to resume weapons sales to Beijing), the French (including the opposition) have little to no reaction.
When Bernard Kouchner pays a visit to Baghdad, i.e., does something involving the Americans, all hell breaks loose. "France is like a little poodle" sputters Noël Mamère as the opposition (official and less official) erupts in indignation and even the government's friends and allies have their doubts and second thoughts. "It's a manner of soiling one's hands to go to Baghdad after Sarkozy's visit to Bush."