Surrender, Cheese Eater!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Surrender, Cheese Eater!

There are innumerable facets to the selling of the Iraq War, some tragic, some outrageous, some even amusing.

Then there are the absurd, of which one of my favorites was the notion that the American anti-war left greatly admired Jacques Chirac. I don't know anyone to the left of center in the U.S. who follows European events and had a positive opinion of Chirac before 2002. His brief role as Chief Surrender Monkey in the Axis of Weasels didn't change that. Chirac is not just a conservative; he's a jerk.

Now we can add a dash of irony to the Dubya-versus-Jacques absurdity: they both won re-election rather recently and are both desperately unpopular now. The French rejection of the EU Constitution in May was a humiliation for Chirac. Some called for his resignation and were not mollified when he fired the prime minister instead. Now, the truly appalling riots are showing a Katrina-like inability to cope with a crisis that could have been foreseen, plus impotence that is unacceptable in a Gaullist leader. If I were French, I'd organize an office pool on how much longer he'll last.

By the way, are the riots getting any air time in the US? This is a genuinely big story.

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