Thursday, December 05, 2013

How France became the neocons’ favourite nation

What happened to the cheese-eating surrender monkeys? Just over a decade ago, the French, having refused to join the allied adventure in Iraq, were the butt of every hawkish joke. (Remember ‘Freedom fries’? Oh how we laughed.) Now, as America and Britain are beating a retreat from the world stage, France has turned into the West’s most reliable interventionist. Its President, the disaster-prone François Hollande, rattles his sabre at any despot or war criminal who dares to stand in the way of liberté, egalité, or fraternité.

American neoconservatives — the War Party in Washington — have turned Francophile as a result. ‘Vive la France!’ tweeted Senator John McCain, America’s most insatiable hawk, after the French tried (unsuccessfully in the end) to scupper the deal between the world’s leading powers and Tehran over Iran’s nuclear development programme. ‘Thank God for France,’ added Senator Lindsey Graham, another arch-neocon, ‘The French are becoming very good leaders in the Mid East.’ One contributor to the right-wing American magazine the National Review suggested that President Hollande should run for the White House in 2016.

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