John on April 15, 2009 at 11:46 am
Looks like the French President isn’t as impressed with Obama as liberals might have hoped. From the London Times:
The American President’s call “to free the world of the menace of a nuclear nightmare” was hot air, Mr Sarkozy’s diplomatic staff told him in a report. “It was rhetoric – not a speech on American security policy but an export model aimed at improving the image of the United States,” they said. Most of Mr Obama’s proposals had already been made by the Bush administration and Washington was dragging its feet on disarmament and treaties against nuclear proliferation, the leaked report said.
Personal pique and French politics are also behind the souring of Mr Sarkozy’s self-promoted honeymoon with the United States. On the personal side, the French President is needled by the adulation for an unproven US leader whose stardom has eclipsed what he sees as his established record as a world troubleshooter. “The President is annoyed by what he sees as the naivety and the herd mentality of the media,” said a journalist who is privy to ElysÃ©e thinking.
Of course this triumph of style over substance has real world consequences. From the NY Times:
Despite a glowing reception and widespread praise for Mr. Obama’s style and aims, his calls for a more lasting European troop increase for Afghanistan were politely brushed aside, as they had been in negotiations leading up to the meeting.As expected, European allies agreed to provide up to 5,000 new troops for Afghanistan, the White House said Saturday. But 3,000 of them are to be deployed only temporarily to provide security for the August elections in Afghanistan.
So much for the benefits of respect from Europe.
Category: Politics |