Cultural Revolutions

A Functioning Foreign Policy

The United States always seem to need someone to demonize in order to have a functioning foreign policy. Now that Hitler, Stalin, and the "Evil Empire" are dead and gone, we have to make do with such lesser devils as Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin-Laden. The French have no such problem. They do not base their foreign policy on visions of foreign devils (if, in fact, France still has a foreign policy of her own). The French seem to derive a certain melancholy satisfaction from being able to feel superior to us—as they did during the Clinton presidency—or sorry for us, as they do now. Our former president was rather appreciated, for he and his impeachment adversaries gave them something to mock—both him as a figure of fun and the narrow minded puritans opposing him, who do not understand what sex is.

We know why they laughed at us under Clinton, but why do they feel sorry for us now? On a recent visit to Aix-en-Provence, I met with Prof. Pierre Courtial, the 86-year-old grand old man of Protestant theology in France. Over tea, he asked me, "What will become of your country now?" "Why do you ask that?" I replied. "Votre président,"he said. "Your President, Mr. Bush." M. Courtial apparently believed that Bush is not very bright; that he is a dangerous militarist; and that, at the same tune, he is an old-fashioned isolationist. "America is the only superpower...

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