Speaking from formerly German-occupied territory, Jacques Chirac is again lecturing Tony Blair on the wisdom of taking sides against the United States in Iraq:
Britain gave its support but I did not see anything in return. I�m not sure it is in the nature of our American friends at the moment to return favours systematically.
He sputters on:
It is like that nice guy in America � what�s his name again? � who spoke about �old Europe�. It has no sense. It�s a lack of culture to imagine that. Imagining that there can be division between the British and French vision of Europe is as absurd as imagining that we are building Europe against the United States. [Emphasis added]
Yes, who could imagine that? If I was going to make up snooty, hypocritical and overly sensitive things for Chirac to be saying I don�t think I could do a better job. Hopefully, the British retain the good sense to remember why they�ve been suspicious of the French since the dawn of Western Civilization. And remind me: what exactly has France gained by working tirelessly to fray European relations with the United States?
(That is, except for stories like this and hearings like this.)
UPDATE: Despite the ever-infuriating Chirac, it is good to hear that the Bush Administration is still working with France. After all, we still have shared interests with that country and European thought, in general, is larger than just one man, regardless of the size of his ego.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Australian Arthur Chrenkoff has a nice history lesson about why Poland is increasingly siding with the U.S. over France.