Thursday, September 20, 2007

Je suis un vieux cowhand...

Equal opportunity offender Sarko:

...through the voice of his foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, the French president has created an uproar in the sphere of foreign policy.

Discussing the crisis over Iran's nuclear programme late Sunday on French television and radio, Kouchner said, "We will negotiate until the end. And at the same time we must prepare ourselves."

Asked what he meant about preparation, he replied, "It is necessary to prepare for the worst," and added, "The worst, sir, is war." is difficult to discern Sarkozy's real motivation in repeatedly angering his European allies. He himself has suggested that he is driven by the desire to shake things up. "I get things moving by breaking taboos," he said.

In that regard, he has attacked almost every aspect of European policy. The EU's monetary policy is not conducive to economic growth, he said. Its trade policy? Naive. The farms policy is backward, the immigration policy is inefficient and the EU's stance on Iraq is too soft.

....his go-it-alone activism has already begun alienating France's traditionally closest partners, the Germans.

"Relations have dramatically worsened," the foreign affairs expert from the centrist FDP party, Werner Hoyer, said recently. "And it is much more than simply a series of beginner's mistakes."

It has also called into question his competence on the issues he is addressing. The president of the German Bundesbank, Axel Weber, said that M. Sarkozy had demonstrated "zero" understanding of economic realities in his constant criticism of the European Central Bank.

Finally, Sarkozy risks losing real influence on major issues. On Tuesday, reacting to Kouchner's remarks, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, "We do not take the comments seriously."

If we can judge a politician by the quality of his enemies....

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