WILLIAM SJOSTROM notes more disrespect for the French — and in The Independent, of all places, where Bruce Anderson writes that “French perversity has denied Europe any influence over American foreign policy,” and goes on to note:
They believe that their foreign policy is not only more compatible with a desirable balance of global forces; they think that their superior intellectual and moral stance also expresses French self-interest. They are thoughtful and independent; we, muddled and subservient.
It is easy to make that argument on paper, as many French commentators have recently demonstrated. There is only one problem. It has no purchase on reality. When Donald Rumsfeld dismissed the Franco-German position on Iraq as “Old Europe”, one French minister retorted that in growing old, Europe had acquired wisdom. But this apparent intellectuality is just so much flummery; the French are still desperately seeking compensation for their loss of global influence.
The whole thing is very much worth reading.