Almost enough to make one nostalgic for Dominique
The crisis in Lebanon is putting French diplomacy front and center. As a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, the former colonial power – and the likely leader of any international peacekeeping mission in Lebanon – France must be an integral part of any solution. Even the Weekly Standard is running articles about how ...
The crisis in Lebanon is putting French diplomacy front and center. As a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, the former colonial power - and the likely leader of any international peacekeeping mission in Lebanon - France must be an integral part of any solution. Even the Weekly Standard is running articles about how important France's role is. But sadly, the current foreign minister, Philippe Douste-Blazy, is no Cardinal Richelieu. He's not even a worthy successor to Dominique De Villepin and Michel Barnier, which is saying something.
Le Monde did a devastating take-down piece on the Foreign Minister back in April, including details on how Jacques Chirac has a civil servant follow Douste-Blazy with a tape recorder to capture any missteps, Douste-Blazy’s tendency to confuse Taiwan with Thailand, and other diplomatic bloopers. The IHT has a great summary of the piece and translated this tragically comic anecdote:
[A]t the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem last September, Le Monde said, Douste-Blazy stopped at a map recording the Jewish communities in European countries before and after World War II.
“Were there no Jews killed in Britain?” he asked. “But Mr. Minister, Britain was never occupied by the Nazis,” the curator replied. To which Douste-Blazy shot back: “But were no Jews expelled from Britain?”
And this is one of the people the world is relying on to stop the current fighting from spiraling out of control! For once I find myself hoping that Jacques Chirac takes personal charge.
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