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With Inspector Jacques Clouseau’s hilariously tortured logic and thinking, Peter Sellers caricatured the French (search). Now the French are embracing the old Sellers routine as their national persona as odd upside down thinking passes itself off as intellectualism.
Take Tuesday's Op-Ed piece in The New York Times, in which a French writer says ominously that we shouldn’t expect old friends, meaning the French, to bail out the U.S. in Iraq.
That head-scratcher is followed by a succession of others, the gist of it all being that the French thought the U.S. reasons for going to war stunk and besides they were cover for the real reasons -- solving the Middle East problem -- which was probably a good reason, though they would have rejected that too.
The apparent real good of the war -- deposing murderous Saddam (search) -- was also laudable in French eyes, but they ask, who was it that didn't finish him off in 1991?
Yes, it was George H.W. Bush who didn't, but he didn't because of the French and the Germans and the rest to whom he had made a promise to only evict Saddam from Kuwait.
And now the French are threatening again. Yes, the U.S. has gone to the U.N. to mend fences, to ask the old allies -- all that euro pomposity which we must refer to as our allies -- to ask if they will help in post-war Iraq. And now the French want to hold back to squeeze out something they want -- whatever it is.
So, let's ask the question that needs asking: Is there any reason at all to be dealing with the French? Can't we pretend France is Yugoslavia, or Atlantis, or Pompei -- one of those places that is just gone, a place nobody has to deal with anymore except in bad science fiction flicks and old Peter Sellers movies?
That's My Word and the French are invited to respond.
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