Nearly two years after the United States broke with many of its Western allies over the Iraq war, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (search) told European intellectuals Tuesday "it is time to turn away from the disagreements of the past."

Rice's French counterpart, Foreign Minister Michel Barnier, later delivered double-edged thanks. After meeting with Rice, Barnier told reporters, "It's time to get off to a new start," but he added that "alliance is not the same as allegiance."

Condi and Chirac: French kiss or French toast?

A sample of your responses:

Condi Rice going to the French is a way of mending fences. In all honesty it is a good way of getting a PR annoyance off the backs of the Administration. The French are happy however, because it looks like the U.S. is coming to them, hat-in-hand and makes Chirac look stronger internationally.
Sean G.
Sydney, Australia

The problem with France is that they are still dealing with their Vietnam. The French went into Vietnam to free them from the communist and fought for years and got their but kicked for years. It was the US that found a way into replace them. Now the rolls are reversed, we went into Iraq and the French are sitting there saying we will NOT get involved. How quick they forget who helped who. We have in time gotten over Vietnam and they haven't.
Steve M.
MI

A kiss, to be sure, but I dare not say where. What a world... They kick us and we have to go crawling back begging to be friends again. Put simply, we do not need the French. For that matter, we haven't needed them since Lafayette. Chirac, it's over! Go visit Normandy and remember.
John
Northboro, MA

France? Friends? Can you say rattlesnake? Rattlesnakes can never be friends to mankind. We saved their butts, in WWII. They have a very short memories. Talk softly, but carry a very big stick.
Gary H.
Beloit, WI

Chirac is an ingrate! The French are not just French toast, they are burnt toast and not to be trusted! Their president talks out of both sides of his mouth, how can anyone ever trust him?
Connie C.

French toast, definitely. Because they will have to chew on the crow that they will have to eat, along with that wine they need to drink to wash it down! RE: the Reorganization in Iraq, they refused to commit to.
Deborah B.
Kingsport, TN

I say French Toast and will continue to until they prove by their actions and not just words!
Koby P.
Dallas, TX

You guys forgot one choice on your question about the French: Who cares? The French are totally irrelevant and their problem is that they have yet to accept that.
Larry G.
Winder, GA

The French have lost the prestige of empire, the prestige of "langua franca" with regard to art and culture. Their socialist welfare state connot be support itself. They are a nation in crisis; their leaders, like Chirac engage in anti-American policies out of desperation. We can expect the French government to continue to antagonize the U.S. because they resent our relentless good fortune and the leadership it engenders.
Carmelo G.
Brooklyn, NY

Chirac will promise us a french kiss, but it will turn out to only be lip service.
Albert H.
St Simons Island, GA

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