One interesting aspect of this story is Sarkozy's view of the United States as "the leader of our side." (Jacques Chirac would never have uttered such an admission.) Gopnik disputed the widespread notion that Sarkozy is "pro-American." He has an American style and a more American disposition to free markets. But he is very French in his view of an independent Europe and of his own nation's central position in that entity, in the promotion of Western civilization generally.
Still, in a recent address on foreign policy, Sarkozy expressed concerns that aren't far out of line with some of Bush's (and other Americans') concerns—about Iran's nuclear ambitions, Russia's growing insularity, and the regional cataclysms that might erupt from the violence in Iraq (even while he called for a U.S. pullout).
Bush—or whoever succeeds him—should embrace Sarkozy's ambitions and ally them to ours. His socialist foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, recently asked Condoleezza Rice, "What can we do for you in Iraq?" The answer should be: Take the lead in mediating a deal with Iraq's neighbors, and put non-American fingerprints on a containment, even a settlement, of the war.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola
The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.
Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.
Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore
And schools are getting worried.
Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War
Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough
So they added a little self-immolation.