24.7.07

Sarkozy's Arrogance ou le show politique en continu

The word 'Arrogance' was used to describe France's foreign policy going its own way against Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003. It was 'arrogance' to the extent France was seen as opposing the empire. It was 'arrogance' to the extent the use of the word spoke about how the US and people in the US perceived France, a waning international power player. But in fact, France's Chirac and its industry, having made a long way with the Iraqi president and the Baathist Iraqi regime, were only following France's interests, its standing in the Middle East, and Chirac's longtime personal friendship with Sunni Arab leaders.
But the real meaning to Arrogance, its objective meaning, is not when a small scale country goes its own way in face of an empire. The real objective meaning for Arrogance is when a country goes its own way because it simply wants to go its own way, in disregard for others. In Diplomatic terms, this is called unilateralism and Bush has been practicing it at lenght, in all occasions. Arrogance is another word to define unilateralism in Politics. Still, one can argue that unilateralism might be O.K. if the unilateralist does not need others to accomplish his goals. France's president Nicolas Sarkozy has proved to be a bad unilateralist, exactly like GW Bush, they both disregard other states and need and manipulate other states to accomplish their goals. Not only Sarkozy is a unilateralist at home where he manages to be omnipresent in the media and where the whole state apparatus around him seems to be a pale extension of his persona, but he is starting to apply his method at the level of EU foreign diplomacy.

The moment EU diplomacy started to move positively on the dossier of the Bulgarian nurses, Sarkozy sent his wife on a mission to Lybia, without consulting with the country who led the negociations for the EU on this dossier, Germany. And when the death sentence was commuted to life sentence, and very shortly after to extradition, for the Bulgarian nurses and the Palestinian doctor, Sarkozy sent his wife again to fly the nurses back home. And with him, the French Press, attributing the merit to the French president and the EU, one can be sure that Sarkozy has taken French arrogance and disregard for others in foreign policy to new highs. The French press is cheering. Under the rubrique "Facts", Le Monde titles: 'The Élysées and the EU have liberated the Bulgarian nurses'. Sarkozy stepped in the dossier very recently, and the whole affair looks like Magic, but nobody seems to notice this !

But we all know by now that what Le Monde calls 'Facts' has become Spin under the good auspices of Alain Minc, Jean Marie Colombani, and Sarkozy. Of course, JMC is gone but the culture of Spin when it comes to Sarkozy seems to be present, or is it pure stupid nationalism and chauvinism ?

I looked today for another source on the facts surrounding the liberation of the Bulgarian nurses. The english edition of Der Spiegel online has a totally different story, so different that one wonders if the French press did not just published the official version given to it by the Élysées. Reading the English edition of Der Spiegel online today, not only I was ashamed of Le Monde because it gave us a doctored and unchecked story, and you have to read the German version of the events that led to the liberation of the Bulgarian nurses, but I was ashamed of being a French citizen. From a German perspective, Sarkozy has become the bully of Europe, bested only by Poland. He is running France's Foreign Policy in Europe and on the world stage unilaterally, looking for a showdown à deux with European and world leaders as a way to boost his image outside France. And our good press seems to be following, if we judge from the Bulgarian nurses story in Le Monde. Ironically, I read the same day that Rama Yade, Sarkozy's secrétaire d'État (junior minister) for Foreign Affairs and Human Rights wants to end France's arrogance on the world stage ? My advice to her is that she should start with her boss.

However, the biggest irritation for the European negotiators has been caused not by the tricksters in Tripoli, but rather by a close ally. The hyperactive French President Nicolas Sarkozy threatened to blow the entire deal with his unstoppable urge to get involved in the affair.

New to international diplomacy, he first sent his wife Cecilia on a conciliatory visit to the nurses and infected children -- in her official capacity as a "mother." Then he offered to mediate matters himself and announced a trip to Libya to meet with Gadhafi. It was a perfect opportunity for the Libyans to ask for more: How about the offer from France's "première dame" to modernize another hospital in Benghazi?

Steinmeier felt as if the overzealous French were jeopardizing his efforts and so he went directly to his negotiating partner Saif al-Islam. The German told him the deal was already done and dusted and there was nothing left to do. Other support could only be discussed within the context of future EU development projects.
But diplomats in Sofia and Berlin will only be able to breathe easy once the hyper French president returns from Tripoli. His wife Cecilia -- who was accompanied by Ferrero-Waldner -- made her second trip to Tripoli in two weeks over the weekend, paying a visit to Gadhafi. And Nicolas Sarkozy himself is expected in Libya on Wednesday.


...Nerves in Berlin are so frayed at the moment that even the surprise trip Sarkozy's wife Cecilia made to Libya last week caused a commotion. Élysée Palace announced she was visiting the five Bulgarian nurses sentenced to death for supposedly infecting 426 children with AIDS in her capacity as a "mother." Foreign Minister Steinmeier has been working doggedly behind the scenes to secure the release of the women, who are widely considered to be victims of a show trial. Officials in Berlin assumed that Sarkozy was trying to commandeer the whole process -- and take credit for it -- now that the nurses might be on the verge of being pardoned.
But one leading German foreign policy expert has advised officials in Berlin to remain calm in the storm of Sarkozy's provocations. Former foreign minister Joschka Fischer has pointed out that Sarkozy's predecessor Jacques Chirac took office in 1995 in far more explosive fashion -- with a nuclear bomb test in the South Pacific.


According to Bulgarian authorities, more than a dozen security services helped free the 5 Bulgarian nurses and the Palestinian doctor from Lybia. Even the Mossad is taking credit.

UPDATE: French Posturing Over Bulgarian Nurses: Why Did Cecilia Sarkozy Go to Tripoli ?

France, ummm...Sarkozy... to build Nuclear reactor in Lybia

Sarkozy's Lybia Nuclear deal: 'A European Disgrace'

From Qantara.de: A Lesson In Ruthless Special Interests Politics

Un portrait de Sarkozy dans Der Spiegel: Pas très flatteur

French's fascination with the Sarkozys

5 comments:

Randy said...

Hi Sophia
a fascinating group of articles, but it feels incomplete. I would love to read an analysis of why Libya arrested these women and imprisoned them for 8 years?

Sophia said...

Randy,
It will be more useful to ask Nicolas Sarkozy who will be in Lybia tomorrow.

Randy said...

Sophia
i just read that the Taliban killed one of the S. Korean hostages. Do u think if the S. Korean president's wife had gone to meet with Taliban, that no one would have been killed? Does the personal touch matter?

Sophia said...

Randy,
Again, I think you have to ask the Pro-Israeli french president Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife about this. I am not for rewarding terrorists for what they have done.

Anonymous said...

Sophia
1. first, i don't see what "pro-Israeli" has to do this discussion about Libya?

2. i don't agree with rewarding terrorism either. But lives must be saved, and right now the North Koreans are being killed by Taliban.

 
Since March 29th 2006