François Hollande is just the country's latest fashion victim.
L’Affaire to Remember
April 21, 2010
Paris The impish headlines in Le Canard enchaîné, the satirical weekly that happens to be the most informative newspaper in France, rarely translate well. An exception might be the recent front-page lead: “SARKO EST D’UNE RUMEUR MASSACRANTE.” This play on the expression être d’une humeur massacrante—roughly, “angry enough to kill”—concerns the distemper of Nicolas Sarkozy over a certain rumeur massacrante (“foul rumor”) swirling around the French president’s two-year marriage to former supermodel Carla Bruni.
October 06, 2009
Return to Afghanistan with a group of journalists, escorted by the French defense minister, Hervé Morin. A limited view: We only see valleys in Surobi and Kapisa. But an invaluable glimpse, nevertheless, because it counters what is heard almost everywhere. First chapter, Tora, a small fort sitting on stones, some distance from Kabul. Welcome by Colonel Benoît Durieux, leader of the regiment and an intellectual, author of the excellent Rereading Clausewitz's On War.
March 12, 2008
You would need to have the heart of a Kremlin functionary to be unmoved by the scene that unfolded in Kosovo's capital, Priština, this week. There, in a fitting and just epilogue to the last mass crime of the twentieth century, Kosovar Albanians poured into the streets to celebrate their secession from the state that had so recently brutalized them. Just nine years ago, the scenes and sentiments emerging from Priština were very different.
A Sacred Aura
March 07, 2008
There is one book that says it all. An old book, nearly a classic. Oddly, it is rarely mentioned in France. This book, published in 1957, is titled The King's Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology. Its author is Ernst H.
The Legacies Of Blair And Chirac
May 10, 2007
Right now, everybody is commenting on Tony Blair's past. That he actually revolutionized British society in a sensible way no one can quite deny. His country's alliance with America--for all the troubles of Iraq--was apparently envied by the French. In any case, there is still a free world standing; and it is girded by the U.S. and the U.K. Of course, many people are commenting on Nicolas Sarkozy's future. But that has much to do with Jacques Chirac's past. Anne Applebaum had a column in yesterday's Washington Post dealing with exactly that. And, believe me, it is ugly.
Taking It To The Streets
May 08, 2007
by Darrin McMahon The first tear-gas grenade of the Sarkozy era was fired at 9:59 on Sunday evening at the Place de la République, just blocks from where I was staying in Paris, and less than two hours after the official announcement of the results of the French presidential elections. The target: some three thousand anti-Sarkozy militants, a minority of whom had progressed from the chant of "Sarko, facho, le peuple aura ta peau" ("Sarko, you fascist, the people will have your hide") to even less subtle means of protest: throwing pavement stones at the police.
February 01, 2007
Jacques Chirac's comments on Iran, as reported in this morning's New York Times, have sparked some outrage. But a lot of what the French president said sounded pretty reasonable: Chirac said this week that if Iran had one or two nuclear weapons, it would not pose a big danger, and that if Iran were to launch a nuclear weapon against a country like Israel, it would lead to the immediate destruction of Tehran."I would say that what is dangerous about this situation is not the fact of having a nuclear bomb," he said.