France's New Prez Doesn't Major In Diplomacy
By: Rachel Marsden
NEW YORK -- In preparing for another "porneditorial" about my favourite new
world leader -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy -- I've been keeping myself
busy with an exhausting game called "Where In The World Is Sarko?"
The likely answer to that question: "Telling someone off."
And he's doing it at warp speed, as though he confused his inauguration with the start of the much less sexy French Grand Prix. Here are some of the issues that the diplomatic circuit's hot new bad boy blew through last week.
Immigration: While George W. Bush is still trying to grab his illegal immigrant amnesty plan by the clean end and fling it at the public, Sarkozy opposed the idea for his country. Further, France's immigration minister said they would pay legal immigrants, mostly from Africa, about $8,000 US per family of four to go back to where they came from. Sounds like a game of Let's Make A Deal. I wouldn't be holding out for what's behind "door number two," since the immigration minister is also in charge of "national identity." I'd be hitting the shops of the 8th arrondissement to replace my burqa collection with some Chanel.
Sarkozy's campaign literature says within five years, he wants to lower unemployment to under 5% in order to reduce poverty and exclusion. Clearing out the dead wood and recruiting skilled workers that fit the country's cultural image and identity is the first step. It's ahead of the current U.S. philosophy. Bush doesn't seem to realize that it's going to be tough for Lady Liberty to get things done in this competitive new economy if she has millions of family class freeloaders clinging to her robe -- particularly ones who don't understand English.
Environment: Sarko met with environmental groups last week, and pledged to do
more to help the planet. That's really the only bone you need to toss those
guys. As Al Gore has proven, just talk a lot, feel their pain, and give them
events to keep them busy--which is exactly what Sarko is scheduling for October.
Sarko doesn't have much of an environmental platform, short of taxing major
polluters -- which is cool. Stick with that, then call it a day.
Sarko's environment minister, Alain Juppe, is a former French Prime Minister who has a great blog, complete with little hearts and info about the music he's listening to. Fully qualified!
He also praises Jacques Chirac for his environmental accomplishments. (Like that nuclear test in French Polynesia that Greenpeace called an "insult to the world," perhaps?) Hey Alain, that entry needs a few more pink hearts.
Nuclear Iran: Sarkozy is now getting tough with Iran's Ahmadinejad and his nuclear enrichment ambitions. Obviously, we have to work our way through all the gears before entertaining the prurient thought of "Commander in Chief Sarkosexy," because diplomacy means giving Iran lots of stuff to ignore.
But while Sarko is still talking sanctions, I don't think we can rule out what France would do to protect its national interests. Last year, even Chirac said he'd be willing to go nuclear on a state sponsor of terrorists if they attacked France. With terrorists now threatening Paris directly, anything is possible.
Modern warfare has to be conducted with pinpoint accuracy, and France's Foreign Legion is one of the world's best such powers. Mahmoud wouldn't be expecting to see the French show up on his doorstep -- let alone some with British accents.
Personally, I'd just love to see the Western media condemn the French as warmongers.
PUBLISHED: TORONTO SUN (May 27/07)
COPYRIGHT 2007 RACHEL MARSDEN