Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Normandy, June 6, 2009

Nicolas Sarkozy invited Barak Obama to attend ceremonies at Normandy commemorating the D-Day invasion 65 years ago. Sarkozy took some criticism over the last few days for not directly inviting the English, Canadians, and Poles. That’s all been ironed out, so the Royal Yacht will make its usual trip to Pegasus Bridge. Obama will take Spielberg and Hanks as battlefield tour guides I suppose. My Dad won’t be able to make it, but I’d love to teleport him there somehow.

When we read things in the news about a crisis here, a saber rattling there, oil price problems, energy policy, and Middle East conundrums, I always wonder what the French are thinking and doing. In America we await echoes from England, responses from China, perspectives from Russia but we very rarely read about Sarkozy unless the story involves Carla Bruni, his wife.

Yes, I know, France has many internal challenges of fiscal policies, immigrants, unions, student protests. Sarkozy receives a great deal of criticism for his relationship with Obama which appears quite cordial. But despite being cordial, Sarkozy understands his powerful position and the importance of his nation as both a force in the EU and on the international post-colonial stage.

He knows how to balance between modern and empire, EU and UN, oil and gas revenues and nuclear power technology.

France s a great nation and we tend to forget that were it not for French Marines at the Battle of Yorktown, we would be watching the BBC instead of 30-Rock.

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