April 05, 2003

Dominique's Folie de Grandeur Daniel

Dominique's Folie de Grandeur

Daniel Bell has a provocative piece up in TNR (registration required) on the French Foreign Minister.

Money grafs:

"There are many people who believed that de Villepin had valuable points to make in warning against a rush to war. If only we could believe that his argument against the war grew out of real conviction. His books suggest that in international affairs he is really an immoralist—that he has no trouble with a powerful nation imposing its will by force, taking potentially dangerous risks, and possibly violating international law. He just prefers that the nation in question be France. His writings suggest that his current obstruction of the United States stems not from well-reasoned political principle but from an appetite for obstructionism itself, because in this way France can again occupy the international limelight. It is laudable to want to establish the greatness of one's nation through peace, but not when the reason is one's own inability to make war. De Villepin is not so much an anti-imperialist as a weak would-be imperialist.

At the start of his book, de Villepin remarks that its writing was closely bound up with his long experience in the corridors of power. But he does not mean that he drew on his own experience of government in order to better understand the age of Napoleon. Quite the reverse. "There has not been a day," he remarks, "when, seized by the tribulations of doubt, I have not dwelled on the voice of the past ... not a day when I have not felt the imperious need for memory, so as not to surrender to indifference, derision and mocking ... so as to continue to move forward in the service of a French ambition." This is a fine stance for politicians to take—but everything depends on their choice of memories and the way they interpret them. In choosing to hallow the memory of Napoleon, and in promoting him into a symbol of pure glory and grand sacrifice, Dominique de Villepin demonstrates only that he is suffering from a delusion of grandeur."

Posted by Gregory at April 5, 2003 05:45 PM
Comments
Reviews of Belgravia Dispatch
"Awake"
--New York Times
"Must-read list"
--Washington Times
"Always Thoughtful"
--Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit
"Pompous Ass"
--an anonymous blogospheric commenter
Recent Entries
Search
English Language Media
Foreign Affairs Commentariat
Non-English Language Press
U.S. Blogs
Western Europe
France
United Kingdom
Germany
Italy
Netherlands
Spain
Central and Eastern Europe
CIS/FSU
Russia
Armenia
East Asia
China
Japan
South Korea
Middle East
Egypt
Israel
Lebanon
Syria
Columnists
Think Tanks
Security
Books
B.D. In the Press
Archives
Categories
Syndicate this site:
XML RSS RDF

G2E

Powered by