Tuesday, March 17, 2009

De Gaulle of De French

As long as I can remember having any foreign relations opinions, I was always wary of the French. This was, of course, due to the fact that for much of my early life, Charles de Gaulle was the President of France. He was the face of France and the very definition of obstinacy.

The BBC's Alan Little reflects on his memories of de Gaulle:
There is a story about a conversation between General de Gaulle, who, as president of the French Republic, telephoned his American counterpart Lyndon B Johnson, to inform him that France had decided to withdraw from the North Atlantic Treaty alliance...

Furthermore, de Gaulle added, it was his intention that all American service personnel should be removed from French soil.

"Does that include," Johnson is said to have replied, "those buried in it?"...
Former British PM Harold McMillan:
France, he said, had made peace with Germany, had forgiven Germany for the brutality of invasion and the humiliation of four years of occupation, but it could never - never - forgive the British and Americans for the liberation.
During the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Paris from the Nazis in 2004:
Paris launched a series of events to mark the 60th anniversary of its own liberation in August 2004.

The city's mayor had given the celebrations the title Paris Se Libere! - Paris Liberates Herself!

One of the newspapers published a 48-page commemorative issue. There was no mention of the allies until page 18.
Paris se libere- Paris liberates herself- was first stated by de Gaulle in 1944.

Little also writes:
When I was living in Paris, it struck me that Sarkozy - not yet president - had the potential to be France's first post-Gaullist leader.

His enemies called him "Sarkozy the American" in the hope that this would make him unelectable. It did not work.
I don't subscribe to the idea of reincarnation, but Charles de Gaulle died in 1970. When was Barack Obama born?

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