In the Arena

Some Good News

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In all the foolish hype over the Ahmadinejad visit and the Petraeus testimony and all the other set-piece foriegn policy carnival shows of the past month, the dramatic and very positive movement of the Sarkozy government toward a less reflexively anti-American attitude has been pretty much lost. I’m looking for a transcript of Sarkozy’s UN speech yesterday, which I’m told was excellent.
The recent willingness of Sarkozy and his Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner to involve themselves in both Iraq and Iran, and possibly even a return to a military role in NATO’s central command, is excellent news indeed. Kouchner slipped a few weeks ago when he used the word “war” in connection with Iran, a mistake he immediately conceded, but it seems quite possible that France will be a real ally in applying the global diplomatic pressure–the remedy that Bush seems incapable of mobilizing– that might produce positive results in the region.

Roger Cohen had a terrific column about France in the Times last week. The chance for a real creative alliance between Sarkozy and the next American President is cause for real optimism.