A few days ago a report was released by the Socialist Party that attempted to paint UMP candidate Nicolas Sarkozy as an "American neoconservative with a French passport", citing his pro-American stance and his strong support of the War on Terror. Because he is usually considered strong on foreign policy matters, it looked like the Socialists were trying to fight him on his own turf (a very Karl Rove-esque move if I must say so).
But today at his nomination, Sarkozy made sure to distance himself from the Iraq debacle, hoping to preempt future socialist attacks.
"I want a France which always speaks to America like a friend, who always tells it the truth and which can tell it 'no' when it is wrong, which says to it that it is not right when it violates the right of the nations or the rights of people whom it so much contributed to forge, when it decides unilaterally, when it wants to americanize the world whereas it always defended the freedom of the people."
Several months ago Sarkozy had called the French actions before the Iraq War "arrogant", but today, Sarkozy had a different tone.
"I want to pay homage to Jacques Chirac, who made honor in France when it was opposed to the war in Iraq, which was a fault."
Too bad Chirac didn't even come to the convention to hear such kind words. Sarkozy should be free to change his mind about Iraq, most Americans have, and many more around the world have as well. But a retreat to the traditional French obstructionism in the face of Washington will only spell a further diminishment of France's position in the world. Hopefully he won't sacrifice international cooperation in the name of domestic politics.
Technorati tags: Iraq, Nicolas Sarkozy, UMP, politics, politique, présidentielle, actualité, France