Not too long ago, the Wall Street Journal led the media cabal in trashing France as leader of the “axis of weasels” or the cheese-eating surrender monkeys.
Its great umbrage: France failed to blindly follow George W. Bush over the cliff on his great Iraq invasion misadventure that costs the lives of 4,489 American soldiers and 179 British troops (Iraq civilian deaths are around 500,000). The war also helped wreck America’s economy.
The anti-France tide turned big time this week. The Journal’s obsession with taking down President Obama is part of the paper’s French switcheroo.
On Monday, the Journal kicked off the week with a lede editorial that carried the shocking headline, “Vive La France on Iran.” Editorial page editor Paul Gigot quickly explained his Saul-like conversion on France to his head-scratching readers. “We nerve thought we’d say this, but thank heaven for French foreign-policy exceptionalism,” began the piece.
After multiple applications of smelling salts, revived WSJ readers learned that Gigot thinks highly-- for now—of Francois Hollande’s Socialist government for saving “the west from a deal that would all but guarantee that Iran becomes a nuclear power.”
He then said Obama and U.K. PM David Cameron failed to measure up to his roster of heroes that includes Tony Blair, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and Dubya. A motley crew indeed. Gigot urged the U.S. Congress to stand by his new squeeze Francois.
WSJ conservative columnist Bret Stephens got into line yesterday, putting France as a leader of the ”axis of reality” with Israel and Saudi Arabia, while the Obama Administration fronts the “axis of fantasy.” He has special scorn for Secretary of State John Kerry, whom the right-wing used to criticize for his Francophile ways. It’s now safe for Americans to chow down on French fries.
More love for France is on display on A-10 in today’s paper, where the country is praised for raising its voice on the global stage “at a time when Washington is treading softly.”
The French are a sophisticated bunch, who understand how the WSJ is using it to bash Obama.
If the WSJ wants to show true love for France it could credit Hollande for his economic policies that reject severe austerity measures and back taxes on the wealthy.
That would be an eye-opener.