Burning His Bridges at Both Ends?

Given the diplomatic fires France has to contend with these days — the ongoing spat with the U.S. over Iraq; the squabbling between "new" and "old" Europe; Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's controversial visit to Paris last week; and the morass in former colony Ivory Coast — it's ironic that the man assigned to extinguish those blazes is known as Nero at home. French Foreign Minister Dominique Galouzeau de Villepin has a talent for inflaming passions, but President Jacques Chirac is relying on the 49-year-old statesman to douse any flames before they get out of control.

Like his mentor...

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