THE PRESIDENCY: There is No France

When General Henri HonoréGiraud, his white uniform crinkled, stepped out of the giant C-54 transport at Washington's Bolling Field last week, his squinting eyes focused on a shimmering collection of silver stars and gold braid. Generals and admirals were there in profusion to greet him on his arrival from North Africa—but nary a striped pants diplomat or even a State Department functionary on routine protocol.

Thus did the White House heavily underscore its attempt to make the Giraud visit appear as just a military mission. For two days before the tall, scraggly-mustached...

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