Why the French Act Isn't Funny Anymore

Their resistance to helping in Afghanistan and Iraq is now downright dangerous

It is easy to make fun of the French and their pompous pretense to the grandeur they shed a half-century ago when their loss of honor under Vichy, and then their loss of empire, relegated them to the rank of second-class power. But the fun is over. Before Sept. 11, France's Gaullist anti-Americanism as a form of ostentatious self-aggrandizement was an irritant. With a war on--three, in fact: Afghanistan, Iraq and the larger war on terrorism--France's willful obstructionism becomes dangerous and deadly.

That obstructionism was on amazing display at the recent NATO summit in Istanbul. The supremely courageous President of...

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