French-American War Revisited

An interesting little book I happened upon: Dangerous De-Liaisons (Melville House, 2004) documents several dialogues between two leading editorial figures--Walter Wells (The International Herald Tribune, European outlet of the New York Times) and Jean-Marie Colombani (of Le Monde). While a bit rambling, the book provides interesting insights into what has almost always been a tortured relationship of love and hate (or perhaps better, a passive-aggressive relationship of superficial love and deeper hate). What emerges from the conversation is a sense that, in the days after 9/11, there was a new opportunity for solidarity ("Today, we are all Americans," Chirac announced). When W. asserted an American unilateralism, that possibility was destroyed. But this wasn't something new; it was really just a lapse into old ways. The conversation provides an illuminating account of how different two democracies can be.