John Guardiano praises French President Nicolas Sarkozy as “the new sheriff in town” with regard to initiating military action in Libya. I think Guardiano is correct in his assessment because without Sarkozy I still think there would be much dithering.
Guardiano notes that both Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron got spooked with what was happening on the ground in Libya given that Libya “is in their backyard.” He also notes that it is not coincidental that both men are conservatives. But I would point out that Libya is every bit as much in Germany’s backyard and that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is surely as conservative as either Sarkozy or Cameron. Yet Germany opposed the no-fly zone from the outset and abstained during the Security Council vote.
As for the Brits, I think they would have been on board with this action regardless of whether a Conservative or a Labour government was in power.
But could you imagine Jacques Chirac (or for that matter his old Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin) leading a military campaign in Libya much less supporting one? Sarkozy and Chirac have both led the Union for a Popular Movement but never has one political party produced two more diametrically opposed leaders.
Indeed, who could have imagined France would produce a President more pro-American than our own?
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