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July 22, 2014

Defying Allies, Ignoring Ukraine Shoot-Down, France Does What Everyone Expected Them To Do and Pledges to Go Forward With Delivery of Advanced Amphibious Warship to Russia

France has no eternal allies, only eternal self-concerns.

President Francois Hollande won broad domestic applause on Tuesday for defying allies Britain and the United States by confirming plans to deliver a helicopter carrier to Russia, with one backer dismissing the objections as hypocritical.

Speaking on the eve of an EU meeting to discuss sanctions on Moscow over the downing of a civilian airliner over Ukraine, Hollande said late on Monday that a first Mistral warship would be handed over on schedule in October but a decision on a second would depend on Russia's attitude.

It was the clearest signal yet that Paris will go through with the controversial deal despite the Ukraine crisis and came only hours after British Prime Minister David Cameron said it would be "unthinkable" for his country to fulfil such an order.

The United States has also said it opposes the sale, which has exposed France to criticism that it is putting its own interests ahead of Western solidarity over Ukraine.

DrewM (who sent this article) makes this point:

Obama's claim in 2008 and again in 2012 was not that he had a radically different foreign policy (he claimed it was not radically different from the American mainstream), but that he was simply smarter, better at leveraging "soft power," and better at dealing with allies than anyone in the GOP (or anyone in the world, actually).

Apart from his determination to exit Iraq, he did not run on a claim that he would completely undo American foreign policy; just that his charisma, understanding, and intelligence would permit him to handle a mainstream foreign policy better.

Is there any evidence whatsoever of this being true?

Is there one single thing he's accomplished through his much-vaunted personal appeal?


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posted by Ace at 04:54 PM

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