Just back from France…

I think I shocked most of the French, it was quite amusing. I was tearing down the post WW2 Pax Americana idea and praised France for two actions since the war: 1) de Gaulle pulling out of NATO 2) Chirac standing up to Bush over Iraq.

I suggested strongly that France a) pull out of NATO b) lobby intensely for forcing the US to back down on the militirization of space.

Lastly I urged the French to become a true regional power in the world and that the world should be broken down in a new way, that the US is a hegemonic power and that all regional powers would be recognized individually such as French, Britain, Germany, Turkey, Iran, Japan, Russia, China, Brazil, India, Venezuela, etc. So it would be the US vs. the coalition of regional nation states. The US would have to reconsider some of their decisions, as opposed to this present structure which allows the US to maintain its own camp and call the outliers the 'BRICS' (emerging markets). In other words, it's a different construction of the world as perceived by all the Cold War editorial writers of the world.

After this presentation, the French were divided. Many of the Old Guard at dinner were in disagreement, thinking that America had done such a great job after WW2, especially helping France get on its feet, etc. I understand this point of view because I was in France in the 1950s and I saw it. But, there is a larger picture here.

Another series of Frenchmen, including the ex-French Ambassador to NATO and to China told me that France at the very least should get out of the militarized section of its contract with NATO and that he agreed with our point of view of China vs. The US, that China has been provoked unnecessarily. Quite interesting night in Le Havre, that little rainy town in Northern France.

Went also to the beaches where D-Day was fought and was very impressed by the view of Omaha beach and the cemetary there for 30,000 US soldiers who died in the Normandy campaign. A massive complicated battelfield -- it was indeed one of our finest hours. But as I tried to point out at the session it was not the climactic battle of WW2. That remains Stalingrad, and even the French agreed with that, saying quite interestingly that after Stalingrad the French Resistance really started to shape up and it was the first time the French started to believe that their occupation was not inevitable.

Another Frenchman pointed out, very interestingly to me, that if de Gaulle had not been so brazen in his stubborness to go to London and establish a beachhead there for France after the war, the Allies would probably have occupied France in the same manner as Germany.

All in all it was a fascinating time.


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