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Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Sunday Quotation

More proof of how well Russian "President" Vladimir Putin is leading Russia into the future:

The French Revolution of 2007 has not seen heads roll but has involved the destruction of 10 taboos as President Nicolas Sarkozy assumes the role of Europe’s most dynamic leader.


Enthusiasm for the United States was unacceptable for a French political leader because it was always interpreted as an embrace of “Wild West” capitalism, “Anglo-Saxon” hegemony and vulgarity. De rigueur attitudes held sway: patronizing contempt in Paris met macho derision in Washington. Communication suffered. Sarko’s New Hampshire vacation, enthused American dreaming, iPod-accompanied jogging and in-your-face style cleared the air.


Moscow was France’s offsetting power to the United States. For many cold-war years, the French left struggled to decide what was worse: Soviet totalitarianism or American imperialism. Some of the French right was undecided, too. Later, Chirac suggested “neo-liberalism” — unfettered market forces — was as much a danger in the 21st century as totalitarianism in the 20th. Weak-kneed moral equivalency often placed Paris in a halfway house between Washington and Moscow. Sarkozy is clear: American democracy beats Russian authoritarianism, just as U.S. freedom beat Soviet enslavement.
-- New York Times columnist Roger Cohen, September 20th

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