An observant political science professor on the verge of tenure writes to comment on John’s post “A no-fly zone: Is it too late?” He writes:
[I]t might be an opportune time to give heartfelt and genuine praise to the French. They have taken some very ill-considered positions since 9/11, and they have taken some serious criticism from friends in the United States, some of it warranted, some not, certainly all of it stinging, and some of it making them resentful (the Freedom Fries stuff, but also articles in the Weekly Standard. Pierre Manent canceled his subscription to the Weekly Standard over some of their positions, despite his friendly attitude to much of what they represent.)
Sarkozy is showing that he has balls. We have a president who doesn’t. Let’s give credit where credit is due. And let’s encourage our European allies to lead in situations like this. (There are conservatives in France who need to have such shows of support from Americans, without which they are a voice in the wilderness.) In other words, the silver lining of “Brackets” Obama’s dithering and absenteeism is that it permits the European right, such as it is, to stand tall. Let’s show our admiration when they do so.
Our professor friend may be looking too hard for a silver lining to Obama’s pathetic display, but his point is a good one.