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Right Intention: Being the Grownup

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Being the Grownup

So Bush isn't using the Ivory Coast mess as revenge for France's actions of the last few years.

Any temptation to repay Paris in kind for opposing the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was put aside in Washington, where it was quickly understood that payback policies would undermine regional security in West Africa and beyond.

Although it's the right thing to do, it's annoying that Europe depends on the US to be the grownup in our relations. They feel free to act however they want, and then bank on us doing the right thing in the end. They suffer no consequences.

But maybe there is hope. They may be surprised by our willingness to help when they have another conflict they can't control.

The Bush team's decision to ignore the temptation to stick a finger in Chirac's eye in revenge for the past should be recognized and publicly acknowledged in Europe -- most of all in Paris. It was a cost-free gesture from Washington that is nonetheless the right way to achieve better French-American cooperation to deal with a changing world.

Gratitude from France? Yeah, that'll happen.


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