The Corner

Hoist by His Own Petard

Here’s an early sign that Jacques Chirac’s power play is going to rebound on him. The left wing ‘Liberation’ is now referring to him as the “king of peace without a crown”, while criticism from his political allies (including former prime minister Juppe – a long-term Chirac ally) is beginning to rise. The Guardian notes that the center-right’s parliamentary leader has called on Chirac “to show his public support for the courage of the Americans and British in bringing down a dictatorship”, while another MP has said that Mr Chirac had “to act swiftly to lessen the impact of violent anti-American remarks and rethink a number of provocative statements made without reflection”. Chirac’s problem? If he backs down from his anti-American stance, he forfeits the widespread, but (I suspect) shallow popularity that he has won across the country. My heart bleeds for him.

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