Magazine May 4, 2009, Issue

Helium Diplomacy

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice speaks to the media in New York City, January 26, 2009. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

At the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, they’re premiering a new ballet about a young French boy who’s befriended by a giant helium-filled balloon. Any balletomanes at the U.S. embassy might be forgiven for assuming it to be some hastily concocted metaphor of Euro-American harmony in the Age of Obama: a lithe young Continental prancing around the stage enraptured by his dazzling bag of gas. But, as it happens, The Red Balloon is an adaptation of some fey French movie from the Fifties, when a twirling Euro-ninny and his novelty gasbag were the stuff of cinematic whimsy and not

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Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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