Some things in Europe are timeless
Like the French urge to appease:
President Jacques Chirac said in an interview that an Iran that possessed one or two nuclear weapons would not pose much of a danger, adding that if Iran were ever to launch a nuclear weapon against a country like Israel, it would lead to the immediate destruction of Tehran.To his credit, he called back the journalists, admitted his mistake, and repeated the party line. Nevertheless, it shows how difficult it is for some nations to get over their history of capitulation. It's practically part of France's genome by now.
The remarks, made in an interview Monday with the International Herald Tribune, The New York Times and the weekly magazine Le Nouvel Observateur, were vastly different from stated French policy and from what Chirac repeatedly has said.
Of course, for France, there is also the possibility to reap financial rewards by being the first to accept Iran's soon to be nuclear status. They played the same coalition busting game with Iraq.
In the end it merely points up why France cannot be considered a trustworthy ally.
Another European constant: Italian men are flirts.
"Dear Editor," began a letter published Wednesday on the front page of La Repubblica, the newspaper that Silvio Berlusconi hates most. The scalding letter demanded a public apology from Berlusconi — and it was signed by his wife.Just like Chirac, Berlusconi later retracted his statements, using a written, public apology to his wife. Good for her not to take his behavior any longer. His constant flirting and philandering must have been humiliating.
And so, a nation bored and a little down at its return to semi-normal politics woke to a truly juicy news cycle with an inescapable conclusion: In or out of power, Silvio Berlusconi may be reprehensible, but Italy cannot keep its eyes off him.
It turns out that the 70-year-old former prime minister, who recently had a pacemaker implanted, attended an awards ceremony last week and was overly friendly with two young and beautiful guests.
"If I weren't already married, I would marry you right now," he reportedly told one. And another: "With you I would go anywhere."