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Le Petit Caporal

Libya crisis may save Nicolas Sarkozy from electoral humiliation | Jonathan Freedland | World news | The Guardian

It would surely be poor taste to accuse Nicolas Sarkozy of leading France into combat for purely selfish political reasons – but that won't stop some in the president's inner circle wondering if Operation Odyssey Dawn might just save the skin of a man who, a matter of days ago, seemed destined for electoral humiliation. Ever so discreetly, they will be hoping Libya can do for Sarkozy what the Falklands did for Margaret Thatcher – anoint a successful war leader deserving of re-election.

"The French do like to have their president play world statesman," mused one diplomat in Paris last week, before France's Mirage and Rafale fighter planes had taken to the skies. "A good crisis," he added, might be just what Sarkozy needs.

He certainly needs something. A week ago he was staring at polls so ominous some analysts wondered if he'd even make it into second place in next year's presidential contest. One survey put Sarkozy behind both his most likely Socialist opponent and Marine Le Pen, the new leader of the far-right National Front

We don't normally see the French rush into combat, though dropping bombs from a safe hight onto tents is hardly combat, so an explanation is needed.


So proof positive all publicity is good publicity!
Are the French people really that dumb?

The French have certainly been very keen to rush into combat in the past; In 1914, for example.

Depends on the outcome whether it saves him or not.

He [Sarko] certainly needs something.

So does Dave.

He's looking at anihilation in the much vaunted, but fickle and over-crowded, "middle ground" the next election with absolutely no gains on the right. He's hoping a military victory will afford him some sort of Falklands factor.

Sadly (for him) the public aren't that thick and I suspect the result will be more akin to the one acheived by Anthony Eden in 1956 than anything won by Mrs Thatcher.

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