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  • Sarkozy on Obama

    Posted by David Foster on October 28th, 2008 (All posts by )

    According to Haaretz:

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy is very critical of U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama’s positions on Iran, according to reports that have reached Israel’s government.

    Sarkozy has made his criticisms only in closed forums in France. But according to a senior Israeli government source, the reports reaching Israel indicate that Sarkozy views the Democratic candidate’s stance on Iran as “utterly immature” and comprised of “formulations empty of all content.”


    Until now, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany have tried to maintain a united front on Iran. But according to the senior Israeli source, Sarkozy fears that Obama might “arrogantly” ignore the other members of this front and open a direct dialogue with Iran without preconditions.

    Powerline says:

    As Emanuele Ottolenghi notes, Sarkozy’s use of the term “arrogant” is interesting because Obama’s (utterly immature) critique of U.S. foreign policy relies heavily on the notion that we have been “arrogant” in our dealings with the rest of the world. In fact, the reason Obama has advanced for engaging in talks with a series of anti-American dictatorships, not just Iran, is the need to overcome the perception that we are “arrogant.”

    It will be interesting to see whether or not Sarkozy denies making these comments.


    6 Responses to “Sarkozy on Obama”

    1. MD Says:

      This can’t be correct. An Obama presidency is supposed to ‘re-brand’ the US in the eyes of the world! (That the world is a heterogeneous place doesn’t seem to fit into the re-branding concept, but, nevermind).

    2. MD Says:

      Or, alternatively, Sarkozy could be talking out his hat, as in, says one thing in one group and a different in another. Politicians never do that, do they?

    3. renminbi Says:

      An astute historian friend of mine who deals with the Chinese on exchange programs,thinks they will lose all respect for us if we elect BO. They will ask him, not in front of others “Why did you vote for this monkey? True,we had the Q’ing dynasty, but at least we didn’t choose them”. Better yet,they won’t forget this one either and will regard us as fools long after he has left the scene.

    4. Obloodyhell Says:

      >> Or, alternatively, Sarkozy could be talking out his hat, as in, says one thing in one group and a different in another. Politicians never do that, do they?

      “Sarkozy has made his criticisms only in closed forums in France.”

      So, you figure
      a) he’s lying when he’s in the closed forums,
      b) when speaking to the international public and he’s obligated to go with the pro-Obama Euro party line?

      I think I’ve got a pretty good idea which side of that bet to take… You?

    5. Billy Hallowell Says:

      This story has gained a lot of traction. It will be interesting to see if, indeed, he does deny saying it. Either way, foreign policy is big during this electoral cycle seeing as the next president is going to have to cope with a number of international challenges. Here at Public Agenda we have put together a non-partisan guide on foreign policy at We also published an article entitled “Eight Things You Need to Know About Foreign Policy.” You can check that out at Thanks, again, for the great piece!

    6. MD Says:

      I’d be tempted to say b, Obloodyhell, but I always wonder exactly what the game is when these sorts of stories and leaks go on. What’s he trying to gain, or the person who told this to the press, trying to gain? Or maybe it’s just a screw-up and he made the mistake of saying what he really thought in a ‘safe’ environment?

      I think a president Obama will be viewed as a soft and breezy CEO of President USA, the type that brings all the bureaucratisms of academia to the business sector and then wonders why everything is so unproductive and no one listens or pays attention to the weekly e-mails. And then he cashes out when everything in the organization goes to rot. Why do ex-presidents get paid pensions and stuff before 65?

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