Bush uses France against John Kerry

4th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

COLOMBUS, Ohio, Oct 2 (AFP) - US President George W. Bush is capitalizing on anti-French sentiments that have emerged in the United States since Paris opposed last year's US-led attack on Iraq, suggesting that opponent John Kerry would give France a veto over US policy.

COLOMBUS, Ohio, Oct 2 (AFP) - US President George W. Bush is capitalizing on anti-French sentiments that have emerged in the United States since Paris opposed last year's US-led attack on Iraq, suggesting that opponent John Kerry would give France a veto over US policy.  

"The use of troops to defend America must never be subject to veto by countries like France," Bush said Friday at a rally in Pennsylvania.  

Bush's campaign does not miss the opportunity to stress that Kerry speaks French and has family ties to France, and that the Massachusetts senator often refers to France when he talks about how the US has lost respect in the world since Bush became president in 2001.  

He repeated the theme Saturday during a speech to the National Association of Home Builders in Columbus, Ohio.  

"Senator Kerry's approach to foreign policy would give foreign governments veto power over our national security decisions. I have a different view. When our country is in danger, the president's job is not to take an international poll. The president's job is to defend America," Bush said.  

"I'll continue to work every day with our friends and allies for the sake of freedom and peace. But our national security decisions will be made in the Oval Office, not in foreign capitals."  

That kind of talk resonates with some Americans.  

"I think the US has had a one-sided relationship with France for a long time, at least since World War II. France has never rewarded us when we needed to. The majority of the US people feel that way. France has never done want it should have done as an ally," said Steve Brewer, who heard Bush's speech to the home-builders.  

Bush backers still fume that Paris led opposition to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, a move that led to boycotts of French products and the renaming of foods like "French fries" to "Freedom fries."  

"I don't have warm and fuzzy feelings for France right now. Few people are happy with France right now," said Jess Hall, adding "I am coming all the way from Alaska so I may not be totally aware of what other people think."  

Actually, the anti-French sentiment in the United States appears to have eased since the days immediately before the US-led invasion of Iraq, when Paris threatened to use its veto in the UN Security Council to prevent Washington from getting the world body's approval for the move.  

French Finance Minister Nicholas Sarkozy, visiting Washington for a Group of Seven meeting, said he thinks the climate between the two countries has eased considerably.

 

© AFP

 

Subject: French News

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