The French Way

'This is worse than a crime... it's a blunder.' (Talleyrand, on Napoleon's execution of the Duke d'Enghien) The French have always gone their own way in international relations. Back in the days of the early Louis, the French, annoyed by several Italian republics, made an alliance with the Ottoman Turks for the purpose of cutting Genoa and Venice down to size. The Italians found themselves expelled from Istanbul, their goods and money seized, while the late medieval equivalent of most favored nation status was transferred to France. This at a time when it was a touch—and—go thing whether or not large swathes of Central Europe were going to wind up as part of the Caliphate. Jump forward five centuries and we find France being menaced by a later, sinister eastern power, the USSR. The rest of Western Europe, similarly at risk, had put its faith in the NATO alliance. Not the French. France takes a backseat to nobody, and since the alliance was led by United States, France had...(Read Full Article)