Saturday, June 27, 2015

Reasons to Despair in France

U.S. eavesdropping? The French are too underwhelmed by their politicians to care.

By John Vinocur, WS
June 25, 2015 3:32 p.m. ET

It’s to France’s credit that its government is handling with modest indignation the WikiLeaks publication Tuesday of documents purportedly showing how the U.S. has spied on French presidents and other leaders of the country.

You’d think the French were following a special protocol of reasonableness. They’ve dismissed calls for retaliation and are seen to regard the so-called revelations as trivial. The weekly Le Canard Enchaîné, a snarky political gossip sheet, often does better.

At the height of French displeasure, America’s behavior is described as “unacceptable.” That’s limited low-rung misery on the ladder of diplomatic confrontation. The surest gauge of its innocuousness is President Barack Obama’s use of the word to characterize Washington’s determination to block Iran’s goal of nuclear weapons.

France, happily, is not Germany in its reactions to the Americans’ professional eavesdropping. A little spying among friends—the French are excellent spooks—brings forth nothing from Paris like Berlin’s repeated outpourings of righteousness and its claim to world leadership in victimization by Washington.

(More here.)

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