A few hours ago, I started a thread about Quebec and the latest tempest in a teapot concerning a commentary by an English-speaking Canadian. In that thread, I used the term "ancien regime". Interestingly, I found moments ago that the plural of that term has just been used in a commentary of today's date found in Le Figaro, a prominent French newspaper.
What is the gist of that commentary?
Why, it seems that there is, in the view of the commentator, a tripartite empire as to which deference to the United States is at issue.
A passage was even omitted in the commentary; I wonder what that could have been about?
In any event, lest it be thought that only certain Americans think in reactionary terms of French and other forms of revanchism, let it be read and digested, this commentary on that Great Game of nations in that that cynical balance of power that some in Old Europe seem so delighted to play.
And, for those who dislike the term "European" to refer to them, I apologize in advance, but it is, as I've noted in a similar connection, a heuristic. Banco, I apologize specifically to you, in advance.
Is the new strategy, driven by the increasingly close diplomatic endeavours of Paris, Berlin and Moscow threatened by the same uncertainty? As far as the first model, Bismarck's, is concerned, it is easy to grasp what might not have worked perfectly. The strategy in fact, responded too promptly to immediate concerns, rather than to any desire to look ahead to a time further into the future.
Let us try to identify the continental triumvirate's present misconceptions: it is about redirecting, while at the same time boosting relations between France and Germany that have grown steadily weaker. Since Germany achieved unity, the French alliance has ceased to have the same importance, to say the least. As for France, caught between the decline of its old post-colonial globalization and its relatively late arrival on the geostrategic scenes of the future (India, China and probably a Turkish-Iranian entity yet to emerge), it can no longer see what kind of support Germany can give it, now that the stability of the euro has been established. In China, the two big European states even seem more like rivals and competitors for control of certain technological niches. But this all changes if we adopt a Russian perspective: none of the states of the old Europe is large enough to establish a special partnership with the Russian giant, however shrunken compared to the former Soviet Union.
I can just imagine the thoughts of a few anti-Americans in light of this kind of analysis: "What do they know? They are unsophisticates, a giant with feet of clay and a head full of cotton. Little do they know what we have in plan for them, and the world!"
Perhaps I'm mistaken. But ... maybe not.
[Edited 2006-10-02 19:11:00]