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Despite U.S.-French Rift over Iraq, There Is More that Unites the Countries than Divides Them, Says Panel

Panelists at "Freedom Fries: A Conference on the French-American Rift over Iraq" suggest that the U.S.-French rift over Iraq is one of the most serious in the countries' 250-year relationship. But panelists argue, there is still much more that unites the United States and France than divides them. The spring conference was sponsored by Columbia's Institute for the Study of Europe and History Department, the French-American Foundation and the Sterling Currier Fund.

Robert Paxton
 
Robert Paxton

Anger over France's Decision Not to Support Military Action in Iraq Angered Political Class, General Public, Said Paxton
The U.S.-French relationship has often been strained over the past two centuries, said Robert Paxton, Columbia professor emeritus. When France decided not to support military action in Iraq, "There was an astonishing degree of anger, visceral anger that lapped over beyond the political class into the general public, among people who hardly ever think about Europe or France," he said.

Real (10:26)Video
Christopher Caldwell
 
Christopher Caldwell

Chirac Government Was Playing a Global Leadership Role; Had Ambitions for World Order, Said Caldwell
France was playing a global leadership role in Iraqi war, argued Christopher Caldwell, senior editor at the Weekly Standard. "[The Chirac government] was not simply taking a position against the United States; it had ambitions for the world order itself," he said.

Real (12:45)Video
David Calleo
 
David Calleo

America Should Use Predominance to Build Consensus, Manage Problems of 21st Century Together, Said Calleo
David Calleo, Dean Acheson Professor and director of European Studies at John Hopkins University, focused on shifting new geopolitical realities, saying: "America's role is not to set itself against the rise of everybody else, but to use our predominance to coax others into a genuine concert of reasonable powers, to manage together the tremendous problems that the new century will face."

Real (18:17)Video
Stanley Hoffman
 
Stanley Hoffman

U.S. Can Not Handle All of the Worlds Affairs by Itself, Said Hoffmann
"Even the U.S. can not handle all of world affairs by itself, said Stanley Hoffmann, Buttenwieser University Professor at Harvard. "It will take alliances and international institutions."

Real (24:25)Video

Published: Aug 14, 2003
Last modified:Aug 18, 2003