Merci, Monsieur le Président

Dear President George W. Bush: As you open a new chapter in your life down in Crawford, Texas, after eight, sometimes turbulent years as the 43rd President of the United States, I would like to take this opportunity to publicly express my eternal gratitude to you for strengthening my faith in America’s destiny as a truly exceptional nation. It all goes back to March 2003. Back then, I remember huddling over my ancient radio trying to pick up medium-wave signals of the BBC World Service for the latest English-language news about the outcome of a summit meeting which you were holding in the Azores with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar to work out a U.N. resolution that might eventually lead to military intervention in Iraq. In hindsight, I can truthfully say that when the report ended with the view that war was imminent, I was born again.

Please, do not get me wrong. I agree that war is ugly and should always be used as a last resort. However World War II taught us that the use of force in a just cause is an eminently virtuous course of action. In March 2003, most Europeans were still wilfully denying the essential truth of that painfully poignant lesson and you were trying hard to educate them.

Therefore, Mr. President, although your brand of conservatism eventually turned out to be too compassionate for my small-government predilections, I want to thank you again for courageously standing up for good against evil. I want to thank you again for steadfastly promoting freedom and democracy in the world. Above all, I want to thank you again for relentlessly protecting America and the American people and conserving the enduring values which your blessed country uniquely stands for.

May God bless you, Sir. May God bless the United States of America.

Yours Faithfully, A French friend of America

Note: “Paoli” is the pen name, er, nom de plume, of our French correspondent. Monsieur is a close student of European and US politics, a onetime exchange student in Colorado and a well-wisher to us Americans. He informs us the original Pasquale Paoli, 1725-1807, was the George Washington of Corsica.