At the G20 Summit last week in Cannes, Nicolas Sarkozy held only four private meetings. One was with Barack Obama and a second was with Manmohan Singh, prime minister of India. (It’s not clear whether Felipe Calderon, the president of Mexico, met alone with the French president or whether his country was a fully deserved separate topic on the agenda, perhaps as a “disaster in the process.”) The other two privileged to have Sarkozy alone face-to-face were Hu Jintao, president of the People’s Republic of China, and William Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, literally the only people in attendance representing enterprises that are financially solvent. Take a look at these primarily optimistic documents and try to assess the honesty of the reports. Actually, this is the measure of our politics: deception, self-deception, duplicity, hypocrisy, pretense.
It was at this jamboree of whoppers that Sarkozy chose to confide to President Obama that he “can’t stand Netanyahu anymore. He is a liar.” And the president responded, sort of in kind: “You’re fed up with him. But I have to deal with him every day.” Of course, this was one of those moments that journalists dream about. The microphone was on when it was supposed to be off. Now, Sarkozy is not exactly known for his verisimilitude and neither is Obama, whose foreign policy, in particular, is based on the silliest improvisations of history. He has certainly made up his narratives on Muslim culture, in general, and on American-Arab relations, in particular. This accumulated flim-flam has made U.S. policy in the orbit of the crescent a laughing-stock for, well, everyone.
Tags: barack obama, bill and melinda gates, bill and melinda gates foundation, Felipe Calderon, flim flam, melinda gates foundation