President Barack Obama and visiting French President François Hollande said in a rare joint op-ed published Monday that the world benefits from a France-U.S. alliance that “is being made new again.” But they didn’t give any credit to George W. Bush and Nicolas Sarkozy, who did most of the work to repair a relationship that soured in the run-up to the Iraq War.
Obama and Hollande, writing in the Washington Post, declared that “a decade ago, few would have imagined our two countries working so closely together in so many ways.
That’s undeniably true. The period from 2002-2004 was poisonous time in Franco-American relations. France fiercely opposed the invasion of Iraq. Angry American conservatives, turning to "The Simpsons" for inspiration, denounced the French as “cheese-eating surrender monkeys.” On Air Force One, the official breakfast menus included “freedom toast” rather than French toast. In the House of Representatives cafeteria, “freedom fries” replaced french fries.