We in the Anglo-Saxon world (as the French call the Anglosphere) enjoy having a laugh at the French's expense. Whether it is their love for Jerry "not at all funny" Lewis or it is the fact that Google suggests "French military defeats" when you ask it about "French military victories." And, of course there is the oft-used "sheese eating surrender monkeys" expression and the antics of Bridget Bardow.
Yet we still eat their cheese, drink their wine/champagne, and some yearn to live in the south of France.
What should really irk us is their abject hypocrisy when it comes to foreign affairs. Their hypocrisy has been shown up lately with their intervention against Islamists in Mali.
Yes, the French who were against Anglo-American interventions in both Iraq and Afghanistan. They were so against those two operations they campaign against it the UN and NATO. Let's refresh some memories.
On Afghanistan they actively blocked a NATO force to help ensure free and fair election.
"The Afghanistan mission was vetoed despite a direct plea from Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who said continuing violence by Islamic fundamentalist forces in the country was a threat to the fledgling democratic government,"notes the Washington Times.
They were against the Iraq invasion, of course, and were quite vehement about it.
"No matter what the circumstances we will vote 'No'," said former French President Jacques Chirac.
And, of course, the French hate unilateralism and military action without UN approval. This is what foreign minister said in 2001 in the wake of 9/11:
"We will pursue with our efforts for a humane and well- controlled globalization even if the new souverainist unilaterlism of the United States does not help facilitating the process," Vedrine said at France's ninth conference of ambassadors that started Monday."
Fast forward to a few days ago when the French sent troops to Mali and started bombing Islamist targets in that country. Notice no UN or NATO approval in this timeline?
I suspect that the French establishment would think these two different things. They consider their former colonies to be their "sphere of influence" and thus actions there are not to be questioned. Surely if that were the rule for everyone then Britain's involvement in Afghanistan would be fine at it was formerly part of the British empire?
Next time France bashes in the Anglo-Saxon foreign policy and shows contempt for the UN, remind yourself of the latest dash of hypocrisy in their foreign policy.
Or rather lift your glass of champagne and cheer the realization that the French can't lecture anyone on comedy or foreign policy.