Ah, that famed Gallic diplomacy:
The French ambassador to the United States used Pearl Harbor Day as an occasion to bash America’s position on World War II in the 1930s.
“In this Pearl Harbor day, we should remember that the US refused to side with France and UK to confront fascist powers in the 30s,” Gérard Araud wrote Thursday night in a now-deleted tweet.
The military attack on a US naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on Dec. 7 1941 signaled the entrance of America’s into the war.
The French ambassador quickly deleted the misguided tweet — but continued to defend the sentiment in subsequent missives.
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In 1964 French President Charles de Gaulle withdrew France from NATO’s military structure. He ordered all American military personnel out of France. American President Lyndon Johnson directed Secretary of State Dean Rusk to visit de Gaulle personally and ask de Gaulle a single question.
“You tell de Gaulle that this question is from the mouth of the President of the United States of America,” he told Rusk. Rusk balked when Johnson told him the question, saying, “I cannot say that to the president of France.” Johnson replied, “You tell him exactly what I said.”
In Paris de Gaulle, standing behind his desk, restated his order to Rusk for American troops to be withdrawn. Rusk told him, “I am directed by President Johnson to ask you this question. It is from the mouth of the President of the United States: ‘Does your order include the bodies of American soldiers in France’s cemeteries?’”
Rusk later related that the question hit de Gaulle so hard that he collapsed into his chair and did not respond for a full minute.
Groundskeeper Willie, please do the honors: