NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

"Great Friendship" Between France and America is a Myth

June 26, 2003

In an effort to revive tourism and trade between the two countries, French politicians want to remind Americans of the historically "great friendship" that the United States and France have shared. The only problem is that this friendship is a myth, says John J. Miller of the National Review.

Far from being one of America's closest and most trusted allies, says Miller, France has repeatedly sought to oppose and undermine U.S. interests. For example:

  • At the Treaty of Paris negotiations, the French king successfully lobbied Britain to deny the colonists' land claims west of the Allegheny Mountains.
  • In the 1830s, Andrew Jackson came close to declaring war on France for refusing to pay reparations for its assaults on American shipping.
  • The founder of Le Monde, a leading French newspaper that Miller calls "a proud bastion of anti-Americanism," wrote right before D-Day that "the Americans constitute a real danger for France."
  • In 1966, France left NATO, and in 1986 it refused to let American jets fly over its territory on their way to attacking Libya for sponsoring terrorist attacks.

Source: John J. Miller (National Review), "Best of Enemies," Wall Street Journal, June 20, 2003.

For text (WSJ subscription required),,SB105607597514309300-search,00.html


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