Who’s our closest ally now? France

Updated
France's President Francois Hollande speaks during a press conference after a meeting with the President of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary...
France's President Francois Hollande speaks during a press conference after a meeting with the President of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary...
Kenzo Trubouillard/AFP/Getty

Great Britain may have rejected a possible strike against the Assad regime in Syria, but this doesn’t mean that the U.S. is without allies. France is standing with President Obama.

“The chemical massacre in Damascus cannot go unpunished,” French Prime Minister Francois Hollande told Le Monde. “Otherwise, we would be risking an escalation which would make the use of such weapons commonplace and threaten other countries…There are few countries which have the capacity to inflict a punishment by appropriate means. France is one of them. We are ready.”

Yes, France. The same France that was excoriated by some Americans when their government opposed the Iraq War. The same French people who conservative journalist Jonah Goldberg styled “cheese-eating surrender monkeys” (a term first used by the always-angry Simpsons character, Groundskeeper Willie).

French fries became “freedom fries,” even in the House cafeteria on Capitol Hill. French toast became “freedom toast.” People dumped their French wine in the street (or said they did, anyway). Just last year, Fox & Friends criticized the US Olympic uniforms because they featured berets. “And you have to pronounce it that way too,” added Gretchen Carlson, “because that’s the French way.”

“France” became synonymous with a kind of weakness and fickleness. One of the raps against John Kerry when he ran for president in 2004 was that he “looks French.”

This week Kerry praised the French as “our oldest ally”–apparently reaching back to the Revolutionary War.

Now France is back by America’s side. Will English muffins become “freedom muffins”?

Who's our closest ally now? France

Updated