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France’s stated reasons for intervention have changed over the years. But if France wants genuinely to establish itself as a leader in purely humanitarian interventions, it should do so anywhere but Africa.
The angry protests in France against gay marriage resemble those in the United States. But the similarities are mostly on the surface. The French protesters are motivated less by conservative Christianity, than by ideas rooted in feminism.
A new biography of Cardinal Richelieu shows him to be one of the greatest examples in history of the politician as high-stakes gambler. He may not have created modern France or made it the leading force in Europe, as some argue. But his actions paved the way for his successors to do so, which is no small feat.