France likes to call itself America’s oldest and closest ally. Indeed, the American Revolution might never have succeeded without strong French military support. However, France bankrupted itself supporting the American Revolution. This, in turn, helped ignite the French Revolution that cost poor King Louis XVI his head. The United States twice intervened in Europe’s wars... Read More
There was something refreshing about watching former French president Nicholas Sarkozy being interrogated in a French jail. Particularly since he may soon be accused of conspiracy in the murder of my old friend, Col. Muammar Khadaffi of Libya. Sarkozy and his former chief of staff, Claude Guéant, are being investigated for secretly accepting at least... Read More
As a former soldier and war correspondent, I abhor demonstrations of flag-waving, militarism and nationalism. That great American, Benjamin Franklin, put it perfectly: ‘no good war, no bad peace.’ But I must admit that my heart does beat faster when I hear the rousing strains of France’s glorious national anthem, ‘La Marseillaise.’ One must be... Read More
Bravo Monsieur le president Macron! You have gotten off to a most impressive start. France’s five-year national depression – known as ‘morosité – has lifted and been replaced by a sense that the republic is not doomed after all. In fact, quite the contrary. France’s new 39-year old president has astounded nearly everyone. Like the... Read More
PARIS – France is holding its breath as this weekend’s second-round presidential vote approaches. The first round vote on 23 April left two winners: National Front leader Marine Le Pen and centrist Emmanuel Macron. Polls show newcomer Macron with an overwhelming 60/40 lead over Marine Le Pen. But many French are very nervous that a... Read More
I watched the final French presidential debate last Thursday night with fascination and even a measure of admiration. France has some very intelligent, well-educated politicians. They are fine until they get into office but then must begin pleasing France’s fractious voters. And they must deal with the rising tide of jihadist violence in France, as... Read More
Misery loves company. Americans who have been suffering the agonies of advanced Trumpitis can now turn to France and share a good cry. France’s presidential politics are as crazy and sleazy as America’s, and equally depressing. French politics run the gamut from the most noble aspirations of the 1789 revolution to today’s gutter fighting and... Read More
Donald Trump’s startling and explosive victory has not only shaken America’s oligarchy to its core, it’s also sending shock waves across Europe and scaring the top hats off plutocrats and their tame politicians. The great Mark Twain wrote early in the 20th century: ‘if you don’t read newspapers you are uninformed. But if you do... Read More
The French have a saying, ‘un malheur n’arrive jamais seul.’ That translates into ‘when it rains, it pours.’ This week, the heavens opened and poured on the nation’s national fete, Bastille Day. The day began with highly embarrassing revelations by a French satirical newspaper that the unpopular president, Francois Hollande, had a staff hairdresser making... Read More
PARIS – ‘To arms, Frenchmen! Man the barricades!’ No, it’s not the French Revolution of 1789 but a sort of déjà vu. France is now gripped by an increasingly ugly, dangerous leftist uprising that could ignite similar unrest across Europe. The world’s premier tourist destination is being plunged into chaos. A ham-handed attempt by the... Read More
PARIS – Ah, the joys of Paris in the springtime. Riots every day and night; vandals smashing store windows and looting; traffic jams horrendous even by this city’s standards; air, train and metro disruptions. Tear gas wafts in the air. Add to this toxic mess the ongoing guerilla war between Uber cars and Paris’ notoriously... Read More
PARIS – Mon dieu! France is in the gravest peril. France has always been the mother of gastronomy with a noble tradition stretching back to the Middle Ages. The names of great chefs like Escoffier, Careme and Prunier are shining stars in the firmament of grand cuisine. These luminaries must be turning in their graves... Read More
My father, Henry Margolis, was a Broadway producer, industrialist, gourmet and man about town. Instead of wasting time taking me to play ball in the park, we would go each Saturday to an interesting new restaurant. One afternoon, we went to lunch at a just-opened place on West 55th called “Lucky Pierre.” Pierre told us... Read More
Have the long-feared lone wolf attacks, possibly threatened by al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, begun? The twin massacres in Paris suggest that the Mideast’s mayhem and mass killings are again spilling over into Europe. Paris remains in chaos. Its Peripherique ring highway is still closed, producing traffic madness across the capitol. Some 60,000 troops... Read More
Former French president Nicholas Sarkozy’s dramatic criminal interrogation last week shows once again that the politics of the French Republic remain waist-deep in sewage. It was also an affront and humiliation of a former – and would be future – French president. Sarkozy was picked up from his Paris home before eight AM and whisked... Read More
Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin were ships passing in the night while in Paris for the G-7 meeting. The American president reportedly refused to dine with Putin, who was being hosted by France’s president Francois Hollande as part of the D-Day commemoration. So Hollande, who is on a diet after being called a “little... Read More
PARIS – France’s embattled president, Francois Hollande, is “fini.” So goes the prevailing view here from cafes to boardrooms. With three more years to go in his term, France’s Socialist president looks like a dead politician walking. Three years is an eternity in politics. Yet things look so gloomy for Hollande that he recently mused... Read More
Nice, France – I’m just down to sea level from the 2,600 meter high mountain forts on France’s wild, vertiginous Alpine border with Italy. The Cote d’Azur, or Riviera, is buzzing with summer activity: packed beaches, traffic jams, crowded restaurants, outrageously priced hotels and an armada of yachts jostling for scarce marina space. Looking at... Read More
SOSPEL, FRANCE – The wild Maritime Alps are the most remote and least known part of this country, a chain of vertiginous, snow-capped peaks and narrow defiles running due south along the Franco-Italian border from Switzerland down to the Mediterranean on the Riviera. As a military historian, I’ve come here to remember the heroic... Read More
Marking the 50th anniversary of the end of the frightful Algerian Independence War, French President Francois Hollande did the right thing last Thursday by recognizing the “suffering” France had inflicted on its former colony. It was not the outright apology that many Algerians had demanded, but it was about as far as a French leader... Read More
”Apres moi, le deluge!” – After me, the deluge. So said French king Louis XV, and was he ever right. His successor faced the French Revolution and lost his head. Much the same can be said of France’s outgoing president, Nicholas Sarkozy. The victory of his Socialist rival Francois Holland in last week’s presidential election... Read More
PARIS – France and Europe were left shaken and confused after Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front party won 18% of the vote in last week’s first round presidential election. President Nicholas Sarkozy did better than polls had predicted, but the widely anticipated first place win of Socialist Francois Hollande was still a humiliation to... Read More
Mon dieu! France’s presidential elections are only two weeks away. President Nicholas Sarkozy, who was trailing in the polls behind Socialist Challenger Francois Hollande, is now running neck-a-neck in the race. One suspects Sarkozy, has made a pact with the devil. First, in an incredible stroke of luck for the wildly unpopular Sarkozy, the man... Read More
PARIS — The golden dome of Les Invalides shone majestically in the summer sun. Tricolor French flags bravely waved in the breeze. Before me, in Place de La Concorde, where poor king Louis XVI lost his head to Dr. Guillotine's supposedly painless invention, was a huge reviewing stand filled with hundreds of the great and... Read More
PARIS — This week, the big buzz for "le tout Paris" (all Paris) — at least until Sunday's "le grand bombshell" — was that President Nicholas Sarkozy and wife Carla Bruni were boycotting the Cannes Film Festival which just opened with the film, Le Conquest (The Conquest). No wonder. This acid film is all about... Read More
PARIS — Strikes, demonstrations, and blockages of fuel deliveries continue here in Paris, and across France. However, the protests and strikes this week are not as intense as the ones over past weeks. But are promised this month and until year end. More disruptions of ground, underground and air travel are threatened. A third of... Read More
PARIS — The French invented modern revolution. When they get riled up, watch out! Compared to these fiery veteran revolutionaries, America's tea party movement is strictly dishwater decaf. I just managed to slip into the City of Light in between monster strikes by angry workers. Next Tuesday comes another massive strike that threatens to shut... Read More
METZ, France — This ancient stronghold in eastern France which guards the traditional invasion route down the Mosel River valley is the world's most heavily fortified city. Ringed by belts of powerful forts built by the French and Germans, and protected by the mighty Maginot Line fortifications, Metz is the Florence of military architecture and... Read More
PARIS — Ah, Paris in the springtime! Winter arrived last week, dropping a cold, wet blanket on the City of Light's fabled "month of love." On Monday, Paris was thrown into chaos by anti-Chinese demonstrations against the Olympic torch ceremony which brought newspaper headlines of "Le Fiasco!" and "Chaos." Traffic was paralyzed. Three thousand short-tempered... Read More
PARIS — In one of the more bizarre meetings NATO has ever held, the military alliance decided this week to approve a US plan to build an anti-missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic against a threat that does not exist. Then, in a quid pro quo, the NATO members turned down US demands... Read More
As the late British parliamentarian Enoch Powell famously noted, all political careers end in failure. Powell's grim maxim haunted Europe last week. In Britain, PM Tony Blair's days are numbered as calls intensify for him to set a resignation date. The Labour Party seethes with rumours about Blair being unseated by the same kind of... Read More
France's favorite pastimes are eating well, amorous adventures, and street demonstrations. Street theater has become a unique French art form. American college students go to Florida to drink and party. By contrast, French students celebrate the rites of spring by mass political protests. But this year is different. France has been rocked for two months... Read More
Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune the Los Angeles Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, the Khaleej Times, Nation – Pakistan, Hurriyet, – Turkey, Sun Times Malaysia and other news sites in Asia.
He is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, Lew Rockwell. He appears as an expert on foreign affairs on CNN, BBC, France 2, France 24, Fox News, CTV and CBC.
His internet column www.ericmargolis.com reaches global readers on a daily basis.
As a war correspondent Margolis has covered conflicts in Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, Sinai, Afghanistan, Kashmir, India, Pakistan, El Salvador and Nicaragua. He was among the first journalists to ever interview Libya’s Muammar Khadaffi and was among the first to be allowed access to KGB headquarters in Moscow.
A veteran of many conflicts in the Middle East, Margolis recently was featured in a special appearance on Britain’s Sky News TV as “the man who got it right” in his predictions about the dangerous risks and entanglements the US would face in Iraq.
A native New Yorker, he maintains residences in Toronto and New York, with frequent visits to Paris.