‘France has to be an ally of the United States’

A very interesting interview with Nicolas Sarkozy, from Charlie Rose:

Some choice quotes:

On U.S.-French relations:

“In my vision of the world, France has to be an ally of the United States. France and the United States are friends. We share the same values. We have the same vision, which is that of a free world. . . . There’s one thing I want to say to the Americans: You are a great people and France loves you.”

“The world doesn’t come to a halt at the borders of your country [theUnited States]. . . . Get interest in the world and the world willlearn to love you. The world is not just the American empire, there’smore to it than that.”

“We see your films, we listen to your music, we like to takeholidays over there. . . . I want to be a friend of the United States,but I want to speak with the independent voice of France. And I’llnever change my position.”

On economics and social policy:

“You have understand one thing, which is part of my values, and that is that work is a value that emancipates people. It’s unemployment that alienates people. And this ability to create wealth is something that pleases me. There’s something that fascinating here. In France, we sometimes tend to want to share wealth that we don’t have. In the United States, people think about creating before they share.”

“I want to reconcile France and the French with success. There’s a moral crisis in France that has a name, and that is the crisis of labor, or work, now it mike strike you as being a populist expression, but in France work doesn’t pay enough. I want people to be recompensed and respected for their work. I want people to understand the value of work.”

“I believe in capitalism. I believe in the market economy. I believe in competition. But I want an ethical form of capitalism. I want fair competition.”

“I don’t like egalitarianism. I don’t like people beingunnecessarily helped. I don’t like lowering in the interests ofequality. I want to bring everyone upwards.”

“The French social model is no longer the best one in the world.”

On Socialist presidential candidate Segolene Royal:

“Mme. Royale has a lot of qualities. . . . But the ideas of socialism are not modern ideas. And the support that Mme. Royale has is archaic, and they’ll fail. My ideas are the ideas of today’s world.”

On French foreign policy:

“I think Jacques Chirac’s international policy, particularly on Iraq, was the right one. He made the right choice at the right time.”

“France has a specific role to play in the Middle East, particularly toavoid the clash of civilizations. And to make sure that the hundreds ofmillions of Muslims throughout the world understand that Bin Laden islying. That it’s not East versus West, that democracy is for everybodyin the world.”

“I don’t believe in a bipolar world. Look atIndia. Look at Indonesia. Look at Brazil. . . . Let’s wake up. We’renot in bipolar world, we’re in a multipolar world. . . . We can’t havea world that’s led by one or two superpowers.”

“We have to tellIran that they’re entitled to civilian nuclear energy. . . . But asregards military nuclear power, then we have to be very firm. . . .Iran cannot be allowed to have nuclear weapons.”

“Turkey’s not in Europe. Turkey’s in Asia Minor. . . . Turkey is a verygreat civilization and culture, but it’s not a European one. Why shouldwe build Europe with countries that are not European? I’m in favor ofan agreement with Turkey, or a common market with Turkey, butintegrating Turkey into Europe, well no. And I don’t think it’snecessarily a good thing for the Turks.”

On Islam and integration:

“What happened in the suburbs is partly the result of an uncontrolled immigration policy. I don’t believe in zero immigration. But I don’t believe we can accept everybody. Too many people were allowed into the country, [and] they were not adequately integrated.”

“I do not want Islam in France, I want an Islam of France, and that’s not the same thing at all. In other words, Islam that respects the values of France. . . . If someone wants to come to France, then I expect people to respect and love France. If you don’t, then you have no reason to be here. You have to accept we don’t have polygamy. . . . If you come to France and you want to push your daughter into forced marriage, then you’re not welcome here in France. If you come and the older brothers prevent the younger sisters from dressing as they want, you’re not welcome. If you come to France and you wear a veil if you go to one of the administrative buildings, then that’s not acceptable. If you don’t want your wife to be examined by a male doctor, then you’re not welcome here. France is a country that’s open, but I want people to respect France and respect our rules.

“I created the French Council for the Muslim Faith because I don’t want any imams who don’t speak French, and I don’t want any mosques that are paid for from abroad. I want the Muslims in France to be able to pray freely and in dignity. I don’t want people to mix things up with terrorism. . . . You can’t say I have rights but I have no obligations.”

“We’ve expelled more than a dozen imams who were violent, in their words. Democracy is not cowardice nor violence.