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Leading French Humanitarian (pro-American Bernard Kouchner) is Likely Foreign Minister
The Tocqueville Connection ^ | 14 May 2007 | staff

Posted on 05/14/2007 3:49:28 PM PDT by Cincinna

PARIS, May 14, 2007 (AFP) - Bernard Kouchner, a world-renowned humanitarian who founded the Doctors without Borders (MSF) charity and served as the UN's representative in Kosovo, is likely to be France's next foreign minister, aides to president-elect Nicolas Sarkozy said Monday.

The 67-year-old doctor and opposition Socialist Party politician was approached by Sarkozy over the last few days and "is ready to enter the government," they said.

According to Le Monde newspaper, he was to see Sarkozy on Monday afternoon for talks centring on a future minister's range of responsibilities.

Sarkozy, 52, a right-winger who advocates radical economic reforms, beat the Socialist Segolene Royal in elections on May 6 and takes over from Jacques Chirac on Wednesday. He is expected to announce his full government on Friday.

Kouchner founded the international medical charity MSF in 1971 after working as a doctor in Biafra. Following a rift with other founder members, he set up a second organisation -- Doctors of the World (MDM) -- in 1980.

He was in successive Socialist governments from 1988, most recently serving as health minister under prime minister Lionel Jospin.

From 1999 to 2001 he was the UN's High Representative in Kosovo, where he oversaw the creation of civilian and political institutions following the NATO bombing campaign to drive out Serb forces.

Kouchner is famous for developing the theory of "humanitarian intervention" to justify international action against dictators who flout human rights.

In the run-up to the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, he favoured the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and strongly criticised French policy which he said left the US and Britain with little choice but to go to war without UN backing.

In March 2003 Chirac said France would veto a UN security council resolution authorising military action against Saddam Hussein -- a position which was used by Washington and London as justification for going it alone.

"If we had been at their side we could have avoided the war. I regret the failure of diplomacy, including our own. We should have gone along with (the Americans). That was all they asked for," he said shortly after the invasion.

In a January 2004 interview Kouchner lamented that the French had become "America-haters."

"We have turned (George W.) Bush into the big enemy as if that alone was a policy.... The French are America-haters, and they are also back being racists and anti-Semites. The French are sick in the head," he said.

Regularly cited in polls as France's most popular politician, Kouchner has kept his distance from the Socialist Party hierarchy -- though he publicly supported Royal during the presidential campaign.

After her defeat he said that the left needed to "change its software" and "develop a common project ... with the centre."

Sarkozy has approached other Socialist politicians about possible ministerial posts, including former ministers Claude Allegre and Hubert Vedrine, in a bid to extend the political base of his government.

"What Kouchner can bring is that most precious political commodity ... a fragment of idealism," France's top political commentator Alain Duhamel wrote in a 2005 profile of the politician.

Kouchner was born in 1939 in the southern town of Avignon to a Jewish father and a Protestant mother. He trained as a gastro-enterologist in Paris, where he took part in the student protests of May 1968. His second wife is the television presenter Christine Ockrent.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: boycottfrance; france; iraq; sarkozy; wot
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Sarko is again proving that the judgement of him as "the most gifted and brilliant politician of his generation" is true.


Bernard Kouchner is one of the most popular public figures in France for the last 20 years. Fragmenting the PS is a noble and achievable goal.



1 posted on 05/14/2007 3:49:31 PM PDT by Cincinna
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To: Cincinna

Sounds good to me.

BTW, Kouchner’s wife was part of an interesting ad campaign.

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=31848


2 posted on 05/14/2007 4:03:45 PM PDT by rfp1234 (Nothing is better than eternal happiness. A ham sandwich is better than nothing. Therefore...)
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To: Cincinna

It sounded bad when I heard “Sarko asks a socialist to be FM.” However, this guy, like Christopher Hitchens, sounds like a member of the sane left.


3 posted on 05/14/2007 4:07:06 PM PDT by stop_fascism
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To: nctexan; MassachusettsGOP; paudio; ronnie raygun; Minette; fieldmarshaldj; BillyBoy; untenured; ...

Sounds good to me!

In the run-up to the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, Kouchner favoured the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and strongly criticised French policy which he said left the US and Britain with little choice but to go to war without UN backing.

In March 2003 Chirac said France would veto a UN security council resolution authorising military action against Saddam Hussein -- a position which was used by Washington and London as justification for going it alone.

"If we had been at their side we could have avoided the war. I regret the failure of diplomacy, including our own. We should have gone along with (the Americans). That was all they asked for," he said shortly after the invasion.

In a January 2004 interview Kouchner lamented that the French had become "America-haters."

"We have turned (George W.) Bush into the big enemy as if that alone was a policy.... The French are America-haters, and they are also back being racists and anti-Semites. The French are sick in the head," he said.

Regularly cited in polls as France's most popular politician, Kouchner has kept his distance from the Socialist Party hierarchy.


4 posted on 05/14/2007 4:15:16 PM PDT by Cincinna (HILLARY & HER HINO :: Keep the Arkansas Grifters out of the White house.)
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To: Cincinna

At the very least he doesn’t seem to be a socialist robot, for myself I think the Kosovo situation has been mishandled badly.


5 posted on 05/14/2007 4:28:40 PM PDT by padre35 (we are surrounded that simplifies things-Chesty Puller)
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To: Cincinna

Excellent news! The radical, leftist pinkos must be going totally bonkers :)


6 posted on 05/14/2007 4:29:26 PM PDT by M. Espinola (Freedom is never free)
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To: stop_fascism

Sad to say, it’s probably too late to save France from being overwhelmed by foreigners and its socialist economy.


7 posted on 05/14/2007 4:39:40 PM PDT by R.W.Ratikal
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To: Cincinna

Bernard Lieberman?


8 posted on 05/14/2007 4:49:54 PM PDT by omega4179 (Barack Hussein Obama praying 5x a day to Mecca in the Oval office.)
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To: stop_fascism

Hes still over 30 and a still a socialist.


9 posted on 05/14/2007 4:50:30 PM PDT by omega4179 (Barack Hussein Obama praying 5x a day to Mecca in the Oval office.)
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To: Cincinna

Kouchner’s Doctors Without Borders EXPELLED Greece for sending ambulances to help the Serbs during the Clinton-NATO-Wesley Clark bombing campaign against the Serbs.

Kouchner is no friend of the Serbs, as his longtime work as an administrator in Kosovo shows.

He worked hand in glove with Kosovo muslim advocate Richard Holbrooke to enable the Albanian muslims there at the expense of the Serbs.


10 posted on 05/14/2007 4:50:57 PM PDT by holfen123
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To: Cincinna

What about the socialist Verdrine?


11 posted on 05/14/2007 4:54:08 PM PDT by Rosemont
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To: Cincinna

I wonder if France will now start kicking the legs out from under iran?


12 posted on 05/14/2007 5:02:00 PM PDT by gotribe ( I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution... - Grover Cleveland.)
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To: Cincinna
If he was going to take any Socialists into his government, this is the one to get. Popular in France and internationally, has worked and built bonds with the American medical community, many of whom consider him to be something like a Dr. Schweitzer.

Normally, I don't like to say anything nice about any living socialist but I suppose I could make an exception on this guy.
13 posted on 05/14/2007 5:22:48 PM PDT by George W. Bush (Election Math For Dummies: GOP Rudi = Hillary)
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To: Rosemont

Verdine was at least an hour ago. And was apparently hit by a bus.


14 posted on 05/14/2007 5:51:29 PM PDT by nkycincinnatikid
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To: Cincinna

Interesting. An article posted here earlier a day or two ago said that Kouchner was anti-American. But it was short on details, unlike this article.

Doctors Without Borders does seem on the whole to be a lot more admirable than most of those internation do-good organizations. No doubt they have some losers, but that’s inevitable in any large organization.


15 posted on 05/14/2007 5:57:04 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Cicero

Sorry, I take that back. I was thinking of Verdrine, whom people mentioned while I was ruminating that reply.


16 posted on 05/14/2007 5:58:07 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Cincinna

If MSF is frog for Doctors without borders and Kouchner repudiated them, then he is one of the good guys. Go President Sarkosy.


17 posted on 05/14/2007 6:06:53 PM PDT by nkycincinnatikid
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To: everyone

Kouchner sounds like a good guy, but Sarko should be very hesitant to appoint someone to any major position who supported Royal in this campaign, as Kouchner did. Though I think it would be worse in a domestic-policy position, in which one has to deal with these horrible unions, not to mention the terrorists and immigrant “thugs.”


18 posted on 05/14/2007 6:50:36 PM PDT by California Patriot ("That's not Charley the Tuna out there. It's Jaws." -- Richard Nixon)
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To: Cincinna
I thought that Sarkozy picked up another socialist America hater to be Foreign minister of France. I am glad that this guy is a least pro-American.
19 posted on 05/14/2007 7:05:33 PM PDT by jveritas (Support The Commander in Chief in Times of War)
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To: Cincinna

What gives? A different thread earlier claimed a nasty anti-Israel guy would be named FM!


20 posted on 05/14/2007 8:40:14 PM PDT by montag813
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