French Lefty Makes an Unlikely Hawk

Kouchner pleases US with Iran rumblings, but he's no sure thing
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2007 4:52 PM CDT
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner gestures during a meeting with Hassan al-Shamari, Iraqi Shiite MP and leader of the al-Fadila party in Basra, at the Green Zone in Baghdad,Iraq on Tuesday, Aug....   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 5 more images

(Newser) – The founder of Doctors Without Borders might seem a peculiar mouthpiece for the new law-and-order regime of Nicolas Sarkozy, but Bernard Kouchner actually fits right in with France’s more muscular foreign policy tone. The surprise choice for foreign minister,  Kouchner is an anomaly, a Socialist who supports the Iraq war, CNN reports in a profile of the man Boutros Boutros-Ghali once called "an unguided missile."

This week Kouchner did some sabre rattling in Iran's direction, demonstrating that the new France isn’t a “knee-jerk anti-American” one. But don’t expect the FM to lie down for US policy he dislikes—the former 1968 student leader’s more likely to lie down in front of it. He's known for having once decreed, “To change the law you sometimes have to break the law.”