The scene will be familiar to other British males - the five-foot-fuck-all hard man cursing and daring the innocent punter to hit him, while his towering pals wait glowering for the moment to jump in.
I must applaud Monsieur Kouchner's tough-talk, since I too enjoy writing cheques that my ass can't cash. Personally, I prefer driving down Easter Road, shrieking Hibees are wankers! before flooring the accelerator.
Luckily for the French government, they have powerful friends prepared to do their boxing for them. Across the Atlantic, deranged minds stir, pronouncing the rebirth of the steely French martial spirit.
Wait a minute... grandstanding Europeans, determined to prove their personal moral probity through the application of kick-ass American whizz-bang to an oil-rich Middle Eastern hell-hole...
...A gang of war-hungry American militarists jerking off to Saving Private Ryan while pushing little plastic aircraft carriers around a map of the Persian Gulf...
...aiming to attack a nation of poorly-armed yet utterly committed religious lunatics who are prepared to sacrifice scads of their own lives to drive out the "infidel" Yankee soldiers?
Sacre bleu! C'est la Gauche Decent Francais!
Marx gets a bad name these days, what with that whole Soviet Union gulag business, but the man would've known what to make of this situation.