French newspapers have described US President Barack Obama’s last minute decision to seek Congressional approval for a potential military strike against Syria as a “trap” for his French counterpart Francois Hollande.
Pierre Rosslyn wrote in Le Figaro that Francois Hollande has fallen “into the same vortex of events just like Barack Obama did.” Rosslyn, who is the editor of the newspaper, said the French president “is trapped within France and stands alone outside.”
Francois Sirjan wrote in Le Parisien that “Holland is doing his best to justify the war,” adding that, “If the president of the fifth Republic enjoyed full authority to wage war, can the head of state today use this power on his own without the vote of the nation’s representatives or without even addressing the nation?”
Patrick Muller asked in La Montagne newspaper the same question, “How is it possible that in the 21st century only one man has the right to decide in matters of war or peace,” stressing that the French president was determined to go to war despite the rejection of the overwhelming majority of the French, as well as their deputies.
Dominique Quinio argued in La Croix that, “The trap closed on Western officials who rushed to declare their desire to punish Damascus for allegedly using deadly chemical gases.”
And Cécile Cornudet wrote in Les Echos, “The executive authority is anxious to save its face, and yet maintains its ambitions and refuses to call for a vote in parliament, as have its allies.” Cornudet described the government attitude as “wrong”.