Pity poor Hollande the Conqueror. Those African adventures that were to earn him his spurs have done nothing of the sort. Mali remains a merry-go-round of continuously chasing the same radicals out of the same towns, while in the Central African Republic anti-France protesters were in the streets by the thousands today.
So one must not be too harsh in assessing the man's motives. Perhaps realizing that his legacy would not be secured by the gun, he has reached for the pun. In the country that adopted Jerry Lewis as a comedic icon one might think Hollande would have a chance.
No such luck. While attempting a lame joke at the expense of Algeria, he has managed instead to create an international incident. While apologies and recriminations have gone back and forth, it remains to be seen whether the damage can be contained.
Meanwhile, lame-duck Hollande is wallowing in approval numbers that are barely half those of lame-duck Obama, and we like to think his goose is cooked... which I suppose proves yet again that these things are all relative.