African Aid, Berets, and Scones
Harmless joke? In many cases, it probably would be. It might even be in this case. But with strained relations between England and France, historically enemies for many centuries, it is hard to tell. Between the War in Iraq and the failing European Union, this one comment, even if harmless, will only serve to further the divide, and I'm not talking about the English Channel either. This is also a problem as American-French relations are hitting a low as well, while American-British relations are riding high. I'm not partial to France, but I would certainly prefer that we get along with them (at least diplomatically) than otherwise.
I'm not going to be among those that say that he should apologize (at least in part because I am not British), but Chirac should really consider what he says before he says it, or at least make sure that there are no reporters within earshot.