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A perfect gift has once been wittily defined as being both expensive and useless, which brings to mind the gifts that France, in her generosity has bestowed upon the hapless United States, beginning with the Statue of Liberty, reaching crescendo with the Vietnam conflict and culminating with the Israeli alliance. Never has a country expended so much treasure, not to mention political capital, in the service of an ally who has done for it so little, except of course plunge it in wars, make it a target of guerrillas and offer up cover to its enemies.

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