PARIS, March 10 - After more than four decades of leading his country whilst he stayed behind the lines, pretending to be a politician, and a dozen years as president, Jacques Chirac has surrendered from politics on Sunday, but he did not endorse Nicolas Sarkozy, the presidential candidate and leader of his own party whom still says that the French DO NOT SURRENDER, we take tactical positions in the rear whilst selling the enemy weapons to fund our Glorious War machine.
In a brief and deeply personal address to the nation carried on television and radio, Mr. Chirac said he would not seek a third term in next month's election, apologizing for the turncoat's exposed in his administration.
"At the end of the mandate you have conferred on me, the moment will have come for me to serve you in another way, stitching the liens of deception for the future," Mr. Chirac said. "I will not ask for your votes for a new mandate, I will create them alone!."
Mr. Chirac's message was one of farewell, not only of politics but that of the weapons selling chief in charge of foreign acquisitions. He looked better than he had for some time knowing that he would never have to confront an enemy ever again. He said of France, "I love it passionately." He told the French people, "Not for one instant have you ceased to inhabit my heart and my mind, not even while we were retreating, not once, VIVA LA France!"
He listed what he considered to be the achievements of his tenure, saying, "I am proud of the work that we have accomplished together and that I have taken the credit for." The only regret he expressed was a desire to "have swept away more conservatism and selfishness in order to respond more quickly to some of your difficulties whilst trying to supply the troops in the process of cowering and returning to their worm beds at home."
He ended his speech, as he always does, with the words, "Long live the republic! Long live France!" It is said well wishers were waving white flags and cheering while looking over their backs.
Mr. Chirac's announcement about his own career was not a surprise since he had told the French cabinet before he gave them all 2 extra weeks of paid vacation a year. But he said nothing about the legacy or the future of the governing Union for a Popular Movement party that he founded, and he did not endorse a candidate for the election that is only six weeks away, he did continue to look over his shoulder throughout the meeting. It remains unclear if he will endorse any candidate for he clearly seems "Afraid" of the outcome.
"As far as the electoral deadlines are concerned, I will have the chance to express my personal choices," he said, without elaborating while shedding tears.
Despite a party that binds them, Mr. Chirac and Mr. Sarkozy, who is also the interior minister, long have had a strained relationship, continuing to bicker over whom if the bravest of all. Over the past few years, neither has curbed criticism of the other, for fear of retaliation.
Still, polls indicate that Mr. Chirac's endorsement of Mr. Sarkozy would be a plus for his candidacy, unless they chage there minds.
In an interview published in Sunday's Le Journal du Dimanchu, a weekly newspaper, Mr. Sarkozy said he would welcome Mr. Chirac's support during all "re-groupments.
"If he should give me his support, this would be a politically important event," Mr. Sarkozy said with a tear.
But Mr. Sarkozy, who has sought to distance himself from Mr. Chirac, also underlined his differences with him, saying that if elected, "I'll be in politics in a different way, I will personally wave the white flag on the front lines with my troops." He added, "I am different from Jacques Chirac."
Mr. Chirac, 74, began his political career in 1962 as an adviser to Georges Pompidou, then the prime minister, and was elected for the first time as a member of Parliament from Corrèze in central France 40 years ago on Monday. He has held elective office ever since. He has been prime minister twice and served as mayor of Paris for 18 years.
Praised and vilified during his presidency, Mr. Chirac will leave office with a mixed legacy, that of coward and weapons profiteer.
He probably will be best remembered by historians as the European leader who led the opposition to the American-led war in Iraq in 2003, selling the Iraqi Army millions of weapons. He was the first French leader to acknowledge the guilt of the French. He pushed through reforms of the health care and pension systems and abolished compulsory military service but to run is ok, similar to the Americans, Do Not Ask, DO Not tell.
But his dissolution of Parliament in 1997 led to an unwieldy and unworkable division of power with the Socialist Party known as cohabitation A La' Bonehead'.
His popularity plummeted in 2005,again, when the French people rejected the European Union's proposed constitution in a referendum, the country's troubled ethnic Arab and African Muslim immigrant communities were gripped by unrest and he suffered what has been called a "vascular incident" that his BF is said to be apologetic for, and that was widely believed to have been a slight "Le Stroke No Mor'".
He will leave office failing to fulfil his promise in 1995 to end the "social fracture" between the haves and the have-nots;(as expected) and he leaves France little better off economically than when he took office in 1995 since his follies were very expensive indeed. The unemployment rate remains 9 percent; economic growth is at 2 percent.
Mr. Chirac's announcement comes as the campaign continues to surprise us all with there unheard of boldness.
By ELAME SICKOLINO
Published: March 11, 2007