When did the United States trade places with France?

It’s hard to ignore the appearance that some sort of seismic shift has taken place on the world stage. Consider the following:

A power has arisen in a troubled portion of the planet, repeatedly demonstrating that they are the real world equivalent of the forces of Mordor in terms of raw, unrestrained evil. That force has reached out and launched a horrific attack on a western capital. In response, a world leader has stood up to take the wheel. He has launched a series of blistering air strikes on this ascendant enemy. In the recently attacked city he has dispatched troops to kick down doors and gun down the collaborators of the enemy in the streets. This head of state has reached out within the week to form a coalition of allied nations and obtain their commitment to join him in the fight. In a potentially risky but still bold move, this leader has opened a dialogue with a traditional adversary – Russia – and secured their agreement that, at least for a time, they might set aside their differences and combine forces against a common enemy. In a matter of hours he organized joint missile strikes on the headquarters of these evil creatures and Russia is moving their naval forces into position to support his efforts.

Who is this dynamic leader of the free world? His name is Francois Hollande and he’s the President of France.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama is hanging out in the Philippines, following several speeches in which he assured the world that he’s not interested in American Leadership or America winning. When he does find time to issue strongly worded statements, they focus on attacking governors in his own country, chiding them for resisting a flow of potential terrorists into his own nation.

Meanwhile, where the actual war is taking place and the real enemy is massing, things are happening. (Fox News, some emphasis added)

The Russian military joined France in launching airstrikes against an ISIS stronghold in Raqqa, Syria Tuesday, four days after the massacre in Paris, a defense official tells Fox News.

The Russian strikes may have included cruise missiles and long-range bombers, according to that official. Fox News is told Russia informed the U.S. before launching the new assault…

French warplanes carried out airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria for a second consecutive night early Tuesday, as a new report claimed the U.S. and its allies had in recent weeks targeted the Belgian jihadist suspected of masterminding Friday’s terror attacks in Paris that killed 129 people and injured 350 others.

Russia informed us that they would be striking the enemy in collaboration with France. They did not ask… they informed.

The world I know seems to have been turned on its head. When did we trade places with France? Yes… France! This is the same country which traditionally has been the subject of jokes involving the word “surrender” or phrases such as Freedom Fries. (And your author has been guilty of penning more than a few of those himself.) And suddenly Francois Hollande is striding across the world stage like a modern day Eisenhower.

What happened? Looking back over history to the days of my father and right up through the dawn of the 21st century, Americas always was the leader. We were the winners. From the D-Day invasion of Europe in their darkest hour to saving the people of South Korea from annihilation at the hands of the communists and freeing the people of Kuwait when Saddam invaded their country, America took the lead and the world followed us in fighting evil. And yet I woke up this morning to an avalanche of news items which made it look as if France was now the shining hope of the western world.

I have indeed lived to see interesting times. This would make one heck of a movie if it wasn’t happening live on CNN before our eyes.