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Translated from LeMonde: France Will Pay!

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  • Translated from LeMonde: France Will Pay!

    • the WORLD | 14.03.03 | 15h25
    by Pierre George
    France will pay!

    Always, at one time or another these last years, appear the American furtive planes. And when they become visible the furtive ones, furtively visible is, it is that the beginning of the operations is not far.

    The furtive ones are back. Television showed yesterday evening, way images flights which are appropriate for these large predatory with the lines of bomber-vampire. The furtive plane is not filmed although the night besides, which still accentuates its worrying pace and its black and shaped wings of machine of comic strip.

    And, so that it is believed, but our military science is reduced, it leaves as only during the night, by concern of being even more furtive as furtive, blacker as black, more undetectable as imperceptible still. If the war starts, one of these next nights, then no doubt that they will be the first to be left, since such is their mission of being, more than machines the bad one forecasts, of the bombers of the first nights.

    But let us not be we there. Not yet. Not already. And this morning there would be rather the feeling that if something made rage, according to the ritual expression, it is much less the war which peace. And that this peace wanted by France, but not only it, from tens of country and even more people, this peace thus does not go without collateral damage. Nor diplomatic today, or commercial damage tomorrow.

    There is even the feeling, to hear the voices which rise here and there, officially, and the campaigns anti-Frenchwomen which continue and swell, that and there, which France did not finish paying for peace, for its action in favour of peace. France will pay! To dare, the old slogan would be reinvented. Our country holds from now on in the scale of the Anglo-American official dťtestations, the role little glittering of Saxon, the traitor, the quitter, the false ally like false friend. Or of the instigator of peace, i.e. of the hinderer to low throw the hateful mode of Saddam Hussein.

    It is their point of view. And this point of view is expressed in an increasingly vehement, and radical way. France will pay. And each day of the United States, in addition to the very severe declarations than dismayed even more authorities, arrive of information attesting of an increasingly real francophobe climate. As if all that was "French" - men, culture, products, expressions, ideas - had become liable to the council of war for high treason. As if it were not enough even any more to mean the mean action of our country, or its positions, by semantic and caricatural degradation in front of the court of the American opinion of the "french fries" renamed at once "liberty fries".

    The things become more serious, which testify to a total incomprehension and a growing fury. Including in most conclusive demonstrations of indignation. These images for example of ex-serviceman of freedom returning their medals with the country released yesterday and honni today. Including this proposal made by one cannot which republican person in charge repatriate the remainders of the American soldiers died for France and resting in a ground unworthy of them and their sacrifice. And that, more than all, known as existing extent of the emotional fracture from now on.
    "Speaking here in my capacity as a polished, sophisticated European as well, it seems to me the laugh here is on the polished, sophisticated Europeans. They think Americans are fat, vulgar, greedy, stupid, ambitious and ignorant and so on. And they've taken as their own Michael Moore, as their representative American, someone who actually embodies all of those qualities." - Christopher Hitchens

  • #2
    I doubt the morons who are behind these "Freedom Fries" type movements are big consumers of brie and merlot. They'll continue eating velvetta cheese by the plastic packaged slice and continue to drink Gallo wine out of the box.

    Comment


    • #3
      Tex, get in your car and start to drive in any direction from north Dallas. When you spot the rusty Chevys and Fords, you will have found these "morons" of the American heartland. You won't have to go very far.

      You are right that many of these folks eat processed cheese and drink cheep U.S. wine (or more likely cheaper American beer). Few watch the Sunday news show or CNN. Even fewer have college degrees. But what they do remeber are their husbands, fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers and friends that gave their blood to liberate France and the rest of western Europe. They remember that to do so the bloody tyrants in Germany, Italy and Japan had to be overthrown. The don't know that much about governments outside of the U.S., but are aware that all three of these countries are now and have been democracies for decades. They are very aware of what happened on 9/11. They know that Sadam is evil. The know that he has lied repeatedly about the deadly weapons he claims he does not have. They fear that he will use them again or give them to third parties for their use. They know that he would be doing nothing to disarm, but for the 250,000 troops in his neighborhood. Even if they don't trust Bush, they believe Powell.

      These same folks know that during both world wars our major Allies (in addition to Canada--which most of them can locate on a map) were France and the UK. They remember how each of these countries have related and responded to the U.S. since 1945. They know which upon which of the two The U.S. can rely (and visa versa) as a true friend, despite the fact that we fought two wars against them. They have a strong sense that they cannot rely on other country, which seems not only to have a very short memory concerning who pulled their chessnuts out of the fire, but also that the French government views itself in terms of power, as if it was the day before Waterloo. This same government appears to view the U.S., at least on occaision, as having the same relative standing in the world as it did on that date.

      Finally, these "morons" do not understand why France would spend great political and deplomatic resourses against the U.S. and in favor of Sadam. These "morons" of the U.S. heartland have a gut feeling that the French position is all about money and deals the French do not want to be shown in the light of day.

      Do not underestimate these "morons". They are the everday Americans.
      Last edited by KG_Jag; 15 Mar 03, 15:52.
      Kampfgruppe Vice Kommandir
      http://www.kampfgruppe.us

      Comment


      • #4
        That's a nice populist speech and parts I agree with, however I think the typical person who responds to ideas like "Freedom Fries" or boycotting French products or now even promoting the idea of digging up our war dead in France and repatriating them hasn't taken the time to formulate a knowledgeable opinion on France's actions. Sorry, I don't find anything noble about ignorance and I feel ignorance is mostly what fuels such demagogic rhetoric.

        In my opinion, France has been perfidious, but it isn't like we've been much better. Was our goal to insult and humiliate allies into agreeing with us? Chirac believes a war with Iraq is a mistake because the threat of the Muslim street blowing up is worse than the threat of Saddam's WMD. How is that not a legitimate concern, especially when muslims make up 10% of their population? Can't honest people disagree on war with Iraq?

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        • #5
          I pretty much agree with Tex that these Americans who loudly promote the idea of removing the word "French" from everyday life in America are among the least well-educated ones.

          They probably know much less about France than the average French citizen knows about America. And I would suspect that they probably don't even know that the most cherished symbol of American freedom, the Statue of Liberty, has been created by a notorious French sculptor and was given by the French government to the United States as a gift of friendship between the two nations

          So if these Americans want to dig out their dead soldiers out of France's soil, perhaps France could ask back for its Statue How ridiculous indeed.

          Speaking of the freedom fries, they should be called American fries, period. I mean, anybody who has been in France knows that French don't eat french fries. It's not part of the French cuisine. Go figure why they were called french fries in the first place
          Last edited by Tzar; 16 Mar 03, 00:46.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jag Commander
            But what they do remeber are their husbands, fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers and friends that gave their blood to liberate France and the rest of western Europe. They remember that to do so the bloody tyrants in Germany, Italy and Japan had to be overthrown.
            For how long will France have to submit to American foreign policy as a gesture of gratefulness for its liberation in WWII?

            In the 60s, when De Gaulle decided to pull out French armed forces from NATO's unified command, a lot of Americans decided to teach a lesson of morale to the French by reminding them about Americans who died for France, and that because Americans died to liberate France, France should not argue with America, and should simply align on American foreign policy.

            This argument about American dead soldiers have been brought into all American-French disputes since 50 years. You have to wonder at what point France will have finally repaid all its moral debts to the US. Is this going to continue until the end of times? France will never be able to exercise its own judgement and have a foreign policy different from America without being called names? It's getting ludicrous.

            I respect the American soldiers who died in France. In fact, being a Canadian, I have myself a member of my family who died also in France during WWII. And the French people have proven numerous times that they do are grateful for what the Allies did for them. When you visit Normandy, you have a lot of sites who honor the memory of all these combatants and the inhabitants of these villages are still very emotional about it.

            So as far as I am concerned, it is OK with me. And if France begs to differ with America or Canada on international matters, I don't understand why it should be such a scandal. France is a sovereign country, not a puppet regime, and having its own foreign policy is a basic right of any sovereign country.
            Last edited by Tzar; 16 Mar 03, 00:48.

            Comment


            • #7
              Tzar

              Originally posted by Tzar


              For how long will France have to submit to American foreign policy as a gesture of gratefulness for its liberation in WWII?

              In the 60s, when De Gaulle decided to pull out French armed forces from NATO's unified command, a lot of Americans decided to teach a lesson of morale to the French by reminding them about Americans who died for France, and that because Americans died to liberate France, France should not argue with America, and should simply align on American foreign policy.

              This argument about American dead soldiers have been brought into all American-French disputes since 50 years. You have to wonder at what point France will have finally repaid all its moral debts to the US. Is this going to continue until the end of times? France will never be able to exercise its own judgement and have a foreign policy different from America without being called names? It's getting ludicrous.

              I respect the American soldiers who died in France. In fact, being a Canadian, I have myself a member of my family who died also in France during WWII. And the French people have proven numerous times that they do are grateful for what the Allies did for them. When you visit Normandy, you have a lot of sites who honor the memory of all these combatants and the inhabitants of these villages are still very emotional about it.

              So as far as I am concerned, it is OK with me. And if France begs to differ with America or Canada on international matters, I don't understand why it should be such a scandal. France is a sovereign country, not a puppet regime, and having its own foreign policy is a basic right of any sovereign country.
              Tzar,

              France can have its foreign policy, it's just that, not many Americans do believe Chirac's line of reasoning behind the rejection of the US proposals and insisting the UN inspections to be continued.

              If Chirac does not support Saddam, then he would have banned the French oil companies from signing a contract with the current Iraqi regime, and openly participating in enforcing the UN sanctions that were in place. So far, Chirac wanted to pursue the French economic interests and was more than willing to allow Saddam in power as long France reaps the economic benefits in Iraq. He has shown a lack of interest in enforcing the UN sanctions and unwillingly to search for a better way to remove Saddam by any means.

              Chirac is being hypocritical, he has exploited the peace movements to a great advantage in the local politics. In my mind, at least, Bush is being honest about the US motivations in Middle East, he's not being hypocritical like Chirac and Shoeder. France has not offered any proposal to remove Saddam, only to increase the size of UN inspectors.

              Had France and Germany offered a realistic proposal and were more than willing to bring in their military forces to enforce the proposal (or the resolutions), then we wouldn't have any of anti-European sentiments. But, France and Germany are avoiding any mantle of responsibility, while at the same time, are trying to grab as many economic slices of pie as they can get leaving America to hold the bag of garbage. In my opinion, it's not about adopting a foreign policy, it's about the exploitation of an ally's genuine interest in removing a dangerous dictator with personal ambitions of developing WMDs.

              By the way, I've met many of these "uneducated" people who have qualms about France and Germany's behavior. Guess what? They turn out to be educated just as we are. In fact, I've met the rednecks from my state, Wisconsin, and many other states as well. They're relatively well educated, and yes, they can even find Malta on the world map. I don't know why there are stereotypes about such people. I am one of them, and we "the uneducated people" have nationalistic feelings, is that wrong to have?

              It seems that unilateralism, nationalism, sovereignity, and moral values are nowadays considered dirty words just like f**k or sh*t. What's wrong with them? It seems that everybody wants to have America dragged around on a short leash, being brainwashed in the terms of multilateralism, globalization, UN governments, extreme liberalism, pacifism, etc.?

              I recall a JLA officer (Dutch, if you must know) giving a presentation on the NATO, he said, "....unilateralism, and extreme nationalism are considered anathema to NATO...." I was deeply offended by these statements, it's time for America to wake up and see just how much the world hates America not because of its wealth or mythical status of superpower, but due to America's individualistic values and refusal to bow before the world's wishes.

              Dan
              Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

              "Aim small, miss small."

              Comment


              • #8
                Actually i disagree that people who want to call french fries freedom fries are morons...anyone remember the term liberty cabbage?

                Also i think that this is just more proof of how far animosty has grown...on both sides of the atlantic.

                Irrepairable harm has already been done to European-American relations.Now you can sit here and debate who did what first,but this statement i believe to be true.The only question left now is what can be done to lessen these hard feelings so that bussiness be be carried out between the US and Europe in a somewhat normal manner.

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                • #9
                  Bush is no better than Chirac. The President's comments are often half-truths and misleading. He doesn't want the American people to know what this war is really about. Like Chirac, he grasp the cause that sells the people.

                  France stands to loose more than they would gain by invading Iraq. If they were to approve a UN resolution authorizing the use of force, the French government would be committed to Iraq to the end. Given the political situation in Iraq, I can understand why anyone would be reluctant to commit to the operation. There is also the loss of oil drilling contracts. France stood to make billions off of Iraq. They already provided funds to the Iraqi government. Now, all those agreements are worthless. France will need to re-negotiate those contracts. This time around, they American and British companies, among others, will also be submitting bids. The new Iraqi government, even if not a puppet regime, will favor UK and US introduced bids.

                  Despite all this, France has done little to derail American and British plans for invasion. There are a number of options available to France, Germany, and Russia that either derail, or at least complicated the operation. Yet, no one is pursuing those options.

                  The debate in the UN is partly Bush's fault. While I believe European nations opposing war, lured the US into the brawl; Bush didn't have to go along. France played their cards right. The goof is on Bush.

                  France, and most of Europe will be involved with our efforts in Iraq. They have little choice in the matter. Chirac knows this and is covering his *ss.

                  The media is blowing the situation between the US and Europe way out of proportion. I don't think they wish bad luck on America. People simply want their interest protected. Bush has done a ****-poor job convincing anyone that his argument is legitimate. He sounds like a broken record at times, offering little substance.

                  We should not expect the world to bend over and kiss our red, white, and blue *sses everytime we ask. The disagreement between the US and France is not one that will damage our relationship, unless we make matters worse. This "freedom fries" crap is not productive, or wise. In fact, it's embarrassing. These actions are borne out of frustration and immaturity.

                  If you think about french fries are side orders. By placing political signifigance on the name given to the dish, it's status on the dinner plate takes on new meaning. Once can argue that by changing the name to freedom fries we are suggesting liberty is less important.
                  "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Cheetah, I do agree that Chirac is not forthcoming in his true reasons for opposing a war with Iraq. The supposed pacifist stance of France is bullshit. Personnally, I would have thought France would rally the U.S. but it seems they have decided to use the crisis as a mean to decidedly take the leadership of Europe and greatly increase their influence over the old Continent, even if this suppose imposing some strain over the U.S.-France relationship.

                    But as Deltapooh said, Bush isn't that more forthcoming either. Only now the cat is slowly starting to get out of the bag. He has pretended for months this was about WMDs, while in fact the reason is more ideological and the ultimate goal is to modify the balance of power in the Middle East. He pretended to be honestly committed to the UN process and the inspections while in fact we all quite know now that war always remained for the White House the only valid option to deal with Iraq. He has tried to use the Security Council simply as a rubber-stamping tool for American policy. This is not how you build winning coalitions.

                    Mind you, I do agree with Bush that war is the only valid option, but he made the mistake of trying to fool the Security Council that he was perhaps interested in other alternatives. He was never interested in anything else.

                    Deltapooh expressed it better than I could have done when he said that America can't expect everybody to bend down everytime you ask for it. The reality is that in the end, whatever the opposition to U.S. policy from other nations, if you decide to invade Iraq, you have the power to do it no matter what. So what's the point of getting stressed out and go into a fit about France's opposition? All this ridiculous fuss about freedom fries and freedom toasts has received wide publicity in other countries and believe me, it is giving an image of immaturity to America that is being laughed at by everybody (that's how people react to it here in Canada, they have a hard time believing that America the superpower can fall down to such petty behavior). You're just playing into France's hands when you are doing that.

                    Knowing the sometimes excessive pride and vanity of the French character, the best thing you can do about it is probably to ignore France's opposition, as if she was irrelevant and non-existent. That would deal France's a fatal blow to her ambitions and self-image to see her so thoroughly ignored

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      France has decided to follow a different way, a way which is perceived as being in opposition to American strategy or politics. Then itís normal that Bushís administration, and American people, are upset by Franceís position. If your goals are in opposition to other peopleí goals, you canít wait that this other people are going to welcome your stance with a smiley. The French want to be independent, to respect their own interests before all, so they must assume that. And I think That what they do.
                      Personally I appreciate a lot the American culture and American people, Iím not anti-American. Anti-American is an insult, even in France. That means you are a moron. Saying the French are ingrate concerning the sacrifices of American soldiers during WW1 and WW2 is false, itís an insult, and the goal is reached, largely. Still today my mother perfectly remembers the day when American soldiers entered in her town, Redon in Bretagne, in 44. The current situation is sad, and many things are irreparable. Anyway I will not change my opinion about America, my country and the Iraqi crisis. I try to make allowances.
                      I donít pretend that France is always right, and yes, she donít have to give lesson, particularly in regard of her history. But Iím not ashamed by my countryís position in the Iraqi crisis. Iím not right at 100 %, but I thing France is on the good way for the most part, at least as far as she is concerned. If because of that some people are going to hate me, I think I can live with that.

                      La Palice.
                      Monsieur de La Palice est mort
                      Mort devant Pavie.
                      Un quart d'heure avant sa mort
                      Il ťtait encore en vie...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jag Commander
                        But what they do remeber are their husbands, fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers and friends that gave their blood to liberate France and the rest of western Europe. They remember that to do so the bloody tyrants in Germany, Italy and Japan had to be overthrown.
                        Germany and Japan declared war on the USA. So you were fighting your war not someone else's. It just so happened to get to Germany and defeat Hitler you needed to land in France due to the proximity of the UK as a base of operations. Not to liberate France, that was just convenient - but to defeat the German Army. France owe the US nothing, the US was at war with Germany. As was Australia, UK, Norway, Poland, Greece, Yugoslavia, Russia, New Zealand, South Africa, Denmark, Belgium etc. ANd not one of these countries owe the US a thing. They all fought and died for their countries as well.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Marko, you seem forget (but no so for the people of the U.S. hearland) that on the European Western Front it was the U.S. that was the difference in troops on the ground, airpower, airborne and invaision equipment to get across the channnel. In short without the U.S. the Russians would have been in Berlin before anyone else was on the European mainland.

                          As I recall, the Free French "liberated" Paris riding in Shermans and other U.S. made equipment. I also recall that many troops from the UK, Poland and the UK Commonwealth were similarly equiped with U.S. tanks, vehicles and planes.

                          So if it is your position that this U.S. contribution amounts to next to nothing and is on a parity with what was provided by our other brave Allies on the World War II European Western Front, then that is where our difference lies. That, and all the loans that were not repayed, the Berlin airlift--and that all of this is under appreciated, if not forgotten, by so many of those who received the direct benefits.

                          Oh yes, there is also the victory in the Cold War and the resulting spread of fredom throughout your continent. Funny that the Eastern Europeans are not so memory impaired as are some of our long time western European friends.
                          Kampfgruppe Vice Kommandir
                          http://www.kampfgruppe.us

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                          • #14
                            LaPalice it is a tradegy Americans have allowed the political differences concerning Saddam to actually impede and damage our relationship. France is taking some heavy blows from the Bush and Blair Administrations, and I think it's unfair. France is not the only one's opposing the war. They are just the more vocal.

                            We Americans are confusing patriotism with fanatical nationalism. Chirac is doing the same thing we commend Bush for; protecting the interest of his people. I don't support France's position, and do feel Chirac's humanitarian argument is deplorable given the facts of the case. Yet, I also believe Bush is wrong for using America's concerns about security to promote his expansive foriegn policy.

                            Saddam is not worth destroying a extensive relationship created in blood. I believe the war is justified. France doesn't. America will invade. The French will not allow it to go through the UN. We should be thinking beyond Iraq toward our long term relationship.

                            Politically I don't think any real damage has been done. Yet, among the people, as least in America, there is an unfortunate idealogy settling here that can undermine US-French relations.

                            I don't believe France has done anything wrong. We might think France didn't live up to it's responsibilities. However, the last time I checked, the US is not an unblemished virgin, pure and sweet. Did we live up to our responsibilities in Rwanda, Bosnia, Cambodia, or for twelve years Iraq? No.

                            We should agree to disagree on this issue, and move on. There are alot of problems threatening both the US and France. If we elect to confront them all unilaterally, we will suffer collectively.
                            "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jag Commander
                              Marko, you seem forget (but no so for the people of the U.S. hearland) that on the European Western Front it was the U.S. that was the difference in troops on the ground, airpower, airborne and invaision equipment to get across the channnel. In short without the U.S. the Russians would have been in Berlin before anyone else was on the European mainland.

                              As I recall, the Free French "liberated" Paris riding in Shermans and other U.S. made equipment. I also recall that many troops from the UK, Poland and the UK Commonwealth were similarly equiped with U.S. tanks, vehicles and planes.

                              So if it is your position that this U.S. contribution amounts to next to nothing and is on a parity with what was provided by our other brave Allies on the World War II European Western Front, then that is where our difference lies. That, and all the loans that were not repayed, the Berlin airlift--and that all of this is under appreciated, if not forgotten, by so many of those who received the direct benefits.

                              Oh yes, there is also the victory in the Cold War and the resulting spread of fredom throughout your continent. Funny that the Eastern Europeans are not so memory impaired as are some of our long time western European friends.
                              I repeat again - the Europeans owe the US nothing. We all owe the Russians, if it wasn't for them you'd be speaking Japanese. And Hitler failed to Invade Britian before the US got involved. And the trucks you sent us did not prevent the invasion, the RAF and RN did. Thanks all the same.

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