May 15, 2003
Will they send it before or after they ban "L'effroyable imposture"? Just wonderin', is all...
This from the people who slipped Colin Powell a false report about Uranium sales to Baghdad? Do they plant false reports, so they assume that we're doing the same thing.
Or, maybe their left hand doesn't even know what the right hand is doing. Probability (>90%) We're on to them, but they can deny it with vigor, since they just don't know what their Baathist intelligence service has been up to.
The French are sounding awfully Saudi Arabian these days.
Not to defend the French but the "L'Effoyable Imposture" is not an official French Government sponsored lie - which is what is being alleged here. As despicable as that book is, we should defend it as free-speech, a concept that the French sometimes don't embrace as dearly as we do (ask Yahoo!). It is certainly not a government matter as we have our own hateful nut-job books published here (although they usually aren't as popular).
I haven't read the letter yet. Did they mention the Saffire story in the NY Times? We know that they have been up to no good but it wouldn't surprise me if some of the reports have been deliberately exaggerated. I don't support stoking public Franco-phobia, especially if the reports are false. But then again, we need to do something about what they're doing on the other side of the Atlantic. There should be some answer to their not-so-unofficial anti-Americanism.
Back to that book, look at all the glowing reviews it gets on French Amazon (there are some reasonable people condemning it too). I tried to post a 5 star endorsement under the name Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, denying any existence of the Pentagon airplane, using google translation tool. I wonder if they'll publish it.
Now just how many truck bombs have killed Americans in Paris? People need to try and start putting the not-so-unofficial Francophobia into perspective. They got problems and can be a real pain, but these are not Wahhabites.
Meanwhile, we need to get very serious (something the Freedom Fries detract from) about weaning ourselves from fossile fuels that handcuff America and the West to a very volatile region of the world, full of people that don't like us and don't like our values. We aren't doing ourselves any favors by continuing to pour money into Saudi Royal coffers for the priviledge of clogging roads and air with petroleum distillates...
My 2 cents,
French people suck donkeys' balls
Poilu - I didn't mean to suggest that the French are terrorists, and I hope people didn't take it that way.
I meant it in the sense that the French are beginning to panic about their image and reputations here. In other words, it wouldn't surprise me if we saw some PR company making insane money soon by doing a campaign aimed at Americans on behalf of the French...which would be a Saudi-esque move.
So sorry about any confusion on that one...
Thanks for the clarification on your remarks, which are more reasonable than Mr. Adamson's above. There's no denying that the French *are* concerned about their image. And any self-respecting country is. And, judging the content of their recent effort to complain about base-less leaks being treated as near gospel by the US press and prominent administration officials who appear to ignore official US government rebuttals of the same, I think they've got some points. It's worth reading and considering, even if you don't agree with the Chirac/de Villepin line (as I don't).
The point that I think *has* to be made (and one which Mr. Welch has made) is that a lot of people are getting too wound up on gratuitous French-bashing, and losing sight of just who the enemy is these days (see Adamson's comments). I rarely hear any questioning of our symbionic relationship with the House of Saud from the Freedom Fry eaters, and anything on the way Saudi grandees have ingratiated themselves with the US leadership of both parties. Think about where that money goes that you spend to keep your car running down the highway. And stop and consider how many PR firms are eating at that trough? More than the tresury of France can easily cover.
I agree with the general observations of Samuel Huntington that the West needs to band together and circle the wagons for the next 30 years as the demographic bubble bursts in the Arab/Muslim world. For my differences with the Bush administration on a lot of things, I do think they've engaged in a very innovative strategy to try and undercut the whole Islamic fundamentalist track by attempting to build a decent and viable society in Iraq. But I do think a more gentle persuasion and less bluster could really help in terms of getting Europe (old and new) on board, where they belong. This could go back to before 9/11, when the Bushies were flaunting any and all international treaties (e.g. Kobe Global Warming treaty, the International Criminal Court treaty, etc, etc). We can't change those decisions and the fall-out they caused, but we need to find more common ground with long-term (and natural) allies and build from there.
LOL @ Kobe Global Warming treaty...it made an image pop in my head of nations arguing over who would get Kobe Bryant to play in their basketball leagues...heh.
Anyhow, yes, Bush could more gentle persuasion and less bluster, but so could the French. Chirac is monumentally obnoxious and infantile, and I don't think that can be disputed.
And I don't doubt that there have been shady goings-on between the French and the Saddam regime. I don't subscribe to conspiracy theories, but I do understand that the French had large oil interests that would have been honored by Saddam's regime if the war had not gone down.
Getting back to the Kyoto treaty, I also want to point out that a recent media report said Europe not only will miss the goals of Kyoto, its pollution problems will become worse when its countries pledged to improve the situation. So in regard to that, I'd have to say that at least the U.S. came right out and said it wouldn't participate. In my mind that's better than nodding agreement but going on polluting without an end in sight anyway. In other words, at least we were fairly honest about it. Europe hasn't been.
That said, I agree that we could do with less gratuitous French- bashing. Calling the French "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" and eating "freedom fries" isn't going to help anyone.
But it doesn't mean I can't be frustrated with Europe. Hell, half my family still lives in Athens and Corfu - but it doesn't mean I can't be pissed off at the Greeks for their uncontrolled anti-Americanism either.
The point is, both sides need to chill, step back and refocus on what's best for everyone.