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George.
10-12-2004, 12:10 PM
Reading the bilge over the past weeks I have been struck by the near-hysterical levels of French-bashing among some. It seems to be mostly irrational, but to reflect a deep need that I don't quite understand.

France was essential to America's independence. It is safe to assume that if France had not backed the colonists, especially with its sea power, their struggle would have failed.

France has been a staunch diplomatic and military US ally for a century, and its contributions have been among the most significant in recent US wars from Gulf War 1 to Afghanistan.

All this seems to have become instantly worthless the moment France chose not to support the current Iraq war, and not to be bribed or coerced into participating. The fact that the overwhelming majority of countries, US allies or not, took the same position seems irrelevant - no one bashes Greece, or Mexico, due to their opposition to Iraq.

The French are held to be surrender-prone due to their failure to defeat the Nazi war machine. One wonders if that is fair, given that France, unlike the US and UK, actually borders Germany, and could not count on a Navy to shield it from the blitzkrieg. I dare say that if the Nazis had somehow been able to launch their May 1940 attack against the US, the US would have fared even worse, since at the time they had smaller and weaker armed forces.

French thinkers like Rousseau and Descartes spawned the very ideas of freedom and democracy that made America what it is. Other than "mother" England, I would say no nation had as much influence in the shaping of America than France did.

And of course anyone who has actually been to France cannot ignore that it is one of the more successful societies in the world today, and that it has contributed disproportionately to art, science, literature, architecture, and philosophy, not to mention food and wine.

So why are so many Americans, especially among so-called "conservatives," such rabid French-bashers? Is it ignorance, xenophobia, or is there some other reason?

Keith Wilson
10-12-2004, 12:12 PM
Damned if I know.

Kev Smyth
10-12-2004, 12:16 PM
Maybe it has something to do with John Kerry?

http://politicalhumor.about.com/library/graphics/kerry_french.jpg

Andrew Craig-Bennett
10-12-2004, 12:21 PM
There's your answer; it's ignorant xenophobia.

Or another answer: a Cornish saying has it:

"Save a sailor from the sea;
He will turn thine enemy!"

It's certainly an unedifying sight. :(

We British were meant to be the Francophobes, but never, since Napoleon, have we behaved like some Americans now do.

George.
10-12-2004, 12:21 PM
So you are saying it is irrational xenophobia, then?

Edited to add: Andrew beat me to it.

[ 10-12-2004, 01:22 PM: Message edited by: George. ]

Keith Wilson
10-12-2004, 12:25 PM
As far as I can tell, it's moslty irrational xenophobia, unless they all owned French cars at one point and can't forgive and forget. ;) There's an element of following the leader here as well, ever since the French opposed our adventure in Iraq and Bush/Rumsfeld/Cheney et al got so irritated at them. It also plays into our own cultural/political divisions, with "French" being a surrogate for all the things many conservatives dislike: urban, sophisticated, liberal . . The resolute hairy-chested virtuous manly Real Americans save the world, while the effete limp-wristed metrosexual brie-sipping liberals whine and bitch. Some here will probably think this parody is an accurate description of reality. :rolleyes:

The obvious point, Conrad/Kev, is that Kerry is no more French than you are, and the picture is a case of francophobia being used to attack Kerry. He does look pretty good with that mustasche, though.

[ 10-12-2004, 01:37 PM: Message edited by: Keith Wilson ]

George.
10-12-2004, 12:36 PM
Originally posted by Keith Wilson:
... unless they all owned French cars at one point and can't forgive and forget. ;) :D

But in that case Americans should love Germany and hate England (sorry, Andrew, Rolls don't count... ;) )

Andrew Craig-Bennett
10-12-2004, 12:43 PM
I have knackered 13 year old Peugeot 205. Not a trace of rust, except on a winscreen wiper, and when it did throw a CV joint it had the grace to struggle 95 miles home before "dying" in the drive. The thing is like a Labrador dog. Nope, can't be the cars. :D

Boomkin Joe
10-12-2004, 12:45 PM
US flag, 1781

http://www.nwinfo.net/~jagriffin/US-French%20aliance.gif

Speakuva bumper sticker project!

George.
10-12-2004, 12:46 PM
Definitely not the wine, or the cheese, or the cassoulets...

Not the painters, or the writers, or Airbus...

Wait! I got it! The service! ;)

JimD
10-12-2004, 12:51 PM
According to a news article a couple days ago French senator Bernard Plasait, a member of France's upper house of parliament, has concluded what millions of visitors have known for years. "Our bad image in this area, the arrogance we are accused of, our refusal to speak foreign languages, the sense we give that it's a great honour to visit us are among the ugly facts of which we should not be proud"...

So its easy to see why American neocons don't like the French since this sort of arrogance ought to be the sole propriety of the Americans. The French should learn their place.

Kev Smyth
10-12-2004, 12:59 PM
:D ;)

Andrew Craig-Bennett
10-12-2004, 01:01 PM
:D :D

Chris Stewart
10-12-2004, 01:02 PM
Interesting question, George. I think there is a perception among American conservatives, right or wrong (and probably a little bit of both) that France, more than any other ally, will do what it can to thwart the US. That is something we expect from Russia and China but not from an ally.

There is a perception that France is resentful that it is no longer on the top tier among the world's most powerful and influential countries. And perhaps because we had to pull their nuts out of the fire twice. To add insult to injury, we are an upstart nation with barely 200 years of history and no culture.

There is a perception that they should be a bit more thankful for our sacrifices in their defense in WWI and WWII. Oh, and as for their assistance in our revolution (and here is where some of the "wrong" comes in), that was more to stick a thumb in England's eye than to help us.

Certainly the Francobashing has increased surrounding the war in Iraq. The perception that the French foreign minister Dominique de Villepin sandbagged Colin Powell in the UN, France's prominent place in the UN oil for food scandal, sales of military equipment prohibited by the sanctions right up to a few months before the war, and the recent indications that it was the French intelligence service that prepared the now infamous documents about Iraq seeking uranium from Niger all contribute to the perception that France is an ally in name only.

And if that's not enough, its the damned attitude. Superciliousness does not go over well with conservatives.

[ 10-12-2004, 02:20 PM: Message edited by: Chris Stewart ]

George.
10-12-2004, 01:12 PM
Originally posted by Chris Stewart:

There is a perception that they should be a bit more thankful for our sacrifices in their defense in WWI and WWII. Oh, and as for their assistance in our revolution (and here where some of the "wrong" comes is), that was more to stick a thumb in England's eye than to help us.

By the same token, one could argue that the US only "helped" France during WWI and WWII because it stood on the way to Germany. In both wars America let France be invaded and partially, or totally, occupied with little remorse. Only once England (and Anglo-American control of the world's oceans) became seriously threatened with defeat did America jump into the fray.

Chris Stewart
10-12-2004, 01:16 PM
The conservatives of the day (paleo-) were largely isolationist and wanted nothing to do with the war until after Pearl Harbor. Saving the French was not at all high on their "to do" list

Andrew Craig-Bennett
10-12-2004, 01:28 PM
Only once England (and Anglo-American control of the world's oceans) became seriously threatened with defeat did America jump into the fray. Sorry, George, can't quite make that one stand up. ;)

Invasion of Poland: Sept 1st 1939

England and France declare war on Germany: Sept 3rd 1939

December 13th, 1939, RN sinks the Graf Spee at the Plate.

Fall of France: June 1940

Battle of Britain: July-Sept 1940

Cancellation of Operation Sea Lion (plan for invasioon of Britain) : October 12th 1940

RN sinks much of Italian fleet at Taranto: November 11th 1941

RN sinks most of the rest of it at Matapan: March 27th, 1941

RN sinks the Bismarck: May 27th 1941

Pearl Harbor: December 7th, 1941.

Nope, don't quite see that one.

Jim H
10-12-2004, 01:36 PM
I think it's mutual, don't the French have a government entity that is trying to make French words to replace uniquely American words? Was not Jacque Chirac complaining recently about the spread of American culture?

John of Phoenix
10-12-2004, 02:00 PM
Timely post George, as I just returned from my first visit to Paris yesterday, and I can't tell you what a magnificent city it is. Our hotel was next to the US embassy, which was surrounded by stern, but polite, gendarmes supported by a convoy of police vans and mobile command centers. A most imposing sight.

I took a crash course to learn the language before we left, but to little avail. The receptionist, who had studied at the University of Miami for two years before having her visa revoked after 9/11, smiled and said I had a bit of a Spanish accent. smile.gif

No one we encountered was the least bit snobbish or in any way offensive. Everyone went out of their way to speak English, to help me with my miserable French and in general attempted to be helpful. EVERYONE.

We happened to go during Fashion Week and the city was packed! One thing we noticed was how trim the French are. Lots of tourists lumbering on and off busses, but the locals were, for the most part, looking fit and healthy in spite of smoking incessantly.

It was a wonderful experience and I look forward to returning to explore le Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, Notre Dame, the Eiffel tower and enjoy some of the most wonderful food and wine on the planet.

[ 10-12-2004, 03:05 PM: Message edited by: John Teetsel ]

Garrett Lowell
10-12-2004, 02:01 PM
"So why are so many Americans, especially among so-called "conservatives," such rabid French-bashers? Is it ignorance, xenophobia, or is there some other reason? "

So, we're either ignorant or afraid, is that your view?

As for not bashing Greece or Mexico, that's like asking why we don't bash Ethiopia or Brazil. They are politically insignificant, and fiscal leeches.

NormMessinger
10-12-2004, 02:04 PM
Read the other day that Chirac continually refered to George Sr. during their first meeting which irriatated young George. Chirac was so impressed with young George if fact that he whipped out his cell phone during one meeting and called his dad to express that opinion. Or something like that. This administration has lost so many opportunities to capitalize on friendship and high approval ratings it is, well, remarkable.

Chris Coose
10-12-2004, 02:13 PM
I've got this French woman who lives down the street.... what an ambassador.

Knock out georgeous and in disposition as sweet a box o kittens.

Chris Stewart
10-12-2004, 02:18 PM
Originally posted by NormMessinger:
Read the other day that Chirac continually refered to George Sr. during their first meeting which irriatated young George. Chirac was so impressed with young George if fact that he whipped out his cell phone during one meeting and called his dad to express that opinion. Or something like that. This administration has lost so many opportunities to capitalize on friendship and high approval ratings it is, well, remarkable.That's not what I would call friendship.

If Chirac had referred to George Sr. once during the meeting and had then called him afterwards, that would have been a friendly complement. To refer to him continually during the meeting, and then whip out a cell phone and call him during the meeting is an insult, and not a particularly subtle one at that.

[ 10-12-2004, 09:06 PM: Message edited by: Chris Stewart ]

lagspiller
10-12-2004, 02:20 PM
Actually, I think the issue is one of of respect.

"Either you are with us or you are against us" is an attitude that presumes an almost god-like omnipotence... and is generally a bad starting point for understanding why real people with real experiences in 'foreign' settings might actually both disagree AND be on 'your' side.

One of the great disappointments as seen from Europe is that many in the US seem to have lost the ability and willingness to accept that the best solution will always be somewhere on the middle ground between involved participants. It is a messy process that only works when the strong show respect for the less strong. It is what is called democracy and is, in the words of W. Churchill, 'the worst of all possible systems... except for all the others'.

France showed a lot of courage in the UN - and truely represented the democratic spirit arguing their point and not being silenced. Germany too was strong when the foreign minister said 'we must be convinced before going to war - and frankly, we are not'. The UN showed itself to have been strong enough (if only just barely) to tackle the pressure and has stood firmly on democracy.
In the aftermath, much of what we now know proves that there was good reason to ask questions.

I think is the basis for the 'french-bashing'. France fronted the opinions of a great many countries. The US government disrespected those opinions, and chose to single out and shoot the messenger.

It would behoove us all to go back to the discussion table with a reasonable and respectful attitude.

tom

George.
10-12-2004, 03:00 PM
Originally posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr /> Only once England (and Anglo-American control of the world's oceans) became seriously threatened with defeat did America jump into the fray. Sorry, George, can't quite make that one stand up. ;)

...

Pearl Harbor: December 7th, 1941.

Nope, don't quite see that one.</font>[/QUOTE]Don't focus on the formal declaration of wart. Think of when Lend-Lease started. Think of when de facto neutrality was tossed out the window. Think of how Churchill had to "threaten" surrendering the fleet to Germany in exchange for an armistice in order to convince FDR that the US better get involved.

Edited to add: Declaration of war . But I thought that typo was funny enough to let stand...

[ 10-12-2004, 04:07 PM: Message edited by: George. ]

George.
10-12-2004, 03:03 PM
Originally posted by Garrett Lowell:
"So why are so many Americans, especially among so-called "conservatives," such rabid French-bashers? Is it ignorance, xenophobia, or is there some other reason? "

So, we're either ignorant or afraid, is that your view?

As for not bashing Greece or Mexico, that's like asking why we don't bash Ethiopia or Brazil. They are politically insignificant, and fiscal leeches.Ah, that reading comprehension problem again...

Notice I ask if there is some other reason, and thus don't limit the options to being ignorant or afraid?

Some of you, on the other hand, are ignorant and rude.

Garrett Lowell
10-12-2004, 03:05 PM
George, don't you have some domestic issues to tend to? Such as your country's high debt in addition to the decrease in the average income of Brazilian workers?

George.
10-12-2004, 03:11 PM
Sure, but those issues wouldn't interest most of you know-nothing isolationists in the bilge.

BTW, one of the main fiscal pressures on Brazil currently is the high price of oil, thanks to your stupid little war.

[ 10-12-2004, 04:14 PM: Message edited by: George. ]

Garrett Lowell
10-12-2004, 03:15 PM
My reading comprehension is quite respectable, which is the reason I fielded my question. I comprehended that you automatically infer that we Americans are either ignorant or afraid of the French, which is why we jest about them unmercifully. You also infer that it's possible(but unlikely) that there is some other reason.

Garrett Lowell
10-12-2004, 03:18 PM
Originally posted by George.:
Sure, but those issues wouldn't interest most of you know-nothing isolationists in the bilge.

BTW, one of the main fiscal pressures on Brazil currently is the high price of oil, thanks to your stupid little war.Who's being rude now? BTW, I'm sure the IMF will be along to bail you all out again soon.

Keith Wilson
10-12-2004, 03:19 PM
George, don't you have some domestic issues to tend to? Such as your country's high debt . . . It's not much compared to the US debt, particularly after our current "conservative" president's military adventure.

Garrett Lowell
10-12-2004, 03:21 PM
And, George, what's this about a little debt scam going on down there? $90 million is a lot of tax revenue, and supposedly that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Alan D. Hyde
10-12-2004, 03:28 PM
I find that the French of the countryside are not the French of Paris.

I like and respect many of the French people I know, but they are not Parisians.

Parisians can be arrogant, ungrateful, and jaded. It's like judging Americans by New Yorkers at their worst.

Those French who make the wonderful Roquefort or Bordeaux are not the same French who make up the Paris nomenklatura.

The former are the host, the latter are the parasite.

Alan

[ 10-12-2004, 04:29 PM: Message edited by: Alan D. Hyde ]

Garrett Lowell
10-12-2004, 03:30 PM
"It's not much compared to the US debt, particularly after our current "conservative" president's military adventure. "

Actually, Keith, it's quite similar. Right about the same percentage of GDP. However, some staggering differences otherwise. Over 12% unemployment rate. Taxes at nearly 40% of the GDP. Apparently, though, there's not much in the way of welfare. (I'm not making this up, I'm reading the Economist).

[ 10-12-2004, 04:34 PM: Message edited by: Garrett Lowell ]

Garrett Lowell
10-12-2004, 03:41 PM
And George, blaming the pitiful state of the Brazilian Economy and jobless rates even partially on the recent high price of oil is a bit disingenuous, don't you think?

Garrett Lowell
10-12-2004, 03:47 PM
Seems there are some political scandals in the mix, as well. "Lula" was fined fifty thousand reals? Steep. Seems PT will do just about anything to stay in power. Can't wait for the October 31 runoff results.

George.
10-12-2004, 03:49 PM
Originally posted by Garrett Lowell:
And, George, what's this about a little debt scam going on down there? $90 million is a lot of tax revenue, and supposedly that's just the tip of the iceberg.$90 million is peanuts. Our whole government is one big scam. Just one single scam uncovered last week, defrauding public health funds in Rio (not the whole country), is worth $100 million.

Your reading of my original post IS faulty. I don't infer anything about Americans in general, only about some Americans - specifically, those who display rabid francophobia. And while I do speculate that it may be due to ignorance, or xenophobia, I leave the door open for other explanations. Go back and read it again.

PS. Xenophobia does NOT mean cowardice - look it up.

TimH
10-12-2004, 03:54 PM
The French are the idiots that sank the Rainbow Warrior during their above-ground nuclear testing crap they were doing down in the pristine south pacific. Now why was that necessary?
http://www.statueoflimitations.us/images/Statue_home.jpg

Garrett Lowell
10-12-2004, 03:59 PM
George, I know what xenophobia means. Apparently you do not.

One entry found for xenophobia.

Main Entry: xe·no·pho·bia
Pronunciation: "ze-n&-'fO-bE-&, "zE-
Function: noun
Etymology: New Latin
: fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign

Your question was worded much like a close-ended opinion poll: "Do you think Americans who bash the french are:
1. Ignorant
2. Xenophobic
3. Other

Maybe inference is too strong a word. But it is a close call.

Billy Bones
10-12-2004, 04:02 PM
My my, first a thread about legalizing marijuana and now a thread about France and francophobia. How appropriate, since so many of the left here, anyway, were getting stoned when they should have been reading their history homework.

Benjamin Franklin's greatest everlasting gift to America was in convincing Louis XVI (actually Vergennes, if the truth be known) that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." (Sound familiar?) France foresaw bounteous markets and resources in the new world to be exploited should they win. To paint an altruistic face on Frances engagement in the American Revolution is absurd. A commentator of the time said that France's plan was not to save America but to lend just enough support to keep her from drowning.

Personally I love France and things French, and I spoke French fluently years ago when I had a need to. No one should have any illusions about Frances steadfast self-interest and disregard for international ethics, conventions or treaties.

TimH
10-12-2004, 04:08 PM
If we were afraid of the French we would not have pissed them off by renaming french fries to smile.gif Freedom fries.

George.
10-12-2004, 04:14 PM
Originally posted by Billy Bones:
To paint an altruistic face on Frances engagement in the American Revolution is absurd. ... No one should have any illusions about Frances steadfast self-interest and disregard for international ethics, conventions or treaties.Veru true.

To paint an altruistic face on ANY country's foreign policy is naive. No one should have any illusions about ANY country's steadfast self-interest and disregard for international ethics, conventions or treaties, if they can get away with it.

George.
10-12-2004, 04:17 PM
Originally posted by Garrett Lowell:


Main Entry: xe·no·pho·bia
Pronunciation: "ze-n&-'fO-bE-&, "zE-
Function: noun
Etymology: New Latin
: fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign

Exactly. Fear and hatred of ... foreigners. Not the same as cowardice.

BTW, get a new dictionary. New Latin, my arse. From the Greek Xenos = foreigner and phobia = fear.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
10-12-2004, 05:14 PM
No one should have any illusions about France's steadfast self-interest and disregard for international ethics, conventions or treaties Try changing one word in that sentence. The one beginning with F.

Jack Heinlen
10-12-2004, 05:33 PM
I've not read this entire thread, but maybe it's because, as it turns out, France's high ministers were in Saddam Hussein's oily pockets?

Victor
10-12-2004, 05:47 PM
The question isn't why France opposed the invasion, it's why we were so offended by it. Lots of other nations opposed it too, but it's nice to see we still assume France has a disproportionate amount of influence. Other reasons:

1. DeGaulle, who did do what Chirac is being accused of.
2. Fashion. French women know how to dress stylishly without spending lots of money.
3. Overbearing fat people on vacation in Paris. See Chevy Chase in "European Vacation".

N. Scheuer
10-12-2004, 05:50 PM
Some Americans don't understand that some French(people) actually have minds of their own, and know how to use a keyboard.

Not every Nationality is in lockstep with the greart American Superiority Myth.

Moby Nick

George Jung
10-12-2004, 06:28 PM
Nice Troll. Most of the usual suspects (Meerkat still recovering?). Chris Stewart makes some legitimate points, but I would add that the 'diplomatic trips' France made around the world to encourage opposition to the US in the UN was not well received. No other country, to my knowledge, worked so hard against the US interests at that time. To have 'a friend' do so certainly carries more of a sting, and is more likely to ellicit a response, such as we now see. The news was certainly replete with stories of how France and Germany were working to form a european confederation to counter the strength of the US, with intent of displacing the US as the 'most powerful' 'country'. Obviously this is the condensced, RD version of this, but it goes a ways explaining the attitudes seen today.
Certainly there is worldwide resentment of the US, and I don't believe that is a recent development. Lagspillers comments seem to reflect that. Like it or not, the US is perceived to be the most dominant country at this time; add in a lot of pot stirring by the worlds politicians, with the general public adopting attitudes based on what the news media tells them, and it's hardly surprising that you have attitudes, and threads, like this.
FWIW, I like JTeetsels post; I'd love to travel and make my own mind up on this topic, and on the people around the world.

High C
10-12-2004, 06:44 PM
Originally posted by Jack Heinlen:
I've not read this entire thread, but maybe it's because, as it turns out, France's high ministers were in Saddam Hussein's oily pockets?Taa daa!!!

Also, duhh!

NormMessinger
10-12-2004, 06:52 PM
The world and 85%+ of the people in the US was on the President's side after 9/11. Ah, but this 900 pound gorilla in an elephants hide doesn't do nuance.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
10-12-2004, 07:57 PM
I think there is a lot of xenophobia in America. Most of this is an education problem. There are still states that don't teach geography as required cirriculum, so I guess I would fear people that I didn't know anything about at all.

As for francophobia, come on up to Canada. Anglophones have been arguing with francophones for decades up here, with no relief in sight. It comes and goes in terms of intensity, but Quebec has held two referendums on separating from the rest of Canada. There are a lot of people in this country who don't have too many nice things to say about french Canada.

In Xenophobia, some nationality or race is going to be flavor of the day. It could be anyone. Based on the politics of the day, France is up.

[ 10-12-2004, 09:09 PM: Message edited by: Peter Malcolm Jardine ]

Boomkin Joe
10-12-2004, 08:12 PM
Chris wrote:

"And perhaps because we had to pull their nuts out of the fire twice. To add insult to injury, we are an upstart nation with barely 200 years of history and no culture.
There is a perception that they should be a bit more thankful for our sacrifices in their defense in WWI and WWII."

Good point, but one should mention France has been cow-towing for about 20 years after WW2, and with mitigated success at that.

That included fighting Vietnam War 1 (Indochina), mostly as part or Eisenhower containment grand plan. Much more casualties than Irak (so far)!
Let alone Corea and other tidbits like giving up the Suez Canal, etc.

No banana republic is durable, you have to retrieve sovereignty some day.
When France did, she was capable of challenging Castro during the missile crisis, taking the side of the US with her nuclear potential, and facing a possible nucular war against the Soviets, the first country to do so AFAIK. But then the US was in actual danger, whereas Iraq never was a threat to the US.

Should the US or Israel keep obeying France on a permanent basis because France involved itself in their creation?

Peter Malcolm Jardine
10-12-2004, 08:16 PM
There is a perception that they should be a bit more thankful for our sacrifices in their defense in WWI and WWII."
Anyone who looks at WWII as a war involving something as simple as european borders should go to the library.

Bruce G
10-12-2004, 08:50 PM
Frequency that Members of the Western European and
Others Group (WEOG) Vote with the United States at the UN
(2003)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Israel 92.9%
Australia 76.9%
Andorra 75.0%
Austria 75.0%
Ireland 75.0%
Italy 75.0%
Norway 75.0%
Portugal 75.0%
San Marino 75.0%
Spain 75.0%
Canada 70.0%
Belgium 66.7%
Denmark 66.7%
Finland 66.7%
France 66.7%
Germany 66.7%
Greece 66.7%
Iceland 66.7%
Liechtenstein 66.7%
Luxembourg 66.7%
Monaco 66.7%
Netherlands 66.7%
Sweden 66.7%
United Kingdom 66.7%
Malta 64.3%
New Zealand 63.6%
Switzerland 63.6%
Turkey 33.3%

Average 69.1%

Even though the UK voted against the U.S. the same amount of times as France they stood beside us, rather than work deals under the table with Saddam.

As for this French bashing stuff being new~ its NOT. But this does not help:
France Blocks U.S. on Elite Force for Afghanistan
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1162250/posts

"He [Chirac] also criticized President Bush's support for Turkey's bid to join the European Union, saying it was none of his business."
This does not help either :rolleyes:

or

Does anyone remember what happened in 1986 when the U.S. had issues with Lybia what did France do to help the Americans~~~~~NOTHING~~~ they blocked us!!!!!!!!

This is not new at all. :rolleyes:

Peter Malcolm Jardine
10-12-2004, 08:55 PM
He [Chirac] also criticized President Bush's support for Turkey's bid to join the European Union, saying it was none of his business."
This would be true. It is none of America's business.

Bruce G
10-12-2004, 09:00 PM
Originally posted by Peter Malcolm Jardine:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />He [Chirac] also criticized President Bush's support for Turkey's bid to join the European Union, saying it was none of his business."
This would be true. It is none of America's business.</font>[/QUOTE]It is none of your business who we elect for president then right??? If that was the case you should shut the hell up then right ;) tongue.gif

Peter Malcolm Jardine
10-12-2004, 09:04 PM
I'm just a private citizen. I'm entitled to my opinion on a global forum. As for your President, it seems odd that he would say that europe doesn't like some of his decisions, but that's too bad, and then take offense when Chirac tells him to butt out. World leaders have to be diplomatic, something George Bush has still to learn a lot about (in my opinion)

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
10-12-2004, 09:07 PM
When did Bruce become the moderator? :D

Peter Malcolm Jardine
10-12-2004, 09:09 PM
When was Bruce ever moderate? tongue.gif

Bruce G
10-12-2004, 09:10 PM
Originally posted by Mr. Know It All:
When did Bruce become the moderator? :D When did you move again MDKS? :D What's the matter you keep getting evicted :rolleyes:

Bruce G
10-12-2004, 09:14 PM
Hey PMJ: tell us about how the Brit Canadians just love the French Canadians :rolleyes:

All of you all just get along so well it makes one just want to laugh out loud!!! :D :D :D

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
10-12-2004, 09:17 PM
You're a broken record Bruce.
That all you got?

Peter Kalshoven
10-12-2004, 09:32 PM
Originally posted by Peter Malcolm Jardine:
[QB]Most of this is an education problem. There are still states that don't teach geography as required cirriculum, so I guess I would fear people that I didn't know anything about at all.
QB]Peter, which states don't teach geography in their cirriculum? It's usually included in courses called Social Studies, but I am not aware of such a lack of geographical education. Please substantiate your statement.
Thanks,
Pete

George.
10-13-2004, 05:38 AM
A lot of people from a lot of countries were in Saddam's oily pockets. Hell, if being in some Middle Eastern despot's oily pockets were a criterion for dislike, then Americans should hate half their own cabinet.

It still seems irrational to me. Russia opposed the Iraq war, sold weapons to Saddam, and the US pulled their (Soviet) nuts out of the fire in WWII. Not to mention a little thing called the Cold War. China regularly obstructs the US in international forums - most recently about Sudan. Schroeder betrayed Bush under the table, in a much sleazier way then Villepin's open and public opposition to the war, and Germany sold all kinds of forbidden goodies to Saddam - not to mention those two little wars they fought against the US.

Yet you don't see anything resembling francophobia directed against Russia, China, or Germany, in the bilge or in the right-wing discourse in the US press.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
10-13-2004, 06:05 AM
I think (seriously!) that it is partly because France has been the USA's oldest and closest ally for so long, and partly it really is the fault of the likes of de Gaulle and JP Sartre.

There is some "history" here. FDR disliked de Gaulle, whom he had never met. FDR went out of his way to ignore de Gaulle, particularly in Algeria where the USA negotiated with the Fascist Admiral Darlan, who was no friend of the British, of course, before, or, particularly after Oran) who was the Vichy Governor.

De Gaulle's agents assassinated Darlan.

In 1944 FDR planned an "allied" (read, US) occupation of France after Liberation. De Gaulle pre-empted this by installing his own men and taking over the Government (with hindsight, De Gaulle was quite right - FDR would have included the Communists in the Government!)

After WW2 de Gaulle gave his dislike of "les Anglo-Saxons" full rein, and in this he was ably assisted by JP Sartre and the rest of his cirlce, but NOT, please let us note, by Albert Camus, who was solidly pro-American, and who incidentally was the first man I can think of to warn of the dangers of "Islamism" - he was an Algerian "pied noir" (Frenchman born in Algeria) and knew of what he spoke.

I am likewise pretty sure that Andre Malraux was not of Sartre's party, but then he was no Existentialist.

The row between Camus and Sartre over the USA turned very nasty indeed and only ended with Camus's death. Sartre btw showed himself to be a fairly complete little **** over the whole thing.

Anyway, revenons a nos moutons.

The Gaullist party has dominated French Government since the foundation of the 5ieme Republique, and Sartre's followers have dominated French thought.

Both have been solidly anti-American.

They are now reaping the results of that policy.

Unfortunately, the great majority of French men and women, who are NOT anti-American, have been tarred with the same brush.

Garrett Lowell
10-13-2004, 06:20 AM
Originally posted by George.:
Not the same as cowardice.Where did I mention cowardice? I think you are in need of some reading comprehension skills, there Jorge.

George.
10-13-2004, 06:47 AM
Originally posted by Garrett Lowell:


So, we're either ignorant or afraid, is that your view?

As for not bashing Greece or Mexico, that's like asking why we don't bash Ethiopia or Brazil. They are politically insignificant, and fiscal leeches.

There you go. I have no bone with you, Garret. You posted a rude answer, and I replied in kind. Now can we drop it?

Garrett Lowell
10-13-2004, 07:20 AM
Consider it dropped, George. For the record, I work closely with French people every day. Wonderful people, whom I hold in the highest regard. We disagree about our respective nations' politics (and I good-naturedly give them a hard time for all of their smoking), but I am good friends with all of them.

Chris Stewart
10-13-2004, 07:56 AM
Originally posted by George.:
Yet you don't see anything resembling francophobia directed against Russia, China, or Germany, in the bilge or in the right-wing discourse in the US press.Russia and China do not pretend to be our allies and we do not consider them allies. Germany may be as anti-Bush as France, but is not perceived to be reflexively anti-US. Also, there is that little thing about fighting against them rather than for them in WWI and WWII.

Keith Wilson
10-13-2004, 08:45 AM
the US pulled their (Soviet) nuts out of the fire in WWII. Actually, George, although this was a peripheral point, you don't give the Russians nearly enough credit. We certainly helped them with lots of supplies and equipment, but they did most of the fighting, with amazing courage and determination. Russian casualties in the war against Hitler were MUCH greater than British or American, and we would have has a much harder time without them.

ahp
10-13-2004, 09:49 AM
Russian loses in WW II are not certain but exceed 20 million.

George.
10-13-2004, 11:25 AM
I agree. If anything, the Russians did more militarily to defeat Germany than the UK and the US. One could go so far as to say they defeated the Axis, and the Normandy campaign was a diversionary action. But they couldn't have done it without US supplies and weapons

Tim B
10-13-2004, 03:21 PM
Remembering a literature class in college, I think that Americans have been French bashing for alot longer than this thread has acknowledged. Mark Twain, in his short story about a bullfrog jumping contest (sorry don't remember the title), throws in a bash about the frog being all puffed up like a Frenchman. I don't think Mark Twain invented French bashing, rather he did it because it was popular in his day, well before WW1.

I think that the roots of it are in the US perception of French as well dressed, dainty, noblemen type, compared to colonists and later frontiersman who dressed in dead animal skins and bathed annually. Just so that no one jumps down my throat, this is my opinion of what earlier Americans thought of the French, not what they were. Alot of the voyagers were French, and they are heroic canoeists in my book.

imported_Dutch
10-13-2004, 03:30 PM
fear of hotdogs or wieners?

George.
10-13-2004, 03:38 PM
Originally posted by Tim B:
I think that the roots of it are in the US perception of French as well dressed, dainty, noblemen type, compared to colonists and later frontiersman who dressed in dead animal skins and bathed annually. Of course now roles are reversed, and it is the French who bathe annually... :D

Seriously, your post makes me wonder if it is not just something the Americans inherited from the English. They are the ones who call the French "frogs," and of course their reasons for French-bashing go back to before Napoleon. Kind of like an appendix - something we inherited from our ancestors, have not quite gotten rid of yet, and is not at all currently useful.

martin schulz
10-14-2004, 03:24 AM
Originally posted by Dutch:
fear of hotdogs or wieners?1. "Hotdogs" are danish!
http://gfx.dagbladet.no/magasinet/2002/04/19/polseseksjon_sak.jpg

2. "Wiener" are of course Austrian
http://www.bavariasausage.com/uploads/images/wiener.jpeg

3. "Frankfurter" are German
http://www.turmtechnik.com/frankfurter.jpg

4. "Weisswurst" is German/Bavarian

http://gastrofood.co.za/weiswurst.jpg

Unfortunately the french haven't contributed anything important to the world of sausages :(

Andrew Craig-Bennett
10-14-2004, 03:35 AM
D'abord, j'etais tente de repondre, "Mon Dieu! Martin - que dites-vous aux saucissons de Toulouse, par exemple?"

Mais J'ai reflechi. Les Americans n'en mangent pas. Vous avez raison! ;)

NormMessinger
10-14-2004, 08:19 AM
Eric where are you? I need you to do a little translation for me.

Keith Wilson
10-14-2004, 08:45 AM
Seems to me "andouille" sounds sort of French. Yummy, too.

ahp
10-14-2004, 09:28 AM
I have always wondered why my Hugonot ancestors left Loraine. I know how. The were among Baron deKalb's 2000 mercenaries.

Dan McCosh
10-14-2004, 10:59 AM
Doesn't anybody remember the French have 1,500 troops and a handful of warships fighting in Afghanistan alongside U.S. troops today?

George.
10-14-2004, 11:42 AM
They have ships in Afghanistan?

uncas
10-14-2004, 01:14 PM
There are differences here folks!
I have traveled through France via bicycle. I hated the Parisans and loved the country folk. These groups are not two peas in the pod.
I think DeGaulle is the cause of a lot of this dislike of the French..He started the ball rolling back in the 60's. Perhaps its especially galling ( pun guys ) as we helped to put him in a position of power during and following WW2. If we hadn't he would have certainly been overlooked and lost in the wastelands of northern Africa.
PS...I have taught several French students. NOT from Paris. When complaining about my treatment in Paris...on several occasions, all of them stated that I need not worry, Parisans hated them as well. I guess that they all were just country folk!
so.....
uncas

Dan McCosh
10-14-2004, 01:29 PM
Rundown of French participation in Afghanistan: i1,500 (9% of ISAF) including the contributions to the training of the*new Afghan army, and those to Enduring Freedom on the ground (special forces), at*sea (3 frigates, 1 tanker and 1 Maritime Patrol Aircraft) or in the air (2 transport*aircraft).*

George.
10-14-2004, 02:15 PM
I found the ones in Normandy to be as rude as Parisians. Bretons and people in the south are very nice.

Paris is like New York - they can afford to be rude, people will still keep going there... ;)

Andrew Craig-Bennett
10-14-2004, 02:18 PM
Uncas writes:


I think DeGaulle is the cause of a lot of this dislike of the French..He started the ball rolling back in the 60's. Perhaps its especially galling ( pun guys ) as we helped to put him in a position of power during and following WW2. If we hadn't he would have certainly been overlooked and lost in the wastelands of northern Africa.
De Gaulle's anti-American and anti-British stance
had its origins in WW2, as I noted in my post above, and it is not quite fair to say that we helped to put him in a position of power. "We" (Churchill to some extent, Roosevelt to almost the point of obsession) did our very best to sideline him (FDR refused to deal with him until WSC very pointedly told him that there was no alternative!) and to leave him out.

With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, I think De Gaulle was right, however uncomfortable a neighbour he was ("Vive le Quebec libre!", the French veto on British EEC membership, leaving NATO's military structure, and all the rest of it) because he saw, rightly, that France had to be got back on its feet and the French had to be given their self-respect, fast, if they were not to go Communist - which they very nearly did.

lagspiller
10-14-2004, 02:53 PM
I'll take a chance on going back to the original topic, France-bashing, because of a half-page article in today's moderate/conservative afternoon newspaper here in Western Norway ... I think it makes the point I tried to bring up very clearly.
That bashing France is more or less a symbolic expression of an attitude problem.

Here goes -
Title:
Mr. Bush's aggressive course brings EU-countries closer together.
...And some choice quotes:
George Bush has broken the back of NATO and aided the EU in developing an alternative foreign policy and security policy. ... Increasingly often, the EU acts cooperatively with a joint foreign policy and has developed a common security strategy. ... NATO is being lain to rest as Europe's most important security organisation. ... Experts [on security policy] state frankly that GW Bush has much of the honour, or guilt, for these developments. .... There is little doubt that USA's unilateral and aggressive course the past few years is at root. ... EU and USA have committed themselves to developing diverging defensive policies and national security policies.

So much for the article. It was long and deep, and seems to coroborate my feeling that the history of WWII or whatever other old nastiness you can dig up is beside the point.

Bashing France, or Europe or USA for that matter, is easy to understand. If you don't need or care to have partners (cause they are messy and bothersom and only get in your way when you set out doing what God or Son of Sam or your mother or whatever has told you do), well then, a good enemy is just the ticket. Nothing gathers the troops around the campfire faster than a good enemy. Especially if you can keep the action to 'sticks'n stones' and not waste the ammo.
It is an old trick that never seems to lose its effect on some people.

And if you think I am being nasty to George or Jacques... keep in mind the position of Norway on the "UN voting list" mentioned in an earlier posting. Remember also that Norway has twice voted "no" in national referundums to joining the EU. The view from Norway probably represents the most neutral ground that can be found anywhere. We love everybody - and nobody cares.
Perfect.

imported_Dutch
10-14-2004, 03:17 PM
Unfortunately the french haven't contributed anything important to the world of sausages those beret wearing bastards! :mad: