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[P]
The French Scapegoat

By shinshin in Media
Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 08:56:50 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

On this day 224 years ago, the British General Lord Charles Cornwallis offered his sword in surrender to the French General Rochambeau and General Lafayette, ending the Battle of Yorktown, Virginia. The defeat of the British to the combined French and American forces, coupled with the defeat of the British fleet by French Admiral de Grasse in the Battle of the Chesapeake, was a devastating blow to the British war effort and effectively ended the American Revolutionary War. A century later, the Statue of Liberty, the ubiquitious symbol of American liberty and freedom, was unveiled in New York Harbor on October 28, 1886 as a gift from the Fench to their "sister republic". Grover Cleveland accepted the statue with a speech: "It is a token of the gratitude and appreciation of France, assuring us that in our efforts to commend to the world a government by a free people, we have a steadfast ally, and can demonstrate the kinship of republics. We are not met to bow before a severe and warlike god, but to honor our own peaceful deity".

A century after that, France is the most universally reviled Western country in the United States.


Bumper stickers reading "First Iraq, then Chirac" and "Iraq first, France next" can be seen on cars. The most popular news program on cable, The O'Reilly Factor, organizes a boycott of all French goods, which they claim has severely damaged the French economy. The United States House of Representatives passed a resolution changing the name of "French Fries" to "Freedom Fries" and "French Toast" to "Freedom Toast". Only 17% of Americans regard France as a "close ally". In a nation where it is taboo to publicly judge people based on their ethnicity or national background, the adjective "French" stands alone as being the only acceptable ethnic slur, and is used so on television news, in newspaper articles, and in the speeches of politicians. It is universally understood to mean "ungrateful", "cowardly", and "treacherous".

How has this come about? How did such a staunch ally become such a despised enemy? What heinous act could have caused this animosity to arise between such historic friends?

Most Americans claim their reason for their dislike of France is that the French are ungrateful and try to obstruct American power at every turn. Citing the fact that American involvement in World War II liberated France from German control over sixty years ago, they believe that any instances where France doesn't bow to the will of American foreign policy are examples of their ungratefulness and treachery. Small slights over the years (such as an incident in 1986, when France refused to allow American planes to fly over its territory on their way to bomb Libya) have been exaggerated into national points of wounded pride. Old injuries, such as protests against the deployment of American cruise missiles in Europe under Ronald Reagan, are never forgotten, whereas recent ententes, such as the fact that France was alone among America's allies in taking part in the air campaign over Afghanistan in 2001-2002, are little known and never mentioned. However, until 2003, anti-French slurs were typically relegated to late-night comic acts and the occasional throw-away line by a politician or pundit.

All that changed in early 2003, when France started to publicly question the stated rationale given by the Bush administration for why they should invade Iraq. While most countries were opposed to the invasion of Iraq (including such long-standing close allies as Japan, Germany, and Canada), the blame for the failure of America to build a meaningful coalition for the invasion was placed squarely on the back of France. While the western media, ranging in ideological bent from the New York Times to every one of Rupert Murdoch's 175 newspapers were unanimously parroting the fabricated evidence that Saddam Hussein possessed nuclear weapons and was an imminent danger to the rest of the world, France alone questioned the veracity of those claims. France's foreign minister at the time, Dominique de Villepin, said on January 20, 2003: "Already we know for a fact that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs are being largely blocked, even frozen. We must do everything possible to strengthen this process". This fairly innocuous statement was met with overwhelming hostility in the American press. In an interview with French president Jacques Chirac on March 16 of that year, just before the invasion, said: "I have no evidence to support that [Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction]. It seems that there are no nuclear weapons - no nuclear weapons program. That is something that the inspectors seem to be sure of. As for weapons of mass destruction, bacteriological, biological, chemical, we don't know. And that is precisely what the inspectors' mandate is all about. But rushing into war, rushing into battle today is clearly a disproportionate response."

Most people know the rest of the story: America and the U.K. invaded Iraq without the authorization of the United Nations. A bloody insurgency started which persists to this day. No evidence of any chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons were found anywhere. No traces of any connections between Iraq and Al-Quaeda were found. France was right.

Rather than being humbled by France being completely vindicated by the subsequent failure to find any chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons in Iraq, any links to Al-Quaeda, or any involvement in the September 11th terrorist attacks, criticism of France was only brought to a more fevered and hysterical pitch. In an amazing display of chutzpah, the loudest voices critical of France have only gotten louder, maintaining their justification with a variety of conspiracy theories ranging from the vaguely plausible (France wanted to ingratiate itself with the Arab world) to the downright bizarre (Saddam Hussein made campaign contributions to Jacques Chirac). Thomas Friedman of the New York Times went so far as to accuse the French of actually enabling the Iraq war because the French didn't want the U.N. to level a serious ultimatum against Saddam, and later wrote "France is becoming our enemy". Politicians continue to declare that they cannot be blamed for their fabricated intelligence regarding WMDs, since they claim (incorrectly) that France also believed that Iraq had WMD. France continues to be despised and ridiculed in the American media, despite the fact that they were right all along.

Had the bitter contempt and loathing that Americans express daily to their former ally been predicted by General Lafayette 224 years ago, would he have been so eager to shed the blood of his soldiers in order to secure the liberty of the fledgling republic? Would France have remained America's oldest and most reliable ally for over two centuries? Almost certainly not. Citizens of the United States should be grateful for his lack of prescience.

Sources

Allies and Enemies, The Harris Poll
August 16, 2005
Renewed Call to Boycott France, Bill O'Reilly
February 18, 2005
The French Were Right, Paul Starobin, National Journal
November 7, 2003
Which way now for French policy?, The Economist
July 24, 2003
Our War With France, Thomas L. Friedman (New York Times)
September 18, 2003
French Fried: France turns into even bigger foe, Jonah Goldberg (National Review)
October 24, 2003
Chirac Makes His Case On Iraq, CBS News
March 16, 2003
Chirac denies Iraq-al-Qaeda link, BBC
October 16, 2002

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Poll
Was France right in opposing the Iraq invasion?
o Yes 91%
o No 8%

Votes: 136
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o August 16, 2005
o February 18, 2005
o November 7, 2003
o July 24, 2003
o September 18, 2003
o October 24, 2003
o March 16, 2003
o October 16, 2002
o Also by shinshin


Display: Sort:
The French Scapegoat | 709 comments (674 topical, 35 editorial, 0 hidden)
And of course, the USA is in no way cowardly (2.80 / 20) (#4)
by gordonjcp on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 07:48:48 PM EST

I mean, what could possibly be considered cowardly in mounting air strikes against a country we know for an *uncontroversial proven fact* to be armed with nothing more than pointy sticks and improvised bombs?

Oh, and of course the French were cowards in World War Two. I mean, it's not like they defended their entire Franco-German border until the Germans got in through Belgium in the north. And obviously maintaining fierce guerilla warfare against the German invasion was a pitifully cowardly thing to do.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


hundreds of americans have died in iraq (1.50 / 6) (#8)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 08:16:22 PM EST

how is that cowardly?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Proportionally (none / 0) (#19)
by scorbett on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 10:04:07 PM EST

What's the ratio of American deaths to Iraqi deaths since the war started?

[ Parent ]
i would guess between 1,000 to 1 and 100 to 1 (1.00 / 1) (#32)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 11:56:03 PM EST

what's your point?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
My point (3.00 / 3) (#76)
by scorbett on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 12:10:17 PM EST

Look, to say that the American military had a technological advantage over the Iraqi military is an obvious understatement. The Americans can hit targets so easily that the Iraqis may as well have been unarmed. The kill ratio, as you yourself point out, illustrates this. My point is that such a one-sided conflict could be described as cowardly, as the parent poster pointed out. Is it heroic or honorable to destroy a target from over the horizon with GPS accuracy without endangering the lives of anyone on your side of the conflict? I dunno.

Personally, I think all wars should be fought hand-to-hand, without ranged weapons of any sort. Makes it more of a fair fight. Do you think the Americans would have gone into Iraq under those conditions?

[ Parent ]

Fair is what we have now. (none / 1) (#244)
by The Amazing Idiot on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 02:09:53 AM EST

Your idea of "honorable combat" is a laughable one. You use what tools you have and immolate the enemy UNTIL they unconditionally surrender.

And when you do that, well, it ends wars rather quickkly.

The only problems are guerilla wars..

Though, I guess we all should wear red coats, line up in nice lines, and only fire when told to (as in, not returning fire). Hmm, wonder what idiot country that sounded like (and they lost, if I remember correctly)?

[ Parent ]

the iraqis are being killed (none / 0) (#635)
by circletimessquare on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 06:07:55 PM EST

by other iraqis (baathists) and foreign arab extremists (al qaeda)

the americans are fighting for their own self-determination (witness the new constitution, saddam's trial)

anything else i can help you with retard?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

It's the US govt which is cowardly. (3.00 / 3) (#55)
by shm on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 08:48:12 AM EST

Not the cannon fodder.

[ Parent ]
how so? (none / 1) (#645)
by circletimessquare on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 08:25:17 PM EST

they would have been cowardly to size up the causes of islamofascism, and do nothing about it after 9/11

they didn't, and they went to considerable risk to wage war

considering the howling hatred they got, domestically and abroad, it's the very definition of bravery

i'd like to see you define bravery as anything but what they did

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Two countries for you (none / 1) (#671)
by shm on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 12:04:12 PM EST

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. You can pretty much trace all "islamofascism" (whatever that really means - I'm not sure) to those two countries. Funding, fundamentalism, and wilyness to do something about it.

[ Parent ]
someone who argues against logical fallacies (none / 0) (#83)
by creativedissonance on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 12:31:06 PM EST

should refrain from using them himself.


ay yo i run linux and word on the street
is that this is where i need to be to get my butt stuffed like a turkey - br14n
[ Parent ]
that's true (none / 0) (#644)
by circletimessquare on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 08:23:09 PM EST

are you refering to me?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
We need a lot less of that (3.00 / 2) (#542)
by Anonymous Hiro on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 08:18:34 AM EST

Sure you could say it's brave to sacrifice your life in a war just because someone claimed there was WMD (whilst most of the rest of the world said it was unlikely).

But I think a better sort of bravery would be to challenge and disobey the someone who lied about it and was willing to sacrifice _other_ people's lives for his lies[1].

Otherwise you'd be no better than 80-90% of the people following orders from Saddam - just because they were "supposed to follow orders", or it was "their job".

We need a LOT LESS of that sort of bravery.

[1] I personally feel that there should be a law requiring leaders to risk their own lives before they can launch a military attack on another country (not talking about defense - defense is different).

For example, perhaps make it a constitutional law that they need to hold a referendum to declare war. If they fail to get say 60%, they are sentenced to death. Then perhaps there could be another "Redemption" referendum then, where if they get say 51% they get pardoned and don't have to die.

That should get even sociopathic leaders who lie about caring about "youth being sent to war" to at least genuinely treat war more seriously.

Politicians/leaders who trick or try to trick the country into war _even_ if the it turns out to be justified also get death sentences. They could get the equivalent of a purple heart I guess in some cases if they fail to be "Redeemed" just by a slim margin. ;)
 

[ Parent ]

americans are going to die (none / 1) (#643)
by circletimessquare on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 08:22:27 PM EST

in manhattan, because of islamofascists

or in kandahar and basra, fighting the conditions that create islamofascists

the second choice is brave, the former choice is cowardly

i simply can't imagine any other choice, if you truly understand the situation in the world today


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I don't think they're cowards. (none / 1) (#567)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 03:43:16 PM EST

But there is something to be said about blindly following orders.

[ Parent ]
that's funny (none / 0) (#642)
by circletimessquare on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 08:20:48 PM EST

considering those who oppose the war are usually blind sheep mindlessly following the laughable jingoism and propaganda of the anti-iraq war crowd ('no blood for oil", "bush lied, people died", etc.)

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Yeah... (none / 0) (#688)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 09:02:07 PM EST

Because we all know that everyone one of them were blindly following others, and that the people who supported the govenment's idea were the true black sheep.

[ Parent ]
They had AK47's (2.00 / 4) (#12)
by richarj on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 09:11:20 PM EST

Tanks, AA Missiles, RPG's etc. That is not the same as just sticks.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
When you compare them (none / 0) (#36)
by SDaskaleas on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 01:44:30 AM EST

To what the US army had, yes, they were sticks.

[ Parent ]
Compromise (none / 1) (#46)
by danro on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 05:24:39 AM EST

Try a compromise.
Just agree that they had boomsticks and be done with it.

[ Parent ]
Cough cough (none / 0) (#255)
by vyruss on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 05:27:01 AM EST

La resistance == fierce guerilla warfare?? Not even the French would say that. Ask anybody.

  • PRINT CHR$(147)

[ Parent ]
okay. (none / 0) (#314)
by thankyougustad on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 05:04:48 PM EST

SI.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Unconscious Factors (3.00 / 5) (#467)
by Winkhorst on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 10:37:26 AM EST

There is more going on here than meets the eye. The English, from whose bosom the US sprang, have had an inferiority complex toward the French since the Normans invaded in 1066. To this day, (the better) half of English vocabulary is from the Middle French, our entire legal vocabulary is French, the better parts of Culture (with a capital "C") are seen to spring from France, Norman pronunciation is the norm while dialects that hearken back to the original English pronunciation are seen as debased, and the original English who left when the Normans arrived are now living in their own little bantustan called Scotland.

Even the much maligned French fries were called such because of the perceived superiority of French cuisine (the French call them American fries), as was French toast, and a whole plethora of actual French dishes that maintain their original French names. I will not bother to enumerate these. Perhaps the Congress would like to outlaw the term Cordon Bleu while they are at it, the hypocritical criminal bastards.

The descendants of the true English royal line were exterminated by the ancestors of the current inhabitants of Buckingham Palace. To this day one "asks" for something when being subservient, but "demands" it when being superior. The Vietnam war continued for too long because some amateur under LBJ couldn't figure out that the Vietnamese were suing for peace when they "demanded", in French, a meeting to discuss an end to that war.

American women even put on French inspired nightclothes and eau de parfum in their "boudoir" to have sex with the same fruitloops who profess to dislike the French so much.

There is even a joke going around about the French never having had a military victory, while half of Africa and many other parts of the world speak French as a first or second language because they were once under French rule. And they have conveniently forgotten the fact that England was soundly defeated by a couple of platoons of French speaking Norwegians.

Yes, there is a millenium-old inferiority complex at work here and it is laughable that those who suffer from its symptoms think they can irradicate them by changing the name of their own peculiar terminology for deep-fried potatoes by associating them with political freedom, the very concept of which was invented by the French and borrowed by the Americans.
______ *****Welcome to Avalon*****
[ Parent ]

an arrogant american speaks (1.04 / 24) (#7)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 08:11:55 PM EST

the french have a, ehem, napoleon complex. the french don't know their place. the french are a little man with a big chip on his shoulder. they talk and act like they still matter. but this isn't 1805, it's 2005. they are still smarting over losses to the anglos going back centuries

they have government appointed panels that offer francophone replacements to the english words that keep creeping into their dying language... to what effect? to look silly and defensive? a confident culture doesn't act defensive, it acts offensive. it doesn't engage in protectionism, it celebrates crosspollination of ideas

the issue is not the irrational hatred of the smaller french by the larger anglos, the issue is the irrational high self-regard of the french. the french still think they matter. i'm not asserting anglo dominance over the french, i'm simply saying the french lost a series of wars and colonial efforts, and now they are much more of a diminished force in the world than the anglos

the point is not that the anglos should adjust themselves to the french and their outsized strident assertiveness on the world stage, i'm saying the french should take a look at their actual state in the world today as their jumping off point for making pronouncements and issuing opinions. not look at their state as of 1805 for making pronouncements and issuing opinions

the french lost in history, they just act like they haven't. perhaps if they didn't sell louisianna to the americans 200 years ago to pursue a costly brief moment of glory in europe, then perhaps everything west of the mississippi and north of the great lakes would be francophone, and the french would matter a lot more in the world

but that's not what happened

there are a lot of other historical turning points: the war with the british in north america, the war to dominate the suez, the war with trafalgar, the loss to dominate india, etc. the french lost, so the french simply matter a lot less

now don't get me wrong, the french can say whatever they want to say. but a well-adjusted person bases their attitude on intelligence, not ego. so when you listen to what the french say, and think about what they can back up, you dismiss a lot of what they say if it is outsized bravado. even the germans are more well-adjusted about their smaller place in the world than the french, perhaps because they had to be smacked hard twice in the last century before they were humbled. the french were never humbled in such a way, and frankly we're fucking sick of this small man with a big mouth

do i sound like an arrogant american to you?

well, guess what, i am!

but i can back up my arrogance with force. the french are arrogant, with no force. they're just pure arrogance

dear gentle reader, allow me to introduce you to true arrogance

the french, to borrow a phrase from chirac, "missed a great opportunity to shut up"

in todays world, the opinions of filipinos and vietnamese, two countries with growing economies and of the same population as france, matters more to me than the opinion of a loud, arrogant, shrinking economy, shrinking population, shrinking language, shrinking culture, shrinking world influence, that is france

france in twilight in the world

goodnight, france, you're done

fuck france, i have nothing for france or any of its opinions or ideas except ridicule

i am far more likely to listen to brazilians, mexicans, nigerians, etc. than i am to listen to anything the french have to say. i respect mexico, brazil, nigeria, etc.: growing, confident positive countries

not an insecure shrinking negative country

to france i say: "non!"

nothing but a little insecure man with a big ego


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Good summary (3.00 / 5) (#9)
by shinshin on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 08:23:39 PM EST

That's a pretty good (albeit disconnected) compilation of the anti-French talking points that can be found in American media, especially National Review and the like. Thanks for taking the time to put it together.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
some more (1.50 / 2) (#10)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 09:03:56 PM EST

if you are a large powerful country, like china, russia, the usa, india, etc., then deal in world affairs

if you are small backwards backwater country, like france, then shut the fuck up

you're not part of that club anymore

when they redo the un security council, they should do away with the outdated colonial era european domination of the world as reflected in there being 2 seats there (britain and france)

they should do away with france's seat entirely, since it reflects a world order that doesn't exist anymore. and then they should morph britain's seat into a eu seat as sure as eu is ready to go forward

because the eu, not france, IS a world force

but, btw, what is currently styming the eu's ascent right now?

well, who started the eu's current identity crisis? it was started by france it's "non" vote a few months back in may

the french are so negative about the eu because the french are a shrinking force in this world, AND IN EUROPE

so, apparently, the french are not just an obstructionist, intrusive, toxic loudmouth about any positive debate about the world, they are the same type of loser injecting its negativity into europe's future as well

german and spanish and italians, be warned: ignore france

the french are fucking losers until they readjust the breadth of their words and their attitude to be more in line with spain's

you don't see spain being as strident as france in their outlook on the world. and spain is far more influential in the world in terms of culture and past colonial history

so france, my advice to you:

  1. shut the fuck up
  2. study the spanish and their approach to the world
  3. clear your throat, open your mouth again, and the words coming out of your mouth at that point better reflect what you are: a second rate country


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
you are insane. aren't you? (2.83 / 6) (#186)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 05:53:08 PM EST

if you are small backwards backwater country, like france, then shut the fuck up
France is a first world country. They neither have a shrinking economy, nor a shrinking population.
well, who started the eu's current identity crisis? it was started by france it's "non" vote a few months back in may
Again your wrong assertion shows your profound ignorance on the subject you're speaking about. It is commonly agreed that Germany would have voted no, if they had been given the chance. France was not the only country to vote no. Also, this has caused a problem only for a few politicans, notably, Chirac, who had backed the constitution. The EU will continue to smoothly operate under the Treaty of Nice for many more years. Most people in First world Europe are glad the French voted no.
the french are so negative about the eu because the french are a shrinking force in this world, AND IN EUROPE
Dude, shut up. The French and the Germans are the locomotive behind the EU. They didn't back the constitution because they felt it didn't represent the EU. Notably, they were concerned with an economic system that did not represent the values the French have upheld since the declaration du droit de l'homme. I don't expect you to know what that is, since what you know on this subject is farcically hollow.
so, apparently, the french are not just an obstructionist, intrusive, toxic loudmouth about any positive debate about the world, they are the same type of loser injecting its negativity into europe's future as well
Wow. Racism. In the year 2005.
you don't see spain being as strident as france in their outlook on the world. and spain is far more influential in the world in terms of culture and past colonial history
Do you know that Spainish judges recently gave themselves the right to judge crimes against humanity, even if they did not happen on Spanish soil, and even if they didn't involved Spanish citizens? No, you aren't aware, because you are an ignoramous.

So, CTS, my adivce to you is

1. Shut the fuck up.

2. Get a grip and study the French and their approach to the world, since your ideas are so absurd as to be laughable.

3. Try a little humility.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
You're smarter than that (3.00 / 6) (#211)
by toulouse on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 08:28:55 PM EST

CTS doesn't come here to debate; he doesn't come here to trade logic; he doesn't come here to partake in discourse. He comes here for free therapy.

The service he receives from K5 would cost many times (infinitely?) more if provided by a person in exchange for money.

I learned this years ago after kicking him around for a few hours on some eubject or other (as with you, facts and reason lived on my side of the fence) and regardless of his ignorance he still kept coming. He doesn't care if he's wrong because he's only here for the fight; for the rant. He needs to let it out; to blow off steam. Factually, you can pat yourself on the back. Well done. In reality, he's "winning", because you're providing him with what he's here for.


--
'My god...it's full of blogs.' - ktakki
--


[ Parent ]
I know you're right (none / 1) (#217)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 08:50:16 PM EST

I just felt like I had such an open and shut case. . . I knew I would regret getting into it with him. Hopefully I'll when to call it quits.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
absolutely 100% correct (nt) (none / 1) (#250)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 03:07:58 AM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
how about this (none / 0) (#249)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 03:04:56 AM EST

stop undermining your "friends" in their time of need (9/11, iraq) and stop sabotaging your own much vaunted eu (remember may and "non!") and then maybe i'll think a little better of france

but right now, france is nothing but heartburn for all of its neighbors

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Yes. (none / 0) (#568)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 03:47:18 PM EST

Rule of a majority really is much easier.

[ Parent ]
Damn right (none / 0) (#694)
by bil on Tue Nov 08, 2005 at 01:13:01 PM EST

when they redo the un security council, they should do away with the outdated colonial era european domination of the world as reflected in there being 2 seats there (britain and france)

Damn right they should get rid of the old colonial era powers and replace them with worlds 5 greatest (official) *nuclear* powers instead (nuclear weapons being a far better indication of power these days*), so that gives Russia, the US, France, Britain and China...

Oh hang on...

Ahh economic power that will get rid of the frogs, what? they are the 5th largest economy on Earth oh f***

Well French is only the 10th most popular *language* in the world... of course England would have to have the English seat so no room for the US in this one but its a worthwhile sacrifice to show the french are a "small backwards backwater country" isn't it.

bil
Where you stand depends on where you sit...
[ Parent ]

sig (none / 0) (#23)
by rhiannon on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 10:21:30 PM EST

For a minute or two I thought "nothing but a little insecure man with a big ego" was your sig. heh. But you should be nicer too the french, people will be saying the same things about the US someday soon.

-----------------------------------------
I continued to rebuff the advances... so many advances... of so many attractive women. -MC
[ Parent ]
that's very true (none / 0) (#31)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 11:26:17 PM EST

the chinese will own us

but that won't stop my vendetta against the french, no matter big or small i am, i will still hate them, so i don't see how your argument applies

i hate the fucking french, for not being our friend in our time of need, as we were with them

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Friends don't let friends make huge mistakes. (none / 1) (#203)
by pnadeau on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 07:42:27 PM EST

And there might not even have been a United states if it weren't for the french.

Look at the pathetic state of what passes for American 'culture': food that is pre-excreted for you, delusional happy-happy theme parks, 1 week per year vacations third world poverty and a health care system that is so byzantine it wastes more money on paperwork than it ends up spending on actual health care, but that's ok cos even if it's inane at least it isn't fair to poor people, that would be communist! an education system that churns out robotic morons that can only remember patriotic slogans.

I think my litany shows how american have a lot to be proud of compared the the French. Geez i'd really hate to live in France, why don't I move from Paris to Buttfuck Idaho so I can hang around in 7-11 parking lots and live off of mc donalds and fake cheese from a spray can?

Go on believing that the good ole US of A is the most free most prosperous most powerful country in the world. Oh and don't forget to be really racist with one another, god forbid that you should stop fighting amonst yourselves long enough to notice that your corporatist overlords are cactus raping you for all you are worth while you have to eke out your sad little lives with 1 week (if any ) vacation a year barely scrape by shit jobs living in your cars cos you were out of work for a few months and had medical bills eating food whose shit content exceeds that of actual manure.

Oh and when the US finally manages to pull itself out of that festering wound that is Irak and starts to look at how expensive it was (talk of Napoleon complexes, I can understand the desire for revenge after something like 9/11 in your average mercan 'citizen' but real statesmen, like they have in France can see a little farther than the desire to satisfy their little temper tantrums), i'm sure it will have a lot of money to throw around domestically to start fixing it's problems.


"Can't buy what I want because it's free, can't be what they want because I'm..."  Eddie Vedder


[ Parent ]
iraq wasn't a mistake (none / 0) (#248)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 03:02:35 AM EST

at least the iraqis don't think so

funny me, i'd accept their depiction of the situation over my "friends" any time

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

So would I (none / 0) (#326)
by thankyougustad on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 07:10:26 PM EST

it's too bad I can't go there to meet any of them or see how they live without running a major risk of being kindnapped and beheaded. I imagine they like 20-80 people dying every week there, so I don't really feel the need to think too much more about the situation.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
since you realize that (none / 0) (#448)
by circletimessquare on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 02:00:46 AM EST

who is killing the people?

don't they deserve to live?

aren't you moved to help clean out the baathists and al qaeda suicide bombers?

you know, go abroad and fight distintegrating conditions...

like, uh... the ivory coast? "neocolonial" hypocrit? ;-)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Correction: (none / 0) (#569)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 03:49:39 PM EST

Some of the Iraqis.

[ Parent ]
yeah (none / 0) (#583)
by circletimessquare on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 07:25:37 PM EST

and some americans believe jews did wtc

what the fuck is your point?

you lose this argument

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I was just correcting you. (none / 0) (#588)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 07:58:19 PM EST

I don't like it when people generalise.

[ Parent ]
ok, you fuck, correction: (none / 0) (#640)
by circletimessquare on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 07:18:32 PM EST

the MAJORITY of iraqis

happy now?

jesus fuck me a with a pogo stick


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Confidence... (3.00 / 3) (#53)
by Kasreyn on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 07:18:35 AM EST

a confident culture doesn't act defensive, it acts offensive. it doesn't engage in protectionism, it celebrates crosspollination of ideas

You mean like how America is celebrating crosspollination by trying to make English the official language so we can stop making public signage available en espanol? ;P

Seems kinda... defensive to me.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
i agree, it is stupid (none / 0) (#91)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 01:08:14 PM EST

luckily, it won't pass the laugh test, and won't actually be implemented

how can i be so sure?

any politician worse his salt would never back it... they would lose their hispanic voters

the usa will be a majority hispanic country sometime in the middle of this century

it's a fucking joke that any politician would risk alienating the soon-to-be MAJORITY ethnic group en los estados unidos ;-P

meanwhile, france's protectionismism is all to real and official


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Wait wait (none / 1) (#99)
by Kasreyn on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 01:37:46 PM EST

Hispanics vote? The few who are citizens, that is?

Come on now. No extraordinary claims without evidence, please. :P


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
not only do they vote (none / 1) (#141)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:49:38 PM EST

and not only are a lot of them citizens, but every democrat and republican are scrambling like mad to court them at every opportunity, with spanish speaking ads, spanish outreach, learning spanish, etc.

because the demographics don't lie

we may have a hispanic president before we have a black or female president, and it may happen within 20 years

you should open your eyes about what is going on around you

the usa will be a hispanic majority country by 2050

adios, gringos estupidos ;-P


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Actually, (none / 0) (#361)
by Kasreyn on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 12:19:50 AM EST

I happen to live in the Tampa area and about 2/3 of my friends are Hispanic. I find them to be wonderful, friendly, honest, hard-working, and giving.

The trouble is, only about one in five of them actually has citizenship, which I've heard is required in order to vote. :P Perhaps that's just Florida, though?...


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
P.S. (none / 0) (#362)
by Kasreyn on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 12:21:51 AM EST

And the ones who are citizens, don't vote. Trust me, I about got a case of laryngitis trying to convince some of them to go to the polls for Kerry. Even though they agreed that they hated Bush, they decided to be apathetic instead.

From where I stand, the Hispanics who do vote in America are the ones who were ordered to the polls by the Catholic Church.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
Is this some sort of 'Old Europe' argument? [nt] (none / 1) (#65)
by mirleid on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 10:43:13 AM EST



Chickens don't give milk
[ Parent ]
you are incorrect (3.00 / 2) (#182)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 05:41:21 PM EST

they have government appointed panels that offer francophone replacements to the english words that keep creeping into their dying language...
You are referring to the Academie Francaise which is not only not official, but also ignored. Also, to qualify the French language as dying is frankly stupid.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
'pot kettle black' was made for you. (none / 1) (#297)
by Harvey Anderson on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 02:22:49 PM EST

This is hilarious: Our resident overcompensating New Yorker is criticizing France for overcompensating.

The guy from the World Capital of Fragile Egos lambasting the French for having big egos!

A normal French guy with a hot girl or two on his arms called CTS a little mean bitch and he goes home to cry and download even more obscure indie rock.

CTS calls a normal French guy a little mean bitch and and a French commando team shows up and blows up CTSs squalid apartment.

Unbelievable.

[ Parent ]

dude (none / 1) (#319)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 06:07:05 PM EST

put down the crack pipe

the french and the usa both talk loudly

the difference is the usa can back up what they say with force

the french, meanwhile, still think it is 1805

they need to readjust what they say to their new posture as little guy in the world

when china takes over the world in a couple of decades, i'll be obliged to say the same thing about little man usa when it talks loudly against real big guy china, but until then, i'm not being hypocritical at all, what i say is pretty much a simple truth independent of the usa or france:

don't overestimate your strength when you speak

the usa isn't doing that, france is

the eu, meanwhile IS a big guy

and they are entitled to speak as loudly as the usa

but france is NOT the spokesman for the eu, in fact, they are the enemy of the eu as well, considering their resounding "non!" vote in may

france is a thorn in the usa's side, AND the german's, british, italian's, spanish, etc...

france, basically sucks ass: it's loud and egotistical and doesn't know it's place, and it hurts ALL of its neighbors because of this

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I doubt (none / 0) (#400)
by Harvey Anderson on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 03:38:11 PM EST

France talking loudly is going to affect much of anything.  Because they can just bluster and people agree with them, or they bluster and people disagree and they have some force to back it up with, or they bluster and people disagree and nothing occurs.  What's the problem again?

France is not exactly as emasculated as you say: They are a nuclear power, they have an aircraft carrier (which China does not) and they have the will to take action that would not be politically acceptable in the US.

They have the same right as anyone else to express their opinion and to take action as they see fit.   What's the problem?

[ Parent ]

no problem (none / 0) (#666)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 04:03:23 PM EST

as long as you are willing to accept the effects of abandoning your friends (by which i also mean britain, germany, italy, spain, considering their "non!" vote in may)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
And we all know that physical violence (none / 0) (#571)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 03:51:30 PM EST

is the best way to solve problems! Horray for force! Down with diplomacy!

[ Parent ]
what world do you live in? (none / 0) (#665)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 04:02:06 PM EST

open your history book, any page

walk onto a street corner, any city

i'm so sorry your ivory tower doesn't resemble the real world

but please, keep casting your judgments of us in the mud from your lofty perch, it's so important and purposeful

zzz....

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

So there was violence in the past.. (none / 0) (#687)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:59:58 PM EST

And there is still violence today, so it must be the only solution? Hell, if Kennedy took that attitude, then those nukes would probably have been launched.

[ Parent ]
So... (none / 0) (#576)
by Eccles on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 04:37:11 PM EST

Since I'm almost certainly bigger and stronger than you, you should just shut up when I tell you to?

After all, I can back it up with force. We're talking a serious wedgie here...

[ Parent ]
yes (none / 0) (#664)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 04:00:08 PM EST

were we in the prison yard

tell me what the world stage resembles: an academic conference, or a prison yard?

try to use your brain when answering that question, thanks

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

what do you think of the fact (none / 0) (#368)
by klem on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 02:21:27 AM EST

that france is one of a handful of countries that posses nuclear weapons

[ Parent ]
nothing (none / 0) (#447)
by circletimessquare on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 01:55:46 AM EST

nor do i think anything of china or usa possessing them either

nukes matter only in questions of desperate huge wars

we're not considering questions like that here


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

CTS, why is it (none / 1) (#464)
by cathouse on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 09:43:11 AM EST

that your posts always prompt me to reply?

How can you possibly forget the Heroism of Marshal Petain and all the other stalwerts of Vichy!  the Engineering brilliance of the ChautChaut or the Citroen 2CV! The Cullinary boldness of maggotty cheese or  force-feeding Geese until they die in order to savor the resulting fois gras!

These are only a few of the reasons the French {scientificly Rana cravensis} deserve your respect!

Lessons in correct thinking seem to be wasted on you, but in closing let me remind you that there IS a reason the Boulavards of Paris are planted end-to-end with lofty trees!


pity this busy monster manunkind not

progress is a comfortable disease


[ Parent ]

This is irrelevant (none / 0) (#537)
by ADCO on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 07:41:39 AM EST

Your comment, whether justified or not, is absolutely irrelevant to the topic. Or, worse, it may even be undermining your own point.
Let's suppose, for the sakke of argument, that the french are how you say they are.
How can you then justify the disproportionate hatred that now runs in many american people's veins? There should be no hatred, no french bashing. Just downright amusement at such a puny country having dellusions of "grandeur".
In no way can your post justify the current mood of the american people toward France, quite the contrary.
As it is, the trouble is, french may or may not have a too high opinion of their role - that is not the subject here - in any case, it still irks the US that the french dared say something when Bush went astray and acted on false, if not fabricated, evidence to do something that has proven ever since completely reckless and stupid.
And your opinion of the french only explains the irrationality of the hatred better: America is angry that a small country dared to stand against what America in its unquestionable wisdom, deemed Good. And all the more so that the small country was in fact right.
And then you go ranting about french being this or that, when the real problem is "why isn't America able to listen to good advice, wherever it comes from?".

[ Parent ]
it makes sense, from your propagandized pov (none / 0) (#582)
by circletimessquare on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 07:17:52 PM EST

"And all the more so that the small country was in fact right."

could you justify that statement?

i just saw iraqis peacefully and overwhelmingly and happily vote on a new constitution, and a much reviled dictator is about to go on trial

so what again is the basis again for your bullshit?: "And all the more so that the small country was in fact right."

could you justify that statement please, propagandized fool?

the french went into the ivory coast in may 2003... can we say hypocrisy? any bullshit neocolonial argument you pose at the usa about iraq, it also applies to france in ivory coast... no? do you disagree?

plus, all of the bullshit recriminations about us involvement in 1980s iraq APPLIES TO FRANCE JUST AS MUCH, FRANCE WAS JUST AS INVOLVED IF NOT MORE

so there is no wisdom or moral authority or bravery as you allude to about france and it's position

let me repeat: NO WISDOM, NO MORAL AUTHORITY, NO BRAVERY

it's simply a small man jockeying for exposure on the world stage for the sake of his EGO and little more

as for the withering hatred of france?: you tend to feel that about suppoed "friends" who betray you

don't worry, the us won't make the mistake of considering france a friend again

france is a reviled pariah, and considering their "non!" vote on the eu in may 2005, not just according to the americans, but according to the english, spanish, germans and italians as well

little men with big egos who forget their friend's concerns in order to pump their sense of self-importance up lose their friends

so listen to me very carefully:

FUCK

FRANCE

fucking assholes

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

+1FP (2.33 / 9) (#11)
by stuaart on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 09:09:23 PM EST

Gets right up American noses. Good work.

It seems that American animosity towards France is rather like that which happens on k5: someone gets a name for themselves for adhering to and defending a particular viewpoint and kurons then use this as reason to hate them in any given discussion (e.g., circletimessquare, HollyHopDrive, trhurler, etc.) even if it has no relation to that divergent point of view.

Linkwhore: [Hidden stories.] Baldrtainment: Corporate concubines and Baldrson: An Introspective


worship at my nuts biotch (1.00 / 4) (#89)
by kbudha on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 12:58:06 PM EST

The only thing you stand up for so stolidly is that retarded and anoying sig.

[ Parent ]
Rules for discussion on k5 (none / 1) (#204)
by stuaart on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 07:45:20 PM EST

  1. Learn English grammar and spelling traditions; and
  2. Present a coherent argument that makes sense.
YFI x 2

Linkwhore: [Hidden stories.] Baldrtainment: Corporate concubines and Baldrson: An Introspective


[ Parent ]
Rules for worshiping my nuts (none / 0) (#612)
by kbudha on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 11:19:55 AM EST

This site is bullshit like any other blog. YFI just for thinking your opinion matters since you post to "K5"!

[ Parent ]
-1 (2.28 / 7) (#17)
by richarj on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 09:48:55 PM EST

French testing nuclear weapons in the Pacific despite the protests of many countries in 1996. The French are arrogant yes, it's not just the Americans that think that.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
Nuclear weapons tests (none / 0) (#86)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 12:46:43 PM EST

Bummer we never ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Can America really blame other countries for performing nuclear testing if we refuse to ban it ourselves? That's hypocritical.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
Don't forget about New Zealand (none / 1) (#93)
by wiredog on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 01:16:40 PM EST

and the French special op there.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
is this about Greenpeace? (none / 0) (#156)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:08:28 PM EST

Greenpeace radioed the coordinates of a tactical nuke to anyone who cared to take a crack at it. They were asking to be blown out of the water. . .

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
However, what the French did (3.00 / 4) (#263)
by wiredog on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:15:38 AM EST

was an Act of War against New Zealand.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
That almost sounds like Americas excuse for Iraq (none / 1) (#359)
by richarj on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 11:47:23 PM EST

They are a threat so we will invade someone elses sovereign territory to stop it.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
I don't think it does (none / 0) (#407)
by thankyougustad on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 04:58:14 PM EST

I personally think the French govt was dead wrong there. I often think the French govt is dead wrong. In fact, I hate the French govt. But the fact of the matter is broadcasting the location of a nuclear device whose location is undisclosed is an act of war.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Your logic is amiss (2.75 / 4) (#440)
by richarj on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 10:59:05 PM EST

But the fact of the matter is broadcasting the location of a nuclear device whose location is undisclosed is an act of war.

How is that an act of war. The French government was abusing the south pacific with their nuclear tests and Greenpeace calls them up on it. If the you want to call that an act of war then you need to back it up with legislation somewhere.



"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
And that justifies terrorism? (2.50 / 2) (#572)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 03:55:37 PM EST

Because that's exactly what it was.

[ Parent ]
But ... (none / 0) (#110)
by meatsandwich on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 02:49:59 PM EST

... the problem is that the French exploded the bombs in a country that is far removed and has little to no say in French politics. Why didn't they blow the bombs in continental Europe somewhere? I'm sure the French people would have accepted that wouldn't they?

Look, every person could point at every country (including their own) and say "your country is pathetic/evil/wrong/retarded and here's why". Every country has some tremendous fuckups as part of it's history. While your original article is true, it is none-the-less flame-bait. France is just as fucked up as the US and every other country.


[ Parent ]

feathers, not dots (none / 1) (#243)
by Fuzzwah on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 02:06:12 AM EST

I know a few Indians who might say something very similar about the US testing...

--
The best a human can do is to pick a delusion that helps him get through the day. - God's Debris
[ Parent ]

Yeah and the British and the Australian Aborigine (none / 1) (#358)
by richarj on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 11:45:36 PM EST

But that was back during the Cold War. When nations poised themselves to blow the entire planet back into the dark ages or worse. France OTOH did this in the 1990's when people were enlightened about what Nuclear testing does to the environment. You don't see Pakistan blowing up their nukes under Brazil do you?

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
Phallic Wars II (none / 0) (#28)
by gdanjo on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 10:53:50 PM EST

Now the American's is bigger, but they still don't know how to use it properly.

And the French are still teasing.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT

Stating the Obvious (1.37 / 8) (#30)
by PrezKennedy on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 11:03:46 PM EST

Thank you, perhaps we could have an article about how the Chinese loathe the Japanese, Captain Obvious. But nevermind that, I want to pick a couple things apart.

"Most Americans claim their reason for their dislike of France is that the French are ungrateful and try to obstruct American power at every turn. Citing the fact that American involvement in World War II liberated France from German control over sixty years ago, they believe that any instances where France doesn't bow to the will of American foreign policy are examples of their ungratefulness and treachery."

You say something that happened 60-some years ago isn't significant, and then you bring up the following, which happens to be more than two centuries ago. Shouldn't it be completely moot by your very own logic?

"Had the bitter contempt and loathing that Americans express daily to their former ally been predicted by General Lafayette 224 years ago, would he have been so eager to shed the blood of his soldiers in order to secure the liberty of the fledgling republic? Would France have remained America's oldest and most reliable ally for over two centuries? Almost certainly not. Citizens of the United States should be grateful for his lack of prescience."

Citizens of France should be grateful that we didn't turn around on D-Day because we thought it would be too hard and we'd lose too many men. Otherwise they'd still be a part of a larger alliance, and I'm not talking about the EU.

Really though, what were you trying to get at? I just don't see it.
---
PrezKennedy.org - Bored stuff...

That's _Mr._ Captain Obvious to you, son (2.66 / 3) (#34)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 12:20:21 AM EST

You say something that happened 60-some years ago isn't significant, and then you bring up the following, which happens to be more than two centuries ago. Shouldn't it be completely moot by your very own logic?

I never claimed it was relevant: I was merely pointing it out as a parallel to our current justification that the French should bend to our will because we once helped them in a war. If one is relevant, then the other is. If one isn't relevant, then the other is not.

Really though, what were you trying to get at? I just don't see it.

I wanted to highlight our media's bizarre and irrational fixation on France as somehow always being a villain, even when they are proven to be completely right. The unanimity with which everyone blames the French is a sign of deep pathology in our culture, akin to the treatment of Jews in the pre-war German press. Demonizing any entire culture is odious; when that process is completely decoupled from fact and reality, it becomes downright sinister.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

Everyone? (none / 0) (#59)
by rpresser on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:50:33 AM EST

The unanimity with which everyone blames the French is a sign of deep pathology in our culture, akin to the treatment of Jews in the pre-war German press. Demonizing any entire culture is odious; when that process is completely decoupled from fact and reality, it becomes downright sinister.

If it were true that everyone blames the French, I might agree with you.  I haven't personally heard an anti-French slur, other than online, in many months; and I don't think I've ever uttered one myself.
------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]

Anti-French slurs (none / 0) (#64)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 10:41:11 AM EST

I haven't personally heard an anti-French slur, other than online, in many months

You must not watch much television news, then. They are omnipresent, especially on FOX News.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

Hell, I don't watch Fox (none / 0) (#95)
by wiredog on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 01:20:51 PM EST

And I'm one of the more conservative people here.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
not all conservatives (none / 1) (#154)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:06:13 PM EST

are retards.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Odd (none / 0) (#105)
by Cro Magnon on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 02:30:42 PM EST

I haven't heard many French slurs on Fox News. I'm sure there are a lot on Fox's talk shows, but I seldom watch those.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Give me a break (none / 0) (#109)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 02:49:00 PM EST

Come on. It takes less that 30 seconds of google searching to show that that is nonsense. To randomly pick from the myriad examples, Neil Cavuto, the closest thing that Fox has to real news, says:
Yet, they still merrily march into work on the global stage, thinking anyone cares what they have to say. News flash, Jacques, no one cares what you have to say, because you've been fired. Either you don't know it, or refuse to see it. So let me simply state it:

For being sneaky, you're fired.

For being arrogant, you're fired.

For giving lip service to peace, but trying to profit off a dictator, you're fired.

For claiming you want to help the little Iraqis, but preferring instead doing business with one big Iraqi, you're fired.

For trying to bribe African nations at the United Nations to vote your way, you're fired.

For threatening Eastern European countries they couldn't be in your club if they didn't vote your way, you're fired.

You're fired for your phoniness, your smarmy-ness, your back-stabbing-ness, your clueless-ness.

You're fired for thinking you still matter, when you don't. And for dismissing others, when they do.

Maybe you don't think the world will catch up with you. It's too late. Most countries are already onto you.

So let me be clear, Jacques. Effective now, the French... are toast.

Pretending that Fox is not rife with anti-French bias doesn't pass the laugh test. It's indefensible.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

Can you read? (none / 0) (#126)
by Cro Magnon on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:38:42 PM EST

I specifically mentioned Fox News. I've never heard of this "Neil Cavuto", but those snippets you printed were clearly NOT from any news station. I don't dispute that Fox runs talk shows that will gladly bash the French, but they aren't representative of TV News, even on Fox. News != Talk Show!
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Information wants to be known to Cro Magnon (none / 1) (#136)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:45:51 PM EST

Neil Cavuto hosts "Your World with Cavuto" every single day, and is a frequent guest on all the other Fox programs. It is one of the highest-rated news show on cable television. He is also Fox News' vice president of business news and is a member of the Fox News executive committee. If you don't know who he is, then you don't watch Fox News and you don't know what you are talking about, and so ought not be so quick to be an apologist for them.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
I watch Fox network news (none / 0) (#159)
by Cro Magnon on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:10:10 PM EST

and it generally reports NEWS, not partison blather. I seldom watch any of the cable news stations, and the only talk show I regularly see is the one hosted by Chris Wallace Sunday morning, and I don't recall seeing Neil Cavuto on that one.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
TV? Ugh. (none / 0) (#178)
by rpresser on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 05:16:13 PM EST

I haven't personally heard an anti-French slur, other than online, in many months.

You must not watch much television news, then. They are omnipresent, especially on FOX News.

You are correct. The only television news I ever watch is the local program at 11:00 pm, and I usually switch to Adult Swim a few minutes after the weather report.

Television news is a wasteland that I feel much better out of.  I get my news online.  And I do not contribute to the generation of television news, so I feel justified in stating that opinions expressed on television do not represent me.

In any case, the word "online" can be expanded to include all of television without much damage. I was making a statement about the people I interact with face-to-face.

------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]

So? It's Television n/t (none / 0) (#299)
by PrezKennedy on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 02:29:23 PM EST


---
PrezKennedy.org - Bored stuff...
[ Parent ]
Very well written article (3.00 / 8) (#35)
by SDaskaleas on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 01:12:13 AM EST

I voted +1FP because of the frankly interesting posts I have seen in this article. Especially USians outrage in how (amazingly) someone can say that the French can be seen as anything but incompetent and weak and they don't know their place.

I am, sometimes, amazed at the ignorance of geopolitical reality on the part of some of our USian brethren. Fact: France is not weak. True, they have far less power than they used to command until WW II but they are in no way powerless. Consider this: Western Africa (with which the French have had colonial ties for a long time), Middle East (including places where American influence is abhorred) and last but not least, China, have very good relations with France and work strategically toward common aims.

On another level, and from my own experience, I think the writer fails to understand the reasons why France (and the French) are despised in the US, trying to find rational ways of justifying their (frankly racist, well described shinshin) behaviour. They were obviously not the only ones to go against the war and were not even the leaders of the opposing block. They were extremely vocal in their opposition as they had a right to be and, as it turns out, they were right in insisting the war was wrong. The reason USians almost universally hate the French regarding the Iraq war is that it is easier to revile a "weak country that does not know its place" thank it is actually learning about the reality of geopolitical power distribution; i.e. USians don't own everything and there are areas of the world where other states are more powerful than them.

Having said that, I am a bit put off that the (almost universal) French xenophobia and ridiculing of everything British and indeed American deserves no mention in the article. I understand the point was not to write an essay on the Franco-American cultural clash but it somehow seems fair.

French xenophobia (none / 1) (#63)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 10:40:24 AM EST

Having said that, I am a bit put off that the (almost universal) French xenophobia and ridiculing of everything British and indeed American deserves no mention in the article.

Anti-American sentiment is certainly rampant in France, and has been for a long time. I thought that discussing it would have made the article a bit too long, so I decided to leave it out. In hindsight, I probably should have at least mentioned it, since people seem to be under the incorrect impression that the article was meant as a sweeping pro-French apology, which it certainly was not.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

French xenophobia? (2.66 / 3) (#85)
by curril on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 12:46:24 PM EST

I spent three weeks traveling in France this summer while easily identifiable as being from the US without running into much by way of anti-American sentiment. The more touristy areas didn't seem to think much of American tourists, but I can't say that I blame them given my encounters with typical "ugly American" type tourists. Even then, they were more tolerant of the type than I would be.

Maybe I just met nice people, or maybe my own anti-neocon, anti-crass-commercialism attitude showed through, but I didn't get the feeling that they were anti-American in general, they just disagreed with specific policies. The only time I heard any reference to stereotypes was when one jokingly said something to the effect of "You all think we don't shower and drink wine all the time, but that's ok because you are all a bunch of whisky-drinking cowboys".

On the other hand, I hadn't even stepped in my door back in the states when an upstanding US citizen made a disparaging remark about my choice in vacation locations.

[ Parent ]

Vive la différence! (none / 1) (#88)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 12:54:29 PM EST

You won't encounter much direct anti-Americanism on the street in France, just as a French person might not encounter too much direct Franophobia on an American street (although the latter is more likely). It's more a matter of the media. Like everywhere else these days, the French media panders to the small-minded nationalistic and pugnacious masses by disparaging their pet pseudo-enemy. It's not nearly as overt and vicious as anti-French sentiment in American media, but criticism and contempt of America is omni-present in the French media.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
Et encore (none / 0) (#152)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:04:10 PM EST

you have to remember that in France xenophobia is a good way of describing the dynamic between American and French culture. Its not in America that you will hear and see French cultural icons, although in France they are all over the place. There are more American flags (at least on clothes) in France than in America. The French love America. They hate what it is becoming, but try as they might they can't stay out of McDonalds. There is more than one Starbucks on the Champs Elysées these days. I for one would like to see some actual French Anti-Americanism, so that France stays French. . . this doesn't seem to be happening.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
I mean to say (none / 0) (#153)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:04:50 PM EST

Xenophobia is NOT a good way of describing. . .

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
pardonnez moi mais (none / 0) (#306)
by Battle Troll on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 03:48:17 PM EST

I for one would like to see some actual French Anti-Americanism, so that France stays French.

If you want France to stay French, I don't think the Americans should be your biggest concern.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

bon, je mords. . . (none / 0) (#313)
by thankyougustad on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 05:01:53 PM EST

what do you mean? Personally, if I had to big one culture that threatened the culture of France (keep in mind I do consider 'France' to have destroyed Provençe, where my family is from, originally) I would have to say it is American culture.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
two immediate dangers (none / 0) (#344)
by Battle Troll on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 09:34:35 PM EST

Seem to me to be Arab immigration and the low French birth-rate. And of course I agree with you about France; the central state was to blame, just as it was in Spain.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
However (none / 1) (#351)
by thankyougustad on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 10:07:53 PM EST

Even the French-Arabs are heavily influenced by American culture: the so called gangsta image, hip hop, and American pop-culture are all widely embraced by the Maghreb population. Many of them have abandoned tradional Islamic practices such as avoidence of drugs and alchohol, strict adherence to food laws, rules goverening dress, etc. In my experience, young Arabs culturely identify more with the opressed blacks of America than anyone in the Arab world. Politicaly they seem to follow a harder line out of the Middle East. In general, their understanding of politics is as good, or as poor, as any other population.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Arab rap (none / 0) (#373)
by shinshin on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 05:15:44 AM EST

Rap music is the best think that happened to French Arabs. Frankly, if they smoke a little more hash and listen to some more protest music, that's all the less pent-up rage they are going to be expending by performing illegal and barbaric genital mutilation ("circumcision") on their wives and daughters.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
Someone hacked your account. . . (none / 0) (#406)
by thankyougustad on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 04:56:19 PM EST

What a strange statement.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Why? (none / 0) (#412)
by shinshin on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 05:53:51 PM EST

I'd rather see French Arab kids looking up to Snoop Dog instead of Khaled Kelkal, wouldn't you? French rap is second in style and innovation only to American.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
cedille ? (none / 0) (#531)
by mirko on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 05:46:13 AM EST

Provençe ???
Avec une cedille ?
T'es un vrai de la bas ou un troll ?
--
Finally I managed to make the decision that I would work on it. - MDC
we had to huddle together - trane
[ Parent ]
beuh (none / 0) (#545)
by tkatchevzombie on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 08:30:44 AM EST

il est un pauvre mec illitré venant du portugal, je pense.

[ Parent ]
beuh (none / 0) (#589)
by thankyougustad on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 08:33:51 PM EST

t'en a trop fumé dans ta petite vie mecton, de la beuh.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Ma famille est de provençe (none / 0) (#579)
by thankyougustad on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 06:02:00 PM EST

ça fait longetemps que nous sommes partis. On a gardé quand meme un nom en provençal et pas mal de traditions qui vont avec.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
there may be criticism and contempt, (3.00 / 2) (#515)
by agger on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 12:03:56 AM EST

but it MIGHT also just be at least partially deserved. To paraphrase Brutus, talking about Julius Caesar: "As Cæsar loved me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honour him; but, as he was ambitious, I slew him. There is tears for his love; joy for his fortune; honour for his valour; and death for his ambition." Similarly, when speaking of the US and its policies and its people: As America is a great country, we admire it; as Americans have achieved colossal things, we respect them; as your government engage in police state measures and pointless warfare, we criticize it; and as your president dabbles on, defends the indefensible and obviously doesn't give a damn about the victims of his policies, we despise him. There's love for your greatness, respect for your people, criticism for your government and contempt for your president.
--
http://www.faklen.dk/en
http://www.modspil.dk
[ Parent ]
You sure? (3.00 / 3) (#254)
by ocrow on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 04:49:07 AM EST

An American friend returned from a long stay in France sometime last year. She reported a great deal of surprise at the level of bile shown towards France at the time, here in the States. She said that in France she had encountered absolutely no anger towards Americans whatsoever. She said that there was frustration with American foreign policy and George Bush, but that the French she knew had no inclination to generalize that sentiment to Americans or to channel it into bitterness or racism. In contrast she found the anger of her own people, and especially the media, towards the French rather upsetting.

[ Parent ]
Well, they do deserve some blame for Vietnam (2.83 / 6) (#37)
by Morally Inflexible on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 02:22:33 AM EST

Of course, it was our fault for trying to finish the job, but they do bear some responsability. They have a history of meddling where they don't belong, to their own (an everyone else's) detrement, much like the United States.

Colonies (none / 0) (#61)
by jmv on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 10:24:56 AM EST

What you say is actually true of all colonial powers, be it France, England, Spain, ..., and US now in a way.

[ Parent ]
NOW? (2.50 / 4) (#150)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:59:47 PM EST

The US has had a defacto imperialism since at least the Mexican War. Then followed a war with Spain and Cuba, invasion of Haiti. . . propping up of Friendly Central American Governments through out the 20th century. . . It's not starting now. And a salient point to make is that France, by the year 2005, seems to have learned its lesson.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Absolutely (none / 1) (#73)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 11:43:32 AM EST

The article is about American attitudes toward France in the media, not about how France has never done anything wrong. They bear as much responsibility for the scourge of colonialism they inflicted on the poor nations of the world throughout the centuries as we bear for our past sins of slavery and Indian genocide. No nation is blameless, and anything beyond a superficial glance at any powerful nation's history will reveal the horror that they inflicted in order to get where they are today. France is no different.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
And Vietnam is hardly the only place... (none / 0) (#107)
by smithmc on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 02:38:20 PM EST

...that the French have stuck their colonialist noses. I agree, while the French have every right to their opinion about our activities in Iraq (which I myself do not support either), they should remember that their own hands are far from clean.

[ Parent ]
NRS (1.75 / 4) (#38)
by IceTitan on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 02:54:23 AM EST

America and the U.K. invaded Iraq without the authorization of the United Nations.

All member nations are bound to the UN by treaties that can be violated at any time. Much the same way I can chose to honor or not honor a contract. If the other party in the contract wishes, they can seek redress at a breach. It would seem that no other member of the UN has done anything more than complain.
Most Americans view the UN as nothing more than some self involved social club. We don't really view it as having any real authority over anything. And that seems to be the point of division with the rest of it's members. The weaker members see it as an opportunity to gain a more equal footing in the world. While the dominant use it as a means to manipulate each other, vying for more power. As a private citizen, I resent foreign governments trying to use the UN to right wrongs made by the US government. For the most part, I already know the Fed has failed us in many ways. I do not need some bureaucrat in the EU telling me what my government did wrong and how to fix it. I don't tell my friends how to raise their kids. I may have an opinion on it, but unless they ask, I keep it to myself.

While I can claim to know only one Frenchman, and that's only in the online message board sense. My opinion is that I don't hate the French. I hate their elected leaders, especially le Worm. I tend to hate most of our own elected officials, but I digress. The average Frenchman isn't really any different than the average American. There are a few cultural differences, but the net effect is inconsequnetial.
Nuke 'em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

The authority of the UN (3.00 / 4) (#39)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:33:52 AM EST

All member nations are bound to the UN by treaties that can be violated at any time. Much the same way I can chose to honor or not honor a contract

If you choose not to honor a contract, you are violating the law. If the United States violates their treaties with the United Nations, they are violating international law. The only real difference is that in the former case, the state can punish you with fines and imprisonment. In the latter case, the best they could do is sanctions (which in the case of the United States is not realistic). If your point is that there isn't much the UN can do against powerful countries that violate the law, then you are stating the obvious.

Most Americans view the UN as nothing more than some self involved social club. We don't really view it as having any real authority over anything.

Regardless of the whether we regard the UN as having authority or not, or as being an "irrelevant institution" as the Bush administration frequently phrases it, the fact remains that other countries do view it as having relevance and authority, and that does matter. For example, if India refuses to commit troops to Iraq without a UN mandate, it doesn't matter a whit what out personal opinions of the UN's relevance are: without the UN stamp of approval, we're not going to get the help of the Indian government in Iraq.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

Ratified treaties form part of US law. (none / 1) (#42)
by mr strange on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:47:06 AM EST

I think you'll find it says that in your Constitution.

intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
[ Parent ]
Did you try asking the Indians? (none / 0) (#337)
by hershmire on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:51:30 PM EST

Manifest Destiny states it was America's right to go west, and we weren't going to allow any injuns to prevent that, treaties or no, by God.

Like a law, a treaty is only as effective as it is enforced.
FIXME: Insert quote about procrastination
[ Parent ]
ANY SCUMBAG WEARING A BLUE HELMET (none / 0) (#466)
by cathouse on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 10:23:14 AM EST

and carrying a gun who sets foot on my home land will be treated as any other armed trespasser.


pity this busy monster manunkind not

progress is a comfortable disease


[ Parent ]

French are rude? (none / 1) (#45)
by manojar on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 05:12:18 AM EST

"All member nations are bound to the UN by treaties that can be violated at any time. Much the same way I can chose to honor or not honor a contract."

That explains your country reneging on contracts made with other countries! Pakistan *bought* some F16 jets and had to wait for over 15 years before even delivery (or is it production itself?) began.

"Most Americans view the UN as nothing more than some self involved social club."

Is it because you feel God is only on your side and other countries are made to be your slaves?

"As a private citizen, I resent foreign governments trying to use the UN to right wrongs made by the US government"

Enough Said!

[ Parent ]

I never said the French were rude. (none / 0) (#49)
by IceTitan on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 05:53:26 AM EST

"Most Americans view the UN as nothing more than some self involved social club."
Is it because you feel God is only on your side and other countries are made to be your slaves?

No, there is no god. And unlike the rest of the world, most Americans view themselves as individuals above all else, not memebers of some rediculous united world. We don't like the government we elected, much less a psudo-government we didn't elect and that seems to have policies that undermine ours. People like George Bush state that such groups are irrelevant because WE finance, WE support, WE provide the bulk of all that the UN is, only to be spit at by every two bit 'Republic' that comes along. Also, any American would tell you that if the UN started sending troops into the US, which would obviously exclude US troops, we would see it as an act of war, which we are ready for. Remember, unlike most of you wannabe civilized countries, we can still carry firearms. And as far as I'm concerned, anyone wearing a blue beret is a fair target.
Nuke 'em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
[ Parent ]
This might be an eye opener (none / 0) (#51)
by manojar on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 06:41:05 AM EST

Unless you are one of those American kinds who have to bury their heads inside the sand!

http://www.un.int/usa/fact2.htm

Unless, you want to turn a blind eye to the reality and say USA is the greatest country, American citizens are the only human beings in the world.

Thanks for atleast recognising that the rest of the uncivlised, turban-wearing, towel-draping world wants to be as civilised as your mighty civilisation. God(R) Bless America!(TM)

PS: I am slightly confused - are we on the same side? Are you talking for dissolution of UN? I am certainly not!

[ Parent ]

First off, stop implying I believe in a god. (none / 0) (#245)
by IceTitan on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 02:17:20 AM EST

Secondly, I only want the dissolution of the UN as unlike every other country, we don't view it as having any authority, period. If it were kept to a forum where things could be debated, then so be it. I think certain things should be addressed on a world level like hunger and poverty, not American foreign or domestic policy. If the later seems to interfer with the former, too bad. The UN should be used to mediate at most, not dictate. In short, fuck Kofi Annan.
Nuke 'em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
[ Parent ]
The UN does not have shareholders either (none / 0) (#62)
by irwoodhouse on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 10:30:37 AM EST

People like George Bush state that such groups are irrelevant because WE finance, WE support, WE provide the bulk of all that the UN is, only to be spit at by every two bit 'Republic' that comes along.

The UN is not a corporation where you can buy shares and, thus, control. The fact that the US provides a large amount, even the bulk, of the finance of the UN is irrelevant. If you don't like those rules, don't play.

Every member country of the UN has an equal standing by design (though yes, some seem more equal than others, so this notwithstanding the security council). It is my understanding that this aims to redress the extreme disproportion between the likes of the US, Russia and China on one side, and such as Myanmar, Syria or Venezuela on the other. It gives the latter some measure of defence against a state (the US) which, on balance, behaves likes a bully.

Every nation, but most particularly the US, needs to be regularly reminded that it is not entitled to have its own way any of the time, much less all the time.

I think it ironic that the US, the world's greatest self-proclaimed democracy, fails to apply the basic principles on which it was founded to foreign relations.

[ Parent ]

Why? (none / 1) (#189)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 06:02:39 PM EST

I think it ironic that the US, the world's greatest self-proclaimed democracy, fails to apply the basic principles on which it was founded to foreign relations.
They aren't even applied to domestic policies, why should they be applied abroad? It's time to stop being surprised by American hypocrisy.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Really? (none / 1) (#246)
by localman on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 02:24:12 AM EST

I don't tell my friends how to raise their kids. I may have an opinion on it, but unless they ask, I keep it to myself.

Would that hold true if your neighbors kids were beating and killing other kids in the neighborhood? Would you just sit on your ass and let your neighborhood go down the tubes? Or would you call the cops or something?

What do you think these nations should do when their neighborhood is getting ruined by various bully nations? The UN may be powerless, but I can hardly blame them for trying since it's the only forum they have.

Cheers.

[ Parent ]

Bullys and nations (none / 1) (#340)
by hershmire on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 09:02:24 PM EST

If they UN really wanted to enforce the treaty, they should have created a unified fighting force and entered Iraq on Saddam's side, fighting against American troops. There are a couple of reasons why they didn't:

1. Saddam was a pretty bad guy and finding any UN member to fight for him would be damn near impossible.
2. The US is fucking huge and such an intervention would have caused a nasty World War of some sort, probably with minor nukes.

So since intervening with troops was out of the question, the Iraq conflict became a lose-lose situation for the UN. Either jump on board with the US and look like you're pandering to the gigantic superpower or just stand back impotently criticizing.
Bush et al knew the UN had absolutely no recourse or power, so, like a bully, they did whatever the hell they felt like doing completely in their own interests, be they oil, freedom, etc.

Sure, if I were France I'd be pissed off, just like I was pissed off when I saw that gigantic mongoloid in 3rd grade beat up my peers. Except, unlike the UN, I had a teacher to run to.
FIXME: Insert quote about procrastination
[ Parent ]
somewhat misleading (1.66 / 9) (#40)
by SocratesGhost on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:07:26 AM EST

you keep mentioning that Iraq had no direct connections to Al Qaeda as though this was one of the administration's claims. It wasn't. Rather Al Qaeda and Iraq were lumped into a single category of "People that hate us enough to want us harmed."

I'm willing to concede that there are no WMDs but I was never really persuaded by that part of the argument in the first place. I supported the war on the basis of regime change. I've seen nothing to really change my opinion of that.

-Soc
I drank what?


O RLY (3.00 / 6) (#43)
by Hung Fu on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 05:00:17 AM EST

The Whitehouse
POWELL: ... But what I want to bring to your attention today is the potentially much more sinister nexus between Iraq and the Al Qaida terrorist network, a nexus that combines classic terrorist organizations and modern methods of murder. Iraq today harbors a deadly terrorist network headed by Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, an associated in collaborator of Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaida lieutenants.


__
From Israel To Lebanon
[ Parent ]
It's not me that's being misleading (3.00 / 7) (#60)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 10:15:10 AM EST

you keep mentioning that Iraq had no direct connections to Al Qaeda as though this was one of the administration's claims. It wasn't.

It was. There are innumerable quotes where the administration made the direct inference that Iraq and Al-Quaeda were tied together. For example, from Cheney on Meet the Press:

RUSSERT: The Washington Post asked the American people about Saddam Hussein, and this is what they said: Sixty-nine percent said he was involved in the September 11 attacks. Are you surprised by that?

CHENEY: No. I think it's not surprising that people make that connection.

RUSSERT: But is there a connection?

CHENEY: [...] We learned more and more that there was a relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda that stretched back through most of the decade of the '90s, that it involved training, for example, on [biological weapons] and [chemical weapons], that Al Qaeda sent personnel to Baghdad to get trained on the systems that are involved. The Iraqis providing bomb-making expertise and advice to the Al Qaeda organization. [...] With respect to 9/11, of course, we've had the story that's been public out there. The Czechs alleged that Mohamed Atta, the lead attacker, met in Prague with a senior Iraqi intelligence official five months before the attack [...]

These statements, as well as all the other statements the administration made to help perpetuate the myth that Iraq was responsible for September 11th (and thereby keep all those eager young vengeful mid-western youths signing up to go into the meat grinder in Iraq) are lies. There's simply no other word to describe it. While there is no outright statement of "Iraq attacked us on September 11th", anyone who had witnessed the American media in the past 3 years knows that the implication was clear (and completely unchallenged by anyone in the press). 69% of Americans were given that impression, and that impression didn't just come from nowhere.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

*You* didn't actually go to war. (none / 0) (#75)
by megid on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 12:08:24 PM EST

"Supported the war for regime change", riiiight. If you'd ever think about going there and killing people by yourself, that might have changed your opionion about what is worth what. "Support", my ass.

You fucking armchair soldier. I despise you.

--
"think first, write second, speak third."
[ Parent ]

what about you (none / 0) (#117)
by lostincali on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:15:04 PM EST

have you ever served?

I'm also curious about where you draw the line-- I'm wondering if you're saying that only people who have actually killed terorrists have supported the war.

"The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."
[ Parent ]

Different point. (3.00 / 2) (#208)
by megid on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 07:54:44 PM EST

To answer your question, I have never been to a warzone and never plan to.

My point was (1) forget the terrorists, this is about the invasion of Iraq and (2) it is quite easy to "support" a war if you are not the one dying here and thus (3) everyone with a shred of brain should be aware that 30-100K killed people are a damn high price for two fucking towers and 3K americans. (this basically completes my stance on the war)

In my days, they used to find terrorists by old-fashioned detective / secret service work and not by invading a damn fucking country. Also killed less people that way. But hey, those are *wholly different* times, right?

Btw, before this may turn into a flamefest let me state that I sympathize with *all* killed innocent people: People in american towers, iraqi buildings and anywhere else.

--
"think first, write second, speak third."
[ Parent ]

fair enough. /nt (none / 0) (#232)
by lostincali on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 10:17:46 PM EST


"The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."
[ Parent ]

YFI. HAND. (none / 0) (#81)
by creativedissonance on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 12:28:02 PM EST

the commenters above have done much better than I could have hoped.


ay yo i run linux and word on the street
is that this is where i need to be to get my butt stuffed like a turkey - br14n
[ Parent ]
regime change (none / 1) (#94)
by wiredog on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 01:20:00 PM EST

Why? Why was it any of the business of the US how Saddam ran Iraq? Iraq certainly wasn't a threat to the US.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
isn't that a bit Pastor Niemöller-esque? (1.66 / 3) (#485)
by SocratesGhost on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 04:00:26 PM EST

For my part, I agreed with the original motivation laid down by his first State of the Union Address after 9/11, where he identified the Axis of Evil. Iraq is undoubtedly a bully in that region, funding terrorism in Israel, against the Kurds, attacking his two neighbors, and taking pot shots at UN Mandated aircraft in the No-Fly zones.

It's hard for me to agree with those who argue that America shouldn't have intervened. To accept Saddam as the rightful authority in Iraq is equivalent to tolerating the Pol Pots, Idi Amins, Than Shwes, Tutsi genocides, and the Sudanese Janjaweeds of the world. Let them do what they want until they kill Americans?

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Then... (none / 0) (#573)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 04:09:08 PM EST

Why the fuck isn't the US helping out all the other countries with fascist dictators. There's a lot of things going on on the African continent that are far more atrocious that what was going on in Iraq.

Of course, there's probably not much of an incentive for the US gov to help those guys out, because they don't have big oil reserves or a generally weathy economy like Iraq.

[ Parent ]

obviously, I believe the U.S. should (none / 1) (#593)
by SocratesGhost on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 10:03:46 PM EST

Don't you?

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Priorities (none / 0) (#636)
by Razitshakra on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 06:14:36 PM EST

Even if one agrees that bombing for democracy can be a good thing, priorities are necessary. Not even the USA is strong enough to take on all "rogue nations" in the world. Do you think that Saddam was the worst dictator at the time of the invasion?

I think that North Korea would have been better served by phantastic fireworks for Freedom. But that would have been difficult because they might really have had weapons of mass destruction.

--
Lets ride / You and I / In the midnight ambulance
- The Northern Territories
[ Parent ]
Yes (none / 0) (#604)
by wiredog on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 08:04:33 AM EST

As long as they aren't a threat to the US.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
Out of curiousity... (none / 0) (#669)
by SocratesGhost on Thu Oct 27, 2005 at 02:26:15 PM EST

Did you oppose sending U.N. forces into Bosnia? Somalia? Iraq in '91?

It would seem that you must if involvement requires a threat to the nations whose troops are involved.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
UN forces? No. (none / 0) (#670)
by wiredog on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 08:36:10 AM EST

US forces, yes. If other UN nations want to spend blood and treasure in those places, let them. But the US shouldn't be doing so.

Although one can make an argument that the US intervention in Bosnia may have prevented a wider conflict in Europe, and preventing that would be in the US's interest. But you can also argue that the Europeans should deal with European problems.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]

Missed one: "the Pinochets" <nt> (none / 1) (#646)
by The Diary Section on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 09:24:30 PM EST


Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]
You're just returning to your roots (3.00 / 5) (#41)
by rpjs on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:25:30 AM EST

You might have broken away from us back in 1776, but surely this shows you're still Brits at heart!

Fries and toast (none / 0) (#54)
by Alien zombie on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 07:42:57 AM EST

Do francophobes would want to fry the French until they're toast?

Manufacturing Consent (3.00 / 8) (#56)
by FredeK on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:17:45 AM EST

The US press were asleep at the wheel, and a weak mea culpa later, all is forgiven with the press. It seems to drive Americans insane when "the little people" don't toe the line (or even that they are proud of their own culture). One thing that France is known for (besides its superior k-12 educational system) is its culture of dissent; it's often interpreted as rude or ungrateful. But what happens when the once great nation of the United States is in the same position as France is today - when 21st century China starts calling all the shots, and all the US can do is voice their meek protest (and get smeared by the Chinese press in return)... BTW The French consider fries ("frites") a Belgian invention, and french toast translates as "pain perdu" (lost bread.) The whole renaming of food entities to "freedom" is one of the most embarrasing examples of impotent American jingoism.

France is a wonderful country (2.12 / 8) (#57)
by minerboy on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:18:42 AM EST

In fact, the French were doing a lot to turn Saddam away from the darkside that the americans had put him on during the 1980's. They were working through back channels to restore Saddam's economy, and to insure that the inhumane UN sanctions did not impact saddams abillity to keep the peace. They were also instrumental in bringing peace and justice to the people of the Congo.

Last, France has an impressive political system. At least they had two presidential candidates that represented the true political opinions of the French people, Chirac and LePen



Where does an American get off (none / 0) (#147)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:54:37 PM EST

trying to slight French politicians? Do you know who the president of your country is?

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
not at all (none / 0) (#276)
by minerboy on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 10:25:59 AM EST

I'm encouraged that french politicians are such fine representatives of french culture.



[ Parent ]
Linkies (none / 1) (#230)
by nictamer on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 10:08:41 PM EST

In fact, the French were doing a lot to turn Saddam away from the darkside that the americans had put him on during the 1980's.
Who's that guy?
They were working through back channels to restore Saddam's economy, and to insure that the inhumane UN sanctions did not impact saddams abillity to keep the peace. They were also instrumental in bringing peace and justice to the people of the Congo.
Congo? Belgian Congo?
Last, France has an impressive political system. At least they had two presidential candidates that represented the true political opinions of the French people, Chirac and LePen
You might want to try to learn what run-off voting means.
--
Religion is for sheep.
[ Parent ]
France and the Congo (none / 0) (#277)
by minerboy on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 10:35:15 AM EST

See - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/250394.stm

"The Zimbabwean government says its military intervention in the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo is being funded by France, Angola and Libya . . . Zimbabwe - home of Mugabe - ... "The Zimbabwean official said that France initially supported the uprising, but switched to Mr Kabila when the pro-American Ernest Wamba Dia Wamba was installed as the rebel leader."



[ Parent ]
Woah (none / 1) (#58)
by bml on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:45:19 AM EST

I missed that op-ed by Friedman back then. I've never been a great fan of his, but that one article is plainly schizophrenic.

At least he's not one for "staying the course", as so many other conservatives seem to be. His recent articles about Iraq are very critical of the Bush administration. Although he still seems to think invading was a good idea after all.

To sum up, he's more lucid about the whole thing than circletimessquare, but not much more.

The Internet is vast, and contains many people. This is the way of things. -- Russell Dovey

Friedman (3.00 / 2) (#82)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 12:29:47 PM EST

I missed that op-ed by Friedman back then. I've never been a great fan of his, but that one article is plainly schizophrenic.

Friedman is a sleazy bastard. He belongs to that disgusting and mendacious "liberal hawk" category. Like his ilk, Christopher Hitchens, he constantly whines spinelessly "I was for the war, but not for they war they waged it", as if that somehow redeems him. To this day he still writes ignorant jingoistic crap like: "winning in Iraq is so important to the wider struggle against Islamo-fascism". Unlike Hitchens, he was part of the New York Times establishment that acted as a mouthpiece for the administrations fabricated claims of a WMD threat from Iraq. Without them, the war may very well have never happened.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

I agree with what you say (none / 0) (#96)
by bml on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 01:26:12 PM EST

I'd not say he's liberal, though. Well, not in the US meaning of the word.

The Internet is vast, and contains many people. This is the way of things. -- Russell Dovey
[ Parent ]
America is too hung up on history (2.62 / 8) (#66)
by nebbish on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 11:00:47 AM EST

Europe has had to forget both WWII and the Cold War - in such close proximity to each other, if we didn't we'd never stop fighting. And it is in the past, with different regimes, different leaders, and different national mindsets in place now.

Asking for continuing gratitude for America's noble sacrifices in WWII is selfish and disrespectful - none of you or your leaders had anything to do with it; only WWII veterans can ask for thanks, and you can be sure they get it.

But exploiting something that happened 60 years ago for political ends? It's despicable and transparent, and in a continent with as much conflict as we've suffered seems outrageously rash and dangerous.

So excuse us if we sneer - I'm sorry but you deserve it.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee

those who forget history (2.66 / 3) (#67)
by minerboy on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 11:11:41 AM EST

Are destined to repeat it. Or at least that what they say. Luckily the French remember how the imperilist Americans and their lacky Churchill invaded the european Continent, to secure the hegemony in the world. Thankfully De Gaulle knew enough to insure that the Americans would not be able to dominate over the Russians, and then the French were wise enough to abandon NATO. Most americans are simply ignorant of their governments aims and policies, luckily the French are around to insure that there is not a hegemonony of american imperilism



[ Parent ]
There's a difference... (none / 0) (#574)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 04:12:16 PM EST

Between remebering and getting hung-up about something.

[ Parent ]
Agreed (3.00 / 7) (#69)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 11:20:57 AM EST

But exploiting something that happened 60 years ago for political ends? It's despicable and transparent, and in a continent with as much conflict as we've suffered seems outrageously rash and dangerous.

Hear, hear. The "we saved your asses 60 years ago" rationale for why France should do whatever America asks is obscenely over-used. It is especially weird that in a county whose institutionalized ignorance of history is profound and legendary, the one thing every American knows about historical fact before the year 1980 is that "America liberated France from Hitler". I expect that Iraqi-Americans in the year 2065 will never hear the end of "we liberated your asses from Saddam back in naught-three, pal".

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

Europe is hung up on history (3.00 / 6) (#72)
by NoBeardPete on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 11:39:02 AM EST

I would argue that Europe has just taken different lessons from history than the US has. World War I took a terrible toll on Europe, and was optimistically known for many years as "The War to End All Wars". Then, within a generation, World War II broke out, and trashed Europe even harder. Determined not to continue to be torn apart by ever escalating wars, the European powers formed the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) to try to prevent another European war. Over time, the ECSC has grown into the European Union.

The lesson Europe has taken from its history is that war is terrible. It's resulted in cities bombed to rubble or burnt to the ground, in countless civilians shot, starved, or dead through exposure and disease. It's laid waste to large parts of the land. It is something they've learned is very much to be avoided. It's something they remember so that they can avoid it.

The US remembers these wars rather more fondly, but it's a mistake to think this means the Europeans have forgotten.


Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!
[ Parent ]

+3, insightful (2.57 / 7) (#74)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 11:58:49 AM EST

The US remembers these wars rather more fondly, but it's a mistake to think this means the Europeans have forgotten.

Amen to that. One thing that people often overlook is that despite similarities of race and cultural heritage, the European and American outlooks on matters of war and peace could not be more different. Americans remember WWII as a fun technicolor series of adventurous bombing campaigns and dancing with pretty lipsticked USO girls, a heroic sequence of comic books larks where American fortitude and moxy alone stood up to a caricature of Human Evil Personified. Europe remembers WWII as suffering, genocide, starvation, and indescribable barbarity and cruelty, a set of years of absolute horror (following a previous set of years of unprecedented horror in WWI). They remember seeing their friends dragged away, summary executions, the humiliation of occupied towns, the arbitrary nature of military justice, the fire bombs that melted their loved ones before their eyes, the twisted corpses of famished children and the scattered limbs of victims of landmines.

If Americans (and the more militaristic-minded residents of K5) only had a little more insight into the European war experience, they might not treat war with such glib and casual glee. The fact that America has never really experienced war on its own soil since the Civil War makes the world view of Americans completely incompatible to that of Europeans.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

Nothing to be learnt from Austria and Czech? (2.00 / 2) (#106)
by meatsandwich on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 02:34:45 PM EST

Shouldn't the Europeans have learnt that passivity has an awful price? Western Europe did nothing when it was obvious that the Nazis were building up arms and took Austria and Czechoslovakia. It is fairly common knowledge that if Western Europe had entered the war a year or two earlier than it did that the Nazis would have been crushed sooner and with a much reduced number of casualties.

See also the Rwandan genocide, a previous colony of France and Belgium who did nothing (as did the US).

I'm not defending all aggression and am against the Iraq war. I believe the US and Europe are both wrong in their approach to war.

[ Parent ]
Rwanda was never a French colony (none / 0) (#112)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 02:56:18 PM EST

In the words of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts. Kindly don't make things up.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
OK, I was wrong about being a French Colony ... (none / 0) (#113)
by meatsandwich on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:10:34 PM EST

... but the French had a very strong connection with the Hutus (a military alliance I believe) and conveniently turned a blind eye to the atrocity. The point was that passivity is not always right and is still valid in the Rwandan case even if I was wrong on some factual details.

[ Parent ]
A word of advice (none / 0) (#118)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:17:36 PM EST

I don't normally spend much time with people who invent facts and whose only contribution is to parrot hateful right-wing conspiracy theories, but I'll take a moment to offer a quick bit of advice. If you are looking for things to blame France for, I suggest you look at the history of Algeria rather than trying to blame them for Rwanda (especially since your accusation that they "turned a blind eye to the atrocity" is a tad hypocritical, no?)

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
Algeria too ... (none / 1) (#151)
by meatsandwich on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:01:54 PM EST

... but that's not the point.

I suggest you look at the history of Algeria rather than trying to blame them for Rwanda (especially since your accusation that they "turned a blind eye to the atrocity" is a tad hypocritical, no?)

I didn't blame them for Rwanda. I blame the Hutus for Rwanda. The French, Belgian, the UN, and Americans all should have acted however because of their ties with the country and their ability to stop it. Also, my point wasn't "the French are at fault" (which is why I didn't talk about Algeria), my point was "that passivity doesn't solve all problems". You are too defensive, you are looking for people attacking France when they're not (at least not in this post :-) ).

PS: I assume you're calling me "hypocritical" because you think I'm American. I'm not.

[ Parent ]
Hypocritical (3.00 / 2) (#163)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:15:51 PM EST

PS: I assume you're calling me "hypocritical" because you think I'm American. I'm not.

No, I call you "hypocritical" because I can guarantee that you are a citizen of one of the countries that just sat around and let the Rwandan genocide unfold without doing a thing to stop it, and therefore criticizing the inaction of other nations' passivity is the dictionary definition of "hypocritical".

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

No Subject (3.00 / 2) (#165)
by Cro Magnon on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:21:39 PM EST

The fact that my country (I AM an American) didn't do anything in Rwanda doesn't make France right. It just means that both countries (and a lot of others) were wrong. I didn't hear France telling the rest of us to get off our butts and do something. They have no more moral high ground here than we do.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
heh (none / 0) (#304)
by Battle Troll on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 03:45:11 PM EST

If Americans (and the more militaristic-minded residents of K5) only had a little more insight into the European war experience, they might not treat war with such glib and casual glee.

If Western Europeans only had a little more concern about what happened beyond their own borders, maybe they wouldn't have sold Eastern Europe into 50 years of slavery under the Communists.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Yeah (none / 0) (#307)
by shinshin on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 03:57:29 PM EST

Definitely! In hindsight, Western Europe really should have instigated a full-scale military invasion of the Soviet Union. Good to know that we have such reasoned and sober historians as Battle Troll making relevant and thoughtful parallels to contemporary situations.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
it's easy for you to be flip (none / 0) (#345)
by Battle Troll on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 09:39:21 PM EST

I don't imagine that the Russian army shot or raped any members of your family.

Say what you will, the West cold-bloodedly sold Eastern Europe out in order to save Germany from complete Russian domination. It bothered Churchill a lot, as an astute military historian such as you is doubtless aware. He said something about ferrous draperies on the subject.

The selective character of your outrage on subjects like these says more to condemn this article than I ever could.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Flip? Go to hell. (none / 0) (#372)
by shinshin on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 05:04:12 AM EST

The selective character of your outrage on subjects like these says more to condemn this article than I ever could.

Well, that's just beyond the pale. Look, I'm sorry that your family was butchered by Soviet troops, and I think that the post-WWII situation was a regrettable disaster (albeit one which I have yet to hear you propose a realistic alternative to, short of a full-scale land war in Russia), but the fact remains that that situation has zero bearing on the Iraq situation. If you think that Iraq presented a threat of sweeping across the region and subjugating its neighbors in Soviet style, then you simply do not have any understanding of the situation.

If, on the other hand, your familial experiences with the Soviet Union have led you to believe that all international situations should be dealt with using overwhelming military force justified to the populace with fabrications and outright lies, then I think you have become the demon you so despise, and should thus be considered a tragic casualty of war.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

wtf?! (none / 0) (#375)
by onix on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 06:04:01 AM EST

I think that's just about the most patronizing thing I have ever heard anyone say. Just listen to yourself.

---
I'm interested in certain of your thoughts. - medham
[ Parent ]
Ironically... (none / 1) (#382)
by OpAmp on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 08:06:50 AM EST

in Teheran/Jalta, it was Roosevelt who was giving Uncle Joe Stalin all that he wanted, not Churchill. Still, selling Central Europe to Russians was a joint Western European/American deal. And a pretty good one for them too. In exchange for something that wasn't theirs they got 20 million of lifes of Russian soldiers to win the war and 50 years of relative peace after the war.

[ Parent ]
Difference is understandable (3.00 / 5) (#77)
by The Diary Section on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 12:13:11 PM EST

Americans seem to remember the details (the French were invaded, the Germans were the "bad guys") but completely miss the point. Presumably this is because WW2 was something that happened somewhere else for them and is exclusively "about" soldiers and militarism than the ongoing suffering of civilians. America's WW2 didn't really have a "home front" after all. And they certainly don't meet daily reminders of it every day as the citizens of major European cities do if they choose to notice.
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]
daily reminders (none / 0) (#620)
by zenofchai on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 02:49:50 PM EST

like war memorials, like long-dead grandparents you never met but whose graves you visit every year. that kind of thing? some Americans think of WWII every day. I'm thankful for the courage of a grandfather who fought with the US Army Air Corps, and another who fought in the Pacific. And I think about them nearly every day. things like a father whose mind still hasn't swallowed coming under fire flying into Thailand during the Vietnam conflict -- he was drafted) -- and that was the first day. things like cousins who fought in Iraq and Kosovo. like a brother in the USAF.

surely, we have less to remember. no "home front" and all that.

daily reminders like missing eyes, fingers, and limbs. our grandparents and parents bear the scars of WW2 still, and you want to say that "America's WW2 ... don't meet daily reminders". surely, the cost borne by Russia and England and France was greater, but we paid as well.

we paid as well.

More Americans soliders died in WW2 than French. More Americans soldiers were wounded in WW2 than French. 16 million American soldiers fought. In a war that had no "home front" until Pearl Harbor, and even then it remained a remote vague something that few Americans connected with viscerally. Not in the way we connect with Europe, with the British and yes, the French. We're brothers in more than genetics. My parents and grandparents have shed blood alongside yours. I don't say that to demand a flock of sycophants or yes-men by any means. As I'll say below, it is the backbone of France that matters, that reminds me of "us".

I salute the French for sticking by their guns w.r.t. invading Iraq without due process of law. But those who paint "all Americans" as "ignorant, lazy, wasteful bigots" are every bit as bad as Americans who paint "all French" as "ungrateful cowards".

I am not ignorant of my country's sins, and there are many. But they are not mine, just as my country's glories are not mine. Just as I reject being labeled a vulgar, useless, selfish American.

I have shed uncontrolled, unashamed tears at Boston's Holocaust memorial. I am not, nor have I ever been, a Jew. I would say it is the Americans who know nothing of history, not those who are obsessed by some singular event or theme, that are the worse stain.
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
[ Parent ]

They're both missing something (none / 1) (#103)
by Cro Magnon on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 02:13:17 PM EST

Europe knows how bad war is, but they don't always realize that early action can prevent worse consequences later.

The US is quicker to act when it's neccesary, but most of us don't have first-hand experience with war and don't think of the real costs. War is not a video game and shouldn't be treated as such.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]

Necessary (3.00 / 2) (#207)
by svampa on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 07:53:08 PM EST

The US is quicker to act when it's necessary

That's the point. What's "neccesary" is highly debatable. The more strong a country is the more times war looks necessary.

Probably if Iraq war would had going to cost 15% of American people dead, cities destroyed and economy in bankrupt for years, Iraq war wouldn't had looked so necessary.

USA has to look back to civil war in 1861, and read Wittman's poems or watch "Gone with the wind", to think about its country destroyed by a war and the famine after the war. We, Europeans, may ask our grandparents.



[ Parent ]
A little action on their part in 1938 (3.00 / 2) (#209)
by Grognard on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 07:58:37 PM EST

would have led to their not knowing the answer.

[ Parent ]
Bollocks (2.80 / 5) (#115)
by dilaudid on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:12:16 PM EST

The Americans are probably the country least obsessed by history in the world - witness that most of them believe it's only 4000 years old... I'm British, and we're are still fighting world war II - it's on the telly practically every night, and from the coverage you'd believe that we single handedly won it.

The only reason the French and Germans want to forget the war is because it was so collossally embarrassing for them - collaboration was still a taboo until the 90s I believe? Which doesn't smack of moving on.

[ Parent ]

As a French friend of mine once said (2.66 / 6) (#146)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:53:26 PM EST

only WWII veterans can ask for thanks, and you can be sure they get it.
"Yeah, there were a lot of blow jobs given out in Paris on that day."

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Gratitude for sacrifice (3.00 / 4) (#272)
by Fred_A on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 09:35:14 AM EST

Besides we seldom hear the US people ask for gratitude for the noble sacrifice of all the Russians without whom the western front would had been completely crushed by the German army.

But then of course they were evil communists, so they don't really count.

Fred in Paris
[ Parent ]

We gave the evil commies (none / 0) (#275)
by Cro Magnon on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 09:53:35 AM EST

a seat on the UN Security Council! Isn't that enough?
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
My favourite line (2.80 / 10) (#68)
by The Diary Section on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 11:17:35 AM EST

is that the French are somehow "jealous" of America.

Whenever a random Yank starts up with that, you just know they've been to France, much less out of their own home state in all probability. France has the finest food, the best presented and most slender women (the girth of the typical American woman whilst perhaps not a problem in Texas is positively repellent when observed in the environs of Paris 5 for example), the greatest thinkers, the best art, the best wine, the best scenery, the finest beaches, the best skiing, the most elegant architecture, most refined aesthetics, most influencial fashions, best aristis/writers/poets/painters/scientists/sportsmen etc etc. Americans may crow about money, true, but that just reinforces the French feeling that Americans are coarse, vulgar and almost completely dead to anything that actually matters in life.

To a Frenchman these things are not opinions, but universally recognised facts, which can be slightly annoying at times, but for the most part there is some justification and they are in contention in most areas mentioned.

But jealous? Non. In the history of the Republic of France they have never been jealous of anyone else for a second.
Thats precisely why they are sometimes so irritating.
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.

Slightly annoying (2.83 / 6) (#71)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 11:37:39 AM EST

the girth of the typical American woman whilst perhaps not a problem in Texas is positively repellent when observed in the environs of Paris 5 for example

Agreed. It's actually quite sad: watching the morbidly obese Americans trundle down the streets of Paris past the healthy French who are doing their best to conceal their disgust is quite depressing. The tradition of Hemingway drinking in the feast of Parisian culture, cuisine and company has been replaced with mono-linguistic blithering pasty whales eating at the McDonalds on the Champs Elysées and whining in their wounded tones of over-entitlement about how much they hate the French. It is almost enough to make one ashamed to be an American, and certainly grants a lot of insight into why the French may sometimes appear to be a tad condescending.

That being said, all tourists are annoying: the French in America can grate on ones nerves as well.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

Hey, don't knock McD's on the champs elysees! (none / 0) (#285)
by Have A Nice Day on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 11:03:23 AM EST

It's the only place in the are you can get a beer at a reasonable price. Pretty decent beer too.

--------------
Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
[ Parent ]
does the fatness of the plebian Americans (none / 1) (#303)
by Battle Troll on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 03:42:21 PM EST

Give you a stiffy?

Ok, that was rude. But really, obesity is a worldwide epidemic, and if you don't believe me, ask the WHO what proportion of Turks and Egyptians are now overweight.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Epidemic ? (none / 1) (#529)
by mirko on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 05:38:11 AM EST

Just stop eating more than you burn, just stop drinking soda for the attitude. And, BTW, you don't need to eat meat, it's just rude and over-energetic. Switch of the telly, you need to get a life, troll. Epidemic... my (skinny) ass!
--
Finally I managed to make the decision that I would work on it. - MDC
we had to huddle together - trane
[ Parent ]
BGH (none / 0) (#544)
by tkatchevzombie on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 08:24:29 AM EST

Blame the government.

[ Parent ]
would you prefer international health crisis? (none / 0) (#555)
by Battle Troll on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 11:04:20 AM EST

If you don't like the word epidemic, all I want from you is that you acknowledge that the world obesity crisis first manifested itself in the USA but is now widespread.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
No duh. (none / 0) (#562)
by tkatchevzombie on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 02:42:32 PM EST

Three guesses where Monsanto and the FDA first "manifested" themselves.

[ Parent ]
I don't get it (none / 0) (#566)
by Battle Troll on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 03:42:18 PM EST

What does Dow have to do with fat Egyptians?
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Since you ask... (none / 0) (#597)
by tkatchevzombie on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 01:39:06 AM EST

Almost everything. Namely, selling them poisoned (but cheap) chicken with the complicity of corrupt governments.

[ Parent ]
I don't get it even more (none / 0) (#605)
by Battle Troll on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 08:34:11 AM EST

Links?
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Yah. (none / 0) (#606)
by tkatchevzombie on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 09:56:07 AM EST

Here. To be serious, though, price dumping of food products on the part of the U.S. (food products that are inordinately cheap precisely because they are manufactured with large quantities of hormones, antibiotics and toxic pesticides) is a world-wide phenomenon. Posting links is pointless as this "information" is 15-year-old news to anybody who doesn't live in a cave or behind the iron curtain of U.S. media.

[ Parent ]
if Turkey and Egypt are importing chicken meat (none / 0) (#610)
by Battle Troll on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 11:17:08 AM EST

From the USA, that's pretty astonishing; I would haver thought that a country with Egyptian levels of poverty would be able to compete on price with anything the Americans have to offer. I really would appreciate a link to that, as I do live in the USA.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Nothing astonishing at all. (none / 0) (#616)
by tkatchevzombie on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 01:33:42 PM EST

Old news. And more.

A quote: Egypt has become a large international buyer of agricultural commodities and the largest U.S. market in the Middle East, accounting for nearly a third of total U.S. agricultural exports to the Middle East/North Africa region in 2000.

That's exactly the point -- the dangerously low quality of American foodstuffs means American products are significantly cheaper than anything that could be produced naturally. (Without the massive amounts of industrial hormones, antibiotics and pesticides used in the U.S.)

[ Parent ]

I didn't know that (none / 0) (#651)
by Battle Troll on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 08:17:53 AM EST

Thanks for educating me.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Ecomonies of scale. (none / 0) (#652)
by tkatchevzombie on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 08:52:46 AM EST

Like in any other industry, basically. (Incidentally, the hype around "bird flu" and "mad cow disease" is oftentimes simply an excuse for implementing protectionist policies on food imports.)

[ Parent ]
The French. Mediocrity personified (1.25 / 4) (#102)
by meatsandwich on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 02:06:15 PM EST

French are jealous of America's power, it's why they pushed for a European Union. Their impact on the world is neglible in modern times and they are pretty pissed about it.

I totally agree with the article's premise, the US's hatred of France is baseless and embarrassing, but no more than the lie that is your post. Let's go through some of your points:

> the finest food
The finest Western food perhaps but it doesn't hold a candle to the food of South and South-East Asia.

> the best presented and most slender women
Subjective and generalized. Nobody can be right or wrong on this.

> the greatest thinkers
What does this even mean? Thinking about what? Thinking about the things that you are interested in perhaps? Again, subjective. PS: Who the fuck are you talking about?

> the best art
Maybe during the renaissance. Again, a big loss of prestige here and they're clinging to the past because it's all they've got.

> the best wine
Again, maybe once. Not anymore. Every other wine-producing country now has great stuff as well as crap. No one country really is better than any other. Again, a loss of prestige for France.

> the best scenery
Great scenery, yes. The best? No better than scores of other countries.

> the finest beaches
A joke right? Better than Hawaii, Australia, anything in the Pacific? I haven't seen French beaches but I'd say you're full of shit.
PS: Beaches with no surf are not even in the running.

> the best skiing
Perhaps. I'm not a skiier so wouldn't know.

> the most elegant architecture
All of continental Europe competes here. I don't think the French are ahead.

> most refined aesthetics
What the fuck are you talking about? Examples boy.

> most influencial fashions
Perhaps. Wouldn't know. Maybe this is the only thing that the French are actually the leader in but who the fuck cares. Why is this important?

> best arists/writers/poets/painters/scientists/sportsmen
Care to name any current people that are the best? This year 1/3 of one nobel prize went to the French. In terms of number of nobel prizes awarded they were beaten by the USA, Germany, Australia, UK, Austria, Egypt, & Israel. For sports France came 7th in the last Olympics' medal tally. These numbers are far from a great way to measure "the best" but I don't see you coming up with anything better. How do you even judge who has the best artists, writers, poets, & painters?

The French were influential and leaders a couple of hundred years ago, but now they just ooze mediocrity (as does nearly every country).


[ Parent ]

ROFL (none / 0) (#116)
by The Diary Section on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:13:58 PM EST

Lets get this straight, you want me (an Englishman) to defend French culture? Are you insane?

Two more things: First, if you want to know what words mean I suggest you look in a dictionary rather than waste my time. If you don't what aesthetics are and who might be considered amongst the most famous of French thinkers then there is really no point my trying to fulfill your other requests because you won't understand the answers anyway.

Second, you know nothing about the politics of Europe, they have very little to do with America at all. You might want to look up something called the "Common Agricultural Policy" and then consult a map and put two and two together. It would also give you some pointers on why France has some reasonably nice beaches in the South.

You might also consider the fact that not everyone exists to have power over other people.
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]

thanks, that explains it all (none / 0) (#127)
by meatsandwich on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:39:40 PM EST

On aesthetics and thinkers:
1) People who can only bring up the past are usually cheering for a country that has no influence in the present.
2) If you are focused on the entire history of the world then if you just look at Western civilization (which you shouldn't) France may come after the Greeks and the Germans.
Hardly the "best" and inconsequential in terms of the people who are alive today.

you know nothing about the politics of Europe, they have very little to do with America at all
1) I'm European
2) Other members of the European Union have different reasons for pushing it. The influence and the power of the US however was definitely a reason for the French, I'm sure there were others reasons too.

also give you some pointers on why France has some reasonably nice beaches in the South
From "the best" you've gone to "reasonably nice". How about you change it to "the best beaches that are fairly close to the UK". Wow, it must be the best in the world then.

You might also consider the fact that not everyone exists to have power over other people.
Nice coming from someone from a colonizing country that's defending another. PS: I never said it was, I said I think the French are jealous of the US, I never said that anybody should be.

[ Parent ]
I don't think you understand (none / 1) (#148)
by The Diary Section on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:55:59 PM EST

THAT IS NOT MY OPINION, IT IS THE OPINION OF MANY FRENCH PEOPLE.

I'm not "cheering" for anyone, I don't really like France and went to the trouble of posting a reason why I particularly dislike them, which you repeatedly agree...by arguing with me?

The South of France is nowhere near the UK you retard. Look at a map.

If I wanted to claim something beach-wise for the UK I'd point to the Cayman Islands or Monseraat or something anyway.

Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]

oh oh ohhhhhh (none / 0) (#161)
by meatsandwich on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:14:13 PM EST

Your first post said:

To a Frenchman these things are not opinions, but universally recognised facts, which can be slightly annoying at times, but for the most part there is some justification and they are in contention in most areas mentioned.

"some justification and they are in contention"? For someone who is making the same argument as me you have a funny way of showing it. If it was eighteenth century you'd have a point.

Plus, I think they are jealous (which makes me not on the same side of your argument)

That said, I should have picked up on your point and sarcasm and for that I'm an idiot. Touche ;-)

[ Parent ]
you're right and wrong (none / 0) (#143)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:51:17 PM EST

You do a good job debunking the parent's claims (though I agree more with him than you) but to claim that
Their impact on the world is neglible in modern times and they are pretty pissed about it.
is absurd. Though they aren't the super power they were 200 years ago, the people who care about, their great grandchildren are long in the grave. The contemporary French people are perfectly happy enjoying their excellent food, fine wines, beautiful women, wonderful beaches, and enviable art in their own delightful, quiet corner of civilized Europe.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
ahhh those content French (none / 0) (#174)
by meatsandwich on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:54:50 PM EST

The contemporary French people are perfectly happy enjoying their excellent food, fine wines, beautiful women, wonderful beaches, and enviable art in their own delightful, quiet corner of civilized Europe.

It's good to be happy with who you are and what you have. It was wrong of me to say "the French are jealous". I should have said "the French leadership and people in power are jealous".

[ Parent ]
politicians (none / 1) (#177)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 05:07:46 PM EST

are pretty much all like that, right?

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
What about naked women? (none / 0) (#168)
by Stoutlimb on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:31:23 PM EST

> the finest beaches A joke right? Better than Hawaii, Australia, anything in the Pacific? I haven't seen French beaches but I'd say you're full of shit. PS: Beaches with no surf are not even in the running. Yes, but do your beaches with waves regularly also contain plenty of naked women??? Personally, I would rate boobies higher than waves on my checklist of beaches. :-P Keep your waves, dude. Bork!

[ Parent ]
So ... (none / 1) (#172)
by meatsandwich on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:40:54 PM EST

... I guess your local strip club is the best beach of all ;-)

[ Parent ]
What about them? (none / 0) (#356)
by SvnLyrBrto on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 11:18:50 PM EST

Nekkid women, you can see all over the internet, or in any nudie bar.  Yawn.

The marks of good beaches, OTOH, are the sun, the sand, and the surf.  You won't find any of these in thay privy of Europe and Africa you call the Mediterranean, that even come close to what you'll find along the Pacific Ocean.

cya,
john

Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

Nobel prize in Chemistry went to a Frenchman (none / 0) (#181)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 05:36:32 PM EST

Yves Chauvin got it on Oct 5th.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Yes, which is what I said (none / 1) (#187)
by meatsandwich on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 05:54:35 PM EST

"1/3 of one novel prize"

He shared it with two others, Americans that too. One has to wonder how they could even talk to one another :-)

[ Parent ]

I misunderstood, then (none / 0) (#190)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 06:10:47 PM EST



No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Oh, and (none / 1) (#191)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 06:11:48 PM EST

One has to wonder how they could even talk to one another :-)
You can bet it wasn't the Americans who were speaking French. . .

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
What language should they have spoke? (none / 0) (#269)
by meatsandwich on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 09:05:04 AM EST

Are you implying they should have spoken French rather than the French guy speaking English?

Dude, if there were two French to one American then you'd maybe have a point, but even then it's debatable. English is the international language for communication. Where mother-tongues differ all international business and science is done in English and will be until perhaps one day when Mandarin or Hindi takes over (i.e. probably forever)


[ Parent ]

true, true n/t (none / 0) (#312)
by thankyougustad on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 04:59:20 PM EST



No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
wow, you must be trolling (none / 0) (#124)
by lostincali on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:36:25 PM EST

When I went to France I found the quality of food to be generally much poorer than in America. It was mostly sold in small markets where things were not fresh at all and people looked down upon any kind of supermarket or anything like that.

Other assorted culture shock?

Crappy plumbing, lack of air conditioning, political extremism everywhere, outright hatred towards Americans, the list goes on.

Of course, it could be that we're really just comparing stereotypes based on the best and worst of each country, but , I sure didn't find France to be this paradise you describe...

"The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."
[ Parent ]

FFS. (none / 0) (#130)
by The Diary Section on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:41:48 PM EST

ITS NOT MY OPINION, I'M ENGLISH FOR FUCK'S SAKE.
VOUS COMPRENDEZ? THATS HOW MANY FRENCHMEN I'VE MET THINK.

THERE TASTES IN MOST THINGS ARE DIFFERENT FROM YOURS.

ERGO, THEY ARE NOT JEALOUS OF THINGS YOU HAVE BECAUSE THEY DON'T WANT THEM ANYWAY.

WHY IS THIS SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND!?????
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]

woah (none / 0) (#139)
by lostincali on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:48:15 PM EST

calm down buddy, that's what it seemed like you were saying, FFS yourself. I don't have any problem with a difference in tastes, I just disagreed with your portrayal of France.

"The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."
[ Parent ]

Huh (none / 0) (#137)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:47:14 PM EST

France is generally recognized as having one of the world's greatest cuisines. If you didn't get to try it. . . then you shouldn't haven been looking for air conditioning in McDonalds.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
yes maybe in fine restaurants (none / 0) (#142)
by lostincali on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:50:14 PM EST

but in general I found the quality of food to be lacking. Go check out super-Wal-Mart sometime... and then compare it to your local neighborhood market.

"The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."
[ Parent ]

au contraire (none / 0) (#155)
by The Diary Section on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:07:11 PM EST

the best food in France is of the rustic variety. There is very little you can say against it in terms of quality or whatever.

In Paris for example you can be served some truly hideous nosh its perfectly true, its a matter of avoiding the tourist areas really.
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]

hm. you're probably right. nt (none / 0) (#160)
by lostincali on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:10:29 PM EST


"The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."
[ Parent ]

Are you for real? (none / 1) (#164)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:17:12 PM EST

How can you possibly compare fresh local produce from a local market to the irradiated shit they truck into Wal-mart? I would love to have a store here in Richmond with the variety of things I can get in the average French market. Are you sure you were in France?

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
again, (none / 0) (#173)
by lostincali on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:54:07 PM EST

you might well be right, but , in my experience, I ran across some crappy food while I was there. It's like it was produced to a lower standard. Now maybe it's because I was a tourist and didn't really know anything about France , but , that was my experience there. It sure didn't help that most people were very hostile just because I'm American.

"The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."
[ Parent ]

I think it must have been bad luck (none / 1) (#176)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 05:06:43 PM EST

really I do. Also I'm sorry that you felt singled out as an American. Stupidity isn't confined by nationality.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
am I being insulted, I cant tell (none / 0) (#231)
by lostincali on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 10:14:28 PM EST

damned French people!!!

"The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."
[ Parent ]

non (none / 0) (#234)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 11:04:40 PM EST



No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Yes, we do have crappy food available, too (none / 1) (#229)
by nictamer on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 10:00:00 PM EST

It's a free country.
--
Religion is for sheep.
[ Parent ]
Irradiated?!? (none / 0) (#241)
by Gooba42 on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 01:12:07 AM EST

What's "irradiated" got to do with the quality of the food? And since when have the reactionary luddites allowed food to be irradiated?

Last I knew it was a process which showed great promise in testing, had no adverse effect on the food but was scary to the ignorant because it had a word that sorta sounds like "radioactive" in the name and was not being allowed anywhere in the mass market.

[ Parent ]

read between the lines n.t (none / 0) (#311)
by thankyougustad on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 04:58:55 PM EST



No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
You're in Richmond? (none / 0) (#417)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 07:10:03 PM EST

Small world.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
Dude, (none / 0) (#423)
by thankyougustad on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 08:04:39 PM EST

we've talked about this. Bitchmond.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Lol, air con (none / 1) (#284)
by Have A Nice Day on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 10:59:11 AM EST

Noone outside the US uses it, it's a tremendous waste of energy.

Sounds like you were really unlucky on the food, I've always had fantastic food in Paris and elsewhere in France. As someone else said, you should stay away from the tourist hotspots if you can. The food in France is different from the food in the US - smaller portions, much much more delicately flavoured and most of it isn't just fried.

--------------
Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
[ Parent ]
well, you don't really need AC in England (none / 0) (#286)
by lostincali on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 11:28:35 AM EST

seeing as how it's always raining.


"The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."
[ Parent ]

Very true (3.00 / 3) (#288)
by Have A Nice Day on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 11:31:04 AM EST

There are about two weeks every year when everyone grumbles about the heat and says things like "I really should look into how much AC costs".

Then it starts raining again and we don't think about it until next year :)

--------------
Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
[ Parent ]
AC (none / 1) (#298)
by Cro Magnon on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 02:28:08 PM EST

There were a few thousand French who could have used it in the summer of 2003!
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Well (none / 0) (#332)
by Chep on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:13:39 PM EST

We gotta fill this Social Security Hole with something. At least corpses take up some space, and corpses don't dig deeper. /running away

--

Our Constitution ... is called a democracy because power is in the hands not of a minority but of the greatest number.
Thucydide II, 37


[ Parent ]

lies (none / 0) (#622)
by zenofchai on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 03:28:31 PM EST

Noone outside the US uses it, it's a tremendous waste of energy.

Visit the server rooms of nearly any IT shop within 40 degrees latitude of the equator. There will be air conditioning, and that's not all.

There will be snacks. Whoa-whoa. There will be snacks.
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
[ Parent ]

Maybe True but..... (none / 0) (#129)
by n8f8 on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:41:40 PM EST

All that is in the past. France ceased being a cultural or intellectual mecca a long time ago. The US picked up the mantle in the 1920s and Asia looks to be the next to do so. The big difference being that most Americans don't activly resent Asia for this but either don't know it is happening or are just happy with Anime, high-tech gadgets and voice-over flicks.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
Support. (none / 0) (#260)
by The Diary Section on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 07:53:08 AM EST

I was just reading this.

Most of the French feel neither burning animosity nor deep affection towards the British," says Christian Roudaut, author of a book on Anglo-French relations, L'Entente Glaciale. "I'm sure the British would say this represents precisely the sort of arrogance for which the French are notorious in the UK.

This is precisely what I'm on about.
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]

Dead wrong on most counts. (none / 0) (#353)
by SvnLyrBrto on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 11:12:13 PM EST

> France has the finest food, the best presented and most
> slender women
Wrong.  By a long shot.  Japan takes both of these prizes here... by a very large margin.  Thailand is a distant runner-up on the food side, with Korea and China tying for a closer second on the women.

> the greatest thinkers
China was turning out greater thinkers and philosophers when the french were just a bunch of ooga-booga types in an irrelevant backwater province of Rome.

> the best art
Italy.

> the best wine
Gotta concede that one.  OTOH, if you divide that by the obscene cost of a good French import; the quality/cost ratio greatly favors our own Sonoma county wines and some excellent Chilean imports.

> the best scenery
Not bad scenery, per se.  But yours is a statement of someone who has obviously never seen (even a picture of) California or Hawai'i.  The Golden Gates or Mauna Kea, in particular, put anything I ever saw in France to shame.  Also, Europe has better than France right across the Channel, in the UK and Ireland.

> the finest beaches
Once again, the statement of someone who has obviously never seen (even a picture of) California, Hawai'i, or pretty much ANY country with a coastline on the Pacific.

> the best skiing
Can't argue.  Don't ski.

> the most elegant architecture
Once again, Japan wins; followed this time by China... where they aren't tediously copying western styles, that is.

> most refined aesthetics
Ha.  Haha.  Hahahaha.  Just watch the Tea Ceremony performed some time.  Read about the study and preparation necessary to do it correctly.  'Nuff said.

> most influencial fashions
'Have to hand it to ya there.  Everywhere you go, even in Asia, you see Prada this, and Louis Vutton that.

> aristis/writers/poets/painters/scientists/sportsmen
Hardly.  The prizes for "Artists and painters" still goes to Italy.  "Scientists" to Germany.  "Poets" to... well... who knows?  Let France have it.

"Sportsmen" is a toss-up.  If it's a sport that the US general public has little or no interest in (sumo, soccer, rugby, hockey, cricket, F1, rally-car racing, etc.) the best come from all over the place, but almost never the US.  In sports the US public will watch (US-rules football, baseball, basketball, NASCAR, golf, etc.) you'll see that US teams and players dominate.

cya,
john

Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

And... (none / 1) (#387)
by DavidTC on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 11:07:22 AM EST

...the French love the Japanese, and vice versa.

While both of them will usually learn English as their second language, they will almost always learn French or Japanese as their third.

My French teacher had a funny story about how, when he went to Japan and didn't speak Japanese well, he ended up speaking French almost as much as English.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

Asiaphiles should at least state (none / 0) (#405)
by thankyougustad on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 04:54:04 PM EST

that they have an unreasonable bias before launching off into a comparision of countries based on arbitrary criteria. Some fool might start to argue with your opinions.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Architecture to Japan and China? (none / 0) (#575)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 04:23:18 PM EST

What about Italy and Spain?

[ Parent ]
The best trolls? (none / 0) (#527)
by IceTitan on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 04:49:21 AM EST


Nuke 'em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
[ Parent ]
vive la france! (3.00 / 5) (#70)
by Lemon Juice on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 11:33:59 AM EST

All you France haters are pathetic, you blame france for all of Americas problems. That isn't the way America used to be. There was a French guy name Jean-Paul Sartre who said you can't blame anyone for anything only yourself. That is called Existentialism. America used to be an Existentialist country. It took responsibility for the world and did right and good. Now it is just a political shithole with 2 parties wrestling while covered in shit. The rights of the individual are going away contrary to existentialism. All power is being centralized into the government, like communism. America is becoming a parody of its former self. It no longer stands for what it used to.

America is a joke.

careful (3.00 / 2) (#80)
by creativedissonance on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 12:25:54 PM EST

the reactionaries will accuse you of being anti-american. I find it instructive to separate America the political institution from America the populist institution -- i.e. America's politicians and foreign policy vs. America's people, landscape, parks, communities, etc.


ay yo i run linux and word on the street
is that this is where i need to be to get my butt stuffed like a turkey - br14n
[ Parent ]
separate citizens from their actions? (3.00 / 3) (#538)
by Anonymous Hiro on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 07:53:48 AM EST

Maybe you can separate the citizens from the people they voted for once.

But when they re-elect those politicians, then that's a significantly different thing.

Even if it's due to vote rigging, they still have a chance to do something about it. Wait a bit more and maybe it'll be too late.


[ Parent ]

true, but: (none / 0) (#623)
by zenofchai on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 03:51:40 PM EST

taken to extremes, some of your comment goes a bit too far. for example, Saddam Hussein very recently (a few days ago) still claimed to be the properly democratically elected president of Iraq. he was re-elected several times.

also, saying "they" to mean "all Americans" when, indeed, 51% +/- 1% of them voted for a candidate, is a bit disingenuous. there is nothing valid that the 49% +/1 1% of us who voted otherwise can do.

US presidential elections are weird from parliamentary perspectives. We don't vote a party and create a coalition government which installs a PM. We are given names of individual people (generally 2-4 of them, generally 2-4 of them are abhorrent choices) and you pick one to become the President of the United States of America. On a state-by-state basis there is a winner-take-all election for the state's electoral votes, which is not necessarily directly proportional to the state's population.

Some of the problem lies in how much unchecked power the executive branch now has (some of which lies in the problem of how much legislative power the judicial branch, which the executive branch appoints, seems to possess these days).

(Disclaimers: No, I didn't vote for Bush in 2000 or 2004. No, I'm not bitter about the election process for either election. Yes, I voted.)
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
[ Parent ]

WMD (none / 0) (#78)
by Viking Coral on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 12:18:53 PM EST

Just as a point of interest the follow groups suspected that Iraq had WMD. Mind you our dimwitted president said that it was for sure. CIA French Intelligence MI6 Russian Military Intelligence KGB German Inteligence and just about every other intelligence agency out there. The key words are suspected, every assumed he had them, no one knew if he did. As for hating the French, I don't care about them at all. My biggest problem with them is they wanted NATO protection (When that was relevant) but they didn't want to participate.

if you suspect, then take steps to find out... (none / 0) (#79)
by creativedissonance on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 12:23:44 PM EST

especially when those suspicions are a matter of debate within the agency (as it was in the case of the cia). mind you we had inspectors in Iraq for years prior to the war and the invasion made them stop their work (c.f. Ritter et. al). And while we're on the subject, if mere suspicion is all it takes for a major power to go to war these days, then we're all officially fucked!


ay yo i run linux and word on the street
is that this is where i need to be to get my butt stuffed like a turkey - br14n
[ Parent ]
WMD suspicions (none / 0) (#84)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 12:39:19 PM EST

The key words are suspected, every assumed he had them, no one knew if he did.

It really is too bad there isn't some kind of international agency that could carry out weapons inspections, or something like that. If only we had some sort of organization that could perform inspections, some international and impartial group that could be trusted to ensure that countries aren't building illegal weapons, we might have been able to avoid this whole mess! Oh well, maybe a future generation will build something beyond those irrelevant institutions that we are stuck with today.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

What if the government being inspected says no? (none / 0) (#97)
by wiredog on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 01:27:09 PM EST

What do you do then?

You can have sanctions against the country. To be effective they have to be strongly enforced, and have a severe effect on the general population. But people object to that, on the grounds that it interferes with business (companies in France, Germany, and the US led the way here), or that it kills babies (the Left in general). Sanctions didn't work in Iraq.

You can go to war. Why should the US (or anyone) go to war to force inspections? War, tooo, is a bad idea in that case.

You can realize that Iraq wasn't a threat to the US, and that the logic of massive retaliation would work on Saddam as well as on anyone else.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]

hey (none / 0) (#175)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 05:04:55 PM EST

To be effective they have to be strongly enforced, and have a severe effect on the general population.
This did happen in Iraq. It had no effect. Sanctions never affect the fat cats. That's way they don't work. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Iraq allow UN inspection?

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
No, Iraq didn't allow the inspections (none / 0) (#261)
by wiredog on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:07:37 AM EST

At least, not the sort of unfettered access that was needed. The limited access it did provide was only under threat of attack, or after an actual attack.

Which is why everyone in the intel field was convinced Iraq had something (WMD) to hide. The UN accepted that Iraq probably had WMD, as did the French, Germans, the Left in the US. The disagreement was over what to do about the Iraqi WMD.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]

What a strange thing to say (none / 1) (#179)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 05:21:15 PM EST

Sanctions didn't work in Iraq.

Come again? Sanctions worked perfectly: they successfully prevent Saddam Hussein from building illegal weapons. Unless you are privy to some recent discovery of stockpiles of chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons in Iraq that I may have somehow missed, the sanctions did precisely what they were meant to do.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

I hadn't thought of that (none / 0) (#180)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 05:35:31 PM EST

Sanctions worked perfectly: they successfully prevent Saddam Hussein from building illegal weapons.
Is this true? Weren't the things he's accused of wanting to build more easily aquired on the black market? Isn't it more the average person hurt by sanctions? Wasn't Hussein still driving from palace to palace in silver plated Mercedes?

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
It is true (none / 1) (#184)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 05:45:05 PM EST

Is this true? Weren't the things he's accused of wanting to build more easily aquired on the black market?

Not really, especially for nuclear weapons it would be very difficult to build a serious weapon with black market parts (e.g., "uranium from Africa"). In any case, it turns out that he was unable or unwilling to build illegal weapons, so the sanctions were successful.

Isn't it more the average person hurt by sanctions? Wasn't Hussein still driving from palace to palace in silver plated Mercedes?

Both those things are true, and are serious consequences of economic sanctions. Sanctions can kill, and aren't a cure-all. However, the sanctions weren't put in place to prevent Saddam from driving around in nice cars. They were in place to prevent him from being a threat to the region and from building illegal weapons. Both those goals were achieved completely.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

blind blind blind (none / 0) (#183)
by meatsandwich on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 05:44:56 PM EST

the sanctions did precisely what they were meant to do.

Look, I agree that the Iraq war was rushed into, which was wrong. But to hold the sanctions up as this ideal solution is naive. The sanctions may have limited Saddam's progress in WMDs but the real outcome of the sanctions was the enrichment of corrupt officials & the poverty of the Iraqi people. The goal of the sanctions were to make Saddam comply with U.N. resolutions which were indeed WMD related, but he never complied. The goal of the sanctions was transparency that Iraq did not have WMDs, and that was never achieved. Nobody knew he didn't have them. More should have been done to force him to comply before the war, and there was a monumental intelligence failure, but the sanctions were not a solution, merely a poorly implemented attempt at delay.

[ Parent ]
Ideal solution? (none / 0) (#188)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 05:56:41 PM EST

I never said sanctions are an "ideal solution". They had a devastating impact on the country. However, the indisputable fact is that they worked: Iraq was not able to build any illegal weapons or become a threat to the region. I certainly agree that the sanctions were not the best solution, and that the world faced a crisis over how they should be brought to an end. It is simply nonsense to claim that the sanctions didn't work.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
So... (none / 0) (#193)
by Grognard on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 06:48:25 PM EST

is it your contention that the sanctions should have been left in place indefinitely?

[ Parent ]
So... (none / 1) (#199)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 07:17:32 PM EST

I'm not making any contention at all! You insist on misreading my statements. I'll be as clear as possible on this very simple, albeit tangential, subject: the fact that Saddam did not have any illegal weapons proves that the sanctions worked. Period.

As the the morality of the sanctions themselves, that's a whole other issue.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

There is no misreading (none / 0) (#201)
by Grognard on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 07:35:03 PM EST

It's a simple question:  since the sanctions were working, should they have been kept in place?

[ Parent ]
Yes (none / 0) (#213)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 08:42:27 PM EST

They should have continued, for a time. Clearly, sanctions in their current form could not persist forever, but establishments like the Oil for Food program helped take away a lot of their barbarity, while still effectively preventing Saddam Hussein from becoming a threat to the region. As for a long-term solution, no one will ever know what would have happened, but Saddam had to die or get overthrown eventually. Slowly and gradually dictatorships have been dying out throughout the world over the past two decades, and Iraq would have been no different.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
A question (none / 0) (#216)
by Grognard on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 08:49:20 PM EST

Does this mean that deaths from the sanctions are more "acceptable" than deaths from the war?

[ Parent ]
Well, yes (none / 0) (#219)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:00:04 PM EST

Assuming that the number of deaths from the two causes are the same, then of course deaths from sanctions are preferable over deaths from war. War blows up essential infrastructure (there's still less electricity coverage in Baghdad than there was before the war). War creates militant hostility that will take generations to heal.

Do you believe otherwise? Your terse questions are obviously intended to lead down some moral or intellectual "garden path", so I'm interested to hear what your conclusion is.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

Assumptions can be dangerous (none / 0) (#221)
by Grognard on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:13:52 PM EST

Assuming that the number of deaths from the two causes are the same, then of course deaths from sanctions are preferable over deaths from war.

Estimates on the number of children killed by the sanctions are a multiple of the high end of the number of deaths attributed to the invasion.

War blows up essential infrastructure (there's still less electricity coverage in Baghdad than there was before the war).

You missed the effect of the sanctions on Iraqi infrastrure (notably, water treatment)?

War creates militant hostility that will take generations to heal.

That explains all the terrorist activity from Germans, Italians, Japanese, etc.  Not to mention, do you think watching relatives starve doesn't create hostility?  I believe the effects of the sanctions was used as one of Osama's "justifications" for his actions.

I'm interested to hear what your conclusion is

Quite simple - a short war, while damaging to the country, will inflict less casualties than an endless regime of sanctions.

[ Parent ]

Finally (none / 0) (#224)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:37:02 PM EST

Quite simple - a short war, while damaging to the country, will inflict less casualties than an endless regime of sanctions.

You could have just come out and said it and saved me a lot of typing. No one will be able to perform the gross moral calculus of body counts until hostilities in Iraq come to an end, and any declaration on either side would be prejudgmental. I agree that the sanctions, before they were tempered by the Oil for Food program, yielded an unacceptable death toll. Their severity was expected to cause an internal coup against Saddam, which clearly didn't work. Once the sanctions were tempered to prevent starvation and disease, but still prevent Saddam from expanding his influence or building weapons, they were much more humane.

All that is somewhat besides the point: if you are one to arbitrarily choose a violent solution when a non-violent solution is achieving its goals, then I'll repeat that there probably isn't much that I can say that will change your mind.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

Non-violent? (none / 0) (#266)
by Grognard on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:37:32 AM EST

All that is somewhat besides the point: if you are one to arbitrarily choose a violent solution when a non-violent solution is achieving its goals

I find it odd that preferring the method that causes a fraction of the number of casualties is considered arbitrary.  For that matter, it's a stretch calling any method that causes that much loss of life "non-violent".

You could have just come out and said it and saved me a lot of typing.

Not really...had you argued against keeping the sanctions in place, that would have been another argument entirely.

[ Parent ]

Sanctions vs. War (none / 0) (#305)
by shinshin on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 03:46:15 PM EST

I find it odd that preferring the method that causes a fraction of the number of casualties is considered arbitrary.

As I very clearly stated above, no one now knows what the final body counts will be. It is a prejudgement to claim that our military invasion and occupation will yield fewer causalities than economic sanctions. First, you presume to know the number of people that were killed as a result of sanctions (a number which, according to this article in the right-wing magazine Reason, appears to have been grossly inflated in the popular mind). Second, you seem to have some insight into the total number of people who will have died as a result of the Iraq invasion (which is strange, given that no one can even agree on the current number of civilian causalities: estimates range from 2,000 to 198,000 depending on who you ask). The relative merits of economic sanctions versus military invasion could be debated endlessly (for example, I suspect you don't think that we should have invaded South Africa or Libya instead of placing sanctions on them).

If the conflict dies down and in five years Iraq becomes a peaceful and prosperous modern democracy, then I'll be the first to say that the war turned out for the best. However, if that is your sole justification for the war (as it now appears to be with most of the apologetics that are cropping up in op-ed pages these days), you have to admit that it would have been best if that was the justification that was told to the American people before the war. Regardless of how the war turns out, I will never forgive the Bush administration for lying to America about the reasons for war: that Iraq was an imminent military threat to the United States and making 69% percent of Americans believe that Iraq was responsible for the September 11th attacks. That is the thing that turns my feelings about our Iraq policy from cautious disapproval to outright loathing.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

That's one option (none / 0) (#262)
by wiredog on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:11:04 AM EST

The other is to admit they didn't work. You then have to options. Dubya's option: Invade Iraq and force disarmament. French option (and mine): Drop the sanctions and go back to business as usual with Iraq, accepting the probability that the wogs will get to fighting amongst themselves, and we can sell weapons to both sides.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
Penny wise, pound foolish (none / 0) (#267)
by Grognard on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:48:20 AM EST

That particular option may have yielded a short-term profit, but the escalation would have cost us (and the rest of the world) much more in the long run.

[ Parent ]
Listen now. Pay attention. (none / 0) (#195)
by meatsandwich on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 07:05:22 PM EST

One more time for the dummies. The goal of the sanctions was to force Saddam to comply with the U.N. resolutions. The purpose of the U.N. resolutions were to make Saddam provide the world with proof that he didn't have WMDs. Saddam never complied, and if Saddam never complied then the sanctions did not meet their stated goal. Capeesh?

[ Parent ]
Proving an absence (3.00 / 2) (#197)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 07:14:03 PM EST

to make Saddam provide the world with proof that he didn't have WMDs

I'll let the absurdity of that statement speak for itself.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

Are you saying (none / 0) (#202)
by Grognard on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 07:38:26 PM EST

that it's unproven the he didn't have WMDs?

[ Parent ]
I think he's saying (none / 1) (#205)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 07:49:05 PM EST

that it's impossible to proove you don't have something simply by not showing it.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Indeed (none / 1) (#206)
by Grognard on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 07:51:24 PM EST

however, had he shown documentation and/or evidence of the destruction of said weapons, that would have been compliance.

Saddam chose to play a dangerous game (saving face?) and got called on it.

[ Parent ]

There was (none / 0) (#210)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 08:25:30 PM EST

There was tremendous evidence of the destruction of the weapons that was carried out by UNMOVIC. It is intellectually dishonest of you to try to carry water for the administration that used outright fabrications and lies to scare Americans into supporting the invasion of Iraq. You might have some other principled reason for supporting the Iraq war, but pretending the weapons argument was valid is not a fight you can win.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
Honesty (none / 0) (#212)
by Grognard on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 08:38:39 PM EST

When Viking Coral started this thread by pointing out that many intelligence services suspected that Iraq was not in compliance, you responded thusly, instead of refuting his statement (which makes sense, given the truth of his statement).  Now you seem to infer that the US was certain that Saddam had no prohibited weapons?

There was tremendous evidence of the destruction of the weapons that was carried out by UNMOVIC.

The concern was not what had been destroyed by UNMOVIC, but the unaccounted for stockpiles.  For whatever reason, Saddam played coy.  He was not in compliance, regardless of the fact that he had no prohibited weapons left.

[ Parent ]

You're talking in circles (none / 1) (#218)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 08:50:42 PM EST

and it's starting to bore me. If you think that the failure of Saddam to definitively prove a absence of something (disregarding the fact that that is a logical impossibility), the evidence that the Bush administration provided that Iraq had illegal weapons (despite the fact that the evidence has been proven to be fabricated), and the failure of Hussein to provide adequate accounting of the location of his weapons (despite reams of paper over the years and the testimony of weapons inspectors indicating that it was all destroyed or expired), together justify a unilateral invasion and occupation of the country, then there's little I can say that is going to change your mind. Debating the parsing of the term "compliance" might pass as reasoned discourse where you are from, but not here. Once drunk, the Kool-Aid obviously cannot be un-drunk.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
Circles? (none / 0) (#220)
by Grognard on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:03:39 PM EST

You're the one recycling the tired old "logical fallacy" argument.

You may find it "boring", but it's quite obvious that he could have proven his compliance, but only at the cost of his prestige as someone willing to defy the US.

And it's much more gracious to be silent when lacking an argument than to resort to pissy little "kool aid" comments.

[ Parent ]

How? (none / 0) (#222)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:16:01 PM EST

it's quite obvious that he could have proven his compliance

How, specifically? You mean by providing a 12,000 page weapons declaration to the Security Council that was dismissed before it was even read? You know perfectly well that the "disarmament crisis" was a farce, and yet you persist on this wholly discredited line of argument. Forgive my obvious contempt, but I've grown tired of suffering the arguments of fools.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

But... (none / 0) (#247)
by spit on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 02:45:03 AM EST

Colon had an artist's depiction of a truck, how can that evidence be disputed? A truck!

[ Parent ]
You mean this declaration (none / 0) (#265)
by Grognard on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:26:17 AM EST

Chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix told the Security Council that the Iraqi report contains "little new substantive information" and lacks "supporting evidence."

Forgive my obvious contempt, but I've grown tired of suffering the arguments of fools.

Well, it seems the fool has been able to support his position without resorting to ad hominems.  

You started with the "impossible to prove a negative" gambit and moved on to claiming that Iraq did provide sufficient evidence (which Mr. Blix, who would seem to have some authority on the subject, appears to disagree with), and have come up empty consistently.  Ranting about kool aid and calling me dishonest and a fool won't substitute for a real argument.

[ Parent ]

Analytical (none / 1) (#271)
by Kuwanger on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 09:27:47 AM EST

Let's be analytical about this.  There were two chief concerns related to Iraq and WMDs.

1.  Old WMDs that had been produced/bought/received prior to 1991.

2.  Newer WMDs made in violation of the UN resolution

Now, the first group could be divided into three groups: used weapons, known weapons, and unknown weapons.  Aside from the hard numbers that the US knows about, from the chemicals the US gave Iraq to known usages of said chemicals, there was still a large gap in knowing exactly how many weapons were actually left.  As was stated, the majority of known weapons were destroyed.  And the weapons inspectors had, throughout their many inspections, pretty much determined that there were few, if any, old weapons left.  There certainly weren't remote enough WMDs left to stage any war.

The second group, on the other hand, was much more debated.  As you put it, Saddam's unwillingness to show a loss of face basically forced him into not giving weapons inspectors the unfettered access to determine if, in fact, there had been no knew WMDs built.  It is primarily this group (though in part some of the used older weapons) that fit the unprovable category.  Simply documenting that one used the weapons in the past or even the weapons inspectors being granted unfettered access wouldn't insure compliance.  It is, after all, physically impossible to scour the whole country of Iraq simutaneously.  Further, even if it were possible, there would still be possible claims that an ally, like Syria, was storing them through the inspection period.

So, in the end, there seemed to be some misplaced and expired Saren gas canisters as the entire "stockpile" of WMDs in Iraq.  Considering what we knew to be true and even considering assumptions that Iraq might have built *some* WMDs, the only logically reason to attack Iraq now would be because it was assumed that even a short delay, like a year, would mean Iraq would have lots of WMDs and be able to stage a real war with WMDs.  Short of that, waiting even a year to try to bargain for more access would have worked to defuse the situation without leading to war.

The way I read the situation is, Saddam believed he could simply negotiate for more access in a way that would easy concerns some but not fully, so Iraq could still seem like it was able to withstand invasion.  However, Bush wasn't interested in that sort of diplomacy, where one refuses to do something when they really intend to do so after some compromise.  In the end, Bush and Co. believed they would be able to topple Saddam's regime and instill a bit of fear in other countries/terrorist groups to not "play around".  The existence of WMDs was partially an excuse and partially icing on the cake.

But now that we're in Iraq, and it's come to light that a light mobile military is great for taking over a country  but not for holding it, there's a lot of spin to try to salvage the situation by trying to underplay the fact that WMDs didn't really exist but instead it was more a UN resolution violation problem, ignoring of course that the UN was the one with the "legal" authority to declare war; paying enough attention to the UN as a basis for going to war when it's convenient but then ignoring them when they rule in a way that's not conducive to your plans undermines what ends up being the unilateral actions of a rogue state.  The only way to make it look less bad is to make it seem like the UN would have gone along with your plans if it wasn't corrupt.  It's no surprise then that France was the scapegoat, as it is a permanent member of the security concil, hence having veto power, and various public officials from France had pubically stated they were against a war.

So to make a long story short, a lot of fudging and smearing to cover one man's singlemindedness is what occurred.  It's not like the US had anything to really fear from Iraq even if they did have a few WMDs.

[ Parent ]

Very nice (none / 0) (#280)
by Grognard on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 10:47:07 AM EST

While I might quibble on some points (such as the UN having the only legal authority to go to war and the number of WMDs that would be required to constitute a threat), your analysis is pretty much spot on.

[ Parent ]
That whole thing was (none / 0) (#296)
by Egil Skallagrimson on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 02:21:18 PM EST

A guy with a Full House staring at a guy with nothing in his hand and telling the guy with nothing in his hand that he bluffing and that he better lay down his cards or he'll get called on his bluff.

And the guy with nothing in his hands is looking around going, "What, I'm bluffing?"

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

Enterobacteria phage T2 is a virulent bacteriophage of the T4-like viruses genus, in the family Myoviridae. It infects E. coli and is the best known of the T-even phages. Its virion contains linear double-stranded DNA, terminally redundant and circularly permuted.
[ Parent ]

France left NATO 1966 (none / 1) (#251)
by Filip on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 04:34:25 AM EST

...because they thought it better if Western Euroupean countries worked together (and also because they were getting along with the bomb).

AFAICT it wasn't because they were confident they could take on the Soviet union on their own (fat chance!) - but because they cherish freedom. So freedom fries will probably do nicely.

Then again - the French joke is that you can recognise the Belgian by him having fries with every kind of food. Somehow I gather that the French didn't bother with the "Freedom fries" business at all.
-- I'm just a figment of your imagination.
[ Parent ]

Are you kidding ? (none / 0) (#713)
by xaccrocheur on Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 01:13:01 PM EST

Man, the "frites de la liberté" was a BIG hit joke at the time ! An all-time corporate dinner classic !

[ Parent ]
Ingratitude is just the tip of the iceberg (1.00 / 11) (#87)
by omegageek on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 12:50:28 PM EST

EuroPeons are an annoying bunch, but the French are the worst of the lot. Their rudeness, xenophobia, notorious cheapness, disastrous dalliances with socialism and communism, and their generally poor personal hygene all contribute to the reasons why Americans hate the French. With all this going against them already, it doesn't take much more than being on the wrong side of an argument with us to stir up anti-French sentiment. It's hard to understand why we even bothered saving their bacon twice last century. Letting the Germans keep France might have been a worse punishment for them than all the bombs we dropped on them.

Omegageek


Digital Rights Management? Hell no! The only person with any rights on MY computer is ME.

I'm not sure how serious you were being, but... (none / 1) (#98)
by slashcart on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 01:28:31 PM EST

Their rudeness, xenophobia, notorious cheapness, disastrous dalliances with socialism and communism, and their generally poor personal hygene...
I've been to France several times and I'm always amazed at how wildly off the mark are American stereotypes of that place.

In fact I was shocked the first time I went to Paris, and found that their hygeine is excellent. In fact, the average Parisian devotes much more attention to personal appearance and hygiene than does the average American. Americans are the slobs, and they are known throughout the civilized world as being slobs. You can immediately distinguish the Americans in Paris from the French, because of the comparitively poor appearance of the Americans.

The other stereotypes about the French fare equally poorly. The French are definitely not cheap. The French are not xenophobic, on the whole--they have more tourists than any other country in the world, by far, and they deal with it well. And the French are not rude, not even the Parisians. The French who live in the countryside are quite friendly, and Parisians are often very reserved, but rarely outright rude. People from New York are vastly ruder than the Parisians.

It's strange that we would form so many stereotypes of another country, when 60% of our residents do not have a passport and wouldn't know if the French are rude or not.

[ Parent ]

Cheap (none / 1) (#100)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 01:46:54 PM EST

The French are definitely not cheap

I suspect that this stereotype comes from the fact that tipping is not customary in France (since their restaurant workers make a living wage), so they often forget to tip when they are in America, which makes them look obscenely stingy to American eyes.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

Perhaps... (none / 0) (#144)
by slashcart on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:51:18 PM EST

I suspect that this stereotype comes from the fact that tipping is not customary in France (since their restaurant workers make a living wage), so they often forget to tip when they are in America, which makes them look obscenely stingy to American eyes.
Perhaps true, but then I wonder why this stereotype is directly solely against the French. After all, no Europeans leave tips.

[ Parent ]
That's what the author of the article wonders (none / 1) (#330)
by svampa on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:04:11 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Tips in Europe (none / 0) (#653)
by twickham on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 09:09:37 AM EST

Some euorpean tip. In Germany its customary to round up to the nearest dollar. In the UK its quite popular to tip around 15-17.5 percent. Ive also tipped in Ireland... its different than the US in the sense that in the US its seems to have become very instituionalised(have an American wife who feels quite uncomfortable without leaving 15% tip :)

[ Parent ]
That's because in America (none / 0) (#676)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 10:44:53 PM EST

A 15% tip is so utterly standard that tips are considered justification for paying servers below-minimum wages and, at the same time, calculating how much in tips the servers likely got (at 15%) and making them pay taxes on that amount.

Thus, it doesn't even help to tip in cash, because the IRS makes the employer tally up the server's receipts and estimate how much in tips they should have gotten.

People who think "clown" is an insult have never met any.
[ Parent ]

You don't need to go to France to meet Frenchmen (none / 0) (#198)
by omegageek on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 07:14:50 PM EST

It's strange that we would form so many stereotypes of another country, when 60% of our residents do not have a passport and wouldn't know if the French are rude or not.


I live in a tourist "Mecca" that attracts a lot of foreigners. Maybe it is only the rude, cheap, and dirty French who leave France, and all the nice ones stay home. As for their xenophobia, try doing business in language other than French in France or anywhere else run by French-speakers and see what happens. They'll be ready to lynch you for daring to pollute their hallowed French language with whatever  native barbarian tongue you are speaking, or worse yet, putting on signs.

Omegageek


Digital Rights Management? Hell no! The only person with any rights on MY computer is ME.
[ Parent ]

Not in the least bit true (none / 0) (#281)
by Have A Nice Day on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 10:49:00 AM EST

In Paris and the other parts of France I've been to they are businessmen like any others, and as such happy to take your money in whatever language you desire.

They are proud of their language though, and resent english speakers just assuming that sooner or later everyone will be speaking english because it is somehow "superior".

The arrogance lies with you, not them.

--------------
Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
[ Parent ]
This is good n/t (none / 0) (#133)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:44:26 PM EST



No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
troll force 4? (none / 0) (#309)
by demi on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 04:05:16 PM EST

$

[ Parent ]
I'm American (2.75 / 8) (#90)
by kbudha on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 01:02:02 PM EST

And I like ze French.
Wee-wee!

On behalf of the sane minority of The United States of Embarassment.

I apologize for the attitudes and actions of my heathen compatriots.


OT: re your sig (none / 0) (#379)
by jobi on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 06:53:17 AM EST

At that particular juncture, I believe they were no longer the Knights who say Ni!, but rather the even more frightening Knights who say Ekki-Ekki-Ekki-Ekki-Ptang!

So it would be more correct for you to attribute your quote to KWSEEEEP. Even the acronym of their old nom-de-guerre KWSN would be preferable to the wholly incorrect KTSN.

Ni!

---
"[Y]ou can lecture me on bad language when you learn to use a fucking apostrophe."
[ Parent ]

so sry (none / 0) (#611)
by kbudha on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 11:17:41 AM EST

I'll fix it right away.

[ Parent ]
Most Americans don't dislike the French (3.00 / 2) (#101)
by slashcart on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 01:55:45 PM EST

A century after that, France is the most universally reviled Western country in the United States.
I dispute this point. The vast majority of Americans in coastal, urban areas find the recent French-bashing to be extraordinarily, surpassingly silly. And more than a few people in the middle of the country feel the same way. Indeed, the renaming of French Fries was, in the eyes of most Americans, an incredible embarrassment to our country...

Dispute, but verify (none / 0) (#104)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 02:30:06 PM EST

I dispute this point

Polling shows that only 35 percent of Americans like the French. Do you have anything other than vague anecdotal evidence with which to dispute this point?

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

Read your own article more carefully (none / 0) (#131)
by slashcart on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:42:19 PM EST

The actual study cited by your article (http://www.frenchamerican.org/pubs/Rapport%20FAF%20juin%202005%20v2.pdf) indicates that the number of Americans who "like" France has dropped from 45% (in 2000) to 35% now.

Here's how. A poll showing that only 35% of Americans like France, doesn't imply that 65% of American's dislike France. Indeed, 40% of respondents were either neutral toward France, or had no opinion on the matter. Thus, only 25% of respondents actively dislike France. And the number who like France (35%) is significantly larger than the number who dislike that country (25%), according to the survey which your linked article cited.

[From the original article:] A century after that, France is the most universally reviled Western country in the United States.
This still seems disputable to me.
Do you have anything other than vague anecdotal evidence with which to dispute this point?
Yes, because I've actually read the survey results.

[ Parent ]
Then dispute it! (none / 0) (#145)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:51:27 PM EST

[From the original article:] A century after that, France is the most universally reviled Western country in the United States.

This still seems disputable to me.

OK ... then dispute it. Just calling it "disputable" isn't particularly interesting. Name one other Western country that can plausibly be disliked more than France by Americans, provide some evidence, and then we can talk. Vague declarations that "things are disputable" are pointless.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

Sweden? (none / 0) (#252)
by Filip on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 04:37:14 AM EST

Home country of Hans Blix and Nanne Annan (wife of you-know-who).
-- I'm just a figment of your imagination.
[ Parent ]
bork bork bork! (none / 0) (#259)
by An onymous Coward on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 07:39:12 AM EST



"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
Nah, you love us... (none / 0) (#376)
by jobi on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 06:37:57 AM EST

...and can't live without our IKEA furniture and Volvo cars :)

---
"[Y]ou can lecture me on bad language when you learn to use a fucking apostrophe."
[ Parent ]
Who loves whom? (none / 0) (#534)
by Filip on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 06:42:25 AM EST

I'm a Swede... ;)
-- I'm just a figment of your imagination.
[ Parent ]
really, the France bashing isn't done hatefully (none / 0) (#123)
by lostincali on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:30:29 PM EST

I rip on France all the time but who really cares, it's just another bunch of people to make fun of. The American people don't really hate the French that much, at least not like how they hate Al-Qaeda or Hussein.

Do you think that most those "France Next" bumperstickers are meant to be serious or funny?

"The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."
[ Parent ]

That's what Jim Crow said (none / 1) (#388)
by Witchey on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 01:29:56 PM EST

when he was calling black men "boys" and making them sit at the back of the bus. "It's not done hatefully; some of my best friends are darkies!"

Granted, it is not exactly the same situation, but all ethnic slurs are hateful, whether you laugh after you say them or not. It's like saying that jokes that have Italian women being smelly or Jews being cheap as their punchlines are not prejudicial.

And the more they these slur are repeated, no matter how laughingly of half-heartedly, the more they influence popular belief.

[ Parent ]

I disagree. /nt (none / 0) (#392)
by lostincali on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 02:53:18 PM EST


"The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."
[ Parent ]

Thanks for pointing that out (none / 1) (#445)
by MSBob on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 12:44:50 AM EST

A prime example of that point would be "Polish Jokes" oh, so popular in America, at least until very recently.

I have heard all kinds of them, most are shallow and obvious, with a predictible punchline. Yet a lot of Americans seem to consider them extremely funny, and considering that Poles as a nation have got to be the most, pro-American people on the planet it's pretty dumb for the Yanks to shit so much on their biggest and loudest cheerleader.

I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
whatever, (none / 0) (#501)
by lostincali on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 08:37:22 PM EST

I don't get it, do you think you're superior or something because you reject dumb humor? It's stupid humor, yes, that's the point. Most people see it for that , have a laugh, and move on with their lives. God it's a good thing there are people like you around to show us how stupid and predictable we are.

Come on, if you take away our stupidity, what else will we have left???

"The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."
[ Parent ]

Stupid is one thing, racial another (none / 0) (#511)
by Witchey on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 10:54:46 PM EST

I'm all for stupid jokes, as long as they are funny, and I have been known to laugh loudly and hard at well-timed fart noises as well.

It's racial and ethnic slurs and jokes that I have a problem with, and their funniness is outweighed by the harm they do in perpetuating certain attitudes. Tell me, would the joke be so funny if no one, even deep down, thought the punchline was true?

And I know that I'm not better than anybody else - which is why I don't like ethnic slurs or jokes.

[ Parent ]

but you're missing something (none / 0) (#559)
by lostincali on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 12:17:48 PM EST

Most ethnic jokes are just another way of making fun of the person. It isn't anything about them. How many groups have ever been called lazy? stupid? cheap? greedy? Probably all of them. Get over it and learn to tell the difference between a joke and an insult. One is hurtful, one is not.

"The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."
[ Parent ]

Joking about *humans* is fun (none / 0) (#712)
by xaccrocheur on Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 01:09:25 PM EST

Can you get it ?? Humans. I love a belgian joke. Or a jewish one (I hang w/ jewish, they crack jew jokes all the fucking time, even I get tired sometimes!!) Heck, I love a good french joke ! Like, the fake google page that showed up when you clicked "...Lucky" after a "france military victories" that said "did you mean "france military defeats" ? that was plain hilarious, come on ! Even though not historically very accurate (mm..) it's still damn *funny* ! OK, racists fucks use "ethnic humor" but bear with me a second : there's a built-in difference : plain racist jokes are NOT funny. It works both ways : If it's genuinely funny, then it's not really racist. Oh fuck, if it's funny, it's just funny. come on, what do you joke about, flowers & miracles ? No, you joke about crippled kids and dead dogs. Don't lie. And even though, I *know* I'm not racist, so I *can* crack "nigger, please" (preferably to my black friends, who boast a fairly large collection of parisian stories) jokes, and believe me, I do :)) I don't want to live in a world were I cannot yell "fuck the US" w/ fear of being thrown to jail. Especially now :) My point : Humans are laughable. BTW, Chirac is a fucking scumbag. Sometimes even fox news get it right :)) (yet, it's MY president, so don't you dare badmouthing it in front of me, unless it's really funny)

[ Parent ]
Yeah, you really don't get it (3.00 / 2) (#518)
by MSBob on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 12:53:05 AM EST

Racial/ethnic jokes reinforce stereotypes and are therefore harmful. I'm sure it's OK if you're the one cracking them, it's a little less comfortable if you're at the receiving end. Especially if you're a minority and have to put up with disparaging attitudes of the majority.

Do you know how Polish jokes came about? They surfaced after World War II when a large chunk of Polish WWII soldiers had to flee the country to avoid Stalinist repressions in the then communist Poland (thanks to president Truman and Mr Churchil who signed away half of Europe to uncle Stalin). Anyway, the guys who were forced to emigrate were young, from a working class background and couldn't speak English to save their lives. So they were quickly branded "dumb" by then very racist American society. And it stuck, seemingly forever.

Ethnic jokes are nearly always hurtful because they typically targer vulnerable minority groups and are therefore truly disgusting.

I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
I still disagree (none / 0) (#558)
by lostincali on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 12:09:21 PM EST

Why is a stereotype in itself harmful? What if it's true? What if it has a tiny basis in reality, but really most people see past that and just think it's funny, like a caricature.

Most of those Polish jokes can easily be changed into any ethnicity. You can literally replace "Polish" with any group you want to make fun of. So , what, now we're saying that , uh, all of humanity has these traits? OH MY GOD WHAT A CONCEPT.

But, hey, don't let that distract you from your crusade. They're really suffering from this great injustice. I bet most Polish men go wet themselves and cry to their mom when someone calls them stupid as a joke.

"The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."
[ Parent ]

You are right sterotypes *are* often true (none / 1) (#626)
by procrasti on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 04:52:57 PM EST

Just look how stupid most Americans really are.

Note: Sorry to those very few thinking, democrat voting, anti-war Americans.  You just go to show that there are always exceptions.  The parent of this post is not one of them.

-------
if i ever see the nickname procrasti again on this site or anywhere in my life, i want it to be in an OBITUARY -- CTS
doing my best at licking arseholes - may 2015 -- mirko
-------
Winner of Kuro5hin: April 2015
[ Parent ]

oh yes, blindly accepting the dogma of one side (none / 1) (#633)
by lostincali on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 05:43:29 PM EST

without being able to even consider what others have to say really shows what a smart thinking person you are.

"The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."
[ Parent ]

I considered what you said (none / 0) (#639)
by procrasti on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 06:38:50 PM EST

then realised you were an idiot, ironically proving your point that sterotypes are true.

BTW, Did you hear the one about the smart American?
No?
Of course not, there aren't any!

Damn, your right, these harmless jokes are funny.

Okay, okay, I know, not fair... well, what about this one?

Did you hear the one about the retarded American?
He signed on to K5 as lostincali.

-------
if i ever see the nickname procrasti again on this site or anywhere in my life, i want it to be in an OBITUARY -- CTS
doing my best at licking arseholes - may 2015 -- mirko
-------
Winner of Kuro5hin: April 2015
[ Parent ]

ho ho hilarious! /nt (none / 0) (#648)
by lostincali on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 10:12:36 PM EST


"The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."
[ Parent ]

disagree -- "Western" (none / 1) (#614)
by zenofchai on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 01:08:51 PM EST

France is probably the most universally reviled "Western" country. Generally speaking, that term includes: The USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, West Germany, Italy, and Australia.

Of these, certainly France is more universally reviled in the USA.

If we include Russia, East Germany, many countries in the Middle East, and China, (heck even the "dey took our jubs!" country of Mexico), France might move down the list. As presented, I have to agree with the article author's description.

Personally I certainly do not hate "France" or "the French". I do get tired of non-Americans making fun of "Americans", that is perhaps the only sentiment that I dislike. I don't care if you dislike GWB (for example, I do as well), I don't care if you dislike laziness or sloth.

But if you want to lump all "Americans" together as the trash of the world -- guess what, that is me, my family, my friends in that statement as well.

So I will say: I dislike the French -- the ones who fling blanket labels on "dumb, fat, crude, ignorant" Americans like so much dung upon dung. To be sure, there are many dislikable Americans. There are also many dislikable Frenchmen.

I'll claim brotherhood with those who deserve it, regardless of what language they speak or what land they call home. That certainly includes millions of folks in France.
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
[ Parent ]

he fact that money was wasted and time spent (3.00 / 11) (#108)
by Egil Skallagrimson on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 02:41:48 PM EST

to pass a resolution to rename items of food should cause all Americans to stab themselves in the eye.

Americans are morons.

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

Enterobacteria phage T2 is a virulent bacteriophage of the T4-like viruses genus, in the family Myoviridae. It infects E. coli and is the best known of the T-even phages. Its virion contains linear double-stranded DNA, terminally redundant and circularly permuted.

Where do we go from here? (rock on) (3.00 / 8) (#119)
by ChadN on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:19:07 PM EST

Up until two weeks ago, I'd been a contractor for NASA for 12 years.  The day I walked into a NASA cafeteria to see that "French Fries" had been renamed to "Freedom Fries", was the last day I ever ate in a NASA cafeteria.  And not a single one of my colleages, that I talked to, saw that maneuver as anything other than a pointless, futile, and embarrasing gesture.

The debasement of my country, by our spineless and slithering government representatives, continues to both sicken and sadden me.  That one incident, in many ways, has come to symbolize the "Bread-and-Circuses" attitude of our leadership; they can't possibly understand what to do to defend against terror, hurricanes, or rampant inflation, but they know how to change a cafeteria menu...


[ Parent ]

I think if I were poor and American (none / 0) (#121)
by Egil Skallagrimson on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:21:58 PM EST

I would probably try and fly a plane into something.

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

Enterobacteria phage T2 is a virulent bacteriophage of the T4-like viruses genus, in the family Myoviridae. It infects E. coli and is the best known of the T-even phages. Its virion contains linear double-stranded DNA, terminally redundant and circularly permuted.
[ Parent ]

Interesting (none / 0) (#134)
by Cro Magnon on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:44:54 PM EST

I don't work for NASA, but I do work for the government, and I've never SEEN "Freedom Fries" at my lunchroom, or anywhere else.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
It was probably only for a brief time (none / 0) (#228)
by ChadN on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:58:42 PM EST

I think it only lasted for a couple of weeks at our cafeteria, presumably due to lots of grumbling (I wonder what percentage of people actually resorted to ordering "Freedom Fries" by name).


[ Parent ]
I'mma go stab myself in the eye now$ (none / 1) (#352)
by rhiannon on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 10:39:50 PM EST



-----------------------------------------
I continued to rebuff the advances... so many advances... of so many attractive women. -MC
[ Parent ]
IAWTP $ (none / 0) (#560)
by Egil Skallagrimson on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 02:00:31 PM EST


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

Enterobacteria phage T2 is a virulent bacteriophage of the T4-like viruses genus, in the family Myoviridae. It infects E. coli and is the best known of the T-even phages. Its virion contains linear double-stranded DNA, terminally redundant and circularly permuted.
[ Parent ]

No, it started long before. (1.60 / 5) (#111)
by J T MacLeod on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 02:50:14 PM EST

Methinks this was just another excuse to bring up the Iraq war again.  

The anti-French sentiment has existed long before the issue of GWB and Iraq.  It has simply become stronger as of late.  

Where did it originate?  Probably from the strong anti-American sentiment we've been seeing from (the more vocal) persons in France for many years now.  

The McDonald's bombings, the perceived support for the McDonald's bombings, the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF COMPLAINTS ABOUT AMERICAN CLOTHES WASHING MACHINES SCATTERED ACROSS THE INTERNET (Really, how did this become such an issue to harp on?!), Chirac's long-running thinly-veiled anti-American comments, the highly publicised attempts to shun outside ethnic influences, the language that rivals Latin for being needlessly complex (and the phoenetics of which are completely different from any other language sharing its alphabet), and many related issues.  

It's nothing new.  

I don't hate the French, but the anti-American sentiment ticks me off just like the anti-American sentiment coming from within America.  I do despise the French language, but I still aspire to learn it.  

Excuses (none / 0) (#114)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:11:53 PM EST

Methinks this was just another excuse to bring up the Iraq war again.

I'm sorry you find the topic so boring. It's a pretty important one for most Americans, so bears a lot of discussion.

The anti-French sentiment has existed long before the issue of GWB and Iraq. It has simply become stronger as of late.

Which is precisely what I wrote in the article. Did you even read it?

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

I noticed you forgot one (none / 0) (#122)
by lostincali on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:22:40 PM EST

France pulls out of NATO at the height of the Cold War. Or is that just another minor incident blown out of proportion?

"The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."
[ Parent ]

I didn't forget it: (none / 0) (#125)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:36:25 PM EST

it just happens to not be true. France was a founding member of NATO, and remains so to this day. France participated in NATO military operations in the Balkans, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghansitan. Saying that France is not a member of NATO is plainly untrue.

If you are referring to their withdrawal from, and subsequent rejoining with, the integrated military command, well what can I say: Charles de Gaulle was a shrewd prick.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

ok, well we're splitting hairs (none / 0) (#135)
by lostincali on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:45:11 PM EST

at this point. I just said they withdrew from NATO, which is true but maybe overly simplistic. Anyways, its just another example that the conflict between US and France that has been going on for quite a long time now -- that was like 40 years ago.

"The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."
[ Parent ]

We did'nt withdraw from Nato (2.75 / 4) (#225)
by nictamer on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:53:26 PM EST

We withdrew from the "integrated command." Which means that no french soldiers are to be under automatic direct command of the US army, and that the US had to move their military bases out of French territory.

However we are still bound by the North Atlantic Treaty, whereby, among other things, we will defend any other member country that's being attacked.

See, it's not hairsplitting, it's just simple facts.
--
Religion is for sheep.
[ Parent ]

In the article (none / 0) (#128)
by J T MacLeod on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:40:47 PM EST

...it seems to be insinuated that there were issues which were concerns, but didn't ramp into popular bigotry until the issue of the Iraq war came up (at which point those former incidents are given larger credit).  "However, until 2003, anti-French slurs were typically relegated to late-night comic acts and the occasional throw-away line by a politician or pundit."

[ Parent ]
Singes mangeurs de fromage (none / 1) (#149)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:58:21 PM EST

A bit of anecdotal evidence to support this: in 1995, the Simpsons coined the term "Cheese-eating surrender monkeys" as an anti-French slur (which, despite my latent Francophilia, I still think is pretty funny). People thought it was cute and you'd hear it recited as a casual throw-away anti-French line now and then. However, in the 2003 run up the the Iraq war, you heard it all the time. John Gibson of Fox News even said it on his show. Jonah Goldberg of the National Review uses it constantly. That's an example of the sort of heightened anti-French sentiment in the media that I am talking about.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
To be fair.... (none / 0) (#357)
by SvnLyrBrto on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 11:29:36 PM EST

The character who used the term "Cheese-eating surrender monkeys" was an equally over-the-top parody of a Scotsman.  And the mutual rivalry across the Straits of Dover has been going on for longer than anyone on either side, even knew that the Americas were here.

cya,
john

Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

precisely (none / 0) (#138)
by t1ber on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:47:59 PM EST

Which is precisely what I wrote in the article. Did you even read it?

He's right: You gave the topic lip service. Instead of covering other major conflicts in any sort of depth and discussing social change, you've simply reiterated the same tired talking points and party lines on Iraq of the libs. It's the same old song and dance. Guess what? We used to like them when they had guns and were on our land, but we really wanted them to get the fuck out so we could run our own country. Sound familar? That's what your article on Iraq, oops, I mean not liking France should have started with when you talked about the Revolutionary War.

And she said...
Durka Durka Mohammed Jihad
Sherpa Sherpa Bak Allah
Hadji girl I can't understand what you're saying.

[ Parent ]

Pardon? (none / 0) (#157)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:09:14 PM EST

you've simply reiterated the same tired talking points and party lines on Iraq of the libs

Come again? Which parts of my article, specifically, are reiterations of the "same tired talking points"? Are you sure you aren't just still smarting from being spanked?

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

Oh wait (none / 0) (#192)
by t1ber on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 06:30:14 PM EST

Oh wait, how about, the whole thing?

Why are you linking to a successful trolling?  Does that make your panties wet like dead Iraqi children?

And she said...
Durka Durka Mohammed Jihad
Sherpa Sherpa Bak Allah
Hadji girl I can't understand what you're saying.

[ Parent ]

Youre SO noble. (3.00 / 2) (#120)
by Egil Skallagrimson on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:19:45 PM EST

You hate their language, but you'll still try to learn it. A virtual light set on a hill.

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

Enterobacteria phage T2 is a virulent bacteriophage of the T4-like viruses genus, in the family Myoviridae. It infects E. coli and is the best known of the T-even phages. Its virion contains linear double-stranded DNA, terminally redundant and circularly permuted.
[ Parent ]

Not really (none / 1) (#158)
by J T MacLeod on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:09:54 PM EST

I just had a dream where I met and had a whirlwind romance with Alizée, and when I awoke I had a compulsion to learn French.  

It's nothing personal against the French people.  It's just the mechanics of the language that offend my linguistic sensibilities.  

English is my native language and I'm not too fond of it, either.  

[ Parent ]

what are your linguistic sensibilties? (none / 0) (#171)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:38:44 PM EST

I'm just wondering.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
On the French language (none / 1) (#132)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:42:44 PM EST

the language that rivals Latin for being needlessly complex (and the phoenetics of which are completely different from any other language sharing its alphabet),
As a matter of fact, French is so much simplier than Latin that they can hardly be compared in that way. It would be like comparing, I dunno, English and Old English. In addition, Portuguese is about as far away as French in pronuciation from Latin.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
I'm no expert (none / 0) (#140)
by Cro Magnon on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:48:33 PM EST

but I'd heard that Spanish, Italian, and Portugese were similar. French was the oddball of the group. And it might be easier than Latin and STILL be the hardest Romance language to learn.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
well, thats untrue. (none / 0) (#162)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:15:22 PM EST

French and Italian are a lot a like. So are Spanish and Portuguese. And lets not forget Romanian, Provençal, Sardinian, Catalan, etc. Gramatically, none of them are more complex than any other. In certain ways French is more complex, but the same holds true for them all in their own ways. The only generalization to made on that point is that they are all much, much, much less complex than Latin. French and Portugese are argueably phonetically the furthest away from Latin. If I had to guess I would say French is actually, for an Anglophone, one of the easiest Romance languages to pick up, thanks to the shared vocabulary from 1044. If you want a hard one, try getting your head around all the Arab words in Portuguese. Then go to Brazil and try to sort through all the African and Native American words that have entered into Brasieiro Falando.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Portuguese is not that hard (none / 0) (#167)
by SDaskaleas on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:27:44 PM EST

I learnt it in 2 months, accent and all. I spoke very good French before, so that must have helped.

All in all, the hardest thing about Portuguese is speaking it. Getting the accent right can be brutal.

[ Parent ]

I'm sure (none / 0) (#169)
by Cro Magnon on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:32:37 PM EST

that it's a lot easier for a French speaker to learn Portugese (or vice versa) than it is for an English speaker to learn either language.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Why? (none / 0) (#185)
by SDaskaleas on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 05:50:44 PM EST

Portuguese speakers manage to learn English, why is it harder for English speakers to learn Portuguese? Or any other language for that matter?

[ Parent ]
Because both French and Portuguese are Romance (none / 0) (#215)
by shambles on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 08:49:09 PM EST

...languages with a similar basic structure and vocabulary, whereas English is Germanic language with a very different structure and vocabulary.

Any speaker of a Romance language has a head start over an English speaker, conversely it should be easier for an English speaker to learn German.

I have heard it said that if you can speak two Romance languages (say French and Italian) you can get by in say Spanish and Portuguese without much further study.

People are more important than Truth - Edgar Malroy
[ Parent ]
maybe reading (none / 0) (#226)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:53:51 PM EST

but spoken I would say it wouldn't be possible.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Well the Frenchman I meet in Bogota... (none / 0) (#235)
by shambles on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 11:09:57 PM EST

... insisted he could understand quite a bit of Italian despite never having studied it.

People are more important than Truth - Edgar Malroy
[ Parent ]
fff (none / 0) (#316)
by thankyougustad on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 05:07:53 PM EST

having taken part in many multi-romancelanguage conversations, I can say that he was mostly full of it.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
well, understanding people (none / 0) (#331)
by lostincali on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:08:34 PM EST

is mostly bullshit anyways.

"The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."
[ Parent ]

it is often a one-way street (none / 0) (#474)
by Battle Troll on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 11:34:52 AM EST

Eg, Romanians have a far easier time understanding Italians than vice versa, because many common Romanian words have non-Latin roots, and Romanian grammar is more heavily cased and gendered (and prepositioned, and it has an exotic article system that often interacts with case endings.) If you're talking about prietenie, zburat, zgomot, galagie, or ghete, your Italian friend won't have a clue, much less if you append articles and use the third conditional. On the other hand, the equivalents of all these words are familiar words in Romanian, and standard colloquial constructions can readily be parsed. (I'm not speaking of literary grammar, of course.)
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Spoken is harder (none / 0) (#295)
by Cro Magnon on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 02:13:50 PM EST

My Spanish is still very poor, but I can read from a Spanish newspaper and at least get some of it. But I can't understand a word when the Hispanic ahead of me in the grocery store is talking with the clerk.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
You missed my point (none / 0) (#256)
by SDaskaleas on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 05:28:37 AM EST

People all over the world learn English as a matter of course, yet it is entirely acceptable for a native English speaker to say they cannot learn another language because it is so "different". It's an excuse for not really trying, if you ask me.

[ Parent ]
The difference (none / 0) (#270)
by Cro Magnon on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 09:23:37 AM EST

is that English is an important language. Portugese & French are not.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
You're joking, right? (none / 0) (#315)
by thankyougustad on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 05:07:06 PM EST

They are un-important? Are you sure? Do you mean less important? And are they less important than English to more than half the population of South America, a good amount of people in Africa, and of course, the people of Portugal and France?

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Yes and no (none / 0) (#335)
by Cro Magnon on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:39:01 PM EST

The above poster asked why more Portuguese speakers learned English than vice-versa. English is the closest thing we have to a Lingua Franca. It's not surprising that more people would try to learn it. There are fewer reasons for an English speaker to learn Portuguese. Ditto for French.

As for the way I phrased my answer, well, this IS K5. :)
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]

Franca? (3.00 / 3) (#419)
by scorchio on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 07:18:11 PM EST

English is the closest thing we have to a Lingua Franca.

The irony is almost unbearable.

[ Parent ]

Portuguese wasn't hard for me either. (none / 0) (#170)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:35:46 PM EST

But I speak French, too. The point is that it's impossable to really say which is 'harder' or 'easier.' The original post said that French was a needlessly complex as Latin, which is untrue, and is what I was taking issue with. I also said that phonetically, it was about as far as French from Latin. You know as well as I do that 'getting the accent right can be brutal.'

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
much less complex than Latin? (none / 0) (#302)
by Battle Troll on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 03:37:43 PM EST

How so? I imagine that all kinds of illiterate Italian farm boys managed to learn perfectly serviceable Latin back in 200 BC.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
I think you are saying (none / 0) (#323)
by thankyougustad on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 06:45:22 PM EST

that children learn any language no matter how 'complex'. You will never find me debating this. I am using complex here in the sense of rules relating syntax and anything grammar has a term for. Specifically, I am comparing Latin and French based on a few simple critera. One of those is the case system, which French has trunicated in significant ways. There are many other examples. The parent to my comment was claiming that French 'rivals Latin for being needlesy complexe.' That is an innacurate statement. Of course, that doesn't change the fact that Ovid spoke Latin as well as Baudelaire spoke French.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
I doubt that the Romans would have perceived (none / 0) (#347)
by Battle Troll on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 09:47:21 PM EST

Their own language as complex. Thus it seems to me that the term 'complex' is hopelessly compromised by perception bias in this context. I would imagine that, to speakers of a language entirely without articles and much lighter in prepositions than French, the French system would seem cumbersome and arbitrary. I don't think it's a meaningful statement to say that Russian, the grammar of which is heavily cased and gendered, is more complex than French; on the contrary, to a Czech its grammar is presumably comparatively straightforward and transparent. To a Chinese I imagine they're equally opaque.

It's probably harder to learn some aspects of classical Latin style from a book than it is to so learn literary French. But merely to add up genders, cases, and verb tenses seems to me to be an arbitrary and misleading way to assess a language's objective complexity, if there is such a thing (which I am inclined to doubt.)
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

perhaps you are right (none / 0) (#350)
by thankyougustad on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 10:00:16 PM EST

But merely to add up genders, cases, and verb tenses seems to me to be an arbitrary and misleading way to assess a language's objective complexity, if there is such a thing (which I am inclined to doubt.)
My own post was made as a response qualifying Latin and French as complex. I never did make a statement regarding their complexity vis a vis any other language. I was merely using the vocabulary first employed by the parent. Have a nice day.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
I'll give you... (none / 0) (#273)
by J T MacLeod on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 09:39:15 AM EST

...that about Portuguese pronunciation.  Not quite as bad as French, but still pretty bad.  

In either case, they are, at least, more phonetically regular than English.  

[ Parent ]

why the hell do you self-identify (none / 0) (#166)
by creativedissonance on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:26:53 PM EST

with mcdonalds and washer and dryer manufacturers?

mickey-ds' is a multinational corporation, about as American as your friendly Bermudan tax accountant. I'd wager the same is true for the appliance mfrs. Sure, they may place an American face on their American advertising, but thats to make people buy their crap!


ay yo i run linux and word on the street
is that this is where i need to be to get my butt stuffed like a turkey - br14n
[ Parent ]
hmm (none / 0) (#360)
by emmons on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 11:56:25 PM EST

Perhaps because they started in the US and sell American-style food?

---
In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
-Douglas Adams

[ Parent ]
on language bis (3.00 / 3) (#200)
by svampa on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 07:30:00 PM EST

the language that rivals Latin for being needlessly complex (and the phoenetics of which are completely different from any other language sharing its alphabet), and many related issues.

French is a lot more easier than Latin, in fact it's grammar is near any other romance language, Spanish, Italian or portuguese. Compared to other languages, it's easier than German, that has cases, or Finish that has even more cases than Latin.

French is not needlessly complex, in fact, no language is needlessly complex. It is as it is.

If you compare Frech to your own mother language, of course it's complex, your mother language looks very easy... to you. Try another to learn another language so you can have a more authoritave opinion.

By the way, about phonetics and English. Let me talk to you about my clear, neat and beatiful five Spanish vowels and compare it to the needlessly 12 vowels of English. I still have problems to hear any difference between "fan" and "fun" and what about "convers-eh - ee - sh on" where is the "t" of "conversation"? and the "i"? when has the "a" turned into a diptong? when has the "a" of "what" turnend into a extrange mixture of "ah" and "oh"?

Thank you for allowing me this little rant ;-)



[ Parent ]
Complex languages (none / 0) (#274)
by Cro Magnon on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 09:39:25 AM EST

I agree that any language looks complex compared to your native one. I've been trying to learn Spanish, and I consider their verbs to be a royal PITA, and "needlessly complex". I ASSume that French is similar. But Spanish is very easy to spell/pronounce, while French is (allegedly) difficult.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
French is quit regular in phonetics (none / 0) (#279)
by svampa on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 10:40:40 AM EST

Spanish, Italian and Portuguese are quite phonetic spelled, that is, a letter, a sound, with a few exceptions. In fact, that's quite common in most languages.

In the other hand, there are languages that have a lot of rules like "these letters together are pronounced xxx", like French or German. But even in these cases they are regular rules.

In both systems, Spanish-like, and French-like, most of times (99%) if you hear an unknown word, you can spell it right, and if you read an unknown word, you can pronounce it right with no doubt.

In the other hand, we have English, you must learn or guess the relation between the written word and the sound. I never understood those spelling contests in USA films, until I began to study English. Those contests are unknown in Spain or France.



[ Parent ]
As a matter of fact (none / 1) (#329)
by Chep on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 07:58:49 PM EST

spelling contests do exist in France. Check out Les Dicos D'Or someday. And the spelling rules are sufficiently complicated and twisted that scoring a perfect score at the Dicos D'Or final is a pretty good feat. You can, however, write semi-phonetically and still manage to be understood, true. But I wish the Lyons spelling won over the Parisian, during the 1500's.

--

Our Constitution ... is called a democracy because power is in the hands not of a minority but of the greatest number.
Thucydide II, 37


[ Parent ]

Hi (none / 0) (#336)
by thankyougustad on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:39:09 PM EST

can you point me to some pages with examples of the version from Lyon?

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
sure (3.00 / 2) (#378)
by Chep on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 06:50:57 AM EST

And straight from the writer's pen (or rather, feather): http://gallica.bnf.fr/Catalogue/noticesInd/FRBNF37250371.htm

--

Our Constitution ... is called a democracy because power is in the hands not of a minority but of the greatest number.
Thucydide II, 37


[ Parent ]

Concerning the language (3.00 / 2) (#381)
by OpAmp on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 07:50:46 AM EST

the language that rivals Latin for being needlessly complex (and the phoenetics of which are completely different from any other language sharing its alphabet)

As some who has learned both English and French as foreign languages, and whose mother language belongs to a completetely different language group, I can comment on the above. In short, it's bullshit.

French is NOT overly complex. There is such a perception, because of the steep learning curve at the beginning, when you have to learn a bunch of verb forms. However, once you are past that you realize that the language is internally very logical and consistent. In fact in French language courses, there is NO grammar teaching after a certain stage, because you already know all of it. Contrast that to English, where it is very simple at the beginning, but it becomes much more difficult the further you go and some new exotic grammar constructs start to appear. Heck, just get a book on English grammar and count the number of tenses, along with usage rules for each of them.

Futhermore, it is not needlessly complex. It does have some more complexity than English (e.g. in verb forms), but that helps to avoid interpretation ambiguity in many cases. As someone reading large amounts of technical documentation in both languages, I find less cases of ambiguous phrases in French texts.

Spelling. French spelling, compared to English, is straightforward. You just have to note that certain sounds are encoded as group of letters (i.e. "on", "an") and remember a handful of simple rules (e.g. concerning the impact of trailing "e" onthe pronounciation). And even if you make a mistake, you usually end up with something understandable without reading it aloud. In contrast, in English, you basically have to remember two forms of each word: a spoken one and a written one, AND there are still numerous ways to write a given word (e.g. light/lite).

[ Parent ]

Nice try (none / 0) (#456)
by bluebird on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 07:48:07 AM EST

I can not comment on english because I only have a limited grasp of it, but french is really difficult.

The writing is difficult. So difficult that even the french do not master it. Most french nowadays do not know how to write without mistakes.

The grammar is difficult. The tense system carries a lot of subtileties that have no equivalent in english. And there are tons of exceptions for anything.

The one thing were french is not as difficult as one might think is the pronunciation. It is a different system than most other languages. You do not speak every letter you see. But, once you figure this out, it is fairly consistent.

In comparison, german is quite straight, with clear defined rules.


[ Parent ]

inside the beast (none / 0) (#507)
by usr on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 09:39:12 PM EST

i'm german and i learned english and a little bit of french. i absolutely don't see where there are more clear rules in german. sure, the rules are defined somewhere but they are so full of exceptions that i quickly gave up on using anything than the intuition that comes with every mother tongue. the point here is that most native speakers do make a lot of of mistakes, but they tend to stick to certain accepted deviations from the rules that only the biggest pedant will notice, while people who have just recently learned that language might even make less mistakes but those are then of a kind that no native speaker would ever do.

english is quite good at keeping different meaning in different words inside a sentence, while french (but even more german) puts more ornamentation to words based on context. it's a bit like a crc checksum which gives more freedom for elipses and so on without getting ambigous.

when writing on a computer german can annoy me a lot because when you start writing your sentences less linearly by abusing the possibility to endlessly revise you often have to fix many words only because of replacing a single word with a different gender. even adding or removing a word can lead to a lot of suffix fixing. i have no clue how anyone could learn other than by growing up with the language.

french gives you a load of irregular verb forms to swallow but they are probably nothing to german exceptions or the huge nonexisting relation between written english and pronounciation (well, the french have that too with place names).

putting it all together there are two really good things about french:

#1 it gives you a minimal ability to read spanish, portugese, italian and latin

#2 you can get a huge vocabulary for free by taking the english language and leaving out all german words.

[ Parent ]

Well not at all ... (none / 0) (#549)
by BlueTrin on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 10:18:58 AM EST

I can tell you that having a good level in english is far more difficult that having a good level in french.

If it is easier to learn enough english to just type 2 or 3 sentences and say hello to some tourists. It is far more difficult to know the combinations of adverbs and verbs (I can't remember how they are called). You have literally thousands of them which all have a different meaning. In fact, most of the people in english speaking countries do not have a level equivalent in english than french people od in french and this is simply because english language is more complex, especially if you want to write or read books other than technical or action/fiction.

If you ask some linguists they will tell you how mastering english is infinitely harder than french and there are far more exceptions without any logic rules (in the grammar and pronunciation) than in french language.

Btw I am french and happen to have some linguists in my friends.
"Don't you know it is now both immoral and criminal to think beyond the next quarterly report?"
[ Parent ]
Two empires (2.75 / 4) (#194)
by svampa on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 06:55:59 PM EST

I would say that it began during and after the WWII.

France has been, or at least has tried, to be an empire. A great part of Africa speaks French, several countries in Asia were French colonies. Probably, French language was wider spread then English. Before WWII, French was the language of diplomacy, and would say that until late fifties.

France government has always suported and tried to keep "The Greatness of France". To certain extend, it acts as an backrupt aristocrat that want to be treated with respect

During the WWII, De Gaulle, in despite of French army had been defeated and he had only a handfull of troops, he insisted in commanding the troops that would liberate France, and having the last word of every operation in France.

After the WWII France didn't allow USA troops nor bases in its soil. It ran its own nuclear proyect, in despite of what USA wanted. French is an official language in UN and in NATO.

That's the problem. USA is an empire, and want to put its feet everywere. France is a "I was an empire, I wanna be treated as peer" and acts with independence. The clash is clear.

In fact, France and USA are in war, they are figthing in Africa. USA supports a banana government, and France supports a guerrilla of a banana leader, or vice versa.

I would say that, in despite of its real little power, France has enough power in international organizations and uses it with as little regrets as USA to be a pain in the USA's neck. And USA government does knows how to use media to start campaigns against anything to move the public opinion, and does it often.



Off base (3.00 / 2) (#196)
by thankyougustad on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 07:12:02 PM EST

France government has always suported and tried to keep "The Greatness of France". To certain extend, it acts as an backrupt aristocrat that want to be treated with respect
This is a popular urban legend. It is unfortunately not true, unless you define greatness as "what's best for France." The fact of the matter is that France DOES not pine after a lost glory. The fact of the matter is that their formal colonial possessions do not enter at all into the French consciousness, except in the form of French vs Arab racism.
During the WWII, De Gaulle, in despite of French army had been defeated and he had only a handfull of troops, he insisted in commanding the troops that would liberate France, and having the last word of every operation in France.
The French government was carried on in Exile by De Gaulle. The French army never surrendered, and the collaborationist government was declated null and void. How you can fault the commander of the free French for insisting on directing the liberation of France is beyond me. The fact is, there was a lot more going on beside French arrogence. The American's were just as worried as De Gaulle was about it being the large amount SOCIALIST fighters in France coming out on top. Both the Americans and De Gaulle prevented the socialist delegation from having anything to do with post WWII France.
France is a "I was an empire, I wanna be treated as peer" and acts with independence.
Are you implying that any country that acts with 'independence' is simply trying to assert some kind of departed glory? France acts the way it does because the declaration des droits de l'homme plays a major role in its domestic and foreign politics. Let me say again, FRANCE does NOT do what it does because of some kind of national complex. It does it because it is in the best interest of CONTEMPORARY France.
I would say that, in despite of its real little power, France has enough power in international organizations and uses it with as little regrets as USA to be a pain in the USA's neck.
So French foreign policy can be defined as follows : if it annoys the Americans, we'll do it. Brilliant.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Some points (none / 0) (#214)
by svampa on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 08:47:03 PM EST

Perhaps I didn't explain well.

So French foreign policy can be defined as follows: if it annoys the Americans, we'll do it. Brilliant.

No. I've said: If it annoys Americans, sorry, but we follow our own agenda as Americans do. In fact, my point is not that France is arrogant, but that it has a sane independent attitude, and that logically it annoys USA because they clash a lot of times.

And my second point (and probably source of disagreemnt) is that the stimule behind that positive attitud is the past "grandeur", specially after the WWII, nowadays much less. And probably without that stimule it wouldn't get the current share of power in international organizations.

How you can fault the commander of the free French for insisting on directing the liberation of France is beyond me.

Well. I would say that if you have force one , and allies have force ten, it's a little arrogant ask command over the other ten. A more realistic attitude would had been to say thanks and put his troops under their orders.



[ Parent ]
If OTOH (none / 0) (#253)
by Filip on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 04:46:53 AM EST

an Iraqi (with some credibility in Iraq) had been the leader of the invasion of Iraq - there might have been a much smaller problem with insurgencies now.

At least that was part of the problem in France: French socialists might have rebelled against an American invasion, and hailed a  socialist invasion/revolution. But with a legitimate French government leading the invasion - such insurgencies did not take place.
-- I'm just a figment of your imagination.
[ Parent ]

In what alternate universe (none / 0) (#268)
by Grognard on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:50:08 AM EST

would the French of 1944 rise up against the allied forces after Normandy?

[ Parent ]
French Socaliasm in WWII (none / 0) (#310)
by thankyougustad on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 04:54:39 PM EST

It is a very engaging subject and some research on it would answer your question.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
I think not (none / 1) (#386)
by Grognard on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 10:13:01 AM EST

First of all, I'm very well versed in the history of that period, thanks.

Second, having made that allegation, it is incumbent on Filip to back it up.

I'm well aware of the role French socialists and French communists played in the resistance movement (at least after the summer of '41).  I'm also well aware that the French communists were better prepared and better organized to engage in clandestine actions than the rest of their comrades.  However, the question was why would they resist (actively or passively) the Allies?  Without Soviet troops on the banks of the Rhine, such a scenario is pretty remote.

The most interesting thing is that Filip refers to a "legitimate" French government leading the invasion.  I'm curious as to how he considers a provisional Brigadier (promoted only in the last couple of weeks prior to the French collapse), the last minute undersecretary of state of the government that lost power to Petain's administration, represents the legitimate French government.  

Don't get me wrong, I think De Gaulle was instrumental in rallying the French people after their defeat, but his position of leadership came via Churchill's patronage, not any form of legitimacy.


[ Parent ]

Being the only French canidate (none / 0) (#535)
by Filip on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 07:06:06 AM EST

made de Gaulle a hell of a lot more legitimate than most.

But you sidestep my point entirely:

The only persons having good reasons to resist allied troops in Iraq at the time of the invasion were influent Baath party functionaries - quite comparable with Nazi colaborators in France. Yet today the situation in Iraq is a bloody mess. Where are all the happy Iraqis?

Socialists of WW2 France not aiding allied troops (or sabbotaging their adavance) would have benefited Soviet troops much more than Nazi troops (which would have been tied up at the west front anyway) - in which case Soviet troops would have reached further - in which case GDR would have ended up larger. Socialists vs capitalists was a conflict ever since the end of WW1 - and everybody was aware that it was waiting for a chance to flare up again - socialists more so than the allied powers (which is the reason Soviet troops pushed harder into Germany than allied troops). The question on Soviet government's mind was: To whom will defeated Germany belong? That question does not appear to have been on American/Brittish leaders' minds.

As for the analogy with Iraq - IMHO the acting of militant muslim movements WRT the occupation may be giving a pretty good picture of what may have been in France 1944. (A lot of "may" in there - but some worthwhile likeness too.)
-- I'm just a figment of your imagination.
[ Parent ]

Only candidate? (none / 0) (#541)
by Grognard on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 08:18:33 AM EST

Giraud and Darlan (prior to his assassination) may have been worse choices than de Gaulle, but he was hardly the only candidate.

The only persons having good reasons to resist allied troops in Iraq at the time of the invasion were influent Baath party functionaries - quite comparable with Nazi colaborators in France. Yet today the situation in Iraq is a bloody mess. Where are all the happy Iraqis?

At the time of the invasion and post-invasion are two different things.  al-Sadr's shiite militia didn't resist the invasion, but have from time to time resisted the occupation - which is quite logical from al-Sadr's standpoint.

Socialists of WW2 France not aiding allied troops (or sabbotaging their adavance) would have benefited Soviet troops much more than Nazi troops (which would have been tied up at the west front anyway) - in which case Soviet troops would have reached further - in which case GDR would have ended up larger.

To an extent - however, you must also remember the German tendency to resist the Soviets much harder than the western allies.  The farther west the Soviets advanced, the more the Germans weakened their western front forces.  Ultimately such a move would have ended up as a wash strategically.

The question on Soviet government's mind was: To whom will defeated Germany belong? That question does not appear to have been on American/Brittish leaders' minds.

Churchill had more of a clue, but Roosevelt was completely out to lunch on this issue.

As for the analogy with Iraq - IMHO the acting of militant muslim movements WRT the occupation may be giving a pretty good picture of what may have been in France 1944.

Too much of a stretch - short of a Soviet blitzkrieg taking Germany without the Germans being able to shift troops in France to the east, this would have been extremely unlikely.

France was in way too much of a hurry to get rid of the Germans to make this a likely scenario.

[ Parent ]

no need to rise up (none / 1) (#377)
by vivelame on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 06:46:31 AM EST

just, you know, "do nothing", do not blow up railways carrying german reinforcements, do not disrupt communications, and so on (french Resistance fighters were basically the allies' Spec Ops, and a lot of them were socialists/communists), do not pass along intelligence, stuff like that, and D Day would have ended quite differently.

--
Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
[ Parent ]
The question, however... (none / 0) (#385)
by Grognard on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 09:53:51 AM EST

was not how they would resist the Allies  but why would they?

There's no doubt that a sizeable number were communists (at least after the attack on the USSR) and that the communists actually had a leg up on their brethren in terms of organizing for clandestine action.

However, a scenario where the resistance preferred German occupation over the Allies is pretty far-fetched.

[ Parent ]

Bally sensible if you ask me (none / 1) (#278)
by Have A Nice Day on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 10:40:35 AM EST

After the WWII France didn't allow USA troops nor bases in its soil.

Bloody good idea that, I find it odd that we have US military bases here in the UK, I know we're pretty good allies but still, I don't recall ever hearing about a UK military presence in the US.

I also find it odd just how many countries the US does have a military presence in. I find it bloody weird that there's a big naval base (and famous prison) at guantanamo bay in Cuba. Isn't cuba supposed to be evil or something?

--------------
Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
[ Parent ]
Yup (none / 0) (#282)
by Cro Magnon on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 10:49:31 AM EST

When I first heard about Gitmo being in Cuba, my reaction was "WTF?".
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
It was leased (none / 0) (#283)
by Grognard on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 10:52:33 AM EST

similar to Hong Kong when the British were still running it.

[ Parent ]
I don't think anti-French sentiment is as high as (3.00 / 2) (#223)
by QuantumFoam on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:19:06 PM EST

you think it is. I live in Texas, which, thanks to our Connecticut-born President's claim of being a Texan, has gotten a bad rap as being a backwards hick state, presumably a hotbed of anti-French sentiment. I have never heard anyone cursing the French here. Perhaps it's because we don't get that much exposure to visiting Europeans.

Everyone I know thought the "freedom fries" thing was silly. I've never heard anyone order "freedom fries" in a restaurant. I always thought it was our elected represenatives doing what they do best: making asses of themselves.

The biggest anti-French cultural things I can think of came at least a decade ago. Mostly Al Bundy from "Married With Children"'s hate of the Gauls or random bits from the Simpsons ("Cheese-eatin' surrender monkeys"), but I can't think of any French-bashing that wasn't done in the name of humor.

Lastly, I'm a francophile, so maybe I'm missing something. My visit to Paris was cut short because I was broke and everything was expensive, but in my brief time there I experienced none of the rudeness that is commonly attributed to the French. Each French person patiently conversed with me despite the fact that my competence in their language is, shall we say, limited. I didn't get any shit when they found out that I was an American either.

In my experience, if there's a group of people in Europe that deserve our scorn, it's the Austrians. I don't know how it's possible, but their entire culture has something large and unpleasant stuck up its ass.

- Barack Obama: Because it will work this time. Honest!

We welcome french speakers (none / 1) (#455)
by bluebird on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 07:31:18 AM EST

Each French person patiently conversed with me despite the fact that my competence in their language is, shall we say, limited.

That's the secret. If you do not speak french at all however, it will be more difficult. My chinese girlfriend has had some difficulties here because she could not speak french at the beginning. People were slightly more rude and could not understand her.

Oh, by the way, the american imaginating that everbody should just speak english and understand american spoken english is one sign of imperialism of America.

[ Parent ]
I don't think that's uncommon (none / 0) (#599)
by QuantumFoam on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 04:27:42 AM EST

That's the secret. If you do not speak french at all however, it will be more difficult. My chinese girlfriend has had some difficulties here because she could not speak french at the beginning. People were slightly more rude and could not understand her.

It's not uncommon for a good number of Americans to be rude to non-English speakers, too. I'd be surprised if rudeness to non-native-language speakers wasn't the norm in most cultures. Nowadays, though, it's considered pretty distasteful to do so and if one ever did it at the workplace one would almost certainly be fired.

Oh, by the way, the american imaginating that everbody should just speak english and understand american spoken english is one sign of imperialism of America.

I was actually surprised at how common English was in Europe. It seemed like people who obviously originally spoke another language initially would speak in English in conversations I overheard, even if their original tongue was the same. In the Netherlands and Austria this was common, in the Czech Republic less so, and in France it was almost non-existant. Of course, I'm sure that I was in the touristy areas most of the time, so I'm not sure how valid this observation is. I never expected anyone to speak English, but I was usually relieved (being lost and broke), to find that most Europeans (especially the Dutch and Germans) spoke English better than the avarage American.

- Barack Obama: Because it will work this time. Honest!
[ Parent ]

you see it from a Texan perspective (3.00 / 3) (#649)
by stevie on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 04:52:24 AM EST

Let me tell you a story.

Roughly one month before the last Iraq war I decided to spend a month in the southern and southeastern US as I had come to like the place and the people from previous visits.
So I bought an Air France ticket to Houston (via Paris). When I arrived at the airport in my non-French, Central European country there was a strike in France and they gave me a Lufthansa ticket via Frankfurt instead.

While I waited to board the plane to Houston at the Frankfurt airport I chatted with two really nice Texans. I told them my story and why I couldn't fly via Paris. Then one of them said, "That's a good thing; you don't wanna go to Paris anyway." "Why?" I asked. To which he responded: "Because, you know, it's the French."
Now I knew about the stereotypes and all but such open francophobia was something I didn't really expect.

Once in Texas I found out that people's seemingly irrational hatred of everything French was not only directed at France but at everything they deemed to be part of "Old Europe." Every time somebody found out that I was from Europe they proceeded to ask me about my opinion of Iraq and no matter what the answer was I was confronted with suspicion and hostility.

This was at the heyday of the Freedom Fries thing. Every single day you would hear something about the French being cowards and waiters throwing their French wine out on the streets on TV. Many newspapers, even non-local publications had opinion pieces about how the French (and Europeans) should have their own 9/11 in order to understand why the Americans have to invade Iraq.

Now I don't hold anything against Americans or Texans in particular. I just think that many people were successfully influenced by the federal administration and a couple of their mouthpieces (read: media outlets). I am also not saying that they're all hicks who can't think for themselves; I think you just get used to that kind of atmosphere if you live there and don't see from the point of view an outsider does.

[ Parent ]

Cheese-eating surrender monkeys! (2.00 / 2) (#233)
by redelm on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 10:38:20 PM EST

Now that I have your attention, there are a few gaping errors: in 1781 the frogs at Yorktown were "ancien regime", vassels of Louis XVI. The french revolution didn't start until 1789, in part inspired by the American Rebellion (colonies revolt against foreign domination, countries rebel against local domination). I bet ole'Louis regretted his support.

Anyway, that's kind of old hat. A bigger deal is the French almost lost WW1 and the Cold War, and did lose WW2 and Vietnam. The US had to bail them out in all four cases. Worse that the French brought WW2 on themselves with the extortion of Versailles (reinforced by the inhuman British blockade). That wears thin, especially since Americans love a winner.

But never mind. The big gulf is cultural. America's dominant culture is anglo-teuton for whom the romance cultures are foreign and mysterious. And vice-versa. Americans perceive and return far more animosity from the French than the French themselves intend. They believe that friends should be able to talk frankly and publicly. It is a sign of trust. Americans have not inhierited the English debating tradition and are more teutonic: if you say anything possibly negative, you are an enemy. A very weak stance.



Bailing out (none / 1) (#236)
by shinshin on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 11:12:29 PM EST

there are a few gaping errors: in 1781 the frogs at Yorktown were "ancien regime", vassels of Louis XVI

I don't believe I ever suggested otherwise, did I? What's your point?

A bigger deal is the French almost lost WW1 and the Cold War, and did lose WW2 and Vietnam. The US had to bail them out in all four cases.

Your statement that the US "bailed out" France in WW1 and Vietnam is a "gaping error". The number of troops the US submitted to WWI was comparatively negligible. They were appreciated, but they in no way turned the tide of the war. And the US certainly didn't "bail out" the French in Vietnam: the French were long gone by the time the LBJ started deploying troops (based, ironically enough, on the fabricated evidence from the Gulf of Tonkin Incident), so there were no French there to "bail out".

You are, of course, correct about WWII. I mentioned that in my article.

As for the Cold War, the French (shamefully) were pretty well set up to embrace their Soviet conquerors with open arms, so it is debatable that we "saved" them in that one.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

No gape (none / 1) (#238)
by redelm on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 11:35:59 PM EST

WW1 bailout: The US was "Johnny come lately" with admittedly few troops. But both sides were utterly exhausted at that time, so they did have disproportionate military effect. It is doubtful the French (or the British) could have negotiated as onerous an armistice as Versailles without the US.

Vietnam: The French only left IndoChina in 1955 because the US stepped up to the plate and guaranteed the security of an unnamed state that became South Vietnam. The odious SEATO. Because this was worded entirely like NATO, JFK and LBJ knew they could not back out of Vietnam without undermining the nuclear-chicken game in NATO.



[ Parent ]

Are these the same people? (1.50 / 2) (#258)
by nietsch on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 07:32:27 AM EST

Ah I love it how naive folks can be here. As long as you can write a few sentences that are gramtically more or less correct, you are intelligent, so therefore everybody has to listen to you?

<blockquote>Anyway, that's kind of old hat. A bigger deal is the French almost lost WW1 and the Cold War, and did lose WW2 and Vietnam. The US had to bail them out in all four cases.</blockquote>

You missed the point that all those events are at least one generation in the past.
Slavery is very inhuman, the Americans did it at very large scale, so now the Americans have to pay damages to all african americans (and the lands they came from) in perpetuiity.

[ Parent ]

No slavery in Europe ? (none / 1) (#289)
by minerboy on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 11:42:15 AM EST

Of course there was, The English got rich selling slaves, (from wikipedia)France first abolished slavery during the French Revolution in 1794 as part of the Haitian Revolution occurring in its colony of Saint-Domingue. Slavery was then restored in 1802 under Napoléon Bonaparte, but was re-abolished in 1848 in France and all countries in its empire following the proclamation of the Second Republic." here is an intereting list

Slavery was abolished in these nations in these years: Sweden: 1335 (but not until 1847 in the colony of St. Barthélemy)
Haiti: 1791, due to a revolt among nearly half a million slaves
France (first time): 1794-1802, including all colonies (although abolition was never carried out in some colonies under British occupation) Gran Colombia (Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, and Venezuela): 1821, through a gradual emancipation plan
Chile: 1823
Mexico: 1829
United Kingdom: 1833, including all colonies
Denmark: 1848, including all colonies
France (second time): 1848, including all colonies
The Netherlands: 1863, including all colonies
The United States: 1865, after the U.S. Civil War (Note: abolition occurred in some states before 1865)
Puerto Rico 1873 and Cuba: 1880
Brazil: 1888
China: 1910
Saudi Arabia: 1962



[ Parent ]
Not that old (none / 0) (#556)
by redelm on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 11:18:36 AM EST

Vietname & the Cold War are well within my personal memory. And I suspect the memories of most policy makers and politicians.

They confirm a previouss pattern.

But I'm afair you missed my point. There are events. The bigger gulf is cultural.



[ Parent ]

nawak (2.16 / 6) (#237)
by Lode Runner on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 11:26:25 PM EST

I wonder if America's "progressive" community (i.e. NPR-leftwards) will look so kindly upon France once Sarko takes over. You can be certain the National Review crowd will change its tune.

Another issue I've got with this little piece of agitprop is that not everyone criticized by centrist/right elements in the American media doesn't deserve it. Much of what Bush supporters and moderate Democrats say about France is true and should be heeded.

For instance, Americans should all be ashamed that their government facilitated the sale or donation of about $200 million of weaponry to Ba'athist Iraq between 1973 and 1991. Noble France, which tried in vain to stop the US war machine in 2003, sold or gave Saddam's clan $5.5 billion of arms during the same period. So color me unimpressed by appeals to France's morality.

I for one will gleefully continue to take swipes at the ghastly proportion of Frogs who voted for Le Pen last go-around.

Anyway, I think France will come to its senses in the next decade. It bodes well for France that its leading literary figure, Michel Houellebecq, is basically a South Park Republican. And every céfran I've met (other than a couple of ENS and EP Napoleon complexers, who unfortunately are the ones running the place) seems to think that France and America have the same interests and that we ought to work together to protect them.

A toast to the France of 2010. Vive la France!

Bah (3.00 / 2) (#239)
by shinshin on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 12:46:32 AM EST

I wonder if America's "progressive" community (i.e. NPR-leftwards) will look so kindly upon France once Sarko takes over. You can be certain the National Review crowd will change its tune.

I wouldn't count your right-wing chickens quite yet, since Villepin is currently polling ahead of Sarkozy. Besides, Sarkozy shares more similarities with Clinton than with any Republican: he combines two of Clinton's notable traits (womanizing and ability to manipulate the press) into one by literally screwing the political of correspondent of his favorite cheerleading newspaper. Such style and verve is unheard of in the Republican party!

France, which tried in vain to stop the US war machine in 2003, sold or gave Saddam's clan $5.5 billion of arms during the same period.

Well, everyone has nasty global arms trade skeletons in their closet. We're hardly in a position to criticize anyone, as long as we're selling F-16s to both India and Pakistan. At least France wasn't arming both sides of a conflict. Furthermore, arms sales have nothing to do with France's objection to the invasion of Iraq, so I guess your mention of it is an irrelevant bit of, shall we say, "agitprop".

I for one will gleefully continue to take swipes at the ghastly proportion of Frogs who voted for Le Pen last go-around.

And good for you. The David Duke of France got on the ticket through a fluke, but they should be ashamed of themselves regardless.

its leading literary figure, Michel Houellebecq, is basically a South Park Republican

You're such a poseur: your knowledge of French literature begins and ends with your plagiarization of Michel Foucault. I'm surprised that someone who purports to dislike torture and rape would be able to stomach one of Houellebecq's novels. Assuming you've ever read one. Which you haven't. (Just like that time you lied about having read Kanan Makiya, no?)

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

laisse béton (none / 0) (#318)
by Lode Runner on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 05:47:25 PM EST

Anyone who spells Qaeda with a "u" is in no position to lecture me about geopolitics.

La belle France, of course, would never stoop to selling weapons to both parties in a war. Except for Africa and ironically enough India/Pakistan. And I applaud France for choosing only to arm the PRC in its confrontation with overbearing, threatening Taiwan.

As for Iraq, France lost a lot of money when Saddam went under. Anyone who believes Chirac and gang gave a rat's ass about preserving international law needs to have his head checked.

Finally, all the smart money is on Sarkozy. Granted, Le Monde loves him, but de Villepin's so detached from the vicissitudes of French people's affairs that he makes John Kerry look like Harry Truman.

[ Parent ]

the awful thing (none / 0) (#322)
by thankyougustad on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 06:31:11 PM EST

is that even though its almost enevitable Sarko will get elected, the majority of Franchouilles will say they hate Sarko. Then after the election, when they all vote for him, will claim its a disaster. Still, I have more confidence in the future for the French than I do that of the Americans.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
if Sarkozy wins (none / 0) (#341)
by Lode Runner on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 09:06:46 PM EST

I'd be quite willing to consider the possibility that France could have a brighter future than the US. If not, forget it.

[ Parent ]
Pretensions of international authority (none / 1) (#324)
by shinshin on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 06:52:31 PM EST

Anyone who spells Qaeda with a "u" is in no position to lecture me about geopolitics

Putting aside, for a moment, the fact that anyone who needs to resort to spell-checking in an argument has already lost it: anyone who doesn't know that Arabic uses a different character set than English, thus causing there to be a legitimate variety of spellings for the same word, is in no position take on airs of international savvy. Hell, there are over 100 different spellings of Muammar al-Qaddafi on record in the American press alone.

selling weapons to both parties in a war

If you are really trying to claim that France's $3B/year in arms sales is somehow worse than our $33B/year in arms sales, go right ahead.

Anyone who believes Chirac and gang gave a rat's ass about preserving international law needs to have his head checked

It is bizarre that you persist in promoting the canard that anyone who was opposed to the Iraq invasion did do for nefarious reasons. Your wretched demagoguery had been exposed and discredited time and time again; it is a wonder you even bother.

Anyone who believes a word that you, a documented liar, say, then they need to get their head checked.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

say what you like about me (none / 1) (#338)
by Lode Runner on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:56:49 PM EST

but you'll never find a reputable English-language source that spells it "Quaeda".

w/r/t total arms sales, please don't try to change the subject. The only reason the French aren't selling more is that compared US and Russian weaponry, their stuff is crap.

Given the demonstrable cynicism of French foreign policy, you'd need to be pretty damn gullible to believe that their motives in trying to preserve Saddam's regime(!) were pure.

[ Parent ]

Gullible, indeed (none / 0) (#371)
by shinshin on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 04:52:23 AM EST

say what you like about me

I will. Because you're a filthy liar and demagogue. I detest you above all the others because you ought to know better, and yet you remain a Republican apparatchik.

you'll never find a reputable English-language source that spells it "Quaeda"

I'm sure the BBC will be delighted to hear your lectures on spelling.

you'd need to be pretty damn gullible to believe that their motives in trying to preserve Saddam's regime(!) were pure

Pure or not, they were right. And you are, and will forever remain, wrong.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

that's a typo and you know it (none / 0) (#390)
by Lode Runner on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 02:32:56 PM EST

More than 99% of BBC articles spell it Qaeda or Qaida. Even the graphical side-bar of the (frankly obscure BBC Wales) page you referenced has it as "Qaeda". You should've just thanked me for pointing out a typo and moved on instead of trying to defend your choice of letters.

There's a strong correlation between moronic, uninformed utterances (from whatever part of the spectrum) and the use of "Quaeda".

[ Parent ]

So I guess (none / 0) (#399)
by shinshin on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 03:35:54 PM EST

the "reputable English-language source" I found isn't good enough. Want me to find more? Or will you acknowledge that different sources sometimes spell it differently? It's really a silly waste of time to argue this point.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
intellectual dishonesty is unbecoming (none / 0) (#414)
by Battle Troll on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 06:08:10 PM EST

The first letter is a quf. That's a throat g in modern standard Arabic. It makes sense to transliterate that with 'qu' in Spanish, but not in English, where is suggests 'kw.' Have you heard anyone say al-Kwayda? It sounds idiotic and nothing like the Arabic.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Pity we have no Académie française (none / 0) (#509)
by shinshin on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 10:12:14 PM EST

for the proper transliteration of Arabic into English. Then we'd have an authority to settle this silly dispute.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
it's not silly. (none / 0) (#514)
by Battle Troll on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 11:30:39 PM EST

Lode Runner is right: there's no reason other than ignorance to transliterate a quf with 'qu.' For further reference, refer to the table at the bottom of this page, which gives a simple standard romanization of the Arabic alphabet, letter by letter, including q for quf.

Hell, man, even the Hebrew quf is usually transliterated that way for clarity, even though most modern pronunciations have merged it with kaf. Can you imagine someone writing 'Quaballah' or 'Quodesh' and expecting to be taken seriously?

Loser.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Ignorance (none / 0) (#523)
by shinshin on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 02:47:15 AM EST

there's no reason other than ignorance to transliterate a quf with 'qu.'

Tell it to the BBC and the other 699,000 sites on the internet that do so (or the 1.2 million pages that use the spelling "Quatar", etc).

Loser.

Now that's uncalled for.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

this is fun! (none / 0) (#550)
by Battle Troll on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 10:23:06 AM EST

Tell it to the BBC and the other 699,000 sites on the internet that do so (or the 1.2 million pages that use the spelling "Quatar", etc).

Right away sir! As soon as you tell it to google, which attempts to correct your spelling to 'qaeda.' Or, for that matter, you could tell it to the government of Qatar.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

I never said that it was the only spelling... (none / 1) (#551)
by shinshin on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 10:33:11 AM EST

... just that to pretend that there is an unambiguous set of rules for the transliteration of Arabic into English is completely bogus. I'll invite you to take a look at the list of spelling alternatives in the Library of Congress name authority record for Muammar al-Qaddafi.

Furthermore, I can always fall back to my earlier assertion: anyone who needs to resort to spell-checking in an argument has already lost it.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

fine: (none / 0) (#552)
by Battle Troll on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 10:34:48 AM EST

If you can demonstrate a case for transliterating quf as 'qu' in English, I'll buy you a coke.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
hmm (none / 1) (#553)
by Battle Troll on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 10:35:14 AM EST

On reflection, make that a quoque.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Qur'an (none / 0) (#564)
by shinshin on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 03:31:45 PM EST

And the symbol is called "qaf" in Arabic, not "quf" (as it is in Hebrew, making me question your pretensions of authority on the matter).

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
so anyway (none / 0) (#577)
by Battle Troll on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 05:03:35 PM EST

That's not transliterating a quf as 'qu,' but a quf bearing the vowel u as 'qu,' which is to say something sounding like the English 'goo' or 'koo' - not 'kw-.' But anyway, either you know that or else you don't.

I will freely admit that I know much more Hebrew than Arabic.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

You're right (none / 0) (#578)
by shinshin on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 05:31:51 PM EST

I concede. It is incorrect to transliterate qaf as "qu" using any of the de-facto Arab-English transliteration schemes. It is a typo, albeit a not uncommon one.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
you're really trustworthy (none / 0) (#327)
by svampa on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 07:33:22 PM EST

Arabian has two sounds "k", we almost can't hear the diference, but for them are two different consonants like "p" and "b", (by the way, they haven't the consonant "p"). take a look. The reason why you choose "q" or "c" or "k" is absolutely arbitrary. In fact, in Spain we tend to translate both sounds with "c" before "a", "o" or "u" and "qu" before "e" and "i".

The question is that you have stated a point, and talked very self-sure when you don't have the first idea. I think I don't trust too much anything you've said so far.



[ Parent ]
the words you're looking for (none / 0) (#333)
by Lode Runner on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:35:47 PM EST

are "Arabic" and "transliterate". Also, I defy you to find a reputable English-language source that spells it "Quaeda".

That aside, thank you for the instruction regarding Spanish and Arabic.

[ Parent ]

true of every French scientist I've worked with: (none / 0) (#240)
by demi on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 01:10:57 AM EST

Not only highly skilled, friendly, and cool enough to give you freezer burn, most were well read outside of their specialities. But their administrators are awful. The liason I worked with from CNRS was an énarque. God, what a fucking asshole.

[ Parent ]
CNRS (none / 0) (#320)
by Lode Runner on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 06:10:36 PM EST

deserves special recognition for the huge presence of French talent in US labs. The stuff they've funded at the ENS impresses me, but they screw everyone else. And I can't think of any in-house CNRS researchers who don't need a swift kick in the ass.

[ Parent ]
Do you work in CNRS ? (none / 0) (#325)
by svampa on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 07:02:38 PM EST



[ Parent ]
nope, just with them sometimes /nt (none / 0) (#339)
by Lode Runner on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:57:41 PM EST



[ Parent ]
US supplied Iraq with chemical weapons (3.00 / 5) (#257)
by boxed on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 05:32:41 AM EST

Overpriced conventional weapons is one thing, illegal chemical weapons that were actually used against civilian populations is another. The facts are clear, the US gave Iraq chemical weapons. They were only surprised that they had used them all at the time of the invasion.

[ Parent ]
yes, and (none / 1) (#321)
by Lode Runner on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 06:18:35 PM EST

the only way for the US to make amends for giving Saddam such weapons was to remove him from power, despite your strenuous objections.

[ Parent ]
THAT I support, but instead they lied (3.00 / 2) (#476)
by boxed on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 01:29:13 PM EST

and sorry, I can't support lies. And the US waited till after the weapons had been used to kill lots of kurd. Hey, but who cares about the kurds mm?

[ Parent ]
at the end of the day. . . (none / 0) (#490)
by Lode Runner on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 05:09:29 PM EST

one had a stark choice: support Bush's war even though it was based on questionable premises; or let Saddam & Sons, sitting atop all those petro-dollars, continue on their merry way. It was a choice between bad and unconscionable. I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to determine what I think of the moral authority of the "anti-war" camp.

[ Parent ]
logical falacy here (3.00 / 2) (#491)
by caridon20 on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 05:20:16 PM EST

(http://www.infidels.org/news/atheism/logic.html#bifurcation)
There were more than 2 options.
You just picked 2 of the worst ones and tried to make them be the only ones.

/C

Dissent is NOT Treason Quis custodiet ipsos custodes
[ Parent ]

what other options? (none / 0) (#493)
by Lode Runner on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 05:32:29 PM EST

Seriously. The non-violent options all are premised on having leverage over Saddam, which nobody had. The UN sanctions weren't working. Saddam had all the money he would ever need. And there was no chance of a revolt.

I stand by my assertion and unless you know something that I don't, then you don't have the means to prove my proposed dichotomy false.

[ Parent ]

Again and again (none / 1) (#510)
by shinshin on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 10:14:34 PM EST

The UN sanctions weren't working.

For the billionth time, they were working. They were accomplishing their goal: to prevent Saddam from becoming a threat to his neighbors and build illegal weapons. They worked as intended.

Now, you might not consider them successful unless they drove him out of power. While that would be a laudable goal, that was never the stated intention of the sanctions. I think you know this, and you are distorting the motivation behind the sanctions to try to set up a scenario where the only reasonable solution is your beloved war.

you don't have the means to prove my proposed dichotomy false.

It is egregiously dishonest of you to continue parroting the vile right-wing bit of propaganda that anyone opposed to the Iraq invasion and occupation must be "pro-Saddam". As long as you continue spouting these blatant false dichotomies, I'm going to continue pointing out that you're a documented liar and a plagiarism. Fun, n'est-ce pas?

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

and yet again (none / 0) (#584)
by Lode Runner on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 07:30:05 PM EST

Were you still in diapers in the late '90s? Because back then people with your politics were all clamoring to get rid of the sanctions. Remember all the rhetoric? 500,000 dead Iraqi kids... "Worth it" (Albright) ... motivation for USS Cole bombing... blah blah blah.

Back then I was an apologist for the sanctions on the grounds that they effectively contained Saddam and that they therefore prevented war. I never bought any of the claims that the sanctions were killing thousands of babies, which meant being plenty outspoken. Circa 2000, the whole world (excepting US centrists and possibly Israel and Iran) hated the sanctions and were actively trying to dismantle them. Oil-For-Food aside, look at the $billions of smuggling. Google around for what your favorite commentators were saying in 2000. What was France's position? And then come back here and tell me that relying on sanctions would've made a feasible long-term strategy.

Yes, the anti-war camp's newfound nostalgia for a sanctions regime they were trying to undermine does turn my stomach.

[ Parent ]

Let me get this straight: (none / 0) (#590)
by shinshin on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 09:02:45 PM EST

You liked the sanctions, you never believed that they killed a lot of people, and yet you still preferred war and occupation over them? Can this attitude be explained by simple bloodthirstiness?
Back then I was an apologist for the sanctions

What a coincidence that you happen to always seem to be an apologist for whatever the right-wing does!

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

you haven't been paying attention (none / 0) (#592)
by Lode Runner on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 09:46:02 PM EST

"Saddam Must Go" was written in 1997. I was foolishly arguing to contain Saddam via sanctions until late 2000, when it became undeniable that the sanctions were ineffective, and indeed counterproductive. So whoever I was an apologist for back then, it wasn't the far-seeing neocons.

If I'm a warmonger then you're a neo-fascist. Bad versus unconscionable; and there's no third way.

[ Parent ]

why look it's the FALSEHOOD THAT WON'T DIE (1.33 / 3) (#343)
by Polverone on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 09:18:14 PM EST

Neither the United States government nor any U.S.-based companies ever gave or sold chemical weapons to Iraq. After WW II the U.S. didn't even sell or give chemical weapons to its closest allies, yet you think it gave them to Iraq?

No. Absurd.

What did happen is that U.S.-based companies sold Iraq "dual use" chemicals such that had legitimate industrial uses but could also be used as precursors to chemical weapons. They could have been used for making flame retardants, plastics, inks, pesticides... or mustard and nerve gases. U.S. based companies also sold designs and equipment for advanced manufacturing in chemical and other sectors. Turns out the chemicals and equipment were used to make mustard and nerve gases. Such sales were banned in the late 1980s after their true purpose became widely known, though they could (should) have been banned as early as 1983 when American intelligence learned about Iraq's chemical weapons activities.

So the U.S. certainly aided the development of Iraq's chemical weapons, but never actually gave or sold chemical weapons to Iraq. It may seem like splitting hairs, but it's as much difference as that between selling steel and lathes and selling guns.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]

Oh lookie here (none / 1) (#366)
by Hung Fu on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 02:02:18 AM EST

You're full of shit.

Can you explain to me the dual use of anthrax bacteria?

__
From Israel To Lebanon
[ Parent ]

Livestock vaccination research. (none / 1) (#415)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 06:24:42 PM EST

Human vaccination research.

General microbiological research.

There are quite a few strains out there that are unweaponizable, that don't infect humans or other animals, I believe.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

What about VX nerve gas? (none / 0) (#438)
by Hung Fu on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 10:31:06 PM EST

or West Nile fever?

__
From Israel To Lebanon
[ Parent ]
Please provide a shred of evidence (none / 1) (#461)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 08:51:19 AM EST

that the US sold nerve gas to any country on the planet.

Common Dreams is not a reputable news source.

Here's a hint: try getting the actual senate report and reading it for yourself.

"On Monday it was like, `Wow, it missed us, it took a turn east,' and everything eased up," Tyson said. "... And then all of a sudden, literally and fi
[ Parent ]

Can't read, clown? (none / 0) (#462)
by Hung Fu on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 09:00:20 AM EST

That's too bad.

Hint: The Sunday Herald is a reputable news source.

__
From Israel To Lebanon
[ Parent ]

ROFL (1.66 / 3) (#431)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 08:43:18 PM EST

Right. George Bush I sold Hussein biological weapons after the first gulf war.

Yeah. Pull the other one.

Actually, a question: What character set is that web site supposed to be using? Every single space character seems to have been replaced with "Ê".

"On Monday it was like, `Wow, it missed us, it took a turn east,' and everything eased up," Tyson said. "... And then all of a sudden, literally and fi
[ Parent ]

Shut the fuck up (none / 0) (#436)
by Hung Fu on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 09:47:47 PM EST

Clown

__
From Israel To Lebanon
[ Parent ]
Oh, Lord - I've been intellectually crushed (1.50 / 2) (#459)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 08:45:55 AM EST

I particularly admire the way you topped off your fact-based rebuttal by zero'ing my post.

Wow. You should go into politics. Or pimping.

"On Monday it was like, `Wow, it missed us, it took a turn east,' and everything eased up," Tyson said. "... And then all of a sudden, literally and fi
[ Parent ]

Formatting (none / 1) (#437)
by Hung Fu on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 10:29:04 PM EST

Here is a version without the formatting problem, which you could have found within 10 seconds of googling anyway.

Reports by the US Senate's committee on banking, housing and urban affairs -- which oversees American exports policy -- reveal that the US, under the successive administrations of Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr, sold materials including anthrax, VX nerve gas, West Nile fever germs and botulism to Iraq right up until March 1992, as well as germs similar to tuberculosis and pneumonia. Other bacteria sold included brucella melitensis, which damages major organs, and clostridium perfringens, which causes gas gangrene.
So, I take it you dispute these reports by the US Senate?


__
From Israel To Lebanon
[ Parent ]
I understand better than you know (2.25 / 4) (#458)
by Polverone on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 08:02:12 AM EST

When the reports refer to "the US," they actually mean "US based companies." The role of the government was to approve or disapprove sales of dual use materials. Dual use materials are those that have legitimate civilian applications as well as military applications. The Commerce Department mostly approved sales of dual use materials to Iraq up to the late 1980s. This is highly suggestive of moral culpability on the part of the US government, since Iraq's use of chemical weapons was known to (at least parts of) the US government as early as 1983, but it is still not the same thing as selling weapons.

All those pathogens you list were supplied by the American Type Cultures Collection, which is not a government agency. And pathogen samples alone are not biological weapons. The hardest part of making biological weapons is turning those raw organisms into a "weaponized" form that is suitable for storage and battlefield use.

I can possibly believe that a very small quantity of VX was sold to Iraq under the aegis of providing a reference sample for defensive work, but I'm certain that militarily useful quantities of VX were not sold to Iraq.

I would love to dispute or concede to these reports by the US Senate, but the Herald article makes passing reference to them without ever actually citing the report titles, dates, verbatim excerpts, or any other useful information. Further, since that article contains nonsensical stuff like "Pralidoxine can be reverse engineered to create nerve gas," I don't trust the Herald to handle the interpretation for me.

I say that the United States did not sell chemical weapons to Iraq because every article I've ever read on the subject says exactly that in the supporting details, even if the headline says different.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]

You're still full of shit (3.00 / 2) (#463)
by Hung Fu on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 09:04:52 AM EST

Don't try to back down from what you said. In your original comment, you categorically denied that US companies had ever sold Iraq chemical weapons; in fact you dismissed it as absurd.

Instead, as the article I linked to (from a reputable news source) clearly states, US companies did export chemical weapons and their precursors to Iraq.

Your whole argument about dual use doesn't mean shit, because Iraq did use the exports to produce chemical weapons, as the UN concluded, and the US knew they would because Iraq was in the middle of an enormous and bloody war.

I don't trust the Herald to handle the interpretation for me.
Well, gee, I don't give a fuck what you trust because I'm not here to persuade you. I know people like you can't be convinced by all the reason in the world. I'm just pointing out your bullshit. I know you'll just put your fingers in your ears and repeat your dumbass talking points again and again.

__
From Israel To Lebanon
[ Parent ]
you just blew (none / 0) (#492)
by Lode Runner on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 05:25:58 PM EST

a fine opportunity to support your claims with documentary evidence. I happen to agree with the thrust of your argument, i.e. the USA gave Saddam resources that could make chemical weapons knowing full well that that's what he would do with them. But I've never been able to prove my hunch. . .

[ Parent ]
Why bother with that? (none / 0) (#503)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 09:00:33 PM EST

Zeroing all the posts of people who disagree with you is much easier, and fun, too!

People who think "clown" is an insult have never met any.
[ Parent ]
quelle surprise (none / 0) (#586)
by Lode Runner on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 07:41:53 PM EST

An apologist for a totalitarian regime trying to eradicate dissenting voices? What else is new?

[ Parent ]
calm down, sparky (none / 1) (#498)
by Polverone on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 07:02:51 PM EST

Don't try to back down from what you said. In your original comment, you categorically denied that US companies had ever sold Iraq chemical weapons; in fact you dismissed it as absurd.

No, I stand by that statement. If any VX, even a reference sample, was supplied to Iraq, it would have to be the government who actually supplied it rather than just approving an export; private chemical companies do not export VX to anyone. For that matter, private chemical companies don't have the facilities to make VX; it requires special precautions because of its extreme toxicity.

I spoke too hastily about the Herald's sourcing: they do refer to 1992 Senate hearings on 'US Chemical and Biological Warfare-Related Dual-Use Exports to Iraq.' Armed with that title and Google, I scoured .gov sites in search of the reports. I was never able to find reports from 1992. Searching on the wider Internet, I was overwhelmed with results and never found the original documents. I'm sure the original documents do exist somewhere, but I have to make do with later reports that contain similar information.

For example, the Government Accounting Office report NSIAD-94-98 appears to be the source (or at least a source) of the "771 different export licenses approved to Iraq" claim. But that same report also says:

The bulk of the items licensed were computers and other electronics, and other items such as civilian helicopters and machine tools were also licensed.  Dollar wise, the largest amounts involved three licenses, totaling more than $1 billion for heavy duty trucks. Commerce subsequently informed us that these trucks were never actually shipped to Iraq.  A Commerce official told us that Commerce was informed by the exporters that the purchasers for these trucks withdrew from the sales agreements at the last minute.

Why were all these sales approved? The GAO report answers again:

Dual-use items considered as strategic commodities and technical data are controlled by the Department of Commerce under section 5 of the Export Administration Act, national security controls.  These controls enforce the U.S.  policy of restricting exports that would make a significant contribution to the military potential of any country or combination of countries that would prove detrimental to the national security of the United States.  Section 5(b) of the Export Administration Act requires the President to establish a list of controlled countries for national security controls.  While section 5(b) specifies that the controlled countries are those that are contained in section 620(f) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, the President may add or remove countries from the list based on certain criteria.  Traditionally, the controlled countries have been the former Soviet bloc and other Communist countries or state sponsors of terrorism.

Iraq was not included on the original list of controlled countries; thus, according to Commerce officials, Commerce had no legal basis to deny Iraq any of the national security controlled items, unless it believed that the items would be diverted to controlled countries.


(My emphasis added). In the matter of exports Iraq was not treated specially as a friend or a threat: the default policy was to approve dual use exports to nations not on a blacklist, and Iraq wasn't on a blacklist. That's why the approval rate was so high. Regrettable? In light of history, certainly, yes. But export policy at the time focused on Communist threats and Iraq wasn't Communist. Further, the Chemical Weapons Convention wasn't  around until 1997, so special scrutiny beyond the US's unilateral export controls was not applied to items of use in a chemical weapons program.

I was also able to find the report U.S. Chemical and Biological Warfare-Related Dual Use Exports to Iraq and Their Possible Impact on the Health Consequences of the Persian Gulf War. The report is from 1994, but it seems to cover some similar ground to the 1992 report(s). Of particular interest is the section Iraqi Chemical and Biological Warfare Capability which discusses microorganism exports in some detail (seems to mirror the source of the microorganism claims made in the Sunday Herald).

Despite a couple of hours of search engine scouring, I have been unable to find a Senate or other government report that says the United States sold VX to Iraq, though I can find hundreds of replicas and echoes of the Sunday Herald article saying just that. But as I already explained, I don't entirely trust the Sunday Herald because that article was apparently written by reporters with no background in non-proliferation or the technology of weapons of mass destruction, and contains the howler "Pralidoxine can be reverse engineered to create nerve gas." Just as I wouldn't expect a general newspaper to properly report the details of advances in science or technology, I don't expect it to properly report the details of technology export controls and their significance. And in this case details make or break a crucial difference, the difference between selling chemical weapons and selling materials that were used to make chemical weapons. As I said before, it's the difference between selling a lathe and steel and selling guns.

I can't believe you dismiss all this as a "talking point." For one thing, I don't think I've ever heard an Iraq war supporter try to downplay the significance of dual use exports, perhaps because they are for the most part at least as clueless as your average newspaper reporter about proliferation issues and chemical weapons technology. For another thing, I'm not trying to say that the exports were unimportant, but that they should be called by their true name. "US companies sold Iraq technology that was used to make chemical weapons" is not much longer, and far more accurate, than "US companies sold Iraq chemical weapons" or "the US sold Iraq chemical weapons." And for a third thing, it doesn't make the Iraq War any more justifiable.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]

Easy. (none / 0) (#627)
by Apuleius on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 04:57:41 PM EST

Iraqis are (mostly) Arabs. Arabs raise sheep. Sheep carry anthrax. Ergo, there was plenty of cause for the Iraqi veterinary sector to want to keep up with the rest of the world in keeping anthrax down, and that means exchanging bacterial samples. As for bio-weapons, see above. Iraqis have sheep. They had no need of outside help for gathering anthrax spores for weapons.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Freedom Fries vs. antiaméricanisme (2.33 / 6) (#242)
by demi on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 02:03:42 AM EST

You can't really compare the sophomoric talk radio stunts of 2003 with France's centuries-old resentment of the New World. I will admit that an effigy of the toucan-nosed, mustachioed twit with a beret is a good for a few cheap laughs now and then, but consider its antipode. Anti-americanism burns down buildings and serves as the overt justification for huge policy-level initiatives in Brussels. If the feelings were mutual, those bumper stickers wouldn't be for yucks.

Keep in mind that the United States is probably the most receptive place in the world for French culture. Desplechin's latest took in more gross stateside than the rest of the world combined. We are the country that hosts a large population descended from French refugees of British-Canadian ethnic cleansing. In the mind of the average American, a Frenchman might be hopeless romantic and a hapless boob, but never a real enemy. Definitely if the US has a perennial bad guy in its cultural cross hairs it is the sallow skinned, RP-speaking irascible British fop.

Despite being a moron (none / 0) (#294)
by Egil Skallagrimson on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 02:04:49 PM EST

You're probably right.

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

Enterobacteria phage T2 is a virulent bacteriophage of the T4-like viruses genus, in the family Myoviridae. It infects E. coli and is the best known of the T-even phages. Its virion contains linear double-stranded DNA, terminally redundant and circularly permuted.
[ Parent ]

Hate trumps self observation (3.00 / 2) (#264)
by slaida1 on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:19:35 AM EST

"The Secret of Success is knowing who to Blame for Your Failures." -Despair, Inc.

In our everyday lives we've learned to avoid pointing fingers and instead try to play as good as possible with given cards. On large scale even this simple lesson is forgotten.

What's common with all arguing parties here is that they aren't moving us towards a better solution. They're trying to subdue objecting parties by pointing their flaws today or in history and somehow win the right to dictate rules from that point on. Things won't get better with that method.

This is a collective smokescreen. And we're preaching to a choir here, accomplishing nothing. Don't get me wrong, I don't want any of you start doing anything to fix things.

I want to make us all feel powerless, incomplete and unimportant and enjoy life while it lasts.

It's funny (3.00 / 5) (#290)
by decaf_dude on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 12:30:36 PM EST

USA: Our foreign policy is dictated solely by our national interests, and whoever doesn't like it can go fuck themselves.
France: Our foreign policy is dictated solely by our national interests, and whoever doesn't like it can go fuck themselves.
USA: Oh man, look at those fucking arrogant French...

It never ceases to amuse me when Americans bring up the WW2: it's as if they went to WW2 for the sake of the French or any other European nation, and not their own. To suggest Americans liberated France for the sake of French is same as suggesting Red Army rolled over Germans in Poland to liberate the Jews in concentration camps. Yes, it had that effect, but no, it had nothing to do with why they did it - a useful side effect.

--
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=89158&cid=7713039


That migh explain why (3.00 / 4) (#293)
by Egil Skallagrimson on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 02:02:54 PM EST

they waited around for more than half the war before valiantly joining the cause.

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

Enterobacteria phage T2 is a virulent bacteriophage of the T4-like viruses genus, in the family Myoviridae. It infects E. coli and is the best known of the T-even phages. Its virion contains linear double-stranded DNA, terminally redundant and circularly permuted.
[ Parent ]

well.. (3.00 / 3) (#349)
by emmons on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 09:54:19 PM EST

Perhaps that and the fact that at the start of WW2 our military was so weak that we would have had difficulty invading Canada.

---
In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
-Douglas Adams

[ Parent ]
Uh, huh. That's the reason. $ (none / 0) (#389)
by Egil Skallagrimson on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 02:28:58 PM EST


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

Enterobacteria phage T2 is a virulent bacteriophage of the T4-like viruses genus, in the family Myoviridae. It infects E. coli and is the best known of the T-even phages. Its virion contains linear double-stranded DNA, terminally redundant and circularly permuted.
[ Parent ]

Gratitude unwarranted? (2.50 / 6) (#291)
by decaf_dude on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 01:21:23 PM EST

USA: Our foreign policy is dictated solely by our national interests, and whoever doesn't like it can go fuck themselves.
France: Our foreign policy is dictated solely by our national interests, and whoever doesn't like it can go fuck themselves.
USA: Oh man, look at those fucking arrogant French...

It never ceases to amuse me when Americans bring up the WW2: it's as if they went to WW2 for the sake of the French or any other European nation, and not their own. To suggest Americans liberated France for the sake of French is same as suggesting Red Army rolled over Germans in Poland to liberate the Jews in concentration camps. Yes, it had that effect, but no, it had nothing to do with why they did it - a useful side effect.

--
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=89158&cid=7713039


You forgot one part... (3.00 / 4) (#398)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 03:21:46 PM EST

USA: Our foreign policy is dictated solely by our national interests, and whoever doesn't like it can go fuck themselves.
France: Our foreign policy is dictated solely by our national interests, and whoever doesn't like it can go fuck themselves.
USA: Oh man, look at those fucking arrogant French...

France: Oh man, look at those fucking arrogant Americans...

"On Monday it was like, `Wow, it missed us, it took a turn east,' and everything eased up," Tyson said. "... And then all of a sudden, literally and fi
[ Parent ]
And you are perfectly right (none / 0) (#525)
by paxaeterna on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 04:12:23 AM EST

The United States claims Britain as an ally - so long as it suits the United States. But when the United States feels like invading Briitish territory (the Falkland Islands.) suddenly Britain isn't treated like an ally, but like enemy territory. The United states compelled Australia to join them in invading Iraq. But when United States citizens and Australian citizens are accused of working for the other side, the United States citizens get the privileges of citizens, and their "allies" are treated like prisoners of war. The United States builds a defence establishment on Australian soil, and won't even tell the Australians why they need to do it. The United States may have ultimately saved the French, but until the attack on Pearl Harbour, the United States was quite prepared to remain neutral and let all its allies go to Hell, and still count on them to protect the U.s. when required. If the United States had not been personally attacked, the French would have had nothing to thank them for. It is quite true that every country sees its own interests as the most important, but only the United States claims the right to disregard the national interest of every other country for the sake of its own national interest. The French may be the most hated in the U.S., but only because the French attitude is typical of that of the rest of the world. I have heard that U.s. tourists abroad claim to be Canadians for their own protection. When will the U.S. learn?

[ Parent ]
what tripe (2.50 / 2) (#292)
by Battle Troll on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 01:29:39 PM EST

The gallant Japanese, America's allies against the Hun in 1914, became the hated Jap foe in 1941, and are now back to being allies of the USA. I mean, whoa, geez, nations form alliances of convenience and periodically realign? Really? You need to publish this ground-breaking research!
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
Tripe, is it? (none / 1) (#300)
by shinshin on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 03:21:58 PM EST

nations form alliances of convenience and periodically realign? Really?

The article isn't about any change in the political alliances between France and the United States, it was about popular and media portrayal of the changing relation without any regard to actual facts. Declaring the article "tripe" isn't particularly useful or enlightening, especially when you clearly didn't read or understand the entire thing.

Feeling a bit knee-jerk today?

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

I see you've been reading that 'Frame' book (none / 0) (#301)
by Battle Troll on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 03:24:37 PM EST

The article isn't about any change in the political alliances between France and the United States, it was about popular and media portrayal of the changing relation without any regard to actual facts.

These two points aren't exactly orthagonal, chum. You'll also note that my post made explicit reference to the media portrayal of the Japanese.

you clearly didn't read or understand the entire thing

You just love accusing me of not reading stuff, don't you?

Feeling a bit knee-jerk today?

YHTY.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

If by "explicit" (none / 1) (#308)
by shinshin on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 04:01:07 PM EST

you mean "nonexistent", then I suppose you are right.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
not nonexistent (3.00 / 2) (#346)
by Polverone on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 09:45:34 PM EST

Did you miss the first bit? "The gallant Japanese, America's allies against the Hun in 1914, became the hated Jap foe in 1941." Let me make the explicit doubly explicit: in World War One, Japan waged war on the side of the Allies and (IIRC) joined the Western intervention in the Russian Civil War. The Japanese were portrayed in the US media of the time as gallant allies, a bit different from Europeans and Americans but still an advanced, rapidly modernizing civilization of people you'd love to have over for dinner (or war).

During World War Two, those same Japanese were near-universally portrayed as octopuses, monkeys, and buck-toothed, nearsighted pygmies in the media. They were described as monsters and less than human. It's not quite that a switch tripped in 1941 -- American perceptions of Japan were already shifting in the 1930s with Japan's treatment of China -- but within a single generation popular portrayals/perceptions of the Japanese flipped 180 degrees.

If a nation can go from ally to unannounced atomic bomb testing site in less than 30 years, it's almost beneath notice that a nation can go from ally to target of verbal scorn over a period of 200+ years. So I don't think the original story had that much to it, but I'm always up for a rehash of Iraq's nonexistent WMDs and the sorry state of the median American.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]

Great flip-flops of History (none / 1) (#411)
by Pig Hogger on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 05:33:47 PM EST

but within a single generation popular portrayals/perceptions of the Japanese flipped 180 degrees.
Same thing with Irak...
--

Somewhere in Texas, a village is missing it's idiot
[ Parent ]

my point exactly (none / 0) (#473)
by Battle Troll on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 11:19:15 AM EST

Therefore the article is nothing more than transparently stupid rhetoric.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
who didn't read, again? = (none / 0) (#348)
by Battle Troll on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 09:49:05 PM EST


--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
French Support (none / 1) (#317)
by Silver6 on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 05:39:16 PM EST

I disagree with your closing point that the French would not have aided us if they knew of our future ingratitude. The French aided the Americans basically because they hated the British, and knew it would weaken Britain if it lost a major colony such as America. Though it was obvious that the two nations would come out of the conflict allies, it was probably an afterthought to helping the Americans in the Revolutionary War. At that point, America was a fairly small colony, and it was not really until the early 1900s that America began to be respected as a player in international politics.

Solid article other than that, good job. One other point that is worth bringing up is that its slightly hypocritical to claim that we are fighting a war for the defense of our freedom, and then castigate a country that is excercising freedom of speech.

what if (none / 1) (#328)
by svampa on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 07:45:34 PM EST

All those stories about "what would had happened if...?" are stupid.

If my grandmother would had had balls, she could had been my grandfather.



[ Parent ]
Don't hate the French (2.40 / 5) (#334)
by hershmire on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 08:37:05 PM EST

Hate the Parisiens. They are two totally different and opposed forces, the former mostly fun, carefree and hospitable, the latter rigid, bitter fuckers who deserve more time under Nazi occupation.

Not that I'm bitter for that horrid week in the festering, puss-oozing wound that is the capital of France.
FIXME: Insert quote about procrastination
I used to work for a guy who (none / 0) (#396)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 03:18:45 PM EST

was born and raised in the south of France, and married a French Canadian. He absolutely agreed with this assessment.

Of course, he would also make me do this absolutely horrendous fake french accent I learned from woody woodpecker cartoons. He thought it was the funniest thing he'd ever heard.

No, I'm not kidding.

"On Monday it was like, `Wow, it missed us, it took a turn east,' and everything eased up," Tyson said. "... And then all of a sudden, literally and fi
[ Parent ]

The french problem (1.00 / 4) (#342)
by omegadan on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 09:08:09 PM EST

France opposed the iraq war not on moral grounds, but because it was makin a f***load of money selling them military hardware. Bush is a retard, and so are the french. No winners there.

Second of all, the French national identity is outrageously overdeveloped. I wish I knew the whole history, but basically what happened in France was -- a sociologist who was also the minister of education for france had the strange idea that religion was actually masked worship of your own culture. So the clever bastard decided to short circuit the whole thing and teach everyone to worship french culture directy.

Thats pretty much all you need to know about the french and their attitudes. The french are taught at birth they are the pinnacle of civilization, they are most fit to lead, and they are dismayed when the rest of the world doesn't agree with them.

Religion is a gateway psychosis. - Dave Foley

All people are taught that (none / 0) (#374)
by jobi on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 05:50:26 AM EST

The french are taught at birth they are the pinnacle of civilization, they are most fit to lead, and they are dismayed when the rest of the world doesn't agree with them.

And this is different from other countries in which way? Especially lately (last 60 years or so), that seems to be the attitude of americans.

---
"[Y]ou can lecture me on bad language when you learn to use a fucking apostrophe."
[ Parent ]
SIAM IS THE BIGGEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD!!! $ (none / 0) (#384)
by skyknight on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 08:43:39 AM EST



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Which Americans are those? (none / 0) (#395)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 03:17:12 PM EST

Michael Moore?

Noam Chomsky?

The vast majority of Americans only want to be left alone and couldn't give two farts either way for France or the rest of Europe.

"On Monday it was like, `Wow, it missed us, it took a turn east,' and everything eased up," Tyson said. "... And then all of a sudden, literally and fi
[ Parent ]

How about... (none / 0) (#401)
by The Diary Section on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 04:05:05 PM EST

The Project for the New American Century is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to a few fundamental propositions: that American leadership is good both for America and for the world; and that such leadership requires military strength, diplomatic energy and commitment to moral principle.

Sounds rather similar to what it says in the grandparent yes?

Fortunately, unlike President Moore and Defence Secretary Chomsky, the signatories to the PNAC statement of beliefs aren't in elected positions of power or influence.

I'm sure the majority of Americans aren't interested in their nation "leading the world" but they have a funny habit of repeatedly voting for it.
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]

Actually, I still believe that Americans (none / 0) (#425)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 08:20:05 PM EST

never voted for Bush, they just voted against the scandal tainted VP of an administration we were sick of, and then against a rich boy who wanted to play politics but who didn't stand for anything except pandering to Michael Moore's buddies.


"On Monday it was like, `Wow, it missed us, it took a turn east,' and everything eased up," Tyson said. "... And then all of a sudden, literally and fi
[ Parent ]
they got what they deserved then <nt> (none / 0) (#430)
by The Diary Section on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 08:39:12 PM EST


Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]
Yeah, we would have been much better off with (none / 0) (#432)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 08:50:30 PM EST

Kerry?

How, exactly, would we be better off with Kerry? Can you name one thing he planned on doing? One thing he would have accomplished? Or Al "I invented the internet" Gore - what, exactly, would have been his legacy?


"On Monday it was like, `Wow, it missed us, it took a turn east,' and everything eased up," Tyson said. "... And then all of a sudden, literally and fi
[ Parent ]

How can you ask that? (none / 0) (#433)
by thankyougustad on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 09:35:33 PM EST

Especially when there are no answers to your questions Hot air.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
No idea (none / 0) (#434)
by The Diary Section on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 09:38:55 PM EST

Personality politics is of no interest to me.

I couldn't care less if Al Gore smells or John Kerry sent a robot in his place to vietnam or whatever it is. My only interest is what people in power in a foreign country want to do to me and my country.

PS. A health plan for every child.
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]

Did Kerry propose that? (none / 0) (#457)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 07:55:55 AM EST

I missed the part where Kerry proposed national health care for children.

"On Monday it was like, `Wow, it missed us, it took a turn east,' and everything eased up," Tyson said. "... And then all of a sudden, literally and fi
[ Parent ]
I think... (none / 0) (#602)
by Znork on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 07:22:23 AM EST

... the US really, _really_ needs to get rid of its winner-takes-all two-party system. Because, y'know, if the republicans nominated that upstanding 'family values' guy, bin Ladin, and the democrats that left-wing guy, Saddam, I suspect one of them would actually get voted president of the United States.

Which one of them would you 'vote against'?

[ Parent ]

You realize, of course, that the US system (none / 0) (#603)
by Grognard on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 08:00:47 AM EST

virtually guarantees that the candidates not be poles apart.  

It promotes incremental change and stability over radical swings in ideology.

[ Parent ]

Not really... (none / 0) (#613)
by Znork on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 12:34:01 PM EST

Any two-party system is vulnerable to manipulation from within, and extremist, confrontational and undemocratic viewpoints can flourish as part of the package. Politics have more than one issue.

"It promotes incremental change and stability over radical swings in ideology."

Yep, that's the propaganda line from those who think it costs too much to buy five parties rather than two.

In a representative democracy the center section will always be capable of mustering a majority to prevent extremist viewpoints from gaining traction.

In a two party system there is no center section, and nothing stopping you from just having a choice between two extremist viewpoints.

[ Parent ]

Yeah (none / 0) (#615)
by Grognard on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 01:27:11 PM EST

In a representative democracy the center section will always be capable of mustering a majority to prevent extremist viewpoints from gaining traction.

Yeah, that worked for Weimar.

In a two party system there is no center section, and nothing stopping you from just having a choice between two extremist viewpoints.

And how many republics has the US gone through versus, say, the French?

History class isn't another word for nap time.

[ Parent ]

I don't know about extermist (none / 0) (#619)
by Cro Magnon on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 02:48:33 PM EST

But we can certainly get stuck with 2 undesirable candidates. There was less extremisim than there was agreement on the wrong things. Kush & Berry might disagree on what to do with the bloated government, but they both want a bloated government. They disagree on which rights to steal from us, but they agree that they want to steal rights from us. 2 parties aren't enough to represent everyone. A lot of us aren't represented by EITHER of those idiots!
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Bingo (none / 0) (#625)
by Grognard on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 04:38:29 PM EST

2 parties aren't enough to represent everyone.

No doubt - no one's interests are perfectly represented by either party.  However, both are similar enough to prevent outright revolt regardless of the outcome - stability.

[ Parent ]

Well (none / 0) (#421)
by richarj on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 08:00:48 PM EST

And this is different from other countries in which way?

It is not seen that way in Australia. Even our government talks about becoming part of Asia as opposed to part of Europe. That doesn't mean we don't invade other countries or do not interfere in their affairs, it just means we realise we are small fish in a very big ocean (and we have known that for decades). One of our nearest neighbours Indonesia has a population ten times ours.

There are imperialistic countries and there are those who aren't. Don't make blanket statements about countries in the rest of the world, which most people from imperialistic countries seem to know little about.



"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
The american problem (2.20 / 5) (#410)
by Pig Hogger on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 05:30:13 PM EST

Second of all, the French national identity is outrageously overdeveloped.
Oh, and the americans' is not? Who are you trying to fool here???
I wish I knew the whole history,
Maybe you could start by, say, getting a clue????
but basically what happened in France was -- a sociologist who was also the minister of education for france had the strange idea that religion was actually masked worship of your own culture.
And what is the difference with worshipping whatever Hollywood is shitting-out on TV???
So the clever bastard decided to short circuit the whole thing and teach everyone to worship french culture directy.
Because, we know that the americans are a bunch of stupid nitwits that don't worship anything at all.
Thats pretty much all you need to know about the french and their attitudes. The french are taught at birth they are the pinnacle of civilization, they are most fit to lead, and they are dismayed when the rest of the world doesn't agree with them.
You seem to have made a mistake; perhaps you meant to say:
The americans are taught at birth they are the pinnacle of civilization, they are most fit to lead, and they are dismayed when the rest of the world doesn't agree with them ????
--

Somewhere in Texas, a village is missing it's idiot
[ Parent ]

that supports my theory (none / 0) (#660)
by jcarnelian on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 01:27:40 PM EST

France opposed the iraq war not on moral grounds, but because it was makin a f***load of money [...] Second of all, the French national identity is outrageously overdeveloped

Which only supports my theory: the French and the Americans dislike each other so much because they are so much alike :-)

[ Parent ]

Such a shallow view of history (2.50 / 2) (#354)
by spectra72 on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 11:15:44 PM EST

The United States has been at odds with the French from the moment we won Independence. It was great sport for both the British and the French to impress any US Sailors they happened to stop in the Carribean or the Atlantic. Not exactly the actions of a dear friend.

Go do some research on the XYZ affair during John Adam's Presidency. The French were demanding what basically amounted to tribute from the US. The US Congress basically declared a quasi-state of War with France waaaay back in 1798.

The Federalists (Hamilton, Adams) used to smear Jefferson and the other Republicans by calling them French-lovers. It was par for the course in politics back then. French bashing is practically a bedrock of this country's electoral cycle.

The author clearly hasn't done his homework. Any student of history knows the US and France have always had a rocky relationship. The last 5 years are nothing more than business as usual.

Oh, and the lack of WMD in Iraq doesn't vindicate France because France never disputed that they were there. In fact, during the last days of the UN negotiations France stated if Iraq used it's Chem/Bio weapons on the US/UK troops they would join in. Not exactly the words of a country doubting the very existence of the weapons. France's grounds for objections did not hinge on the existance or non-existance of WMD. They simply didn't think it was necessary to invade as France didn't think Iraq threatened their national interests at that time.

Huh (3.00 / 6) (#365)
by Hung Fu on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 01:54:41 AM EST

In fact, during the last days of the UN negotiations France stated if Iraq used it's Chem/Bio weapons on the US/UK troops they would join in. Not exactly the words of a country doubting the very existence of the weapons.
How so? France could doubt that Iraq had WMDs, but if they were proved wrong then they would act. What's inconsistent about that? All it means is that the French government admitted the possibility of error; a practice the US administration would benefit from.

__
From Israel To Lebanon
[ Parent ]
Eh? (3.00 / 3) (#370)
by shinshin on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 04:18:44 AM EST

France never disputed that they were there

You mean with the exception of the direct quotes from the President of France disputing their existence that were placed in the article?

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

It's fun to hate other people. (2.00 / 3) (#355)
by skyknight on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 11:16:45 PM EST

Tribalism is in the very nature of humans. This explains a hell of a lot of stuff.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
Well, sure (none / 1) (#369)
by shinshin on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 04:16:56 AM EST

Doesn't make it right, does it?

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
What makes anything right? (none / 1) (#383)
by skyknight on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 08:39:44 AM EST

There actually is a lot to find irksome about the French, but hey, there's a lot to find irksome about Americans, too. What I find truly irksome, though, is how people voice opinions that are essentially just mimicry of something that they heard spouting from a talking head on the idiot box. In any case, people are trained by virtue of their evolutionary heritage to be xenophobic. The French are often handy targets for Americans, and when the French aren't being sufficiently snooty, then Americans fall back on hating whatever sports teams aren't on their favorites list. It really is that simple, depressingly enough.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
What's a friend anyways ? (none / 0) (#380)
by hebertrich on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 07:19:12 AM EST

Not that i like the way this insult riddeled column is going but things must be made clear. What's the role of a friend ? To be there when it's time to tell you you're wrong and going about things the wrong way for one. That's what they did. Cant be more of a friend and ally than that. The hatred you have is reflecting only your ignorance. Hatred is ignorance ! What do you fear so much ? Your own ignorance ? Fight ignorance , fight your fears of what you know nothing about and embrace the unknown . Learn instead of pretending to learn. Go verify in the feild by extensive travels and be with those people you so much hate. You will discover a new reality. You will discover new point of views You will expand your views and gain knowledge. Do not trust the medias that ram down your brains false information that only serves their owners .. Become your own master by refusing to beleive that the truth is the property of the medias. Truth is not in the medias.Medias have owners with their own agendas. When you beleive them and trust them , you become their pawns. The medias lie to you .. or didnt you see it or just refuse the truth ? The world is a different place than the medias would have you beleive, for it dont serve the interrests of their masters , of which a lot here seem to be nothing but their slaves, for you to know the truth !

I'm suprised (1.22 / 9) (#391)
by godix on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 02:49:04 PM EST

It's perfectly alright, natural even, to hate the French and god do they deserve it. However no one seems to have mentioned the right reasons for hating them.
  1. France is an openly racist nation. A significant reason they rejected the EU constitution was, basically, 'We don't want no fucking Turks running around our nation. They look funny, they smell, they worship strange gods, and they'll take all our jobs'. Other nations either flat out ban racist politicians or at the very least make fun of them for getting, at most, .5% of the vote. Not France though, they elect the fuckers. And lets not even get into the fact that trashing Jewish tombs seems to be a national hobby.
  2. Is there a scumbag in the world that France WON'T sell weapons to? It seems everytime America goes to war we end up finding our enemies have a huge stockpile of weapons with 'Made in France' stamped on them (Made in Russia seems popular as well, but we're talking about reasons to hate France right now). They even did this with nukes, you'd think a country that was busy openly bashing Jews would be a little cautious about giving a Jewish nation nukes but apparently not.



- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
You forgot to mention (none / 1) (#393)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 03:12:10 PM EST

How France actively tried to undermine the sanctions against Iraq, which effectively promoted the war (by helping Saddam stay in power).

French officials and companies profited from the oil-for-food scandal, accepting bribes and bypassing controls, all the while the French government moaned about how the program wasn't working.

"On Monday it was like, `Wow, it missed us, it took a turn east,' and everything eased up," Tyson said. "... And then all of a sudden, literally and fi
[ Parent ]

I assume (none / 0) (#402)
by godix on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 04:16:28 PM EST

that anyone with an IQ has realized how self serving, manipulative, and pathetic the French were about Iraq. Anyone who hasn't realized that their opposition to invading Iraq was all about greed isn't going to believe me if I point it out. Most of the complaints that you mentioned are just as valid about the UN as a whole though. Which, I suppose, goes a long way towards explaining why we put someone who thinks the UN is full of incompetent jerks as our UN ambasador. It's kinda interesting that if you pay attention the fallout from Iraq is proving as bad for the UN and some EU countries as it is for Bush's popularity.


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
[ Parent ]
You didn't discover Realpolitik, dufus. (none / 1) (#404)
by thankyougustad on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 04:44:50 PM EST

Anyone who hasn't realized that their opposition to invading Iraq was all about greed isn't going to believe me if I point it out.
That's because they are more than likely blind and deaf.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Well... (3.00 / 2) (#413)
by shinshin on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 05:58:26 PM EST

Anyone who hasn't realized that their opposition to invading Iraq was all about greed isn't going to believe me if I point it out

They're at least not going to believe you if you fail to provide a shred of evidence to support your arbitrary and ridiculous claim. Recall, it was America that was lying about Iraq, not France.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

Recall that it was the French ambassador (none / 0) (#429)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 08:35:10 PM EST

who was just arrested as part of the oil-for-food investigation.

And WTF is up with your using font size=-1million when you quote people?

"On Monday it was like, `Wow, it missed us, it took a turn east,' and everything eased up," Tyson said. "... And then all of a sudden, literally and fi
[ Parent ]

Fine, fine (none / 1) (#520)
by godix on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 01:38:11 AM EST

France was the second (granted, a distant second) largest weapons importer to Iraq until the first Iraq war. Data after that isn't really avalable because after 1991 arms sales to Iraq were illegal so it's not like France will say how much, if any, they sold.

Since I'm sure you'll question the souce, lets toss the wiki article in here as well since they aren't known to be bastions of conservative propaganda.

Keep in mind not all those arms were paid for, Iraq still owed France roughly 6 billion US dollars before the second Iraq war. One has to wonder if France thought it'd get paid if the US invaded.

Then, of course, there's the oil angle. In the 2000's France was the largest european nation trading with Iraq under the Oil for Food program, roughly 1.5 billion (US dollars again). They also attempting to end the oil embargo back in the 90's, long before there was any discussion about letting UN inspectors back in. Which would tend to indicate their 'let the inspectors have time' arguements weren't really what they were after.

Hopefully anyone who feels qualified to make posts on this subject knows that several French officials, including their former ambassador to the UN, are under investigation for taking payoffs from Saddam Hussein.

Furthermore France supplied a bit over 22% of Iraqs imports during the embargo years.

Clearly France had a large financial involvement with Iraq, not all of which was legal.

But nevermind all that, no WMDs were found so obviously France must have had the purest motives. Nevermind the corruption amoung their officals, the billions of dollars owed, the already huge oil trade and their attempts to increase that by removing all limits to someone they went to war with a few years earlier. None of that matter. The US was wrong so clearly France is a perfect angel.


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
[ Parent ]

Just so we're clear (3.00 / 2) (#522)
by shinshin on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 02:35:56 AM EST

I concur that the following are all true:
  1. France has been among the countries to have sold weapons to Iraq.
  2. Iraq owed a lot of money to France, which they lost when they forgave the debt after the invasion.
  3. Some of the people under investigation in the Oil for Food probe are French nationals.
  4. Iraq and France were trading partners under the Oil for Food program.
Am I to understand that you take this list and from it derive the indisputable conclusion that France's motivation for objecting to the Iraq invasion were for evil and greedy reasons? Or do you have additional items to add, or a shred of documentary evidence to back up some of the speculations you made? Because it sounds to me that you are just looking for a bad guy to blame, and are desperately trying to avoid looking at the obvious one.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
Iraq and France weren't just trading partners (none / 0) (#675)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 10:41:18 PM EST

and some french aren't just under investigation.

France and Russia were Iraq's largest trading partners, and France's UN Ambassador has been charged with accepting bribes in relation to Oil-for-Food.

At the very least, that makes the French government's motives suspect. As a bonus, one of the larger UK critics of the war is now facing both US and UN accusations of taking money from Hussein in exchange for political favors.

Thus, we have the striking appearance that the "blood for oil" was actually being paid by suffering Iraqis to French companies to keep Hussein in power.

People who think "clown" is an insult have never met any.
[ Parent ]

I'm surprised too (2.00 / 3) (#394)
by shinshin on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 03:16:51 PM EST

France is an openly racist nation

Compared to the United States, every other nation on Earth is an openly racist nation. France is no more retarded than anywhere else. Doesn't make it right, but they can't really be singled out over other nations for criticism on this regard.

Is there a scumbag in the world that France WON'T sell weapons to?

It is refreshing that the normally gun-advocate members of K5 are suddenly so interested in arms control. When directing criticism, though, they may want to look first at countries that have a $33 billion/year arms export industry over countries that have a $3 billion/year one.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

Where do you get this (3.00 / 2) (#424)
by richarj on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 08:04:53 PM EST

every other nation on Earth is an openly racist nation.

Have you been to every other nation on earth? If not then how can you give such a blanket statement



"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
There are these amazing things (none / 0) (#428)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 08:33:09 PM EST

called "books" - you might want to try one sometime.

For example, you might discover that Asia is full of vicious racial hostilities revolving around groups that Americans don't even think of as different races.

Or that Yugoslavia imploded in a civil war that was completely race-based.

Or that in Brazil the unspoken rule is that you have to have fair skin to rise in the corporate world.

Or that Europe is still home to an astonishing amount of anti-semetism and not all of it is confined to the lower classes.

"On Monday it was like, `Wow, it missed us, it took a turn east,' and everything eased up," Tyson said. "... And then all of a sudden, literally and fi
[ Parent ]

US can only be considered tolerant... (3.00 / 4) (#444)
by MSBob on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 11:44:21 PM EST

If you manage to overlook Canada. By far the most immigrant friendly country in the world. And it has far, far less ethnic tension than either the United States or Europe.
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
Canada's tolerance is indeed legendary (none / 0) (#460)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 08:48:08 AM EST

but that doesn't mean the US doesn't have better race relations than most other countries.

"On Monday it was like, `Wow, it missed us, it took a turn east,' and everything eased up," Tyson said. "... And then all of a sudden, literally and fi
[ Parent ]
Canada's tolerance is only legendary (none / 0) (#472)
by Battle Troll on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 11:17:47 AM EST

Because Canada's gaping flaws are well-hidden from the American media and from the consciousness of urban Canadians. I'd like you to hang around with some Innu kids for a few weeks and then tell me that Canada is a tolerant nations. Moreover, Canada was far more overtly anti-Chinese and anti-Semitic than the USA until the 1960s. (Canada even went so far as to intern Ukrainians during WWII.) I used to hang around the Bathurst Jewish Community Centre and I heard a thing or two from the older people.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
I will vouch for this. (none / 0) (#489)
by Harvey Anderson on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 04:56:50 PM EST

The only time I can bring to mind in my life that I've heard someone being openly racist was in Montreal, Quebec. A bunch of normal club kids were telling us, "Oh, you're American? We need more of your kind up here; we've being overrun by these criminal Pakistanis and Indians."

[ Parent ]
You haven't been around much then (none / 0) (#519)
by MSBob on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 01:05:45 AM EST

I heard comments like that every week when I lived in Glasgow (yeah, the land of the oh so, hostpitable Scotts). Also think about less overt instances of racism, Polish jokes, Jewish conspiracy theories, targetting Arabs at airports etc. It's all different faces of racism and xenophobia and it's far worse in the US than it is in Canada. That said, Quebec is a bad representation as they have (a somewhat deserved) reputation of being racist.
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
comment I was replying to (none / 0) (#539)
by Harvey Anderson on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 07:58:42 AM EST

was about relative racism between Canada and USA.  Glasgow may be worse; I have no idea.

Polish jokes are no more offensive than valley girl stereotypes these days.

No significant numbers really believes in Jewish conspiracy theories.

Arabs are targetted for airport screenings because of racial profiling, which is different than racism.  If Polish valley girls start killing thousands of people you can expect that group to face the same treatment.

[ Parent ]

significant number (none / 0) (#628)
by zenofchai on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 05:03:48 PM EST

No significant numbers really believes in Jewish conspiracy theories.

You are very, very, very wrong.
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
[ Parent ]

Who does? (none / 0) (#630)
by Harvey Anderson on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 05:28:47 PM EST



[ Parent ]
ok. (none / 0) (#632)
by zenofchai on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 05:37:43 PM EST

fun with maps:

click the "neo nazi" button (158 groups found): Neo-Nazi groups share a hatred for Jews and a love for Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. While they also hate other minorities, homosexuals and even sometimes Christians, they perceive "the Jew" as their cardinal enemy, and trace social problems to a Jewish conspiracy that supposedly controls governments, financial institutions and the media.

or the "KKK" button (162 groups found): The Ku Klux Klan, with its mystique and its long history of violence, is the most infamous -- and oldest -- of American hate groups. Although blacks have typically been the Klan's primary target, it also has attacked Jews, immigrants, homosexuals and, until recently, Catholics.
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
[ Parent ]

maybe (none / 0) (#641)
by Harvey Anderson on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 07:51:27 PM EST

you misinterpreted, or I'm not being clear.

It was not "No one at all believes in Jewish conspiracy theories."

It was that no one significant does.  Each of these groups could have 10,000 members and it's still less than 1% of the population.

[ Parent ]

significant (none / 0) (#657)
by zenofchai on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 10:40:44 AM EST

neo-nazi US presidential candidates do not count?
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
[ Parent ]
Where is some recent racist legislation? (none / 0) (#658)
by Harvey Anderson on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 12:27:22 PM EST

nowhere, that's where.

[ Parent ]
that depends on your POV (none / 0) (#662)
by zenofchai on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 02:39:00 PM EST

some might say that "affirmative action" is racist.
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
[ Parent ]
well, (none / 0) (#663)
by Harvey Anderson on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 03:48:21 PM EST

that is certainly true but it's far from clear that racism was behind it.

[ Parent ]
only true of the big cities (none / 0) (#471)
by Battle Troll on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 11:14:54 AM EST

The prairie provinces have a big race problem between whites and First Nations because the FNs constitute a substantial proportion of the population (rather than being a 1% minority as they are in Toronto and, thus, easily ignored.)
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Over 130 countries (none / 1) (#446)
by richarj on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 01:42:27 AM EST

plz list all offences

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
Quite a few of them, actually (none / 1) (#449)
by shinshin on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 03:30:47 AM EST

... enough to know that, despite all the other problems my great nation has, we are far and away the most advanced with regard to race relations and multiculturalism. Granted, it took us centuries of slavery, a devastating Civil War, and another century of quasi-slavery, but in the end we've come out with the most progressive culture of race relations in the world. I'd challenge you to cite another nation that even comes close.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
Like so totally true. (none / 1) (#451)
by tkatchevzombie on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 04:25:44 AM EST

Of course, as long as we don't talk about them drowned crack-smokin niggers.

[ Parent ]
Re: Quite a few of them, actually (none / 1) (#454)
by bluebird on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 07:04:05 AM EST

Well, I am not in the US, so it is difficult to judge from here. But when I read the history of Martin Luther King, I am shocked. The level of racism that the black had to fight in the US in the sixties is simply incredible for me and has never been met in France, or for what I know in most of european countries at this period.

The racism that I witness is arabic people being denied entries to night clubs or being segragating for job offers (same resume, french looking name and arabic looking name do not get the same result). It is a problem and we are fighting it.

But we are light years away from the situation of the US in the 60: cross burnt in the garden, regular lynching, open segregation in a city and so on.

So, you are telling me that all this is completely gone and that now, USA stands in a better position than France for cultural integration. I want to believe you really but I have my doubts.

[ Parent ]

The point is (none / 0) (#480)
by shinshin on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 02:50:31 PM EST

that the 60's are 40 years in the past, and in that time we've made constant and very real progress. France is going to have a serious Arab Civil Rights movement if things continue in the same direction they are going now, and we can only hope that they get their own Martin Luther King and not another Khaled Kelkal.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
May you be right (none / 0) (#487)
by Chep on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 04:04:47 PM EST

... I'd love to be optimistic.

Trouble is, a whole little bunch of Khelkal-wannabees have been arrested (and/or framed ;-) ) during those years, and more every passing month (without buying from Judge Dred^WBruguière's delirium). A guy like Tariq Ramadan schmoozing with Sarkozy, and Sarkozy openly talking about messing with the 1905 law... Yikes.

There are moderates, but they're almost as squelched by France's mini-me Big Media as a francophile communist on Fox News. I'm not betting on seeing JP Pernaud spending 20 minutes on the happy life in a Hallal slaughterhouse the day before the Aid el-Kebir any time soon (oh, sure, 2 minutes in passing, with the obligatory mention about how the religious purity laws and modern hygiene norms sometimes are at odds with each other...)

Of course, MLK had a quite more peaceful and forgiveful book to read from than whoever would be his French and Muslim would-be counterpart. May whoever comes to rise to that role enjoy a good life and a happier and more peaceful end.

--

Our Constitution ... is called a democracy because power is in the hands not of a minority but of the greatest number.
Thucydide II, 37


[ Parent ]

since you asked, (none / 1) (#469)
by Battle Troll on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 11:08:33 AM EST

Romania has an excellent record on racial issues. I've met many immigrants from Africa and the Middle East who have found peaceful, stable lives there. (For example, my wife's family's closest friends are assimilated Kurds, originally from Iraq.)

While ethnic Romanian-ethnic Gypsy relations continue to be tense, there's certainly no open violence between them as you might expect in America or France.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

96% Romanian/Hungarian ethnicity is hardly diverse (none / 0) (#481)
by shinshin on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 03:10:27 PM EST

enough to compare them to states like France and the United States. While I applaud Romanians for not being as xenophobic as, say, the Japanese, it's a little like applauding the race relations in Switzerland.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
Romanian and Hungarian not diverse, eh? (none / 1) (#483)
by Battle Troll on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 03:38:23 PM EST

Considering that the Hungarians ruled Transylvania (and Ruthenia and parts of Slovakia) with an iron fist for hundreds of years; that the two languages don't even belong to the same family (Hungarian is non-Indo-European,) and are therefore utterly dissimilar; that the Hungarians, who are Catholic, suppressed the Orthodox Romanians for centuries, banning their language and busting up local presses where they ruled; and that Hungarians are now a small minority (10-12%) in the country; you ought to be grateful the country isn't ankle-deep in running gore. Perhaps I am just too ignorant of Swiss history here; I never learned the bit where the French Swiss cantons conquered the German ones and banned German. In any event, in my opinion, Romania is far exceeding the USA in forging a modern society from a very troubled one. Imagine if the USA suddenly found itself 85% black and 11% white.

I notice that you don't mention the Rhine Germans or the Gypsies in your hand-wave. Romania is the only country in Eastern Europe that didn't expel and dispossess its German minority after WWII. It also has the highest proportion of Gypsies of any country, yet there's no persecution to speak of. (It might be hard for a Gypsy to get a job unless he is culturally assimilated, but that's not quite comparable to the USA, where IIRC a black man was murdered a few years back by being dragged behind a car until all his skin was ripped off.) I will admit that Romania's record during the Holocaust was no better France's. (By the way, according to Hannah Arendt, the best overall record on the Holocaust belongs to Bulgaria, the government of which cleverly feigned cooperation with their German overlords while successfully undermining their anti-Semitic policies.)

But I don't know why I bother, as you can't even tell the difference between Romanians and Hungarians in the first place, even though this difference is far more pronounced than that between, eg, the French and the English, or black and white Americans. Suffice it to say that I now understand the basis for your neo-Chamberlainist callousness towards the peace and security of "faraway contries."
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

I'm sure that somewhere in that little essay (none / 0) (#486)
by shinshin on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 04:03:19 PM EST

was an explanation on how Romanians and Hungarians belong to different ethnic groups, but I grow weary of parsing your prevarications. Calling me "neo-Chamberlainist" and making weird accusations of macrophilia makes me question the wisdom of spending any time debating the point with you. If you want to pretend that your Romanian homeland is a mecca of ethnic diversity and race relations that should be viewed as a shining light on a hill for the rest of the world to emulate, go right ahead.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
pathetic (3.00 / 2) (#497)
by Battle Troll on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 06:36:57 PM EST

[I sought] an explanation on how Romanians and Hungarians belong to different ethnic groups

It was in the first paragraph, where I said that Romanian and Hungarian are languages from different families, like English and Chinese. Presumably there is a comparable ethnic distinction. Any fool ought to be able to tell that Finns aren't Swedes or Russians Estonians on the same basis. But it appears I'm not dealing with just any fool. The part where I documented centuries of domination of one by the other ought perhaps also to have been a clue that an ethnic distinction does, in fact, exist.

I grow weary of parsing your prevarications

Sorry to quote you at such length - but it's a shame to use a line that funny only once.

If you want to pretend that your Romanian homeland is a mecca of ethnic diversity and race relations that should be viewed as a shining light on a hill for the rest of the world to emulate, go right ahead.

I said that Romania has less ethnic tension than the USA, and what answer have you given me besides smug, uninformed dismissal and special pleading? The USA is nothing special. Get over it. And anyway, it's my wife that's Romanian, not me - I just happen to visit there now and again.

making weird accusations of macrophilia

I don't know what 'macrophilia' is, and google's first page of hits on the word makes me uneager to find out. What I do know is that your chauvinistic exceptionalism regarding race relations in the USA, coupled with your unwillingness to acknowledge that USA's culpability for its complicity in 50 years of multinational enslavement in Eastern Europe (the three Baltics, East Germany, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Albania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, and Romania, to say nothing of Belorussia, Ukraine, or the central Asian steppe countries,) - all this marks you as just another damn Yank, albeit of the Michael Moore stripe of damn Yanks.

The Communists quite literally enslaved entire nations, denying them democratic self-determination, forcing their citizens to learn Russian, placing secret police in their midst and thereby turning neighbour against neighbour, looting their natural resources, making dissidents disappear in the night. Just counting the first 12 on the above list, which were sovereign before the war, yields over 100 million people whose countries were turned into prison camps. This summer, I happened to read the prison diary of Aurelian Bentoiu at his son's house in Bucharest. Believe me, it was worse than Gitmo. You might also consider asking Imre Nagy about the whole business.

And yet you wave it all off as if am American invasion the USSR were the only alternative, as if the Western nations of France, England, and Britain hadn't made the war amongst themselves and the Americans gotten fat off of it - only to stick the poorest, weakest nations in Europe with the bill. (You can bet that Romania didn't get a Marshall Plan - Stalin didn't allow it, and even if he had, Congress would never have passed it.) This strikes me as akin to Chamberlain's readiness to sacrifice 'a faraway country,' as he called Czechoslovakia, as the price not to enter a war with Hitler. Like Chamberlain, you write off their rights and freedoms with a half-clear conscience. Funny, isn't it, how much this sounds like the Athenian generals' speech to the Lesbians in Thucydide?
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

*sigh* (none / 0) (#512)
by shinshin on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 10:58:42 PM EST

Presumably there is a comparable ethnic distinction.

Well, there isn't. They're all a bunch of white Christians. They might have serious historical differences, but drawing parallels to the centuries of black/white racial divide in America doesn't pass the laugh test.

The USA is nothing special. Get over it.

I've been accused of a lot of things on K5, but never irrational nationalism and American exceptionalism. That's certainly a first.

I don't know what 'macrophilia' is [...]

It is what I would be if I got a, to use your elegant parlance, "stiffy" when I saw fat people. Which I most emphatically deny.

Like Chamberlain, you write off their rights and freedoms with a half-clear conscience

It amazes me with what ease and casualness the pugnacious militarists in the US and K5 can accuse their more diplomatic brethren of supporting the most barbaric and monstrous actions in history merely because the latter sometimes suggests that maybe, just maybe, carpet bombing is not the answer to all the world's problems. It is doubly amazing when these sorts of allegations come from self-proclaimed pious Christians.

If I were to adopt the same tactic, I might accuse my opponents of believing that the only solution to murder is preemptive killing.

speech to the Lesbians

Mmmm .... lesbians ....

But it appears I'm not dealing with just any fool.

In the words of Claus von Bülow: you have no idea.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

lol what (none / 1) (#513)
by Battle Troll on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 11:24:11 PM EST

Well, there isn't. They're all a bunch of white Christians. They might have serious historical differences, but drawing parallels to the centuries of black/white racial divide in America doesn't pass the laugh test.

Hello, are you Baldrson? Who gives a damn what color American blacks are except insofar as it's a mark of ethnicity? The Magyars and Vlachs never thought that their skin color should have been their badge of solidarity aginst brown people - this concept is only coherent in America. I don't know if you've been paying attention, but the average Briton reported in polls last year that he'd prefer to live next to Pakistanis or middle-class Jamaicans over Russians.

You should tell the Serbs and Croats that white Christians can't possibly have serious ethnic conflicts. Did you know that a Russian expressions runs 'a German might be a fine person, but it's safer to hang him just in case' ?

So, yes, your concept of 'ethnic tension' reduces to special pleading: among the few countries with significant populations of both blacks and whites, the USA is relatively racially quiet. Well, no argument here. Braaa-aavo.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Actually... (none / 0) (#521)
by shinshin on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 02:27:41 AM EST

So, yes, your concept of 'ethnic tension' reduces to special pleading

It was you that used the phrase 'ethnic tension'. As in:

Romania has less ethnic tension than the USA

I merely said that we had the best relations in the world, an observation that you seem to now agree with me about. Which makes me wonder what the hell you are rambling on about.

I am especially nonplussed that when I, for once, make a display of uncritical praise for my country, I am accused of being Baldrson. TANJ.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

this has been a fantastic exchange to read -nt (none / 0) (#629)
by zenofchai on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 05:12:40 PM EST


--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
[ Parent ]
Heh. (none / 0) (#548)
by it certainly is on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 09:41:59 AM EST

Hungarians are now a small minority (10-12%) in the country;

Those aren't Hungarians; the Hungarians had a referendum last year whether to give citizenship to the Magyar settlements outside Hungary's current borders. I believe the result was "fuck you, brethren, we just want our land back".

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

ok (none / 0) (#554)
by Battle Troll on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 10:36:58 AM EST

I'll say 'Unguri' instead. Isn't irredentism a silly position for minorities to hold?

Now if there's one legitimate irredentist case in Europe, it's Romania/Moldova, but that will never happen.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Maghiari, surely? (none / 0) (#557)
by it certainly is on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 11:20:53 AM EST

Isn't irredentism a silly position for minorities to hold?

Generally, the Romanian Magyars want Hungarian citizenship. It's their jingoistic cousins in Hungary that want the land. It's mostly nationalistic pride as far as I can see, but they also wouldn't say no to having some natural resources.

In any case, it'll be a moot point for all but the nationalists once Romania enters the EU.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

oh good (none / 0) (#561)
by Battle Troll on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 02:23:25 PM EST

Well, if the Hungarian nationalists want Transilvania - good luck! I'm sure the EU would rush in to back that bright idea.

I'm sure that the Unguri (which is what everyone else calls them) in Romania would like Hungarian citizenship - then they could get paid euros and move to a richer country. But of course this should never happen.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

So, my lovely chum, (none / 0) (#565)
by it certainly is on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 03:36:23 PM EST

Well, if the Hungarian nationalists want Transilvania - good luck!

It seems to be that they don't know how they could get the pre-Trianon borders back, and they weren't too pleased when Hungary signed away interest in Transylvania, they would reverse that treaty if they could, and they believe that giving the Romanian Magyar citizenship would further diminish their stake to the area.

But of course this should never happen.

You're skirting around the Romanian EU accession issue. What are your views on the matter?

BTW: I'm on holiday this week, and in order to get pressing work done, I'm on a week's self-imposed exile from K5, Slashdot, etc., starting today. Apologies if this seems rude. I'll see you next week (or, if I find the time, I'll write)

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

It's equally refreshing (none / 0) (#517)
by godix on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 12:40:42 AM EST

It is refreshing that the normally gun-advocate members of K5 are suddenly so interested in arms control.

It's equally refreshing to see all those baby killing pro-deathers rejoyce that France will sell weapons to any mass murdering moron around. I gotta give you pinkos credit there, you don't bother getting picky over who's murdered as long as someone is.

Boy, slinging around insults and bringing in totally irrelevent issues is fun! It certainly beats rational discussion at least. Anyway, it's you're turn to vilify me.


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
[ Parent ]

Beats rational discussion (none / 1) (#524)
by shinshin on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 02:57:03 AM EST

It certainly beats rational discussion at least

I guess I missed the part of your post stating that it is "perfectly alright, natural even, to hate the French" that contained the "rational discussion" that you yearn for.

Also, you aren't allowed to decry "irrelevance!" when your own post starts the trail of complete irrelevance.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

Heh (none / 0) (#563)
by ksandstr on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 02:55:10 PM EST

The US arms industry doesn't need to export guns & ammo -- there's quite enough domestic interest in those bits already. What was the size of your military budget again?

(And no, "tossing cruise missiles laden with grape-shot warheads at sand niggers" doesn't count as exporting.)

Fin.
[ Parent ]

Nice try (none / 0) (#403)
by thankyougustad on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 04:42:48 PM EST

A significant reason they rejected the EU constitution was, basically, 'We don't want no fucking Turks running around our nation. They look funny, they smell, they worship strange gods, and they'll take all our jobs'.
Without denying the fact that some French people are racist, this is wrong. Try to find out what 'Liberal Economy' might mean to the French. Think about that and French society and you will understand why they voted no.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
perhaps it would mean that (none / 0) (#470)
by Battle Troll on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 11:12:22 AM EST

The unemployment rate among under-30s would drop below 25%. It might also reduce racist rhetoric against Eastern Europeans.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Not as much racist as the yankees (2.00 / 4) (#409)
by Pig Hogger on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 05:24:30 PM EST

France is an openly racist nation.
Tell that to the poor niggers that were left to themselves in New-Orleans...

France is not racist. It CANNOT be racist, because the french people have the blood of all races.

Since the dawn of Humanity, France has been the endpoint of EVERY single invasion of Europe. The french have the most mixed blood that can be, so they cannot be racist at all.

Is there a scumbag in the world that France WON'T sell weapons to? It seems everytime America goes to war we end up finding our enemies have a huge stockpile of weapons with 'Made in France' stamped on them (Made in Russia seems popular as well, but we're talking about reasons to hate France right now).
This is the reason why many people hates the US. They will only sell dumbed-down weapons to a very small number of "allies", keeping the full-featured weapons to themselves.

No so with the french, whose weapons were devastatingly effective against the british during the Falklands war. The French do not try to control who buys their weapons like the yankees do.

This is yet another reason why France is universally regarded as a bastion of liberty and freedom whereas the US is not, with all the strings attached.
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Somewhere in Texas, a village is missing it's idiot
[ Parent ]

Nice try. (none / 1) (#427)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 08:28:37 PM EST