Friday, January 07, 2005
Frogistan and Sulzbergeristan
A lady from Manhattan writes:
America should be less worried by France than by the voices trying to discredit an ally and undermine a partnership that has served us well for centuries (while it has admittedly suffered some tensions).
In his day, Charles de Gaulle might have seemed like a bit of a curmudgeon, but he was a loyal friend, offering Washington unconditional support, notably during the Cuban missile crisis, and keeping Communism in check in Western Europe.
Mr. Miller fails to grasp our national interest: in today's world, America cannot afford to go it alone, and we can no longer assure our security solely with a strong military. We need allies to defeat Al Qaeda and to prevent nuclear terrorism. And let us not forget that France is one of the leading foreign investors in the United States.
For a lady with an obviously Jewish name, she forgot that little bit that de Gaulle pulled in the Mideast. Mirages, Ben Bella, you know, stuff like that. Communism in check? Hello, do the names Adenauer and Brandt ring a bell? Leading foreign investors? OK, AXA, and then what, BNP Paribas, Credit Lyonnaise, Credit Agricole? Lots of leading lights in finance there. AXA's the only solid one among them.
A guy with an obviously French name writes the following:
Charles de Gaulle merely understood that America is bound to defend France and that much power and influence in the world can be gained by opposing some of its policies.
Perhaps America is not viewed by France as a threat. Perhaps it is viewed as an opportunity.
Some truth in his statements.
An American professor in a European university writes:
In 1964, the French Gaullists told us to get out of Vietnam.
In 1995, they told us to fish or cut bait in Bosnia.
In 2002 and 2003, they told us that invading Iraq was unnecessary and counterproductive.
If the Gaullists seek only to undermine the United States, why have they given us such good advice?
Uh yeah. See my comments about Algeria and Ben Bella. If the French had seen which way the wind was blowing in Indochina, they could've co-opted Ho Chi Minh and made sure the place transitioned smoothly, more along the lines of India. And of course, the French are the ones who popularized bringing in gastarbeiter from countries much less placid than the normal sources.
Someone who's obviously from the Upper West Side writes:
The pleasure that John J. Miller (Op-Ed, Jan. 3) and others take in mining the historical record with an eye to discrediting our critics (here, the French, but elsewhere, the United Nations and so on) - but not their criticisms - is proportional to the likelihood that our critics' criticisms are valid.
There's no schadenfreude at work in Mr. Miller's piece, far from it. It's merely as the writer says, an examination of the history at work here. The criticisms as he puts it, are the expression of frustration and jealousy that the have-nots have against the US, and the writer's liberal guilt (while undoubtedly residing in a luxurious flat with a doorman and other forms of conciergerie) at being privileged is assuaged only by bashing the country that made it possible for him to be a success. Lots more classism at work in his beloved European countries.
Here's an interesting comment:
As a French citizen and a permanent resident of the United States, I do not think that the root of the problem is Gaullism. Rather, it is the fact that France is a very different country from the United States, with a sizable Muslim minority.
French government support of President Bush's policies in Iraq would inflame French Muslims. France's criticisms of the Bush administration have little to do with Gaullism and much to do with a pervasive fear that the ill-justified, botched Iraq war is a time bomb that could explode on French soil.
She's right in one way, that France does have a Muslim time bomb. Gaullism only encouraged that time bomb. And the adjectives about the war reveal her true agenda.