Skip to comments.US diplomat regrets freedom fries and French-bashing
Posted on 11/01/2007 2:04:49 AM PDT by Republicain
PARIS (AFP) A top US diplomat said Wednesday he regretted the French-bashing that took place in the United States over France's refusal to join the US-led war in Iraq.
Nicholas Burns, number three in the US State Department, called a decision to rename French fries as freedom fries in the US Congress foolish and he welcomed a new closeness between France and the United States.
"I surely hope that those Americans who renamed French fries into freedom fries, and those Americans who poured perfectly good French wines down American drains, I hope that they realise what foolishness that was," Burns told an audience at the American University of Paris. "I think that now we regret that an honest disagreement over a very important issue -- whether of not to go to war -- was taken to such lengths by so many people in our country."
Five food outlets in the US Congress heeded calls by House Republicans in 2003 to inject patriotism into their menus and rename French fries as "freedom fries."
Relations between France and the United States have warmed noticeably since new French President Nicholas Sarkozy came to power earlier this year.
"There is no question that we are entering a new period in the relationship between France and America, and there is no question it's a dynamic, positive and optimistic period," said Burns, who is the US under secretary of state for political affairs.
"The tide has really turned in this relationship."
So, is it safe to watch Irma La Douche again?
France got it’s ass kicked over it’s leader’s remarks, and that is as it should have been.
Let them try it again, and we’ll see who appolgizes firts.
I’m all in favor of France as long as it realizes which side it’s bread is buttered on.
When they turn on us, they damned well better know it’s a two way street.
Perhaps #3 Burns should volunteer for the “diplomatic surge” in Iraq...lead from the front.
Nicholas Burns = Merde for brains...
“. . . France’s refusal to join the US-led war in Iraq.”
This is unmitigated nonsense.
It was Chirac and Villepin’s premeditated (and perhaps personally financially advantageous) attempt to sabotage our dealing with Saddam.
Refusing to join the effort is one thing. To actually make it far more difficult to deal with the likes of Saddam is something entirely different.
We were opposed to Chirac and his government because they were aligning themselves with Saddam.
Well Mr. Brilliant, “The tide has really turned in this relationship.” because the French government changed, not because America changed. The previous French government deserved every bit of scorn heaped upon it - and then some.
Really, if it’s no big deal then why are THEY making a big deal about it?
Burns is an imbecile, and he’s supposed to be one of our “top diplomats”??? What Chirac/Villepin did went far beyond “honest disagreement” between allies. They didn’t merely decline to participate, they did all they could to sabotage US diplomatic and military efforts. They made the war much more likely by making Saddam believe they could ultimately block any action from within the UN and NATO. They actively worked to rally nations against the USA, going far beyond mere ‘disagreement’......and they stabbed Colin Powell in the back at the UN when Powell (foolishly) thought he had an understanding with them.
Yes, let’s be glad that France now has Sarko and relations seem to be on a better footing. But let us not forget or re-write history to fulfill liberal propaganda, Mr. Burns.
I’m not sorry for bashing France,
They stiff the U.S. and I refuse to purchase their products.
A new leader and a shift in policies but I’ve seen little concrete at this point other than talk.
I still am boycotting french products.
Join me in my One-Year-Vacation-from-French-Bashing. Until May of 2008, I am abstaining from all forms of French Bashing to celebrate the election of Sarkozy. After a year, we’ll see where we are.
Shut up, Burns!
It is indeed a fact that America lost because of Schroeder and Chirac much of its influence in Europe. I doubt that its former position as a broadly accepted "leading nation" ever can be be achieved again. Even with pro-american Politicians like Merkel and Sarkozy as European leaders nobody on the European side wants the old balance of strength back. To give you a example: During the 80ties German chancellors followed the course of the US without any hesitation (i.e. in the rearmament of NATO with intermediate-range missiles against the broad opposition among the common European people), today nobody really cares about the wishes of the US administration anymore. I.e. there would be absolutely no chance to install the new anti ballistic missiles and related systems in western Europe. The US had to sidestep to Poland and the Czech republic for doing that and it is still not sure if it is possible to push it through there at last. The thing is that the importance of Russia grows while the relevance of America in continental Europe shrinks in the meantime for various reasons.
Because of the MSM, the Iraq war and the recent verbalism America is standing for the vast majority of western Europeans on the "bad" side today. For sure the public US image is not better than the image of the Russians in Europe i.e.. This kind of BS gives the perfect evidence that Schroeder and Chirac were absolutely successful in breaking the image of America totally. If you ask European youngsters about America today you will get a completely distorted image about unscrupulous and chickenhearted conquerors who butcher peace loving people with their high-tech weapons.
This is something most Americans are absolutely not aware of. They still believe into their omnipotent influence as a Superpower. The facts in Europe are much different. Without the hearts of European people the transatlantic relationship will lack all of its substance. The stand of the US in Europe lost much of its basement during the past 5 or 6 years. Europeans will continue to sell things to the US and vice versa, but there will be no amicable relationship in the future anymore if nothing is changed soon. Beside of this psychological moment the US lack the possibility to press Europe practically into their political direction as Schroeder and Chriac demonstrated us in a impressive way with Iraq.
Therefore relations need a new start with calm words and some pragmatism. If we want to maintain the transatlantic link we all have to do something for it. It might be true that the US military is more powerful than the one of the Europeans, but you should not underestimate the potency of the old continent. If you want to have solutions on this planet you Americans need Europe on your side since the challenges in the near future are simply too big for you alone.
"Freedom fries" might be popular among some American conservatives, but such verbal behavior makes clowns of themselves in Europe. Beside of this Europeans who are pro-America need some calmness to rebuild a little bit of what has been smashed during the past 5 years or so. Therefore Nicholas Burns is correct while others are backstabbing us pro American Europeans with their self-righteous hullabaloo.
Regards from good old Europe
What a joke. The French were bashing the US making us worse than the terrorists. The French deserved much worse.
I haven’t read all your comments and won’t until later today. I will say this up front though. The President of France was shooting his mouth off about the U.S. for nearly his complete term. Now some folks are upset because we renamed French Fries Freedom Fries as a temporary lark.
On first blush, I’m just going to say what the President of France would have said. “They don’t like it, too fricken bad.”
I’ll be back later to read your thoughts in depth.
So they’re renamed Sarkozky fries now? The name of fries is really really important. So curly fries are in honor of the three Stooges?
Here’s what I was listening to just before I came on FR this morning - my little contribution to trans-Atlantic understanding:
Carla Bruni: “Quelqu’un m’a dit”
Jerry Lewis Fries, with the KETChup and the Salt ON Ummmmggn thing and the CoLESTerOLL, Laydee!
Some diplomat he is, freedom fries and french bashing were a wake up call for the average frenchman.
Telling them we weren’t going to be there for them because they weren’t there for us got a whole new government elected.
I found Atlantic Bridges comments very interesting and I very much appreciate his sharing of the European perspective. His observations seem to confirm my view that for sometime Europe has wished to insulate themselves from reality with a blanket of socialism, pacifism and America bashing. The situation worsened rapidly after the immediate threat of the USSR disappeared. Over the short run, its much more comfortable to be against America than to dirty ones hands dealing with the worlds real problems.
Burns’ statements are sure to propel him right to the top of Charlie Rose’s
He’s another example of why the State Dept. is considered by many to be the enemy within.
Yes, I do appreciate the comments from AB and didn’t mean to suggest otherwise. I actually have a trans-Atlantic family (across 4 continents, in fact) and do have a lot of interest in what the thinking is there, even if I may not agree with it a lot of the time. I think a lot of my cousins in France voted for Sarko, although we don’t talk politics much. I know there are some sensible people in France because many of them are relatives of mine!! In fact, they are as disdainful toward a lot of EU socialist weenies as I ever could be.
As for the reasons that AB describes politicians in both Germany and France seizing upon tensions over the Iraq war to push away from the USA, I agree he’s right on the money. I simply don’t think it’s avoidable when we’re talking about spineless charlatans like Schroeder and Chirac and the people around them. Sure, we could have tried to paper over the differences more, but the differences are there. The attitude of people like our so-called “top diplomat” Nicholas Burns is that now it’s time for Americans to apologize and act contrite. Au contraire, I would say it’s more appropriate for Europeans who supported Chirac/Schroeder to re-think their foolish ideas......
Hey, don’t sugar coat it, just tell us what you really think.
:-) I just flat don’t like the french. I loved watching the french whine when Armstong won their bike race 7 times in a row, and no french pussy has won it in over 20+ years!! Ha ha.
“Some diplomat he is, freedom fries and french bashing were a wake up call for the average frenchman.
Telling them we werent going to be there for them because they werent there for us got a whole new government elected.”
Er, nope. Neither of these “issues” played any role in the campaign, sorry. How can someone actually think that millions flock to vote for candidate X or Y just because of rather childish insults spouted from 3,000 miles away ? I doubt American voters vote in reaction to what the the rest of the world want them to do - why would French voters do otherwise ?
The 2007 elections hinged upon the economy, a need for institutional changes, a strong desire for a more assertive policy both at home and abroad.
The only actual impact of “Freedom fries” and general French-bashing was to actually comfort Chirac in 2003-2007, as it insulted a whole nation.
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