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Anti-French feelings run high in most Gallic US city
The Daily Telegraph ^ | May 2, 2003 | Marcus Warren

Posted on 05/01/2003 5:47:59 PM PDT by MadIvan

The big chill freezing relations between the US and France has reached America's most Gallic city, New Orleans, otherwise known as the Big Easy.

A statue of Joan of Arc gazes at the Mississippi and the French Quarter is still festooned with tricolours and fleur de lys flags but the malaise afflicting the two nations has even spread to the bicentennial celebration of their common past.

A lavish exhibition marking one of the most important events in their joint history, the Louisiana Purchase, is drawing large crowds but its organisers at one stage feared that bad feeling over Iraq would scupper the project.

Laura Bush, the president's wife and honorary head of the organising committee, stayed away from the opening gala and her greeting to visitors to the museum hosting the show is remarkable for its nuanced language.

The exhibition "offers great insights into the founding of our nation, the nature of leadership and the rich artistic dealings between America and France," the First Lady says, tactfully omitting any mention of France as the US's oldest ally.

"Jefferson's America and Napoleon's France" at the New Orleans Museum of Art commemorates the 200th anniversary of what is arguably the most lucrative real estate bargain in history, at least for the buyer. The infant American republic doubled its size thanks to the deal with France's then First Consul, snapping up the territory from the Mississippi to the Rocky Mountains for the knockdown price of four cents an acre

French copies of the purchase documents are some of the exhibition's highlights. But its organisers were afraid that these, and other French treasures, might not show up, victims of this spring's war of words between Washington and Paris over the Middle East.

To everyone's relief, all the promised items turned up, a victory hailed by some as proof of the two countries' enduring cultural ties overcoming petty political differences.

In fact, the show only underlines the historical contrast between the two nations, despite Marquis de Lafayette helping the colonies to win the American Revolution and the gift of the Statue of Liberty.

A sumptuous gilded throne used by Bonaparte stands beside an austere, high-backed leather armchair belonging to Jefferson, admittedly the most passionate Francophile of all US presidents. Among the ironies highlighted by the show was France's then status as the world's most powerful nation on land, one which celebrated a "cult of war" and far removed from the image of "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" coined by The Simpsons.

In another piquant parallel, Napoleon and his armies had just returned from a victorious military expedition to the Orient, to Egypt.

"After seeing all that, I understand that we have much less in common than I thought," said one visitor to the show, Cookie Sampson. "Napoleon must have been quite an egomaniac."

Another irony of the Louisiana Purchase was that the Creoles of New Orleans, the only sizeable town in the wilderness sold by the transaction, were decidedly ambivalent about the deal.

This week's 200th anniversary of the treaty's drafting was marked with a Mass in the cathedral but the real action was in the streets where the city held a traditional New Orleans funeral for the R&B guitarist, Earl King.

Despite its veneer of French influence, New Orleans seems to be part of the US mainstream in its attitude to the country itself.

Another local venue which celebrates a significant chapter in US-French history is the National D-Day Museum. New Orleans was the home of the Higgins boats which landed Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy. On the pavement outside, anti-French feeling was running predictably high.

"I have no use for them now," said Joe Thurman. "We protected their butt back then and now they fight against us tooth and toenail. And when we make a success of it in Iraq, now they want a piece of the action."

"Maybe they have something to offer with their food and wine but it's their principles - if they have any - and their leaders I can't stand."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; US: Louisiana; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: blair; bush; cajuns; chirac; france; louisiana; louisianapurchase; neworleans; uk; us
I happen to like New Orleans. Now I don't feel guilty about it. ;)

Regards, Ivan


1 posted on 05/01/2003 5:47:59 PM PDT by MadIvan
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To: alnick; knews_hound; faithincowboys; hillary's_fat_a**; redbaiter; MizSterious; Krodg; ...
Bump!
2 posted on 05/01/2003 5:48:30 PM PDT by MadIvan
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To: MadIvan
De Cajuns, dey speak de French, but I don't tink dey like dese guys...
3 posted on 05/01/2003 5:50:53 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Billthedrill

De Cajuns, dey no git no killed off in dey World War One un dey World War Two. Dey no get no emasculated. Dey no sip no cup of no bad communism. Dey families left France jus in time, no.

4 posted on 05/01/2003 5:57:41 PM PDT by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: nutmeg
bump
5 posted on 05/01/2003 5:58:07 PM PDT by nutmeg (USA: Land of the Free - Thanks to the Brave)
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To: MadIvan
"I have no use for them now," said Joe Thurman. "We protected their butt back then and now they fight against us tooth and toenail. And when we make a success of it in Iraq, now they want a piece of the action."

"Maybe they have something to offer with their food and wine but it's their principles - if they have any - and their leaders I can't stand."

Basically says it all.

6 posted on 05/01/2003 5:58:58 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: MadIvan
LOL!
The very mention of the dreded word "france" makes my stomach lurch!
7 posted on 05/01/2003 6:07:03 PM PDT by MeekMom ((HUGE Ann Coulter Fan!!!) (Life-long Python Addict))
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To: MadIvan
.. a victorious military expedition to the Orient, to Egypt.

Hardly "victorious." Nelson whipped the French fleet and Bonney barely escaped, abandoning his troops to deal with the plague and finally to surrender to the Turks.

Napoleaon's spinning of this adventure into a victory is surely one of history's notable con jobs.

8 posted on 05/01/2003 6:13:40 PM PDT by Martin Tell
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To: Billthedrill
A lot of the Cajuns are descended from French Canadians... who have no love for France.
9 posted on 05/01/2003 6:22:55 PM PDT by xm177e2 (Stalinists, Maoists, Ba'athists, Pacifists: Why are they always on the same side?)
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To: MeekMom
Life long python addict??
Are you a herper??
10 posted on 05/01/2003 6:34:40 PM PDT by Coroner
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To: MadIvan
When is this lemming like idiocy going to stop about France? We didn't fight WWII or WWI to "save" France and the French are mature enought to know it. We went into WWI because we had a President who wanted to get into it. We went into WWII because we were attacked by Japan and Germany declared war on us. That we liberated France was incidental- not the reason we went to war in either case.

What does France "owe" us? Nothing. They owe us nothing, zilch, zero, nada. Gratitude is a dog's disease from which nations never suffer in dealing with others. No nation- including this one- will ever operate it's foreign policy on past alliances or percieved debts. Any nation that does is a fool.

Is the current French policy of opposition to the current US foreign policy wrong? Perhaps. Is it based on it's own percieved interests (even if they are not the right interests)? Most likely.

But let's stop all this nonesence about the French being "ingrates" and "traitors". France is an independent nation that rightly or wrongly is acting in what she believes to be her interests. They "owe" us nothing. What if France supported us? Would it have mattered a bit in the outcome of this war? Why the hatred?

11 posted on 05/01/2003 6:41:24 PM PDT by Burkeman1 (B)
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To: Billthedrill
The Quebeckers used to dislike Republican France. In the days of Duplessis and the Union Nationale, they thought that Republican France was godless, and their own loyalty was to the monarchist, Catholic France that preceded the French Revolution. How times have changed!
12 posted on 05/01/2003 6:47:23 PM PDT by aristeides
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To: Martin Tell
Actually, the expedition to Egypt was a huge success...in the short term...just like Napoleon's entire career...but you would be right in saying that it was a failure in the long run.

The whole thing went to hell when Napoleon was forced to go back to France, since those in power were screwing things up on the European front. If he remained with his forces in Egypt...history may have favored the French forces

Just so you know, besides Finance, this is my field of study...so I didn't just make it up! I'm not exactly what you would call a Bonapartist, either.
13 posted on 05/01/2003 6:54:21 PM PDT by Norse
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To: xm177e2
A lot of the Cajuns are descended from French Canadians... who have no love for France.

French Canadians are the principal reason that Canada has turned from Ally to Enemy.

So9

14 posted on 05/01/2003 7:00:27 PM PDT by Servant of the Nine (We are the Hegemon. We can do anything we damned well please.)
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To: Darlin'
Swamp Canary Ping

So9

15 posted on 05/01/2003 7:01:37 PM PDT by Servant of the Nine (We are the Hegemon. We can do anything we damned well please.)
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To: Norse
Well, he beat the Marmalukes, but could not even take Acre. Hardly what I would call a success.
16 posted on 05/01/2003 7:02:24 PM PDT by Martin Tell
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To: Servant of the Nine
French Canadians are the principal reason that Canada has turned from Ally to Enemy.

True enough. But they're not in love with France. They just hate America a lot more (because the Anglosphere is more of a threat to them because France is too far away). If Canada was attached to France they would hate that. They just don't fit in, anywhere in the world. It is a sad story. They should just secede and make their own state and be happy there.

17 posted on 05/01/2003 7:31:58 PM PDT by xm177e2 (Stalinists, Maoists, Ba'athists, Pacifists: Why are they always on the same side?)
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To: MadIvan; Happygal; Coleus
Hmmmmm, Will I be vacationing in Bayonne, NJ this summer....

Main Header Graphic

 

Or in Bayonne, France:

Retour à l'accueil

 

Bayonne, NJ!!!

 

18 posted on 05/01/2003 7:43:47 PM PDT by Incorrigible
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To: Coroner
Hmmmm.
Don't know what that is. Do tell.
19 posted on 05/01/2003 7:47:06 PM PDT by MeekMom ((HUGE Ann Coulter Fan!!!) (Life-long Python Addict))
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To: MeekMom
I guess you're not. a herper is someone who collects or searches for reptiles and amphibians!
20 posted on 05/01/2003 8:11:28 PM PDT by Coroner
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To: xm177e2
Cajuns are descended from French Canadians... who have no love for France.
French yes, Quebecers non I think. Aren't Cajuns originally from Acadia, now Nova Scotia, expelled by the British ? That's what many guys I worked with with names ending in -eaux told me !
21 posted on 05/01/2003 8:24:47 PM PDT by 1066AD
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To: MadIvan
Oh, man! I hadn't heard that Earl King died! Bummer! I'll miss him. Great guitarist and showman when he wasn't too drunk to play. Oh yeah, the French can bite me, etc., etc. Four cents an acre, huh? LOL! Suckers!
22 posted on 05/01/2003 8:32:39 PM PDT by rogue yam
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To: Burkeman1
"When is this lemming like idiocy going to stop about France? We didn't fight WWII or WWI to "save" France and the French are mature enought to know it. We went into WWI because we had a President who wanted to get into it. We went into WWII because we were attacked by Japan and Germany declared war on us. That we liberated France was incidental- not the reason we went to war in either case."

Matters not. Whether our liberation of France was incidental or not, the fact remains that we saved their behinds from the Nazi occupation and it took them just a few years to forget that. As to the French being mature, well, nations are judged by the actions of their leaders. The British Prime Minister was mature; the French PM was not. He pandered (that's a word indicating immaturity) to the whims of his leftist populace, while the British PM ignored a firstorm of criticism from his own leftists, and did the right thing.

"What does France "owe" us? Nothing. They owe us nothing, zilch, zero, nada. Gratitude is a dog's disease from which nations never suffer in dealing with others. No nation- including this one- will ever operate it's foreign policy on past alliances or percieved debts."

Yes, we got nada, but we deserved more. And plenty of nations have operated their foreign policy on past alliances. The British entered WWII based on an alliance with Poland, and WWI erupted when nation after nation fell in like dominoes according to their particular alliances. Britain entered this present war based on an alliance with the US, as did Australia. If you aren't buying any of this I would suggest that you go to the history books and read about the causes of any given war. Time after time wars occur because of one country's alliance with another.

"Lafayette, we are here." It was allegedly uttered by one of Pershing's subordinates when the doughboys arrived in France during WWI. The phrase alludes to the US returning a favor to France for honoring an alliance with the Colonists during the American Revolution. WE REMEMBERED WHAT WE OWED AFTER 135 YEARS HAD PASSED.

It has been 58 years since we liberated France. The French owed us. But they screwed us.

23 posted on 05/01/2003 8:34:27 PM PDT by yooper
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To: yooper
I am not saying the French are acting correctly. I just have a problem with us expecting them to forever show us gratitude. Nations actually resent being helped and downplay it as time goes by. And the alliances you spoke of- were EXISTING alliances- not in the past.
24 posted on 05/01/2003 8:42:12 PM PDT by Burkeman1 (B)
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To: MadIvan
Well, this calls for a beignet and some Chicory. Too bad there isn't a Cafe Du Monde around these parts.
25 posted on 05/01/2003 8:47:10 PM PDT by wolf24
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To: MadIvan
The most patriotic of the patriotic Americans are the Cajuns. In the oil patch from Alaska and points south I came to know and respect these hard working guys.

In my visits to Lafayette, La I found them some of the most open and warm hearted people ever. Love their music, love their food, and last but not least, they have beautiful women.
26 posted on 05/01/2003 8:56:08 PM PDT by Ursus arctos horribilis ("It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!" Emiliano Zapata 1879-1919)
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To: Burkeman1
Anything existing is by definition in the past. The British didn't make their alliance with Poland 45 minutes prior to the German invasion of Poland. It had been there in the past (how far I must admit I don't know).

And you are correct on one point; no nation should feel indebted to another in perpetuity. However, as I pointed out, we remembered a debt we owed France for 135 years, over three lifetimes by the life-expectancy standards of that period, but they can't find it in themselves to be grateful for the WWII French liberation of 1945, less than one lifetime.

I can see where you're coming from; standards of international politics and loyalty are much different in this day, the world is a much more fast-paced place, and most importantly, modern governments are much less entrenched than the monarchies and oligarchies of old. Governments and government men come and go much more quickly than they used to. Today it's the classic case of What-Have-You-Done-For-Me-Lately? That said, I still believe France owes us and they should have supported us in this war. Because once again we are fighting to safeguard French society as well as American society. When a dirty suitcase goes off in Paris they'll be asking why someone didn't do anything to prevent it.

27 posted on 05/01/2003 9:02:07 PM PDT by yooper
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To: yooper
The alliances you spoke of were existing and in effect and legal. Britain had to go to war if Germany invaded Belgium in WWI as they did. France and Britain had pledged to Poland that they would go to war if Germany invaded as they did in 39. Those were existing alliances. France has no obligation to join us in attacking a nation that has not attacked us. Did they go over board in trying to stop us in our assault at the UN? Perhaps. But how they see their interests is their business.

We ressurected Lafayette during WWI, not to compliment the French, but to persuade an Isolationist population to go into a war that really didn't involve us. Don't blame the French that we bought that hooey- they had nothing to do with it.

Nations act in their interests- period. Don't confuse propaganda with truth.

28 posted on 05/01/2003 9:11:39 PM PDT by Burkeman1 (B)
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To: Shermy
Basically that says it all bump!!!!!
29 posted on 05/01/2003 9:17:18 PM PDT by Beck_isright (If a Frenchman and a German farted in the Ardennes, would Belgium surrender?)
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To: 1066AD
French yes, Quebecers non I think. Aren't Cajuns originally from Acadia, now Nova Scotia, expelled by the British ? That's what many guys I worked with with names ending in -eaux told me !

That's what I learned in school. Considering the French sold out the other French Canadians after some war, though (and sold Louisiana to America!), I doubt the people there are big fans of the French.

30 posted on 05/02/2003 2:28:04 PM PDT by xm177e2 (Stalinists, Maoists, Ba'athists, Pacifists: Why are they always on the same side?)
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To: Incorrigible
LOL!
31 posted on 05/02/2003 7:08:30 PM PDT by ELS
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To: yooper
Tear down the French flags in New Orleons bring down that bitch Joan of Arc! Get rid of the French out of the States no one likes them including us Brits. They will never be forgiven for what they did to our graves in France! Its Dien Bien Phu day tomorrow , I think I will be celebrating!!
32 posted on 05/06/2003 3:26:10 PM PDT by MARETHLINE
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To: 1066AD
Being a Cajun myself I have learn the history of how Cajuns came to be. Here is a brief version of how it happened. The Arcadians were exiled out of Nova Scotia by the English because they refused to give an unconditional oath to the English Crown. Beginning in 1755 the English began rounding up all Arcadians (all of their possessions were deemed worthless) and the English Crown took possession of everything they owned such as homes and livestock. The English put the Arcadians on ships (separating families, mothers, husbands, sons, daughters, etc.) and deposited them all along the US Eastern Coast, Gulf Coast and Virgin Islands without a penny to their names. It would many years before families were reunited, some never where.

To this day the Cajuns still speak 17th Century French. They do not speak the foo foo prissy French spoken in France.
33 posted on 05/06/2003 4:08:14 PM PDT by daisymae (They deem him their worst enemy who tells them the truth. -- Plato)
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