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Time to stop bashing French
Philadelphia Inquirer ^ | July 11, 2003 | Froma Harrop

Posted on 07/11/2003 6:27:53 AM PDT by schaketo

It's been fun, but isn't it time to stop bashing the French? The gleeful stomping on all things from France has progressed from the moronic to the pathetic.

First, there was the dimwit stuff, like renaming french fries "freedom fries" in congressional cafeterias. Now we have student-exchange programs unable to find American homes willing to take in French students over the summer. That's depressing.

Like a chronic ailment, Francophobia flares now and then, especially when France tries to frustrate the United States on the world stage. The source of today's friction is, of course, the war in Iraq.

A walk down memory lane of low points in Franco-American relations inevitably pauses at 1966, when Charles de Gaulle pulled France out of NATO. Then, as now, American restaurant owners poured perfectly good French wine down the drain, at least while the news cameras were rolling.

Today, Americans and the French have one thing in common: They detest each other's leader. A good French friend of mine is a perfect example. She was an exchange student here years ago, has happy memories of waiting tables in Wyoming and is generally well disposed toward the United States.

But George W. Bush drives her nuts. And it's probably his style more than his politics. A Dick Cheney who pushes an individualistic, every-man-for-himself philosophy in a frank manner may be disagreed with but not hated. The spectacle of Bush alternating between tax cuts for the rich and displays of religious piety, however, sends my friend over the deep end.

Americans, for their part, have no obligation to admire French President Jacques Chirac (also a former exchange student in the United States). The cagey old pol has undoubtedly exploited anti-American feelings in France, also a latent force, to distract attention from his various scandals at home. For example, a now deceased member of his Gaullist Party describes on tape how he handed over $720,000 in cash to a Chirac aide as the boss, then mayor of Paris, looked on. Were it not for a court ruling that a sitting president cannot be dragged before a judge, Chirac might be behind bars today.

For Americans, lingering anger over Iraq obscures how very much France and the United States work together around the globe. Last month, Chirac announced that France would send its own special forces to fight alongside Americans in Afghanistan.

The French already play an active role there, training Afghan soldiers. "We still have french fries here," an American Special Forces officer, who runs a training center in Kabul, recently told the Wall Street Journal.

Bush has openly thanked the French for freely sharing their intelligence on terrorist activity with the United States. Fighting terrorism is, of course, very much in France's interest. Intelligence reports last year suggested that al-Qaeda cells were planning "spectaculars" in several countries at once, with France a prime target.

France keeps close tabs on potential terrorists, who are known to hide out among France's large Muslim population. In December, the French police picked up four suspects linked to a group that had planned to blow up the Strasbourg cathedral.

France has picked up other international burdens, notably Congo's civil war. Today, French troops have the unenviable job of keeping two warring tribes apart. Some of the combatants are 12-year-olds, who express an eagerness to shoot French soldiers.

The French are about to celebrate their Fourth of July, which happens to fall on the 14th of July. The 14th commemorates the destruction in 1789 of the Bastille, the political prison in Paris that symbolized despotism. Its liberation set off a revolution that was far bloodier than ours, but equally world-changing.

A key to the Bastille now hangs in the hall of George Washington's Mount Vernon estate. It was a gift from the Marquis de Lafayette, who had served under Washington in the Revolutionary War.

Bastille Day is going to be a working Monday in the United States and definitely a non-holiday for professional Francophobes. But Americans with an open mind should find some commonality in the French waving a blue, white and red flag 10 days after we waved red, white and blue - in both cases honoring revolutions for the rights of man. What a fine occasion to give our animosities a rest.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: antifrenchhumor; cheeseeaters; french; frogs; nonallyfrance; surrendermonkeys
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1 posted on 07/11/2003 6:27:54 AM PDT by schaketo
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To: schaketo
No, it's never going to be time to stop bashing the French.
2 posted on 07/11/2003 6:28:26 AM PDT by the gillman@blacklagoon.com (Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud, hatch out!)
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To: schaketo
I'm bored with bashing because boycotting is so much more satisfying.

KEEP UP THE BOYCOTT, KEEP UP THE BOYCOTT, KEEP UP THE BOYCOTT.
3 posted on 07/11/2003 6:29:18 AM PDT by mabelkitty
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To: schaketo
Froma Harrop (fharrop@projo.com) is a columnist for the Providence Journal. Here’s what I just emailed her:

Read your screed (Time to stop bashing french) this morning in the Philadelphia Inquirer admonishing us, the unwashed to give the frogs a big hug. Have you joined Woody Allen and his wife/daughter on the french payroll?

Perhaps I can help you and the french understand the PERMANENT change in U.S. sentiment:

1. french President Jacques Chirac, personally helped Iraq begin its nuclear program.
2. france assisted China in shipping raw materials for chemical weapons to Iraq through Syria.
3. french security services helped suppress opposition groups seeking to depose Saddam Hussein.
4. The french had supplied Iraq with precision switches for nuclear weapons.
5. french companies had resupplied Iraq with spare parts for fighter jets on the eve of the March 2003 invasion. Intelligence reports indicated that Iraq was able to obtain French military spare parts for its Mirage jets and Gazelle attack helicopters in violation of U.N. sanctions.
6. The french helped Iraqi officials escape U.S. capture by issuing them EU passports. The passports allowed the Iraqis to evade detection by U.S. military and intelligence agencies because they were EU travel documents.
7. Intelligence officials said France attempted to conclude an oil deal with Saddam's government days before U.S. military action began March 19.
8. french anti-aircraft weapons smuggled into Iraq prior to the war, the Roland 3 batteries, and Roland 5 shoulder-fired anti-air missiles. Reports have still not been denied that these systems were stamped '2002 date of manufacture.'
9. The french peddled disinformation against the Americans before the war -- this is a war for oil, Resolution 1441 does not authorize military action, George Bush is "cowboy," etc. -- at the very least, they now deserve some of their own.

Those countries who stood against us before the Iraq War are responsible for EVERY life lost in Iraq -- whether the lives be coalition lives or Iraqi lives. france, more than any other country, is responsible for all the deaths of our warriors.

I and thousands of other thinking Americans will find your collusion disgusting. The french have American blood on their hands and it won’t wash off any time soon.<
4 posted on 07/11/2003 6:30:47 AM PDT by schaketo (Where’s my guillotine?)
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To: schaketo
It's Wrong to be French.

The SF chapter of FreeRepublic will be FReeping the French tommorrow night! link

5 posted on 07/11/2003 6:31:26 AM PDT by Drango (Just 5¢ a day will end pledge drives on FreeRepublic.)
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To: All
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6 posted on 07/11/2003 6:32:32 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: schaketo
Why not a barf alert?
7 posted on 07/11/2003 6:32:32 AM PDT by night reader
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To: schaketo

Froma Harrop (fharrop@projo.com) is a columnist for the Providence Journal.

A quick google reveals, not surprisingly, a dim-witted lefty soccer mom.

8 posted on 07/11/2003 6:36:18 AM PDT by NativeNewYorker (Freepin' Jew Boy)
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To: schaketo
Ask British, they have been bashing the French for about five hundred years. I think they have the right idea....
9 posted on 07/11/2003 6:36:41 AM PDT by FeliciaCat
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To: schaketo
Tax cuts for the rich? The moronic frogs can't see that those are tax cuts for people who actually pay taxes. Here's hoping for their misery in years to come!
10 posted on 07/11/2003 6:36:50 AM PDT by Little Ray (When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout!)
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To: schaketo
A very good post!
11 posted on 07/11/2003 6:38:11 AM PDT by TheGeezer
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To: schaketo
Good post. Considering all the talk of "reparations" 138 years after the end of the War of Northern Aggression, and in light of the fact that it's only been 8 months since the French stonewalled us at the UN, I would say we're just getting started.
12 posted on 07/11/2003 6:40:02 AM PDT by cincinnati65
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To: schaketo
But Americans with an open mind should find some commonality in the French waving a blue, white and red flag 10 days after we waved red, white and blue - in both cases honoring revolutions for the rights of man.

As if our Founders had picnic lunches while watching their political opponents get guillotined. Those were the "rights of man" championed by the French Revolution.

13 posted on 07/11/2003 6:40:19 AM PDT by CFC__VRWC (Hippies. They want to save the earth, but all they do is smoke dope and smell bad.)
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To: schaketo

14 posted on 07/11/2003 6:40:31 AM PDT by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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To: the gillman@blacklagoon.com
I met up with some French college student on the golf course once. They were playing while wearing leather-soled loafers (!). They were loud and noisy and smoked constantly. When the foursome in front of them played a little slow they insulted them, including some middle-aged women. Only a threat from a former Marine in our foursome got them to shut up.

They are basically a boorish set of arrogant jerks.

15 posted on 07/11/2003 6:42:11 AM PDT by tom h
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To: NativeNewYorker
a dim-witted lefty soccer mom

Why am I not surprised?

16 posted on 07/11/2003 6:42:51 AM PDT by FourPeas
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To: schaketo

No, it isn't. We'll stop being critical of the French the day we disinter and repatriate the 60,000 American soldiers buried in their ungrateful soil.

17 posted on 07/11/2003 6:43:35 AM PDT by Cultural Jihad
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To: schaketo
Shaketo said it all so well that I can think of nothing to add except this: Only once has France been our ally - during the Revolution - and that was the France of Louis XVI. The French then chopped Louis' head off, and it has all been downhill ever since.
18 posted on 07/11/2003 6:44:33 AM PDT by Malesherbes
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To: schaketo
The spectacle of Bush alternating between tax cuts for the rich and displays of religious piety, however, sends my friend over the deep end.

I suggest that her friend is already over the deep end if her perception is this far skewed.

19 posted on 07/11/2003 6:44:43 AM PDT by FourPeas
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To: schaketo; All
Keep up on the latest in French stupidity on a daily basis at Merde in France and the Dissident Frogman.
20 posted on 07/11/2003 6:45:37 AM PDT by mountaineer
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To: schaketo
The spectacle of Bush alternating between tax cuts for the rich and displays of religious piety, however, sends my friend over the deep end.

Ah, I just love objective journalism...or was this on the editorial page? When will the un_Inquirering mind finally get it, that the tax cuts apply to more than the rich?

Also, if this liberal garbage-wrapper is complaining about disdaining the French, the boycott must be having a significant effect.

Last night O'Reilly reviewed some boycott effects in gay Paris, which, it seems, is not so ebullient this summer due to a large void if high-spending American tourists. Apparently, Eurotourons don't spend as much as Americans, per capita: might that be due to high taxes Eurotourons pay in their native lands? They must have less disposable income than American tourists!

Maybe if the Europeans taxed their rich more, the common Eurotouron might have more money to spend in Paris.

Such is life...

21 posted on 07/11/2003 6:47:53 AM PDT by TheGeezer
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To: schaketo
As I see it, the real issue here is this:

The lefties that blah-blah about international relationships, and children, and the need for understanding, etc. etc. can't be bothered to get off their ass and actually do something worthwhile, like hosting a visiting exchange student.

Instead, they berate conservatives for not taking care of the heavy lifting like we've always done.

22 posted on 07/11/2003 6:48:24 AM PDT by TontoKowalski
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To: tom h
They are basically a boorish set of arrogant jerks.

We get lots of tourists from all over the world here in Central Florida. Most of them are extremely polite and well behaved, but the French ones really stick out because, as a rule, they're rude, overbearing, obnoxious, and treat us locals like we're the hired help, when they're not staring at us in horror like we're some kind of three-headed kittens that just crawled out from under the porch.

23 posted on 07/11/2003 6:49:29 AM PDT by CFC__VRWC (Hippies. They want to save the earth, but all they do is smoke dope and smell bad.)
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER
SmedleyButler above has showed us one of the truly great photographs of the 20th century. Look at each of the faces - France in a nutshell.
24 posted on 07/11/2003 6:50:12 AM PDT by Malesherbes
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To: Malesherbes
Notice the woman clapping her hands next to the sobbing frog.
25 posted on 07/11/2003 6:53:48 AM PDT by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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To: FeliciaCat
Ask the British, they have been bashing the French for about five hundred years. I think they have the right idea....


26 posted on 07/11/2003 6:53:54 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (. . . there is nothing new under the sun.)
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER
Do you have the original photo?
27 posted on 07/11/2003 6:57:00 AM PDT by Cultural Jihad
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To: AnAmericanMother
LOL!!

(Thank you, I just copied it and sent to my Brit boyfriend!)

28 posted on 07/11/2003 6:57:09 AM PDT by FeliciaCat
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To: schaketo
Y'know, Aquafina tastes so much better than Avian...
29 posted on 07/11/2003 6:58:04 AM PDT by mhking
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To: schaketo
flash...boycott france forever...
30 posted on 07/11/2003 6:58:46 AM PDT by Bill Davis FR
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To: Drango
It's Wrong to be French.

A great American, Al Bundy, said so.

31 posted on 07/11/2003 7:01:43 AM PDT by NeoCaveman ("I don't need the Bush tax cut. I never worked a f****** day in my life. Patrick Kennedy D-RI)
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To: FeliciaCat
Ask British, they have been bashing the French for about five hundred years.

"France is a dog hole, and it no more merits the tread of a man's foot." Wm Shaksper

32 posted on 07/11/2003 7:02:05 AM PDT by Oztrich Boy (hoist by his own petard. always funny.)
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To: Malesherbes
The French then chopped Louis' head off, and it has all been downhill ever since.


33 posted on 07/11/2003 7:03:19 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (. . . there is nothing new under the sun.)
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To: schaketo
"Now we have student-exchange programs unable to find American homes willing to take in French students over the summer."

So how about your home, Froma.

34 posted on 07/11/2003 7:03:32 AM PDT by MEGoody
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To: schaketo
Three Cheers for you,well done!
35 posted on 07/11/2003 7:04:26 AM PDT by Dudoight
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To: schaketo
I'm no historian, but I think there were some major differences between the way we conducted our revolution and the way the French conducted theirs.

Just for starters, we avoided the murderous mobs, kangaroo courts, and wholesale executions that were hallmarks of the French affair.
Then we set up an actual government that continues to this day, instead of going through various "emperors" and other despots.
Finally, we've managed to to snatch our own bacon out of the fire when troubles arose - a fairly conspicuous difference from the French model.

Or have I got this all wrong?
36 posted on 07/11/2003 7:04:40 AM PDT by Redbob
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To: schaketo
Oh, I hope we're just getting started...
37 posted on 07/11/2003 7:04:46 AM PDT by meowmeow
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To: mhking
Y'know, Aquafina tastes so much better than Evian...

And Evian is Naive spelled backwards.

38 posted on 07/11/2003 7:05:10 AM PDT by NeoCaveman ("I don't need the Bush tax cut. I never worked a f****** day in my life. Patrick Kennedy D-RI)
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To: mabelkitty
I agree with you re: boycotting much more satisfying than bashing. I must confess, however, that my attitude toward the French is like that of Rick in "Casa Blanca" when asked what he thought of the particularly oleagenous character played by Peter Lorry: "I don't think of you at all." They, the French, are not worth the time.
39 posted on 07/11/2003 7:06:39 AM PDT by Adrastus
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To: schaketo
I have been bashing the frogs for 30 years. They were despicable then, they are despicable now. Cretins all (well, most as there are always exceptions). When they deserve better, they shall receive better.
40 posted on 07/11/2003 7:07:03 AM PDT by lawdude (KAKKATE KOI!)
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To: Redbob
A savage cartoon from the great English caricaturist, Gillray:


41 posted on 07/11/2003 7:07:07 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (. . . there is nothing new under the sun.)
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To: schaketo
BASH HARDER! TEACH THE UNAPPRECIATIVE PERVERTS A LESSON.
42 posted on 07/11/2003 7:07:33 AM PDT by jetson
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To: schaketo
The spectacle of Bush alternating between tax cuts for the rich and displays of religious piety, however, sends my friend over the deep end.

At this point, nausea set in....

43 posted on 07/11/2003 7:09:23 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard
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To: FeliciaCat
It's a good book too.

Forester tells a good tale. I wish he hadn't made his best known hero, Capt. Hornblower, an angst-filled 20th century man in the early 19th century. But you can ignore his maunderings and just enjoy the adventure.

44 posted on 07/11/2003 7:10:48 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (. . . there is nothing new under the sun.)
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To: lawdude
Peace in our time, bomb Paris first is what I have been saying for years.
45 posted on 07/11/2003 7:10:51 AM PDT by bmwcyle (Here's to Hillary's book sinking like the Clinton 2000 economy)
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To: AnAmericanMother
Thanks for the heads up.
46 posted on 07/11/2003 7:11:42 AM PDT by FeliciaCat
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To: the gillman@blacklagoon.com
I'm with you. The French suck.
47 posted on 07/11/2003 7:13:57 AM PDT by Bikers4Bush
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To: schaketo
You left out how the french (LOVE, how ya NEVER capitalizsed) proactively tried to get the African nations to vote against us by sending a french emissary there.Or, did I miss it? Any way. Nice letter...bet ya don't hear a peep outta her.
48 posted on 07/11/2003 7:14:17 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I will defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: schaketo
Time to stop bashing French

Why? Did they surrender again???

49 posted on 07/11/2003 7:18:56 AM PDT by TruthShallSetYouFree
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To: schaketo
Nice post. I'll add a personal anecdote as to why I'm not inclined to forive and forget just yet. My wife was in Paris, and two Frenchmen tried to rape her and her sister. Nuff said
50 posted on 07/11/2003 7:19:40 AM PDT by Flightdeck
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