Skip to comments.FRENCH DISSING IN THE U.S.A
Posted on 03/17/2003 8:08:05 AM PST by Pokey78
I HOPE that the continent of Europe never again needs help from the United States of America.
I hope that there's never some murderous little tyrant - another Hitler, another Milosevic - that Europe needs help in taming.
I hope that there's never some economic catastrophe that requires American dollars to make it right, as they did at the end of the Second World War.
I hope that the euro experiment works. I hope that all those peace-loving souls in Belgium, Germany and France can somehow muster an army to protect themselves.
I hope that the continent I live on never again needs to go cap in hand to the Americans.
Because if that black day ever comes, I have the feeling that America might just tell Europe where to go.
On the eve of war, there is a tangible anger in America. But surprisingly little of it is directed against the Iraqis. It is the French who are detested.
"This is all about oil," the Brits hear all the time. And Americans think it is "all about oil" too. The $50billion worth of oil contracts that France has with Iraq. In American eyes, that is why the French are so keen to avoid war.
Anti-French feeling in the United Kingdom is never more than a passing fancy, a jokey bit of "hop-off-you-Frogs" banter.
Not in America.
THE cafeteria in the House of Representatives no longer serves French fries - chips to you and me, guvnor. Now they sell something called "freedom fries". That sounds nuts - and of course it is.
But when a furious Congresswoman presents a "bring home our dead" bill demanding that the 75,000 American men and boys who died in France during two world wars be dug up and brought home, you realise that this is more than "hop-off-you-Frogs" banter.
Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite says, "The remains of our brave servicemen should be buried in patriotic soil, not in a country that has turned its back on the US and on the memory of Americans who fought and died there."
That's the difference between the British and the Americans.
We do not feel that the British casualties in two world wars died to liberate the French. We believe that we were fighting for our nation's survival. Just like the Russians.
It is different for Americans.
Throughout the 20th century, through two world wars and one Cold War, America gave all the blood and money Europe needed to keep it free.
They feel that the current crisis has proved that Europeans are, when all is said and done, an ungrateful bunch of Euro bastards who do not give a flying baguette about the 75,000 American graves in Europe.
Anti-European feeling goes right across the board of public opinion, even among the millions of Americans who are passionately against attacking Iraq. America is united in feeling betrayed by Europe. America is finally starting to understand that - to Europe's eternal shame - there is an opinion that 9/11 was America's comeuppance.
Secretaries and waiters leaping from the top of the burning twin towers? The fault of American arrogance.
A terrified four-year-old girl cowering at the back of a hijacked plane? Blame it on America's support for Israel. A stewardess with her throat slit by a carpet cutter? One in the eye for American imperialism.
Those 3,000 dead, murdered on live television? Europe blames America.
When 9/11 happened, you might have expected to see Palestinians dancing in the street. But who would have expected the grim look of satisfaction on the faces of old Europe?
But the British are absolved of Europe's sins. Those who are against the war admire Britain because we had a peace march where one million people filled the streets.
Those for the war admire Britain because Tony Blair has been a true friend to America. And although the man on the M25 might make jibes about Blair being a "poodle", among American hawks our Prime Minister is seen as dangerously strong-willed.
THERE is a school of opinion in America that believes the war could have been over by last Christmas if Tony Blair had not been so keen on proceeding through the correct diplomatic channels. Nobody calls Tony Blair a poodle in the USA.
It has been good to be British in America these past few weeks
For America has been reminded that Britain is the best friend it has in the world, joined by blood, language, history, instinct and culture.
When will the British wake up from their pathetic little dreams of being Europeans and realise that we have been looking for our future in all the wrong places?
Who wants to be European today? Who wants to be an ungrateful, unprincipled, two-faced, pacifist, Euro-grasping, oil-hungry Lilliputian?
No matter what happens over the coming days and weeks, it is true what they say. The English Channel is far wider than the Atlantic.
WEST SIDE GORY
THE traveller to America can never quite decide if America is the friendliest place in the world or the most heartless.
Individually, Americans are kind, generous, supportive. They want you to succeed. Unlike back in Britain, where people want you to fall flat on your face.
The British convention of scratching cars out of pure spite does not exist in America. They might steal your car. Or they might ram it and rob you at gunpoint. But nobody is going to scratch it out of petty jealousy.
America is a strange cocktail of affability and brutality. You walk into a Banana Republic store and people are so keen to make you happy that you feel you could say, "Any chance of a blow job?" and nobody would bat an eyelid.
But then you pick up a paper and realise that this is still a very young, very violent country. A woman was sacked from her job delivering pizza after attending to a man who was lying in the street with a gunshot wound.
"She was away from her job for no good reason," said her manager.
But I bet that when that manager gave her the boot, he ordered her to have a really great day.
A TICKET TO HEAVEN
WHAT I will miss most about the States is the service culture. If you are a paying customer, then people genuinely want you to be happy.
There's none of that snotty "Can-I-help-yew?" service you get in the UK, where some lazy fat cow polishing her nails acts all surprised if you actually walk into her shop.
What I will miss least are the endless security checks at the airports. As absolutely everyone in America knows, it is people on one-way tickets who are invariably picked out by airport security.
And if you are travelling from city to city, as I have been, then all your tickets are one way. American airport security assumes that any terrorist on a suicide mission will only have a one-way ticket. Why shell out for a return ticket when soon you will be in Paradise, surrounded by 99 virgins?
Everyone in America knows about getting pulled over when you are on a one-way ticket.
I hope nobody ever tells the terrorists so they can outwit the system by purchasing a return ticket.
Because then we will really be in trouble.
Uh, I believe it's only 72 virgins, if it were 99 they might run out of young women to plunder!
Posted on 01/28/2003 7:11 PM EST by Max McGarrity
ONE year ago, the world witnessed a unique kind of broadcasting - the mass murder of thousands, live on television.
As a lesson in the pitiless cruelty of the human race, September 11 was up there with Pol Pot's mountain of skulls in Cambodia, or the skeletal bodies stacked like garbage in the Nazi concentration camps.
An unspeakable act so cruel, so calculated and so utterly merciless that surely the world could agree on one thing - nobody deserves this fate.
Surely there could be consensus: the victims were truly innocent, the perpetrators truly evil.
But to the world's eternal shame, 9/11 is increasingly seen as America's comeuppance.
Incredibly, anti-Americanism has increased over the last year.
There has always been a simmering resentment to the USA in this country - too loud, too rich, too full of themselves and so much happier than Europeans - but it has become an epidemic.
And it seems incredible to me. More than that, it turns my stomach.
America is this country's greatest friend and our staunchest ally. We are bonded to the US by culture, language and blood.
A little over half a century ago, around half a million Americans died for our freedoms, as well as their own. Have we forgotten so soon.
And exactly a year ago, thousands of ordinary men, women and children - not just Americans, but from dozens of countries - were butchered by a small group of religious fanatics. Are we so quick to betray them?
What touched the heart about those who died in the twin towers and on the planes was that we recognised them. Young fathers and mothers, somebody's son and somebody's daughter, husbands and wives. And children. Some unborn.
And these people brought it on themselves? And their nation is to blame for their meticulously planned slaughter?
These days you don't have to be some dust-encrusted nut job in Kabul or Karachi or Finsbury Park to see America as the Great Satan.
The anti-American alliance is made up of self-loathing liberals who blame the Americans for every ill in the Third World, and conservatives suffering from power-envy, bitter that the world's only superpower can do what it likes without having to ask permission.
The truth is that America has behaved with enormous restraint since September 11.
Remember the gut-wrenching tapes of weeping men phoning their wives to say, "I love you," before they were burned alive. Remember those people leaping to their deaths from the top of burning skyscrapers.
Remember the hundreds of firemen buried alive. Remember the smiling face of that beautiful little girl who was on one of the planes with her mum. Remember, remember - and realise that America has never retaliated for 9/11 in anything like the way it could have.
So a few al-Qaeda tourists got locked without a trial in Camp X-ray? Pass the Kleenex.
So some Afghan wedding receptions were shot up after they merrily fired their semi-automatics in a sky full of American planes? A shame, but maybe next time they should stick to confetti.
AMERICA could have turned a large chunk of the world into a parking lot. That it didn't is a sign of strength.
American voices are already being raised against attacking Iraq - that's what a democracy is for. How many in the Islamic world will have a minute's silence for the slaughtered innocents of 9/11? How many Islamic leaders will have the guts to say that the mass murder of 9/11 was an abomination?
When the news of 9/11 broke on the West Bank, those freedom-loving Palestinians were dancing in the street. America watched all of that - and didn't push the button. We should thank the stars that America is the most powerful nation in the world. I still find it incredible that 9/11 did not provoke all-out war. Not a "war on terrorism". A real war.
The fundamentalist dudes are talking about "opening the gates of hell", if America attacks Iraq. Well, America could have opened the gates of hell like you wouldn't believe.
The US is the most militarily powerful nation that ever strode the face of the earth.
The campaign in Afghanistan may have been less than perfect and the planned war on Iraq may be misconceived.
But don't blame America for not bringing peace and light to these wretched countries. How many democracies are there in the Middle East, or in the Muslim world? You can count them on the fingers of one hand - assuming you haven't had any chopped off for minor shoplifting.
I love America, yet America is hated. I guess that makes me Bush's poodle. But I would rather be a dog in New York City than a Prince in Riyadh. Above all, America is hated because it is what every country wants to be - rich, free, strong, open, optimistic.
Not ground down by the past, or religion, or some caste system. America is the best friend this country ever had and we should start remembering that.
Or do you really think the USA is the root of all evil? Tell it to the loved ones of the men and women who leaped to their death from the burning towers.
Tell it to the nursing mothers whose husbands died on one of the hijacked planes, or were ripped apart in a collapsing skyscraper.
And tell it to the hundreds of young widows whose husbands worked for the New York Fire Department. To our shame, George Bush gets a worse press than Saddam Hussein.
Once we were told that Saddam gassed the Kurds, tortured his own people and set up rape-camps in Kuwait. Now we are told he likes Quality Street. Save me the orange centre, oh mighty one!
Remember, remember, September 11. One of the greatest atrocities in human history was committed against America.
No, do more than remember. Never forget.
That about sums it up.
This from a country where hot cross buns are now illegal.
The Brits, God love them, are silly twits.
Must be the way I fly or where I fly to. I've always found it cheaper to buy a round trip even if I don't intend to fly back.
It's one of those things that's always made me scratch my head. Like why getting married causes your taxes to go up. Like why 2 income houses in America are "rich" when it's just a teacher and a cop salary.
I am not a big fan of the frogs. I never have been, but that kind of thing is not protesting, it is vandalism. I hope the cops catch them and punish them severely.
And so it might be that Americans will come to understand that ...
The current international disgust with all things American is most likely a result of Clinton.
Isn't that the truth? Chiraq is detested without a doubt.
Those for the war admire Britain because Tony Blair has been a true friend to America.
When character counted, I will never forget Tony Blair sitting in the Congressional gallery when Bush made his after 9/ll speech.
It has been good to be British in America these past few weeks.
And well it should be. If I could find a British citizen, I'd offer to buy dinner for him/her.
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