Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
The fall from grace
Published on September 12, 2003 By Draginol In Politics

Chicago Boyz has an article that outlines the continuing problems between the French and the UK. The French perspective seems to be "How can you Brits side with the Americans?" the British view tends to be "How can you not?" 

British Foreign Minister Jack Straw thinks the problem comes from differing experiences from the second world war. IT was a watershed moment for the French.  As the Chicago Boyz blog points out, the French capitulated quite easily. As I've pointed out previously, the French lost more soldiers fighting for the Nazis than the "Free French" lost.  French "help" against the Third Reich was negligible.

So what's the deal? The French seem to define themselves as the "Un-American".  Sort of like how 7-up tries to promote itself as the Un-Cola.  The difference though is that 7-Up has a lot of things going for it in addition to being the Un-Cola.  I mean, heck, swamp water  could be considered the Un-Cola too but I wouldn't want to drink it.  I deal with the French regularly on the game side and have never had any problems. So I'm not sure how anti-American the average Frenchman is.  But their government has been amazingly consistent in its attempts to demonstrate its willingness to be a pain in the ass.


Comments
on Sep 12, 2003
The French government IS a pain in the ass. They are also playing damage controll. For some reason many people don't know that the french had quite a bit invested in Iraq and most every where else in the Middle East. Billions of dollars and untold amounts of equipment (mostly industrial equipment with a smattering of military equipment) just suddenly went "poof" when we invaded. So a good portion of the gov't being pissed off stems from this.

By no means am I defending them. Thier gov't is way too obnoxious and interfering.
on Sep 13, 2003
the last phrase of my post did not get throught

"I deal with the Americans regularly on the game side and have never had any problems. So I'm not sure how anti-French the average American is".
on Sep 13, 2003
Quote :
the French capitulated quite easily. As I've pointed out previously, the French lost more soldiers fighting for the Nazis than the "Free French" lost.

First on the historical point of view, I would suggest to Draginol to read "History of World War2" by Liddel Hart, and also "The Other Side of the Hill" from the same author. I believe a classical and respected historian of WW2 such as Mr Heart would be enought to convince him that the previous statements were quite far from truth. In fact, they are plain lies.

Now about the "anti american" feeling in the french political class, you have to come back quite a few years back, to the Suez canal operation precisely. Nasser decided to nationalize the Suez Canal, owned by French and British. In retaliation, both country launched a raid to seize it. The military operation was a succes but both superpowers' reactions were devastating. USA launched an economic attack on sterling pound and french franc, wich lost around 30% of their values in just one day. URSS threatened to nuke both country. The rift began there. From that point, UK decided to never be again on a different side than USA, while France decided to never again be fully dependant of another country for its security. Add 5 years, and France had developped nuclear weapons and withdrawn from NATO.
But I have to admit there is a second theory. It is that French post WW2 governments did never believe that USA would sacrifice its own existence by engaging a nuclear war for the sake of Europe. Which means that France had to own their own nuclear weapons outside of NATO command to be a credible threat to URSS.

That's for the root of anti americanism in French politic. However, most people in France have a love/hate relationship with USA, both on culture (love Disney/hate Rambo), politic (love the way USA can bust dishonest politicians/hate religious zealot like they think is President Bush) or everyday's life (love the still living American Dream/hate the 11000 dead per year by firearm).

But what has been damaging recently in the French mainstream are the different reports that France hide S. Hussein, or Oliver North broadcasting live for Fox News that French Embassy was burning its archives non stop since the arrival of US army (despite the said embasside was evacuated weeks before the war)..etc...etc..

So I would turn the problem the other way : .
on Sep 13, 2003
Found this out there it's kind of funny...



The Complete Military History of France
Gallic Wars: Lost. France is conquered by, of all things, an Italian.

Hundred Years War: Mostly lost, saved at last by female schizophrenic who inadvertently creates The First Rule of French Warfare:

France's armies are victorious only when not led by a Frenchman.

Italian Wars: Lost. France becomes the first and only country to ever lose two wars when fighting Italians.

Wars of Religion: France goes 0-5-4 against the Huguenots

Thirty Years War: France is technically not a participant, but manages to get invaded anyway. Claims a tie on the basis that eventually the other participants started ignoring her.

War of Devolution: Tied. Frenchmen take to wearing red flowerpots as chapeaux.

The Dutch War: Tied.

War of the Augsburg League/King William's War/French and Indian War: Lost, but claimed as a tie. Three ties in a row induces deluded Frogophiles the world over to label the period as the height of French military power.

War of the Spanish Succession: Lost. The War also gave the French their first taste of a Marlborough, which they have loved every since.

American Revolution: In a move that will become quite familiar to future Americans, France claims a win even though the English colonists saw far more action. This is later known as de Gaulle Syndrome, and leads to the Second Rule of French Warfare:

France only wins when America does most of the fighting.
This was part of a much larger worldwide war against the British, which the French lost since the Americans weren't participants.
French Revolution: Won, primarily due the fact that the opponent was also French.

Quasi-War: Tied. France, angry that the US normalized relations with the British, seizes US ships in the Caribbean and decrees war on American shipping worldwide. France conveniently ignores that the US and France have a treaty of alliance that effectively makes the US a subject state of France. American envoys in Paris are told that they must pay a $250,000 bribe to the French Foreign Minister and a $10,000,000 "loan" to France before the French will even consider negotiations (XYZ Affair). US refuses to pay, builds up a navy which promptly seizes 80 French ships, and continues to sue for peace. Delighted British offer aid to the US against the French. Ends when Napoleon seizes power in Paris and abandons North America. Napoleon also agrees to abrogate the unequal treaty of alliance, making the US truly independent for the first time.

The Napoleonic Wars: Lost. Temporary victories (remember the First Rule!) due to leadership of a Corsican, who ended up being no match for a British footwear designer.
on Sep 13, 2003
The French response to U.S. unilateral action in the Gulf is motivated not just by the loss of investment but the desire to take the lead in forming a nascent E.U. foreign policy and by memories of lost empire. The easiest way for them to be relevent is to use their seciutiy council veto for all its worth.

The U.S. engages in some pretty idiotic jingoism; everything from freedom fries to Rumsfield's neo-conservative balther. We (yes, I'm a yank) and the French have the same goal in mind with our rhetoric, the maximization of our power in a valuable region of the world (at least until a Trans-Caucasus pipline goes on-line and we can blissfully forget the Middle East exists).

All the noise on both sides of the Atlantic is just jockeying for postion.
Fuggitabout.
on Sep 13, 2003
From what I know (I'm French), the average Frenchman is not anti-American. The average Frenchman might not speak English, and in big cities might not react warmly to foreigners asking for directions (but it is for everyone, and even not only foreigners). In fact, there in definitely a lot of American culture in France, be it on the radio (many songs are in English), the movies, ...

When French show some anti-Americanism, it's when they confuse the actions and opinions of the administration and media with the people. The Iraq war was such an example: everyone I knew in France thought that every American was completely for the war, and asked us if, as French in the US, we were not having too much problem (think Freedom fries What really happened, I think, was that the French political class and media found out that by being very much against the war, they could show a stronger attitude, especially toward the people.

Even though I am against this war, I despise this attitude by Chirac. But the bottom line to remember is that not every French is like Chirac, and that not every American is like Bush.
on Sep 16, 2003
How can the French political class despise America?


Why should they not? America lied to them. It treated them like ignorant kids and tried to bully them into doing things their way. Britain also lied to them. Look at the facts of the lead up[ to the Iraq war.

America and Britian said that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and the UN must pass a resolution for Iraq to hand them over or be invaded.

France and Russia said, 'what weapons of mass destruction, you have no proof'.

Scroll forward 6 months...

Where are the weapons of mass destruction? It's time America and Britian apologise to the rest of the UN for getting it wrong. Then maybe the French will start liking the Americans.

The real question should be why America cannot admit it made a mistake. Maybe that's because it didn't? Maybe it knowingly lied to the French?

Paul.
on Sep 19, 2003
Huh? Since when did France or USSR believe that Saddam didn't have WMD?
on Sep 19, 2003
Draginol,
that was the whole point of them refusing to back a new UN resolution! What did the American media tell you? The media in Europe was constantly discussing the question of does Saddam really have weapons of mass destruction? That's why the British brought out their dossier on Saddams weapons of mass destruction, which has caused them endless problems since.
The French and Russians disagreed with the American's argument that Saddam was hiding WMD. They suggested that he had actually destroyed them and didn't have them. The best way they felt to ascertain this was to continue with UN inspectors. America argued that he did have them and that they needed to attack now before he developed them further.

Paul.
on Sep 26, 2003
really weird americans needed french to get their independence (were americans cowards ?)
really strange that these same americans did not help french in europe 23 years after getting this independence (irrelevant americans !!)
...really strange that words like seargent, corporal, captain, lieutenant, general, national guard, troop, president, army,veteran,independence, stem from french language..
really strange that americans waited 3 years before entering WWI and 2 before entering WWII (cowards? or waiting for the russians, british and french to do the hardest repectively in stalingrad, el alamein, bir hakeim, or waiting for all germans and allies to be killed ?)...

by the way, do you know the name of the only civilization who used nukes against civils? the only 'civilized' western country in which death penalty is applied ?
do you know the main difference between the US and Germany ? germans are aware of their terrible past, they do not forget what they did and set up many memorials, whereas most americans completely forget the genocide of millions of amerindians
do you know that 33% of the americans believe that canada belongs to the union, and that almost 0% of these americans know that the US firms did great business with the nazis during the war, or that in was forbidden for jews to belong to some associations until the 50's in the US (notably some golf clubs in florida...)
In france, black and white french citizen have the same right since 1848...in the US since the 1960's..
do you know all that the us did in latin america in the 70's? have you heard of salvador allende ? of the condor operation?

ah ...money...money
is the nyse the real dictator ?

i really wonder whether americans know where the word america comes from !

actually, america won just a few wars by itself...against spain in 1903, and later in grenada, and panama (2 small countries with an army the size of the congres)...
they lost in somalia and it vietnam...and their allies did most the jobs in other wars...
on Sep 26, 2003
last figures: in the first five weeks of WWII, france lost 92 000 soldiers (dying is a strange way of surrending, isn't it?).
12 millions frenchmen were then homeless (because they wanted to leave north of france to go to south of france, far from the german border). 12 millions homeless in a country of 40 millions inhabitants...no comment...
by the way...there were 80 millions inhabitants in germany..

50 milllions people died in WWII, 25 millions of them were russians.
on Nov 07, 2003
In WWII Many people died, not just French and Russians. Many defenseless people died for no reason at least the soildiers died for a cause. And what about the people that couldn't go so the sons had to go to war and they might have died. People need to think more on the future than the past. You can't change the past, get over it! the future is all you have left, you can use the past to keep from making mistakes. But you need to let it go. I am glad you know your history, but you can't live in the past. The War happened, and you can't stop it anymore than you can make the wind stop. You can get mad or upset, but here above this is the facts and my feelings on this matter. LET IT GO.
on Nov 07, 2003
In WWII Many people died, not just French and Russians. Many defenseless people died for no reason at least the soildiers died for a cause. And what about the people that couldn't go so the sons had to go to war and they might have died. People need to think more on the future than the past. You can't change the past, get over it! the future is all you have left, you can use the past to keep from making mistakes. But you need to let it go. I am glad you know your history, but you can't live in the past. The War happened, and you can't stop it anymore than you can make the wind stop. You can get mad or upset, but here above this is the facts and my feelings on this matter. LET IT GO.
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