Skip to comments.Blame it on America-France’s ongoing pathological hatred of all things American
Posted on 01/19/2004 1:51:04 AM PST by kattracks
During the debate on the war on Iraq, the American public realized that France was not our ally anymore. In fact, when Frances Foreign Minister, Dominique de Villepin, was asked whom he wanted to win the war, he flatly answered: I dont know, and 33% of his countrymen wanted Iraq to win Now, supposedly, the relationship between our two countries is warming up. But, nothing has changed: Frances anti-Americanism just keeps on reaching new highs.
A month ago, The Man who ruined 2003 was the title on the cover of the conservative, popular French newsmagazine LExpress. The picture on the cover was not that of Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden or Yasir Arafat, but that of George W. Bush. We would expect that from a communist newspaper or an Islamist one but not from a right wing French weekly. In this appalling article, we learn that President Bush did not succeed in the war in Iraq or for that matter in the War on Terror or in the Middle East in general. But that he was very successful in creating a worldwide chaos where violent acts are only increasing by the day: they blame Bush policies for triggering the terrorist attacks in Riyadh, Casablanca and Istanbul. Finally, our messianic President is engaged in an imperialistic war, a crusade against the forces of evil.
The following week, right after Saddams capture, the French liberal daily Liberation ran a column calling it shameful to show Saddam in this condition-with the long beard and hair- and adding that the US should get the Oscar for Bad Taste. The French media is more concerned about the image of the bloody dictator than the fact he was captured! How convenient since it enables them to hijack the real news: a US success.
But, best of all was last weeks issue of the least anti-American weekly, Le Point, which had a special section entitled France punished by the US. In one article called Diktat on Air France, the journalist seriously argues that the terrorist threats against Air France flights during Christmas were just an excuse for the US to destabilize Air France. So for him, the paranoid Americans only goal was to financially damage the French airline. Diktat is a very strong word referring historically to the Versailles Treaty of 1919 when the victorious countries in WWI forced draconian punishment to the losing Germany. Thus, according to the journalist, now the victor- the US- in the War in Iraq is unjustifiably punishing France for not having sided with them. So, being cautious by canceling flights and probably saving some French lives, is just accessory to the real reason: the US wanted to bankrupt Air France.
France is indeed very good at conspiracy theories. It is not a coincidence that the book, 9/11: The Big Lie, from the French author Thierry Meyssan was a best seller in France for over a year. This book supposedly proves how no plane ever crashed on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. It also states that Bin Laden was a US agent paid by Bush to destroy secret CIA offices in the World Trade Center.
Unfortunately, I am not making this up: this kind of argument is very common in France. To get a sense of this phenomenon, lets just take a look at a recent French bestseller list: After the Empire, France against the Empire, The Devils Footprint, Bushs Secret World, The New World Disorder, Washington and the World Of course, the terms, empire and devil, refer to the US.
In this list can also be found some American authors, who are part of the Left anti-US crowd: Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky and Norman Mailer. The French media is very happy to find some of our countrymen or residents to denigrate the US. For example, Liberation had an op-ed piece from Patrice Higonnet, a French professor at Harvard, called The triumph of the American fundamentalism. Higonnet thinks America is schizophrenic, more religious, more puritan, more nationalist, more arrogant than ever before because of President Bush. According to him, America is victim of a fundamentalist radicalization and he goes on to compare Bush to the Wahabi imamsthe Islamist extremists who inspired Al Qaeda. Are we dreaming? If Mr. Higonnet detests our country so much, why does he stay at Harvard instead of going back to France, where everything is so much better?
Liberation does not stop there: they had another op-ed by Christopher Newfield, professor of American culture at the University of Santa Barbara. This intellectual thinks that France is becoming more American by the day and that they should be very careful not to ever become like America, which would be the worst thing that could happen to it.
Now with all this in mind, how can one expect French people not to be anti-American? Such brainwashing is ubiquitous, from the press to TV networks and books, presenting only one choice: to hate us. When another point of view, favorable to the US, comes along, it is not publicized at all. For example Alain Hertoghe, a journalist from the Christian daily newspaper, La Croix, wrote a book entitled An All-Out War: How the Press Misinformed Us on Iraq. He did not get any press coverage, any publicity. Why? Because his outstanding book shows extensively and statistically how the French press took sides during the war in Iraq. Studying the five major French newspapers, he found out that out of 164 titles about Iraq, 135 were actually against Bush (the irresponsible, violent, imperialist, fundamentalist American leader) and only 29 against Saddam Hussein. Furthermore, he proves how the French press lied in reporting the situation on the ground in Iraq just to justify their anti-Americanism. What do you think happened to Hertoghe after the publishing of this book? He was fired, a few weeks ago, by La Croix for obvious reasons: criticizing the French press does not go well; if only he could have done like everybody else and smeared America
France has a long history of anti-Americanism, which has now turned into an obsession. Everything negative occurring in the planet, or for that matter even in France, is the fault of the USA. Blame it on America has turned into a national sport.
The main origin for that feeling is the media and the intellectual crowd. But, contrary to what is happening in the US, it is not only confined to the Left. Everyone from the Greens to the Center to the Right and the Far Right agree on only one statement: America is EVIL.
I think it was the name of an island in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
(I have the book-on-tape and listened to it a couple of weeks ago)
She's a beautiful, intelligent, easy-going young lady. Although I plead guilty to a bit of uncle-pride, it's still a fact. My niece is a jewel. Two beauty queen titles, a college homecoming queen's title, and graduating from college in pre-med with a 3.8 GPA are just some of her particulars -- and this lovely creature was too terrified of the anti-American culture growing in France to leave the home of her patrons very often to scour Europe like she'd planned. She tried explaining it away to me as a college-age fad . . . fueled by a growing Muslim class.
But I was, am, and shall be for a long time ONE MAD F'ING UNCLE!
We're not a wealthy family . . . but we all ponied up enough cash so she would have enough money to do "almost" anything she wanted. Her baby sister -- six years younger, we lovingly call our "Oh My God" niece . . . even saved her waitress tips so her big sister would enjoy her stay. Everyone pitched in.
My niece is also the adventurous sort so don't think she's a coward. She's climbed some "rocks" as she calls them that look suspiciously like mountains to me. She carries a concealed weapon and, trust me, she's damn sure been trained to use it safely and properly if need be . . . and she has the mindset to do so without feeling guilty. My niece is no shrinking violet.
Yet she preferred to be a recluse rather than face the all-encompassing anti-Americanism that permeated the circles she was in.
This trip had been a life-long dream of hers.
She said she might've been able to "hide" being an American . . . HIDE!!!! . . . if it hadn't been for her Texan accent. Hide? Un-frickin-believable!
Guess when the last member of my family was in France?
The summer, fall, and winter of 1944-1945.
During two small little skirmishes called D-Day and The Battle of the Bulge.
My father served proudly. I suspect, were he alive today, he wouldn't do it again. Not in France.
Neither would I.
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