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The Best Revenge Against France? Ignore It

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Michael Lewis says ignore the vain, obstructionist pansies (the men, we still like the women):

    We detest only a certain breed of French male, particularly the French male who lives in or near Paris and who realized, at a sickeningly young age, that the way to get ahead was inside the incestuous and corrupt French political system. Were the coalition forces to make a brief detour through France on their way home from Iraq, this character would be their legitimate target.

    ….French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin is a case in point. De Villepin is the fellow who announced, haughtily, France’s intention to veto Britain’s plan for tests of Iraqi disarmament before Saddam Hussein was given a chance to consider it. In doing so, he sabotaged any last hope of a peaceful solution in Iraq, and alienated even many Americans who might have agreed with his aims.

    But what of it? He attracted our attention. To himself! To France! And when we all looked over to see what these funny little people were up to, we discovered that they were looking down at us.

    ….Jed Babbin, a former U.S. deputy undersecretary of defense, spoke well when he said that “going to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordion.” In a sentence he isolated and insulted the vanity of the powerful French male while at the same time conveying an admirable air of indifference toward him.

    Those of us who cannot summon such wit would do better to remain silent, and pretend that the important French male does not exist. Otherwise we risk giving him exactly what he wants. [Bloomberg]

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About Eric Olsen

  • http://oakhaus.blogspot.com/ Bill Sherman

    The problem with this tack is it assumes that no amount of diplomacy can turn things around with those nations (or the U.N. Security Council for that matter) that didn’t support war – at a time when we could still use all the humanitarian support we can get. This line may be true, but I also suspect that there’s an element of self-fulfilling prophecy involved. With a certain degree of diplomacy (not repped by Lewis or Babbin’s anti-diplomatic words), I think it’s possible to pull some support from ‘em. In the long term, I think this’d be a good thing to attempt. The war and its aftermath are far from finished, after all.

  • Eric Olsen

    Bill, I believe this is at least half tongue-in-cheek, but at least they didn’t say invade them.

  • http://oakhaus.blogspot.com/ Bill Sherman

    One of the problems with satire these days is that so many people are un-ironically saying and writing over-the-top things that it takes more brain cells than I possess to separate the half- from the fully serious. (Which is probably why I prefer to get my political commentary from cardboard cut-outs. . .)

  • http://www.slumdance.com/blogs/brian_flemming/ Brian Flemming

    De Villepin is the fellow who announced, haughtily, France’s intention to veto Britain’s plan for tests of Iraqi disarmament before Saddam Hussein was given a chance to consider it. In doing so, he sabotaged any last hope of a peaceful solution in Iraq…

    Oh, is THAT what did it. I had no idea.

    What have those French ever done for us anyway.

  • Eric Olsen

    Brian, Ted Rall is among the very lowest of dissembling, self-loathing, self-righteous swine and I am even more embarrassed he is from Ohio than Natalie Maines is that Bush is from Texas.

    But much more importantly, of course France was instrumental to the establishment of the US, both physically and philosophically, although the physical stuff was more a way to stick it to the British than anything else. But, assuming the best about them, that was OVER 200 years ago – what have they done for us since then other than sell us Louisiana?

  • Eric Olsen

    Oh, and Brian, quite seriously, Ted Rall should be reading you, not the other way around. You present the left’s case far more persuasively than he does. Hemay have the occasional moment as a cartoonist (VERY occasional), but he is beneath Chomsky as a political prose stylist.

  • Dawn

    Is France still mad that no one cares about them? Is that what this whole “veto” stuff was about? Gosh I thought that was behind them long ago. Everyone knows the French aren’t important to anyone, except, well, the French.

    Some countries just can’t seem to get over themselves.

  • http://nerichardson.co.uk Nigel Richardson

    Some countries just can’t seem to get over themselves.

    Only some? I thought that was part of the definition of a country — a collection of people with some vague and arbitary geographical border who think they’re superior to everyone else.

  • http://www.slumdance.com/blogs/brian_flemming/ Brian Flemming

    Brian, Ted Rall is among the very lowest of dissembling, self-loathing, self-righteous swine and I am even more embarrassed he is from Ohio than Natalie Maines is that Bush is from Texas.

    And this is relevant…why? The facts he cites no longer exist..why?

    I’m gonna have to call you on Fallacy #1 on that one, Eric. I mean, that’s how I feel about Hitchens, but I don’t use it as an argument.

    But much more importantly, of course France was instrumental to the establishment of the US, both physically and philosophically, although the physical stuff was more a way to stick it to the British than anything else. But, assuming the best about them, that was OVER 200 years ago – what have they done for us since then other than sell us Louisiana?

    I don’t get how this works. With money and blood–and lots of both–they help us found A FREE FRICKIN’ NATION, and you criticize them for also having a motive in addition to helping us? Name one nation that ever helped another nation and didn’t also have another motivation. One.

    You bring up something from about 60 years ago (Normandy), but 200 years is out of line? How does this work, exactly? You get to draw the magic point on the timeline?

    Oh, also, name one nation that stayed neutral while the French fought the Nazis. Hint: You live in it.

  • SlackMFer

    “French fought the Nazis.””?????

    i don’t know if i’d have used the word “fought” myself.

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