If your point is that there are fools in France, who is to say it is impossible?
If your point is that France has made mistakes and/or done terrible things,
who would say it is impossible?
If your point is that many French people believe foolish books, again, who
would think this surprising?
And how is this different from the fact that every country has fools, makes
mistakes, does terrible things, and has masses of people who read foolish
books? I'm sure you know anyone could list the same for America.
Please do dissent, but can you not find some reason that is not simply a
truism about any place? None of it means the position of the government
of France is wrong and ours is right. It is just aimless name calling.
Unfortunately that seems to be a reaction many have to any disagreement
with our policy.
The only arguments that would be worth making are arguments about the
issue, not about who makes them. If you have proof that the Bush
administration knows better than France, by all means bring it forward. I'm
sure the world is waiting.
Perhaps we should all reread Antigone and consider the certainties of
Creon, who also knew without doubt that any disagreement could have no
motives except corrupt ones--until Tiresias.
Date sent: Fri, 21 Feb 2003 16:40:11 -0800
Send reply to: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
From: "Harm Tron v2.0b2r7" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Poets Against the War
To: [log in to unmask]
>In a message dated 2/21/2003 11:51:27 AM Eastern Standard Time,
>[log in to unmask] writes:
>There is a disturbing attitude in this country, from what I read, that if
>the French or a million Brits or anyone disagrees with Bush they must
>just be wrong and childish ("someone has to be an adult") or treacherous
>(we saved France so they should. . . ) or stupid or mad.
this post pertains to france, solely france, & only france.
"l'effroyable imposture," (aka "the horrifying fraud" or "the big lie") a
book authored by former leftist activist & current conspiracy theorist
thierry meyssan, arguing that 09/11 attacks were carried out by a
right-wing american cabal, was published in march of 2002, 5 months after
lemonde's burst of transantlantic fraternite, sprayed all over the front
page, went something like this: "we are all americans." here are two
snippets of the treatment "l'effroyable imposture" got in the french
"the pseudotheories of "the big lie" feed off the paranoid
anti-americanism that is one of the permanent components of the french
gerard dupuy, editor @ liberation.
"its very grave to encourage the idea that something which is real is in
fact fictional. its the beginning of totalitarianism."
edwy plenel, news editor @ lemonde
despite being universally ridiculed in every single french media outlet,
the book sold approx. 100,000 copies in its first week of release & has
gone on to rack up, according to its own publisher "over half a million in
sales worldwide." 280,000 of these, the publisher claims, have ocurred in
(numbers & quote #1 reported in nyt 06/22/02; referenced @
101.html; quote #2 ref. @ http://www.ibb.gov/editorials/09973.htm)
here is what the table of contents for "l'effroyable imposture" looks
Part One: A Bloody Mise-en-Scène
Chapter 1: The Phantom Airplane of the Pentagon
Chapter 2: Accomplices on the Ground
Chapter 3: Moles at the White House
Chapter 4: The FBI Gesticulates
Part Two: The Death of Democracy in America
(i cant resist this opportunity to point this one out: a proud frenchman,
heir to the noble tradition of the reign of terror & ww2 collaborationism,
has the nerve to write of "the death of democracy." niiiiiiiiiice.)
Chapter 5: Counter-Attack or Godsend?
Chapter 6: From Funeral Oration to Holy War
Chapter 7: Full Powers
Part Three: The Empire Attacks
Chapter 8: It?s Bin Laden?s Fault
Chapter 9: The Affairs Continue
Chapter 10: Secret Ops
Chapter 11: The Conspiracy
editions carnot also published "le pentagate," a sequel elaborating on the
ideas presented in "l'effroyable imposture" by the same author, in june of
2002. the publishing house claims to have sold 350,000 copies so far,
220,000 of them in france.
(editions carnot press releases & catalog available @
to place things into statistical perspective:
total french pop: 59,765,983 (as of 06/2002 est., ref.
total usa pop: 280,562,489 (as of 06/2002 est., ref.
france sales vs equivalent us sales
280,000/60,000,000 = 0.47% => 0.47% of 280,000,000 => 1,320,000
220,000/60,000,000 = 0.37% => 0.37% of 280,000,000 => 1,040,000
500,000/60,000,000 = 0.83% => 0.83% of 280,000,000 => 2,320,000
but, come on; is just a book, nest pas?
in france's presidential elections of anno domini 2002, monsieur lepen,
representative of "the national front party," a documented anti-semite,
often-described as a neo-fascist, a ww2 collaborationist wartime leader
who, i quote, "thinks that France's problems could be solved by getting
rid of unwanted minorities" got 17.2% of votes in round #1 & 19.7% in
(numbers & quote uk observer 04/28/02, ref. @
alas, tis the bush administration & the horrendous american midwest whose
block vote elected him that is reactionary and prejudiced, probably
because the international policy of the u.s. is spearheaded by its first
black secretary of state, not to mention girded by the support & advice of
ms condoleezza rice.
if all of this does not necessarily indicate that french popular opinion
is 'stupid or 'mad' it certainly indicates it is, at the very best,
pathologically deluded, or, at the very worst, virulently anti-american.
but lets leave all of that aside.
one of the loudest complaints from the french camp has been of "US
unilateralism." let us compare & contrast: where the US has co-opted the
un security council & is continually working within the framework of the
international body, france, in conjunction w/ germany & belgium, has
blocked nato planning w/r/t providing military help to turkey in case of
an iraqi attack. it is worthwhile mentioning, i believe, that the three
(3) dissenting nations were confronted w/ a majority of sixteen (16) who
favored providing turkey w/ military help.
the 16-3 stalemate was broken only after nato invoked a defense committe
meeting, an administrative function france has withdrawn from in the 60s,
courtesy general degaulle. germany & belgium have conceded, but only once
the single contrarian voice of france has been effectively bypassed could
nato serve its raison detre, to provide security for one of its member
nations. key phrase: "The [Defense Planning] committee excludes France,
which opposed the move."
if that isn't proof enough, consider president chiracs vituperative lash @
the address of no less than 13 central & eastern-european nations who had
the nerve to publically assert their solidarity w/ american policy,
suggesting their candidacy to the EU may be endangered because of (mon
dieu, quelle horreur) pursuing an international policy which didnt toe the
wonderfully multilateral & egalitarian, nest pas?
(by the way: those who arent entirely familiar w/ this wonderful character
called chirac would do well to check
http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110003045 for some enlightening
let us, on top of that, add frances bullying of democratically elected
president laurent bgabbo, of cote divoire, aka ivory coast, in brokering a
peace agreement between loyalist military & insurgent rebels, a peace
agreement vehemently opposed by a huge majority of the native population
but adamantly enforced by 3000 french troops present on ivory coast soil,
and lets not forget how french military rushed to rescue the very same
rwanadan regime which has commited ethnic genocide against the tutsi
i didnt hear anything about a un security council resolution about these
intreprid muscheteers; did anybody else?
(purely for historical purposes: french occupation, domination & abject
exploitation of the greater area of indochina --cambodia, laos &
vietnam--make US incursions of '65 to '73 look a like a bleeping stroll in
the park, & dont even get me started on the algerian war of independence,
complete with mass arrests, liberally-applied torture & war-time
its worth noting that president chirac is at this very moment rubbing
elbows with zimbabwe's hoodlum-in-chief mugabe, a dictator who is
currently starving out an estimate 2 million of his countrymen through a
land-reform projects which involves deposing white farmers of their land &
distributing it to his cronies & extended family.
where one may reluctantly agree that chancellor schroeder has, at the very
least, a (rather recent) history of german pacificism to fall back on,
french officials have, incontestably, resorted to the crassest forms of
opportunistic obstructionism, petit big-brother intimidation & bombastic,
im going to have to dissent w/ prof. gish & irrevocably side with
groundskeeper willie on this one:
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