Saturday, June 19, 2004

Wham bam ... On prend l'Imam ...
... thank you Imam.
... et on recommence.

Were Those American Flags on the Anniversary of D-Day, or Portraits of George W Bush?

A French antiquarian in Paris's outdoors antiquities market tells me that on June 6, she attached two American flags to her stall to honor the D-Day anniversary. As it happens, not many people seemed to notice, except… three or four people, who came up to… criticize her for her displayal of the Stars and Stripes.

But you know how it is with the French, don'tcha? "It ees only America's leaders zat oui have somes'ing against. It ees not America eetself. It ees not ze American people, who remain our frien's. Ze United States we like."

You don't say! What a relief! We're so glad to hear that! We're so glad to learn the extent to which you appreciate our friendship!

What Recent U.S. Film Describes "a Country Being Eaten Away by Corruption and Bigotry"?

Given the opportunity, Le Monde's main movie critic never fails to use his columns to castigate America, its leaders, and/or their policies. We shall see more of Samuel Blumenfeld in the coming weeks, but suffice it to say that in this week's Le Monde 2, he uses an article on Paul Verhoeven to lambast George W Bush.

That is hardly newsworthy, perhaps, given the reputation of the Starship Troopers director. But an interview with the Coen brothers in an earlier issue of Le Monde's weekly supplement says that their latest opus describes

a country being eaten away by corruption and bigotry, by finance and religion, a perfect metaphor for George W. Bush's America.
Now, I have no doubt that the chances are great that Joel and Ethan Coen are, like many in the movie business, pro-Democrat and anti-Republican. There are only two problems here: The first is that not once in the three-page article do the brothers ever speak of politics or American policies, domestic or foreign, nor do they ever mention a single politician's name. (Blumenfeld's description is even more jaw-dropping when one realizes that the movie star they chose for the main role is known neither to be particularly anti-Bush nor to have ever been, in any way, a knee-jerk opponent of the U.S. military.)

The second is that The Ladykillers is the remake of a British comedy from 1955, when the 43rd president was 9 years old. Of course, it might be interesting to find out if the intention of the earlier movie's director (Alexander Mackendrick) was to castigate that era's British government. But my hunch is that the Ealing Studios comedy (with Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers) was mainly what it purportedly set out to be: a comedy for the masses to enjoy.

The choice of words seems therefore to be entirely gratuitious and entirely Blumenfeld's, who probably — I know I'm extrapolating, here — felt empowered by the prevailing attitude in France (and at Le Monde) that the White House should be castigated at every possible opportunity.

Lire la version française

For the French:
'Terrorists on leashes' = 'war crimes'
'American beheaded' = 'permanent improvement'
Pour les franchouilles:
'terroristes tenus en laisse' = 'crimes de guerre'
'Un américain décapité' = 'une nette amélioriation'
More crap from the anti-Semite Willem in Libération PropagandaStaffel. The beheading of American prisoner Paul M. Johnson Jr. is covered by an article on page 10 of today's edition as compared to the twenty odd pages splashed with blown up photos of hazing of terrorists we had recently.
Encore de la camelote signée par l'antisémite Willem dans Libé PropagandaStaffel. Le meurtre par décapitation de l'américain Paul M. Johnson Jr. mérite un article à la page 10 de l'édition d'aujourd'hui par opposition à la vingtaine de pages, couvertes de photos agrandies de terroristes bizutés, que nous avons eues récemment.

'Ossama, I'll need your threats up until the November elections. Afterwards, you can go on vacation.'

Friday, June 18, 2004

Yeah, but once Kerry is elected the hangover will have a real kick to it Ouais, mais une fois Kerry élu la gueule de bois sera carabinée
Slam it! It's possible to vote Democrat but you have to drink heavily beforehand. This being the Dhimmicraptic Party maybe they should offer free blowjobs ...
Cul sec! Il est possible de voter pour le parti Democrate mais il faut beaucoup boire avant. Comme il s'agit du Parti Dhimmicrotte, ils feraient mieux de proposer des pipes gratos ...

Somebody Put Something In My Drink Quelqu'un a glissé un truc dans mon verre
The drunks over at AFP like a hit of anti-Semitism with their liquid lunch.
Les pochetrons chez l'AFP apprécient une bonne dose d'antisémitisme avec leurs déjeuners hyper bien arrosés.

Down the tubes Aux chiottes
The future of Zeropa.
L'avenir de la Zéropa.

Wake up people Réveillez-vous, les gars
The religion of pieces strikes. Kill faster. Total war. By all means necessary.
La religion des pets (car ça sent la merde) frappe de nouveau. Tuer plus vite. Guerre totale. Par tous les moyens requis.

"Merdre en France"

We had nothing to do with this. Especially not W. Le Monde reports:
A shocking scene in the capital toward noon of an early June day on the sidewalk by the square Saint-Médard, opposite a fancy caterer and a cable's length, for those unfamiliar with Parisian topography, from the main offices of Le Monde: a man crouched between two parked cars, a man who clearly qualifies as a bum, ass bared and turned toward the public thoroughfare, in the process of defecating shamelessly.

He was taking his time, tearing off a page of newsprint which he would make use of, sighing with ease, all with an attitude that conveyed a certain nobility. His friends, settled a bit further off, paid him no attention and the passersby, who were numerous at that time of day, pretended not to notice this all out assault on modesty which can't have failed to disturb them.

In his supreme indifference, this modern Diogenes erased with a single stroke centuries of civilization and education in personal comportment and projected his unwilling spectators into a distant era when such a scene would have been common and shocked no one. A time when, in brief, shit was an object of humor and defecation could occur in common, if not in public, without causing offense.

Aristophanes had a character shit on stage who claimed he'd eaten too many green pears and that this had rendered him a bit peaky, though this defecation added nothing to the intrigue; the audience delighted in it, no doubt. Rabelais wrote at length on the many ways of wiping oneself and the downy neck of a gosling seemed best to him for this operation. It is less well known that in the 17th and 18th centuries existed an entire branch of literature known by the equally ugly as erudite word "scatalogical" and which was hidden by historians of letters and which appears in no textbook: one of its greatest works was indisputably Caquire, a parody of the undigested play Zaïre, a tragedy by Voltaire, in which the characters' names Cucumane and Pupartout are themselves worthy of a dissertation and are due to the fecund imagination of one M. de Comble [clearly a pseudonym! — D].

But there can be no equal to the ode entitled The Royal Turd, written by Piron in 1744 to celebrate the convalescence of Louis XV; since the King had regained his health, it was fitting that the restoration of his natural functions be celebrated publicly and without malice. Here is a stanza, with a wit that is very much "Merde in France," and which allows us to measure how much our mores have changed:
O heavens, what do I see!
It is a turd...
How its substance is praiseworthy!
It is fat like a sausage;
It would well adorn a dinner table.
It is the work of the greatest of kings.
Its smell, its taste have the odor of the throne
And never could a bourgeois anus have delivered
One such as this without a stout matron.
Olivier Houdart

Running on empty Panne de sens
Incredibly stupid cartoon by Plantu, even by Le Monde Al-Jazeera on the Seine standards. This in a country where a wingnut like Thierry Meyssan sells 200,000 copies of his book and the number one political TV show stated that Israel was behind 9-11.
Voici un dessin incroyablement bête, même pour Le Monde Al-Jazira sur Seine, signée Plantu. Ceci dans un pays où un fou furieux comme Thierry Meyssan peut vendre 200.000 exemplaires de son livre et la première émission politique télévisée peut affirmer qu'Israël était responsable du 11-9-2001.

Bush to 9-11 commission: 'You want to hear the best part? John Kerry did it!'

Send him back COD Renvoyez-le en livraison contre remboursement
Send this prick Moussaoui back to France in a pigskin shitsack.
Renvoyez ce fumier de Moussaoui en France dans un sac à merde en carcasse de porc.

Fighting (for) Words?

The French defense industry's hold on the news media is set to grow even tighter as Brussels has announced its approval of French defense and aeronautics contractor Dassault's buying back a significant portion of media conglomerate Socpresse, taking its shares in the company from 30% to 82%. Last March, I blogged Dassault's announcement that it intended to do this. See that post for more info.

Socpresse controls 70 publications in France including conservative daily Le Figaro and anti-Lance Armstrong publication L'Express. All in all, 70% of all French newspapers are in the hands of two weapons manufacturers. Defense and aeronautics contractor Lagardère owns the Hachette publishing empire, which is the world's largest magazine publisher and the tenth largest publisher and which owns, to name but a few examples, the magazines Paris Match (which recently scored a soft-ball interview with president Bush) and Elle and the radio station Europe 1. Hachette Filipacchi Médias claims to own 238 titles in 36 countries, which publish a billion copies and over 130,000 pages of paid advertising every year. The company also owns 40% of Editis, Vivendi Universal's publishing outfit.

Back in March, Le Monde, which is owned by a holding company shared between a number of companies and not-for-profit institutions, each having no more than a fraction of the ownership, published an editorial to express its outrage:
Do we have any idea what the reactions would be in the United States if the Washington Post were purchased by Lockheed Martin, maker of the F-16? In France, Dassault announced on Thursday, March 11, that it would buy up the remaining shares in Socpresse [a newspaper group that owns numerous French papers] owned by the heirs of Robert Hersant and take its ownership of Socpresse from 30% to 80%.


[...W]e must hope that the arrival of Dassault won't mean a return to the days when the press danced for billionaires. We must also hope that it doesn't see the media come under political influence. Suspicion may be heightened by the friendship that exists between Jacques Chirac, president of the Republic, and Serge Dassault, the CEO of the family business, who was also a regional advisor to the Rally for the Republic [France's governing party] and mayor of Corbeil-Essones. A suspicion that can grow still further, given the direct dependence of the very same groupe Dassault on State contracts for its fighter planes.

One would want to think that a reversion to the customs that once existed between the power and the press is impossible, Today they are forgotten. The journalists of every editorial board, including those in the Socpresse group, know the price of independence: the credibility of their newspapers depends on it. Yet Italy shows us that there is still a vivid temptation for the power to take the media in hand.
According to to-day's article in Le Monde, Dassault president Serge Dassault, now 79, said in 1997, "I want to own a newspaper or a weekly to express my opinion." Le Monde cites Forbes magazine as having estimated that Dassault is France's third richest citizen with a personal fortune of €5.2 billion.

In March, I also referred to a passage on page 70 of the now famous 1991 exposé Notre Allié Saddam ("Our ally Saddam"). We get a glimpse of Dassault's attitude to expressing one's views:
In February of 1991, Olivier Dassault, RPR member of the Assemblée Nationale and son of Serge, president of the group, revealed one aspect of these ambiguous relations: "I chose to sanction Michel Rocard (this was a censure motion at the Assemblée Nationale). So my father, who thinks that one does not vote against a government to which one is selling planes, pulled me from my position as head of planning for his factories, a position I'd been in for six months [Paris Match, 14 mars 1991].

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Big Fish

The AFP reports:
PARIS (AFP - 21:38) — Syrian authorities have extradited Saïd Arif, a "hardened Jihadi," to France where anti-terrorism specialists have called him a "big fish" with connexions to al-Qaeda.

According to French intelligence agencies, Arif maintained ties to so called "Chechen" networks, suspected of having planned one or more attacks in France.

He is "one of the most important (suspected terrorists) that we have caught for years," sources familiar with the case said on Thursday. "He's a big fish. He is very close to al-Qaeda circles among which he has some importance."

One judicial source said Arif is "close" to the Jordanian Abu Mussab al-Zarkawi. He is also "in close contact" with one one of the latter's closest lieutenants, says the Interior minister. al-Zarkawi is believed to be al-Qaeda's specialist in toxins and chemical poisons.

Arif, who was to be delivered to anti-terrorism magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguière for interrogation, was extradited with in hours of his detention by Syrian authorities as part of the investigation into the "Chechen networks."

This investigation, that began with the networks recruiting combatants for Chechnya, led to the dismantling of a suspected terrorist cell in the Paris region in La Corneuve and in Romainville (Seine-Saint-Denis).
See here for the Interior ministry's press release. See here, here and here for more on Judge Bruguière.

Nazi Graffiti Sprayed on French Mosque

The AFP also reports:
LILLE, France, June 17 (AFP) — A swastika and racist slogans extolling the Nazi genocide have been sprayed on the wall of a mosque in the northern French town of Lens, police said Thursday.

The graffiti in black paint read, "Death to Islamists," and "Hitler would have gassed you, long live the pure race SS881488." It was discovered at the weekend and has since been cleaned.

The regional Union for the Algerian Community said in a statement that it was "very perturbed at the resurgence of acts of intolerance, racism and xenophobia. Today it is the mosque at Lens that is paying the consequences."

There has been a wave of similar acts of vandalism at Muslim and Jewish sites in recent weeks in northern France.


Yet again from the AFP: Striking electrical workers blacked out Chirac's office!

Yep. They did. Staging wildcat actions, they blacked out the Eiffel tower, the Champs Elysées, the US and British embassies and several French ministries as well. This was to protest the proposed partial privatization of Electricité de France (EDF). On Tuesday there was a demonstration while others cut power to several cities and towns, including prime minister Raffarin's home.

Finance minister Sarkozy has stated his determination to press forward with the liberalization despite (er... rather, because of) the fact that it further damages Raffarin's position. The plan calls for allowing private ownership of 30% of EDF. EDF has 167,000 employees, revenues of €45 billion and either controls or has important stakes in several foreign energy companies.

Back in April, I blogged a police investigation into the EDF worker's council that had widened to include the Communist Party and an enormous labor union.

France Denies Negotiating Weapons Contract with Israel

Xinuanet reports that the Defense ministry has denied negotiating a weapons contract with Israel. Xinhuanet says Ha'aretz reported that France was preparing to sign contract worth $150 - $200 million during Eurostatory 2004 (14-18 June). Details of the deal released to the public indicate that Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) was to participate in the manufacture of the Eagle 1 drone by EADS (for a recent post relating to EADS, see here) and to be based on the Israel Defense Force version. That would have been the largest Franco-Israeli arms contract since France imposed an arms embargo on the Middle-East following the 1967 Six Day War.

"The contract doesn't exist," said a Defense ministry spokesman who did not rule out that IAI's services might still be retained for the project in the future.

Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française now online.

Web surfers can now search the first two volumes of the dictionary for free for words ranging alphabetically from A to moudre.

Joëlle Aubron

Joëlle Aubron, the day she entered prison and
yesterday, the day she left.

A member of the banned French terrorist organization Action Directe, Joëlle Aubron, 44, was released from prison on health grounds yesterday. She is suffering from cancer. "The liberation of my comrades is a battle still being waged," she said. (According to the law, those suffering terminal illnesses can be released to die at home. The law that allows this is named for Dr. Bernard Kouchner, one of the most popular politicians in France who angered more than a few with his support of the US intervention in Iraq.)

Aubron's group, Action Directe, was France's version of the Red Army Faction. Formed in 1979 by Jean-Marc Rouillan, it sought to overthrow the French government, which it viewed as undemocratic, in favor of a Marxist/Leninist regime. A year later, 22 of its members including Rouillan and his girlfriend Nathalie Ménigon, were collared by police. In 1981, president Mitterrand included them on a list of presidential pardons. The group then became highly active but was officially banned in 1982, when it began to collaborate with ETA, the Spanish group GRAPO, the Italian group Prima Linea, Germany's RAF and the Italian COLP.

From 1982 to 1985, AD carried out numerous bombings and attacks in Paris. On February 21, 1987, the groups leaders were arrested, Aubron among them. Aubron was convicted in 1989 and in 1994 and sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole for 18 years. Her crimes included the murder of Georges Besse, president of Renault, and of armed forces Inspector General, gen. René Audran.

An asside: In 1982, gen Audran was France's envoy to Baghdad. Back in december, I blogged general Audran's role in France's loan of 5 Super-Etendard fighter planes to Saddam (an entirely unprecedented maneuver) to help the latter in his war with Iran. France's Defense minister at the time, Charles Hernu, one of François Mitterrand's closest advisors, helped arrange the deal but was exposed in 1996 as a KGB agent.

Aubron will spend her days under strict police surveillance. On exiting prison, Aubron fell into the arms of German, Belgian and French supporters who sang "l'Internationale" (a hymn of far left militancy), their fists raised in the air under eight red flags, some from the Confédération nationale du travail (CNT, an anarchist union), which formed an honor guard.

Others who have benefited from the Kouchner law include Maurice Papon and former Elf president Loïk Le Floch-Prigent, convicted of embezzlement.

What do the French have in common with Hezbollah? Qu'est-ce que les franchouilles partagent avec le Hezbollah?
Uh, besides the fan club in Sarcelles, they share this. Thanks to Tanker.
Ben, à part les supporteurs à Sarcelles, ils partagent ceci. Merci à Tanker.

If Vlady and Tony Were Willing to Play the Game, Why Not Sly Old Jacques?

Kenneth Dreyfack, a freelance writer in Paris, has an interesting article in the International Herald Tribune on how (and why) Jacques Chirac stood out from the G-8 meeting in Georgia.

Big City Nights C'est beau une ville la nuit
Pont de Tolbiac, Grands Moulins de Paris on one side, the Seine on the other, everything blurred by the speed, the smoke, and the booze, go for it, fuck, make a B-line to the ringroad, burning the red lights as they passed underneath, here it is, the border, the Rio Grande in slumbering concrete, the suburbs on the other side, the barrio, home, covered in darkness. Quai d'Ivry, through to the Place Gambetta, go man, step on it, Marco the turbo R 5 or the Golf GTI lifted earlier just outside a movie theatre on the Boulevard Saint Michel with all its cylinders screaming, Ah! fuck yeah, and on those lucky nights, two died blonde bitches in the back seat, some trainee hairdressers from the Belle-Epine shopping center, or some screwed up chicks from a different suburb, Montfermeil, Bobigny, Créteil or someplace else, half drunk, picked up in some joint at Pigalle, or in a nightclub on the huge avenues of Paris, and who would be gangbanged in a basement back at the projects.
Excerpt from the short story: 'When electric death blinks', Maurice G. Dantec, 1996
Pont de Tolbiac, Grands Moulins de Paris d'un côté, la Seine de l'autre, le tout brouillé par la vitesse, la beu et l'alcool, allez, putain, d'une traite jusqu'au périf, sous lequel ils passaient en grillant tous les feux, ça y est, la frontière, le Rio Grande de béton endormi, de l'autre côté la banlieue, le territoire, chez eux, plongé dans le noir. Quai d'Ivry, jusqu'à la place Gambetta, vas-y, mets le boulet, Marco la R 5 turbo ou la Golf GTI chouravée un peu plus tôt près d'un cinoche du Boul'Mich hurlant de toutes ses soupapes, ah! ouais putain, et les soirs de chance, avec deux pétasses fausses blondes décolorées à l'arrière, des stagiaires coiffeuses de Belle-Epine, ou alors des gamines paumées d'une autre lieuban, Montfermeil, Bobigny, Créteil ou ailleurs, à moitié bourrées, levées dans un rade de Pigalle, ou une teboi des Grands Boulevards, et qu'on allait pouvoir se tirer à; plusieurs dans les caves de la cité.
Extrait de la nouvelle: 'Quand clignote la mort électrique', Maurice G. Dantec, 1996

The Common Thread Among All Recent American Presidents…

John Vinocur again hits the nail on the head in his weekly International Herald Tribune column.
Ronald Reagan, who Europe now thinks may not have been such a terrible leader after all, and George W. Bush, who it persists in regarding as fairly awful, shared a problem. They asked the Europeans to do what they could not easily offer.

So did Jimmy Carter, like other presidents. And in some respects, Reagan's Democratic predecessor hit on Europe earlier and for more than the Great Communicator ever attempted. The fact is that Reagan personified what Carter had started — walloping defense budgets, cruise and Pershing missiles to be deployed in Europe, and continuous dunning of the NATO allies for more military spending and sanctions against the Soviets, who had invaded Afghanistan. …

Very much unreassuringly for Europe, Reagan took credit for concepts like the Evil Empire to characterize the Soviet Union, and the space-based missile defense called Star Wars. Sounding well over the top, he even shouted seemingly loony stuff at Mikhail Gorbachev from a rostrum at the edge of the Iron Curtain in Berlin, like: Mr. G, tear down this wall.

Reagan was frontally, irredeemably American entering the White House in 1981, a time when Western Europe's economy and social fabric looked the sounder of the two continents' and when many Germans were convinced they had invented a magical massage of cash and euphemism that would soothe the Soviets into letting democracy tiptoe to their door.

Projected against this European mind-set (which, modified to fit current circumstances, applies again to Bush), Reagan was a dummy, a cowboy, and a voodoo economist creating McDo jobs. The clod actually used words that fit what he meant. The man said that if NATO's European members didn't militarily face down the Soviets' SS-20 missiles targeted on them by agreeing to deploy the cruises and Pershings, the Russians would win.

That was confrontation. And since much of the American press had amplified a vision of Reagan as a Master of Simplism, the Europeans jacked up those decibels in his first years and made Reagan out to be a dangerous fool. Demonstrations against the American missiles — Reagan-as-cowboy posters were their mark of ultimate disdain — rolled across Europe in numbers that made the anti-Iraq marching of 2003 seem weedy.

The common thread among all recent American presidents, whatever the party, and Reagan and George W. Bush, continues here.

Just as Carter initiated many specifics in a tough American line on Europe that Reagan would accentuate, Bill Clinton, in a sense, set in place a part of Bush-America's continuing tone.

It was Clinton's United States that was first accused by France of being a hyperpower and the world's great unilateralist menace. And that didn't like the Kyoto environmental treaty, the International Criminal Court, or having to run U.S. bombing targets past NATO committees in a Kosovo war whose multilateral confusion left the U.S. administration saying never again.

Read also about the differences between the two Republican presidents' experiences

Update: Clinton Offers Little
Sympathy to Europe's Bush-Bashers

Junky De la came
After junk food, junk journalism.
Après la malbouffe, le maljournalisme.

Leftist vermin La vermine gôchiste
While Le Monde Al-Jazeera on the Seine spews rubbish about 'hate sites', the French extreme-Left gets a free pass.
Tandis que Le Monde Al-Jazira sur Seine éructe au sujet de 'la haine sur la toile', la gôche franchouille sanguinaire bénéficie d'une immunité totale.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

A law tragically unenforced, by Pierre Lellouche

French MP Pierre Lellouche was one of France's only elected officials to propose that France participate in the war on Saddam Hussein. He met with rebuffs then and again when he proposed that France send troops to Iraq to help stabilize the country.

Last year, Lellouche also introduced a bill, unanimously passed, to stiffen penalties for racially motivated crimes. On Monday, he published the following essay.
LE MONDE | 14.06.04 | 13h02  •  UPDATED 14.06.04 | 15h32

Over the last five years in France we have witnessed not only a banalization of anti-Semitic insults, including in the schools, but, what is more serious, an explosion of violence against our fellow citizens of the Jewish persuasion.

The level of violence of this nature recorded by the National Advisory Committee on Human Rights (CNCDH) was 743 acts in 2000, 216 in 2001, 932 in 2002 and 558 in 2003. There have been 180 since the start of this year! Not a day goes by, in our Republic, that one of our fellow citizens isn't assaulted, sometimes seriously, for the sole reason that he is Jewish.

All observers agree that this situation, which arose with the start of the second Intifada in the Occupied Territories, is directly related to the Arab-Israeli conflict and to the failure of integration in our country. Nevertheless, this completely insufferable state of affairs is literally unprecedented in our country.

Even in the 1930s, when the anti-Semitic press was particularly ferocious, Jewish children were not attacked and beaten in the Republic's schools. Students were not stabbed. School busses were not attacked. Synagogues were not burned. In brief, we were not witness to this sort of latent pogrom that is complacently "understood" if not justified by a certain elite and a certain press, not in the name of anti-Drefyfusism or of fascism but this time in the name of the rights of the Palestinian people and of Arab "humiliation."

In sum, one can be pleasantly anti-Semitic in the France of 2004, with the added bonus of a clear conscience, resulting from the struggle for human rights! How can we fail to see that, in such a climate, some youths in search of their identity will take vengeance against the "feuj,"* a priori an accomplice, and therefore guilty, in the "massacres" imputed to the Israeli army in the Palestinian territories?

Because I felt that it is essential to react to this entirely unbearable and disgraceful state of our Republic, I took the initiative, as long ago as 2002, of drafting a parliamentary text seeking to stiffen the penalties for violence with anti-Semitic or racist intent visited on persons or property. This bill, personally supported by the president of the Republic and by the prime minister, was passed — and this is rare enough for me to emphasize it — unanimously by all of my colleagues, MPs and Senators, right and left alike. I would like to thank them again.


The only problem — but it is a sizable one — is that this law is quite simply not enforced. Not only is violence of an anti-Semitic nature continuing at an incredibly high pace in France, but, according to the information at my disposal, the law passed in the beginning of 2003 was used to bring criminal prosecutions only 20 times last year and led to convictions in only six cases out of 588. In 2004, prosecutors have so far pressed such charges in only seven cases...

This situation is at the very least preoccupying and results in a deep feeling of unease among many people in France. An unease worsened by other recent law-enforcement decisions that, contrary to their stated aim, seem to demonstrate what we'll call a certain tolerance, if not a thinly veiled complacency for certain statements that qualify as incitation to racial hatred or for certain violent, anti-Semitic acts in a given Paris institution of learning. As Alain Finkielkraut has said, "when they fall victim to anti-Semitic violence, France's Jews are quite firmly, and with dreasing courtesy, advised to address their grievances to Sharon."

How can one fail to understand that many French people, threatened, insulted, attacked everyday for being Jews, feel they have been abandoned by the Republic? That some are planning to leave their country or, as I have seen in my constituency in Paris, are leaving for the United States, Canada or Israel?

From many French citizens of Jewish persuasion I receive letters in which they express their astonishment that "the five assailants of the son of the rabbi in Boulogne-sur-Seine were released (for one of them, this was his second assault against a young Jew). Does this mean that our children and grand children can be struck for the sole reason that they are Jews and that their aggressors won't be pursued by the police? I don't know very well the words in the act you passed in Parliament but I thought it dealt with these assaults." Indeed...

Let us be clear: I have no intention of serving as a good-conscience alibi or as support, neither with my name nor with the legislation I introduced, for a situation in which, far from retreating, anti-Semitism is every day taking stronger hold of our country.

The first urgent measure that is required is to begin a precise evaluation of the conditions under which the law, both in police reporting and in the magistrates' decision-making, can be applied. Such a system exists for other laws (I am thinking of the law on household indebtedness, of which the follow-up has been entrusted to the presiding judge at the appellate court). The same must quickly be done for the law of February 3, 2003.

Accepting anti-Semitism in school in the name of the supposed ignorance of students who indulge in racism is not acceptable.

Once, there were yellow stars. Seeing swastikas affixed to France's Jews or their cemeteries is not tolerable.

Pierre Lellouche is member of parliament for Paris, and deputy secretary general of the UMP.

*"Jew" pronounced backwards in the slang code known as Verlan, itself the word l'envers ("reverse") reversed.

UPDATE: For those who are interested, a draft version of Lellouche's bill is available here and in PDF here.

"A Bestiality that Even Beasts Were Incapable of"

It's infamous. It's disgusting. It's revolting. The thugs of Saddam Hussein "behaved with a bestiality that even beasts were incapable of", we learn from Éric Fottorino. The journalist must be thinking of the raped women, the severed hands, the carved arm flesh given to spouses to eat, and the thousands of mass graves across the Iraqi landscape.

Oh sorry, my mistake, Éric Fottorino was of course thinking of American soldiers. You know, the ones from Abu Ghraib prison. Boy, am I stupid! How could I make such a silly mistake?! "Brutish brutes", he repeats throughout, in the title, in the beginning, in the middle, at the end, so that the readers' minds readily know what images to conjure (consciously or otherwise) whenever the discussion turns to members of Saddam's régime — oh, there I go again! — I mean, whenever the discussion turns to Americans and the U.S. military.

In the final analysis, what exactly do we know about these brutes ? That they are American, photos have gone around the world to bear witness thereto. …

Fully authentic snapshots to show once again that the coalition soldiers, be they GIs or [Britain's] "desert rats", behaved with a bestiality that even beasts were incapable of.

And always, always, always, the shadow of the Iraqi voices denouncing Western (and Arab) journalistic practices, voices which undermine everything written by Éric Fottorino, voices which undermine the whole argument of the "peace camp" members, and voices which undermine the whole basis of France's monolithic thought…

Lire la version française

Pali Psycho Death Cult©®™ Psycho Dad Papa Dingo chez le Culte Psychotique de la Mort palestinien©®™
Typical Palestinian family gathering.
Petite réunion en famille typiquement palestinienne.

In case you were wondering...

The Ministry of Foriegn Affairs is attempting to quell the rumor that the French national who died in Monday's car-bombing in central Baghdad was in fact a spy. Not at all. He was a... "company technician." Excellent choice of words. MFA spokesman Hervé Ladsous added that the individual was "not a spy, if indeed we're talking about the same person."

Can he be identified? "No."

More Thoughts About Le Point's Piece on Ronald Reagan, and the Lessons Not Learned

This year alone (before the Gipper died), I was told by French people, on different occasions, that: Reagan wasn't as bad as we thought he was then; and that: Reagan and Bush have nothing in common, we respected Reagan

In his Le Point article on the 40th president, Franz-Olivier Giesbert says that "all through his term, Ronald Reagan was described as an idiot by most French newspapers". Which is how I remember most of the populaton of Europe reacting, too. Giesbert then admits that he himself must say his mea culpa for having written in 1980 that Reagan was an "old joke". Nine years later, one had to admit that "the former B movie actor was one of the greatest presidents of his century." The Frenchman adds: "The idiots turned out to be those who, notably on our old continent, had under-estimated him or described him, among other inanities, as a warmonger."

So, cheer up, Dubya: it always seems that today's US leaders (whether "today" is in 2004, in 1980, in 1950, or whatever) are always idiots and brain-challenged jokes, while yesterday's presidents turn out to have been pretty good, all considering, even respected. What, then, will Giesbert and Le Point write of you in 2024?

In fact, when you think about it, this is what the French ought to be asking themselves: If this is how we feel about Reagan 20 years later, what will think of W in 20 years? And what should this be telling us about how we are treating him now? What should we be changing in our current attitude so we won't run the risk of having mea culpas to say two decades from now? In 2024, won't they be saying: "Oh, Dubya was in fact a good, strong president, completely different from the current cowboy in the White House, Jenna Bush (Chelsea Clinton?)"? The answer is… that the questions will not be asked. And the soul-searching will not take place. Not a shadow of a chance.

Le Point Is No Longer the Mag You Thought It Was

Le Point has a cover story on the US, with a comic-strip-type balloon emerging from the Statue of Liberty, saying "I am not the one you think I am".

Although the conservative weekly is generally regarded as pro-U.S. — this week's issue was highly complimentary of Ronald Reagan — and although last week's idea is to suggest that there are multiple facets of life in America and let's not omit the positive, it never deviates from the prevalent monolothical thought: that Bush's domestic detractors are right (just as invariably right as America's foreign critics), that the war was/is catastrophic, that Bush lied about WMD, and that the moral dimension of Saddam's dictatorship was "swept away" by the discovery of American "torture".

Two or three years ago, I heard a colleague with a French journalist card complain that Le Point was too pro-American. What a good thing that Paris is getting that publication under its control too. Remember the rules, les gars: no room for ambiguity when it comes to America and its allies!

Le Point's rallying to the self-serving opinion of the French masses and powers-that-be has been visible for some time: The January 2 cover showed a forlorn-looking Jacques Chirac with the words France Punished: Bush's Revenge and listing five types of vengeance (exclusion from Iraq contracts, opposition to France as the location for the Iter energy project, being side-lined from the Libya deal, alleged unfair treatment in the Executive Life scandal, and, the most ridiculous of all, the Air France slap [keeping an Air France flight grounded on December 24 because of terrorist concerns, when the same thing occurred with a British Airways airliner]). All in a "poor us" tone, "it's unfair, we only wanted to further the cause of peace".

Showing Chirac and Villepin on the cover of its March 14, 2003, issue, Le Point asked: Are They Going Overboard? But the (supposedly objective) language of journalists Domnique Audibert and Romain Gubert in covering "four months of escalation" serves throughout to reinforce France's preconceptions about itself as heroic, moderate, and reasonable and those about America and its allies as… well, you know the story by now. Examples (all cases of emphasis are mine):

  • "Chirac seems surprisingly serene. As if, after a lifetime of horse-trading and successive conversions, he has finally found a genuine conviction which puts him in harmony with himself and the nation."

  • "Between Chirac's irrevocable 'no' to preventive war as early as September 2002 and Bush's obstinacy to carry out his fatwa against Saddam, these long months of tensions have been but the chronicle of an inevitable break."

  • "Two days later, the 'letter of the eight' is published in several European newspapers. Chirac was taken completely by surprise. From Britain he was expecting such a low blow." [But not from the other countries who are "stirring up ill-feeling in Europe".]

  • "The argument [that Saddam is not disarming but lying] will be hammered home relentlessly in the weeks to come."

  • "Everything is done to isolate Benoît d'Aboville, France's ambassador to NATO … and to weaken the Berlin-Brussels-Paris alliance."

  • "Colin Powell is crazed with fury" ; "the Americans are drunk with anger" ; "Colin Powell repeats mechanically…"

  • "Dominique de Villepin's peroration on Iraq … France's opposition to war … It's his moment of truth, and Villepin turns it into a fine piece of eloquence."

  • Joining the foreign ministry with the goal of improving relations with Washington, he has in the meantime measured the arrogance of the American hyperpower, denounced previously by his predecessor, Hubert Védrine."

  • "Hans Blix denounces the pressure and the manipulation of the American intelligence services to heap abuse on Saddam."

  • "On February 15, Bush's belligerant crusade sparks demonstrations unprecedented since the Vietnam conflict. More than 10 million people march against the war throughout the entire world. … In an interview, Villepin drives the point home: 'Europe must be able to hold its values high and defend its ambitions'."

  • "The Mexican president no longer stands to attention before George Bush. Far from it. He has even pointed out several times that his country is opposed to war."

  • "The front pages of [American] newspapers try to outdo each other in bad taste and bad faith. … In France, the press is more moderate."
…like Le Point, sans doute?

Too bad they can't have guns Dommage qu'ils n'aient pas le droit de porter des calibres
France's new generation finishing what their predecessors started under Vichy. This Exodus has already started. Thanks to Allah.
Les chères têtes blondes franchouilles finissent le boulot démarré par les franchouilles de souche sous Vichy. L'Exodus a déjà commencé. Merci à Allah.

Using France as a landfill Se servir de la France en tant que terrain pour la mise en décharge
Self loathing loathsome human being visits France.
Etre humain méprisable qui se méprise lui-même débarque en Fwance.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

When are we going to get it? Quand est-ce que nous allons enfin piger?
'One should forgive one's enemies, but not before they are hanged.' ---Heinrich Heine. Kill faster. Total war. By all means necessary.
'Il faut pardonner à ses ennemis, certes, mais pas avant qu’ils ne soient pendus.' --Heinrich Heine. Tuer plus vite. Guerre totale. Par tous les moyens requis.

Double boom Coup double
Missile-to-cranium technique readies two for the pigskin shitsacks. A third one unfortunately survived the righteous attack.
La technique dite de la fusée directe au crâne réussit à préparer deux pour les sacs à merde en carcasse de porc. Un troisième a malheureusement survecu à cette attaque juste et vertueuse.

Pali Psycho Death Cult©®™ worship continues Vénération du Culte Psychotique de la Mort palestinien©®™
Ever notice how psychopathic killers always manage to get looked upon as victims. Kill faster. Total war.
Marrant comment les tueurs psychopaths arrivent toujours à se faire passer pour des victimes. Tuer plus vite. Guerre totale.

Sharon: I'm leaving the occupied territories and staying put at the same time. That's an important compromise. Now I'm waiting for you to make make a goodwill gesture.

Omar Meet Rémy

Rémy Ourdan is Le Monde's rather interesting Baghdad correspondent whose articles have often been seen at NP (here, here, here and here).

Ourdan received what may be the hightest compliment for any French Middle East correspondent: back in February of 2003, he was criticized by ACriMed (Action critique des médias) for what they thought was an unfair portrait of the "human sheilds" : "The commitment of the pacifists who are traveling to Iraq under the threat of American bombing can be deemed courageous, suicidal, effective or ineffecitve. It deserves respect in any case. Rémy Ourdan, of Le Monde, seems to have nothing for them but contempt: he describes them as crazy, dishonest imbeciles, alienated from the Iraqis who 'want the war.' His effort at denigration in the guise of reporting deserves all the contempt normally reserved for those who take their ideas to extremes."

Indeed, Rémy. And have we said thanks often enough?

After yesterday's car bombing, Omar at Iraq the Model said, " I don't know why all we get (all of us) is pictures of a bunch of idiots throwing bricks at burned cars."

Well... he might have been happier with Ourdan's latest report, which contains some interesting details about the event:
Having come to the end of Saadoun street, already jammed with traffic at 8 am, the convoy doesn't see, or cannot get away from, a car that has crept among them. An explosion. The bomb set off by the kamikaze is very powerful. Passersby are cut down and neighborhood residents are crushed under the debris. Sixteen dead are counted, including five employees of General Electric, and more than sixty wounded. Among the five foreigners, there are two British, one American, one French and a Filipino. It is the second suicide attack in 24 hours in Baghdad.

The American occupier and the Iraqi government immediately condemned the attack. The prime minister, Iyad Allawi, who Iraqis hope will be able to restore security in the coming months, has promised "harsh measures" against the perpetrators of this sort of attack after June 30, when he will officially be in power. All officials are expecting attacks to get worse between now and June 30.

The divisions among Baghdadis are perfectly illustrated by the attitudes displayed in the minutes following the explosion. First there was a group of overexcited men who threw cans of beer found in a gutted store front into the brasier of the foreign 4x4s. Then there was a throng of around two hundred people who shouted "No to America!," burned a British flag found who knows where and who blame the attack on the Westerners alone, guilty of being present in Iraq.

Then there is Emad, a passerby met later in a café. "I was there just by chance, and I was ashamed," he says. "Ashamed to see Iraqis rejoicing at the sight of the bodies of those who have come to rebuild Iraq burning, ashamed to see my brothers exploiting the situation to loot the stores... I also want the Americans to leave Iraq, but not like this, not in violence and hatred." Emad is far from being the only one to think this.


Many Baghdadis, shocked by the images in April of Fallujah residents burning and hanging the cadavers of four American paramilitaries from a bridge, attributed this to the "savagery" of the somewhat roughnecked villagers. They were very shocked on Monday to see the scene repeated at the heart of their capital. "We've been invaded by these bandits who are liable to do anything," laments a shopkeeper. "These acts are not Islam. It is a perversion," says Emad.
Far too soon after last Wednesday's news of a bomb plot targeting the Paris metro comes this report. According the BBC, French anti-terrorist police have arrested at least 12 in raids on suspected Islamist groups in Paris.

"Utter Contempt Toward the United States by the French Political Establishment"

Concerning the funeral of America's 40th president, most of the letters to the editor in the Paris-based International Herald Tribune were anti-Reagan and/or anti-Bush, but one of them hit the nail on the head.

President Ronald Reagan

Honoring Reagan

Mikhail Gorbachev, a former enemy of the United States, came from Russia to pay his respects at President Ronald Reagan's funeral, while America's "friend," President Jacques Chirac of France, who was already on Sea Island, Georgia, attending the Group of Eight summit meeting, refused to attend the ceremonies.

This snub comes from a nation that only days ago pledged unending gratitude for the American lives lost in the liberation of France. This slight goes beyond not liking President George W. Bush, or even not liking President Ronald Reagan. This is utter contempt toward the United States by the French political establishment.

Anthony Murdocca, Shiremanstown, Pennsylvania

Read also the Expat Yank

Shitheel Les Nouvelles Aventures d'Eddy de Pédé Mitchell
As if anyone cares what this broken down has-been does. Eddy Mitchell, pitiful excuse for a French singer, no longer wears cowboy boots because George W. Bush does. Get a life!
Qu'est-ce qu'on a à foutre de ce que fait ce déchet has-been? Eddy Mitchell, qui gémit des espèces de chansonettes depuis trop longtemps déjà, ne porte plus ses Santiag' car George W. Bush en porte aussi. Va te faire soigner, bonhomme!

Filthy disgusting scoundrels Bande de pédales
The French will do anything to stop Lance Armstrong from winning a record 6th Tour de France and since they can't compete by racing they are gunning for Armstrong with bogus doping charges. The magazine L'Express (jackboot goose-stepping French State Party Line©®™ house organ) publishes a report on Armstrong while heavily promoting the book 'L.A. Confidential: the secrets of Lance Armstrong' just two weeks before the race's start. You just cannot sink any lower than the French.
Les franchouilles sont capables de faire tout ce qu'il faut pour arrêter Lance Armstrong de gagner la Tour de France et établir un record avec une sixième victoire. Comme ils ne sont pas cap' de le battre pendant la grand boucle, ils cherchent à le casser avec des histoires de dopage bidonnées. Le magazine L'Express (preSSe franchouille à la botte et aux ordres de la pensée unique inique de l'Etat©®™) publie un rapport sur Armstrong tout en faisant la promotion du livre 'L.A. Confidential: les secrets de Lance Armstrong', seulement deux semaines avant le départ de la course. Plus bas qu'un franchouille, tu meurs.

Stanger Mean When He Drinks

Our "friend" Ted Stanger recently had an online chat with Le Monde readers. Stanger has been Newsweek bureau chief in Bonn, Rome, Jerusalem and Paris. (Jack of all cultures, master of none?) Having read some of his other remarks, you know you'd be safe in presuming that he said a few asinine things. But did you know that at points he was even more anti-American than the average Le Monde Web reader?
Brice: How are the 15% [of Americans who live in poverty] getting on? I doubt they spend they're whole lives in poverty.

Ted Stanger
: Indeed, a good portion of the poor stay poor, but I also observe that this isn't a real preoccupation for Americans because, among us, the poor are seen as lazy or, if not, then as people who deserve their lot. Of course, there are charities but, for most Americans, the poor mustn't be allowed to depend too much on the state. This is an opinion shared by almost all Americans.
I'll interrupt this translation to remind you that while I, who live in the US, personally know no one who feels this way, I'm even confident that no NP reader will report finding a majority of people among his acquaintances who share such a criminal point of view. But Stanger doesn't stop at that...
Josselin: Do you think that September 11 punctuated the end of the American Dream?

Ted Stanger
: No, not at all. To the contrary, this event aggravated paranoia and even the conformism that is always present among Americans, judging from the Patriot Act, passed by Congress and which allows all manner of interventions and detentions by the police that wouldn't have been allowed before.


Jean: In France, the United States are very much denounced. Is this the case in other countries?

Ted Stanger
: It is certain that France is the world champion in anti-Americanism, with a few exceptions, Iraq in particular. All the polls prove it: in Europe, at any rate, there are no people more mistrusting of George Bush's United States than the French. And according to a CNRS researcher, Philippe Roger, who wrote an excellent book L'Ennemi américain, anti-Americanism is a long-term investment and meets with a general consensus from Jean-Marie Le Pen to Olivier Besancenot [Revolutionary Communist League leader]. I have the impression that many French use America as a mirror the better to situate their own country by using America as a counter-model.


Azerty: Do these polls distinguish George W. Bush from the United States? It strikes me many French like the United States but rather they mistrust Bush...

Ted Stanger
: Indeed, the French are somewhat schizophrenic when it comes to the United States. You'd have to be really disabled in the eyes and ears not to notice that US cultural products enjoy great success in France but it is the American model of society that is not appreciated and that is even, in my view, demonized, sometimes excessively [Hunh ?! — Ed.]. Nowadays in France, one defines an anti-American as one who hates the United States more than is necessary.

Greentree: Rejection? For me, since I was born, people have always talked negatively of the United States. They put tariffs on our products, agricultural policy was born because of them...

Ted Stanger
: It is true that the image of the United States has severely deteriorated in France, sinking so low that, in a March poll by CSA, only 3% of French say they are "admiring" of the United States. I think even Adolf Hitler would have done better [...]

Delphine: How do most Americans see France?

Ted Stanger
: For most Americans, the image of France is still 50 years behind. For them, France is the country of Maurice Chevalier, wine and berets. They would be astonished to learn that France has achieved great technological feats. So this outdated image of France does a lot of harm to the view of France as an allied country.

Monday, June 14, 2004

'Me sucky fucky you long time' 'Moi baiser toi longtemps chéri'
She so horny. Marjolaine, the Vietnamese bimbo, is back with a summer reality show.
Elle si envie toi. Marjolaine, la taspé Viet, est de retour cet été avec une émission de téléréalité.

Sue me, faggot Faites-moi un procès, lopette
Typically French. Web surfers called upon to help combat illicit Internet content. Hows about a little denouncement with your morning croissant? Call the cops, cunt. Seen in Mediatic.
Typiquement franchouille. Les internautes sollicités pour lutter contre les contenus illicites sur Internet. Cela vous dit, un peu de délation avec vot' croissant? Appelez les flics, pétasse. Vu dans Mediatic.

The French press Pravda doesn't like right angles La presse Pravda franchouille n'apprécie pas les lignes droites
Zek comments the French Zeropean election results.
Zek donne son commentaire au sujet des résultats des élections zéropéennes en Fwance.

Muslim Graves defiled in Strasbourg

More Bad News:

From Reuters:
A women crouches before the tomb of a loved one, desecrated in the night of Sunday to Monday, in a Strasbourg cemetery. More than 50 tombs in the Muslim section were defiled with neo-Nazi words. Swastikas sometimes along with the letters "HH" (for "Heil Hitler") and "88" (a neo-Nazi symbol), calls for the murder of the president of the regional Muslim Faith Council, Abdelhaq Nabaoui, and, on a cemetery wall, grafitti threatening the president of the Alsace Regional Council, Adrien Zeller (UMP): this latest desecration will futher heighten tensions in Alsace, where racist and anti-Semitic vandalism has occurred with increasing frequency in recent months.

Interior Minister de Villepin was to to arrive in Strasbourg toward noon on Monday to meet with the local representatives of the Muslim faith and of the other religions present in Alsace. "This cowardly act attacks the memory of the Muslim community and the most essential values of our country," he said in a written statement. The Jewish Student Union of France (UEJF) said it was "saddened outraged."

American pro wrestler sends Kraut fans over the top rope Catcheur américain envoie les supporteurs schleus par dessus la troisième corde
Commies and Fascists and those that support them. That's what Zeropeans are, so why all the fuss? Or would it have been politically correct if he had made reference to Israel? That would have drawn applause.
Les cocos et les fascistes et ceux qui les soutiennent. Alors, pourquoi le brouhaha? Bien entendu, il aurait pu faire la chose de façon politicalement correct en faisant référence à Israël. Là pour le coup, ils auraient applaudi.

The French at their bravest Les franchouilles font preuve de bravoure
In an article published in Libération PropagandaStaffel with the title 'Unsupportably in the Tropics', a French journalist starts his article by stating that this photo of the Reagans is 'disagreeable' and 'impossible to look at'. The article ends with the with the question 'Is this the America of monsters?'. The French are never braver than when they take pot shots at passing hearses (must be some Palestinian tendencies rubbing off on their weak impressionable minds). The French masses never forgave Reagan for busting up their mass dream that was Communism (the French masses don't get that their little pipe dream is only good for producing mass graves).
Dans un article paru dans Libération PropagandaStaffel titré 'Sous les tropiques péniblement', un journaliste franchouille commence son article en déclarant que cette photo des Reagan est 'désagréable' et 'irregardable'. L'article se termine par la question 'L'Amérique des monstres?'. Les franchoulles (= 'France' + 'trouille') montrent leur bravoure si bien à partir du moment où ils tirent sur les corbillards (il y a comme quelque chose de Palestinien qui déteint sur leurs esprits faibles et étriqués). Le commun des fwançais n'a jamais pardonné à Reagan le fait qu'il avait bousillé le grand rêve commun que fut le communisme (Le commun des franchouilles ne pige pas que son rêve de pacotille n'est bon qu'à produire des fosses communes).

We now return to our regularly scheduled Bad News

From the AFP:
RIVESALTES, France, June 12 (AFP) - A mural painted by Jewish children at a World War II concentration camp near Perpignan, southern France, has been vandalized, the Independant newspaper reported Saturday.

Police at Rivesaltes said no complaint had been filed after the so-called Fresco of Jewish Children was found to have been damaged, apparently with a chisel-like object, but that the incident was being investigated.

A historian discovered the desecration Friday when he visited the site where 4,500 Jews and gypsies were held, later reporting it to the paper. It said the perpetrators had not left a message.

In 1942, a Swiss nurse at the camp, Friedel Reiter, had asked the interned children there to paint a typical Swiss landscape on one of the walls of the infirmary.

Local officials were to pay homage to the children during a ceremony Saturday afternoon.
From France 2:
The association of Sons and Daughters of France's Deported Jews has filed a complaint following the vandalism at Rivesaltes

In a press-release distributed on Sunday, Catherine Vautrin, undersecretary for Integration, expressed her outrage "before the hateful profanation that occurred in Rivesaltes."

[Labor minister] Jean-Louis Borloo claimed he was "disgusted by the series of racist and anti-Semitic acts" in France.

The association, presided over by attorney Serge Klarsfeld, claims that it created the memorial to the 11,000 Jewish children deported from France.

The minister of Labor is determined "to fight against the banalization of these acts" and to "employ all necessary means," with his colleagues, "to prevent and prosecute these intolerable and shameful acts."

Painted in 1942 in the intermediate concentration camp at Rivesaltes (Pyrénées-Orientales) near Perpignan, the "Fresco of Jewish children," was attacked with a chisel.

During the Second World War, 4,500 Jews and gypsies, were confined at this camp. Two-thousand and thirteen were later exterminated at Auschwitz.

Barracks 12 of isle K was assigned to a humanitarian organization, Secours suisse. It served as a residence, infirmary and refectory. On one of the walls of the barracks, a Swiss nurse, Friedel Reiter, had Jewish children among the detainees paint a fresco depicting a bucolic Swiss landscape.

An investigation has been opened following the vandalism, observed at the site by a passing historian. According to the Perpignan newspaper L'Indépendant, no one has claimed responsibility.

The fresco was protected by a fence. The site of the camp, which belongs to the state, is threatening to fall to ruins.

The minister of the Interior, Dominique de Villepin, learned "with consternation" of this development in a place that "marks such painful periods of our history." He expressed his "anger before this latest attack on the memory of the children of the Shoah."

Bush's June 6 Forever! by Pierre Marion

The Saturday before last, I blogged French commentary on the occasion of the ceremonies to mark the 60th anniversary of the D-Day Landings. I noticed two countervailing forces at work: a tendency to accentuate American flaws and to forgive German crimes. I also noticed that this took place in a climate of unprecedented anti-American feeling and unprecedented mutual affection between France and Germany, points all supported by opinion polls.

One François Heisbourg, director of the Strategic Research Foundation, published an essay on June 4, accusing the US of an "extraordinary combination of narrow-minded activism and infinite incompetence" which he said would ultimately provoke a WMD attack on European soil, the collapse of Middle-Eastern governments and nothing short of the complete failure of world peace.

On the 10th, Heisbourg's essay got an answer from Pierre Marion, head of France's Spy Agency, the Central External Security Directorate (DGSE), under François Mitterrand and author of a book called "Shadow Memoirs" that appears particularly intriguing.

Marion wrote:
LE MONDE | 10.06.04 | 13h50

The viewpoint by François Heisbourg, "Damning June 6 2004" (Le Monde of June 5), was particularly unwelcome on the day before the Landings ceremonies that underscored a bond between the nations which contributed to the landings of June 6 1944, from which a heavy majority of the losses were American.

In my view, nothing seems to justify the terms that Mr. Heisbourg uses to describe president Bush, who was treated with honor during the ceremonies on the beaches of the Landings. One can imagine the reaction of the French if their president had been described with similarly careless rhetoric.

We can clearly see what is meant by the author when he speaks of the Americans' "loss of control." It is the stance taken by the United States, but also by the United Kingdom, on the necessity of a military intervention against Saddam Hussein's Iraq. It will not be unhelpful to recall their causes of action.

Who declared war on Iran in 1980 and waged a six-year [sic] conflict, causing numerous deaths, sometimes through the use of chemical weapons ordered by Saddam? Who exterminated nearly 100,000 of his citizens, gassing, among others, 5,000 Kurds, including women and children? Who provoked the exodus of 2 million persecuted Kurds? Who practiced the assassination of exiled dissidents, of an Israeli ambassador, not to mention the attempt on the life of a former US president? Who invaded Kuwait in 1990 before being expelled by a Western alliance led by the US? Who then made hundreds of Kuwaiti, Saudi, Syrian, Lebanese and Egyptian prisoners vanish? Who practiced summary execution, mutilation and the rape of women by his own nationals? Who bombed Israel with Scud missiles? Who flouted all decisions taken by the UN up to 1997, to the point of forcing UN inspectors to cease operations?

Given this situation, and Saddam Hussein's proven desire to pursue his dictatorial machinations and lies, it became clear that promoting a determined action toward democracy in the Middle East was impossible.

The matter, submitted for consideration by the United Nations Security Council, could not be settled, particularly due to French opposition.

The United States and the United Kingdom then decided to intervene in Iraq unilaterally. Saddam Hussein was unseated and jailed by the two intervening states. Clashes occurred, costing the lives of a thousand American and British soldiers. A clarification of political matters is underway.

One may of course regret that the saving intervention was undertaken with United Nations blessing. But the essential fact has been the initiation of positive change in Iraqi governance along with the subsequent changes in the rest of the region.

The French position now allows us to accommodate the British and American action and one can foresee a political reorganization of the current situation and a clarification of the Iraqi situation, creating the possibility of positive change in the middle east in the face of the threat of terrorism.

The Franco-American rapprochement during the Landings ceremonies allows one to imagine a favorable resolution accepted by interested governments.

Pierre Marion is former director of the DGSE.


They Kiss in the Streets

Last summer, the shelves in French bookstores were buckling under the weight of new books on Franco-American relations. There was American journalist Ted Stanger's Sacrés Français!, Guy Millière's "What Bush Wants," André Glucksmann's West versus West, Jean-François Revel's "Anti-American Obsession." And those are just the ones I can remember off hand.

The publishing house Cherche Midi also published a little volume called Our Friends the French, which was a manual for use by American soldiers in post-war occupied France and was intended to smooth over strained relations by explaining cultural differences. Even now it has a very high sales ranking (569) at

Interestingly enough, the original pamphlet, available in its entirety here, had a somewhat less gracious title: "112 Gripes about the French." Gripe number 62 is:
"They kiss right in the open - in the streets."

This always startles Americans - at first.

Kissing on both cheeks is the traditional French greeting between old friends.

For their love-making, the French prefer privacy, if available - just as we do.