Saturday, July 16, 2005

July 4: An Occasion to Lambaste America While Conveniently Overlooking Europe's Sins

The editors of Le Monde could not resist celebrating the Fourth of July with a generous frontpage helping of anti-American incitement from its star cartoonist Plantu
writes John Rosenthal, who goes on to detail how the Kyoto Protocol not only was loaded in favor of the Europeans from the beginning, but how, even so, the latter are in no way being successful in following it directives; a fact little known and (strangely enough) little-made-a-big-deal-about (as we have recently pointed out) among the European populace. But then again, a rather normal fact, as you must understand that they are occupied, like Plantu, with far more important matters, such as castigating Uncle Sam for the world's troubles, environmental and other.

Gracias, Señoras y Señores de España, for Going Along with the Wishes of alQaeda and Breaking Your Pact with Bush and Blair

AS IF THERE WAS still any doubt at this point, the Spanish press reports today on a document found in the computer of one of the key perpetrators of the March 11 terrorist attacks in Madrid (translation by Barcepundit, the final paragraph of whose post you should not miss):
A document found in the personal computer of Jamal Ahmidan, "The Chinese", undersigned by the Abu Hafs al Masri brigades and dated March 15, 2004 declares that the March 11 perpetrators intented to remove [Aznar's] Popular Party from the government.

The document was recently found by police, according to the Cope radio network who has seen it. It says: "those who were suprised for our quick claim of responsibility in the battle of Madrid, let them know that there were other circumstances. In the case of Madrid, the time factor was very important in order to put an end to the government of Aznar the ignoble."

Soldier survives attack; captures, medically treats sniper

From the Army Times (US):

«During a routine patrol in Baghdad June 2, Army Pfc. Stephen Tschiderer, a medic, was shot in the chest by an enemy sniper, hiding in a van just 75 yards away. The incident was filmed by the insurgents.

After tracking down the now-wounded sniper with a team from B Company, 4th Battalion, 1st Iraqi Army Brigade, Tschiderer secured the terrorist with a pair of handcuffs and gave medical aid to the terrorist who’d tried to kill him just minutes before. »
That's one ballsy MEDIC.

Mark sez ditch the babble

Mark Steyn on the need to ditch the sustaino-babble. For the sake of young and old, people need sustainable values and population, not sustained delusions.

Steve Bell, throwback propaganda artist part X

Friday, July 15, 2005

"May God curse the mujahedeen and their leader!"

No, no, ma'am, they are not terrorists. Those brave souls are insurgents, patriots, freedom fighters

In related news (turban tips to Jonathan Baum, Mike H, Franz Hoffmann, Tom Pechinski, RV, and Joe Wierzbicki), read how Melanie Phillips monitors the the evolution of BBC descriptions from London's "terrorists" to expressions such as "bombers" and "misguided criminals". The logical conclusion, as Michelle Malkin tells us, is that in the future, what we will have is the following:

"Burglars" will be "takers." "Child molesters" will be "ticklers." "Rapists" will be "unplanned lovers." … In London, "terrorists" are "bombers." In the U.S., citizen watchdogs are "vigilantes." The Ministry of Truth would be pleased.
Meanwhile, Jonathan notes that with the "sort of trainee journalist they're nurturing at the Guardian" — unabashedly pro-terror — the "future of Islamicist cheerleading is assured." Tom points to The Daily Ablution, which adds that the Guardian article unaccountably omits the fact (presumably for reasons of space) that Dilpazier Aslam is on record as supporting a world-dominant Islamic state, notably in his writings for London based site

In addition, it would seem that the leader who had nothing to do with al-Qaeda (and aren't you silly — snort — to believe otherwise) trained only 4,000 terrorists in the six months prior to the 2003 war. Claudia Rosett adds:

If anything, Mr. Bush in recent times has not stressed Saddam's ties to al Qaeda nearly enough. More than ever, as we now discuss the bombings in London, or, to name a few others, Madrid, Casablanca, Bali, Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, or the many bombings in Israel--as well as the attacks on the World Trade Center in both 1993 and 2001--it is important to understand that terrorist connections can be real, and lethal, and portend yet more murder, even when they are shadowy, shifting and complex. And it is vital to send the message to regimes in such places as Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran that in matters of terrorist ties, the Free World is not interested in epistemological debates over what constitutes a connection. We are not engaged in a court case, or a classroom debate. We are fighting a war.…

The difficulty lies in piecing together the picture, which is indeed murky (that being part of the aim in covert dealings between tyrants and terrorist groups)--but rich enough in depth and documented detail so that the basic shape is clear. By the time Messrs. Hayes and Joscelyn are done tabulating the cross-connections, meetings, Iraqi Intelligence memos unearthed after the fall of Saddam, and information obtained from detained terrorist suspects, you have to believe there was significant collaboration between Iraq and al Qaeda. Or you have to inhabit a universe in which there will never be a demonstrable connection between any of the terrorist attacks the world has suffered over the past dozen years, or any tyrant and any aspiring terrorist. In that fantasyland, all such phenomena are independent events.

Finally, Tom notes that Steven den Beste is getting his fill with the "of course" crowd (similar to those whom Michelle Malkin terms the grievance industry), as are Cal Thomas and Mark Steyn:
When events such as last Thursday's occur, two things happen, usually within hours if not minutes: first, spokespersons for Islamic lobby groups issue warnings about an imminent backlash against Muslims. …

In most circumstances it would be regarded as appallingly bad taste to deflect attention from an actual "hate crime" by scaremongering about a non-existent one. But it seems the real tragedy of every act of "intolerance" by Islamist bigots is that it might hypothetically provoke even more intolerance from us irredeemable white imperialist racists. My colleague Peter Simple must surely marvel at how the identity-group grievance industry has effortlessly diversified into pre-emptively complaining about acts of prejudice that have not yet occurred.

Among those of us who aren't Muslim, meanwhile, there's a stampede to be first to the microphone to say that "of course" we all know that "the vast majority of Muslims" are not terrorists but law-abiding peace-loving people who share our revulsion at these appalling events, etc.

Mr Blair won that contest on Thursday… Terrorism ends when the broader culture refuses to tolerate it. There would be few if any suicide bombers in the Middle East if "martyrdom" were not glorified by imams and politicians, if pictures of local "martyrs" were not proudly displayed in West Bank grocery stores, if Muslim banks did not offer special "martyrdom" accounts to the relicts thereof, if schools did not run essay competitions on "Why I want to grow up to be a martyr".

…We can take steps to prevent Islamic terrorists killing us, most of the time. But Islamic terrorists will only stop trying to kill us when their culture reviles them rather than celebrates them.

…Shame on us for championing Islamic thought-police over Western liberty.

To this, Iran's Amir Taheri adds that
you are dealing with an enemy that does not want anything specific, and cannot be talked back into reason through anger management or round-table discussions. Or, rather, this enemy does want something specific: to take full control of your lives, dictate every single move you make round the clock and, if you dare resist, he will feel it is his divine duty to kill you.
Let's end this post with some positive — excellent, really — news (also from Afghanistan)…

'O' Allah, make America stronger!

The Sort of Environment Information that the Europeans Will Not Make a Big Fuss About

…signers of the Kyoto Protocol, a 1997 pact to roll back greenhouse emissions, are finding they cannot [solve global warming problems]
writes Michael Fumento.
This though Kyoto only calls for a return to 1990 levels, not California’s 80% below. Emissions from the original European Union 15 member states have INCREASED since 1997.

Blowing lines like it’s 1985

So down to earth, that they want get down, down to the ground.
It does explain their lively spending habits, letting NGOs to kick around just about anything they like, and, well, their narcissism and that penchance for repetition.

USA, Carbon Absorber

The reason that Kyoto is rigged up the way it is, discounting any absorption of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses is because such an arrangement would not favor Europe, an impugn the United States if greenies are shocked with their usual false indignation for the US, we should wait and see whether or not these same people treat Canada with the same spitefulness having signed on to that unproductive treaty, many are having second thoughts, and wondering how they would ever be able to achieve their targets at all. Canadian greenies on the other hand, have engaged in the usual brute force tactics of Liberal Party politics.

Absorption has long been known to be a major factor in air temperature, and yet still ignored:

«"We know that we who reside in the United States emit about 6.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year," said Taro Takahashi, Doherty Senior Research Scientist, associate director of Lamont-Doherty, Columbia's earth sciences campus in Palisades, N.Y., and an author of the report. "As an air mass travels from west to east, it should receive carbon dioxide and the East Coast concentration of CO2 should be higher than on the West Coast.

"But observations tell us otherwise. The mean atmospheric CO2 concentration on the East Coast has been observed to be lower than that over the Pacific coast. This means that more CO2 is taken up by land ecosystems over the United States than is released by industrial activities."

The results suggest the presence of a carbon sink, which occurs when carbon dioxide absorbed by plants as they grow exceeds carbon dioxide released by dead material as it decays. Although the method does not identify the causes, there are a number of possible mechanisms that could be responsible for the sink. Forest regrowth in areas where generations of pioneers leveled trees to create farmland almost certainly plays an important role. Millions of acres east of the Mississippi have returned to forest.

Forest regrowth, and carbon absorption, in North America may be enhanced by some side effects of industrialization. Nitrogen deposition in soil, a result of combustion processes in automobiles and power plants, can act as a fertilizer, as can the higher concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the air. Global warming itself can contribute to longer growing seasons, which have been observed in studies of satellite measurements cited by the team.»

Of course they won't count it - nor will Europe meet their own Kyoto targets. So long as it's politically useful, they'll keep up with their little fiction, but I don't expect that to last long. At least the part where they actually do what they set out to.

When the Murder of 3,000 Men, Women, and Children Concerns the Yanks, It Becomes Little More than "Challenging" the American Power

Subject of the Histoire Géographie high school finals in Créteil (merci à RV):
Document 1:
1) How is the military power of the United States reflected in the world?

Document 1 and 2:
2) Find four indicators of the American economic power and give two pieces of evidence of America's cultural might. (4 points)

Document 3:
3) In what way was the American power challenged on 11 September 2001? (1 point)
When the murder of 3,000 men, women, and children concerns Yanks, in the minds of the wise and lucid "humanists" and of the holier-than-thou pacifists, it is nothing more than "challenging the American power".

Click below for some students' answers to the above exam, for another French example of sophisticated high school education, for more objective French literature for the young, and for an assessment of what atmosphere the above help to contribute to in the worldview of the French (young and elders alike)…

Steve Bell, throwback propaganda artist part IX

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The decline of the British (television viewer’s) Mind

In a poll to select “the greatest philosopher” BBC viewers have passed up both Mel Brooks and Thomas Aquinas, and chosen Karl Marx. Apart from having been laughably stacked by college punks, it made me think of this little paragraph written by Kevin Phillips on his blog as he was trying to be gentle in explaining why he blasts troll comments:

« I am further eliminating arguments based on Karl Marx and his class warfare thesis. About one quarter of Americans and 65.3% of university professors use this analytic tool. The problems are that it is irrelevant 99.8% of the time, it is the most repeated mantra in English and the human models derived from this analysis have led to Stalin, Castro, Mao and several other nightmares. We don't need this dirty underwear on this blog.»

Never mind the fact that Marx wasn’t a philosopher, he was an economist, and a very, very bad one who believed in a thing that doesn’t occur in nature called the zero-sum game. I have to give them SOME credit, Karl Popper made it up to number 10, but oddly enough Burke, and virtually none of the great minds of the enlightenment seem to have appeared on the rapidly dimming Beeb-watcher’s radar screen.

Singer on Hand-Wringers

Today, Bastille Day, is the birthday of Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904-1991), the Polish writer  who captured the doomsayers and the hand-wringers quite capably when he said
If you keep on saying things are going to be bad, you have a good chance of being a prophet
For those who castigate religious believers as unthinking zombies, he added that
Doubt is part of all religion. All the religious thinkers were doubters.
Finally, for those who carp on about "ça ne sert à rien", he wrote
For those who are willing to make an effort, great miracles and wonderful treasures are in store.

The wit and wisdom of my favorite Texan

The wisdom of Valerie in Texas - accept no substitutions:

«As for London, the comment that drove me nuts was from some British intelligence "expert" lady who said that "Until the causes, the motivations for these people is addressed these attacks will continue."


And she gets paid how much?
Let see if my untutored mind can come up with a motivation...


But what do I know?»

Comparing Jefferson to Bush

May it be to the world what I believe it will be (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all), the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government.
All through the years 2003 and 2004 one used to hear it: "So, you think your Iraqi friends are about to adopt Jeffersonian democracy . . ." (pause for hilarious nudge, sneer, snigger or wink)
writes Christopher Hitchens as he compares Thomas Jefferson (favorably) with George W Bush.
Jefferson … did identify with democrats in other countries and did believe that America should be on their side. …

The most successful "export" was Jefferson's determined use of naval and military force to reduce the Barbary States of the Ottoman Empire, which had set up a slave-taking system of piracy and blackmail along the western coast of North Africa. Our third president was not in a position to enforce regime change in Algiers or Tripoli, but he was able to insist on regime behavior-modification (and thus to put an end to at least one slave system). Ever since then, every major system of tyranny in the world has had to run at least the risk of a confrontation with the United States, and one hopes that the Jeffersonians among us will continue to ensure that this remains true.

Proud to be Danish

In the wake of the London bombings, Gallup asked over 1,000 Danes: "Do you believe that it was the correct decision" not just to support Bush and/or the war on terror but "to have Denmark participate actively in the war in Iraq with soldiers and material?"

Fifty percent answered Ja.

This hardly changed in the wake of the London bombings, and that even though the number of Danes who believe that it is probable that Denmark itself will become a target in the coming years rose drastically after 7/7, by 50% (from 52% overall to 75%).

Greed, tranzi style.

Europeans smugly call the US stingy on aid, because they're covering a deep personal greed with the fiction of governments doing good for them. If you believe that all live flows through government, then you might mananage to channel some of it personally, but it’s only imagined. Stinginess however, is not wanting to do it yourself.

Tim Wortsall:

«I mean, really. What would happen if people were simply free to spend their own money in their own way? Not only would they be rich and happy themselves but it looks as if they would spend more than the official targets! We could never have that now, could we, things proceeding along nicely without a bureaucracy to administer it? Anyway, we all know private spending doesn't work, it isn't really money unless it has been processed through the system, unless the form fillers have said the magic incantation...we're from the government and we're here to help. »
From the Hudson Institute report that he cites:

«While the United States gives the greatest absolute amount of ODA to developing countries, it is routinely criticized for being "stingy" because U.S. Government aid ranks last among donor nations as a percent of Gross National Income (GNI). U.S. official aid is .15 percent of GNI compared to Norway, the highest ranked donor, at .92 percent.

What such criticism ignores, however, is that the measure, developed by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD), fails to take into account the primary way in which Americans help others abroad: through the private sector. "ODA is an outdated and inaccurate way of measuring a country's generosity," says Dr. Adelman, Director of the Center for Science in Public Policy, at the Hudson Institute. "Americans prefer to give people to people assistance versus Europeans who give primarily government to government aid."»

Steve Bell, throwback propaganda artist – part IIX

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Steve Bell, throwback propaganda artist – part VI

Sour Grapes Alert

AP - Paris Mayor Says Blair, Coe 'Crossed Line'

Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoe says British prime minister Tony Blair and London bid leader Sebastian Coe "crossed the line" by criticizing other cities that were vying for the 2012 Olympics.

However, French International Olympic Committee member Jean-Claude Killy said the Paris bid was weakened from the inside and he was "sickened" by the complaints.

Last week, London was awarded the 2012 Games over Paris, Madrid, New York and Moscow.

"They crossed the yellow line with respect to the IOC rules," Delanoe told France-Info radio Monday after a meeting of the Paris city council.

Delanoe did not offer specific accusations, though two consultants for the British bid were critical of the sightlines at the Stade de France, considered a centerpiece of Paris' bid. Under IOC rules, the bid cities are prohibited from criticizing each other.

However, after reviewing the remarks, Paris officials decided not to complain to the IOC ethics commission. The IOC said it wouldn't pursue the matter.

On Saturday, IOC president Jacques Rogge said none of the cities broke rules designed to stamp out corruption in the bidding process.

Paris bidders were reportedly angry that Blair had met with IOC members in his hotel room in Singapore.

"There's nothing wrong with having a conversation with a major politician from a bid city," Rogge said.

Killy pointed to the last-minute loss of Foreign Minister Michel Barnier - who long worked with the Olympics but was replaced following a government change in June.

And he made a veiled suggestion that remarks in 2003 by President Jacques Chirac, who criticized eastern European nations over their support of the United States in its war in Iraq, cost Paris the votes of members from those countries.

Killy, a World Cup, world and Olympic ski champion, said Paris shouldn't "look for pitiful excuses."

"Imagine trying to obtain today the votes of the east. It's really not easy," he said in an implicit reference to Chirac's criticism of Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic for supporting Washington in 2003 ahead of the invasion of Iraq.

Chirac said it was "not very responsible" or "well bred" of them to do so, adding that "I think they missed a good chance to shut up."

He said that Barnier was "one of the best known and most respected French with the IOC" and added that France has no "international sports presence."

Monday, July 11, 2005

From Brazil, More Evidence of the Left's Fight Against the Powerful, For Democracy and Objectivity, Against the Suppression of Free Speech, and…

…For All Voices to Be Counted and Heard (not to mention the struggle against recurrent witchhunts that characterize America and the right so well…)
Bad news from Brazil. The Brazilian newspaper O Globo fired me last Monday. This is not just a personal bad luck, but a political fact
writes Olavo de Carvalho (on Luís Afonso Assumpção's website, in Porto Alegre, no less — bacana!).
According to deputy Roberto Jefferson (the main witness in present investigations about PT corruption), Mr. Jose Dirceu, the former number one man in Lula government and now a very important leader in the House of Representatives, boasted often of having complete hold over O Globo board of directors, owing to the huge debt the company had to state banks.

So my dismissal was not impossible to foresee. I just fancied it would take still some months to come, but the growing tide of attacks against Lula's reputation and the starting of the electoral campaing probably accelerated it.

Hundreds of protestation letters against my dismissal are been sending to O Globo (I have copies of many of them), but none of them was or will be published. Here is the evidence of the deliberated occultation of the facts.

With muy dismissal, Brazilian big media becomes at last the conservative-free ambience it aimed to be

To believe all men honest would be folly; To believe none so is something worse

Today is the birthday of John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), the US president who said
America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.

Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.

Patience and perseverance have a magical affect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.

Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.

Posterity: you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.

To live without having a Cicero and a Tacitus at hand seems to me as if it was aprivation of one of my limbs.
Regarding the anti-Americans' fall-back strategy of across-the-board cynicism when confronted with undeniable evidence that their champions have deep faults (often worse) of their own, the strategy that drops the accusatory and sneering bile to hold forth in a noncommital and ho-hum (and slightly impatient to change the subject) tone of voice that all politicians are equally corrupt and thiefs and liars:
All men profess honesty as long as they can. To believe all men honest would be folly. To believe none so is something worse.

Full of Bile

"A man full of bile is not fit to pronounce on food"
snorted UK food critic Egon Ronay as he accused the French president of being "ill-informed" for his attacks on British cuisine.

If you want to read more about typical French condescension (bile) towards countries that don't fall in line with the dictates of Paris, head to the following BBC report from Kaliningrad (thanks to Gregory), the one in which Jacques Chirac is quoted, as saying (to the laughs of the three main "peace camp" members), regarding the Brits,

"One cannot trust people whose cuisine is so bad"
Understand, now, that the obvious correlation is that people whose food is good — as good as that of the French, say (no controversy regarding la cuisine française, by the way, needless to say) — you can trust (hook, line, and sinker) and you should just fall in line with them, automatically, and follow them in whatever they do and say, no matter what the issue and no matter how close it is to or how removed it is from the subject of nutrition, and those who might be so bold as to voice other ideas on the matter "auraient mieux fait de se taire…"
"The only thing they have ever done for European agriculture is mad cow disease," Mr Chirac said… "After Finland, it is the country with the worst food."
Update from Al Webb:
Hans Valimaki, owner of Helsinki's prestigious restaurant Chez Dominique, recipient of two Michelin stars, hit back at the French. "It is also true that the French are the dirtiest people. They do not buy a lot of soap, and for that, our president will not insult them."

The daily Iltalehti called Mr. Chirac's comments absurd, and "in any case, even the French no longer take him seriously."

Leftists helping Jihad by dislocating reason

Sever Plocker writing in YNet news points out the pointlessness of trying to communicate basic concepts of justice or even self-preservation with a certain special segment of the european population:

«With all due respect, Britain's prime minister got it wrong, as did the analysts who are already pointing their finger not only at the terrorists, but also at President Bush, Israel, "the rich," and the West itself, thus absolving the terrorists of their crime.
Their one and only motive was, and still is, to undermine the basis of the despised Western culture and expose it as weak.

...Sowing destruction for the purpose of sowing destruction.

Therefore, al-Qaeda's terror would not have ended - indeed, it would have only intensified - had the U.S. reacted to terror attacks by removing its forces from Iraq, while Israel withdrew to the Green Line.»
Scott Tiberius Burgess has much much more on the subject. It's easy to dismiss some of opinions he relays from letter-writers to the Guardian and Independant, but bear in mind that there are editors who found the notions so mainstream and, well, NORMAL - that they published them. i suppose all ideas are equally good, like newborns. But it doesn't explain the ones that eventually turn into bank robbers or run vitamin businesses out of their homes.

So while many euro-lefties are singing John Lennon's "Imagine" for the 25th year running like a kid with a knock-knock joke stuck in his head, thet still don't understand why they need to worry about a society needing to save it's skins. They are still looking for any cause other that the obvious one for the trail of terror.
Helpless to actually imagine doing anything about it, it only becomes another subject worthy of their political exploitation - on par with something about child vaccinations and wearing fur. Take for example Tariq Ali's recent statement in light of Michael Moore's gaffe of 12 September, 2001:

«Most Londoners (as the rest of the country) were opposed to the Iraq war. Tragically, they have suffered the blow and paid the price for the re-election of Blair and a continuation of the war.

The real solution lies in immediately ending the occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine.»

«Many families have been devastated tonight. This just is not right. They did not deserve to die. If someone did this to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE for him! Boston, New York, DC, and the planes' destination of California -- these were places that voted AGAINST Bush!»
Indeed. As if self-detonating jihadist could care less about a handful of people far away who aren't against them, and the complicated reasons they might have. They simply don't care what ANY of us think or why - and they want to kill. Leftist, always thinking of themselves, think otherwise.

Pfeh! It's bad enough that the same arguments and refutations were repeated after the Bali Bombings, the Madrid bombings, and now the London bombings.

Nationalist Blinkers: The French reporter inveighed about the rampant Francophobia she had witnessed; the Anglo-Saxons were not able to get a word in

Kindly ponder the meaning of "Plus ça change…" as you read about how "The French media seemed to understand little about what was happening [regarding the Anglo-Saxon country; readers in France] were reading reports of anti-French hysteria, as if the tricolour was being torched from [one coast to the other and as if French] expats were in fear of their lives."
On a cold winter morning in July 1985, I walked into the French embassy in New Zealand to catch up with the news from home.
writes the BBC's Henri Astier (thanks to Gregory).
Someone had blown up a Greenpeace ship in Auckland overnight, killing a photographer.

"The radio ran interviews this morning, and they're all blaming the French!" said a young diplomat.

Opposition to nuclear tests in the Pacific was running high in New Zealand.

As a French teacher doing my national service, I knew many students and had more than once observed their sometimes paranoid ideas.

"There they go again!" I said. "As if France would ever do such a terrible thing."

But one member of our group was not sure. "It would not surprise me all that much," the military attaché said, shaking his head.

The attaché, of course, had no inside knowledge — spies rarely involve diplomats in bomb plots.

He just knew more about our masters' mindset than we youngsters did.

It turned out that the New Zealanders had something to be paranoid about.

By mid-September, after weeks of denial by Paris, a man and a woman arrested in connection with the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior were exposed as French spies. …

Over the next few months, French papers brought us — with their usual lateness — distant echoes of the political storm raging back home.

The communication problems, it seemed, ran the other way as well.

The French media seemed to understand little about what was happening in New Zealand.

We were reading reports of anti-French hysteria, as if the tricolour was being torched from Invercargill to Auckland and expats were in fear of their lives.

When I heard that a prominent reporter was in town, I tracked her down to introduce her to my students to start a dialogue and dispel misunderstandings.

I was desperate to show her that Kiwis were such nice people. Strongly as they felt about government policies, they would never vent their anger on individuals.

I caught up with the reporter and hauled her into my classroom. But the exercise did little good.

She inveighed about the continued detention of Mafart and Prieur and the rampant Francophobia she had witnessed. My mild-mannered students were not able to get a word in.

Not all French reporters, however, wore nationalist blinkers. The involvement of French external security services in the Rainbow Warrior bombing was exposed by journalistic sleuths in Paris.

… unlike his colleague I had met six months earlier, [Jean-Marie Pontaut of L'Express, who did more than any other to break the story,] was listening to New Zealanders — and he was impressed.

… "A terrorism trial would never happen like that in France," Pontaut told me admiringly.

"The government would have controlled the proceedings from A to Z," he said.

Jean-Marie Pontaut learned a lesson in New Zealand. He is not the only French journalist to have felt enlightened by a supremely civilised people.

Steve Bell, throwback propaganda artist part V