Saturday, April 07, 2007

Just a Spoonful of Sugar...

...makes the hatefulness go down...

Let's face it: even the most confident and stylish among us knows that some considerable proportion of French people we encounter are sizing us up by sizing us up. Other countries produce fat people too, but the association of America with obesity is not only — and unfortunately — statistically a truism but an image of which the French media just can't get enough. It's hard to find a story about French obesity rates in the French press that doesn't at some point raise the frightening possibility of French people looking one day like: Americans.
Speaking of going down, (or not), I always knew Le Pen was a wanker. Oh – sorry. That’s that extra special sooper-dooper quirky and sophisticates of politics that no-one’s ever allowed to criticize. I don’t know about you, but I start getting a little edgy when I hear any kind of European use the word “genetics,” especially the fat ones.

From Les 4 Vérités

Guy Milliere- Wednesday March 28, 2007

The whole of the French media did not fail to mention that four years have passed since the American decision to intervene militarily in Iraq.

The comments, of course, spoke (as ever) of it as a “quagmire”, to list of the attacks, note the number of dead which “does not cease growing”. It was added that George Bush, very “insulated”, still required “a little time” before withdrawing the troops. It was said that the Americans are “increasingly isolated”. The current political topic is dominated by discussing the greater “wisdom” of the decision of Chirac during his second term was his opposition to the war.

In the countries where information is free, that’s all that’s said even if a few scrupulous journalists hint at refuting it. In France, it is particularly difficult to do as much of that, and I often think that if I didn’t write about it from time to time there would be near or total silence.

The reasons I don’t remain silent are varied, but can be summarized in two points. First of all, although I don’t want to invite insults or be boycotted, I learned from my mentors that professional work requires scrupulousness courage. Then, I then notice that the lie, even by omission is not something I can resist opposing. It’s in my nature.

Given that I have to note:

a) There are difficulties “achieving peace” but the initial objectives of the war were achieved long ago. Iraq is no longer a base for terrorism and took considerable steps towards freedom, with all due respect to leftists, along with the gaullists, islamist and the French extreme-right.

b) Since the change of strategy implemented by the General Petraeus considerable progress has been made in security, so much so that Robert Kagan, writing in the Washington Post wondered if those who hoped for the worse might soon have to face their own attitudes. According to Kagan, to win from now on is a question of months.
c) It was long known that the alternative to the liberation of Iraq had been continuing the intolerable sanctions, mass graves, and corruptions which were impossible to lift except through war, which while allowing Iraq to become unruly again. It’s also well known that the Chirac’s “wise decision” had entirely to do with that corruptions and fear.

D) We are in a global war declared on the free world by radical Islam. The beginning of this war (which goes beyond Iraq), is much older. Some say it began with the first attack on the Twin Towers in 1993, others date it to Khomeini’s seizure of power in 1979.

This war will mark the 20th century. If (what I do not dare to imagine), it was not to show the victory of freedom, that would mean the end of civilization in which we let us live.
The American leaders distinguish it, just like the most enlightened thinkers of the Moslem regions. The American left, in prey with the phantasms come from the time of Vietnam, does not distinguish anything. The left, the gaullists and the extreme-right-hand side in Europe do not distinguish anything either, hide their contempt for the Arab populations behind weak remarks, dissimulate their cowardice behind the illusion which the appeasing can function, and prepare, in fact, consciously or not, a total tender with the radical Islam which they seem to find preferable with a victory of a free world led by the United States.

As an economist and a liberal geopolitical observer, I regard it as an honor to be insulted in the same terms by the descendants of Pétain, Mussolini and Chamberlain and by the distances disciples of Marx and Lenin. I leave all and sundry to their mental indigence. I carry on. And by doing this I wish good luck to the American armies of liberation, the free Iraqis who still face the test, and with all the friends of freedom and clarity on earth.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Football Factory

Boys will be Boyz.

Animal Europe

Gang muggings and beatings during 2006 Paris student protest

Don't ever let the French forget to what point they are an animal society.

Our Gallant and Intrepid Media

Ah, yes, the media's fair and balanced coverage of The Eagles vs The Idiots
writes Valerie.
Happens here too unfortunately. In a pouring deluge we went to a support the troops rally. Amazing thunderstorm. Hundreds of pro-troop/Bush supporters turned out. Folks from all walks and stripes of life. There were Kurds and Iraqis there too. Just wonderful. And across the very broad street? Twelve bedraggled, woe-begone looking losers who had come to "shout you down!" Their exact words.

Guess which side of the street the media covered?

But that IS their History

André Glucksmann points out how action can speak for themselves:

The protagonists of this shady entanglement include not only heads of the military industrial complex (like Gergorin, who worked at Lagardere, EADS, Airbus and Ariane), top figures at the foreign ministry (Villepin) and secret service spies (General Rondot), they also include members of the government's geopolitical think-tank CAP, which works out diplomatic and strategic initiatives of the Elysee, for example France's "Arab" and "African" policies, and its support for Milosevic and Saddam Hussein in their heydays. This heterogeneous black cabinet which prefers to avoid publications and media attention, quietly gathers together post-communist intellectuals and post-Gaullist elite-bureaucrats under the banner of a respectable anti-Americanism, open to both left-wing anti-imperialists and right-wing sovereigntists: Regis Debray and Emmanuel Todd are esteemed advisers.

This endearing family presides - without either undue modesty or parliamentary control - over the worldly destinies of France. A country with a mere hundredth of the world's inhabitants has worked its way up to be the planet's third-biggest arms dealer. Cock-a-doodle-doo! In a demonstration of "soft power" and universal moral sovereignty, Dominique de Villepin's famous speech at the UN in 2003 revealed to the four billion people of the world, in Jacques Chirac's words, that France was still France. The Paris-Moscow axis pursues its objectives to the detriment of Europe of the 25; arms and patents are delivered to China to the detriment of the Atlantic Alliance: all this raises our camarilla far above the classic, measured anti-Americanism from De Gaulle to Mitterrand which in times of danger (be it the Cuba Crisis or the question of the Russian SS20 missiles) always came home to the fold of Euro-American democracies. Today, all of that is history. Down with "hyper power"!

Translation of Erik’s post: « Il n'y a pas de médias qui traitent l'information correctement sur les Etats-Unis »

From ¡No Pasarán!: Il n'y a pas de médias qui traitent l'information correctement sur les Etats-Unis : “None of the Media [in France] Describes Anything About America Accurately”

So said Nicolas Lecaussin to France-Etats-Unis's Carine Martinez.

Don’t forget that we are the only country to have published a review devoted entirely to anti-Americanism called Empire. Another example is a publication handed out for free in the subway called “Practical Voyage”, which is supposed to give travel advice. The lead article was an anti-American item about the biometric passports there by blaming Americans for not wanting to give us to get passports to go over there when everyone knows the passports were held up by the national printing trade unions which refused to lose their monopoly on of printing passports.
None of the media describes anything about America accurately. Two months ago in Le Figaro an article compared Guantanamo to a Gulag. It is an insult to the victims of the Gulags, if one had compared it to Auschwitz, I think that it would be an insult to its’ victims.
The Gulag was an extermination and concentration camp, where million of people died by being exterminated, massacred, from hunger, and cold in the depths of Siberia. When one sees an article in Le Figaro making this comparison, one can only wonder just how dishonesty of our journalists are.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Il n'y a pas de médias qui traitent l'information correctement sur les Etats-Unis

Il n'y a pas de médias pro-américains [en France,]
Nicolas Lecaussin tells France-Etats-Unis's Carine Martinez.
Il ne faut pas oublier que nous sommes le seul pays à avoir publié une revue consacrée uniquement à l'anti-américanisme, Empire. Un autre exemple, je trouve une revue distribuée gratuitement dans le métro, qui s'appelle "Voyage Pratique", qui est censée donner des conseils sur le voyage, et j'y trouve un éditorial anti-américain à propos des passeports biométriques en accusant les Américains de ne pas vouloir nous donner des passeports pour aller là-bas alors que c'est la faute, tout le monde le sait, des syndicats de l'imprimerie nationale qui ont refusé de perdre le monopole pour la délivrance de ces passeports. Il n'y a pas de médias qui traitent l'information correctement sur les Etats-Unis. Il y a deux mois, j'ai vu dans le Figaro un article qui comparait Guantanamo à un goulag. C'est une insulte aux victimes du goulag, c'est comme si on l'avait comparé à Auschwitz, je pense que ce serait une insulte aux victimes d'Auschwitz. Le goulag était un camp de concentration et d'extermination, où des millions de personnes sont mortes exterminées, massacrées, mortes de faim, de froid au fond de la Sibérie. Quand on voit un article du Figaro faire cette comparaison, on peut se demander quel est le degré d'honnêteté de nos journalistes.

Their Last Remaining Clue has Already PCS’ed

In Europe, reality is always away on TDY:

The Air Force and Navy, in an undeclared competition to use the first Rafale against the Taleban, are deploying the new French multi-role fighter at the same time, with its new ground attack capability (F2 standard.) Having left France last week, three Air Force Rafales have been based in Tajikistan since Monday [12 March]. They were due to make their first flight yesterday. Three more have joined the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle via Djibouti.

This deployment is something of an event for both forces. It is indeed the Rafale's real baptism of fire, since these aircraft will be used in ground attack missions, whereas hitherto they have been used only for surveillance over Afghanistan. "At the operational level, the aircraft's multi-role capability permits a leap forward," Air Force Chief General Stephane Abrial explained.
So, I guess that as long as there’s a product coming to market to demonstrate, use of aerial bombing is perfectly okay.

To deploy the new fighter in Afghanistan it was necessary to pursue a crash programme, since the possibility of delivering laser-guided bombs was not initially envisaged.
In other words, they could only have been envisioning the indiscriminate use of unguided gravity weapons when they designed this thing to support ground operations. This brings us to the delusional, slanderous scribble of the day:

It is not the beginning of a withdrawal, but just seems like one. The French contingent in Cote d'Ivoire is to be reduced by 500 men during the coming weeks, from some 3,000 troops to 3,000
[figures as received].
Maybe they were breeding while they were there.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

In Bed With Evil

Fret all you like.

The status quo is based on an EU policy paper dating back to 1996 which says that "the objective of the EU in its relations with Cuba is to encourage a process of transition to pluralist democracy and respect for human rights" but despite its tough wording the old EU model has done little to strengthen pro-democracy opposition groups.
But since 1996 the best they’ve managed is to attempt to conceal from view engagement endeavors with the Cubans using EU and member state monies and private arranged efforts. Imprisoning dissidents? Don’t ask, don’t tell!
But Spain, supported by Greece and Cyprus, wants Berlin to shelve the new EU paper despite its softly-softly approach. Madrid says any EU policy shift in mid-2007 could damage prospects of a "new era" in Cuba-EU relations, with the opening created by the fragile health of 80-year old leader Fidel Castro and upcoming elections in March 2008.
Aside from the wishful thinking that an election in Cuba could matter, one has to point out the obvious – even a “softly-softly” approach to the advancement of human freedom and the alleviation of poverty and misery is more than the ideologues in Madrid can bear. Quite simply, without a veneer of fake radicalism, it’s inadequate.

Alas, off in the distance, can’t one hear the thundering clamor for a “human rights Europe”?
"The visit of the Spanish minister of foreign affairs to Cuba is driven by bilateral economic interests," People in Need analyst Kristina Prunerova said, predicting that Mr Moratinos will not meet any real dissidents on the trip but that Havana might release a handful of political prisoners to help Madrid "sell" its policy back in Brussels.
Or is that the desperate sound of begging?

Forcing the other side to shut up is the goal of the movement

The chicken-hawk argument stacks the deck in favor of the antiwar movement because it permits only veterans and those currently serving to disagree with them
writes OIF veteran Benjamin Duffy as he compares presidents present and past.
Military service is a prerequisite for supporting the war effort, whereas absolutely anyone can oppose it. If you have no military service, you can either agree with them or you can shut up. Forcing the other side to shut up is, in fact, the goal of the movement.

…It is the knee-jerk reaction of the Left to bat away real arguments with the stale response of "why don't you go enlist." It systematically disqualifies most of the population from holding a particular point-of-view, and essentially shames them into silence. I don't have to worry about the chicken-hawk argument, because I almost always have more honorable military service than the person commanding me to "go enlist." Other people, however, should be free to support the war effort, whether or not they have actually served.
Read also:
Shape Up, Shut Up, or Ship Out
Dissecting the Chickenhawk Charge: The accusation is less an argument than an insult; it's also a form of bullying and it rejects the Constitution
If your house is being broken into or is on fire

Update I (thanks to trainer):

Update II: • America Victorious in Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq
An Armed Liberal Asks the Iraqi People About U.S. Withdrawal

When in Doubt, Start “Diebolding”

Maybe they think the machines will read their minds and suck out their souls. They also seem somewhat convinced of their own overraught accusations of others:

But with election day less than three weeks away, opposition to the electronic voting machines has grown, in part because a small percentage of them are made by the same American company whose machines were involved in a bitterly disputed Congressional election in Florida last November.
These machines... you know that their don’t just count votes, they, they, know the ideology of some electrons, and not others... and their cosmic rays are poisoning us!

Behold the NYT’s “frightened” looking French voters
“We have doubts about the reliability of these machines,” Gilles Savary, a spokesman for Ségolène Royal, the Socialist Party candidate, said in an interview. “I don’t want to lecture America. But we don’t want France to fall into the same Kafkaesque balloting as happened in the United States.”
Bullshit. When have the likes of this guy NOT lectured America? The only thing that was Kafkaesque about it to leftists was that they lost, and like 2000 and 2004 were caught stuffing ballot boxes, and then accused others of stealing elections.

Does America's Electoral-Vote System Reflect a Lack of Democracy, Something That Is Better Provided For By European-Type Popular Voting?

The post in the paragraphs below originally appeared in August 2004. Because of news from Arkansas, it is being reprinted today…

This October [2004], French periodicals will again be ringing with protests that America is a "false democracy" and with clamors to the effect that the only wise course would be to scrap America's outdated electoral-vote system in the presidential election in favor of a popular-vote system.

In that case, a newspaper would do well to publish a translation of George Will's Newsweek article. But… don't bet on it.

(Thanks to the Ashbrook Center)

(Read also Paul Greenberg's point of view
[Merci à Gregory Schreiber])

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Kiss His Puckered Starfish, Get Gas

It’s all about oil. Again.

Simple Minds


Tête de lopette

Pouêt pouêt.

It's All America's Fault

How was Airbus allowed to get in the mess it did? The threat of the lurking Americans was used a uniter. Because when you evoke the/an American bogeyman (Boeing, in this case), everybody shuts up and unites (while keeping their eyes — conveniently — shut). Airbus got good press, all its rosy declarations were believed, the champion of Europe brought hope and ecstatic pronouncements from all (from citizens to rosy-eyed reporters), and, then suddenly, when the whole edifice crashed, there was little choice but to open one's eyes. (I say "little" choice instead of "no" choice, because you may remember — and this (unfortunately) is the main lesson here — the number of Frenchmen in our comments section who leaped to the defense of the company and its thieving executives.)

In France, (un)covering the Total scandal is all about (or mainly about) dressing the portrait of the treacherous, lying, devious Americans. (And the people are nothing if not eager to buy an umpteenth time this (self-serving) story about the American bogeymen and their numerous plots.)

Incidentally: note that Jean-Michel Bezat grants two entire paragraphs to arguments (sic) supporting French officials' position (as well as a — self-serving — government report warning about the …American bogeyman and the attending plots!).
Dans un rapport intitulé Stratégies de désinformation des médias américains à l'égard des entreprises européennes, la délégation aux affaires stratégiques (DAS) du ministère de la défense recense les attaques avant et après le veto de Paris à la guerre en Irak et décrit les liens entre l'administration Bush, les think tanks néo ou ultra-conservateurs et les médias américains.

Le document note que les groupes français restent dans le collimateur, même si le French bashing ("casser du Français") est moins hystérique qu'en 2003 et 2004. "La création au Pentagone, en mars 2006, d'un "Iranian Directorate" constitue une claire menace pour les entreprises françaises ou européennes ayant des projets/activités avec l'Iran, comme Technip/Cryostar, Total ou BNP Paribas", prévient le rapport.
There are several things that the French forget; left untouched, for starters, is France's own anti-Americanism (or America-bashing) and whether it should rightfully be described as hysterical (oh que oui, and this very article serves as a perfect illustration thereof). Nor do the Americans get the benefit of the argument (in reverse) that anti-Americanism (or -bashing) is not such albeit only (understandable) anger because of Washington's policies and who is in the White House (the counter-argument, in this case, might be, hysteria and French-bashing (as far as those are the correct terms) are understandable because of Chirac and Villepin's policies opposing the Iraq war).

So, at this point, the question begs: should we be diplomatic and conclude that France's America-bashing and America's French-bashing, hysterical or otherwise, are at best equivalent and both actors are equally to blame? No. As I have argued before, there is a difference between a country that takes action and one that remains passive. In America's case, Bush (and Blair) — rightfully or wrongfully — took risks. George W Bush put his politics at risk, he put his popularity at risk, he put his presidency at risk, he put his party at risk, he put his country at risk, and most importantly, he took decisions that put the lives of his soldiers at risk. In France's case, it did nothing — nothing being lauded as courageous by one French citizen after another ("au moins Chirac a eu les couilles d'opposer Bush"). That was its policies (or lack thereof) — all the while bringing opprobrium on America and its foreign minister going out of his way to get the most autocratic countries to oppose Washington in this riskful undertaking. Trust me, America's anger was anything but hysterical.

The Great Glogal Warmering Swarndle

One can't say it often enough.

Up Yours, Europe

Go fly a kite! (Oh, and by the way, the Kyoto lesson-givers are far from implementing their own lessons, anyway…)

More on John Howard here…

Medievalism is the New Black

Andrei Markovits, writing in the Huffington Post (of all places) notes:

As I argue in my recently published book, Uncouth Nation: Why Europe Dislikes America, anti-Americanism precedes the misdeeds of the Bush administration and will remain largely intact even when - God willing - we will see this eight-year-long nightmare end on January 20, 2009 with the inauguration of a Democrat as our new president. Anti-Americanism has become a welcome currency in Europe and for Europeans.
Even to the mature ones who can’t seem to countenance conservatives find decades of demeaning anti-American propaganda in evidence. Nonetheless an entirely typical witch-burning peasant of the new, deeply superstitious progressives pops up like Dr. Strangelove’s arm:
It may be because GW Bush has murdered half a million people.
Attributing it in the only way they know how, to ill humors spread somehow with a time machine from 2007 to 1968.

Wow. Impressive.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Freedom: Not In Their Name

Amir Taheri:

Iraq's parties of the Left were shocked when the new Socialist government in Spain decided to withdraw from the U.S.-led coalition in 2004. "We had hoped that with a party of the Left in power in Madrid we would get more support against the Islamofascists, not a withdrawal," says Aziz al-Haj, the veteran Iraqi communist leader.
Elsewhere, on leftists being unable to conceal their hatred of civilization, one can easilt see that
While Chomsky and Moore see the United States as "an evil power," many leftists in the Middle East see it as a force for good that ended the tyranny of the Taliban in Afghanistan, dismantled the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and forced the Syrians out of Lebanon after 30 years of occupation.

"In our region, the United States has become a force for the good," says Jumblatt, who recently met President Bush at the White House for a surprise meeting.

Nostalgia Department

Rememberin' the good ol' days at the ("shameful-stain-on-America- needs-to-be-closed-down") camp of Guantánamo Bay

Watch out! Behind you! Duck!

Check out the pair of duellists in Club-Internet's funky new ad

Considering the side that kills the most has the easier path of victory, how can Democrats saying we're losing without telling us what the score is?!

"I'm not going to say, 'I support the troops'", says Bob Parks (gracias para Cubanology).
The word 'troops' is impersonal and political. You have names, and you chose a branch. I support the men and women of the United State armed forces — army, navy, air force, and marines.
In a 10-minute speech directed at service members in Iraq, a veteran of the USS Midway (aka the USS Neverdock) takes on "pantsy-ass politicians" and "a memory-challenged media".
The liberals in this country routinely tell us how may of you have died serving your country. … Will anybody in the media please tell me, how many of the enemy you have killed? … As the object of most wars is to win, and the easy way of judging success is in the body count of our enemy, why haven't we heard this number? Are we even going to? Considering the side that kills the most has the easier path of victory, how can Democrats saying we're losing without telling us what the score is?! Are you really losing? How many times have you had to retreat during a battle? Why are we being told at home that you are not able to get the job done?

…people who think so less of you and your potential … want to bring you home like some little kid picked on by the school bully. The only difference here is that today's school bully will leave a bomb in your house if he's not left in the school yard with a bloody nose. … Many who went to work on September 11, 2001, sure as hell felt safe that morning.

…many [in the West] … want you dead. Should you die, they can point their fingers in all of our faces and tell us, they were right. It's all about them. I know that's harsh and I'll tick off those anti-war types (like they have it bad) … some pantsy-ass politicians … want no part of victory. Should every one of you come home in a flag-draped coffin, they will declare it a victory. If you are victorious, they will be forever stained…

Those who use you for their own political gain are below the elements that make up dirt. … I believe President Bush when he sent you to find [the weapons of mass destruction]. It is a shame that while the UN, distracted by Germany, France, and Russia, stalled in enforcing one of the more than a dozen resolutions, the dearly departed Saddam Hussein probably hid those weapons in Syria. It would seem Saddam knew how to play our liberals…

"Europe has failed us in the Iran crisis"

This whole encounter is an excellent illustration of why Eastern European countries continue to look towards the hard power of the US and not towards the Franco-German led soft power thingy otherwise known as the EU. The EU will always leave its members and/or allies out to dry when reality comes barging into their little fantasy land.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

"I was sitting there and I thought, 'why the hell is nobody in Europe realizing what is going on!'"

Which step comes after denial? Joschka Fischer has the answer:

Relating a recent incident where a former Indian foreign minister came to lecture at Princeton and said that the 21st century will see three superpowers – India, China and the US – Mr. Fischer said "I was sitting there and I thought, 'why the hell is nobody in Europe realizing what is going on!'"
Welcome to their world – one where their own population and press are so dissembled that they can’t figure out what’s fishy about state mandated Molotov cocktails.

The Golden Age of Dada

“Work, but at what price” is the topic on today’s Ripostes on the deeply irresponsible France 5. Adding to the cluelessness of this display of stupidity is that the guests are all selling books on the subject, when they know full well that property is theft!

How to develop a personal identity without working? Is all better than unemployment? The government announced loudly that unemployment fell to 8,4%, but does one have to take these figures seriously?

In truth, does one really have to do away with the 35 hour workweek, and reform the fair labor standards act to put France’s hourly workweek on par with the rest of the world? Or does one rather have to further protect the workers in their guarantees as the CGT proposes to have a social security for the job?

Other questions: is it necessary to set wages so that work pays more than being unemployed? How do you employ the greatest number of people without the anguish of terrible competition, and not devouring us with stress or even suicides which occur one per day at work?
Old Serge should open the show by welcoming the other 99% of humanity to the hall of mirrors.

Of course all the other channels in a culture which, no better than the most backward corner of Absurdistan is still dominated by state-run output. As such what better way could you find to blot the violent domestic gang warfare out of the public’s mind than to barely report it, and toss up a penetrating investigation of the violent gangs in... California!