Sunday, April 18, 2004

Chirac is "too libidinous..."

American journalist and Paris resident Ted Stanger, author of "Bloody French!", a book explaining American views to French readers, and most recently of "Bloody Americans!", a book that, obviously, explains French views of the US to a French audience, gave an interview to appear in the Sunday edition of Le Parisien and of which the AFP has seen an advance copy:
On the question of whether many Americans view the French as enemies, [Stanger] answers: "It's worse than that: you, the French, have replaced the Soviet, with his teeth of steel, as the villain in the wrestling matches of old." Another question: what of the Democrat John Kerry, president Bush's future rival in the American presidential elections, and for whom the French "feel great affection," according to the newspaper? Answer: "One of his handicaps is being seen in middle America as... French. And that's not a compliment." And Jacques Chirac? "They wouldn't like him in the US: on the one hand, he's too libidinous; on the other, he's too intelligent." Finally, does Ted Stanger believe that the socialist Lionel Jospin will make his return to the French political stage? "The proof that he's been utterly forgotten," says Stanger, "is that he often goes to the US to attend conferences."
Who died and made him Gertrude Stein?

UPDATE: The article has appeared but for some reason it's all lumped together in a single paragraph. And Stanger comes off as rather loopy.
LP: Are the Americans aware of having become the new Satan for the Arab world?

Stanger: The American does not know geography. He is ignorant of foreign languages and the rest of the world. He is therefore incapable of weighing the consequences of the foreign policy of his president. Since September 11, the question Americans — who sincerely believed they were loved the world over — are asking is: why do they hate us? Even in Vietnam, they had the feeling of doing good. George Bush has promised to come to Paris on June 5 and to celebrate June 6 in Normandy, the sixtieth anniversary of the landings... He has made a calculation: the value of the photos showing him on the beaches of Normandy will be infinitely greater than the reports on the anti-Bush demonstrations. And then, at bottom, American opinion feels that our leader has the right to come to France from time to time to receive thanks for what we did together at the time.

LP: The French feel great affection for John Kerry...

Stanger: First, I insist that the cowboy Bush will win. As for Kerry, one of his handicaps is being perceived in middle America as... French. And that's not a compliment. The November election will be determined not by Iraq but by the price of gas at the pump.


LP: What is your view of Jacques Chirac?

Stanger: I love Jacques Chirac. He's a statesman and a very fine politician. However, they wouldn't like him in the US: on the one hand, he's too libidinous; on the other, he's too intelligent. The only one who would succeed with us is Jack Lang because he has understood that a nice smile is worth infinitely more than reforms. [...]

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