Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Paris Liberates Itself

We cannot forget all the women and all the men who sacrificed their lives for freedom. Our freedom.
To no one's surprise, the French communist party's daily newspaper fronts an article on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Paris, in which the words "American", British", and "allied" (or their derivatives) are not mentioned once. L'Humanité's director in person, Patrick Le Hyaric, steps up to pen the piece singing the praises of the women and the men "who sacrificed their lives for freedom. Our freedom."
Sixty years ago, a major page in the history of France was being written. The people of Paris liberated France's capital.
Follows an account of the capital's liberation as a product of communist-style street demonstrations (including the CGT railroad workers' "great heroic strike" of August 10 which "paralyze[d] the enemy forces"). It gets better yet. It turns out that that era's resistants were the forerunners to today's anti-globalization protestors!
The liberation of Paris gave an extraordinary inspiration to the hope for a world of peace, justice, and solidarity. …

The lessons are topical. Indeed, what triumphed were the noble ideals of the Republic, liberty, fraternity, democracy. A certain view of the free human being, refusing to submit, an actor of popular sovereignty.

(Note: Does Patrick Le Hyaric have any idea as to what "popular sovereignty" stands for in the context of 1850s politics in America? Never mind.)

The list of what triumphed over the Nazis in August 1944 goes on and on until we learn that it includes "the creation of public sectors, of social security, of the statutes of the civil service, the relaunching of public education". The writer links this to the current state of French hospitals and the privatization of government sectors, and he manages to rant against the European constitution.

"Dominating powers", war-mongering "dark forces", and "barbarity" are also mentioned, not in the context of the Germans or the Nazis, however, but of modern-day free trade "ultracapitalists".

And again, nowhere a mention of America, Britain, or the United Nations (as the allies were then called), or of Roosevelt, Churchill, Eisenhower, or Montgomery.

We cannot forget all the women and all the men who sacrificed their lives for freedom. Our freedom.

Non, it's not only the communists

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