|Going postal||Comme une lettre à la poste|
|Bush tells Armstrong how to handle the French: 'Stick it in and break it off.'
||Bush dit à Armstrong comment pratiquer les franchouilles: 'Enfonce-le bien et casse-le net.'
|UPDATE: It's stuck in. Lance will break it off in the Alps.
||DERNIERES INFOS: C'est enfoncé bien profond. Lance le cassera net dans les Alpes.
|UPDATE: Interviewed on French State TV France2 (propagandists of the State Party Line©®) about charges of doping, Lance Armstrong responded 'I don't care. I want to reach the Champs-Elysées with the Yellow Jersey, and then it's good-bye France.'
||DERNIERES INFOS: Interviewé à la télé de l'Etat France2 (pamphlétaires de la |
Saturday, July 17, 2004
|Harder, better, faster, stronger|
|Kill faster. Total war.||Tuer plus vite. Guerre totale.|
|'... the meaning of a civilisation is now measured less by the quantity of its victims than by the quality of its executioners.'
||'... le sens d'une civilisation se mesurait désormais beaucoup moins à la quantité de ses victimes qu'à la qualité de ses tueurs.'
|Raymond Abellio, La Fosse de Babel
|Ctrl-Alt-Del. Good metaphor for the Ripoublika Franska.||Ctrl-Alt-Suppr. Belle métaphore pour la Ripoublika Franska.|
|Good example of French technical excellence in today's ||Bel exemple d'excellence technique franchouille vu dans |
Friday, July 16, 2004
|The road to Morocco||Il appelle affectueusement sa tasspé de Sarcelles 'sa petite alerte à Marrakech'|
|While sheep-like collaborating Zeropeans accuse Israel of being their biggest threat (Eric of the Eric and Razmy duo, just one more anti-Semitic French gagman, was on TV calling Ariel Sharon the biggest terrorist in the world), a judge in Spain reminds his adle-brained fellow European citizens that Zeropa's biggest threat is an Arab country just a boat ride away. Don't say it too loud though. Might get the natives upset. You know how they have a hair trigger bomb-belt like temper.
||Pendant que les zéropéens collaborateurs au comportement moutonnier montrent du doigt l'Etat d'Israël en le taxant d'être leur plus grande menace (Eric de Eric et Ramzy, un comique franchouille antisémite de plus, était à la téloche pour traiter Ariel Sharon de plus grand terroriste au monde), un juge espagnol rappelle à ses con-(très con)-citoyens européens que la plus grande menace pour la Zéropa est un pays arabe d'où partent de nombreux embarquements de fortune. Ne le dites pas à voix haute pourtant. Ça pourrait offusquer les indigènes. Ils ont la gachette fastoche sur la ceinture d'explosifs.
Thursday, July 15, 2004
|Where the Wild Things Are||Au régal des vermines|
|Against a background of anti-Semitic graffiti like 'Fuck the Jews', French youth express their indignation to a reporter from ||Sur fond de tags antisémites style 'Nique les juifs', de chères têtes blondes franchouilles expriment leur indignation à un journaliste chez |
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
|Up your ziggy with a wawa brush||Fais-toi ramoner l'entrée des artistes avec une brosse à chiottes|
|Isn't 'cocksucking liberal media' hate speech in these parts? Too bad.
||L'expression 'média gôchiste suceur de bites' ne constitue-elle pas un discours haineux par ici? Tant pis.
|The kids are alright||Des guns, des keufs, des histoires de caillera --- mais comment veux-tu faire kiffer les tera?|
"Le Monde...a commis une faute. Nous en devons excuses aux jeunes des cités issus de l'immigration maghrébine ou africaine, stigmatisés à tort. Nous en devons aussi excuses à nos lecteurs qui peuvent à bon droit nous reprocher de ne pas avoir suffisamment fait place au doute."
--Le Monde's mea culpa, following its reporting of the fabricated, anti-Semitic attack on a Paris subway.
I think it's worth returning to the original question: Has the money that has flowed and the history that has passed between the House of Bush and the House of Saud affected the course of American politics to the detriment of the American people? I think we both agree that the administration has made some major missteps. But I don't think the evidence stacks up that it's because of a personal relationship between the families. …
Before 9/11, did Bush pursue such a different policy toward Saudi Arabia than Clinton did? Clinton's relationship with Saudi Arabia around terrorism was relatively cordial, much to the chagrin of those in Clarke's shop. Clarke was pushing Clinton to come down harder on terrorist financing, but Clinton worried that if he did, it would have a significant and possibly unrecoverable negative effect on the global economy, and so he chose not to pursue the advice of Clarke on that one. There's no evidence that the Clinton folks were coming down hard on the Saudis and then Bush suddenly changed course. The Clinton folks, by the end, were much more concerned with terrorism than the Bush team was at the beginning of their tenure, but for reasons addressed earlier, it has less to do with money and ties than Cold War blinders.
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
…with a flick of a hand, Chirac dismisses [Afghan president] Karzai — and, of course, the U.S.writes Charles Krauthammer in the Time Magazine article Why the French Act Isn't Funny Anymore.
Before Sept. 11, France's Gaullist anti-Americanism as a form of ostentatious self-aggrandizement was an irritant. With a war on — three, in fact: Afghanistan, Iraq and the larger war on terrorism — France's willful obstructionism becomes dangerous and deadly. …
Why then is Chirac making things as difficult as he can for the U.S.?
It is not just pique. It is not just antipathy to George Bush. And it is not just France's traditional and reflexive policy of trying to rein in, cut down and domesticate the world's greatest superpower so that ultimately secondary powers like France could emerge as leaders of a multipolar world.
There is something far deeper going on here…
(Merci à Tom P)
France Again Displays Its Unequalled Humility, Reasonableness, and In-Depth Understanding of World Affairs
Pascale Boniface [sic: the first name is Pascal], director of the Institute for International and Strategic Relations in Paris, said renewing ties with France would help the new Iraqi government establish its legitimacy.Should Belgium show that it is not subservient to France? Non. Should Paris have shown that it was not subservient to Saddam Hussein? Non. Did Saddam ever have to prove that he was the genuine representative of the Iraqi people? Not at all, do not be ridicules! But the new Iraqi government must show France that it (the Baghdad government) is not subservient to Uncle Sam!
"Iraq has to show that it is not locked into a subservience to the United States," Mr. Boniface said.
Good for you, France, what would we do without you? You proved it again: La France veille!
The European Commission has taken square aim at a pillar of the French "cultural exception," asking the government to change rules that ban television advertising of films and books.
Paris maintains that the ban aids the endangered newspaper industry by channeling ad sales its way and encourages media diversity by helping French films and books survive amid bigger-budget (that is, American) competition. The commission disagreed with that justification.
"By impeding operators in other member states from advertising and using a very efficient means of promotion to enter the French market, the measure deprives French consumers of a wider choice of European cultural goods," the commission said in a statement. The commission has been aggressively pushing ways to create a more unified market for goods and services across a newly enlarged European Union.
…Under pressure from the commission, France has already had to lift a ban on television advertising by retailers, which was intended to protect small shops against hypermarket operators like Carrefour. The French television ad bans are unusual, though Germany, like France, has long had restrictions on discounting of books, for instance, in an effort to protect small publishers and booksellers.
…Film is another matter [than the book market. The TBWA's Jean-Pierre Rousset] estimated that movie distributors might spend as much as E50 million, or $62 million, a year to promote their films in France. A sizable portion of this might be new spending from Hollywood studios or the larger French distributors, who have been forced to rely mostly on newspapers, billboards and radio until now.
"In the end, it's a lost fight," he said of efforts to keep the ban in place. "It's much better to find other ways to discover new talent." In addition to banning television ads for movies, France encourages local film production with the largest public subsidies of any European country. It has been relatively successful in its effort to foster the development of the domestic film industry.
In 2002, 35 percent of French box office sales stemmed from domestically produced films, the highest percentage in Europe …Thus, independent producers argue that ending the advertising ban would put them at a severe disadvantage.
…It is not all bad news, however. The government has also been weighing allowing French television channels to run more advertisements. Advertising time has been strictly limited, particularly on publicly financed channels like France 2. Because broadcasters are required to give a portion of their revenue to finance cinema and television production, increased ad sales could create a bigger pool of money.
…since May 11, Paris Live Radio has been reaching what it says is 30,000 daily listeners, albeit by nontraditional signal paths: cable TV and satellite radio channels and streaming over the Internet via www.parislive.net. PLR is also participating in the testing phase for fledgling digital radio in France. …
Judging by the experience of Paris Live Radio, … it looks as if the only reason no one had started an English station before is that no one had tried. … The absence of an English-language radio station surprised [Renzie Duncan when the Australian expatriate] first stayed in Paris, in the mid-'90s.
…for now, those among Paris's 200,000-plus anglophone expatriate community who can tune to one of Paris Live Radio's signals find a menu of brief on-the-hour news updates, information as diverse as local events, language and cultural tips and the major component, pop music. On that score, the station must meet the same legal requirement as any music station in France: a minimum of 40 percent French artists.
Tomorrow is Bastille Day, and if France still represents some kind of universal message, it is having a miserable time matching the dim wattage of its current beacon with that of its luminescent past.
If this were a country with a more circumscribed self-description of its own worth to humanity, a cheery Denmark, or an exuberant but problematic Brazil, nothing horribly cosmic might be made of France's current corrosive reality of anti-Arab racism, hundreds of no-go communities penetrated by Islamic fundamentalism, or anti-Semitism that has gotten out of hand. But France defines itself, with historical legitimacy going back to July 14, 1789, as a vector of values for everyone, a universal proposition of intelligence and reason, offering assimilation for seekers of citizenship or psychic belonging for admirers of its good sense. Skipping over the pretense of grandeur, a serious argument could be made that alongside America's more pragmatic projection as the world's indispensable power, France kept in the game through the postwar years as a worthy adjunct, committed to freedom, human rights and fairness in its own brilliantly self-interested way.
These days, both the Republic's notion of itself as an inspirational force and example, and the affection of some of its friends — "To live like God in France," goes a German phrase describing a universal ambition for the good life — are hard put by events.
Last week, a sociologist, Pierre-André Taguieff, director of research at the state-sponsored National Center for Scientific Research, talking in an interview for a series of articles in Le Figaro called "What it is to be French today," described racism here as so lethal now that the French live in a fractured republic that no longer merits the label "one and indivisible."
After all, the day before, the government's internal intelligence service, les Renseignements Généraux, furnished the corroborative details, reporting that 300 "troubled neighborhoods" nationwide, grouping about 1.8 million residents, had become communities "in retreat." Decoded, this meant that a substantial part of the country's Arab population of five to seven million live in areas submerged in separatist-like situations involving what the Renseignements Généraux indicated were Islamic fundamentalist preachers, contempt for France and the West, anti-Semitism, and violence. Le Monde described the Renseignements Généraux's analysts as deeply pessimistic about circumstances they called "difficult to halt." Acknowledging the substantial failure of a system of assimilation which stops with brotherhood and equality in word only, this went to the heart of the notion of a universal French beacon. In terms of reality, verbal theory had never coincided with equal opportunity for France's Arabs or what the French-Arab community considers it merits in terms of respect from the state or the French themselves.
It is this jagged gap in France's relationship with Arab immigrants at home, paradoxically exacerbated by a continuous French message of pro-Arab sentiment to the Middle East, that appears to be a central element in deflecting the French-Arab community's anger toward French Jews.
Beyond attacks by Arab youths on Jews … and what Taguieff says is a demonization of Israel in France, the sociologist indentifies the presence of a new "judeophobia" here. While Taguieff says this is not the policy of the state, he believes it has entered the tissue of national life with the French "majority looking on as indifferent or complaisant spectators."
Running after events, but getting consciously ahead of the self-celebratory aspects of Bastille Day, Jacques Chirac, certainly no racist or anti-Semite, for the second time in a year pledged last week to put a stop to the problem. Unlike Taguieff, he insisted "the nation" shared the victims' pain. But Chirac offered no names, no responsible parties, just confirmation of a disgraceful but, in his formulation, near-virtual situation in which la France Universelle remained essentially blameless. In the same manner that Charles de Gaulle considered the Nazi collaborationist Vichy government illegitimate, and its crimes not those of France, specific official acknowledgment of discrimination in France against its Arabs, or that the hoodlums attacking Jews essentially come from the French Arab community, appeared too much in conflict with France's universalist aspirations to get spelled out by Chirac.
"In trying at any price to avoid stigmatizing certain segments of the French population," Taguieff explained, "we don't dare anymore to call anything by its right name or to describe it unequivocally."
This, in turn, seems mirrored in France's refusal to modify or fine-tune its approach to the world. Pascal Bruckner, the writer, talked years ago of the inflexibility growing out of his country's "unique mixture of arrogance and self-hatred." And this awkward French place between pretension and reality affects its current politics internationally.
If France weren't wedded to a desire for global resonance, its seriously challenged handhold on a share of leadership in Europe and its attempts to mark international affairs with its own stamp could be scribbled off in its private accounts as a bad run in day-trading on the global geopolitical bourse.
But because they treat leadership in Europe as a national birthright, France's politicians have now moved into the embarrassing position of not knowing whether they want to stage a referendum on the European Union's new constitution, or, ultimately, be for or against it — although the treaty is substantially the oeuvre of a Frenchman, former President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing.
The unspoken reason is that the constitution holds out no palpable, specific advantages for France. As a result, its political caste, across factions left and right, has atomized into groups weighing out potential gain by the gram of support or opposition on a scale of domestic political positioning. This has zero to do with Europe's interests or the greatness of the French example.
The situation came as a piece with Chirac's behavior two weeks earlier at a NATO summit in Istanbul as the Alliance offered up minimalist support for a mission to train the armed forces of the new Iraqi regime. A participant recounted later that after France raised no objections in a closed-door session with the entire membership, Chirac proceeded to trash the plan in front of the press.
It was a glaring moment of French unilateralism, with Le Monde, in a departure from its usual portrayal of French wisdom, describing Chirac as "isolated" and "in the role of eternal complainer and killjoy."
As the flags and the brass bands come down the Champs-Elysées on Wednesday, it would not be reasonable to expect a national expression of newfound humility to be included in the president's traditional television interview. All the same, taken together on Bastille Day, French life and politics in 2004 suggest a universal proposition that for the moment is one of considerable modesty.
The best way to avoid a bad action is by doing a good one, for there is no difficulty in the world like that of trying to do nothing.Just thinking to myself: doesn't "doing nothing" come close to the (non-)agenda that the anti-Washington pacifists have been claiming would (somehow) sort the world out right?
Also: exactly what good actions can France's foreign affairs ministry claim over the past few years (decades?); except of course the obviously genial one of opposing Uncle Sam at every step?
"Le gouvernement de la République française et le gouvernement de la République d'Irak, désireux de promouvoir et de renforcer les liens d'amitié et de coopération existant entre leurs deux pays et leurs deux peuples, sur la base du respect mutuel de leur souveraineté, conformément aux principes de la Charte des Nations unies, ont pris la décision de rétablir, à compter du 12 juillet 2004, leurs relations diplomatiques et d'échanger des ambassadeurs dans les meilleurs délais. Les deux gouvernements sont convaincus que cette décision contribuera au resserrement des liens entre la France et l'Irak, comme à l'intensification de leurs échanges, pour le plus grand intérêt des deux pays."
--Statement of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs
"We welcome that. We think it's a good development. I think it's been 13 years, but we do think it's time for all governments to work with the new government in Iraq and support the new government in Iraq, and we welcome signs that France is interested in doing that."
--Reaction of the US State Department spokesman to France's announcement
(1) "Surveillance cameras at the station where the culprits reportedly left the train showed no young men running from the scene." If the men attacked a woman and her child in a train full of individuals and no one came to her aid, why would the offenders run away from the train station? What would they be fleeing? And wouldn't a group of six teenagers racing through the station attract the attention of the police?
(2) "no witnesses have come forward despite repeated calls from officials and promises of anonymity." First, French law punishes non-feasance (i.e. you have a legal obligation to assist a person in danger), although the French police have claimed that they will not prosecute anyone who steps forward. Second, even if guaranteed immunity, who would want to come forward after having failed to help the woman?
(3) "the young woman had filed several [allegedly 6] complaints about violence and aggressive treatment in the past." Six sounds like a lot, but it's not inconceivable that a young woman might be harassed multiple times in a big city.
The woman's story should be subject to scrutiny; however I can find no reason, as of yet, to discount her story based on the reasons emphasized by France-Info and LCI.
Is Jacques Chirac’s foreign policy marked by certain strong political leanings? Which ones?
France is a very proud nation, with profound historical awareness and considerable national ambitions. Chirac reflects these traits, and he has significant determination, even if it is often marked by an excessive subtlety. Basically, France would like a world in which her voice, projected by Europe, echoed throughout the globe. Most French citizens understand that, by herself, France is a middling power. But if Europe’s power can be harnessed, France will be able to attain the world role to which she clearly aspires. Chirac is true to this vision.
What is left of de Gaulle’s heritage?
de Gaulle’s political style had two very distinct traits. Firstly, de Gaulle believed intensely, personally and acutely in the notion of France as a world power. Secondly, de Gaulle resented the decline of France’s influence and the growth of Anglo-American power. I do not think that these two characteristics are as strong today as they once were in France.
Do you see a difference in the way that Mitterand and Chirac have interpreted de Gaulle’s heritage?
More in style than in substance; yet style is sometimes substance when it comes to interpersonal relations. The animosity in franco-american relations that has increased over the past three years is linked to the personalities (I am sorry to say) on both sides of the Atlantic.
Chirac has tried several times since 1995 to improve relations between France and the US, particularly in the context of NATO. Do Americans realize this? If not, why not?
You have to grasp the resentment created by France’s expulsion of NATO in 1966 and by the rhetoric that accompanied that expulsion. The French do not seem to realize the scars left by that incident.
Americans have two, different visions of France when it comes to NATO. On one hand, the French armed forces are considered by Americans—and particularly by America’s military—as first-rate. The French soldiers are very professional, good comrades in arms and excellent fighters upon whom one can depend. The French military is seen as being very conscious of NATO’s utility.
On the other hand, there is the mentality of the French Foreign Ministry and of the President, which almost automatically opposes any American initiative. It’s almost a conditioned reflex that affects the political climate—most notably in the corridors of NATO.
How do you interpret the fact that France agreed to NATO’s involvement in Afghanistan—and is herself involved in that country—but is opposed to a NATO presence in Iraq?
I think that the distinction between Afghanistan and Iraq corresponds to the fundamental disagreement between France and the United States over how to react to 9/11. The purpose of the invasion of Afghanistan was to hit the source of the attacks in a spirit of solidarity. The invasion of Iraq expanded the territory upon which the war against terror was fought. It may have negative consequences and was based on a unilateral American decision.
Do you think that Chirac went too far when, in March 2003, France acted to prevent the US from obtaining a majority in the UN Security Council to use force against Saddam Hussein?
That was a serious political blunder. I have criticized Bush’s unilateralism and advocated greater patience and multilateralism with respect to the Iraqi problem. Yet I also think that it was futile and counter-productive for France, at a critical moment, to announce that she would veto a Security Council resolution upon which Americans were relying. This was unnecessarily hostile behavior.
Has Chirac managed to position France as the defender of the victims of globalization against a US that merely seeks to profit selfishly from this phenomenon?
I think that if the developing world views the US unfavorably and has a better opinion of France, it has less to do with Chirac’s diplomacy than with a globally negative reaction to Bush’s post-9/11 actions: Iraq, the Middle East, the Kyoto Protocol, the International Criminal Court, etc. Those who criticize the US benefit as a result, and the French are front and center.
What do you think of the idea of a “multi-polar” world? Is this a code word for anti-Americanism?
It’s a code word for a battle for political influence. There are two basic ideas. Americans believe that Europeans should bear more of the burden of creating a stable world. Europeans believe that Americans should share in the decision-making. In reality, we need to share both the burdens and the decisions.
Bill Clinton once said: “we should use this moment to build better frameworks of partnerships so we'll be more likely to cooperate, and when we're no longer the only military political economic superpower in the world, we'll be treated the way we would like to be treated.” Do you agree?
That’s what we think—that is, most of us, those who don’t agree with Bush. What will be the power structure in 2025? Honestly, I think that the U.S will still be at the top. Not too far behind will be Europe if she progresses towards political unification and if she obtains a greater degree of military power. In third place will come China, then Japan and then India.
Tomorrow’s dynamic will be much more complex than today’s, where there is only one world superpower and an enormous chasm between first and second place. Europe doesn’t exist, and I would say—although not without considerable hesitation—that Great Britain is probably the second most influential nation on the world stage. In third place would come Germany, particularly when she acts with France.
Sunday, July 11, 2004
Police today said it was an anti-Semitic assault.
The six attackers who were armed with knives clipped the 23-year-old woman's hair, and cut her tee-shirt and trousers before drawing three swastikas on her body.
The men of North African origin also overturned the pram holding her baby, aged 13 months.
They then took the mother's backpack, which contained her identity papers, a bank card and cash.
Police said the attackers erroneously assumed the woman was Jewish because she was living in Paris' posh 16th district.
'Only Jews live in the 16th district,' one of the men told her."
"The police said other passengers in the train did nothing to intervene as the woman was assaulted, not even pulling the alarm lever."
"Some twenty people were seated in the double-decker carriage all the time the six were harassing the young mother."
"The [French] government has reported more anti-Semitic incidents for the first half of 2004 than for all of 2003."
June 26: A mosque in Nanterre is covered with graffiti, including "Leave as quickly as we left Algeria before you really get it" and "integrate or else."
June 18: Gun-shots are fired at a mosque in northern France (Lille) and racist graffiti daubed on its walls.
June 17: A swastika and racist slogans extolling the Nazi genocide are sprayed on the wall of a mosque in the northern French town of Lens. The graffiti in black paint read, "Death to Islamists," and "Hitler would have gassed you, long live the pure race SS881488."