But hey! As long as Chirac knows what's illegal and what isn't and who to criticize and who not to…
QUELLE EST LA DIFFERENCE FINALEMENT ENTRE LES USA, L'IRAN ... ET LES AUTRES DICTATURES ???????Tentons d'apporter un début de réponse…
La première différence entre les USA, l'Iran, et les autres dictatures, Léon, c'est que tu es au courant de l'évènement qui fait que tu puisses poser cette question. Si cela avait été tenu au secret, s'il n'y avait pas eu de journalistes présents (nationaux ou étrangers, occidentaux ou autres), tu ne saurais pas le nom de la journaliste ou du site, et tu ne serais même pas au courant de ce qui s'était passé (ou qu'il s'était passé un quelconque événement de ce type). (N'est-ce pas là, par ailleurs, l'une des raisons que nombre de gens — et de gouvernements et d'associations caritatives — sont tellement indulgents envers les dictatures — les vraies — de par ce monde?)
Tu es au courant d'évènements de ce type, parce que des journalistes ont écrit à propos de ces évènements, des journalistes qui, pour certains, sont tout aussi outragés que toi, et qui ne craignent pas des sanctions de l'État ou même d'être virés de leur journal. Et qui savent que si sanctions il pourrait y avoir, ces sanctions pourraient facilement, dans l'opinion publique, se retourner contre les sanctionneurs. Dans les "autres" dictatures, il n'y a pas d'opinion publique, ou il n'y en a pas, d'opinion publique, qui vaille. Ce qui nous amène au point suivant…
La seconde différence entre les USA, l'Iran, et les autres dictatures, c'est que l'évènement — étant connu de tous — a suscité une polémique, et a suscité, ou suscitera vraisemblablement, un procès. Si les accusés perdent parfois leurs procès, parfois ils les gagnent, et le tribunal est ouvert aux journalistes — à des journalistes indépendants —, souvent au public. Quel que soit l'issue du procès — et c'est ça qui compte par-dessus tout —, la polémique restera, et sera garant du fait que les adversaires de l'administration au pouvoir peuvent s'en servir pour embarrasser le gouvernement, ou l'attaquer — exactement comme tu le fais — et, qui sait, peut-être le pénaliser lors des prochaines élections.
La troisième différence entre les USA, l'Iran, et les autres dictatures, c'est que la sanction, si sanction il y a, risque d'être fair. Dans les cas de condamnation, l'accusé a le droit de faire appel ; non seulement il a ce droit mais il aura le soutien direct d'organisations, parfois puissantes (comme le New York Times), et il aura le soutien, indirect, d'une partie de la population (comme toi). Au cas où il perdrait son appel (ou ses appels, s'il en fait plusieurs), sa punition n'entraînera rien qui n'ait pas été décidé par un juge officiel selon les lois : pas de coupures de langue, pas d'amputations de bras au niveau de l'épaule, pas d'acide dans le visage, pas de viol collectif de l'épouse enceinte suivi de l'ouverture au couteau du ventre de celle-ci afin d'en arracher le bébé et, ce faisant, tuer et ce dernier et la mère. Et au cas où des gardiens abuseraient du prisonnier, ou de la prisonnière, eux, ainsi que les autorités pénales, seraient sanctionnés eux-mêmes, tandis que le gouvernement souffrirait au moins de l'embarras dans l'opinion publique et par la remise en question par un nombre de ses supporters (cf. la pénalisation lors des élections qui suivent)…
Voilà un petit début de réponse, Léon…
As-tu d'autres questions?
(PS : Sinon, nous serions très heureux de lire les autres commentaires que tu auras écrit ailleurs sur la toile. Nous serions heureux — puisque tu mets les USA, l'Iran, et les "autres" dictatures sur un même plan — que tu nous présentes des hyperliens vers d'autres sites (des permalinks) dans lesquels tu auras écrit et signé des commentaires indignés sur les abus et les dépradations en Iran et dans les autres dictatures… (En attendant, nous retenons notre souffle…))
… on the day Osama bin Laden's henchmen brought unimaginable terror to the United States, [Jacques] Chirac seemed genuinely moved. In a display of goodwill and solidarity, he rushed to the side of President George W. Bush. His government supported American military action in Afghanistan and sent peacekeepers to assist the post-Taliban government. Yet September 11 did nothing to alter France's fundamental approach to global affairs. Chirac made it clear that he was skeptical of extending the war on terrorism beyond the borders of Afghanistan. When Bush spoke of an "axis of evil" that included Saddam Hussein's Iraq in early 2002, Paris snickered: "The rhetoric of good and evil is not suitable for the reality of today's world," said a Chirac confidant. One top French official, Charles Josselin, told a Saudi newspaper that the Bush administration suffered from "Texas-style diplomacy" — a phrase meant as an insult in European circles. Former foreign minister Hubert Védrine was even more outspoken: "Today we are threatened by a simplicity that reduces all the problems of the world to the struggle against terrorism that is not properly thought through," he said.
Franco-American relations deteriorated at the popular level as well. In France, ugly conspiracy theories about September 11 became disturbingly prevalent. One of the most sinister was cooked up by Thierry Meyssan, a self-styled investigative journalist who claimed in his book L'Effroyable Imposture — "The Big Lie" — that the common understanding of what happened was based on "nothing more than a cover-up" and "lies put forward by officials." According to Meyssan, "the attacks of September 11 were masterminded from inside the American state apparatus" — i.e., George W. Bush — as a justification for reckless warfare. By the summer of 2002 — long before Michael Moore became a household name — L'Effroyable Imposture had sold more than 200,000 copies in France.
As the first anniversary of September 11 approached, Chirac tried to minimize his profound differences with the United States by relying on that old standby in the French politician's playbook: the enduring myth of Franco-American friendship. "When the chips are down," he declared, "the French and Americans have always stood together and have never failed to be there for one another." At the same time, he proved incapable of hiding his disdain for what he took to be America's hamfisted approach to international problems. "I am totally against unilateralism [i.e. American foreign policy] in the modern world," he said. The emerging American doctrine of pre-emptive action to thwart national-security threats, he added, was "extraordinarily dangerous." But after the carnage of 9-11, the United States was not interested in waiting for its enemies to strike. It would move against them before they could mount an effective attack.
(Shookhran beaucoup, Gregory Schreiber)
…All along the coast of French North Africa, tens of thousands of GIs would storm ashore at Algiers, Casablanca, Fedala, Safi, Mehdia, and Oran. Once the Americans seized these cities, it was on to Tunisia to join the British Eighth Army in its struggle against Rommel's vaunted Afrika Korps.Disclaimer: You do not need to tell me that Vichy France should not be confused with the rest of the nation and its citizens. We agree on that. And so, I suppose, do the book's authors.
As the lead ship neared the boom at the mouth of the harbor [on November 8, 1942], a single question animated the mind of all on board: Would the French resist? In the weeks leading up to the invasion, diplomats and intelligence officers had assured the American military that they would not. They were counting on French gratitude earned in the First World War. "Our latest and best information from North Africa," wrote President Franklin Roosevelt to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, "is ... [that] an American expedition led in all three phases by American officers will meet little resistance from the French Army in Africa." …
Then the French guns opened up. Guided by spotlights from shore, machine gun tracers sprayed out across the dark water, followed by a withering artillery barrage. From the docks and jetties, French snipers squeezed off round after round. Neither the large and conspicuous U.S. flags flying from both ships nor the repeated calls over a loudspeaker in American-accented French — "Do not fire! We are your friends! Do not Fire!" — had any effect. …
For the next three days, the Americans faced fierce fighting across twelve separate battlefields in Algeria and French Morocco. American GIs comprised the bulk of the landing force on the theory that they would antagonize the French less than the British. But the French Premier, Marshal Henri Philippe Pétain, refused to back down. "France and her honor are at stake," he cabled President Roosevelt. "We are attacked. We will defend ourselves. This is the order I am giving." Only superior numbers and American tenacity made Operation Torch a success. "Had the landings been opposed by the Germans," admitted General George S. Patton, "we would never have gotten ashore."
It is widely believed that Vichy was a weak puppet regime that cooperated reluctantly with the Nazis and put up only a token resistance to Allied forces. … The reality was quite different, as the Americans discovered in North Africa.
Still, please notice that Pétain uses, if not the same wording, the same sentiments used by leaders of latterday France: La France et son honneur sont en jeu. Tell a citoyen that one should not blindly follow Washington, that allies need to be able to disagree and not ask each other to be each other's poodles — whether a rightist or a leftist — and he will readily agree, not noticing that this statement is never made about any other country (Soviet Union, China, Saddam Hussein's Iraq, etc…), and in agreeing, the citoyen will turn a blind eye to the fact that, willingly or not, the distance taken vis-à-vis the democracy ("false" or otherwise) is often made for the benefit (direct or indirect) of the same authoritarian countries.
Notice also that the "ability to disagree" sentiment does not apply to France itself; other countries are asked to follow Paris blindly, and if not, they can expect to be called poodles, turncoats, or impolite people who would do better to keep quiet.
Finally, it is strange that regarding America, the comment is often (always?) made that we should not trust official history and we should seek out the dark spots ("Tu crois tout ce qu'on te dit? >snicker< "). When this is attempted, even only on a relatively small scale, with French history, a multitude of shields arises in fury.
(Shookhran beaucoup, Gregory Schreiber)
John J. Miller & Mark Molesky:
With New York securely in enemy hands, Washington and d'Estaing turned their attention to Newport, Rhode Island.… The Franco-American force planned a coordinated attack on Newport for August 10, though it was clear from the start that they would face serious problems working together. The aristocrat D'Estaing did not believe that a social inferior like [General John Sullivan], whose parents had been indentured servants from Ireland, had any right to issue him orders. The two men spent as much time bickering with each other as they did organizing their efforts. Lafayette tried to intervene, but at first his presence only complicated matters. Because there was still an order out for his arrest, d'Estaing did not know how to receive him. The admiral expressed "political anxiety about receiving a French officer who had violated the king's orders not to leave for America." After a round of vacillation, d'Estaing decided that his country's new treaty obligations nullified Lafayette's criminal status.
Even then, Lafayette's mediation failed. A professional military man, d'Estaing regarded the Americans as untrustworthy provincials: "I was forced to show an austere firmness to make the allies understand that while their troops were good for a defensive, they had no qualities necessary for attack." When the Americans attacked a weakness in the British defenses without first consulting d'Estaing, the admiral was furious. "The French officers sounded like women disputing precedence in a country dance," said one of Sullivan's colonels, "instead of men engaged in pursuing the common interest of two great nations."
…As the British sailed for the repair docks of New York, Sullivan decided that his attack had been delayed long enough. Assuming that d'Estaing would soon be landing his soldiers, he struck at Newport on August 14 . But the Frenchman had other plans. Anxious to patch up his own ships, d'Estaing retreated to Boston without putting any troops ashore.
Sullivan was furious: "I confess that I do most cordially resent the conduct of the Count, or rather the conduct of his officers, who have it seems, compelled him to go to Boston and leave us on an island without any certain means of retreat." Another American commander, John Laurens, complained in a letter to Washington: "The honor of the French Nation, the honor of the Admiral, the safety of the fleet, and a regard for the new alliance required a different conduct."
The alliance that had been born half a year earlier was now in full crisis as d'Estaing considered sailing back to France and urging his king to forsake the vulgar Americans.
(Mes remerciements profonds vous accompagnent,
Sire le Chevallier Grégoire de Schreiber)
The four cornerstones of character on which the structure of this nation was built are: Initiative, Imagination, Individuality, and Independence.
Courage is doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared.
Aviation is proof that given the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.
I would rather have a million friends than a million dollars.
I can give you a six-word formula for success: 'Think things through — then follow through.'
After a closer look, it turns out that the article is not — as implied! — a straight news item, the product of independent and objective news reporting (from reporters in the vein of those who uncovered, say, the Watergate scandal), but more of a book review, of a book which happens to be, at least partly, an apology of French government policy. Read excerpts from the Kessler article, then read our comments below…
French officials were prepared to provide as many as 15,000 troops for an invasion of Iraq before relations soured between the Bush administration and the French government over the timing of an attack, according to a new book published in France.Apparently, according to our detractor, ¡No Pasarán! would never publish this because it shows France in a good light and Dubya in a bad one, while giving credence to the (self-serving) opinion that, bien sûr, America's traditional allies were totally ready to stand by the side of Uncle Sam, and would have done so, except for the fact that an arrogant neanderthal was occupying the Oval Office. Well, we here at ¡No Pasarán! do not think ourselves as particularly biased, we just think people should think twice before accepting the "peace camp's" (self-serving) anti-Bush points of view…
The book, Chirac Contre Bush: L'Autre Guerre (Chirac vs. Bush: The Other War), reports that a French general, Jean Patrick Gaviard, visited the Pentagon to meet with Central Command staff on Dec. 16, 2002 — three months before the war began — to discuss a French contribution of 10,000 to 15,000 troops and to negotiate landing and docking rights for French jets and ships.
French military officials were especially interested in joining in an attack, because they felt that not participating with the United States in a major war would leave French forces unprepared for future conflicts, according to Thomas Cantaloube, one of the authors. But the negotiations did not progress far before French President Jacques Chirac decided that the Americans were pushing too fast to short-circuit inspections by U.N. weapons inspectors.
Chirac, the book says, was prepared to join in an attack if Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had not allowed inspectors into Iraq. "Up until December 2002, what everyone told us is that France thought Saddam Hussein was going to make a mistake and not allow inspections," Cantaloube said in an interview. After inspectors appeared to make progress in Iraq, Chirac's thinking changed, especially after polls in France showed vast opposition to an attack. …
Chirac knew Bush's father, former president George H.W. Bush, well, but that relationship actually proved to be a distraction for the current president, according to the book, which says that Bush was annoyed that Chirac kept mentioning his father at every occasion. For months, French diplomats asked Chirac not to refer to Bush's father when he met the president, but he kept doing it.
During one of Bush's first European trips, when the new president impressed other European leaders at a summit, Chirac excitedly pulled out his cell phone to call Bush's father to report that the new president had done a great job. …
And so, we must be led to ask this:
2) Perhaps, second, it is being transpired now to put the heat back on Bush just as an important report shows that Saddam used cash stolen from the UN's flawed oil-for-food programme to induce the Security Council's "peace camp" members to thwart their Anglo-American allies.
3) Who, in a France that is united behind Chirac and Villepin's "heroic" and principled opposition to the Bush administration, will care (much) about the UN graft scandal, should it turn out that the war-mongering devil incarnate is defeated on November 2?
Might it be that, like the DVD version of Michael Moore's anti-Bush documentary, and with prompting from the Elysée palace, that this book is actually an instrument in the campaign — like Fahrenheit 9/11, unsolicited by the Democrat party, but an instrument nonetheless — to contribute to John Kerry's election victory? And thereby take any heat off the Elysée? (It appears that the timing of the publication of the book turns out to be one more Chirac snub that ought to figure in the book itself. Assuming Kerry wins, you can rest assured that, once he is in the White House, there will feelers sent to the Oval Office for payback in some form or another…)
(Merci to Amatriciana; this is one of
the better items we have received lately)
French President Jacques Chirac warned Thursday of a "catastrophe" for global diversity if the United States' cultural hegemony goes unchallenged.Needless to say, once John Kerry has been elected, once Bush has been defeated, France's warnings over the "catastrophe" of a world "choked" by US values will vanish into thin air, there will be no more ranting about "cological catastrophes", the French will once again stand side by side by their American friends, and everything will be alright again…
Speaking at a French cultural centre in Hanoi ahead of Friday's opening of a summit of European and Asian leaders, Chirac said France was right to stand up for cultural and linguistic diversity.
The outspoken French president warned that the world's different cultures could be "choked" by US values.
This, he said, would lead to a "general world sub-culture" based around the English language, which would be "a real ecological catastrophe".
Citing Hollywood's stranglehold over the film industry as an example, Chirac stressed that only with government assistance could countries maintain their cultural heritage.
Vietnam is a former French colony, but only around 375,000 of its 81 million people speak French. English is considered by most people a far more valuable and practical second language, particularly among businessmen.
(Thanks to Gregory Schreiber)
|Chiraq goes for the money shot in Hanoi||Chirak balance la purée à Hanoï|
|Chiraq confirms. It's not just about Bush. It's about across the board hatred of all Americans and their stinking sub-culture. Americans, you are hated here. Hated more than you can possibly imagine.
||Chirak le confirme. Il ne s'agit pas uniquement de George Bush, mais d'une haine universelle contre tous les américains et leur sous-culture merdique. Les américains, vous êtes haïs ici. Haïs bien plus que vous ne pouvez l'imaginer.
…the Iraq Survey Group does not confine itself to WMD. … If the report is embarrassing for the British and US governments, for those of Russia, France and China, it is damning. … The motives of those states that went to war emerge as far less tainted than those that opposed it. If the British and Americans were duped by Saddam, the Russians and French had their palms greased by him. … The stench of his crimes lingers, not only in Iraq but also at the UN.You've heard how the Iraq Survey Group has concluded that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. You've also heard about Iraq being Bush's "weapon of mass distraction" and other barbs in the same vein. Now, the Daily Telegraph brings us Saddam's weapons of mass corruption:
Nobody will have been surprised by the conclusion of the Iraq Survey Group that Saddam Hussein did not possess weapons of mass destruction.
Tony Blair and George W. Bush were both mistaken on this point, along with almost everybody else, including UN weapons inspectors and even Saddam's henchmen. But the Iraq Survey Group does not confine itself to WMD. It also marshals a wealth of evidence about Saddam's campaign of bribery, designed to weaken the sanctions regime and persuade the Security Council not to enforce its resolutions or to pass new ones.
If the report is embarrassing for the British and US governments, for those of Russia, France and China, it is damning. Saddam used cash stolen from the UN's flawed oil-for-food programme to induce these permanent members of the Security Council to thwart their Anglo-American allies. The motives of those states that went to war emerge as far less tainted than those that opposed it. If the British and Americans were duped by Saddam, the Russians and French had their palms greased by him.
Even so, the absence of WMD will reinforce doubts about the wisdom of the war on both sides of the Atlantic. Mr Bush was already on the defensive after Donald Rumsfeld's admission that there was no "strong, hard evidence" of Iraq's links with al-Qa'eda, and Paul Bremer's acknowledgement that his task as post-war governor of Iraq was vitiated by too few troops.
Was it all a mistake? On the contrary: the real case for war, consistently argued in these pages, depended neither on WMD nor on the al-Qa'eda connection. Saddam had to be deposed for both strategic and moral reasons, which have broadly been vindicated. Though the war on terror is far from over, the threat from terrorist states has diminished. If free Iraq can stay the course — by holding elections, by putting Saddam on trial, and by defeating the insurgency — it will have a profound impact on the other despots of the Middle East and beyond.
If anything, the report reinforces the case for regime change, by demonstrating the malign influence that Saddam's Iraq exerted over the entire international system. His capacity for genocide had indeed decayed, but by 2003 he was no longer the pariah he had been in 1991.
Having corrupted and undermined the sanctions regime, Saddam was more dangerous than ever before. The stench of his crimes lingers, not only in Iraq but also at the UN. The justification offered for the war by Mr Blair may have been the wrong one, but it was still a just war.
How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress.
Never express yourself more clearly than you are able to think.
No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical.
Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future.
Technology has advanced more in the last thirty years than in the previous two thousand. The exponential increase in advancement will only continue.
|Please leave the State in the toilet where you found it. Thank you.||Veuillez laisser l'Etat dans les toilettes où vous l'avez trouvé. Merci.|
|Flush twice please. No State for terrorists. The ||Tirez la chasse deux fois. Pas d'Etat pour les terroristes. Le |
Every mistake that supposedly intelligent men could make has been made in this war. The operation was absolutely useless, yet all the available strength of Great Britain and the United States was thrown into the task. (…) The front on which we are fighting those who actually attacked us is being “starved” and a “disaster” because the President insists on fighting on another front. Our lack of success is the “bitter fruit” of this fateful decision. The Army is being asked to do the impossible and could have been used elsewhere to secure large portions of enemy held territory. We are fighting this war just as we fought the last war, in part because the people in Washington have never actually been on the front lines.
[Two French] panels were mandated to explore every channel and connection for securing the two journalists’ release with the exception of American officials in Washington or Baghdad and circles identified with the Iyad Allawi government.
Had they brought it off, [the “unofficial negotiators”] would have delivered to Chirac four impressive objectives in his dispute with Bush over Iraq…
(Merci to GPR et GS)
the latest remarks of George W Bush, hardly friendly towards the French.HUH!? What the hell does she think about the attitude of her own periodical, aka the newspaper of reference, year in and year out, towards Americans — especially Bush!? Or does she ever think about it? Isn't France's anti-American position taken as a given that is entirely rational and logical, as natural as the rising sun?
Oh, yeah, that's right: when France's politicians, intellectuals, editors, journalists, citizens, etc, oppose, castigate, mock, and lash out at Uncle Sam (as one), it is in reality only the "current" administration and its policies they oppose.
But when Americans (or their current leaders) oppose what finally boils down to being only the Chirac-Villepin policy, the only plausible explanation they are being "hardly friendly towards the French" as a whole — the people, the culture, the history (recent and ancient), the civilization, their very identity. (If you read French, you will find that there are numerous examples of this self-serving message to be found in the comments section of posts posted during the past couple of days…)
Which, when you think about it, fits perfectly in with the double standards that underlies anti-Americanism through and through.
…there were some sarcastic comments comparing your election to that of Vladimir Putin or some African dictators … Mr. PresidentBush Schmush, Kerry Schkerry, it's all the same…
All the same condescending attitude, that is, from smug, self-important Europeans…
|Answer: Advances in bomb belt technology||Réponse: Avancées technologiques en matière de ceinture d'explosifs|
|Question: What could the ||Question: |
Le Monde 2 is 90 pages long, in color, and filled with a mixture of text and photo reportages. Perennials include Edwy Plenel's editorial, Pierre Assouline's column, a one-page feature called "Lunch with…" a given celebrity (which always features two photos, one of the celebrity and one of the bill), and at the very end, a large dossier on a subject (person and/or event) taken from a number of articles in the Le Monde archives.
Other perennials include a double spread featuring a given job's equipment (newsstand seller, fireman, rugby player, Formula 1 race driver, a Victorian-era detective, samurai (!), etc) and map in hand (supposed to explain things like regions with drinkable water, the British Commonwealth, the moon, the countries that practice "state homophobia", the location of the top 500 companies in the world, the countries where GMO (and what types and in what amounts) are grown legally, the countries with golfers participating in the Ryder Cup and the number of golf courses in each, the location of the latest UNESCO patrimony sites, the places of theft of the most valuable artifacts, "the Caucasion Inferno", "the [Israeli] Wall Goes to Court", "Iran's Nuclear Ambiguties", and "Is Iraq sovereign?"
Some issues are devoted entirely to one subject or one country; issue 12 (April 4) was devoted to Britain (celebrating the 100 years of the entente cordiale), issue 32 (September 25) was devoted to Italy, and issue 21 (June 6), which we will take a deeper look into here, to D-Day. (As far as links are concerned, I have not found a website for the magazine or for any of the articles that can be found inside it. Readers are welcome to help me update these posts when and if they become available.)
Whereas the independent newspaper tries hard to retain (and present itself as a conveyer of) an independent voice, Le Monde 2, like Le Monde diplomatique, shows its true colors much more clearly…
To celebrate the 100th post on Le Monde Watch, I have decided to write an in-depth overview of Le Monde 2 since the magazine began. (The introduction is the same as this post's; to skip reading it again, go down past the first horizontal line.) Here is one excerpt:
On the 60th anniversary of D-Day, issue 21 (June 6, 2004) is naturally devoted to the "Liberators". "Le Monde 2 commemorates the event by paying homage to all the liberators, anonymous or little-known, French and foreign, heroic and modest, who restored democracy" in France. The cover features a huge portrait of an anonymous French resistant, along with five tiny photos, one of an anti-Hitler German, another of a GI landing at Omaha Beach, one (modern one) of the Bussy-Varache viaduct which the French resistance blew up, and two (!) of the communist leader who gave the order to set the dynamite.
Inside, Edwy Plenel helpfully reminds us that "on the Eastern front, from Stalingrad to Kursk, the Germans lost a total of 6 million soldiers versus only 250,000 in Normandy. History does not moralize. American or Soviet, there is no hierarchy in sacrifice. But the memory of one cannot wipe away the other, on the pretext that American democracy won over Russian communism." Uh-huh. Good thing to know…
On the following page, Geneviève Brisac speaks of the "absurdity of war" and calls for more restraint in her Operation Overlord article entitled… "Operation Overdose". Next, Raphaëlle Bacqué does lunch with Admiral Philippe de Gaulle, who remembers how his father told him on June 5, 1944, "Ça y est … The French will be the first to land in France."
An interview of Jean-Pierre Azéma has the historian explain France's role in Operation Overlord to Michel Lefebvre (remember now, the enemies are the Germans!): "De Gaulle will not restrain his anger. He refuses to participate in this travesty. He will not caution an Americanized France. Voices are raised. Eisenhower, furious, tells him to go to hell. As for Churchill, he is said to have commented "Send him back to Algiers, in a cage if needed." But de Gaulle keeps resisting. He lets it be known that he will address the French people himself. and, on June 6, he pronounces one of his most beautiful speeches, asking the French to obey noone but a French administraion, launching a vibrant call for war, 'France will once again become France'." (Note that de Gaulle's "resistance" — nice choice of words — is to… the perfidious Anglo-Saxons.)
Then comes Francis Marmande's glorious article to the memory of the communist party's "Georges Guingouin, the liberator of Limoges". Ten pages devoted to the "mythical resistant" known as "The Madman of the Woods". (The interview with Azéma on D-Day itself lasted five.)
Then it's Georges Marion's four pages devoted to "the Germans of the Shadows", a resistance organization that infiltrated the Nazi military machine ("Most often they were young communist Jews relocated in France before the war, their families having fled the Nazi oppression") followed by Eric Leser's four pages (nice balance) devoted to two GIs who are the subjects of two famous photos (one of Robert Capa's blurry Omaha Beach pictures and another of a unit holding a captured Nazi flag).
We then have Dominique Frétard's three pages of paintings of medical personnel which appeared in 1945's Men Without Guns (always good, in today's Europe, to present a more pacific side to the conflict), before going to Jean-Michel Normand's text accompanying 12 pages of full-page portraits of resistants (including the young face that graces the cover), all of them anonymous.
The archive section finally gives us some meat to sink our teeth into: D-Day hour by hour, with various comments, 19 pages in all (although there is nothing uncommon about such, since Le Monde 2's archive section are typically long and weighty). Invariably, a veteran is made to opine that, unlike World War II, in no case does the Iraq intervention represent "a just and beautiful cause". (Strangely, no other veteran is quoted on the Iraq war, almost as if when encountering people and soldiers who do support the war (or Bush), the French press does not make much of that).
But we skipped one piece: Emmanuel de Roux's article on the local collectioners of D-Day memorabilia, "from the gaiter button to the assault tank", which I wanted to keep until the end. Those fervent amateurs "have sometimes gathered stockpiles so important as to form the basic collections of museums, large and small, private and public."
Here is what is interesting in the reflection of today's European sophisticated, humanistic, visionary (and fashionable) thinking: One 57-year-old dentist from Bayeux spent his nights collecting, and by the 1970s Jean-Pierre Benamou had assembled all kinds of matériel, from resistance tracts and military berets to the wreck of a British Spitfire. And in 1981, the township of Bayeux agreed to build a museum to house the entire collection. "A convention links Jean-Pierre Benamou to the city until 2020. Thereafter, Bayeux will become the owner of the collections."
This is where the problems start. Remember what Brisac said in her column? Remember the subject of the paintings from Men Without Guns? Remember the number of pages in this Le Monde 2 issue devoted to pacifists (or so-called pacifists) and to members, armed or not, of France's visionary society of humanism and solidarity? Remember the (relatively) few pages devoted to the American and British soldiers who stormed Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword beaches and made D-Day what it was? Listen to this: "Sparks have been flying between the collector and the new town hall which wants to dispose of the belligerant side of the establisment in order to transform it into a sort of pacific memorial, modeled after that in Caen."
Now, ain't that nice? It's peace, folks. Peace!
In another time and another place, speaking of "the brave men, living and dead, who struggled here" and of the "poor power" of politicians to "add or detract" in subsequent speechifying, one man said that
The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.In modern Europe, the balance between the "honored dead" who "gave the last full measure of devotion" and self-important politicians who utter smug platitudes has been inverted. Please note that for today's verbose Europeans, self-declared pacifists or not, a declaration of principles would read more like this:
The world can little note what the brave men did here, but it must never forget what we say here.For the benefit of Bayeux's vain and conceited politicians and citizens, I will provide a translation of the above Abraham Lincoln sentence in French:
Le monde remarquera peu ce que nous disons ici et il ne s'en souviendra guère, mais il n'oubliera jamais ce que des braves ont fait en ce lieu.
|Here we go ...||Ça commence ...|
|Last of the Famous International Playboys brought us this story about a French vampire killer. The French ||Le Tombeur de Ces Dames nous a signalé l'apparition d'un tueur français 'vampire'. La |
|France wanted to give up the booty, but ain't no one interested in banging her sorry ass||La Fwance voulait se laisser prendre, mais elle est piètre croupion|
|Things are no longer like they were back when the French fruits were frolicking with Arab youths in Tangiers. The French have got every Arab country supporting them (except Iraq). They got Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Al-Aqsa Boyz on their side and their collaborating journalists are being held for 2 months? With all that support, if the French can't bust their boys out of the joint, they couldn't get the jelly out of a donut.
||Ma foi, Les Misères du Désir. Ces arabophiles grands admirateurs de l'école de Tanger sont vachement déçus. Les franchouilles ont tous les pays arabes de leur côté (sauf l'Irak). Ils ont le soutien de Hezbollah, de Hamas, et des Al-Aqsa Sarcelles Boyz, et malgré cela leur journalistes collabos sont tenus en ôtage depuis 2 mois? Si, avec tous ce beau linge réuni, les franchouilles ne peuvent pas sortir leurs mecs du trou, ils ne pourraient même pas sortir la fève d'une galette des rois.
|They should have passed a 'global test' ...||Ils auraient dû passer un 'test global' ...|
|... before acting in the name of national security.
||... avant d'agir au nom de leur sécurité nationale.
And now for something completely different…
Update: Indepundit has rewritten
the scene for the 21st century…
By the way: what should we look on?
After the liberation De Gaulle's government held on to internees from many countries in officially closed centres to hide collaboration, writes The Guardian's Jon Henley from Paris
The government of Charles de Gaulle held hundreds of foreigners … in an internment camp near Toulouse for up to four years after the second world war, according to secret documents.
The papers, part of a cache of 12,000 photocopied illegally by an Austrian-born Jew, reveal the extent to which French officials collaborated with their fleeing Nazi occupiers even as their country was being liberated. They also show that, when the war was over, France went to extraordinary lengths to hide as much evidence of that collaboration as possible.
The documents are in a mass of registers, telegrams and manifests which Kurt Werner Schaechter, an 84-year-old retired businessman, copied from the Toulouse office of France's national archives in 1991. They are uniquely precious: under a 1979 law most of France's wartime archives are sealed for between 60 and 150 years after they were written.
"This is an untold story of the dark side of France's liberation 60 years ago," Mr Schaechter, a former musical instruments salesman, said at his home in Alfortville, a Paris suburb. "French functionaries were involved in a national scandal that continued until 1949: the despicable treatment of allied and neutral civilians interned during the war."
Mr Schaechter's activities — last year he used some of the papers to try to force the French railway SNCF to admit its responsibility in shipping 76,000 Jews to Nazi death camps — have infuriated some French historians, who say their privileged access to classified archives has been compromised. But others have backed the campaign for freer access to documents relating to a part of France's past that it has long preferred to ignore.
By far the most awkward of his recently unearthed documents are those that appear to show that Noé camp, 25 miles south of Toulouse, continued to function secretly for several years after the war. … Officially, the only camps still open after 1945 were a handful housing Romanies, stateless persons and French collaborators. But Mr Schaechter says his documents indicate that a "special section" of Noé was active until at least 1947. … The camp's accounts show that inmates were still being forced to pay for their "lodging" in September 1947.
Photocopies of the camp's registers from 1945, 1946 and 1947 show that Noé's postwar inmates [included citizens of Britain,] Switzerland, Sweden, Holland, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Argentina and Brazil … Mr Schaechter believes they were not released at the end of the war because it would have been too embarrassing.
"The last thing De Gaulle wanted, when he was trying to build up France's image as victor and hero," he said, "was to reveal the true extent of its collaboration by freeing neutral and allied internees held in French camps by French guards."
The papers also show that officials continued to deport inmates of all nationalities to a near-certain death in Germany even as France was being liberated.
A neat register shows that, in March 1944, Noé contained inmates of 25 nationalities, including three Americans and 13 Britons aged between 21 and 55, and one other Briton aged over 55.
On June 24 1944, two weeks after the allies landed on the beaches of Normandy, the camp commandant wrote to the Toulouse prefecture. "I have the honour to inform you," he said, "that on the 22nd of this month nine British citizens were transferred to this camp." … On June 26 the commandant informed the prefecture that he had four American "guests" …
Some of these Britons and Americans "regrouped" in Noé on the eve of the liberation were wealthy residents of the Côte d'Azur … Others … were farmers or agricultural labourers.
Many, without doubt, were on the last transport of aliens to leave Noé-Longages station on July 30 1944. This "transfer" is referred to in a telegram from the camp commandant on August 28 — two days after a million cheering French men and women thronged the Champs-Elysées in Paris for Charles de Gaulle's victory parade. Mr Schaechter believes most of them ended up in Dachau; [Moore Sumner Kirby, born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in 1895,] is known to have died in the Leau concentration camp near Bernberg, Germany, on April 7 1945.
But what happened to those, many elderly and infirm, who stayed? Some are marked "transferred". Others were moved in 1947 to Pithiviers or Rivesaltes camps, both officially closed. Some are marked: "Agreed with Mr Casse — to be lost". And what that means, no one knows.
(Danke schön, Pitiricus und Herr Schreiber)
It's easy to have principles when you're rich. The important thing is to have principles when you're poor.
Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get.
If you're not a risk taker, you should get the hell out of business.
While formal schooling is an important advantage, it is not a guarantee of success nor is its absence a fatal handicap.
You're only as good as the people you hire.
Creativity is a highfalutin word for the work I have to do between now and Tuesday.
As long as you're green, you're growing. As soon as you're ripe, you start to rot.
Bush counselors including Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, assailed the Democratic senator repeatedly over what they called the "Kerry doctrine" — the senator's assertion that pre-emptive U.S. action against another country should meet a "global test" that persuades others of its legitimacy.
"What does that mean?" Rice asked on CNN. "Does that mean the consensus of the international community, of Cuba and countries like that?"
"Can you imagine trying to pass a global test in a Security Council that Syria had sat in?"
Bush counselors including Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, assailed the Democratic senator repeatedly over what they called the "Kerry doctrine" — the senator's assertion that pre-emptive U.S. action against another country should meet a "global test" that persuades others of its legitimacy.
"What does that mean?" Rice asked on CNN. "Does that mean the consensus of the international community, of Cuba and countries like that?"
"Can you imagine trying to pass a global test in a Security Council that Syria had sat in?"
A funny thing happened to the Bush administration on the way to the boss's debate with John Kerry about the United States' role in the world: It seemed to duck or swerve around a new French line on Iraq that some European voices deplored.Update: Following the historic Iraq election, President Ghazi al-Yawer derides one of the central tenets of French foreign policy as "complete nonsense"…
Could the administration have commanded a lockdown on international controversy in the days leading up to the debate for fear of fueling Kerry's argument that Bush gets along with no one east of Montauk or Kennebunkport?
Compared with an alternative but richly counterinstinctive theory — that the Americans and French were running an Iraq back-channel of complicit nudges and winks — the notion of the Bush administration shutting its ears and mouth in the name of election-year politics is the more convincing.
With direct debate with Kerry about foreign policy behind him, Bush marked what seemed like a return to the whack-the-French firing line Friday by saying, "The use of troops to defend America must never be subjected to a veto from countries like France."
Senator John McCain chimed in on Iraq, "Nobody believes the French and Germans will come to help."
But the impression remains that the administration had chosen to let slide what mainstream French and German commentators called a new, conciliatory attitude by France toward the groups battling the Iraqi regime and beheading hostages. They talked of an anti-American provocation and the French turning themselves into spokesmen for the "resistance" in Iraq.
The circumstances were these: For more than a month, France, with embarrassingly decreasing self-assurance, had been laboring to win the release of two French journalists taken prisoner in Iraq. A week ago, the efforts looked so excruciatingly futile that Foreign Minister Michel Barnier offered up a political message seemingly intent on assuaging the hostage-takers, offering recognition to terrorist groups, and enraging the Americans.
Referring last Tuesday to an international conference on Iraq's scheduled January election that the Bush administration wants held in Cairo in November, Barnier said the meeting would have to include "a certain number of groups and people who have currently chosen armed resistance." The agenda, he went on, needed to take up the presence of American troops in Iraq, and specifically the question, "How long are they are going to stay?"
The administration initially took a pass on a response. This fit the sense of a published report (in The Wall Street Journal) that the White House had ordered American officials involved in current international negotiations to be quiet for fear of making waves just before the debate Thursday.
But in Europe, there were people who noticed exactly what the French had said. In Berlin, the newspaper Der Tagesspiegel, hardly the voice of U.S. occupation forces, took the statement as outrageous: "France wants to turn the conference into one about the Americans' withdrawal and, to boot, invite the armed resistance. That has the sound of a provocation."
Not an unreasonable interpretation. It meshed with a report in Le Monde that the hostage-takers had "welcomed" on their Web site the "positive position" taken by France on the conference issue.
Ivan Rioufol of Le Figaro said this was another illustration of the pro-Arab and anti-American line chosen by France on Iraq. He wrote, "Was it necessary that our diplomacy so docilely turn itself into the spokesman of a 'resistance' that refuses the possibility of a Muslim democracy?" French policy, he added, "always creates the pathetic notion of being more conciliatory with the fundamentalists than with the democrats who are fighting them."
Still in hunkered-down, pre-debate mode, Secretary of State Colin Powell turned the other cheek. He hadn't read Barnier the way the hostage-takers apparently did.
Whatever the literal text of Barnier's remarks, Powell, in an interview with a French news agency, found no suggestion that the French had presented discussion of an American withdrawal as a precondition, or insisted that armed anti-government groups should be at the conference table.
Considering that Egypt was already on board as host to the conference, and Germany, the key European naysayer, had signaled its participation, this was exceptionally generous stuff. The Bush administration, through its secretary of state, was offering an interpretation of impossible French conditions that literally took Barnier off the hook without queering his pitch to the terrorists.
Bush and McCain's post-debate shots at France seemed to say that Powell had been abruptly superseded. Still, the events had to leave those Allies trying to find coherence in the administration line with the impression that its steadfastness on Iraq could be suspended a day at a time (or perhaps forever) to enhance Bush's electability.
France said nothing about the windfall. After all, the prolonged hostage crisis was killing what was left of its tattered pretense of special French influence among the Arabs. After proclaiming the crisis would end quickly under the massive pressure of their friends in the Arab world, the French had to watch the release of Italian hostages engineered by the Berlusconi government, habitually portrayed here as a tragicomic Bush ally.
By the weekend, the Islamic Army in Iraq, the "resistance" group that the government said held its hostages, had reversed field to the point of recalling its long view of France in a statement made available in Cairo. Its history with the Muslims, the group said, was a black one "filled with hate and blood." If France stayed out of the American-led coalition in Iraq, it was "for its own interests and not for the good of the Iraqi people."
As for the Italians, Danes, Dutch and Poles, the Europeans who have put their soldiers' lives on the line alongside the Americans, they may be excused if the apparent re-elect-Bush episode last week left them dumbfounded.
|French comedy at its best||Ça, c'est de l'humour franchouille!|
|Last of the Famous International Playboys fills us in on France's late great Operation Julia (no, it's not Julia Channel). Lucky for the French, the international influence of Ripoublika Franska is on the rise (with Hezbolla, Hamas, Al-Aqsa Suburban Brigadz). Bwahahaha.
||Le Tombeur de Ces Dames nous fait le topo sur feue Opération Julia (non, pas Julia Channel). Heureusement pour les franchouilles, l'influence de leur Ripoublika Franska est toujours florissante (auprès de Hezbollah, Hamas, et les Al-Aqsa Sarcelles Boyz). On se fend la gueule.
|The French coronate Kerry for the umpteenth time||Les franchouilles donnent Kerry pour gagnant pour la énième fois|
|Kerry: 1000 deaths, lies, unemployment, pulling out of the Kyoto Treaty, disastrous war, increase in terrorism ..., Bush: Don't care, I seem nice!
|Bush: it ain't over 'til it's over!
|Americans, you are hated here||Les américains, vous êtes détestés ici|
|All pretense is left behind and we can see to what extent the French hate the American public, and not just George Bush as several narrow minded French continue to claim. Le Monde Diplomatique now grants us articles the likes of 'George W. Bush's Little People' and 'The America that Votes for George W. Bush' (with the image below). One French blogger calls for a 'humanist' revolutionary civil war in the United States between enlightened megapoles and backward Bible Belters.
||Le masque tombe et nous voyons à quel point les franchouilles détestent le peuple américain, et non seulement George Bush, comme quelques esprits franchouilles étriqués continuent à affirmer. Le Monde Diplomatique nous gratifie d'articles comme 'Le Petit Peuple de George W. Bush' et 'Cette Amérique qui vote George W. Bush' (avec l'image ci-dessous). Un bloggeur franchouille appelle à une guerre civile 'humaniste' révolutionnaire aux Etats-unis entre les mégalopoles éclairées et la Bible Belt arriérée. Avant, ce n'était qu'une hystérique de plus qui avait ses règles, le voilà maintenant qui nous fait carrément une fausse couche.
…look at his campaign rhetoric, and you will see that far from being an alliance-builder, Kerry gives every indication of being a President who would spurn help and allies via a mixture of clumsy personal diplomacy and gratuitous insults aimed at America's friends abroad.James K. Glassman on environmentalism at the Tech Central Station:
…John Kerry chose to score political points by insulting and alienating American allies. It makes you wonder what kind of coalition-builder he would really be.
One reason [that the Democrat Party pushed for passage of the Kyoto treaty was] pressure from sanctimonious Europeans, who had taken Vice President Al Gore to the cleaners in Kyoto, producing a treaty that would inflict far less economic harm on Europe than on the United States. Now, the Europeans were faced with going it alone, losing their competitive Kyoto advantage.
…The U.S. environment continues to improve — far faster than Europe's in many areas.
…Thursday, Sept. 30, in Miami. John Kerry is trying to make the point that nobody (read: Germany and France) loves us anymore because George Bush, with a coalition of 30 other nations, including Britain, Australia, Poland and Italy, went right ahead and enforced the resolutions on Iraq that the United Nations itself was so reluctant to enforce.
Out of his bag of tricks, Kerry pulls…. the Kyoto Protocol!
Maybe the poor man doesn't remember his vote in 1997. Maybe he hasn't read the Democratic platform.
At any rate, it was a bad choice. He grabbed another flip-flop.
Most [surviving kamikazes] were still waiting for orders to fly when Japan surrendered to the Allies in September 1945. A few others were spared because they did not reach their intended targets — a failure [Shigeyoshi] Hamazono found intolerable at the time. He was on standby to fly a fourth mission when Japan capitulated. Denied the opportunity to redeem his honor, he felt disgraced.
… "Kamikaze" has ceased to be a slur in Japan. If the Japanese still can't agree on whether the pilots were victims or heroes, brainwashed conscripts or volunteers, they are at least prepared to honor their spirit of sacrifice.
Only the modern menace of the suicide bomber has emerged to spoil this sentiment.
The survivors bitterly resent the world's appropriation of the term "kamikaze" — meaning "divine wind" and originally coined to describe the unexpected typhoons that saved 13th century Japan from invading Mongol ships — as shorthand for suicide bombers of every stripe.
There are the "Al Qaeda kamikazes" who flew passenger planes into office towers, "Palestinian kamikazes" who blow up pizza parlors filled with teenagers in Jerusalem, and "female Chechen kamikazes" willing to detonate explosive girdles in the middle of school gymnasiums crammed with children.
Japan's originals are insulted to be mentioned in the same breath.
"When I hear the comparison, I feel so sorry for my friends who died, because our mission was totally different from suicide bombers," Hamazono says as he strolls through the Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots in Chiran, a former air base on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu.
The kamikazes attacked military targets. In contrast, "the main purpose of a suicide bomber is to kill as many innocent civilians as they can," Hamazono says. That, he says, "is just murder."
The same distinction is made by other survivors of the Tokkotai, or Special Attack Force, conventionally known as the kamikaze. Its survivors tick off the reasons their goal-line stand against an American invasion was different from the blind lashing-out of suicide bombers today:
• They were ready to die out of love for their country, they say; suicide bombers are driven by hatred and revenge.
• The Shinto religion offers no reward of life after death. Islamic suicide bombers are promised a place in an afterlife.
• They were volunteers, motivated solely by patriotism. Suicide bombers often are recruited by militia leaders who offer money to their families.
Yet the arguments can't prevent those who use suicide tactics today from claiming Japanese kamikazes as an inspiration.
Naoto Amaki, Japan's former ambassador to Lebanon, recalled delivering a polite lecture to Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Shiite Islamist militia Hezbollah, in 2001. Amaki said he told Nasrallah that Japan's experience was a lesson in the ultimate futility of violence.
Not so, replied the sheik.
"He told me: 'We learned how to do suicide missions from the kamikazes,' " Amaki recalled. "Nasrallah said the Shiites all commend the Japanese samurai spirit."
Amaki says the analogy is faulty. "We Japanese are not a religious people; we just obey instructions. But the Arab world is looking for support wherever they can get it, so they seek out every excuse to legitimize their actions."
And kamikaze survivors resent it.
"We did what we did for military purposes," says Takeo Tagata, 88, a kamikaze instructor who was ordered to fly a mission the day before Japan surrendered. "No matter what supreme ideas they talk about, suicide bombers are just killing innocent civilians, people who don't have anything to do with their war."
Nor does Tagata have any doubt that Japan was justified in using "crash-dive" tactics in the final months of the war.
"It was worth it," he says, sitting almost at attention in the Tokyo office of a nationalist cultural organization. "It's not a question of whether Japan could win or not — if you're in a war, you have to come up with some kind of strategy. If the pilots really thought it was so bad, they would have rioted. But they stayed. They were proud of their mission."
Not all the pilots were eager to die for the emperor, counters Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney of the University of Wisconsin, an anthropologist who has studied the private letters of the 1,000 or so kamikazes conscripted from the ranks of university graduates.
… Hamazono says that although pilots were asked to "volunteer," they really had no choice. … [He] is sitting in Chiran's museum where the staff fuss over him like a celebrity. He is treasured here, an unexpected, living artifact whose presence spices up the museum's displays of musty uniforms, photos and a kamikaze's shredded airplane frame dredged from the sea. "I still don't think it was a mistake to send kamikazes," Hamazono says, though he wonders why, if they thought suicide attacks were such a good idea, none of the officers volunteered. …