The most frustrating thing is not understanding what the kidnappers want. … The kidnappers' cruelty is even more unbearable given Georges [Malbrunot (and Christian Chesnot)'s] fascination with the Middle East … As regards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he has never accepted the Zionist credo of "A land without a people for a people without a land" because, in his eyes, both people are equally in the right.Certainly, the kidnappers' cruelty is more bearable when their crimes are committed against Americans (and their allies), i.e., people "who deserve it"…
…when I joined him in Baghdad in July, Georges was thoroughly skeptical about President George W. Bush's chances of turning Iraq into a democratic oasis at gunpoint. Like "The Quiet American," the innocent CIA agent of Graham Greene's novel who sowed chaos in Vietnam, Donald Rumsfeld's soldiers, Georges said, weren't even aware of a very simple fact: It is their good intentions that earn them so much hatred.Meanwhile, Dominique Moïsi says that "in view of the prevailing violence and insecurity on the ground", the warnings of Paris "were amply justified and it should have been listened to." He adds that if the United States "is pragmatic, it … should start to realize that the time for vendettas or punitive behavior is over."
Is that so, Monsieur Moïsi? It just so happens that a number of people (and governments) consider Paris's behaviour and statements during the Iraq crisis not as "warnings", but rather as (wholly undeserving) "vendettas" and "punitive behavior" towards Uncle Sam (and its allies). To now insist that America refrain from such lowly behaviour and to call for compromise and bargaining may sound offhand like reasonable advice and wise leanings, but to some of us, it sounds rather like moralizing of an entirely self-serving nature.
Whatever the case, if French (and German) media pundits were listened to, the only conclusion that one must make about Iraq is that, as Medienkritik points out, it is CHAOS, CHAOS, CHAOS everywhere!
… my little brother is an enlisted Marine … in Fallujah. This weekend he called for the first time since the battle began. He informed us that a large number of the residents of Fallujah, before fleeing the battle, left blankets and bedding for the Marines and Soldiers along with notes thanking the Americans for liberating their city from the terrorists, as well as invitations to the Marines and Soldiers to sleep in their houses. I've yet to see a report in the media of this. Imagine that [Emphasis David's].Oh oui, Monsieur Moïsi. Paris should have been listened to, there can have been no doubt about that. Oh oui, Monsieur Lambroschini. How appropriate to be "thoroughly skeptical" about the chances of "turning Iraq into a democratic oasis at gunpoint" (you had to use the "oasis" caricature to totally ridicule any improvements in the human rights situation, didnt'cha?). And as European journalists everywhere have been saying, the Americans are sowing "chaos" in Iraq and Donald Rumsfeld's soldiers are sowing hatred.
P.S. from the Marine in Fallujah:
Additionally, he said their spirits are high, but they would certainly appreciate any "care packages" that folks in the States would care to send their way (preferably consisting of non-perishable food items, candy, deodorant, eye-drops, q-tips, toothpaste, toothbrushes, lip balm, hand/feet warmers, black/dark undershirts, underwear & socks, and non-aerosol bug spray)…Would anyone know what address to send packages to?