Saturday, January 01, 2005

Across-the-board anti-Americanism at a newsstand near you Anti-américanisme universel dans les kiosks à journaux
Americans, you are hated here. Hated more than you can possibly imagine. Despite the claims made by clown-faced paternalistic spittle driveling morons. Thanks to Doug.
Les américains, vous êtes détestés ici. Détestés bien plus que vous ne pouvez l'imaginer. Malgré les péroraisons rabâchées par les postillonnants bouseux paternalistes aux bouilles à bozo. Merci à Doug.

Who's on First?

Even Le Monde has to admit that Uncle Sam is the largest contributor of aid to victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami…

…although France's newspaper of reference did try to do that surreptitiously, by hiding that information inside Jean-Pierre Langellier's article devoted to the fact that Great Britain is the second-largest contributor of aid to tsunami victims (!)…

Two days later (only), Eric Leser does have a piece on the size of the American contribution but, needless to say, it is replete with criticism. And when Andrew Natsios tells Fox News that France, in turn, can hardly be called a major contributor of aid (as compared with Britain, Japan, the EU, Canada, and Australia), of course, the independent newspaper must devote the entire last paragraph to the French response to that charge, and to the French ambassador's putting Washington's motivations into question…

Meanwhile, Plantu's love-in with the United Nations — the paragon of virtue, the bastion of legality, and the epitome of efficiency — continues…
(Click here for a list of aid groups accepting donations for the victims…)

Across-the-board anti-Americanism Anti-américanisme universel
Americans, you are hated here. Hated more than you can possibly imagine.
Les américains, vous êtes détestés ici. Détestés bien plus que vous ne pouvez l'imaginer.

On the rag Toujours avec leurs ragnagnas
$350 million. The French panty-waist bloggers will still find reason to bitch. $350 million would buy 'em alot of Tampax.
$350 million. La frange pédaloïde de la blogosphère franchouille trouvera toujours une bonne raison pour rouspéter. $350 million leur acheteraient beaucoup de serviettes hygiéniques.

Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke Aucun sens de l'humour ces connards
Obsessed with their own decline, the French are more and more depressed.
Obsédés par leur propre déclin, les franchouilles sont de plus en plus déprimés.

Bonne année et bonne santé

Friday, December 31, 2004

Happy New Year, to One and to All!

McOndo: McDonalds Macintosh Condos
Magical realism is dead. With Allende out of the way: Progess through market-driven bilingualism in Chile.
Le réalisme magique est mort. Allende aux chiottes: Le progrès grâce au bilinguisme et marchés ouverts au Chili.

Palme d'or Cannes 2005

Thursday, December 30, 2004

What Type of Iraqi Citizen Should a Journalist Choose as Guide in Order to Send Home the Most Objective Articles Possible?

When reporting from the new Iraq — you know, the Iraq that has been existing since the fall of the Ba'ath dictatorship in April 2003 — what type of local native should an independent journalist choose to take with him as his guide for the most objective, penetrating articles possible?

If you are a French journalist, the answer is a Syrian member of the Ba'ath party, of course, preferably one who still refers to Saddam Hussein as "president"…

Tewfik Hakem reports in Le Monde that the former chauffeur of Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot dreams of a pan-Arabic world.

A partisan of Arab unity since his youth, faithful [notice the presence of the positive-sounding word fidèle] to the Ba'ath movement created by the Christian Michel Aflaq in Damascus in the 1940s, [Mohamed al-Joundi] forsook Syria for Iraq a short time after Hafez al-Assad's régime forced the party's founders, including Michel Aflaq, into exile in 1963. In Baghdad, he became an employee in the party of Saddam Hussein, whom he still calls 'president'. His contacts at the heart of the fallen régime interested the two French reporters who were investigating 'the Iraq resistance'.
(Strange. When mentioning the birth of Ba'athism, why would anyone forget that the movement was modeled after Hitler's Nazi party? Probably nothing more than a slip of the pen…)

During a release celebration at the Paris townhall on December 22, during which he gave a toast not only "to the health of Georges and Christian" but also "to Jacques Chirac and the French government", Mohamed al-Joundi said that as early as two days after all three men's kidnapping, he knew that "things could only go well, because our kidnappers were resistants to the American occupation, and not crooks."

(Here is some more Iraqi praise for 'the president' along with another example of the typical dastardly deeds carried out by the villainous American occupiers which manages to parallel a description of the proud, brave, and noble members of the Baghdad resistance — as well as their legendary mutual solidarity.)

Al-Joundi has said he is planning to sue the American army for "ill treatment and death threats". Before their release, he had not made any comments, because as long as Malbrunot and Chesnot were still being held captive, the "highest French authorities" had asked him not to go public with his grievances against the Americans.

Just in case you don't think al-Joundi has been clear enough, he was speaking with a radiant face, and (now that diplomatic niceties were no longer necessary) did not hide his joy when, referring to the release coupled with the attack that killed 19 servicemen inside a Mosul base mess hall, he added that "Yesterday was a very good day for the French and a very bad one for the Americans".

Read Liberal Iraqi's comment on this
(shookhran to MiF), then bookmark his weblog

At last the two French journalists have been released by their kidnapers. See, these terrorists (errr.. freedom fighters) are not dangerous at all! They don't kill you if you don't mess up with them and if you support their just cause. They only kidnap you, hold you for few months and "treat you well" and then release you. That's not bad, is it? I dare say it's even a good reason to celebrate. …

France's opposition to the Iraq war had a soupçon of principle in a kettle of cynicism burbling with Iraqi oil and blood

For centuries France has claimed a monopoly on political virtue by glomming all the credit for the Enlightenment and by pretending to be its anointed protector throughout history
writes Jonah Goldberg as the NRO editor-at-large discusses "two great new books" that attack the French from France's "most vulnerable sides: facts and logic."
… let's also not gloss over the fact that more than a few French intellectuals have been known to look at dictators and mass-murderers the way Michael Jackson gazes at posters of Macaulay Culkin.

… France's opposition to the Iraq war had a soupçon of principle in a kettle of cynicism burbling with Iraqi oil and blood. Indeed, we forget that the phrase "millions for defense, not a penny for tribute" stemmed from [early] America's [1798] refusal to acquiesce to French shakedowns during the XYZ affair.

… But the most annoying irony is that while they ribbit a big game about bringing liberty and civilization to the world, France's record is one of sowing the seeds of tyranny and corruption almost everywhere they've planted their flag.

… The British valued virtue more than liberty; the Americans had it the other way around. But where the French differed is that they sought to replace the religion of old Europe with a new cult of reason. … By making a religion out of politics, with the state at its center, the French never embraced liberty the way Anglo-Americans did. It was this legacy that lent intellectual heft to all the great dictators — Napoleon, Mussolini, Hitler, and Stalin. …

(Merci à GS)

Stingy? Radin?
Other countries aren't stingy, they just don't have any pocket change. 'Day by Day' is back.
Les autres pays ne sont pas prêts de leurs sous, ils n'ont pas de sous. 'Day by Day' est de retour.

We Are Wrong, and Damn Proud of It Too!

Which is better: to be right with Aron or to be wrong with Sartre?
was the question asked during the Cold War, when the pro-American, pro-capitalist (and, dare I say, pro-common sense) Raymond Aron took on the pro-Soviet moral relativism spewing out of the mouth of Jean-Paul Sartre (and much of French society). As the very fact that the question was even asked can tell you, the unspoken answer was that it was better to feel good, humanistic, and lucid with the latter's pro-Soviet faction than to boringly agree with the former's pro-common sense faction.

An old fogey in the académie française proves that the question has not (and the feelings have not) gone away. Describing what he calls "the twain attitudes of French thought in the 20th century" (and comparing the two men to rival predecessors such as Corneille and Racine, and Voltaire and Rousseau), Bertrand Poirot-Delpech writes:

Aron frantically sought all that could be said that was truthful, that was logical, and that would shed light on the ideologies in his presence.
That should make him the winner, non?


Just see how much farther Sartre went:

Sartre made of the act of reading and of writing a challenge of existence. He made a game of exercising his multiple talents by turns, without sacrificing an ounce of lucidité.
Well, no wonder it is better to be wrong with Sartre!

Fallujah Again?

It's a dangerous world, out there, Roland.

One of Doonesbury's liberal reporters flies off "to some dusty backwater with inedible food, an incomprehensible culture, and hordes of hostile fundamentalists!"

Kipling on Being a Man…

Today is the birthday of Rudyard Kipling, the British author (1865-1936) who said
A man's mind is wont to tell him more than seven watchmen sitting in a tower.

All the people like us are we, and everyone else is They.

An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy.

Borrow trouble for yourself, if that's your nature, but don't lend it to your neighbors.

What happened at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo was, and is, beyond belief…

an infamy which the world's press must focus on to prevent the planet from descending into barbarism…

In France, "Islam has replaced Marxism as the ideology of contestation" with a transnational ideology tilting toward an eventual utopian vision

In his Letter from France, Craig S Smith reports in the International Herald Tribune that in Europe, Islam fills Marxism's old shoes:
When Azzedine Belthoub was growing up in the shantytowns outside of Nanterre, France, 40 years ago, the people who came to take the young North African kids to swim in the community pool, to register them for school and give them candy and comic books, were Marxists. The French Communist Party offered a political voice for the working classes, including the growing number of North African immigrants imported to fill labor shortages after World War II.

Today, Islam plays that role, especially in France, where men like Belthoub, wearing long beards and short djellabas, reach out to the poor and disillusioned in the country's working-class neighborhoods.

Young Arabs and Africans here have turned to Islam with the same fervor that the idealistic youth of the 1960s turned toward Marxism.

"Now, religion has become our identity," Belthoub said last week, sitting in a friend's apartment in a largely Muslim suburb north of Paris.

The question is whether Islam in Europe will follow the same path that communism did here, shedding its revolutionary extremism, electing mayors and legislators and assimilating itself into normal democratic political life.

As with Marxism in the 1960s, Islam in Europe has its radical fringe and its pragmatic mainstream. The latter is much the broader, intent on expanding Muslims' political power in French society. It has consciously mimicked many of the tactics of the left, including organizing summer camps where urban young people learn the tenets of the movement.

… Islam's growth in Europe as the most vibrant ideology of the downtrodden is part of a wave of religiosity that has swept the Arab world in the past 30 years, propelled by frustration over feeble economies, uneven distribution of wealth and the absence of political freedom.

Like communism, it represents for many of its devoted adherents a transnational ideology tilting toward an eventual utopian vision, in this case of a vast, if not global, caliphate governed according to sharia, the legal code based on the Koran.

But the religion's appeal reaches beyond the communities of Arab and African immigrants born to the faith. … "Islam has replaced Marxism as the ideology of contestation," says Olivier Roy, a French scholar of European Islam. "When the left collapsed, the Islamists stepped in."

… The map of France's Islamists today largely matches that of the country's Marxists from decades ago. Many predominantly Muslim municipalities are still under Communist-led administrations, but Islamic organizations are now the active ones. …

In similar news, the AP's Anthony Deutsch has reported that (dank u to GS) "The Netherlands' intelligence service [has warned] that radical Islamic ideology is spreading to thousands of young Dutch Muslims through Internet sites and online chat rooms." …

It's just a blip on the screen Ce n'est qu'un blip sur l'écran
So while Pavlovian bitches continue to bark at the slightest mention of the United States or Bush, Zeropa has dropped off the US' radar.
Alors que les petites lopes pavloviennes se mettent à aboyer dès qu'on parle des Etats-unis ou de Bush, la Zéropa a disparu du radar aux Etats-unis.

Go for the jugular Arrachez la jugulaire
A new Iraqi blogger trashes France.
Un nouveau bloggeur irakien s'en prend à la Fwance.

Blind hatred Haine aveugle
The false accusations of stinginess have already made the rounds here in Fwance. The panty-waist wing of the French blogosphere does not yet know that their puny little country was Amazoned. That doesn't stop them from going at it like Pavlov's dogs (bitches).
Les fausses accusations de radinerie ont fait la tour de la Fwance. La frange pédaloïde de la blogosphère franchouille n'a pas encore compris que son pays de gagne-petits était foudroyé par Amazon. Ça ne les arrête pas d'y aller avec leurs reflexes pavloviens (et on ne peut pas être certain que ce soit de la bave aux lèvres avec eux).

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Andy Johnson on Good Laws and a "Poor" Government

Today is the birthday of Andrew Johnson, the 17th President of the United States (1808-1875) who said 
There are no good laws but such as repeal other laws.

The goal to strive for is a poor government but a rich people

Tyranny and despotism can be exercised by many, more rigourously, more vigourously, and more severely, than by one.

We have no legal authority more than private citizens, and within it we have only so much as that instrument gives us. This broad principle limits all our functions and applies to all subjects.

There are some who lack confidence in the integrity and capacity of the people to govern themselves. To all who entertain such fears I will most respectfully say that I entertain none . . . If man is not capable, and is not to be trusted with the government of himself, is he to be trusted with the government of others . . . Who, then, will govern? The answer must be, Man for we have no angels in the shape of men, as yet, who are willing to take charge of our political affairs.

Spike in Casualties, Degrading Morale, Baffled US Commanders: The Only Solution Is Dialog…

You will never get rid of the insurgency in Iraq, there will just be more and more and more, you cannot defeat them

(Shookhran to Greg und Danke zu RV)

The NRO's W. Thomas Smith Jr agrees:

Surprise attacks in supposedly secure areas. A spike in casualties. A few baffled American commanders. Suspicions of degrading morale within some units. Outright refusal to carry out lawful orders in others. Troops stretched too thin. Blame heaped on planners and those said to be responsible for unreliable intelligence.

Sound familiar?

(Read "The present situation is to be regarded
as an opportunity for us and not a disaster"

Ghost Firms Hinder Oil-For-Food Probe

The AP's Sam Cage:
The U.N.-ordered probe into oil-for-food corruption is being seriously hampered by an elaborate system of ghost firms set up around the world to cover the tracks of bribes to Saddam Hussein as he cheated the $60 billion program, a top investigator said.

"Switzerland and Liechtenstein have promised to help," [Swiss criminal lawyer Mark Pieth] said of the two countries where more than two dozen companies got oil under the program, according to an AP examination of records.

Neither nation is known for having oil reserves of its own. But according to a list Volcker released of 248 companies that "lifted," or exported, Iraqi oil under the program, companies based in Switzerland took more than those from any other country except France and Russia. The tiny principality of Liechtenstein — which has 33,000 inhabitants — came in eighth on the list.

[former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Paul] Volcker has said that being on the list doesn't necessarily imply guilt in paying kickbacks.

Switzerland and Liechtenstein are among countries whose lax regulations and traditions of discretion in business and banking make them attractive for trading companies.

Front companies registered in other tax havens — such as Cyprus, Jordan, Panama, Curação in the Caribbean, and Jersey in the Channel Islands off the United Kingdom — also feature in the oil-for-food investigation.

The French Foreign Ministry and the Iraq Hostage Situation: Coaching the Journalists, Sabotaging Private Initiatives, and Playing the Blame Game

Or: And so what is new at the Quai d'Orsay (and in French politics in general)?…

Pas grand chose

A member of the Didier Julia team has warned Foreign Minister Michel Barnier "not to go too far" in his vendetta against the UMP representative who, single-handedly, attempted to bring about the liberation of Georges Malbrunot and Christian Chesnot in September, writes Philippe Le Cœur.

Seeing Barnier's vendetta as an attempt to cast all the blame on Julia, adds the AFP, history professor Philippe Evano has threatened the foreign ministry with "providing light" on what really happened.

Already he has given a taste of what he might reveal by saying, in general terms, that if anybody is responsible for the Julia mission floundering, says Evano, it is the French foreign ministry's Barnier, who sabotaged it "at least twice".

Didier Julia himself has denounced the "manipulation of Barnier and his friends, who coached the hostages in the plane bringing them back to France", and which he "caught straight in the smacker." He adds that "the term of mythomaniac used by Malbrunot at my expense when he got off the plane is the deed of an énarque [a professional politician], not of a journalist. It is inadmissable."

Moreover, Hervé Gattegno et Stephen Smith point out that the French authorities never disavowed the Didier Julia initiative until it emerged that it had been a failure; in addition, they suggest that the French secret service is now trying to take revenge on a team that tried to circumvent it.

As for the UMP representative from Deux-Sèvres, Dominique Paillé has said that Barnier's call for sanctions against Julia was uncalled for, which may be far from unrelated to Evano's threat to reveal all.

Meanwhile, a Le Monde reader, Gérald Arnaud, points out that, contrary to the four-month period of incessant noise surrounding the reporters kidnapped in Iraq in August, nobody (no journalist and no politician) has made a big deal about the French journalist kidnapped in Abidjan seven months ago (on May 16). No news has been heard of Guy-André Kieffer since, and no public clamor has arisen over the man who "was investigating embezzlement in the cocoa importation network, a sector where considerable French private interests have often mixed with those of the leaders of Ivory Coast."

Hmmm… Makes one wonder where the difference lies regarding Malbrunot and Chesnot… Now what was it again that that duo was investigating?…

"What Can They Have Against France?"

…wondered Georges Malbrunot, concerning the Iraqi kidnappers, during his and Christian Chesnot's captivity. What indeed, since the two were "good guys", i.e., they were in Iraq
to show the realities of the resistance [and] we confirmed that we are not at all following a pro-American line.
What indeed, can the kidnappers have against France, since
we Frenchmen are virginal. We have no troops, we have no businessmen, we have nothing.
In case the message of relativization still wasn't clear enough, Malbrunot added:
we feel that there exists a game of mirrors between Bush and the jihadists, who want a clash of civilizations…

Asia's Tsunami Disaster Is the Occasion for France to Lionize the UN Again…

Notwithstanding the extent of the tragedy in the Indian Ocean, the tsunami is the occasion, once again, for the French to take the opposite tack of anything involving Uncle Sam (note the contrast of the Blue Helmet above with Plantu's usual depiction of American GIs) and lionize the UN as well as all organizations involved with internationalist agendas…

(Click here for a list of aid groups accepting donations for the victims…)

PS: I'm not sure to what extent the vodka ad was appropriate when I checked out articles on the New York Times website

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

America's War Was All About Oil; The "Peace Camp's" Steps to Avert Conflict Were All About Harmony, Respect, Solidarity, Tolerance, Wisdom, etc, etc…

According to the U.N.-ordered inquiry led by Paul Volcker, these are the top 10 countries that purchased oil from Iraq under the oil-for-food program from 1996 until 2003
writes the Associated press.
1. Russia $19.259 billion

2. France $4.394 billion

3. Switzerland $3.480 billion

4. Britain $3.380 billion

5. Turkey $3.343 billion

6. Italy $2.718 billion

7. China $2.625 billion

8. Liechtenstein $2.468 billion

9. Spain $1.644 billion

10. Malaysia $1.485 billion

The United States is listed in 26th place at $482.826 million.

(Five barrels to Gregory)

The UN's Abu Ghraib?

Home-made pornographic videos shot by a United Nations logistics expert in the Democratic Republic of Congo have sparked a sex scandal that threatens to become the UN’s Abu Ghraib
write Jonathan Clayton and James Bone in The Times.
The case has highlighted the apparently rampant sexual exploitation of Congolese girls and women by the UN’s 11,000 peacekeepers and 1,000 civilians at a time when the UN is facing many problems, including the Iraqi “oil-for-food” scandal and accusations of sexual harassment by senior UN staff in Geneva and New York.

The prospect of the pornographic videos and photographs — now on sale in Congo — becoming public worries senior UN officials, who fear a UN version of the scandal at the American-run Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq. “It would be a pretty big problem for the UN if these pictures come out,” one senior official said.
Can you imagine European periodicals and television devoting as much newsprint and airtime as they did on Abu Ghraib itself? No, right?
“The fact that these things happened is a blot on us. It’s awful,” Jean-Marie Guehenno, the UN’s under-secretary-general for peacekeeping, said.

“What is important is to get to the bottom of it and fight it and make sure that people who do that pay for what they have done.”
When George W Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and other American honchos said much the same thing (often much more forcefully), they were blasted, castigated, and mocked for their comments. How much do you want to bet that media coverage of the UN scandal(s), insofar as it gets (they get) any publicity at all, will be replete with the leaders' quotation marks reported verbatim, as well as the absence of any comments, except of the tear-jerking, hand-wringing type?…

Merci to Monsieur Schreiber)

Monday, December 27, 2004

Pasteur on Barren Skepticism

In reference to constant French cynicism regarding Uncle Sam, capitalism, et al, today is the birthday of Louis Pasteur, the French chemist (1822-1895) who said
Do not let yourself be tainted with a barren skepticism.

In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind.

Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity.
And — remembering that cynicism is not an exclusively French trait in Europe — Sunday was the birthday of Charles Babbage, the English mathematician and inventor (1792-1871) who said
Propose to any Englishman any principle or instrument, however admirable, and you will observe that the whole effort of the English mind is directed to find a difficulty, a defect, or an impossibility in it.