Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Kind of Frenchman the Country Loves

Between Le Monde and the International Herald Tribune, there have been quite a lot of interesting articles in the recent past.

Henri Tincq has a piece on Jean-Marie Lustiger, Cécile Hennion goes back to the 1940s to write about the prospects for an independent Kurdistan, while Rick Smith dwells on how Sept. 11 has made Arabic the language of choice for a new generation of ambitious diplomats and academics across the world.

While Stéphanie Maupas devotes a full-page article to the hunt for war criminals (under the auspices of the Tribunal pénal international pour l'ex-Yougoslavie (TPIY), Frank Salvato has some interesting words about the Real Atrocities of Abu Ghraib on CNSNews.

Incidentally, it took Le Monde 10 days to mention the death of Max Schmeling.

But what is most interesting (and most illuminating) is Le Monde's portrait on the Elf scandal's Alfred Sirven, in which Hervé Gattegno and Pascale Robert-Diard call the late businessman (he passed away Saturday)

a totally French person. In any case, one of those characters whom the country loves, blustering and rogueish, slipping from the Republic's official palaces to its prisons, throughout a life started with heroism — the Resistance at 17, volunteering for the Indochina and Korean wars — fallen into banditry at 25 — the hold-up of a bank in Japan in 1952 — and pursued in the largest French companies until the pinnacle and the fall, at Elf-Aquitaine.

May explain quite a bit, hein?

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