Seeking out Iraqis with a grudge against the coaltition, Patrice Claude and Sophie Shihab found citizens who call Saddam's trial a piece of "American theater". (Foremost among the Saddam nostalgists, of course, is a former member of the dreaded Mukhabarat secret service, but let's not get into that, shall we?)
Meanwhile, a Le Monde editorial grants that the suspension of a French general in Ivory Coast is highly problematic, but thinks it worthwhile to put the affair in perspective. (As the French have done with their fellow citizens accused of "influence-peddling" and "active corruption of foreign officials" in the oil-for-food scam.)
Le danger serait de pratiquer l'amalgame et de jeter l'opprobre sur une armée qui depuis trois ans a fait preuve de sang-froid, notamment lors des événements de novembre 2004"The danger would be to lump unconnected concepts together and throw opprobrium on an army which for three years has shown itself capable of keeping its cool ".
That is the kind of sentiment a thoughtful person can entirely agree with. Of course, that is also the kind of sentiment we would have liked to see in relationship to the revelations at Abu Ghraib. Instead of days, and weeks, and months, of non-stop coverage, of expressions of disgust, and of acerbic Plantu and Serguei cartoons (as of this writing, still no Le Monde cartoons on the Ivory Coast story).
Again, we keep getting comments accusing us of seeing anti-Americanism where there is none. Again, evidence of anti-Americanism is a relentless drumbeat of double standards, not only vis-à-vis France, but vis-à-vis the rest of the world, too, all of whom basically get free passes.
Update: France's media cannot be said to be unsuccesful — one of our readers is clearly rooting for "the Rais", whom he refers to as a victim, a martyr, almost a hero…
Chat announced: Débat en direct avec Pierre-Jean Luizard, chercheur au CNRS et auteur de "La question irakienne" (Fayard), jeudi 20 octobre 2005 à 11 h 00