Saturday, October 29, 2005

Chemises brunes de gôche et autres tarlouzes

What Are Washington's Real Reasons for Making War on Saddam Hussein?

…asked members of the so-called "peace camp" sardonically in 2003 as they prepared a principled opposition to the war-mongers and in favor of peace. "What are Washington's real objectives in Iraq?" they snorted as they prepared a detached stand in favor of tolerance and brotherhood throughout the planet, demanding that peace be given a chance.

While their peoples congratulated themselves that their leaders and those of the international community had "les couilles" to oppose Bush, they added, with a laugh in direction of the clueless Yankees, "Do you believe everything your leaders tell you?!"

Betsy Pisik:
Russian and French firms dominated the list of companies that made nearly $2 billion in illicit payments to Saddam Hussein's regime in order to win contracts under the Iraq oil-for-food program, according to a massive new report released yesterday in a U.N.-approved inquiry.

More than half the companies that participated in the U.N. oil-for-food program helped Saddam undermine international sanctions by paying kickbacks and fees to the regime, according to investigators, who found that 2,250 firms from 66 nations made illegal payments to Iraq.

"The reports show that Saddam Hussein aggressively manipulated a well-intentioned program so that he could divert to his personal use billions of dollars that belonged to the Iraqi people," said John R. Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

"But he was only able to accomplish this misdeed with the willing cooperation of U.N. officials, the acquiescence of some member states, and, as today's report indicates, the willingness of private companies and individuals to pay huge sums in bribes and kickbacks to the Hussein regime."

Firms from countries that Iraq deemed sympathetic -- including U.N. Security Council powers France, Russia and China -- were often given preferential treatment, according to the 623-page report compiled by a team of investigators headed by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul A. Volcker.

Those same governments worked to loosen the sanctions, and also opposed the U.S.-led 2003 invasion of Iraq.…
Contrary to what you have been told,
Only a handful of U.S. firms were found to be in violation of the oil-for-food program, in part because Washington was emphatically in favor of stern sanctions.
Claims that "America did the same" are not only false, therefore, they are part of the fallback tactic when the usual holier-than-thou strategy seems (at least temporarily) impossible to defend: "Either we are (far) better, wiser, more lucid, and more tolerant than our bogeymen (the Yanks) or, at worst, we are just as bad all of us. But heaven forbid that at any time, anybody should entertain the notion that Uncle Sam may be (may have been) right"…

What is interesting (and self-serving) is that, consciously or not, this fallback tactic is in itself part of the holier-than-thou strategy, in view of the fact that, with the Yanks being the clueless idiots that everybody knows them to be (the idiots who think they are holier-than-thou when everybody knows we are all equal), the "we are all as bad" tactic goes to show that, even then, the Euros prove to be more wise and more tolerant and more open-eyed and more open to self-criticism than the Yanks in question…

Aurelio Garcia

Friday, October 28, 2005

Le Monde's In-Depth Articles Focus on Chaos in Iraq as Volcker Releases a Report and a Frenchman Says He Did It to Support the Iraqi People

Le Monde's Yves Eudes has chosen excerpts from soldier blogs in Iraq. Needless to say, he starts out by confusing a combat zone with a matter of censorship, regretting that one can hardly find "authentic" soldier blogs anymore.

"Authentic", for the newspaper of reference, means blogs filled with cynicism, hand-wringing complaints, and the blame game in regards to the brass and America's leaders, along with suggestions that Washington's foreign policy without consultations with its allies (well-meaning, detached, and nuanced allies such as France and Russia) has done nothing but bring grief, chaos, and "la merde".

Meanwhile, Patrice Claude tells us of the travails of surviving in the Iraqi capital.

In Baghdad, today, noone no longer trusts anybody. Distrust is at the same level as the lack of security. Generalized. … Staying alive in the growing chaos in Baghdad has become the obsession.
You can almost see the independent newspaper reporter shaking his head as he quotes a bodyguard as saying
In Baghdad, today, it's the strongest and the best armed who sets down the law
Oh, the good old pre-chaos days, when trust reigned and the strongest and the best-armed did not set down the law.

Oh, the good old pre-chaos days, when (as Doreen Carvajal and Andrew Kramer put it)

the Iraqi government developed a policy of favoring France, as well as Russia; it considered France a "friend" for opposing the United Nations' sanctions against Iraq. Other companies from different countries tried to reposition themselves with French connections and the help of well-placed people.

The report focused on Jean-Bernard Mérimée, a former French ambassador to the UN who, investigators allege, received $165,725 in commissions for oil allocations awarded by the Iraqi regime. He is already under investigation by French authorities, who are examining the roles of 11 other people. Their names also surfaced in the report and included Charles Pasqua, an ex-French interior minister, and his former aide, Bernard Guillet.

"While serving as a special adviser to the secretary general of the UN, with the rank of under secretary general, Jean-Bernard Mérimée began receiving oil allocations that would ultimately total approximately six million barrels from the government of Iraq," the report said.

The findings cast a harsh spotlight on a circle of people who, investigators said, manipulated the system and gained favors from the Iraqi government for opposing sanctions [and for opposing Washington's foreign policy? (ed)].

Tariq Aziz, who at the time was Iraq's deputy prime minister, told investigators that beneficiaries received oil barrel allocations based on their level of opposition to the sanctions.…

The report also cited Banque Nationale de Paris, or B.N.P., for playing a double role in handling the oil-for-food escrow account, but not revealing knowledge about certain financial relationships that enabled the payment of illegal surcharges. B.N.P., however, issued a company statement that the illicit surcharges were detected only through the "enormous investigative efforts" of the Volcker committee and the C.I.A.. The bank called it "unjustified" to suggest that "alleged deficiencies in its screening of payments contributed to illicit surcharges."

In Russia, the outline of the system was already known, but the report provided new information tying Russian energy companies to cash payments to the Iraqi Embassy.

One-third of the oil exported from Iraq through the program ended up in the hands of Russian companies, the report said. Russia had argued for lifting the sanctions.

… But one of those accused, Gilles Munier, freely admits that he received oil grants, which he used to fund the activities of a French-Iraqi association in Paris that crusaded against sanctions.

"My conscience is clear," said Munier, who noted that French authorities had confiscated his passport to prevent his departure from the country. "I am paying for my support of the Iraqi people."

The Ministry of Truth Cadre of the Academy has spoken

In a fight between doom-peddling academics who usually look for fault in the prism of hating their own culture, and self-righteous revisionist, I hope that both are made fools of.

Historians upset as France burnishes its colonial past:

«PARIS -- France, grappling for decades with its colonial past, has passed a law to put an upbeat spin on the era, making it mandatory to enshrine in textbooks the country's "positive role" in its far-flung colonies.

But the law is stirring anger among historians and passions in such former colonies as Algeria, which gained independence in a brutal conflict. Critics accuse France of trying to gild an inglorious colonial past with an "official history." At issue is language in the law stipulating that "school programs recognize in particular the positive character of the French overseas presence, notably in North Africa."

The measure is one article in a law recognizing the "national contribution" of French citizens who lived in the colonies before independence. It is aimed, above all, at recognizing the French who lived in Algeria and were forced to flee, and Algerians who fought on the side of France. »
An opponent of the law tries to persuade lawmakers with the penchance for nationalism rather than an obligation to accuracy:
«"Morally, the law is shameful," said University of Paris history professor Claude Liauzu, who was behind the petition, "and it discredits France overseas."

Not until 1999 did Paris call the Algerian conflict a "war." Throughout the fighting, and for decades afterward, France had referred to operations there only to "maintain order."

The newspaper Liberation last week published drawings from "France Overseas," an illustrated colonial atlas of 1931 that showed "before" and "after" drawings -- one a sketch of Africans cooking and eating another human being, the second a schoolhouse on a well-manicured street with a French flag flying overhead.»
Actually little seems to have changed, except that the Africans of their past are now "Etats Unien" in their minds at present. It's summed up in what a French colleague of mine said: "you can't call that malbouffe! That word's only for American food."

to RV

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Progressivism soon to have its’ epicene ecstasy

A parody headline sure to please the most confused person in the world, who unlike those with another world view, does not get bunged by a retailer. A few million must die of course to usher in the great progressive earthly paradise:

Israel Dismantles; World's Problems End

«Persistent rhetoric coming from concerned progressive critics worldwide has finally convinced Israeli officials that the state of Israel has no moral right to exist. "That's it," Prime Minister Ariel Sharon explained at a press conference. "We are dismantling the Nation of Israel. I'm leaving for Poland next week."
From Russia to Morocco to Yemen to France, countries are anticipating the arrival of Israelis. In Moscow, an enormous banner was erected that read "Welcome Home, Jews." and erstwhile presidential candidate Vladimir Zhirinovsky exclaimed, "I'm going to bake a huge batch of cookies for this homecoming!" And in cities throughout Germany, joyous "Judenfests" were ubiquitous, as local citizens were arranging festivals to celebrate the Jewish arrival.»
So... that’s that. All of civilization’s difficulties end if we follow the great rhetoric of the tranzi leftist mind, which due to the need to include all, has managed to justify notions of pagrom into the minds of the gullible. In fact the mind has been so softened that even Nazi-chic is acceptable fare for the young, hip, and artfully minded.

Are Streets Throughout France Named After a KGB Collaborationist?

Two hammer blows have been delivered against the myth of Salvador Allende, writes Carlos Alberto Montaner, the second of which, he says, comes from
Vasily Mitrokhin of Russia and Christopher Andrew of Britain. The former, now dead, was a patient archivist for the KGB who had the fortunate thought of taking home copies of his work. The latter is a respected British historian.

In 1992, amid the collapse of the Soviet Union, Mitrokhin defected to the West, carrying that valuable information and began to publish it. The second and final volume of his book contains this information about Allende: The late Chilean president was a KGB collaborationist, who received money, transmitted information and contributed to Soviet plans for the conquest of Latin America.

Allende was known as a confidential contact, someone who Moscow counted on to undermine democratic regimes and -- in accordance with the great Soviet project for world hegemony -- to eventually achieve the political defeat and destruction of the United States.

In reality, there is no contradiction between the young Allende, captivated by the fascist ideas prevalent in the 1930s, and the old Allende of the 1970s, a KGB collaborationist.

Read also about the KGB agent who became a coffee expert

One flew over the Zappo’s nest

This week: we hear the adulations of a desperate man who thinks that he’s “under siege” by the Pope and the U.S. and has had a mini “moonbat-palooza” as a sidebar at the Iberian Summit with a few friends.

«At the conference, Prime Minister Zapatero went out of his way to flatter and appease the leaders of the two countries that are most hostile to the U.S.: Cuba and Venezuela. Castro, at least, wasn’t physically present. But Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was, and Zapatero not only laughed and joked with him but also cut a deal to supply him weapons.»
They accomplished little else, and managed to burn a few bridges as well as pity himself.
«In the book, Zapatero answers questions on his own life, and details "the new ideas that inspire his administration's project, beginning with the demand to rebuild morality in politics, his preferences for political liberalism instead of 'Blairite' economic liberalism, and that's where his program comes from." During the entire interview, Zapatero made constant allusions to Tony Blair and to the differences between the two. Zapatero said, "I am convinced that the Socialist tradition must confront liberalism, but I prefer political liberalism to economic liberalism."»
There really isn’t much there to make sense of, but it really isn’t that different than the profile of a alcoholic who is just about to bottom out. In this case he might take his country’s credibility with him.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The anti-war Left couldn't wait for the death of the 2,000th soldier in Iraq

The anti-war Left couldn't wait for the death of the 2,000th soldier in Iraq. Peace activists have been gearing up for protests, vigils, and other events this week to mark the completely bogus milestone. Why 2,000? Was the 2nd or 555th or 1,678th death not as worth mourning as any other death with nice round numbers?
Thus writes Michelle Malkin as Kentucky Dan recalls what happened to the mother of the 1,000th soldier to die. Malkin, again:
Lt. Col. Boylan reminded the media that "the 2,000th Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine that is killed in action is just as important as the first that died and will be just as important as the last to die in this war against terrorism and to ensure freedom for a people who have not known freedom in over two generations." He advised journalists to pay as much attention to the true milestones in the war -- including the momentous events of Iraqis voting, training for the police and security forces, and joining the new government.

"Celebrate the daily milestones, the accomplishments they have secured and look to the future of a free and democratic Iraq and to the day that all of our troops return home to the heroes welcome they deserve," Boylan urged.

Aurelio Garcia

Anti-zionism is the euphemism used for leftist hate speech

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

‘These people!’ so unfair!!!

It took more than a year, but the UN oil for food scandal has arrived.

Claudia Rosett

«Even the French have finally discovered the United Nations Oil-for-Food scandal. With the arrest in Paris this week of a former French ambassador to the U.N., Jean-Bernard Merimee, alleged to have received illicit and lucrative contracts to buy oil from Saddam Hussein's U.N.-sanctioned regime, the French newspapers are now aflutter over "petrole contre nourriture."
The funny thing is, while France had plenty to do with Oil-for-Food, Merimee's main trail leads not to the Quai d'Orsay, but to the doorstep of the U.N. secretary general.

That fact seems to have escaped Annan himself, who, as the French investigation was turning hot, turned up on Swiss TV last weekend lamenting in French that criticism from "these people" (presumably he meant the people who object to corruption at the U.N.) is "unfair" and "hard to bear." If that is Annan's bottom line after abundant evidence that his handpicked head of Oil-for-Food, Benon Sevan, was on the take from Saddam, and that his own son, Kojo Annan, sought to profit from the program, then perhaps the case of Merimee will not interest the secretary general in the least.»
Everyone is special:

«But the timing of Jean-Bernard Merimee's trajectory through Kofi Annan's list of "Special and Personal Representatives and Envoys" ought to interest anyone who cares about the integrity of top management at the United Nations.
From 1991-1995, Merimee served as ambassador of France to the U.N. From there, he went on to serve until 1998 as ambassador of France to Rome. Then, he became one of the U.N's own. In February, 1999, Kofi Annan brought Merimee into his select U.N. team of special advisers and envoys, bestowing on Merimee the U.N.'s third-highest rank of undersecretary general, and appointing him as "Special Adviser of the Secretary-General for European Issues."»

It isn’t about where it ends, but where it NEVER ends:
«Even by the standards of U.N. bureaucracy, Merimee's lingering calling card seems to have been a monumentally persistent oversight, suggesting at best that Annan holds cheap the designation of high U.N. rank. Other entries on the list showed it had been updated by way of at least 60 new entries since Merimee was supposed to have departed. There was also at least one more update earlier this year, involving the removal of the name of another of Annan's top advisers and envoys, Canadian Maurice Strong [ED. some of his friends call him Maurice] — who stepped aside in April in connection with a U.S. federal investigation related to Oil-for-Food. Throughout, Merimee remained on the list.»
As hard as it tries to insulate itself from justice, the international clique CAN be brought to account for its’ negligence and actions. The very positions that heads of barely-auditable, big-time, guilt-tripping NGOs aspire to and hold in high regard do not put anyone above standards of decency.

Small c, small j, except when you (politically) need a capital J

Somehow, I don’t thing the Churches or council of Synagogues made this decision over how to call themselves:

No more "Christ" with a capital C in the Netherlands

«Brussels, Oct. 19, 2005 (CNA) - According to a new grammar rule in the Netherlands and Belgium, the name "Christ" will soon be written with a lower-case "c", as stipulated by an orthography reform published last

According to the agency, the new spelling rules also will stipulate that the Dutch word for "jews" (joden) be spelled with a capital "J" when referring to nationality and with a lower-case "j" when referring to the religion. The changes will be mandatory starting in August 2006.»
Tip ‘o hat to Val.

La Constitution européenne, c'est le PQ pour le cabinet d'aisance incarné par la Zéropa

Over 200 hundred years and still going strong:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. ...

Inspirational, poetic, and just approved by a newly democratic people:

We the sons of Mesopotamia, land of the prophets, resting place of the holy imams, the leaders of civilization and the creators of the alphabet, the cradle of arithmetic: on our land, the first law put in place by mankind was written; in our nation, the most noble era of justice in the politics of nations was laid down; on our soil, the followers of the prophet and the saints prayed, the philosophers and the scientists theorized and the writers and poets created. ...

This one didn't make it out of the starting blocks. Stuffy and stillborn:


"A generous state, whose generosity is directed toward me" is the true definition of French "socialism"

Regarding In France, the political clout of 'terroir' (Oct. 22): While I think that France's love for gastronomy may be the reason the French revere their "terroir" — the "mythical landscape of farms and the men and women who tend to them" — I believe it is wrong to associate this phenomenon with the Paris's position on the European Union's agricultural subsidies
writes Peter Marteinson to the International Herald Tribune from Toronto. (Also check out John Vinocur's Politicus article on Blair and Europe.)
The real reason is slightly less honorable: For the French, their "social model" and indeed the credo of socialism - "to each according to his need" - has little to do with the spirit of solidarity, compassion and state-organized cooperation it evokes outside the hexagon.

Sadly, in France such noble causes have become mere rationalizations for a spirit of selfishess.

"A generous state, whose generosity is directed toward me" is the true definition of French "socialism." France is one of my favorite countries, and is in some senses the paragon of Western civilization.

The nation's people, however, don't care about foreign farmers in the developing world, or even about France's own posterity. They want advantages now, and it doesn't matter who pays for them.

The French government is now giving expression to the position its people regularly take. But bless them, it's a lovely country, isn't it?

Galloway was anything but straight with Congress and the American people

As you know, [George Galloway] has authored an account of his testimony before the Subcommittee, entitled, Mr. Galloway Goes to Washington: The Brit Who Set Congress Straight about Iraq
writes Minnesota's Senator Norm Coleman (cheers to John R).
As the [Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations] report shows, Galloway was anything but straight with Congress and the American people.

… Since the May hearing, the Subcommittee has obtained further evidence establishing that the Hussein regime granted oil allocations to Galloway and his political organization, the “Mariam Appeal.” The Subcommittee report reveals that British MP George Galloway made false or misleading statements before the Subcommittee on May 17, 2005. Specifically, evidence gathered by the Subcommittee reveals:

• Galloway personally solicited and was granted eight oil allocations totaling 23 million barrels from the Hussein government from 1999 through 2003;

• Galloway’s wife, Dr. Amineh Abu-Zayyad, received approximately $150,000 in connection with one allocation of oil;

• Galloway’s political campaign, the Mariam Appeal, received at least $446,000 in connection with several allocations granted under the Oil-for-Food Program;

• Illegal “surcharge” payments in excess of $1.6 million were paid to the Hussein regime in connection with the oil allocations granted to Galloway and the Mariam Appeal; and

• Galloway knowingly made false or misleading statements under oath before the Subcommittee at its hearing on May 17, 2005.

“The additional evidence gathered by the Subcommittee links George Galloway to the Iraqi regime’s scheme to manipulate the U.N. Oil-for-Food program,” said Coleman. “Records obtained indicate that Dr. Abu-Zayyad, the wife of George Galloway, received a $150,000 payment and Mariam Appeal, the political campaign led by George Galloway, received at least $446,000.”

The findings revealed in the Subcommittee’s report have been substantiated by personal interviews with high-level members of the Hussein regime, oil traders with personal knowledge of Galloway’s involvement, and extensive bank records that provide a conclusive paper trail and corroborate Galloway’s personal knowledge and involvement in the Oil-for-Food scandal.

Encore des emmerdes avec ces gens-là. Tous ces connards de français voient des complots partout.

Where we learn that the Minister of 'Equality, Social Promotion, and Eternel Happiness for All' is a just a typical French paranoid moron. La grande gueule Azouz est parano et imbécile tout comme ses compatriotes, un vrai franchouille quoi.

Délit de faciès ?

Oui, car il avait une sale gueule de franchouille. En voilà un qui arrive à être intégré à travers le regard américain qui le voit comme un français ordinaire. Même face, même race et le voilà le sinistre 'ministre délégué à la Promotion et à l'Egalité des chances' traité à égalité par rapport à ses compatriotes. Qu'il ne pleurniche pas après.

Monday, October 24, 2005

"Antiracist mobs new threat against the Jews in Sweden"

From Jihad i Malmö (Jihad in Malmö) via the excellent Fjordman blog:

«Not even Sweden goes free from serious attacks against the Jewish minority. Both research papers and individual Jews testify that the anti-Semitism has changed shape. Perpetrators are not only right-wing extremist groups. Leftist radicals and Islamic organisations are spreading anti-Semitic propaganda and participate in violent actions against Jews. For the most part, it’s about harassment such as verbal abuse and threatening letters, but also desecration of grave yards, vandalizing of institutions and assaults on Jews on Swedish streets. The spring of 2002 was the first time in 150 years that a mob in Sweden attacked Jews. A number of people were battered on Norrmalmstorg in Stockholm under the slogan “Death to the Jews”, by so-called antiracists.»
Of one Swedish jew:
«“[Nadav’s] elder siblings came to Israel and joined the army, declaring that it was safer for them to serve in the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) than to be exposed to what is happening in Sweden.” Am I to understand that the daily threat of death and mutilation at the hand of terrorists and suicide bombers, not to mention the irritation caused by those pesky ISM thugs, is preferable to walking the streets of Sweden? Ouch. “[Swedes are] reluctant to speak out against anything that the Muslim population may be doing for fear of being accused of racism.”»
In other words, they’ve been so trained to believe that there is always a link between skin color and oppression, that they refuse to differentiate right from wrong when it comes to violence because all they can see in people is color.

It’s another depressing illustration of the tolerance of agitators who drank the left’s kool-aid. First of all, many Europeans are not sophisticated enough to quite get the fact that Islam is not a race.

The second part is even easier: if you want to show respect for people who don't look like you hold everyone to the same standard. To do otherwise is to pretend someone's race doesn't just define their persona, but makes them less than anyone else.

Let them eat cake shit

Pizza Hut is reducing its presence in France. Ce que Libé PropagandaStaffel oublie de dire, c'est que Pizza Hut en a plus que marre des exactions des gangsters de la CGT.

Le futur selon George W. Bush

Guy Millière rejoint l'Underbahn le 18 novembre.

Le Désespéré

Les pédaloïdes avachis de Libé PropagandaStaffel préfèrent Guillaume Dustan et autres poètes-à-compte-d'auteur sidaïques.
Maurice G. Dantec rejoint l'Underbahn le 18 novembre.

The Face of Tribalism — in the Middle East and in Europe

A Sunni grandmother watched the first day of Saddam Hussein's trial on television and scoffed that he should be charged at all. "I felt sorry," she told The Washington Post, "I almost cried. Every country in the world has terrorism. All the presidents in this region torture their people. Why, of all the countries, do they come after us?"

That is the face of tribalism -- pride in one's own trumps every other consideration -- most definitely including morality, compassion and a love of justice. Saddam is a Sunni Arab who committed the most brutal crimes against the Shiite majority and the Kurdish minority in Iraq. Estimates of the number he murdered range from 300,000 to over 1 million if those who died in his aggressive wars against Iran and Kuwait are included.

But in the tribal world of the Middle East, being a mass murderer, torturer, liar and supporter of terrorists does not guarantee a bad reputation. It depends whom you ask.

As his trial opened (and then abruptly adjourned for 40 days), Sunni Arabs expressed disquiet. "Saddam doesn't deserve all this," Ahmad Muhammad, a Mosul taxi driver complained to The New York Times. …

Read the rest of Mona Charen's article. Meanwhile, Robert Tracinski (who has noticed the same NYT article) points out that
The trial of Saddam Hussein is going to have a big impact across the Arab world, an impact assessed in two items … from Washington Post blogger (or quasi-blogger, since he's part of the dreaded MSM) Jefferson Morley. The story in the Lebanon Daily Star …which links Saddam's trial with the Hariri investigation in Syria, is definitely worth reading.

What is amusing is the "unease" Saddam's trial creates among all of the supporters of Arab tyranny--as it should, if the example of holding leaders accountable for their actions catches on. Meanwhile, the New York Times covers the trial with its usual impartiality by trolling Baghdad for Saddam's few remaining fans

There are two lessons here — one in each article — and, unfortunately, they both apply to France.

First of all, "the unease Saddam's trial creates among all of the supporters of Arab tyranny" — this also applies outside of the Arab world, of course. For the past month, France's MSM has been covering the Saddam trial with also its usual impartiality. The country has been replete with scorn for the kangaroo court, admiration for the "high and mighty" dictator (and his "rendez-vous with destiny"), indulgence for terrorist sympathizers, complete and terminal dismissal of the constitution, and, yes, the hunt for Saddam fans (notice how the first testimony against Saddam is actually a back-handed slap at Americans).

Oh, and here is the lesson regarding the Iraq war that Le Nouvel Observateur's Claude Perdriel would have the students of Paris's Journalism Training Centre learn: "the American press was intoxicated by a disinformation operation without precedent". (Still don't understand what the Oil-for-Food scandal tells you about the "peace camp's" choices during the crisis, do you, Monsieur Perdriel, or the failure of the French press in covering that beyond the usual token articles?)

All of this is linked to the second lesson : tribalism.

Information is never neutral. Positive news about the "other" tribe must always be placed into doubt. Negative news about one's own tribe must always be given a positive spin.

And those who don't ascribe to that positive spin — whether fellow tribe members or foreigners (certain webmasters come to mind) — must undergo pressure, be castigated, be submitted to ridicule, and threatened with banishment unless they relent.

It is taken for granted that opinions are a communal trait, not an individual one: e.g., if an American even wants to put some facts about Bush into perspective, laconic smiles appear, along with words such as: C'est normal qu'il pense comme ça, il est américain. That, even if the American voted against Bush! This is not the type of atmosphere that invites debate or encourages open discussion. Unless the surrounding pressure, or the individual's personal inclination, forces him to agree with the pervading viewpoint, he is assaulted with ridicule, with anger, with spite and finally invited (in less subtle language) to leave the country.

Nationality doesn't matter. Remember only what happened to French war-supporter Pascal Bruckner:

I learned what it is to get insulted in the street, threats on the telephone. My North African friends told me, "You have brain damage", those of the Esprit review dropped me. … I felt very alone.
In a Canal + TV show, the democratization in Eastern Europe is given a bad name simply because it allegedly happened under the helm of Washington.

"Imposing demoracy"; "the American brand"; "A real marketing of the revolution with its codes, its colors, its slogans"; "a green revolution, the dollar revolution"; and finally a word from the filmmaker (described as seeing with "a citizen-like, a humane, a sensitive look"): "all those we met were so persuaded of being on the right side of history [suggesting that they obviously were not so] that they let us film them with no problems" (suggesting, in turn, that the filmmakers were far from forthcoming about their partisan intentions). The humane and sensitive citizen Manon Loizeau (who spent seven years in Russia) goes on:

At first, I thought I was making a movie about an American plot … But today, I wonder. Why is Europe absent? To what degree will the Americans succeed in imposing their ideology of democracy?
Guillaume Fraissard's article ends with the sentence, "Manon Loizeau hopes to be able to soon return to those countries in order to verify, with hindsight, if the promised democracy was really achieved." In other words, unless a lucid paternalistic French(wo)man verifies it, la démocratie ain't worth m•rde.

Now do you see why the French are impressed by thuggish dictators? Now do you see why they think of all of America's allies, democrats or otherwise, as poodles and lapdogs? Now do you see why they thought Iraq was better off under Saddam Hussein? Now do you understand their country's policies?

While Canal + is preparing a second airing of its show on the Saddam "trial you will not see" (already in October 2004 the powers-that-be were preparing the citizenry for the perfidy of the trial), Guillaume Fraissard and Daniel Psenny inform us that a decision to clamp down on its investigation programs

occurred a couple of weeks after the broadcast of a report with exclusive video on French soldiers shooting on the crowd in front of the Hôtel Ivoire in Abijan on November 6, 2004. A shooting that resulted in several deaths. The scenes broadcast on Canal + irritated France's defence ministry who, after the shooting, affirmed that the soldiers had fired in "self-defense".
To quote Mona Charen again:
That is the face of tribalism -- pride in one's own trumps every other consideration -- most definitely including morality, compassion and a love of justice.
And I would add, it trumps even the desire to be informed and to have one's fellow countrymen be informed.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Wheatina for brains

Jana Fonda and Monica Belluci have spent the week in Paris America bashing. Hanoi Jane has been promoting her autobiography and has pretty much been on all the major talk and variety shows. Bellucci, who is now starring in two films current appearing in French cinemas, has gone through her tired old anti-US act, stating how -- as a European -- she cannot tolerate American attitudes and work habits and how happy she always is to come back to the far more civilized place that is Zeropa. Ce qui ne l'empêche pas de passer à la case cash quand il le faut.

And now, a blast from the past ...

Eurotrash couple of the YearQuel bas art!
Zeropean class spread all over Paris. A couple of sacred cows ('cow' being the key word here). Vincent Cassel got his start doing bad impersonations of Travis Bickel. His latest flick, Blueberry, is a little bit of Timothy Leary and Aldous Huxley 40 years too late and was a box office flop. As for Monica Bellucci, who never misses an opportunity to shit on all things American with her Zeropean sophisto act, she drags her ass to Hollywood and sells it whenever she needs some scratch to pay her 60% tax rate (Uncle Sam be then tastin' that Eye-talian trim). Slip a few greenbacks in her panties and she does exactly as she is told. Ain't that right, Monica? Now get on the stick.
La classe zéropéenne qui s'étale un peu partout à Paname. Un couple de vaches sacrées ('vache' étant le mot clé). Vincent Cassel a lancé sa carrière en faisant de mauvaises imitations de Robert DeNiro. Son dernier film, Blueberry, n'est que trop peu de Timothy Leary et Aldous Huxley avec 40 ans de retard et a fait un bide monumental au box office. Quant à Monica Bellucci, qui n'en loupe pas une dès qu'il s'agit de chier sur tout ce qui est ricain en prenant ses grands airs de zéropéenne zévoluée, elle n'hésite pas à ramper jusqu'à Hollywood pour tapiner à partir du moment où elle a besoin de thunes pour payer ses impôts perçus à 60% (Oncle Sam goûte alors un peu à la tarte aux poils de cette ritale). Quelques billets verts glissés dans sa petite culotte et elle fait tout ce qu'on lui demande. N'est pas Monica? Ça te dit, un coup de trique?

Watching the watchers who are pimping hate, calling it news

A European “news” website, which is actually a lefty opinion blog in a disingenuous disguise, is peddling a patently Anti-American website, as if it’s written by typical Americans and not their extra special proletarians. It seems to me that “Watching America” is watching through an intentionally dirty window. Nor is such remotely disinterested opinion even worth taking seriously enough to make repeating it the mainstay of ones' views. After all, why would a Columbian paper have such a regal opinion about domestic American affairs when they are in the midst of an endless state of civil war, and why do they want that much undue influence when a paper can’t identify that civil war as “Ethical Decomposition”?

Their subheading is “Discover What the World Thinks About U.S.” [sic], but it’s fairly obvious that it’s what they would like Americans to think of What the World Thinks About (the) U.S., since there is nothing coldly objective on their site, just what they think is bad news about the U.S. It’s a transparent repetition the same emotionally satisfying smears found in the shallower ponds of the western European media reduplicated, and parading as a newsfeed trying to elbow its’ way onto carriers like Breitbart and Google news.

Besides, it only took about 10 seconds to discover that their tinting of the news is about as childish as rewriting article headings:

Watching America: “Despite U.S. Mistakes, Iraq Vote 'a Small Step' Toward Victory” is retitled, is rerun, and is linked to:

Daily Star (Beirut): “Despite slim odds of success, it is worth pursuing the dream of a democratic Iraq”

The Jerusalem Post’s: “Editorial: Coercing Syria” becomes: “'Bizarre, But True:' Israel Fails to Learn the Lesson of 9/11

You know the routine. It’s about 40 years old: trying to tell people that they “just don’t know the truth” about a society. Oddly enough, they also usually try to convince you that only those likeminded with them in that society itself notices their tremendous epiphanies either. As much as this seems like a logical impossibility, anything is possible when they can get a grip on an angry, uninformed mind.

As for the other “news” blog, for those frequently convinced of the malice of commerce, they sure spend a lot of time peddling wares with the drab coverage-cum-commercial -promotion found on Deutsche Welle and the like.

You can stop laughing now. And if you think we do the same thing, you're wrong.

We don't pretend to be a source of news.

They are so blinkered that they find criticism on the U.S. in this: “Katrina Victims Get Luxury Hotels, as Pakistanis Do Without”, as if the majority of other items that they call news are about the lack of compassion in the U.S. I’m sure a few weeks ago, they would have peddled nothing but stories about the failure of Katrina evacuees to find decent temporary housing, and now demanding that the US somehow teleport housing that’s better than the type they repeated reports of disgrace about several weeks ago.

Then again, there are always delusions to be repeated: “Chavez Says Bush Has 'Ghost in His Subconcious;' U.S. Plans to Invade.” Chavez has repeated the invasion and assassination assertion every six months for the past few years. Lacking the luster that it did ‘back in the day’ before he repeated it like a madman, a writer somewhere had to pretend to be projecting the thoughts of someones’ unconscious mind, since neither the U.S. government's actions or words support Chavez’ casual yadda-yadda about invation plans and assassinations.

There are those who would simply nod, stand akimbo, and accept Chavez' immature foot-stomping without questioning it, but it might also suit the emotional projections of the 'Watchers' as well who seem to have the same emotional Jones to satisfy.