Thursday, May 11, 2006

“Reconciliation” Nudge, nudge. wink, wink.

One where you have to actually develop a common envy and hatred of a far-away nation.

Vidéo: report from Le Figaro

The Atlantic Review, a press digest on transatlantic affairs run by a bunch of brainiacs has looked into the program of reconciliation between France and Germany. It is, after all never too late, I suppose. What they found was that it also involves re-writing textbooks. We all know what happens when you mention the Holocaust these days – you get a flurry of spittle about ‘Zionism’... But have we reached that Fawlty Towers-esque point where you can’t “mention the war?” among the many other unmentionables?

Atlantic Review:
Guillaume Le Quintrec, who headed the French team, told The Times that the book contained "unashamedly pro-European ideology" and an underlying distrust of the United States. The textbook:

starts in 1945, a convenient date that enables the authors to focus on "memories" of the Second World War rather than its causes. "The patriotic cult of victory has given way to a universal demand to remember the victims of the war," the work says. The next stage is the Cold War, where the US and the USSR are presented as broadly equivalent in moral terms. Both were engaged in an arms race described as "the balance of terror" and both sought to "impose themselves by an omnipresent propaganda" that involved "gross exaggerations and simplifications".
Further, they describe the future of their own poverty which will be, of course, necessary to completely and consistently make a straw-man out of the US:
A substantial section of the work is devoted to the EU -- a startling success story and a beacon for the rest of the world, according to the five German and five French scholars who worked on the project. "Through its willingness to co-operate with the Third World, its attachment to multilateralism, its dialogue with other regions, the EU appears as a model on the international scene," it says. By contrast, modern American unilateralism "enshrined by George W. Bush is widely criticised throughout the world", it says. Music, cinema and other forms of culture are "dominated by American multinational firms, which are the main beneficiaries of the free trade".
A world-beating formula for sure. The Tangy Tango Atlantico gets even more interesting when the The Atlantic Review mentions one of this blogs favorite sources of amusement: the monumental stupidity of Foreign Minister Phillipe Douste-Blazy who apart from knowing less about geography than an American 7th grader, is best known for this exchange while attempting to be diplomatic in Israel:
"Were there no Jews killed in Britain?" he asked [at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem]. "But Mr. Minister, Britain was never occupied by the Nazis," the curator replied. To which Douste-Blazy shot back: "But were no Jews expelled from Britain?"
You’ve come a long way, baby!

The fuse is lit!

No comments: