Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Questions on EADS and Airbus

Le Monde editor Frédéric Lemaître had an online debate about the EADS scandal Tuesday afternoon, in which the entire affair (unlike, say, Enron) was relativized with a smile.

Notice the very first comment/question: little to no anger/disappointment/concern about being lied to/deceived by the élites (political, financial, or other), whether specifically about the Airbus scandal or the wider description of the rivalry with America in general. The concern is noted in a (passive tense) statement of worry that the champion's reputation has been (rather unfairly) damaged (in the eyes of outsiders who are not lucid enough to realize that making too a big a scandal of this will help those dastardly Yanks), not that the champion's leaders were (or may have been) crooks and/or liars.

Any (righteous amd understandable) resentment of one's own kind and concern about insider trading are thus immediately (dare I say automatically?) trumped by the appearance of the Yankee bogeyman. In other words, demands for an accounting (or simply healthy interest and curiosity) are swept aside by a rally 'round the flag war cry. Europeans, you have learned your lessons well!

(Note to Grifone: Boeing did not use to have a monopoly, near or otherwise; it had to contend to with the likes of McDonnell-Douglas. MDD is American also, so that doesn't count, you say, ça revient au même? Oh, that's true, you think the business environment, the cynicism, and the two-faced double-dealing of the type prevalent in Europe must invariably be the same in the United States. Never mind.)

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