Saturday, September 16, 2006
Friday, September 15, 2006
Published in Le Monde on 11 September, as Americans commemorated the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and their victims. From Plantu’s pea-brained intellect: "all the same." Founding democracies and Islamist fascism are morally equivalent.
Update (thanks to Tom Pechinski): with regards to double standards and terrorism, Gateway Pundit has quite something to say…
No, I really don’t want to know why. Shouldn't they be going apeshit as usual?
...”security here = war there”...
Al Qaeda's deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri … urged a militant Algerian Islamist group to punish 'Crusader nation' France, even though it vehemently opposed the U.S.-led war in IraqPS: Notice how Le Monde buries France's being a target deep inside its article while its headline ignores the fact that France is a terrorist group's "enemy number 1".
The biggest news item of the summer was not the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, nor was it the foiled terrorist attacks on U.S.-bound airliners flying out of Londonwrites Ben Duffy.
The biggest story of the summer was a report from the National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC), which announced the discovery of approximately 500 chemical munitions uncovered in Iraq.Read the rest…
In other words, WMD have been found in Iraq. While you might expect this bombshell (pun intended) to rock the Iraq war debate, nothing of the sort has happened. Quickly deemed insignificant, this report has been ignored by the so-called "anti-war" Left and the laughably "non-partisan" American media.
In order to justify putting this incredibly significant story on the back page, the media needed a reason why these chemical munitions were not really consequential after all. They came up with two such justifications.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Indeed, how very “genuine”. This guy thinks that a family’s argumentative “raging out” and ignoring paying guests is some kind of floor show:
I just this week read a story in Ouest-France about how this whole category has exploded in the last 15 years in France, growing from barely 12,000 to 34,000 official chambres d'hôtes (this includes everything labelled Gîtes de France, Clévacances, Accueil Paysan, Fleurs de Soleil or Bienvenue au Château).Uh, like NOT. It’s called ambivalence to people and their feelings, even if they are paying guests. It sounds like they would pay more attention to their cattle.
They're so great… cheaper than a hotel, but often much prettier, with breakfast and sometimes other real meals on top, plus, just like the article said, they are overflowing with "authenticity" and "human warmth". I just love all that human warmth.
Just this past week, for example, my family and I stayed in one in Tours and it was so warm at the dinner table it got hot. There was shouting and table-pounding, bad language and a mild-mannered Belgian couple fleeing for their room. I never had so much fun — and all just part of the service.
September 11 Wall Street Sonnets
- Signs Of Wonder
- The Rain
- Former Friends And Lovers
- So Many And So Few
- Traders’ Call To Arms
- A New Saloon
- The Wrong Direction
- The Babbling Technician
- Unaccounted For
- Flags And Pins
- Sikhs Are Mistaken For Arabs And Attacked
- Benevolence And Greed
- Porters And Promoters
- The Fixed Income Salesman’s Pitch
- Nothing Happened
- Stuyvesant High School
- Fin de siècle
2002 - The Return
- Return to the Financial District
- Afternoon Interlude At Trinity Church
- Advice to Tourists
2003 - Death Again
- Wall Street
- Made For Television
- Disgracing Ground Zero
- In Memory Of Michael Leonard
- Death Again Descends
- The Children’s Crusade
- 8 Mute Minimal Designs
2004 - At War
- In God We Trust
- Meditation In A Time Of War
- View From The Millenium Hilton
- Economic Sense
- Towards An Anti-War Poetry Reading
- Greenwich Village On Veterans Day
- Monument For Civil Servants
2005 - For the Corporate Dead
- Reading Balzac Reveals Intimacies
- The Desecration Of Ground Zero
- How To Master Grief
- Against Convention At Ground Zero
- For the Corporate Dead
- The Political Season
- The Sentinel
We Are All New Yorkers
- Elegy for Daniel Pearl
Florence [Aubenas] was the beneficiary of strong media involvement because she is a journalistPaulo A Paranagua reports Corinne Vallerent as saying last October, as the glitterati of Paree joined for a tear fest for Ingrid Betancourt, a French hostage held by Columbian rebels (needless to say, the article's final sentence has singer Renaud discover that the bottom line of the tragic situation is that the culprit is… American dollars).
As for Aubenas herself (who recently decided to quit Libération with three colleagues for
When Jacques Chirac spoke about the release of Florence Aubenas in June 2005 (read about the mysteries surrounding the release of the French journalist and of Hussein Hannoun), the president added that he hoped that this would not let the French forget France's other hostages throughout the world, the example he chose to mention being Ingrid Betancourt (who has spent now four Christmases in captivity in Columbia's jungles; whose husband has nominated the disappeared woman as candidate for president of Columbia; who, as explained in Jacques Thomet's Ingrid Betancourt, was the object of an Indiana Jones-type secret rescue mission [Opération 14 juillet] in 2003; and whose friend, Clara Rojas, is little heard of in France although she vanished on the same trip as Ingrid).
What was important, though, was the vanished journalist whom Chirac did not mention.
On the 150th day of the Aubenas kidnapping, 150 ships gathered in Marseille, reports Patrice Claude, and for the 170th day, a banner was due to be unveiled atop the Mont Blanc. At one point, an Airbus A380 carried her and Hannoun's names on its flanks.
Le Monde marked the hundredth day of the disappearance of Florence Aubenas with an opinion piece on its front page by her mother Jacqueline, accompanied inside by Giuliana Sgrena's letter to Florence and her chauffeur.
Besides saying she will never feel totally free until the fate of Nicola Calipari's death is cleared up (apparently she doesn't read the news, but then again that would be the type of news that newspapers like hers would not report — no, what Sgrena means is that she won't rest until it is determined that the Italian secret serviceman's death is irrefutably seen as an integral part of Uncle Sam's illegal, reprehensible, and criminal venture in Iraq), the Italian (cough) journalist wrote:
I ignore who your kidnappers are, but even the most ferocious of warriors can not remain insensitive to these calls [to free you]. If they truly want the liberation of Iraq, they cannot deprive Iraqis from their freedom of information. Because our only objective is that to inform, to make the world aware of the suffering of the Iraqi people under the occupation. The kidnappers they too will understand that, you will make them understand, I am sure of it.The Romanian journalists? Yes, the French media never made much of it, but for almost two months, three Romanian journalists went missing in Baghdad. (In fact, the media made so little of this kidnapping that the RSF page and the Sgrena letter were the first place and the first time I heard of it.)
My destiny crossed yours, the people who demonstrated for our freedom and for that of Iraq on the squares of Rome and Paris made no distinction. Florence, Hussein, Giuliana and, now, the Romanian journalists.
Meanwhile, there is a missing French reporter who has been largely forgotten in the deal. His photo is missing from the posters "at every step, in every city", and even with an association devoted to him, there is nowhere as much media hoopla as there is for Florence.
Although every so often, some noise arises for Guy-André Kieffer (notably when an Ivory Coast officer was arrested in early February and when those responsible for his kidnapping seemed to have been identified in early September), the level of decibels is nowhere near that for Aubenas or that for Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot, the first two French reporters to be kidnapped by "ferocious warriors". Just see the difference in the mobilisation for Aubenas and in the demonstration for Kieffer.
France on Friday [April 15, 2005] showed its support for a French reporter and her Iraqi interpreter taken hostage in Baghdad 100 days ago with torch-lit rallies, messages of support in the media and balloons.Compare with:
The country's newspapers ran front-page headlines, television networks used corner logos and radio stations broadcast messages of support to mark the 100th day in captivity for reporter Florence Aubenas and Hussein Hanun al-Saadi. …
On Saturday, 100,000 balloons [were] released in 100 cities across the country in a sign of support for the reporting duo.
Members of Reporters without Borders (RSF) on Friday threw buckets of liquid chocolate at the gates of the Ivorian embassy in Paris, demanding information about a journalist who vanished in Abidjan a year ago.As for the first anniversary of GAK's disappearance, as Eric Fottorino pointed out, it was passed over in silence.
"We're throwing chocolate because it's the government's 'slush fund' and everyone knows that (Ivorian) President Laurent Gbagbo is responsible for the disappearance of Guy-André," RSF secretary general Robert Menard told AFP.
The members of the international, Paris-based media watchdog group, wearing white jumpsuits, threw about 10 buckets of liquid chocolate at the embassy's gates and then stuck fake dollar bills into the sticky mess.
"Truth for Guy-André!" they shouted.
What might seem to account for the difference?
Well, a cynic (or a realist) might say that when tragedies and scandals (or would-be scandals) concern or involve the Yankee bogeyman, French politicians, media outlets, and common citizens make a big deal out of it. When tragedies and scandals (or would-be tragedies and scandals) — at least the international kind — touch French leaders (in this case, blood for cocoa), there is much less pressure to go to the same extent as with l'Oncle Sam.
A rare letter to the editor in Le Monde said as much in February 2005, mentioning the many links between France's élite and the corrupt politicians off Abidjan. (Unfortunately, Aline Richard's letter to the editor amounted to nothing but a token article.)
Two journalists. Two people lost from sight trapped in those so numerous conflicts, where journalist rhymes with pest. … Florence, Guy-André: two experienced professionals victims of "work-related accidents".
If the two situations are so similar, why then such a difference in their treatment? French authorities mobilized with no second thoughts for Florence Aubenas. That is normal, legitiamate, expected. It should have been the same for Guy-André. So what happened?…
Since [the first days of Kieffer's disappearance], French authorities have not "moved heaven and earth to learn the truth about the disappearance of Guy-André Kieffer", as President Chirac promised us. On the contrary.…
Double standards. And for other reasons, the same inequality has shown itself in the media's treatment of the two cases. As friends of Guy-André and as journalists, we have trouble living it well. Put yourself in our shoes. Taking a stand besides the posters of Florence Aubenas and Hussein Hanoun all over the Paris métro, we are members of that sacred union to save them, which brings together prestigious journalists, politicians, artists, and business leaders. Then, a malaise sets in. Why, instead of the advertisement in the poster next to theirs, is there not a portrait of Guy-André? Are there two categories of countries in which to disappear, the "good" ones and the "bad" ones?
In the latter, France participates actively in the local political games, has interests to defend, and doesn't want to make waves. No exit from the crisis, no future in Ivory Coast without Laurent Gbagbo, who must be preserved, as our leaders, or at least an important part of them, have concluded. Ivory Coast's president has sure friends in Paris, on the right, on the left, on the sidelines and in the cabinets. Those pillars of support never fail to weaken, no matter the régime's corruption, the death squads, the numerous abusess denounced by the UN and, previously, by journalists such as Guy-André Kieffer. It has been more than  days since GAK disappeared. We want him not to be forgotten.
If he only knew that there really is virtually no such thing as self-deprecating French humor:
Director Oliver Stone, whose mother was French, adds, "And it helps that they don't complain about it. The French dish it out, but they can take it too. Their arrogance does not mask insecurity. They're confident of their culture and have a long tradition of self-criticism."Usually, it’s a bigger hit when deprecating others, but that’s another story
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Jose Bové, killing them softly:
But as he told the French press in a self-proclaimed move of solidarity with his captured brethren, "I act with my face uncovered, I take responsibility for my actions."
This sort of brazenly unapologetic rhetoric is typical of Bové, who justified this crime just like he has his others -- by claiming to have uncovered evidence of "genetic pollution" and a "risk of contamination" to nearby organic farms.
If that sounds like spin without any scientific basis, that's because it is. As Bove's detractors (otherwise known as "scientists") point out, genetically modified foods -- which grow faster and are more disease-resistant than their "natural" counterparts -- have saved millions of people from starving to death.
Synopsis: À 32 ans, Léonardo est un des artistes les plus réputés d'Italie, menant une vie foisonnante, s'adonnant allégrement aussi bien à la peinture qu'à des inventions en tous genres.Lire un extrait…
Jusqu'au jour où le Vatican découvre avec enthousiasme les machines de guerre novatrices imaginées par le jeune Florentin. En effet, il se trouve qu'au Saint-Siège se prépare dans le plus grand secret une nouvelle Croisade — la première en 250 ans — dont on confie le commandement au charismatique Général Scharano.
Le Vatican décide aussitôt de se servir des fameux engins inventés par Léonardo afin de mettre à bien son expédition... Ce qui n'enchante pas vraiment l'inventeur au caractère irrévérencieux...
A sidewalk handbill, Philadelphia, PA, USA:
Alas, when in doubt, revise:
« A titre privé j’avais fait la prévision que les Etats-Unis interviendraient militairement en Iran en 2005. Je me suis révélé un prophète aux capacités bien limitées. Mais je me demande maintenant si nous devons nous en réjouir en 2006. »Thank the fantasists, their endless opimism, and their persistence in the face of history. 12 September has become a international holiday marked by watching the faces of the overraught turn red, tap their feet and imitate Gilda Radner: Never mind!
I had forecasted that the United States would intervene militarily in Iran in 2005. It seems I'm a rather unskilled fortuneteller. But I wonder now if we’ll be able to expect it in 2006.
If you want to ask them WHY the nuking hasn't started yet, you can call them at (code+)325-670-9494, or drop them a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
There are few things quite as striking as a comedian speaking his mind about pluralism and the tolerance a good society has for a broad range of opinion:
"I’m not going to run away from this. This is a defining moment for our generation. For one generation, it was the assassination of Kennedy, for another it's 9/11."Via Newsbusters, we find the Late Late Show’s Craig Ferguson setting the jokes aside as he takes a moment to reflect on 9/11, calling it an “ill wind” that won’t shake us loose.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
The Swedish social model that lefty is so much in love with is increasingly showing itself to be an inconcealable third-world cesspit.
Of the failed state, TheBusiness says:
Unemployment in general is high, too, with some estimates suggesting it could be above 20%, triple the official rate. Plus, on any given day, one-fifth of the workforce is at home sick. Furthermore, around one-quarter of those under 25 are out of work.Among other things. Ségo should be careful for what she wishes for.
But hey, this is the country that other left wing politicians Europe fawn over. Is it the Swedish healthcare system they love so much? This is the same system that let a friend limp around for more than a year as he waited for a surgeon to find time to repair his knee. “We have great healthcare, if you get to see a doctor,” he says sardonically. I’m sure the health minister would say this is just another anecdote.
Monday, September 11, 2006
Jacquard calls the revisionist theories that say no plane hit the Pentagon nothing but marketing tools. Boniface (below) opens his gob and says that these >theories are the price to pay for Bush's lies about why we invaded Iraq...
In other words, the only combat they can do is to lie.
My spy (who can stomache watching this crap) saw this DGSE or DST security type, basically, talking in circles about nothing. Someone please put the cloth back over his cage.
Nicolas Sarkozy goes to NYC yesterday, and all the Socialists can do is bang their spoons on their highchairs.
Then going on to set aside their tender look at America and focus on what really matters – smearing them to the expense of noticing their simplistic journalistic practices.
Dwelling on someone who as a result of 9/11 needs a large array of medications, but isn’t getting them for free from the Federal Government, as if the purpose of embarrassing him on television abroad is going to help him or make a difference, assuming that French people start a letter-writing campaign or fill out the guy’s scrips.
Et pourtant, l’Amérique est la seule utopie qui ait jamais marché."
Bertrand Latour, French preface to the Vietnamese language edition of George Orwell's 1984, Editions Underbahn.
on the one hand, Communism was never that popular and influential all over the world, on the other hand, Capitalism is the subject of thorough demonization in the world of arts and letters, while passing the corner coffee shop, TV, and the university. Witness the anti-Americanism that oozes out of every pore of the planet, and in particular in France.
For example, I remember September 11, 2001. I had my mother on the telephone, and she asked me “Why, son, why did this happen?! …” with all the anguish in the world in her voice, and suddenly she started to cry uncontrollably when she saw a man and a woman jumping out of one of the burning towers hand in hand on television.
But I especially remember September 12, 2001, when my colleagues scoffed me during our coffee break, mocking my distress, decrying the “arrogance” of the Yankees and the “imperialism” of their boss, Bush. What is worse, it is that, although I can be labeled today as an artist or intellectual, at the time I wasn’t working in an artistic or intellectual milieu which are traditionally anti-capitalists and therefore anti-American.
No, I was working for the Paris police.
From top to bottom, I saw it for myself: on September 12, 2001, the overwhelming majority of the French didn’t shed a tear for what had just happened in New York. Moreover, I wasn’t the least bit surprising, since French anti-Americanism is trapped in the confused logic of its’ love of Communism.
On the first day of the American invasion of Iraq in March of 2003, only 4% of the French approved it “completely”, 87% disapproved. Only 4% approved. Four disaffected French citizens out of hundred… Or, at the time of the American presidential election of 2004, only 11% of the French would have voted for Bush who to the population stands for capitalism. 11%. That’s just one dissatisfied French man or woman out of ten.
Consider the headlines of our major newspapers and magazines at the time of George Bush’s re-election in 2004: “Bush, the man to beat” (Libération), “Bush 2: worse than Bush 1? ” (Courrier International), “Bush 2, worse than Bush 1: the America of fear has won” (the New Observer), “the Empire gets worse” (Libération), “America of in bottom takes back Bush” (the Express train), “a despairing victory” (the Express train), “Bush: can it change? ” (Le Point), not to mention the pravdaesque television news anchors who had, more than ever before, were looking like samurai ready to commit seppuku.
Don’t you see it yet?
Just look back at the headlines of some of the big players in the French press (Le Monde, Libération, Le Nouvel Observateur, Le Figaro, Paris Match, Marianne, Télérama) during hurricane Katrina in 2005, one of worst natural disasters to ever hit the United States (a storm with an eye 50 kilometers wide and 300 km/h winds) : “Bush’s Titanic”, “Bush: the fall of the pyromaniac firefighter”, “Barbara Bush is afraid of refugees”, “to appease critics, Bush visits the devastated areas”, “Bush knew what Katrina would do”, “Bush was informed devastations of the hurricane, the proof by the image”, “America exposed: the hurricane reveals the wounds of the ‘every man for himself’ nation”, “Americans dismayed by the brittleness of their power”, “Shipwreck America”, “the super power forced to ask for aid”, “a report reveals the incapacity of the United States to manage foreign aid”, “a nation at drift: when America seems arrogant, racist, and forgetful”, “We were afraid to be sent to the Convention Center to die there”, “the rebels of Fox: when the country’s most reactionary network sympathizes with the victims of Katrina”.
Re-reading those slaps by the French press, I want to vomit on my national flag. Katrina killed 1500, and that’s 1500 too many, but don’t forget how many were killed by a simple heat wave in 2003 in France, the nation that claims that it has the “finest healthcare system in the world”, a country five times fewer people than the United States. 15000 died. 15000, that 1500 times 10!
Are you sure about that?!?...
That said, the coverage of the Iraq war in France reached and continues to reach a level of hatred where the objection to it and the lies reaching the point of ridiculousness - the Communist Party stiffs taking the Front National stiffs, both in love with their wild and different ideas of utopia, by the hand dance to the old French anti-American tune. And yet...
And yet America is the only Utopia that ever succeeded.