What expats and the mainstream media (French and American alike) fail to notice (or fail to tell you) about French attitudes, principles, values, and official positions…It was born three years or so ago, in response to the ugly responses, in France, in Europe, and around the world, to 9-11 and the War in Iraq.
In that perspective, it is vital to check out what is going on now with the Total oil company. We have always said that it is not enough to notice (and analyze) the anger (foreign or domestic) directed — the anger conveniently directed — at Washington's foreign policy; one must also see what is not spoken, i.e., what remains — conveniently — hidden beneath the "root causes", i.e., the hardly-mentioned benefits or advantages (whether financial or "merely" psychological) of those clamoring "No oil for war!"
As Frank Hart reminds us, the Wall Street Journal does a good job of describing the decades-old scandal.
The company and [Chief Executive Christophe] de Margerie deny any wrongdoing, but the Total experience is all too typical of the way European firms cut deals with dictators while their own governments provide political cover.Never must we forget that this includes — and this is far from an innocent detail; au contraire — lots of self-righteous clamoring against the sins (supposed or real, but in the final analysis, rarely greater or even as great as the castigaters' own sins) of the greedy, the treacherous, and the simple-minded American leaders, American capitalists, and American citizens.