Fighting, wars implicate non-American (say, Russian) troops? America is accused of being the guilty party (!), and Americans are accused of being criminals (!) — while Russia is described as… a poor victim (!) of Anglo-Saxon perfidy and of American imperialism (and of a Georgian strongman variously described as a dog, a madman, a proponent of "Greater Georgia", the dictator of Tbilisi, and "a dictator 'good for US' as they say at the CIA").
Just as with Rwanda, it would seem that it turns out that the French love of peace and its hatred of war are but a smokescreen for anti-Americanism. Just take a look at the innumerable reactions to the fighting in Georgia, almost all of which invariably go from "Oui… but" to …outright support for the Russian army taking the offense! (If you read French, the original post provides more details, including a tiny handful of common-sense comments…)
- "The Russians aren't angels but, in this case, their leaders have been pushed to the limit. Washington pushes to crime"
- "Good news, another slap for Bush" War, it turns out (in the country devoted to peace), is good news — when it humiliates America and/or its leaders.
- "All this is the result of the USA's policies in the region... America's expansionism outside of their borders is a nightmare that has been going on for years." No expansionism where Russia is concerned, of course…
- "The Russians have reacted well. Bravo."
- "I am not reacting — at the present moment —, on the depth of a story I don't know enough about... But I admit without shame that I was damn happy to see the downcast and stupid face of a Georges [sic] W Bush asking almost humbly … the Russian bear to stop knocking that poor Georgian president aka a NATO poodle" One knows enough about America and Iraq to react — immediately and with uncessant bile — to that story… As for the war's victims, again, who cares about them?
- "And one more defeat for Georges [sic] Bush! Hopefully we'll get rid of him soon! Because one wonders where we will be taken by the plans of that warmonger and his new vassals." No language of that sort is bestowed upon Putin or Medvedev.
- "France must support the Russians who are provoked in a stupid fashion by that mad president of Georgia. Mad and, above all, manipulated by the United States"
- "The dictator from Tbilisi … has just provoked Russia in an inconsiderate way".
- "Georgia is headed by a small Stalin, himself a Georgian, who takes his orders and dough from Washington … It's a fraudulent government" One wonders how many posts and comments of a similar nature these people left about Saddam Hussein during Iraq's conflict with America… (I don't remember seeing many…)
- "The only winners are Anglo-Saxon arms dealers and Mikhal Saakachvili himself." The Russians being nothing but innocent victims of what one French commentator calls ironically "our United-Statesian friends (sic)"? (Say, wasn't this the same speech we heard during the Soviet era?)
- "What game did the Americans play?" "Washington is in the process of creating a new war in Europe. They must be stopped. … It's a plot against the European Union."
- "Goergia [sic] isn't even a country, it's an American base … Putin made the correct choice, and I hope that more follow: respect for the peoples, for their integrity, and for the forceful opposition to NATO and American hegemony. May France change sides."
- "The United States' imbecilic, uncultivated, and brainless imperialism had unleashed a war in Russia. But Russia will show she isn't Iraq! "We are all Russians now" I feel like saying"…
On the (narrow) bright side: Among the few common-sense comments, there is that of LoR:
On se croirait revenu aux temps de l'Allemagne nazie. Quand on laissa Hitler envahir les Sudètes puis l'ensemble de la Tchécoslovaquie. L'UE continuera-t-elle longtemps à observer une invasion en règle d'un Etat par un autre sans réagir militairement. Il est fort à parier que quand la Moldavie tentera de récupérer sa province séparatiste de Transnistrie, l'UE observera sans broncher l'armée russe envahir voire annexer la Moldavie. Décidément, nous sommes gouvernés par des "munichois" !!"Où sont nos droits de l'hommistes professionnels" asks Jean-Louis C ; "quel silence. quelle honte de ne voir personne s'élever contre le retour de la russie aux pires heures du stalinisme sous la houlette du dictateur poutine."
gmt adds :
Saakashvili n'est pas un tendre, les Occidentaux ne jouent pas un jeu innocent, d'accord. La mort d'innocents est inacceptable. Mais regardons les responsabilités en face. La Russie, qui hurle contre toute indépendance de la Tchétchénie, se cache à peine de soutenir les séparatismes abkhaze et sud-ossète. Si l'argument de stabilité est valable d'un côté, il l'est de l'autre. L'hypocrisie et l'arrogance du Kremlin dans cette affaire dépassent, et de loin, celles des Occidentaux ou de Tbilissi !And gmt concludes thus:
Hallucinants, les dérapages verbaux de certains ! Combien de pays faudra-t-il sacrifier avant que ces gens ne comprennent que leur anti-américanisme obsessionnel ne les autorise pas à orienter le sort des millions de gens qui, eux, vivent dans ces pays ? Cet égocentrisme à bonne conscience est décidément révoltant !In related news, check out the article on Le Monde's Iraq coverage as well as "I Don't Like Americans" (Letters to the Editor of Le Monde)…
Update: Bernard-Henri Lévy expresses support for Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvili and comes under a torrent of criticism…