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Friday, February 14, 2003

The real French sin

I have watched the flow of criticism of the French and Germans coming from across the Atlantic. While Airstrip One has its collection of journalists prepared to heap abuse on those promulgating ideas that they neither understand nor accept, it is unusual to find our politicians following suit. Not so in the US, apparently.

Some congressmen are wanting to impose trade sanctions against those Europeans that have the temerity to suggest that it might be worth waiting a little longer before going to war. There may, or may not, be something to be said for slowing down a little. But not to recognise the rightful abhorrence of war reveals a worrying and callously simplistic viewpoint. Here is an interesting reply by 'A cheese-eating surrender monkey'

The Germans also have a point to make. In Afghanistan, German soldiers seem to have been taking the brunt of "peacekeeping": This December news item indicates that of the fourteen allied soldiers killed up to that time, ten of them were German. Can one blame their politicians for being reluctant to approve a war where the 'evidence' is so unclear?

However, there is very strong evidence, from impeccable French political circles in another context entirely, that the French are umpteen cloves short of an aioli. Their inability to appreciate irony means that they have something in common to celebrate with the patriotic US right. Both nations are ridiculously attached to symbols; the French are actually going to afford them a legal, as well as a quasi-religious significance. Note the following:
Fans of all nations, beware: mock the Marseillaise or trifle with the Tricolore the next time your team travels to France and you could land up in jail, with precious little sympathy from the locals.

A survey released yesterday showed nearly 90% of French people back one of the lesser-known clauses in a law and order bill being pushed through parliament by the hardline interior minister, Nicolas Sarkozy
More here.

Well, bugger me sideways through my plastic mac...

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