NOW IT’S THE FRANCO-AMERICAN STREET SPEAKING:
Name: Chris Wyser-Pratte
Hometown: New Paltz, NY
I’m a naturalized American born in France in 1944 of French parents. I served four years as a US Navy officer. I travel in France frequently. I love the French; it’s their government leaders I despise.
It was France’s government that surrendered a largely undefeated Army in WWII to Nazi prison camps. (After the Maginot Line was flanked and bypassed, there were no huge battles, no loss of hundreds of thousands of Frenchmen dying for la patrie. The government just waved the white flag and abandoned Britain to its lonely struggle.) It was France’s government under Petain that actively collaborated with Germany; it was France’s government that turned over that troublesome Jew, the Socialist leader Leon Blum, to Nazi overseers.
It was France’s government under deGaulle that pulled out of the NATO military alliance to try to establish a counter-weight to America with its “force de frappe.” It was France’s government which, during the cold war, played footsie with the Soviet Union so as to tweak the nose of American leadership. And it was France’s government that comfortably hid all those years behind the American military umbrella so they could spend all their money on social welfare.
As to the Germans, they don’t see the link between Saddam Hussein and Al-Quaeda anymore than their good burghers smelled the burning flesh from the ovens at the concentration camps that were so efficiently carrying out the “final solution.”
No more Munich Conferences and umbrella solutions of “peace in our time.” No more September 11ths. And no more “Ich bin ein Berliner.”
To hell with them.
I really do believe that Chirac, Schroeder, et al. are making a dreadful mistake here, and that they underestimate the depth — and the longevity — of the hostility they are creating.