View Full Version : France

02-11-2003, 03:50 PM
When was the last time these clowns won a war? I think the land was called Gaul the last time that happened. How in the world do they continue to exert such influence in world politics?

02-11-2003, 04:06 PM
I for one am not a fan of the French. My Israel-Palestine peace plan is as follows, perhaps you will like it /forums/images/icons/smile.gif :

Give the Pals Israel. They want it badly and they are allied with the rest of the region. The removal of the Israelis would release a lot of tension.

Give the Israelis France. It is bigger than their current country and is nicer too. They've earned it.

Send the French to Greenland or Siberia. Greenland is probably better since then no one has to live next to them. Also, the ocean makes it harder to take over their country. Sure, you might think "who would want icy wasteland?" But someone might do it on principle.

nicky g
02-11-2003, 06:53 PM
They're terrible at fighting but who cares. They have the best food and the nicest cities in the world. That'll do for me. They don't dererve the amount of power they have on the world stage but nor does anyone else; no countries should dominate the world, and the US dominated world has not been a nice place to live.

02-11-2003, 07:00 PM
"...and the US dominated world has not been a nice place to live." You have got to be kidding me nicky g!!! I wonder if the women in Afghanistan share the same view as you? Or perhaps you'd prefer to live in a world dominated by the Taliban, or the Nazis or for that matter the rude French? Maybe you'd enjoy being a slave to an Egyptian Pharoah or since you're a Brit you might enjoy the Royals ruling your country over a democracy?

02-11-2003, 10:22 PM
France and Germany control the EU, economically and politically. They don't like GW's leadership style and they want to have a say in world politics, so they are opposing the US.

Rick Nebiolo
02-12-2003, 02:38 AM
"and the US dominated world has not been a nice place to live."

without the United States the world will recede into a new dark age.

just an opinion perhaps shared by more than a few

~ Rick

Billy LTL
02-12-2003, 03:56 AM
without the United States the world will recede into a new dark age.

You have a point Rick but only to a certain extent. I think you should modify your sentence to this:

without the United States some of the world will recede into a new dark age.

A good deal of the inhabitants of our earth are already pretty much familiar with what living in the new dark age really means.

Rick Nebiolo
02-12-2003, 04:22 AM

Instead of "some of" how about "the rest of" /forums/images/icons/grin.gif

Billy LTL
02-12-2003, 04:34 AM
Instead of "some of" how about "the rest of"

That made me laugh.

nicky g
02-12-2003, 07:00 AM
I ain't no Brit. /forums/images/icons/tongue.gif
Why don't you ask the people of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, El Salvador, Guatamela, Honduras, Angola, Chile, Grenada, Congo, Iran, Iraq, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Palestine and a dozen others if the US-dominated world has been a nice place to live in. While you're at it, ask the Afghanis how much they liked the US-dominated world while the US was supporting the Taliban.

02-12-2003, 09:48 AM
nicky it isn't fair to take US actions out of the Cold War context and just condemn them all as stand-alone incidents. Anyways, the Cold War has ended and we haven't seen the US recently supporting bad regimes to nearly the same extent we did in the past when the Cold War played a major role in geopolitics.

02-12-2003, 09:51 AM
Their role is diminishing however.

Helmut Schmidt helped bring prosperity to Germany and Schroeder is now ruining things. As usual, liberalism tends to fail in the real world.

02-12-2003, 01:10 PM
Ric: "without the United States the world will recede into a new dark age.
just an opinion perhaps shared by more than a few"

Am I being dense and missing some humour here or do you really think this Rick...?!


Rick Nebiolo
02-12-2003, 01:28 PM

What nation led the fight against comunism? What other nation is powerful enough to counter the spread and infulence of radical Islam?

~ Rick

PS This doesn't mean the US is perfect, but on balance the world is a better place because of this nation and will remain a better place as long as we remain strong and resolute.

02-12-2003, 02:12 PM
I think Ricks comment would be more correct if we changed it to:

"without the United States the world would have long ago receded into a new dark age."

02-12-2003, 02:40 PM
These f---ing c---suckers have very short memories. We bailed their asses out of 2 wars.

What allies.

Just another though on these morons who are going to be the human shield in Iraq. We should take them out first. In my opinion that is treason!

02-12-2003, 02:44 PM
There is a very easy and effective way to tell the French that we are sick of them thumbing their noses at us. Don't buy their products. Don't buy French wine, etc. Hurt them in their wallets. As ignorant as they are, even they will get this message eventually.

02-12-2003, 03:24 PM
If evil's afoot, then typically somone will assume the mantle of protector of the populace. If that someone didn't, do you just then assume someone else wouldn't shoulder that mantle? Of course they would. If the US went into it's shell, would bodies such as the UN just vapourise or collapse..?

I'm not belittling the importance of and achievements made with the influence of the US, but making statements about the dark ages is just a bit ridiculous, Rick.

btw, some people have stalkers and web sites have their trolls. You seem to officially have picked up your own personal web nit-picker... /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif /forums/images/icons/grin.gif

02-12-2003, 04:11 PM
wouldnt it be great if jane fonda was in bagdad (for whatever reason)

02-12-2003, 04:16 PM
"If the US went into it's shell, would bodies such as the UN just vapourise or collapse?"

I think the answer to this is an unqualified yes. Without the US, there is no UN. We provide the majority of the money and all the enforcement and essentially all of the legitimacy. Without us, the UN is little more than a political discussion group.

02-12-2003, 05:09 PM
We bailed their asses out of 2 wars.

This is becoming a tired arguement. In fact, it was worn out so long ago that even the Simpsons has made a joke of it.

Is France supposed to be in some kind of permanent debt to the U.S. and defer judgement of all international affairs to Washington?

BTW, I don't think France needed bailing out of WWI. They were more than capable of maitaining the stalemate.

02-12-2003, 05:17 PM
The UN is a big bureaucracy in which the voices of tyrannical regimes are amplified due to the structure of the organization. Also, times have changed and France no longer would be accorded a permanent seat or veto if the UN were to be formed (or re-formed) today--France just isn't as important as it once was (and I'm not even speaking of the recent brouhaha, it's just that geopolitics have changed over time).

02-12-2003, 05:20 PM
No more French wines

No more Beck's

No more dry white German wines

Sam Adams thank you

And an honorable mention to Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale--the English deserve a hand--(well at least Blair and the British military do).

02-12-2003, 06:47 PM
We bailed their asses out of 2 wars

Not only does it not apply effectively to WWI, but neither does it apply to WWII. The French lost WWII in June of 1940. There was no "baliing out" - merely a decision by the remaining Allies to restore their eliminated ally.

02-12-2003, 10:54 PM
"merely a decision by the remaining Allies to restore their eliminated ally."

I'd call that getting bailed out! /forums/images/icons/smile.gif

The anti French sentiment developing in this country is sad, regretable and troubling to me.

02-12-2003, 10:55 PM
"We bailed their asses out of 2 wars."

They did help us out in a little thing called the American Revolution. So it's not quite as lopsided as you think.

02-12-2003, 11:13 PM
The anti French sentiment developing in this country is sad, regretable and troubling to me.
Don't worry...as more and more countries oppose the US's foreign policies, Americans will move on from anti-French sentiments to other, fresher bigotry.

rusty JEDI
02-13-2003, 01:57 AM
In 1870 France lost a little war to Germany when Pierre de Coubertin was a young boy. The french knew that much of this was due to being generally weak as a whole society. Pierre de Coubertin as he got older wanted to do something about this to restore pride in the physical nature of the French. He was also fascinated by the ancient olympic games. He set out to make French stronger to one day pay back the Germans and secondly he wanted to bring the games back to the world. He ended up bringing the Olympics back to the world, and later gave up on beating Germany.

France losing wars at least brought us some good. If only we could get the cry babies out of eastern Canada.

Rick Nebiolo
02-13-2003, 03:31 AM

i stand agreeably more corrected /forums/images/icons/wink.gif

~ rick

02-13-2003, 03:37 AM
nicky it isn't fair to take US actions out of the Cold War context and just condemn them all as stand-alone incidents. Anyways, the Cold War has ended and we haven't seen the US recently supporting bad regimes to nearly the same extent we did in the past when the Cold War played a major role in geopolitics.

Exactly why is it not fair? Did these things not happen? Post after post after post, you do your best to pull the USA out of the sewer and put us up on a pedestal. I find your logic horribly flawed. Time after time you admit to wrongdoing by the US, then try to justify it by saying things like "...but we're heads and shoulders above those guys."
"Those guys" usually being some extreme form of government, i.e. China, USSR, Pakistan, North Korea, etc. Maybe we are "heads and shoulders" above those countries. Do you think that's something to be proud of? I can just hear the proud
parent of a prison inmate--"My boy may have raped and killed an 80 year old woman, but he's still better than that Ted Bundy fella". Your predictable jump to the defense of anything American sounds just as ridiculous. By the way, do you have these already? I think you probably do.
Patriotic Blinders (http://www.democracymeansyou.com/satire/sliced/blinders.html)

Be careful that you don't step in front of a bus with those things on.

02-13-2003, 10:00 AM
If we didn't get involved they would be speaking German right now!

02-13-2003, 11:04 AM
And we taught their people about democracy. After that we were even. They have short memories and the loser in all this is going to be Turkey. Go build another Maginot Line.

02-13-2003, 11:14 AM
Because America, on the world stage, has fequently had to choose between the lesser of two evils. Choosing to work with or support a nation which is the lesser of two evils is not an evil act if it is necessary. Nor does it make us responsible for all the actions of our partner.

Unfortunately the real world demands hard choices.

Taking America's actions out of context and condemning them based on a fictitious comparison with a utopian ideal world is silly, but many don't see through the fallacy of it. When we helped Europe in WWII we killed lots of people. Taken out of context, that would make us evil. Looked at in context, it's quite a different story. Similarly (though not completely), taking US actions out of the Cold War context is also a deceptive starting place for an evaluation of the morality of our foreign policy actions.

02-13-2003, 11:14 AM
'And we taught their people about democracy.'

just out of curiousity id like to see some support for that statement.

nicky g
02-13-2003, 11:16 AM
I think you need to teach us again. We don't understand the bit about why the loser in the election gets made president.

nicky g
02-13-2003, 11:20 AM
How were death squads in El Salvador the lesser of two evils? Or Augusto Pinochet a lesser evil than Salvador Allende? I'm quite happy to discuss these in a cold war context.

02-13-2003, 11:21 AM
If my history channel memory serves me correctly, I believe that we were the first true democracy in the modern age. I don't think the French got this idea by themselves.

02-13-2003, 11:26 AM
That is the old electoral process. I do not agree with this law myelf, but I deal with it.

02-13-2003, 11:40 AM
I'll be happy to discuss these but I'll need some time to find certain links, as I'm not very knowledgeable about the history involved.

Note that I'm not saying all US actions were necessarily OK--I'm just making the point that taking US actions out of context for the purpose of condemning them (as Chomsky is wont to do) is a poor starting place if we're trying to ascertain the morality (or lack thereof) of these actions.

I'll be away much of the weekend and probably Monday
so perhaps we could start a thread specifically on US actions in Central America in the Cold War context sometime later next week, if you'd care to. I think it would be interesting and no doubt educational (at least for me).

nicky g
02-13-2003, 11:48 AM
Cool, see you then.

02-13-2003, 12:01 PM
nicky g wrote "I think you need to teach us again. We don't understand the bit about why the loser in the election gets made president." I can only surmise you are displaying your ignorance of our electorial college process. Don't worry read a few books and it will become clear. Anyone think this is Al Gore posting in disguise?

nicky g
02-13-2003, 12:16 PM
Heh. I don't know how IP addresses work (and i would if I'd invented the internet), but I'm sure you can ascertain that I'm not posting from the states. I doubt Gore shares my views on much other than the election.
I'm sure you all had this fight long before I started posting here but I would contend that Al Gore would have won a fairly administrated election regardless of the electoral college system; eg had the recounts etc been done fairly; had 1000s of black Floridians not been illegally removed from the register by Bush's minion Katherine Harris; had Jewish old ladies not ended up voting for Pat Buchanan; and had the Republican supreme court not stopped the recounts in favour of the son of the man who appointed them (on the grounds that it would demean the President - even if he wasn't the legitimate President!). Regardless of the oucome I'm sure we can all agree it was a merry farce.
Regardless I'm a solid believer in PR and don't think the electoral college system is a good idea, or the way American electoral funding laws and so on guarantee a two- party system, each in hock to corporate interests, which doesn't offer much of a democratic choice in my opinion (I'm not saying it's much better her; it isn't).
By the way did I ever tell you I invented modern democracy? Oh crap!

02-13-2003, 12:24 PM
i agree from what ive read the florida election was a sham.

btw i doubt al gore couldve been worse than bush. (patriot act , etc., btw look up patriot act 2 or whatever not passed yet but leaked its 10 times worse)

02-13-2003, 12:27 PM
i dont know but i do know first of all we're a federal constitutional republic (says in the US constitution the states are guaranteed a republican form of government) not a democracy.

read the federalist papers they considered a democracy to be a form of tyranny (of the masses).

dont know much about france other than they killed a whole lot of people and invented the guillotine cause they had so many poeple to kill.

02-13-2003, 01:21 PM
I'm not studied enough (yet) on our Constitution, but I recall once reading the rationale behind the electoral college, as well as the rationale for dividing Congess into two sections (House of Representatives and the Senate: in the House, States are allocated a number of
Representatives based on population, while in the Senate, every State gets two Senators). The reasons made a LOT of sense when I read them (only wish I could better recall it now).

One example of why the House/Senate system is good is that people in a densely populated area don't have the overwhelming clout they otherwise would have when it comes to legislation which would unfairly favor their own state at the expense of other states--although they do still retain some greater voting strength, as they should, based on population.

Thanks for your post--it makes me want to dig out the books I ordered last year but never got around to studying: The Federalist Papers is one book, and the others deal with the US Constitution.

02-13-2003, 02:01 PM
"Without the US, there is no UN. We provide the majority of the money and all the enforcement and essentially all of the legitimacy."

Nothing like a liberal dollop of distortion and exaggeration, huh.
Yes, the US is the most powerful member, but definitely not all the enforcement and certainly not all of the legitimacy.
...Unless you mean legitimacy as in the fact that the big kid in the classroom gets to choose the way the game's played. Not my definition.

Yes, weakened if the US withdrew. But it's functioning is already weakened and credibility occasionally undermined by the oftentimes more unilateral views and stances of the US. Other nations cannot attempt the same, since their influence is considerably less. Complaining about one country having undue influence within the UN seems strange when you hear an american say it, wouldn't you say..?

NB: I'm talking in a very general sense here - outwith the topic of the Iraq war rights and wrongs. I'm not touching on that subject here.

Chris Alger
02-13-2003, 02:26 PM
The U.S. "fight against communism" plunged a number of countries -- Vietnam, Guatemala, El Salvador -- into the darkest ages they ever experienced. US support for Islamic fundamentalists, particularly in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, was a corollary to this effort.

The US, like other countries now and throughout history, prosecutes its interests abroad in the rational pursuit of the institutions and interests that dominate policy-making. It doesn't lead "fights" against plots to take over the world; that's the stuff of pundits and comic books. The actual process creates conflict and tension, is ill-suited to the confines of international law, and often erupts into violence. U.S. foreign policy neither seeks nor obtains peace and prosperity for the vast majority of the people it affects.

Until Americans take foreign policy seriously enough to demand that it reflects their values, instead of deferring to the state while deluding themselves with self-pity and crude exceptionalist mythology, the US will remain despised throughout the world as an arrogant imperialist threat. Relatively free and propserous domestically, the ultimate rogue state abroad.

02-13-2003, 02:39 PM
Utter BS. The Communist expansion threat was real and occurring, and you'd now probably be speaking Russian if it weren't for the US efforts to resist the true "evil empire." What's more, you'd be quite possibly in a "psychiatric hospital" if you posted anti-government stuff like this.

It's also nonsense to expect that US foreign policy would have been able, in the real would, to reflect all of our idealistic, lofty utopian dreams.

I'm posting two links under new threads. One is to an article called "Hanoi Chomsky." The other is an article entitled: "Chomsky, The Stupidest Intellectual."

Chris Alger
02-13-2003, 03:13 PM
"What's more, you'd be quite possibly in a 'psychiatric hospital' if you posted anti-government stuff like this."

This is the second time recently that you've made this common but ultimately weird observation. Other examples I recall are a caption of a photo of a teach-in about Vietnam in Time magazine around 1965, that went something like "exercising the freedom that would be forbidden under communism." Or a propganda film I saw in the service, which made the point more bluntly, showing a soldier addressing a soapbox speaker: "why are you putting down the same government that gives you freedom of speech?"

In other words: you have this wonderful freedom, you could at least have the decency to refrain from using it. In the same breath that you flatter your country for its freedoms you despair of their use. This is the only possible point you can be making by pointing out that in worse countries people like me would be locked up.

Democracy and freedom inherently creates tension, difficulty and discomfort that many Americans loathe. They're pained by expressions of dissent conflict but comforted by national unity (witness all those car stickers and flags since 9/11 that people display to assuage their fear). We give lip service to our ideals, but would actually prefer them to remain only on paper. This is a staple of the immature, self-contradictory attitude that passes for conservative "thought."

02-13-2003, 03:26 PM

I'm not trying to make that point at all.

I'm just saying that many of the US actions which are so condemned now were actually the result of being forced to respond on a global scale to Soviet expansionism, and that sometimes the US had to make hard choices as to the "lesser of two evils" in our foreign relations.

Placing all the blame for that, as well as all the blame for the bad actions of some of those nations we had foreign relations with, is typically Chomsky, and typically unfair and illogical.

02-13-2003, 04:21 PM
It is not true that many of the U.S. actions "which are so condemned now were actually the result of being forced to respond on a global scale to Soviet expansionism, and that sometimes the US had to make hard choices as to the 'lesser of two evils' in our foreign relations."

We claimed we were fighting Soviet proxies in, to use the three examples Chris mentions, Vietnam, Guatemala, and El Salvador, but our government lied. And certainly the hell into which those nations were plunged as a result of choosing the "better or two evils" ended up the worst of any imaginable evils.

In Vietnam, we dropped more bombs on South Vietnam, the country and people we were supposed to be defending, than had been dropped in the history of the world. Remember the bombs dropped on Dresden and Hamburg and Hirshima and Nagasaki and what the Germans did and concentrate this into a small area and multiply it many times. It was a crime. No other word describes it accurately.

In Guatemala, after we overthrew the democratically elected government, our Secretary of State complained that we were not killing opponents of the newly installed murderers fast enough.

In El Salvador, we oversaw and approved of a vitual holocaust. Anticommunism was the facade by which thugs conducted a campaign that would have made Murder Inc. proud. No one was exempt, including the archbishop, a man of incomparable decency and dignity.

None of this has anything to do with the Soviet Union.

Let's give out country credit when we do things well and live by our principles. Let's not deny it when we do things badly and abandon our principles.

Chris Alger
02-13-2003, 05:27 PM
"I'm just saying that many of the US actions which are so condemned now were actually the result of being forced to respond on a global scale to Soviet expansionism, and that sometimes the US had to make hard choices as to the "lesser of two evils" in our foreign relations."

Now you're just parroting the official line. This has nothing to do with your comment that I'd be locked up in a communist state.

Conservative government-worshippers like you are always quick to regurgitate crude propagnada but run from uncomfortable facts like the plague. You never want to get into the issues of

<ul type="square"> how communism can present a monolithic world threat given the Sino-Soviet (or Yugoslavic or Romanian or Albanian) splits;

why the U.S. described all left-wing movements in poor countries as "communist" or "Soviet-inspired;"

why the US could purportedly care less about third-world socialism even if it hurt foreign trade and investment opportunities but saw "security" threats around every corner;

why comparatively gentle communist regimes in Cuba and Vietnam justified wose dictatorships in Chile, Guatemala and Indonesia, and generally why many U.S.-sponsered regimes were worse by any standard than many communist ones (and not the "lesser of two evils");

why the U.S. response to left-wing regimes was invariably to isolate them at every avenue in order to drive them toward the communist block (e.g., Cuba and Nicaragua), exactly the opposite response if Soviet domination were the threat;

how Castro, Arbenz and Mossedegh (among others) came to power as a result of "Soviet expansionism;"

why the Soviets failed to conquer or dominate defenseless non-communist countries that fell outside the scope of US military alliances (like Austria);

how the Soviet leaders were motivated by communist ideology (instead of self-interest) while building nothing that resembled a "communist" society;

how Marxism leads to aggression despite the absence of any ideology of aggression or imperialism;

why the government's public name-naming frenzy began before McCarthy and continued after him even though the communist parties in the U.S. were completely infiltrated by the FBI, and resulted in no disclosures of subervsion;

why the fall of South Vietnam had no effect on US national security;

why the U.S. military machine needed to deter "Soviet expansionism" just happened to be equally necesssary when the Soviet Union disappeared (yeah, right "rogue states" that persue their interests without regard to international law, in stark contrast to the U.S. ....). [/list]

You cannot explain these things as an understandable (if sometimes excessive of wrong-headed) response to a foreign threat. You can easily explain them as the contradictions between a policy of promoting US business interests coupled with a need to scare an otherwise disinterested public into supporting and subsidizing them, with the added benefit of stifling dissent (disloyalty!) and demands for domestic reform.


02-13-2003, 05:55 PM
I'm not parroting anything.

The fact that you might be locked up in a communist state, but not here, merely highlights a fundamental difference between true totalitarianism and our relatively free constitutional republic.

The fact that Chomsky, and many of his apparent ideological followers, are so eager to condemn US actions, whilst ignoring or apologizing for (or even supporting) the actions of regimes which inflicted far more harm on the peoples of the world turns my stomach.

Drawing equivalences is fine if they're real equivalences. Pretending that US actions somehow inflicted anywhere the amount of misery on the world as China's and Russia's actions is not only not fine, it's a bare-faced lie, and one which far too many naive college students easily swallow.

02-13-2003, 06:25 PM
You're consistent, if nothing else. Ignore counter-arguments, restate what you've already posted a dozen times in the past 24 hours.

02-13-2003, 06:53 PM
I tend to do that when the post I'm responding to seems like it might require a short essay.

02-13-2003, 10:34 PM
They might of learned about democracy from a city in Greece, maybe Athens. They had a democracy thousands of years before America was discovered.

We didn't invent democracy.

02-13-2003, 11:30 PM
The key word in the post you responded to is "modern".

02-14-2003, 03:24 AM
When the electoral college was incorporated into the US constitution it wasn't clear that the USA would have a two party system. I don't see a lot of value in the electoral college system today. Without going into a lot of detail it has evolved from it's original inception but still I don't see a lot of value in it.

Yeah we debated the Florida fiasco a lot.