Nous acceptons that le French detestent la guerre. Nous des Americains
detestons la guerre aussi. Mais nous also detestons Saddam Hussein. Comme
John Wayne put it in "Le Jour Plus Long" -- l'excellent film au sujet de la
liberation de la Normandie -- "You can't give the enemy a break. Send him
to hell." Maybe quelque chose gets lost in la traduction, but certainement
vous get le point.
After all, tout le monde can voir that les ideaux that ont inspire la
revolution francaise -- liberte, egalite, oil contracts -- are vivants et
well. Mais, juste because nous believe that Saddam est une menace a la paix
while le gouvernement francais believes that Saddam est un bon associe
commercial, il ne signifie pas that we Americains n'apprecient pas les
contributions francaises a our own culture. Par exemple, ou would
l'Amerique be sans le "French fry"? And so, as nous regardons beaucoup
McDonald's sur la terre francaise, we can say, "Lafayette, les Golden
Arches sont ici."
Ce n'est pas tout, either. Like vous, nous share votre l'embarras at les
actions anti-francaises ici on the home front. Dans notre Capitol, le
Congres Republicain a change le nom "pain grille francais" to "freedom
toast." Dans Maison Blanche, notre president apparemment prefere Tex-Mex au
cuisine de haute. Et nos collegues over at le New York Post have taken to
pasting visages des weasels on top des photos des diplomates francais chez
les Nations Unies.
Mais toujours rememberez-vous: Nous Americains ne sommes pas comme
cultives as les Francais. Oui, nous did sauve your bacon dans WWII, et we
seem prepare -- avec l'aide des Anglais et Tony Blair -- to do so encore.
But comme un peuple we Americains still preferons le cheeseburger au Boeuf
bourguignon, le Coors aux Chablis, et le Hummer au Renault. Et we will
never, never comprendrons pourquoi vous awarded la legion d'honneur a Jerry
Enfin, Monsieur Le President Chirac, nous will not allow une petite
thing like une guerre to come entre our deux grandes nations. Vive la
difference, oui. Mais it is bien for Paris to learn le same message that
Saddam is learning maintenant a Baghdad: "Ne messez pas avec le Texas."
Tony & Tacky
101: Not everyone is turning back to religion as we
go to war. The New York Sun reports that Timothy Shortell -- a sociology
professor leading Brooklyn College's overhaul of its core curriculum -- is
also the author of an online article referring to religious believers as
"moral retards." In a contribution to the online magazine Fifteen
Credibility Street, Prof. Shortell argues that, while on the personal level
religion is just a matter of bad taste, it does much harm publicly because
it is impossible to have religion without fanaticism. "Weakness," he
writes, "is demanded of us by religion and consumer capitalism." Oh.
The Eyes of
Texas: As America moved closer to war with Iraq,
reports the Dallas Morning News, a Muslim cleric made history by giving the
opening prayer at the Texas House of Representatives. The cleric, Imam
Moujahed Bakhach of Forth Worth, wore an American flag pin on his lapel to
show that American Muslims are behind their leadership. "This is our
country. This is our home. We have to pray for the security of our
community -- before Iraq," the paper quoted him telling other Texas Muslims
at a later rally. "Yes, I disagree with Mr. Bush. But I am a patriot."
Offensive: Journalistic lore has it that America
lost Vietnam when it lost Walter Cronkite. During a speech at Drew
University the same night that President Bush was delivering his ultimatum
to Saddam Hussein, the retired CBS news anchor excoriated the Bush
administration's "arrogance" over the war while likening the president to a
chimp. According to Anne Weisgerber, covering the speech for New Jersey's
Madison Eagle, Mr. Cronkite opened his talk with a video montage of his
career that included a clip of Mr. Cronkite with chimpanzees. Mr. Cronkite
then proceeded to launch his talk by telling his audience how "when I said
'it seems they love us,' the little chimp that was in my lap kind of cocked
his head back and his brow furrowed -- a little bit like President Bush's
-- and he went whack and hit me over the head and everybody laughed."