Sunday, May 06, 2007

we spoke of wintertime in France

Remember Freedom Fries, the barely-adolescent dig at the French, who had the audacity to decline our invitation to the wonderful Iraq War experiment? And anyone remember who started it?
Representatives Robert W. Ney (R - Prison) and Walter B. Jones, Jr. (R - North Carolina) declared that all references to French fries and French toast on the menus of the restaurants and snack bars run by the House of Representatives would be removed.

Here's a quote from the Wikipedia on "Anti-French Sentiment in the U.S.":
Anti-French sentiment in the United States returned to the fore in the wake of France's refusal to support U.S. proposals in the UN Security Council for military action to invade Iraq. While other nations also opposed the U.S. proposals (notably Germany, Russia, Belgium and China), France received particularly ferocious criticism[2]

Anyone remember similar slams on German beer, Russian dressing, Belgian waffles or Chinese investment in the U.S. economy? Yeah, right.

Now the 'Blame France First' crowd of ├╝ber-Republicans can finally bury the hatchet, as France has elected a Right-winger to make them all proud:
Sarkozy promised pension reforms and limits on unions' ability to strike. Already, the most critical union federations are warning him to expect people in the streets if he tries to push through either change.

"Radical change in an authoritarian manner will lead to a situation of blockage," said Michel Grignard, national secretary of the French Democratic Confederation of Labor. French unions are strong in part because the right to strike is written into the Constitution.

At least he's not a complete Bush tool:

Sarkozy added that he wanted to tell his "American friends that they can rely on our friendship ... France will always be next to them when they need us."

But, he added, "Friends can think differently."

Still, it could have been worse. They could have elected Jean-Marie Le Pen:
Le Pen focuses on immigration to France, the European Union, traditional culture, and France's high rate of unemployment. He advocates immigration restrictions, the death penalty, incentives for homemakers,[1] compulsory military service, censorship of the arts, and euroscepticism. He has been charged with Holocaust denial several times, and has unsuccessfully attempted to sue his accusers.[2]

We'll just have to wait and see