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Marching Lockstep into Hypocrisy

May 15, 2002

Oh, those morally superlative French! In the new millennium, after the terror which rocked the United States of America and most of the modern world, it seems some things really never change. One thing that hasn't: France's ultra-sophisticated, we-are-better-than-you attitude towards everything, especially anything American. In particular, our policies in defeating terrorism and our war on its perpetrators. It must be nice to be oh-so-superior. Certainly makes one feel especially good to look down upon people whom you think are beneath you. Or, does it?

At the outset, post-September 11, France's show of sympathy was genuine. As with most of the world, condolences, speeches, and statements of support poured from the heads of state of all European countries. France supported America's right to wage war in Afghanistan. Then came the infamous Bush "Axis of Evil" speech in February of this year. Immediately, the grace period of non-criticism was over. French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine pointed his finger at the U.S. government and military accusing them of pursuing a "simplistic" foreign policy. "Today we are threatened by a simplistic quality in US policy that reduces all the problems of the world to the struggle against terrorism. It is not properly thought out," Vedrine told French radio. We?

Monsieur Vedrine is the same man who, when speaking about the so-called 20th hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui - a French citizen, said he "regretted" the U.S. Justice Department's decision to seek the death penalty in his case. Vedrine, a member of the Council of Europe, is committed to abolishing the death penalty world-wide. Bully for you, Mr. Vedrine. But since it is the law of our land, and if Moussaoui is found guilty, he will have to pay the price under our laws. Save the moral outrage for someone who will listen. Apparently, no one will - not even Amnesty International - on this one. Remember, these people didn't blow up the Eiffel Tower. No, they killed thousands of American citizens by taking out the Towers of Manhattan and Washington's Pentagon.

Not so, according to author and head of the leftwing organization, the Voltaire Network, Thierry Meyssan. He's the Frenchman who penned the outrageous book, 11 Septembre: L'effroyable Imposture (which translated, means September 11: The Frightening Fraud). In this "book," Meyssan claims that on that fateful day, a plane didn't crash into the Pentagon - the damage just doesn't sustain the claim. He goes further to accuse "a group of people who had authorized access to the Pentagon" for staging this attack with the target being the Navy Command Center. Of course, the author gives no explanation as to what happened to Flight 77, the American Airlines plane which did, in fact, hit the Pentagon that sunny morning. Just ask Ted Olson. His wife, Barbara, was on that plane. Better yet, Monsieur Meyssan, you ask him.

Even the Russians know this book is bunk. When asked about the book's success in France (Amazon.fr's Number One bestseller for months after it's release), Sergei Butin, spokesman for the Committee for International Affairs said, "[It's success] could be summed up by the Russian proverb: the more far-fetched a claim, the more that people believe it." Butin added, "the Russian government believes in the information distributed by that of the United States in this matter."

Far-fetched, indeed. But what's not so far-fetched and unbelievable is the renewed wave of anti-Semitism occurring in France almost daily. France's phony moralizing on US policy, and on Israel's policy of defending itself against the series of homicide bombers bent on killing as many Jews as possible, increasingly pales in the news that many French Jews - close to 600,000 strong - are being attacked. In Strasbourg, Lyon and Alsace, synagogues have been burned. Alsace also saw a pavilion at a Jewish cemetery destroyed by Molotov cocktails.

Some news stories have been calling this the worst outbreak of anti-Semitism in 60 years.

Let's see, shall we refresh our memory a little? 60 years ago...

On September 3, 1939, France declared war on Germany. France bit off more that it could swallow, and on May 15, 1940, French Premier Paul Reynaud phoned British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, telling him, "We have been defeated; we have lost the battle." In come the Allies, consisting of British, Soviet and American forces, to turn the tide of what would have been the most horrific event in the history of our world; a win by the king of the anti-Semitic movement, Adolf Hitler. Six million Jews died. Pretty huge outbreak, wouldn't you say?

How ironic, when faced with the US governments' $285 million dollars in war aid, troop deployment and equipment, France didn't say boo. There was no overt criticism of simplistic foreign policy when our forces landed on those beach heads at Normandy on June 6, 1944. The French were formally out of the game by then, because when Paris fell on June 14, 1940 - by June 22, France formally surrendered, signing the armistice in the same train car Germany had surrendered in to end the First World War in 1918. Britain, and the rest of the Allies, faced Germany alone. Turn out the lights, the party's over - at least as far as France was concerned.

Alas, it's even more ironic that the jack-boot shod feet we hear echoing down the Champs-Elysees now are worn by French citizens assaulting Europe's most populated Jewish community - it's own Jewish countrymen.

Last December while at a dinner party, France's ambassador to Britain, Daniel Bernard, off-handedly spouted (about Israel), "That [expletive deleted] little country... Why should the world be in danger of World War III because of those people? ..."

Some could have argued the same of his [expletive deleted] country 60 years ago.

"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
-- George Santayana

 

© 2002 Lori Cutshall

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