Why the French Resist War
   by Gene Lyons

    I met my favorite Frenchman on a tennis court in Texas. Mutual friends
 thought we would be well-matched opponents. Alain had arrived in the United
 States only two days earlier. Always the aggressor, he charged the net early
 in our first match, and I lifted a lob over his head. Rather than retreatingto play
 it on the bounce, Alain leaped into the air, took a mighty swing andfanned.

    "Ouf," he grunted. "I sink I am Bob McAdoo."

    McAdoo was a 7-foot NBA player. What manner of Frenchman, much less
 a literature professor, I wondered, knew that? It was Alain's way of mocking
 himself. An avid sportsman, he'd spent his first afternoon in America watching
 basketball on TV. Fit and muscular, he'd competed for France in volleyball.
 No Gauloise-puffing café intellectual, he was an ardent outdoorsman, a hunter
 of birds and wild boars, and a rock climber.

      After we knew each other better, Alain confided that he'd been initially
 taken aback by my asking if he was a Parisian. He feared I'd found him haughty
 and arrogant. Au contraire, mon ami. His home was Montpellier, a city roughly
 the size of Little Rock on the Mediterranean coast near Spain. He used to enjoy
 siding with my wife, whose origins are in French Louisiana, in petty disagreements.
 "We Latins," Alain would announce mischievously, had arrived at a mutual position
 about who should drive or where to eat dinner. The Latins, it appeared, always
 chose the more passionate option, or the one with most garlic.

      I've been in touch with my old friend by e-mail as the Op-Ed warriors and the
 country club tough guys of the Bush administration ridicule France in terms appropriate
 to a Monty Python skit. "I have to denounce the vacillation of the [French] Government
 in the strongest terms," I wrote. "They fiddle while Ishmaelia burns. A spark is set to
 the cornerstone of civilization which will shake its roots like a chilling breath."

      It's a passage from Evelyn Waugh's satirical novel "Scoop" I knew Alain would
 recognize. (If it doesn't make you smile, you've been reading too many editorials.)
 Quite conservative--Socialists, he thinks, are always incompetent and usually corrupt
 --his first response, passionately as always, was to assure me that France has not
 forgotten WWI or WWII, nor the close friendship between our countries. The French
 have no illusions about Saddam Hussein and would like to be rid of him. But they see
 no immediate threat. If he can be de-fanged and contained, that would be preferable to
 risking WWIII.

      Most French observers see terrible danger in either of two post-Saddam scenarios:
 either the U.S. leaves Iraq in chaos and ruins, then bugs out leaving the Europeans holding
 the bag, as we've basically done in Afghanistan; or we occupy it indefinitely, turning the
 region into a huge West Bank and insuring an exponential growth of Islamic extremism
 and al Qaeda terrorism.

      What Alain implied but was too polite to say was that if the swaggering puppy Bush
 was in too big a hurry to seek U.N. approval, he shouldn't have asked. Our allies are
 democracies, after all, and upwards of 80 per cent of the public opposes invading Iraq.
 (No doubt reacting to U.S. bullying, an astonishing 87 per cent of the French do.)
 As millions of anti-war protesters across Europe underscored last weekend, Bush
 was appointed president of the United States, not France.

 ha ha


    Having questioned the professionalism of the New York Times Book Review,
 I'm happy to report that its editors have taken pains to repair the damage done by
 Beverly Lowry's inept review of Susan McDougal's book "The Woman Who
 Wouldn't Talk." Besides printing a correction of the false charge that she was
 convicted of obstruction of justice and criminal contempt, The Times also ran a
 letter from McDougal herself last Sunday politely correcting a couple of Lowry's
 other more egregious blunders.

    Equally heartening was NYTBR editor Chip McGrath's statement to the
 industry newsletter "Publisher's Lunch," which questioned "why the newspaper
 hasn't been more forthcoming in its own voice to correct the record." McGrath
 said he had deliberately used McDougal's letter in an effort to rectify the situation.
 "As for the errors that did appear," he explained "yes, they were sloppy and
 should have been caught in the editing process; as soon as we became aware
 that we had erred--and it didn't take long for that to happen--we took steps
 to set the record straight."

      "The Book Review has a particular problem in that we use so many
 freelancers," McGrath added "not all of whom are trained journalists, and
 this puts an additional burden on our over-worked staff. I do think we've
 learned from this one." Meanwhile, I'm equally pleased to report that
 "The Woman Who Wouldn't Talk," after three weeks on the New York
 Times best seller list, has cracked the top ten. Case closed.

 You don't hire a ditto-monkeyette to review a Clinton-related book.
 The New York Whore Times is just lying again.  Lowry was hired to
 discredit and destroy McDougal's book (that's what the NYWT does)
 and now they're trying to claim they were overworked?  

 Remember, the NYWT is the press source for the originally fabricated
 story about Whitewater. They were trying to discredit Clinton.

 They knew it was a farce back in 1992, but they knew the ditto-monkeys
 salivating for Clinton's zipper would buy the story in droves, the sons of bitches.
 Lowry didn't commit "errors," she f-ing lied and everybody knows it.
 Trust me - everybody saw the Time's review that implied McDougal
 was just another lying criminal friend of Clintons. Who read the correction?
 Lowry is a Clinton-hating whore working for a company of Clinton-hating whores.
 bartcop.com  has more credibility than the New York Whore Times.

  back to  bartcop.com

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