Join 3,375 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


One in three French backs Saddam
April 1, 2003 6:04 PM   Subscribe

One in three French backs Saddam Seems to me that it is one thing to be against the war in Iraq--Many Americans are--but quite another thing to root for Saddam to win over America. I had known relations between the U.S. and France had deteriorated. But this is mind boggling.
posted by Postroad (72 comments total)

 
Well, you can't very well hope for no winner in a war.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 6:08 PM on April 1, 2003


I wonder what such a survey would have said before someone decided "freedom fries" would be a great fucking idea.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:10 PM on April 1, 2003


This is depressing.
posted by homunculus at 6:11 PM on April 1, 2003


Of course this means 2 in three French are hoping America wins. If anything, I'd say that's miraculously loyal, given our leaders' attitude towards them.
posted by condour75 at 6:14 PM on April 1, 2003


I'm inclined to go with Condour75 on this one. Despite the seething and whining of Chirac, the dance of DeVillipan and the powerlessness of the French, 2/3rds of them still support the US.

That's mighty impressive, actually.
posted by swerdloff at 6:18 PM on April 1, 2003


I think more french would support Bush if he could explain exactly why he attacked Iraq.
posted by spazzm at 6:23 PM on April 1, 2003


this is a surprise?! what did we expect after america's disgusting display of immature animosity towards france?

we started it (no, you started it!). i'm actually encouraged by the poll and the government of france, like condour and swerdloff already mentioned.
posted by poopy at 6:25 PM on April 1, 2003


The article says "...showing that only a third of the French felt that they were on the same side as the Americans and British..."

So one third for, one third against, and another on the fence.
posted by letitrain at 6:25 PM on April 1, 2003


...showing that only a third of the French felt that they were on the same side as the Americans and British

that = 1/3 are pro US support

and 1/3 are pro Saddam
posted by bureaustyle at 6:26 PM on April 1, 2003


Come on, let's not get carried away about the results of such a silly poll. I bet a poll of Americans right now would show a shocking fraction of people would support nuking France. Does that *really* mean people want that? I don't think so, it's just an expression of frustration. Give it a rest.
posted by freebird at 6:26 PM on April 1, 2003


Nuking France? What a great idea! Then we could, after the proper number of years to allow for the radioactive thingies to calm down, create a theme park and call it Freedom Land! (subtitled: fuck you world, we rule!)

I'm kidding Postroad. Put the nukes away.
posted by eyeballkid at 6:29 PM on April 1, 2003


yeah, let's have a world war 3
US and UK agains everybody else....
posted by bureaustyle at 6:34 PM on April 1, 2003


ha ebk.
posted by adampsyche at 6:43 PM on April 1, 2003


That's not so unbelievable, especially since I believe that a very small fraction of Americans exist who also hope that Saddam wins. Needless to say, these people are not very vocal.
posted by mischief at 6:43 PM on April 1, 2003


This is ridiculous. Even if this poll were believable, it would only reflect what freebird points out. But it's not. I've just spent some time on the readers' forum of the left-wing newspaper Libération (where if there were significant pro-Saddam sentiment it would certainly be expressed), and I didn't see any signs of it. Not saying it's not there -- I didn't spend that much time there -- but it isn't any 33%. Everybody hates the war, everybody insults Bush, nobody (as far as I could see) praises Saddam. My favorite sentiment:
Je ne suis ni pour saddam, ni pour bush, ni pour chirac, ni pour les communistes, ni pour dieu, ni pour la palestine ni pour israël, ni pour l'europe, ni pour la corse...
Je suis l'Humain, animal particulier qui a appris à s'autodétruire!
('I'm not for saddam or bush or [...] I'm the Human, a particular animal who has learned how to destroy himself!')
posted by languagehat at 6:43 PM on April 1, 2003


One in three French were probably lining their poches avec les Francs from lucrative business deals with le tyrant.

Quel dommage!
posted by hama7 at 6:49 PM on April 1, 2003


What does this show us? That war brings out the pinheads of all stripes from their basement paranoia hutches.

This is not news. But you knew that already.
posted by jonmc at 6:51 PM on April 1, 2003


And Halliburton will be lining its pockets with dollars from lucrative business deals with the US government, hama7... c'est la vie.

War! What is it good for?
Opening markets!
posted by The Michael The at 7:02 PM on April 1, 2003


Well, you can't very well hope for no winner in a war.

And yet, this is how it usually ends up
posted by ElvisJesus at 7:43 PM on April 1, 2003


Ce sont des conneries, Postroad, con comme une bite ... Le réalité et toi, vous ne vous entendez pas, n'est-ce pas? Tu es completement debile.
Our two countries are united by a friendship that goes back more than 200 years which makes France the oldest ally of the United States.

Based on solidarity that has never failed, from the battlefields of Yorktown to the beaches of Normandy and through all the crises of the past half century, the friendship between our two countries is especially strong because it is rooted in shared values. The American dream of the Founding Fathers melds readily with the ideals of the French Revolution. It is no accident that an American woman and a Frenchman, Eleanor Roosevelt and René Cassin, together wrote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights more than 50 years ago.

This community of values is today our most precious asset enabling our two countries together to address the important common challenges facing them, foremost among them terrorism. After the horrific attacks that so wounded America, the very deep solidarity between France and the United States illustrates once again the lesson of our common history--that whenever the essential is at issue, whenever the values underlying our civilization are threatened, our two countries are naturally at the other's side in the same cause. As President Chirac said when he came to the United States a few days after the September 11 attacks, "France will be in the front line in the combat against international terrorist networks, shoulder to shoulder with America and its ally for ever."

The following pages give some idea, albeit a necessarily incomplete one, of the wealth of ties between France and the United States."

The Embassy of France
This is meaningless--David Sedaris, who is a fixture on NPR's This American Life, now lives in Paris. Interviewed recently by host Ira Glass, he said there was no animosity or anger displayed towards Americans or British on the part of the French, no matter how they felt about America or Britain. They were aware of our ridiculous scapegoating, freedom fries and so forth, but so far no was speaking of renting a copy of Liberty Gigolo or Freedom Graffiti. The French, unlike us evidently, can tell the difference between a government and a people. The defilement of the graves no more represents the French than does our rising rate of recent hate crimes against foreigners who look even vaguely mid-Eastern represent us. In short, what jonmc said.
posted by y2karl at 7:46 PM on April 1, 2003


"And Halliburton will be lining its pockets"

Halliburton? Je ne connais pas les détails, mais un oiseau dans le buisson vaut la peine deux dans la main.

Or something comme cela.

Restez loin des cemetaries alliés, s'il vous plait.
posted by hama7 at 7:47 PM on April 1, 2003


One in three French were probably lining their poches avec les Francs from lucrative business deals with le tyrant.

In my search for the reason that the French chose not to side with the US and UK on this issue, I've held this idea up to the light, and while it has some merits, I'm skeptical. You see, I can't believe that if French monetary interests were the only issue at stake, that the U.S. couldn't have simply sweetened the deal to the point where they'd participate: a financial package here, a lucrative contract there... it wouldn't really be hard. And the U.S. clearly engaged in such behavior with other nations. Notably Turkey -- and from what I understand, the ideological gap between Turkey and the U.S. makes current Franco-American relations look warm and chummy.

Possible flaws in this idea: the U.S. did try, but the price was really too high. Somewhat plausible.... after all, France is arguably the third or fourth richest country in the world, with a GDP that's equal to 1/5 of the United States (whearas Turkey's is about 1/10 of France's). Maybe the cost-benefit analyses for French Gov't/Industry really did fall on the negative side. But it's hard for me to imagine that even with the relative un-disparity in the US/French financial scenario, the portion of France's GDP related to Iraq-France trade isn't something the U.S. could do something about -- or guarantee continuing in the event of U.N./U.S. occupation.

So I'm still looking for a political or ideological motive for France's behavior, rather than a financial one....
posted by namespan at 7:51 PM on April 1, 2003


Well, you can't very well hope for no winner in a war.

And yet, this is how it usually ends up


Awfully poetic, yet undeniably untrue. Show me a war, and most of the time, a winner is very clear.

Otherwise, we'd still have a king.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 8:07 PM on April 1, 2003


What does this show us? That war brings out the pinheads of all stripes from their basement paranoia hutches.

Although in the case of very important pinheads, they may choose to retire to basement paranoia hutches in undisclosed locations.
posted by BT at 8:07 PM on April 1, 2003


(at the risk of being a paranoid pinhead...)
a possible ideological motive--

the sad fact is that france is rife with anti-semitism. chirac barely beat out an openly anti-semitic candidate in the last election, who got almost 20% of the vote.

an even larger section of the population is anti-zionist. probably about, oh, i'm guessing..... one in three
posted by rswst8 at 8:08 PM on April 1, 2003


since I believe that a very small fraction of Americans exist who also hope that Saddam wins.

Unfortunately, I think you're right. A professor at Columbia expressed exactly these sentiments over the weekend. Actually it was worse, since he specifically expressed his hope for massive U.S. casualties.

I think he probably represents a very small minority view within the antiwar movement. Even so, it's somewhat disturbing to hear a professor at a prestigious university publicly expressing this kind of sentiment.
posted by boltman at 8:08 PM on April 1, 2003


It is disturbing that a small proportion of "anti-war types" have proven the conservatives correct by displaying support for Saddam. But then, a small proportion of "pro-war types" have consistenly displayed a ludicrous desire to wipe Arabs off the face of the earth as well. You just can't account for some people, and it just proves the error in taking notice of extremists, no matter what side they're on.

Personally, as soon as the war started, my immediate feeling was "Well, I hope to hell it's over with quick and they get rid of Hussein and Baathists with a minimum of casualities." Now of course, that's looking to be a bit of wishful thinking, but I still hold out hope that it will come to a good end. Essentially, in this case, I am hoping that the hawks can prove my anti-war convictions completely wrong.
posted by Jimbob at 8:20 PM on April 1, 2003


I have a feeling that this is a phony bolony poll with poorly worded questions. Notice how the article doesn't actually said what was asked. The only thing we, as readers, have, is the writer's interpretation of the question.

Witold
www.witold.org
posted by Witold at 8:34 PM on April 1, 2003


I don't buy it's a real/valid poll, but it's worth considering this:

3 in 3 current Bush administration members at one time supported Saddam (well, nearly 3 in 3).... considered him an ally, looked the other way at the alleged "gassing of his people", gave him those weapons of mass destruction, etc. Conclusion: 2 in 3 French are more honorable than most of our current administration. :)
posted by hincandenza at 9:56 PM on April 1, 2003


I don't buy it's a real/valid poll, but it's worth considering this:

Nearly 3 of 3 current Bush administration members at one time supported Saddam as well.... considered him an ally, looked the other way at the alleged "gassing of his people", gave him those weapons of mass destruction, etc.

Conclusion: 2/3 of the French are more honorable than our current administration. :)
posted by hincandenza at 9:56 PM on April 1, 2003


um. what the heck? It's one thing to have a double post, but... a double post with different formatting?
posted by hincandenza at 9:58 PM on April 1, 2003


It appears conservative Times did put a bit of a spin on the survey...

I just read the google'd translation of the le monde article about the survey.

It looks like 1/3 of respondents sided with the US/UK, 1/3 didn't take sides, and a 1/4 sided with Iraq [not Saddam]. Since google translated a word as "smell" I'm still not certain how the question was asked.


For those who can read French better than Google can...
Plus impressionnant encore est le faible degré de solidarité des Français avec les Etats-Unis et la Grande-Bretagne. Un tiers d'entre eux seulement (34 %) répondent que, dans ce conflit, ils se sentent " plutôt du côté des Etats-Unis et des Anglais" et ce pourcentage est systématiquement inférieur à la majorité, même chez les sympathisants de droite (44 %) et chez les plus âgés (47 % chez les plus de 70 ans). A l'inverse, un quart des sondés se déclarent " plutôt du côté de l'Irak" et jusqu'à 30 % chez les moins de 35 ans. Enfin, 31 % des personnes interrogées disent ne se sentir proches d'aucun des deux camps et 10 % ne se prononcent pas.
posted by birdherder at 9:58 PM on April 1, 2003


sentir... smell/feel
posted by prolific at 10:10 PM on April 1, 2003


Talking about dubious polls, why not find out if you're French yourself before commenting further?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:31 PM on April 1, 2003


It may be worth noting that 5-10% of the French population (CIA fact book) is Muslim. (I've seen this number considered to be as high as 12%.) Just sayin'.

Something else: while I do not know all of the historical undercurrents involved but France has had an entirely different relationship with the middle-East over the years (it's called the near-east from the French point of view) than the United States.

Grave desecration is never pleasant but I am with David Sedaris: I've not personally been subjected to any anti-Americanism in France and, yes, some folks are very amused with the whole re-naming thing.

What I have heard directly from a few French is a clear statement of their objection to the United States government and the war against Iraq but nothing directed toward the American people -- at least nothing out of the ordinary ;-).
posted by Dick Paris at 10:49 PM on April 1, 2003


By the quiz, I'm half French, Miguel. (Maybe not surprising since I do actually trace half of my blood line back to France. My ancestors left France in 1632 though, so I suppose I should consider that half French-Canadian.)
posted by Dick Paris at 10:58 PM on April 1, 2003


Why is this mind-boggling? It is not beyond the realm of possibility for one to believe that Saddam is a villainous dictator while simultaneously holding the opinion that Bush's pre-emptive strike doctrine and massive war machine present an even greater threat. As the appeasement argument that hawks are so fond of asserts, if you let him win this time there will be no stopping him.
posted by JackFlash at 11:05 PM on April 1, 2003


Times -> Murdoch -> Fox News

Jus' sayin...
posted by inpHilltr8r at 11:24 PM on April 1, 2003


Emmanuelle Richard, who is rumored to be French, herself, has read the poll at the source and has put together a post deriding the Times of London article.

It seems our mainstream media has far, far too much space and not enough real news to fill it these days.
posted by rocketpup at 11:46 PM on April 1, 2003


I'm supporting Iraq in this war. Any other outcome means that America's war achieved it's purpose. It would probably be a good thing for world peace if the US/UK troops got boogged down into a long, expensive slog. A quick, easy victory for America would only increase the bloodthirst of Rumsfeld and his chums.

In this case, my side is in the wrong. I don't like supporting "the enemy" against my own troops and Government. I also don't like that "the enemy" is a nasty, brutal regime. On the other hand, the idea of supporting the US/UK just because of my nationality is ludicrous. Ideally, I would like British troops to be pulled out immediately.

The question is, if this is a war of liberation, how hard do the Iraqis have to fight before the Americans get the idea that they are not wanted? If this is a war of occupation why on earth would I support it?
posted by salmacis at 11:51 PM on April 1, 2003


Well, when in Chicago, you can try the Chickenhawk French Fries - You can either be chicken and have them plain, or prove you're a real chickenhawk and go for the seasoned!
posted by y2karl at 11:55 PM on April 1, 2003


And this is bollocks, too.
Yes, politics in france are quite worried the situation could get over control, with people portesting against the war, but also for/against palestine, for againt this or that. But it has nothing to do with french people supporting Saddam. If some f***** decide to show their support for him at protests, then it is a sad thing, and yes, we have to do something about it.
But 1 outta 3? Don't make me (and all my fellow citizens) laugh.
posted by Sijeka at 12:22 AM on April 2, 2003


There was a great editorial in Us News about how Chirac was the one signed the treaty allowing French Nuclear technology to get into Iraq. And how France is Iraq's biggest trading partner.

A very interesting read.
posted by ericdano at 12:39 AM on April 2, 2003


Even if the figures are inflated, this doesn't really surprise me. I'm astonished that no one has made the connection between this and the unexpected 17% that Le Pen pulled last year against Chirac. Le Pen, far from being a fun-loving, one-eyed populist, viciously attacked a Socialist candidate in 1998, has been convicted five times of antisemitic charges, and has called the Holocaust "a mere detail in history." Ask yourself why 17% of the French would get behind a hateful nutjob like Le Pen. Well, last month, French Education Minister Luc Ferry unveiled a plan to fight antisemitism. Why? 455 racist and antisemitic incidents in the first trimester of this year within French public schools, where teachers are probably busy teaching kids about the Dreyfus affair.

And here's a bit more on how this wave of antisemitism ties into world events:

CNN, May 2, 2002: "More than 300 [antisemitic attacks] have been reported since March 29, when Israel's offensive began -- this, as Le Pen made it to the May 5 runoff against conservative President Jacques Chirac."
posted by ed at 12:53 AM on April 2, 2003


I'm supporting Iraq in this war. Any other outcome means that America's war achieved it's purpose. It would probably be a good thing for world peace if the US/UK troops got boogged down into a long, expensive slog. A quick, easy victory for America would only increase the bloodthirst of Rumsfeld and his chums.

Yes, when dictators run loose, peace will follow.

Thank God, even in france, you are in the minority.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 12:54 AM on April 2, 2003


salmacis: It would probably be a good thing for world peace if the US/UK troops got boogged down into a long, expensive slog

So, in other words, you would prefer a protracted bloody war with lots of dead soilders and civilians on both sides to a quick and relatively bloodless one because it will teach the world, and the US in particular, a valuable lesson about world peace?

Also, I assume that the inevitable slaughter of rebelling Kurds and Shiites that would occur once Saddam reestablished his control over the country would be just another price to pay to curb the US thirst for war? Or maybe just that their blood would be on the hands of the U.S. and not Saddam?

This war may well have been a terrible mistake. Only time will tell. But stopping it after it has already started is a far different choice than to not start it at all. And to actually hope that it will prove to be a terrible mistake...well, that's something else entirely. Its sentiments like that that give the antiwar movement a bad name.
posted by boltman at 1:09 AM on April 2, 2003


Altho' I'm not usually the worrying kind, I had to ring a French friend who is a research scientist at Stanford last week to make sure she & her hubby weren't being chased down El Camino Real with pitchforks & burning torches these days.

She was pretty sanguine (hoho!) about the whole affair pointing out that she did live in an area where being French was less of a problem altho' she wasn't too keen on spending too much time in 'the heartland' in the near future.

She seemed to reflect the general French attitude of 'well, they're American and this is how they have to vent their feelings, c'est la vie, we'll let them get on with it and they'll get bored and move onto something else soon'.

The fact is that both France and the US owe their very existence, in part, to each other. The schism has come about as France resents the power of the US & the US resents the fact that the French are smarter, sexier & more cultured than they can ever dream of ;-)

I think that part of the problem in the US is that some USians feel the need to lash out and its easier to lash out at the French without appearing like racists. To the outside world, however, it looks really stupid & childish. Not the kind of impression you want to give whilst you're trying to convince everyone that your way of doing things is the best way.

I'd also like to point out the last para of a generally sloppy article:
'President Chirac’s spokesman said: “We are indignant and shocked by the desecration of the graves of soldiers who fought for our liberty.” Jean-Pierre Raffarin, the Prime Minister, said: “The Americans are not the enemy; just because we are against this war, it does not mean that we want the victory of dictatorship over democracy.”'
posted by i_cola at 1:10 AM on April 2, 2003


Leave the French alone. They've done nothing. Literally. Leave the hatred for the people who truly did create this situation.
posted by Summer at 1:31 AM on April 2, 2003


So, in other words, you would prefer a protracted bloody war with lots of dead soilders and civilians on both sides to a quick and relatively bloodless one because it will teach the world, and the US in particular, a valuable lesson about world peace?

Well, I don't really see any good way out now. My fear is that if the Americans win quickly and easily, more wars will follow. If that were to happen, even more people would die. I'm hoping for the least bad solution. If it's a choice between military lives and civilian lives, then I would prefer to spare the civilians, because at least the US/UK voluntarily signed up for military service.
posted by salmacis at 1:41 AM on April 2, 2003


more wars will follow

Hello Iran and Syria.
posted by Summer at 1:55 AM on April 2, 2003


"Well, you can't very well hope for no winner in a war."

Of course you can. Isn't that exactly what the US did in the Iran/Iraq war? We helped the Iranians with intelligence to defend themselves when they were in trouble, and when the tables turned and Iraq was in trouble, we gave them weapons, including chemical precursors and biological agents, and we let them know when and where the Iranians were massing for their "human wave" assaults... and if those assaults were chemical weapons bloodbaths, well, hey... we didn't do it.

I know for a fact that you can hope for no winner to a war, because that is *exactly* what I am doing right now. If the US wins this war, it means a painful occupation and it will be used as a justification for more wars. If Saddam wins, it will be more of the same for the people of Iraq.

The best solution is probably somewhere inbetween -- more inspections, letting the conquered territories in Iraq run themselves and benefit fully from Iraq's oil exports, linking aid and a lifting of sanctions in Ba'ath-controlled Iraq to steps towards democratization, and a policy of active US support (primarily via air) to guarantee that conquered southern and northern Iraq regions can be independent. When the Ba'ath Iraqis see how good the rest of Iraq have it, the US won't be the only ones who are pushing for more democracy... and if Saddam tries cracking down on his people, we'll keep targeting him and his supporters.

Those who say "we can't stop fighting because Saddam would win" are being historically ignorant. Both Korea and Vietnam were wars resolved through diplomacy, not total victory... and diplomacy sure sounds a lot better than trying to indefinitely occupy a country of people who hate us until they (and all those others who will flock into Iraq for US targets) stop hating us anymore.

Think about it -- the arguments that were used for war in Korea and Vietnam essentially still valid, but are those wars actually worth fighting anymore? Any hawks out there want to go back to Korea or Vietnam and win us a total victory? Anyone?! Thought not...
posted by insomnia_lj at 2:23 AM on April 2, 2003


Actually, I am rooting for one side to win this war, now that I think of it.

I want the Iraqi people to win.

Note that I didn't say that I wanted Saddam to win... there is a difference.
posted by insomnia_lj at 2:27 AM on April 2, 2003


Isn't France about 28% muslim? That ratio sounds likely in that case.
posted by HTuttle at 3:45 AM on April 2, 2003


Leave the French alone. They've done nothing. Literally.
Well, just a thought, but doesn't the islamist's hatred of the west have much to do with the history of western colonialism of their countries, which the French engaged in so thoroughly.
posted by HTuttle at 3:48 AM on April 2, 2003


rswst8 : chirac barely beat out an openly anti-semitic candidate in the last election, who got almost 20% of the vote.
To describe Lepen as simply anti-semitic is like describing the KKK as anti-catholic. It's true but misleading. Lepen got his votes principally because he was anti-immigrant and anti-Arab. And the election result was 80-20 (hardly barely).
And ed: CNN is conflating anti-Israel with anti-semitic. A not unusual trick lately.
an even larger section of the population is anti-zionist. probably about, oh, i'm guessing..... one in three
I don't understand why one would expect that particular form of nationalism (zionism) to enjoy support in a non-jewish (actually aggressively secular) country? It's like asking how many americans support the idea of a "greater Greece". Aggressive natonalisms should be opposed by all rational people.

I doubt that there is much support for Saddam in France. There probably is a lot for Iraq though.
I support Iraq too. Their troops are involved in a war to defend their country from foreign aggression of the most colonial pretensions. I have seen here Iraqi Arab (as opposed to Kurdish) political refugees (people who were tortured and/or had relatives and friends massacred), marching against the US. Most of them see the war now, it seems, as a patriotic war. In other words what Rashid Khalidi says here:
...This is a strong regime. It's a brutal, dictatorial regime. There's no question that some people are terrified of it, intimidated by it.
But at the same time it's calling on Iraqis and appealing to Iraqi nationalism as I have heard on NPR, as I’ve heard on PBS, as I’ve heard on some of the good reports from western reporters there. The same people who will tell you that they loathe the regime say we do not want an American army of occupation.

I mean, stand back and think about it. Imagine this was Russia invading Uzbekistan (a loathsome dictatorship BTW) to "bring down the butcher Karimov who tortures his own people". Now imagine the Uzbeks had the gall to resist and defend their country despite their possible hatred of their dictator. Would you be supporting Russia in that hypothetical scenario? Would you think that it would be morally acceptable to defend Russian aggression?

If the US wins, and wins easily, this would mean that a protracted war across the middle east would become more likely, as would the prospect of a consequent world-wide bloodbath... Of course I would prefer, even now, *any* sort of diplomatic solution that would stop this horrendous war.
As for the Kurds ( areal and legitimate concern), a UN led peace force should be established in the North that would prevent Saddam and/or Turkey from moving in. This should happen even after the US/UK victory.
posted by talos at 3:50 AM on April 2, 2003


oh i so saw it coming, the Lepen thing...

Here's the thing:

Our PM was worried about some people wearing 'sadam' t shirts during protests, as well as casualities and violence observed towards young Jews during protests.

It turned out, and this was avtually by a specialist of the extreme right movment on france, that the people who attacked them were simply fascists guys, and not, not at all from this '28'% of muslims some people seems to talk about.

For gods' sake, it has nothing to do with it.

And while i'm at it. Anti americanism is as old as the so called hatred between the english and the french. Its just, dare i say, a normal thing that it's amplified considering the current events.

What would the american ppl say if we namned our hamburgers 'freedom burgers'?

Yes. You guessed.
posted by Sijeka at 3:51 AM on April 2, 2003


the arguments that were used for war in Korea and Vietnam essentially still valid
Say whu? The domino theory pretty much ENDs at those borders these days. The idea that it would continue and spread throughout the rest of the world is long dead.
posted by HTuttle at 3:54 AM on April 2, 2003


err... that is "ambition" not "pretensions".
posted by talos at 3:54 AM on April 2, 2003


Well, just a thought, but doesn't the islamist's hatred of the west have much to do with the history of western colonialism of their countries, which the French engaged in so thoroughly.

Yes. A good reason not to fuel it anymore perhaps? The French have done nothing wrong during this crisis. If you want to attack them for past colonial misdeeds go right ahead. You might want to start a new thread though.
posted by Summer at 3:56 AM on April 2, 2003


Awfully poetic, yet undeniably untrue. Show me a war, and most of the time, a winner is very clear.

Otherwise, we'd still have a king


If you consider political outcome, a winner may most times be clear. The losers, however, are most often less tangible: refugees, economy, ecology, and even in many cases long term stability. After all, the War To End All Wars had a rather famous sequel.
posted by ElvisJesus at 4:01 AM on April 2, 2003


Otherwise, we'd still have a king

Actually, you'd have a Queen at the moment.

[/nitpick]
posted by i_cola at 4:22 AM on April 2, 2003


Isn't France about 28% muslim? That ratio sounds likely in that case.

According to the CIA World Factbook, it's between 5 and 10 percent.

This story is from Reuters (and is worded slightly differently) :-

'The Ipsos poll, published on Monday in the daily Le Monde, showed that while 78 percent of the French opposed the war on Iraq, 53 percent of them hoped the United States and Britain would defeat Saddam Hussein.'

'But 33 percent did not want a U.S.-British victory and 25 percent said they were clearly on Iraq's side.'
posted by plep at 5:09 AM on April 2, 2003


You know, I suspect that if you ran the same poll among the anti-war protestors, you might get a third who'd say they want the U.S. to lose. They might see it as a validation of their viewpoint, and a black eye for Bush.

In all the protests I watched, I didn't see a single sign condemning Sadaam and his regime.

I also note that I'm seeing fewer protests now that details of his depravity are coming out...
Maybe the pro-war group was right after all?
posted by darren at 5:54 AM on April 2, 2003


darren: That's just dumb.

You didn't see a sign condemning Saddam because the protesters weren't protesting against Saddam. Protesters can only ever hope to influence their own leaders. All leaders, from the democratically elected Bush (yeah yeah, I know) and Blair, to despots like Saddam rely, to a greater or lesser degree on public support.

You're seeing fewer protests now because the war has started and there's a feeling among many people that the best that can happen is for the war to be over quickly. (This is not a view I agree with.) If the war drags on, I guarantee that the protests will grow in size and volume.

Since the war started, there has been no news about Saddam's depravity that we didn't already know. In fact, the worst case scenario, of chemical weapons and missiles into Israel and Kuwait, has thankfully failed to materialise. If you ever watched anything other than Fox News, you might have noticed that thus far, Iraq has been winning, not losing, the propaganda war.
posted by salmacis at 6:20 AM on April 2, 2003


darren: this anti-war person, knew the depravity of Saddam's regime, very well. Even when US/UK/France/the whole damn western world, were busy supporting it.
posted by talos at 7:21 AM on April 2, 2003


Just had a thought y'all...how 'bout requesting 'All You Need is Love' by The Beatles on your local KVWXYZ station? ;-)
posted by i_cola at 8:00 AM on April 2, 2003


Otherwise, we'd still have a king

Actually, you'd have a Queen at the moment.

[/nitpick]


Actually, in the eyes of English royalists, they do have a Queen at the moment, don't they?

[/myNitsBiggerThanYours]
posted by JollyWanker at 8:01 AM on April 2, 2003


I think that part of the problem in the US is that some USians feel the need to lash out and its easier to lash out at the French without appearing like racists.

Some but not all:

War abroad, hate crimes at home

A Muslim family’s van is destroyed near Chicago, a Muslim teen-ager is badly beaten in California, a mosque is attacked in Illinois — and the list lengthens daily with new reports of harassment and violence across the nation. This rise in hate crimes against Muslims in the United States would be big news in ordinary times. But with war raging in Iraq — and terrorist alerts at home — these are far from ordinary times.

War opens door for prejudice

In Portland, Ore., three men were charged with shouting ethnic slurs at Gerard Gioio, 32, a South African native of Italian descent, as they beat him on a city street on Jan. 12. The men, Michael Grant Bonadurer, 23, Adrece Jovony Mitchell, 23, and Jonathan Vaefaga Semau, 23, began beating the man when they heard his accent and couldn't place it, Gioio's wife testified. The men have pleaded innocent.

Attacks on U.S. Muslims rising ahead of war
posted by y2karl at 8:16 AM on April 2, 2003


Rising from what to what? What's truly astonishing is how few attacks there have been; something which should make the United States VERY proud.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:32 AM on April 2, 2003


There was a great editorial in Us News about how Chirac was the one signed the treaty allowing French Nuclear technology to get into Iraq. And how France is Iraq's biggest trading partner.

A very interesting read.


But Iraq, almost certainly, is not France's biggest tradding partner.

ericdano, the political connections are interesting, but I still can't believe the economic angle. Iraq's GDP is 1/10 of Turkey's ---- 1/100th of France's. Even if France was Iraq's only trading partner, the impact of cutting that off would be barely significant. And the U.S., with 500 times more production/trading power, could presumably have balanced things out.

There was something more to this than economic interests.
posted by namespan at 9:13 AM on April 2, 2003


What's truly astonishing is how few attacks there have been; something which should make the United States VERY proud.

No thanks to people like you.
posted by y2karl at 9:16 AM on April 2, 2003


oh well i guess it's waaay to late to be replying but facts i mentioned were called into question...
talos:
rswst8 : chirac barely beat out an openly anti-semitic candidate in the last election, who got almost 20% of the vote.
To describe Lepen as simply anti-semitic is like describing the KKK as anti-catholic. It's true but misleading. Lepen got his votes principally because he was anti-immigrant and anti-Arab. And the election result was 80-20 (hardly barely).
true, he's an equal opportunity racist, i was going to mention that but i hate to be long-winded. i don't think it's misleading, merely incomplete.

the runoff may have been 80-20 but in the first round, the open election, chirac got 19.8% and lepen got 17.2%
i call that barely beating him out. i guess that's why they have the 2nd round...

i still believe many french are anti-semites and/or anti-zionists who view the US action in iraq as an extention of US backing of israel and are therefore against it. it's not really something that can be proved or disproved, the fact that 20% of them would vote for lepen is simply offered as evidence, maybe not even Exhibit A.
posted by rswst8 at 12:02 AM on April 3, 2003


« Older The Lukhang Temple,...  |  Leslie Cheung has died.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments