Thursday, November 03, 2005

A new French underground?

It sometimes seems as though all we hear from France these days is anti-Americanism.

But according to a correspondent of Roger Simon's, there is a certain closet pro-Americanism in evidence there. His letter to Roger features stories of people coming up to him and confiding their disagreement with the fashionable and official US-bashing.

And this is not just in response to the current riots, either, since the incidents he describes occurred prior to them. I wonder, however, whether in the wake of these riots there will be an increase in sympathy for what in France is known as the "cowboy" approach--and for the "cowboys" themselves.

So, does this represent a new French underground: the pro-Americans? And, if so, how large is it?

To the latter question, I have not a clue what percentage of the population might feel this way. But my guess is that there are a great many people all over France and other parts of anti-American "old Europe" who are fed up with their countries' recent behavior towards the US and the opinions expressed in their press.

Whether there are enough of these people to swing an election, and whether such a reaction would take the extreme form of a hardline and bigoted far-right backlash (read: Le Pen), only time will tell.

27 Comments:

At 1:48 PM, November 03, 2005, Blogger chuck said...

I believe Le Pen is anti-American. I have the impression that right-wing in France is not that different from left-wing except in terms of nationalism and an anti-immigrant stance. I think that comports with the traditional European distinction between left and right in Europe. If a pro-American party ever arises it will probably be labeled liberal, a dirty word at present.

 
At 1:58 PM, November 03, 2005, Blogger neo-neocon said...

That's what I mean--Le Pen is anti a lot of things--including, I believe, anti-Semitic.

So, I guess we are reduced to hoping for liberals :-).

 
At 2:38 PM, November 03, 2005, Anonymous Joseph Samuel Friedman said...

Bush is a Republican, Blair a Labor Party member, Bush obviously recieves a higher support from his base then Blair. Chirac is on the right as far as Politics is concerned so where is the line?

Unfortunately the balance or median line for such hawkish policies is on the right side of the of the political ledger throwing many people like myself (and you neo-neocon) into poloitcal places never imagined before.

 
At 3:02 PM, November 03, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I tell them all to move to AMerica, while EUrope still has the free visas.

Be like before WWII, get out while the going is good, you know.

America needs smart, educated, and wise people, more than ever.

And not just to counter our home grown anti-Americans either.

All politics are local, Americans would not assume out of hand that a "Liberal" party in Europe would be the same as the Democrat party here at home. Not without good reason to, like one party aping the other's policies and rhetoric. Americans do not for example, have the same antipathetic sense of "dirtiness" towards Britain's Labour party as Americans have towards Schroeder's SDP.

And I believe it would still be the case if the domestic policies of Labour were more Liberal than the SDP's. What matters across the seas, is predominantly the foreign policy initiatives.

The thing with Chirac is that he is Right, as in RIght Towards Corruption. The socialist system tends to favor either incompetent social workers and people on the dole, or corrupt businesses destroying their competition through corrupt practices, and political favors.

In all cases, Left and Right have no translation when comparing Europe and America. Only by a stroke of historical coincidence, are the Democrats and the Europeans in league with each other.

Since it is a global coalition between the Democrats, international law, the UN, international lawyers, and European countries, they are historically binded together. That does not apply to Chirac and Bush.

 
At 6:06 PM, November 03, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We should bring our boys home from Normandy.

Especially after what they did to the British graves.

 
At 12:02 AM, November 04, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the fashionable and official US-bashing"

Why dismiss an entire society as naive or shallow?

Are you trying to prove something to your readers or to yourself?

 
At 3:23 AM, November 04, 2005, Anonymous strcpy said...

"Why dismiss an entire society as naive or shallow? "

Two reasons, first you are overreacting (generally what you are doing is a "straw man argument") and because what she said is basically true.

I dismissed the entire "valley girl" society in the 80's for the same reason - they did what was "fashionable" and let anything else be damned - same could be said of many of the protest groups here (Environmentalist, Animal Rights, etc). Of course the difference is that the valley girls were irrelevant anyway.

If it is the truth it does no good to pretend it isn't happening.

 
At 8:48 AM, November 04, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

strcpy,

So it's a straw man argument but what she's saying is "basically true."

I know I'm way out on a limb here, but let me suggest that your opponents aren't uniformly shallow, naive, credulous, etc.

 
At 9:52 AM, November 04, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I can assure you there is a German "underground", and it's becoming ever more articulate and audible. Not that we are in any way dominant yet, but at least slowly making our voices heard. The sad events in France will disullusion another 0,5% of the German population with regard to the dangers of Islam and by implication make them reconsider America's role and merits.

Michael Herzog

 
At 10:09 AM, November 04, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So it's a straw man argument but what she's saying is 'basically true.'"

First Sunny, now this. Apparently our leftist posters hail from the "I'm rubber, you're glue" school of debate.

Then they wonder why the voters aren't listening to them.

 
At 12:51 PM, November 04, 2005, Anonymous Jim said...

"I tell them all to move to AMerica, while EUrope still has the free visas."

Ymarsakar, there is a brain drain going on already. Here in the Seattle area there is a lively community of young French people.

Already back in the late 80's pro-Americanism was quite the avant-garde position. That will only have gotten more entrenched by now. It is a reaction to the ENarch orthodoxy, so it won't go away anytime soon.

There is a young woman who was all the buzz, the new Joan of Arc, about 2 years ago - pro-American, pro-free markets and so on. People were rallying to her. She must still be around somewhere.

 
At 2:32 PM, November 04, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Apparently our leftist posters hail from the 'I'm rubber, you're glue' school of debate."

This forum circles a woman's diary. Questioning her motivation isn't ad-hominem, it's the context.

"Then they wonder why the voters aren't listening to them."

It was a close election. The left would have won if it weren't for the fashionable and official anti-intellectualism in the US heartland.

 
At 3:38 PM, November 04, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

So it's a straw man argument but what she's saying is "basically true."

I'm going to say this once and only once.

Yes, it is your straw man argument, trying to counter her argument, which is true. In a game of diamond meets wood, diamond wins. Not the wood now turned into straw.

Can someone repeat this, reading comprehension please?

Anyone, anybody, somebody? Feel free to speak up.

It was a close election. The left would have won if it weren't for the fashionable and official anti-intellectualism in the US heartland.

All the intellect is in the engineering, mathematical, and military science schools. Sorry to burst your elevated sense of superiority.

Thanks for the Info Jim, I'll be sure to look up some of it later.

French bashing is pretty common in America, but it is almost the opposite of fashionable hehe. Certainly our pop stars don't do it.

 
At 4:43 PM, November 04, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is simply not true that opposition to American foreign policy is nothing more than fashionable US bashing.

When people resist a neo-liberal agenda of privatization, they're attacking a government, a policy, an economic system. They're not attacking some abstraction called America. There's a real global conflict between private and public, and the US gov't is spearheading the private; so you're going to get resistance from France, from Brazil, hell, most countries, that value public space, public property, public services more than the USA does. And because the USA is spearheading neo-liberalism, the USA is getting the brunt of the backlash. If it were another country, it'd get the backlash.

All the intellect is in the engineering, mathematical, and military science schools.

Say no more.

 
At 5:08 PM, November 04, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Can someone repeat this, reading comprehension please?"

Nothing wrong with their reading comprehension, they're just intentionally misinterpreting what you said, to keep you busy repeating yourself while they mock you. Same method George Galloway, Mary Mapes, Michael Moore, and all the other heroes of ANSWER use.

Time to take the liars head-on, says I.

 
At 8:30 PM, November 04, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

It's not the people that are doing anything.

There's no conflict. Not when the power gap is that large.

There's envy, and fashionable envy at that. A national past time, something to make oneself feel better, or higher in status.

 
At 10:08 PM, November 04, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Naturally, people want the dominant global power to reflect their values, and they're threatened by a global power that doesn't.

 
At 12:57 AM, November 05, 2005, Blogger neo-neocon said...

By the way, anonymous (12:02 AM Nov. 4), if I'd written that every French person is anti-American, and that the sentiment is motivated by slavishness to fashion alone, then you might indeed have a point in saying I had "dismiss[ed] an entire society as naive or shallow."

However, that's not what I said.

I am sure that there are many reasons for French anti-Americanism other than fashion.
However, it is nevertheless a fact that anti-Americanism is both fashionable and kneejerk in France--it is the default position there. That does not mean that everyone who believes it is merely following fashion, or course; just that there is such a fashion.

And how could I possibly be dismissing an "entire society" when the thrust of this post is that there are people who disagree with the anti-Americanism fashionable in France--perhaps even large numbers of them?

 
At 7:19 AM, November 05, 2005, Anonymous Jules said...

I lived in France for 20 years.
The most anti american are the chattering classes - as in the USA. They do not stand to come out on top status wise without the patronage of the left, public subsidies etc and they see themselves as being the Elite by rights.

Some French on the street have american flags on their clothing...
but Europe is ruled by Mandarins, not the people. Sarkozy in France is pro-American. Most French know very about the real USA, although there are good books on the USA written by French authors.
Germany is the worst - people lapping up brainwashing by the media.

The USA shows Europe and other countries up as failed , corrupt, cowardly, dsyfunctional societies - witness 9 days of rioting in Paris, sky high long term unemployed, general passimism/despair in the population, almost 0 growth.
Governements who want to keep the status quo react by lashing out at the US. - they must be evil, since they are doing so much better than us - right ? (GDP per head is 30 % higher inthe US compared to France)

The US is the only country which intervens effectively to stop dictators: Kosovo, Irak, Afghanistan, WW2.... This shows up countries with prententions of grandeur, such as France, of being posturing fools. Keep on at USA ! You guys are the last man standing.

Note that there are many books in France dissecting Anti-Americanism, written by Frenchmen. Revel at the Academie Francaise is one of them. The US non-feudal free market model is the future of the world. But it is so far ahead of most traditional feudal/socialist societies that they have trouble understanding it. How can people be so frankly optimistic they ask ? we gave up hoping for improvement long ago - why should the US be different to Us ?

 
At 8:23 AM, November 05, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

It is also natural for a global power to expect compensation for reflecting their vaues. As in, when you gonna send me the money?

When people send the US happy go lucky recruits for our combat branches, and tax money to US widows and construction workers, then we can talk about the dominant global power reflecting world wide values...

Until then... where's the money? Where's the recruits?

Don't have it? Well, I'm sorry but you're gonna have to go to the back of the line now.

As for France, I do feel sorry for the people in France. But like I said previously, France and Germany has free VISAS, and they need to take advantage of them as fast as possible while the going is good (not so good now). If they don't, then regardless of whatever sympathies the US have for Europeans(And some do since Europe is an elitist society founded by aristocrats that oppress the voters) we will rightly come to the conclusion that the people in Europe will have suffered the consequences of their actions.

I think it is a good thing that some people have decided to leave Europe to come to America, to leave behind the old to build anew.

But I know there are people who are afraid to do so, that are nevertheless still in Muslim occupied Europe. Afraid to take action, for whatever reasons.

And their pro-Americanism... will get them no help from AMerica nor their government when the hammer falls.

So it is time to bail. If the Jews had bailed earlier... but then the Jews didn't have Free ViSAs to America...

 
At 12:43 PM, November 05, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And how could I possibly be dismissing an "entire society" when the thrust of this post is that there are people who disagree with the anti-Americanism fashionable in France--perhaps even large numbers of them?

Fair enough.

However, it is nevertheless a fact that anti-Americanism is both fashionable and kneejerk in France--it is the default position there. That does not mean that everyone who believes it is merely following fashion, or course; just that there is such a fashion.

Re. anti-Americanism, there's a long history and many flavours. Might you be lumping French resistance to American foreign policy together with, say, Parisian's dislike of American tourists?

And Ymarsakar, as the US and the world is learning, there are limits to power.

Also, the US only alienates other nations by wielding a big stick and demanding tribute.

 
At 7:01 AM, November 06, 2005, Anonymous Jules said...

Ymarsakar - tourist Visas... not so easy to stay and live on a tourist Visa in the US... especially when u have a French accent – likely to be deported. I am fortunate in having dual nationality, and am now in Australia - my other nationality.
The Euros will sort this out - they will wake up when their back is against the wall.

Anonymous:
As for wielding a big stick - the French now wish their govmt had the guts to wield a big stick in the riots and with delinquency and Islamists in general. for years, train drivers have been attacked, policewomen raped, teachers hit or stabbed, cars burnt every new year... at least now the War is big and obvious.

A Man does not do things to please his neighbours, but does what he thinks is right. The same goes for a nation. or do you want to belong to a community of arse lickers ?

Appeasement and avoiding conflict only aggravates dictators and terrorists. - See the European history of appeasing Hitler and pretending he was not a threat. Same goes for terrorists now -
cowardice and kid glove treatment only makes them gain recruits and improve morale, as weakness is held with great contempt in the arab world, and in most violent movements.
from the WSJ:
In the manner of clinical sociopaths, Terrorists seem to "smell fear"--and to find in it, not any inspiration to show mercy or accept accommodation, but a compulsion to torment all the more vigorously those who exude it.
(the French, for example).

There is a good article about this in the journal of orgonomy - which compares the Euro response to terrorism to the masochistic response of a beaten wife to her tormentor: "I promise to be nicer, and cook better food, promise,promise"....

A quote:
In summary, prominent features of masochism include
•blaming oneself for a sadistic attack,
•attempting to appease the attacker, i.e., believing that if one is nice enough, the attacker will stop attacking
•coming up with reasons why any proposed solution will lead to an unmanageable consequence, and
•a belief that any attempt to aggressively defend oneself will be clumsy, stupid, awkward and doomed to failure.

See it at:
http://www.orgonomy.org/article_terrorism_responding_harman.html


Standing up to thugs is the only way. Oh, and by the way - most Euro govmt know this, deep down - If they had a Military that was well funded and not 10 years or more behind the US, and a small islamic population, they might well have gotten behind the US. There was talk of it for a short while in France, before Chirac abruptely nixed it.

it's so much easier to let the USA do the dirty work , and stand by and criticise. The free rider problem. Allez y, les Americains - battez vous commes des hommes !

 
At 9:37 AM, November 06, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Why, of course, the people don’t want war. . . . Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship . . . voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
-- Hermann Goering, 1938

 
At 9:33 AM, November 08, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

There seem to be two propaganda techniques that are easy to use.

Compare and contrast some guy here, with some guy in the past in a similar situation. I.e. Ronald Reagan and Bush.

Or, present a case that is supposed to be similar to the current case, but the authors are radically different from the authors of the present case. I.e. Republicans and Nazis.

The first, relies upon the loyalty of the accused, to defend the former, and so in gets bogged down in a quagmire and can't defend himself against the true strike. There fore he defends Ronald Reagan, and this gets him mired and unable to defend Bush.

Solution is to defend Bush for Bush's actions, not Ronald for Bush's actions or Bush for Ronald's actions. Collectivism hasn't become that rampant you know.

The second propaganda scenario is a bit more lubricant.

As it relies upon one's disgust of the opposite author, producing a schism that weakens the internal supports of the Republican or the targeted author.

The targeted author, in this case the opposite of Goering, then is forced into a cognitive dissonance. And so you wait for him to tear himself apart, trying either to defend himself or Goering, with defending himself as being tainted as if it was the same as defending Goering.

Again, same principles, defend yourself, not what Goering said or did. But subtly changed in terms of offensive power.

The first propaganda scenario is a direct thrust, setting you on your heels in a defensive stance, unbalanced.

The second propaganda scenario seems to be a double feint, confusing, and devastating to one's defences.

With the first, you could still attack, with the second, you have already suffered a near fatal wound.

The problem with the second, even though it is more effective against an opponent, is the fact that it can easily be disrupted. Just make an attack.

Which is that the Big Lie Goering spoke so eloquently about concerning the British propagandists, are still strong and vibrant in anti-Americans and Democrats. Lies about patriotism in anti-Americanism, lies about the Democrats being for the working class, the lies about no WMDs and no terroists in Iraq. Just like the British, keep telling those lies, even if it starts to make you look ridiculous, based upon the assumption that eventually people will come to believe it.

Goering knows his propaganda. And one of the rules of propaganda, even might be the first rule, is to allow your target to destroy himself.

Propaganda is more dangerous than nukes. And not for the sole reason that any joe smo may attempt to wield it.

 
At 10:08 PM, November 08, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, I tried but I couldn't follow your argument.

... the Big Lie Goering spoke so eloquently about concerning the British propagandists, are still strong and vibrant in anti-Americans and Democrats. Lies about patriotism in anti-Americanism, lies about the Democrats being for the working class, the lies about no WMDs and no terroists in Iraq. Just like the British, keep telling those lies, even if it starts to make you look ridiculous, based upon the assumption that eventually people will come to believe it.

Ymarsakar, honestly, I don't know what to say. You won't take this well, but ... spend some time in the left blogosphere. I dunno, a week or something.

 
At 12:12 AM, November 10, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I can get moderation simply through internal processes. I get facts and data from blogs, I don't read blogs to match the colors of their bumber stickers or political spectrums.

Dude, I tried but I couldn't follow your argument.


Not a lot of people can follow a 3 step logic pattern. The one with 3 prepositions that is.

Reading stuff on the left will only make my logic necessarily more complex, simply to justify all the personal distortions and false beliefs as well as some very inconsistent axioms present.

Besides, I don't think the logic is what gets you, but the wording, the words, the syntax, and the sentences.

 
At 8:37 AM, November 10, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not a lot of people can follow a 3 step logic pattern.

Few people write as poorly as you.

Look, I take it back: I don't care if you expose yourself to a wider spectrum of political discourse.

 

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