August 14, 2007

Will the French love us again?

Because of "Ratatouille"?
"Of course it resembles the usual Disney films, but it has more taste," said Christiane Fillet, 37, who watched the movie this week at Les Halles cinema in Paris with her 7-year-old daughter, Elise. "I cook, and I can tell you that they know what they're talking about. I didn't expect such gastronomical knowledge from an American cartoon!"

French movie reviewers too have melted like sugar atop creme brulee. "One of the greatest gastronomic films in the history of cinema," Thomas Sotinel declared in the often stuffy daily newspaper Le Monde.
This is such great raw material for next year's Oscar speeches. You know, it's because of Hollywood that the world finds a way to love us in spite of the dreadful ill-will that emanates from Washington.

34 comments:

Original Mike said...

Will the French love us again?

Couldn't. Care. Less.

vet66 said...

I could care less also. I do wonder if Jacques Chirac was channeling Pepe Le Pue when he was working his lips (Like a dog eating peanut butter) up Laura Bush's arm a few years back.

Thank God for Purell and sani-wipes!

Roger said...

Dont know nor care about the french except that Segolene Royale is HOT..too bad she lost :)

And a good ratatouille is a wonderful way to do summer veggies.
Eaten either hot or room temperature.

save_the_rustbelt said...

Only when some totaliatarian is marching troops through Paris?

Hoosier Daddy said...

I am trying to recall a point through history when the French ever loved us.

And for anyone who brings up the Revolution, French support was more to stick it to the Brits for the 7 Years War rather than out of any altruism for our independence. France was still a monarchy and wasn't the least bit interested in promoting a fledgling republic unless it was in their interests.

Fact of the matter is that the top dog/hyperpower will always be despised. We could turn our back on that 'shitty little country', make syncophantic movies about the glories of France, vote with them on everything in the UN and the French will still look down thier nose at us as they always have thoughout history.

So to echo Mike and Vet: I also could care less what the French or Europe as a whole think of us.

Dymphna said...

The French have never loved us. They manage to fake it when the need us but that's about it.

PatCA said...

Well, perhaps they are fickle friends. But I comfort myself thinking of the silent majority of Euros out there somewhere who do indeed love us; how else to explain Sarkozy and Merkel, who made friendship with the US part of their winning platform? They may be outsiders to Le Narrative Grand, but they are the ones who count.

Fen said...

I have to constantly remind myself that metropolitan France doesn't speak for rural France. Friends coming back remark that the rural French are polite and pro-American, almost resembling red-staters.

That being said, I would prefer if the "diplomats" euroweasels in Paris continue to despise us. France always betrays her allies, she even betrayed Saddam. France is our secret weapon - we can always count on her to slip into bed with our enemies, and then slam a knife in their backs. We just have to remember she's not to be trusted.

Bissage said...

It’s that rat movie!

Now I get it!

That explains why Eva Green’s been leaving teasing messages on my voice mail.

She wants to get back together!

God bless her little French heart!

P.S. Here’s a photo of us before we broke up.

(Shhhhhhhhh. Don’t tell Althouse, but I was wearing shorts.)

Eli Blake said...

The French don't hate us. It's only in the paranoid mind of a few that they hate us.

It wasn't the French who decided to rename everything 'freedom fries,' 'freedom toast,' and so on. It wasn't the French who decided to boycott the Paris Air Show. No, it was Americans who did all that, and boy did we look like a bunch of immature babies (not just to the French but to the world) when we did that. And why did we do it? Because Jacques Chirac said his intelligence didn't prove there were WMD in Iraq, so he didn't think that starting a war was justified? It turns out that he was right about all of that, as a matter of fact.

But in spite of all that, the French don't hate us. A better question is why do some Americans hate the French, isn't it?

But not Johnny Depp. He likes the French so much that he moved to France permanently. He owns a small house in California that he lives in when he is at work, but then he flies home to join his family in France.

The Mechanical Eye said...

Will the French love us again?

Couldn't. Care. Less.


And that, my friend, describes to a T our brilliant diplomacy over the past seven years -- childish, gloating, arrogant, and bullying. Even "new" Europe is leaving us in Iraq in the face of great unpopularity for the war there.

It's enough to put down your freedom fries.

Losings friends, alienating people. I'd rather not have that be the American way.

DU

Hoosier Daddy said...

It wasn't the French who decided to rename everything 'freedom fries,' 'freedom toast,' and so on.

You know, I live in one of the reddest states in the country and I was not able to find a single eating establishment that actually had done this. What did one or two places do this and it made headline news? C'mon, you need to do better than that.

Because Jacques Chirac said his intelligence didn't prove there were WMD in Iraq

Really?

But not Johnny Depp. He likes the French so much that he moved to France permanently.

Well to be honest Eli, not all of us base our opinions on what Johnny Depp thinks or where he lives. More power to him but Depp living there doesn't really mean diddly squat to me. Madonna moved to England and she loved it so much she picked up the accent too.

I don't know if you have ever been to France but I was there well before Bush The Usurper took over and destroyed the world and I can say that they were less than cordial.

Fen is right that outside the comsompolitan areas, the locals are much nicer but as a whole, the French have never viewed us with much regard.

B said...

from Ann:

"...in spite of the dreadful ill-will that emanates from Washington."

and from mechanical eye:

And that, my friend, describes to a T our brilliant diplomacy over the past seven years -- childish, gloating, arrogant, and bullying.



Right. The French, who have despised us for over 60 years, obviously because they had an advance prophecy of a GW Bush administration.

Well ,my friends, I am French, 2nd generation American, but my father, even back in the 60's, was so embarrassed by De Gualle and the way the French looked down their nose at Americans that he told me and my siblings to not let on we were French. And this was during the Kennedy Administration!

My favorite Letterman Top Ten of all time:

From 1994: Top Ten Rejected Names for EuroDisney

---#2 Have You Forgotten How We Saved Your Ass In World War II Land

Hoosier Daddy said...

And that, my friend, describes to a T our brilliant diplomacy over the past seven years

I seem to recall during the whole EU constitution debacle a certain French politician commenting on some skeptical Eastern Euro EU members to the effect that 'this would be a good opportunity for them to shut up.'

We don't have a monopoly on arrogance.

There are no 'friends' in international relations. Just alliances of convenience.

The Mechanical Eye said...

---#2 Have You Forgotten How We Saved Your Ass In World War II Land

Using that old canard doesn't really work -- my larger point is that we alienated those who could have helped us out in Iraq. Throwing back insults like "you've lost past wars, you whimps!" doesn't rally them to your side.

That "they despise us" didn't stop them from supporting us in the Gulf War, or at least showing token support in Afghanistan -- even symbolic gestures go far when the U.S. can make the argument that "the whole world is with us."

The same can't be said in Iraq -- we're fairly alone there, and we own the mistakes. We look less like defenders of democracy and more like impetuous, foolish adventurers -- especially when people like Hoosier Daddy imply that WMDs are still to be found!

Lastly, that so many major and minor world governments beyond the Anglosphere should have been a warning siren on Iraq. In retrospect, we should have heeded our domestic and foreign allies, instead of labeling them as opportunistic, even traitorous.

No, these aren't fun lessons, and they don't flatter America or the Decider. But they need to be learned if we want to get our way in the world.

DU

Roger said...

ME: Excuse me--its a lie that we liberated France? Damn--who knew Precisely in what way is it a canard?

B said...

Mechanical eye,

It's a humorous point - come on, Lighten up.

Sorry, but I don't buy the group hug mentality. There will always be those who can't make their way unless others approve of them.

When I visit relatives over there, you meet all kinds of people of course. Some love America, perhaps too much; some despise American's exactly like cab driver in the new Rush Hour 3 movie. There are all kinds.


But there is a nitschean undercurrent to so much of French thinking that always gives the culture a superiority complex. It's not just American's the French despise, as a general rule, anyone who has achieved measurablly more than they.

I love the French (mainly my relatives), but they are not good examples of how to be citizens of the world.

Hoosier Daddy said...

That "they despise us" didn't stop them from supporting us in the Gulf War, or at least showing token support in Afghanistan

The Gulf War was in thier interests. Afghanistan isn't, hence the token support. Other than the Brits, Canucks, Danes and Romanians, I don't even think the French have a combat role there.

even symbolic gestures go far when the U.S. can make the argument that "the whole world is with us."

That's funny because I seem to recall those 'symbolic' gestures of certain nations contributing to Iraq being referred to be a certain Democrat as nations you can buy on Ebay. What was it about arrogance again?

especially when people like Hoosier Daddy imply that WMDs are still to be found!

I don't think I implied any such thing. You claimed that Chirac told us there were no WMDs there and I asked really because I don't recall Chirac making any such statement publically.

In retrospect, we should have heeded our domestic and foreign allies, instead of labeling them as opportunistic, even traitorous.

I agree which is why I contend that the Iraqis deserved Saddam.

SteveR said...

We couldn't win them over with "The Aristocats" so maybe this will do.

While we are being simple minded, if we had only elected John Kerry.

The Mechanical Eye said...

Hoosier Daddy --

Whenever the criticism of the administration's arrogance comes up, you neatly point out other people -- Chirac, congressional Democrats, your vaunted "certain" people -- were arrogant at times too.

You point this out as if it excuses our government. Their bad behavior doesn't justify Bush's bad behavior. It doesn't excuse the severity of our mistakes and Bush's arrogance -- yes, arrogance -- in thinking that U.S. didn't need anyone's help or advice on Iraq. Instead we relied on a smattering of relatively small countries who seemed as interested with currying favor with us as spreading democracy or hunting for non-existent WMDs.

We pursued our "interests" in Iraq, such as they were, very poorly and without thinking considering other nations' interests. We got burned as a result, and world esteem for Bush couldn't be lower.

Are there Euro-jerks who'd dislike America no matter what? Sure. But having been to France, they're overrepresented in red state imaginations. Many have genuine love for America, and their natural distrust of American power can be finessed, or at least neutralized -- Chirac might have never supported us in Iraq, but we could have convinced him to neutrality.

I'm just saying its counter-productive to do the usual cheese-eating-surrender-monkey taunts when we could have been friendlier, more engaged, and less hostile to advice.

You know, act like a world power. And if a Pixar movie mends some fences, more power it.

DU

Roger said...

I would suspect that our allies interest in Iraq--especially the French--were to maintain the oil for food program and protect European supplies of oil. Somehow I dont think any other calculus would pertain. As to advice, apparently some assume that there was absolutely no communication with allies prior to the war. Perhaps what those folks mean to say there was no communication about which they were aware. I am sure there was full consultation with our allies--but ultimately, that advice was rejected.

Revenant said...

my larger point is that we alienated those who could have helped us out in Iraq.

Saying that we "alienated" them kind of overlooks the fact that they were on the other side to start with.

This is not to say that France hasn't been a good ally of ours from time to time, but it depends on who is in charge. Under Mitterand, France was a great ally against the Soviets. Under Chirac and the other Gaullists, on the other hand, France was anything but a good ally. Chirac and his political allies had extremely strong financial, political, and personal ties to the Hussein regime going back thirty years or so, and a record during that time of actively seeking to reduce French ties to the United States and establish itself as unaligned with either side in the Cold War. We didn't "alienate" the French. The French had already re-elected a crew of people whose long-term ambition was to NOT have close ties with the United States anymore.

As for the other nations we "alienated"... we kept the Brits and the Aussies, the French were a lost cause to begin with, and we wouldn't *want* the Chinese or Russians involved. There aren't any other nations with a credible military force except the Indians, and getting them involved (given their history of conflicts with Muslims) would probably have been a huge mistake, even if there had been an Indian national interest in helping us (which there wasn't).

Hoosier Daddy said...

Whenever the criticism of the administration's arrogance comes up, you neatly point out other people -- Chirac, congressional Democrats, your vaunted "certain" people -- were arrogant at times too.

Um, yes. You explictly pointed out our diplomatic policy of the last 7 years which means the Bush administration. My point was to show that such 'arrogance' is not confined to us. When France does not refer to one of our best allies as a 'shitty little country', maybe your argument would carry more weight.

You point this out as if it excuses our government.

Not at all. Just stating that its kind of like the pot calling the kettle black.

....Bush's arrogance -- yes, arrogance -- in thinking that U.S. didn't need anyone's help or advice on Iraq.

I think Bush would have been delighted to have a French division or two back up by some swarthy landswher. Alas, they chose to sit it out.

Instead we relied on a smattering of relatively small countries who seemed as interested with currying favor with us as spreading democracy or hunting for non-existent WMDs.

Britain, Poland, Italy, Ukraine, Spain are small countries?

We pursued our "interests" in Iraq, such as they were, very poorly

Won't argue with you. I personally would have left Saddam alone. Heck, maybe even use some diplomacy to try and bring him on our side against Islamic terrorism. But I'm a realpolitik kind of person.


Are there Euro-jerks who'd dislike America no matter what? Sure. But having been to France, they're overrepresented in red state imaginations.

Actually Red State American thinks less about France or Europe than you think.

Chirac might have never supported us in Iraq, but we could have convinced him to neutrality.

Er...isn't that how it turned out?

I'm just saying its counter-productive to do the usual cheese-eating-surrender-monkey taunts when we could have been friendlier, more engaged, and less hostile to advice.

As opposed to the Bush=Hitler taunts?

You know, act like a world power.

Fine, but lets make sure everyone plays by the same rules. Don't hold us to a higher standard than the French or anyone else then.

The Mechanical Eye said...

Revenant - "Saying that we "alienated" them kind of overlooks the fact that they were on the other side to start with."

Excellent point -- France's interest in Saddam-era Iraq likely would have precluded French military intervention. Chirac had infamous ties to Saddam, esp. regarding Iraq's attempt to build a nuclear facility.

However, I think if we were cleaner with our diplomacy, we could have worked Chirac and Company with concessions - for example, we could have allowed French contractors in rebuilding Iraq (pointedly, we didn't, to the then-delight of the warbloggers I used to love). But we didn't soften the blow, and instead of silence, French foreign policy loudly worked against us.

Hoosier Daddy - again, pointing out blunders and stupid rhetoric comparing Bush to Hitler, etc., doesn't mean squat if "your side" acted foolish as well. The two don't neatly cancel each other out.

The "he did it too!" school of debate didn't work when I was knee high to a WMD in the backseat of my mom's car, let alone now.

DU

Roger said...

And as misplaced as our diplomacy might have been we really screwed it up when Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarcozy came to power in Germany and France. French involvement in Iraq would have been inconsequential pre or post war; and now the Chirac-de Villepin circle has been shown to be criminals as well. I think stiffing France, along with the upsurge in Muslim violence in France, has moved France considerably to the right. So tell me again, how our diplomacy was bad? They werent going to play in the invasion, nor were they going to upset their own interests by siding with the US. Now Chirac is gone, and Sarcozy is in. Looks like we got the best of it. I will take that kind of diplomacy anytime.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hoosier Daddy - again, pointing out blunders and stupid rhetoric comparing Bush to Hitler, etc., doesn't mean squat if "your side" acted foolish as well.

Um yes. In other words, don't expect niceties from me if you insist on acting like an ass. Bush got no love from France, much less Europe before 9/11 and certainly before Iraq.

Again your original post was an indictment of our 'arrogant diplomacy.' All I was pointing out is that in terms of national interests, it was no more arrogant than anyone else. If you want insist that we be holier than thou or not 'stoop to such a level' go for it.

B said...

hoosier daddy,

mechanical eye is taking the same tac as those who were caught up in the 'nuclear freeze' movement of the 80's: they were all people manipulated - as we later found out - by the Soviets and KGB money poured into this country to counter Reagan.

One KGB officer interviewed in the 90's said that the profile of the American they were looking to influence first had personality traits of "severe need for the approval of others" and an "ardent display of confident superiority over others in the righteousness of their chosen cause". If the Soviets could get enough people with those major traits - particularly those already in politics - to be lean toward the freeze and be very vocal about it (another follow up trait), the KGB believed it could move at least 1/3 of the American public. Their appeal didn't have to actually be fact-based, because that type of personality is looking for emotional approbation more than using reason. They don't usually follow their rational to it's logical end and consequences.

Thank God Reagan didn't listen to them. Human nature just doesn't evolve. There will always be some people who have evil intentions, such as those ruling the USSR at that time.

Somethings never change.

Fen said...

Eli: And why did we do it? Because Jacques Chirac said his intelligence didn't prove there were WMD in Iraq, so he didn't think that starting a war was justified? It turns out that he was right about all of that, as a matter of fact.

No. Chirac was wrong. Ignoring for a moment your strawman - we invaded to stop Saddam's WMD programs, not to "find WMDs"...

And why did we do it?

We did it because France stabbed us in the back at the Security Council, because France negotiated with Saddam behind our backs promising him that they would block UN permission of a US/British invasion, because French "diplomats" were taking bribes from Saddam, because the French government opposed US/British action in exchange for lucrative oil deals in Iraq [there's your blood for oil, and because they were complicit in Food for Oil scam.

Chirac said his intelligence didn't prove there were WMD in Iraq...It turns out that he was right about all of that

You can't know that with certainty. Else, explain how all those weapon inspectors overlooked 500 arty shells with sarin and mustard gas?

Mechanical Eye: my larger point is that we alienated those who could have helped us out in Iraq.

Your larger point is invalid, but highlights the "we squandered the goodwill of Europe after 9-11". Bullocks. We've never been able to bank any "goodwill". The US could have supplicated itself to Paris for another 12 years, for the promise of future negoitiations, and France still would not have supported the liberation of Iraq - it was not in their self-interest to depose Saddam.

Pogo said...

I have never given a fig about France, whether it does or does not love us. It's a puny little nation that is long past its prime. It no longer figures much in world affairs, and is now disappearing intop the bureaucratic bowels of Brussels. I wave goodbye to France, now in the first phase of a civil war, Islam versus the West, and they seem blissfully unaware of it, despite cars burning in the streets.

It is, like any other nation, motivated entirely by self-interest. When their oil-for-food perfidy was exposed, how they stabbed the US in the back, it confirmed that for the US, the Machiavellian approach is best. But France is doomed.

Fen said...

Mechanical Eye: We look less like defenders of democracy and more like impetuous, foolish adventurers

According to who? Euroweasel and Leftist US media? You don't really know whats going on in Iraq, you're just parroting bs you've swallowed as "wisdom". Read people like Micheal Yon to get an idea of whats really happening in Iraq.

especially when people like Hoosier Daddy imply that WMDs are still to be found!

Then I'll ask you too - how did all those weapon inspectors manage to overlook 500 arty shells containing chemical WMD? You can argue all day whether the ammo was "effective" or "degraded", but the fact remains that the weapon inspectors missed them. If you insist the inpectors did a thorough job, and you insist there are no WMDs in Iraq, how do you explain the 500 we found afterwards?

Your way would have left Saddam in power to thumb his nose at another 12 years of feckless UN resolutions while he reconstituted his WMD programs. Our way is better - Saddam has been deposed and is dead. And if your euroweasel "diplomats" had exercised their vaunted "soft power", we wouldn't have need to take Saddam down.

Fen said...

/edit, should be:

...you're just parroting bs you've swallowed as conventional "wisdom"...

Revenant said...

The invasions failed to find significant quantities of WMDs. This is undoubtedly true. Whether this means there were never any in the first place is a matter of opinion, of course.

However, the invasion also established beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Hussein regime intended to resume WMD development as soon as the sanctions ended -- sanctions which, lets remember, all of the people who opposed the war, from France to Russia to the American Left, wanted to end. The anti-war argument that "containment was working" ignores the fact that what containment was occurring was occurring in spite of their own attempts to end it.

The current anti-war position is, in other words, "you should have listened to us, because ignoring us was working".

Everyone from Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore to the Democratic Senate was bleating about how our horrible sanctions were killing Iraqis by the truckload, and how surely it was time to end these inhumane sanctions and blah blah blah. That was one of the countless reasons why the war was, and remains, a good idea -- because containment couldn't last forever. There wasn't the political will to maintain it. We needed to seize the momentary public enthusiasm for kicking dictatorial Arab ass while it lasted, because the long-term alternative was to slink away from Iraq and issue strongly-worded paper-tiger threats at Hussein while he took Iraq nuclear.

Tim said...

"However, I think if we were cleaner with our diplomacy, we could have worked Chirac and Company with concessions - for example, we could have allowed French contractors in rebuilding Iraq (pointedly, we didn't, to the then-delight of the warbloggers I used to love). But we didn't soften the blow, and instead of silence, French foreign policy loudly worked against us."

It is all too convenient (and transparent) for those with anti-Bush agendas to forget de Villepin's betrayal at the UN Security Council.

B said...

fen: Word.

revenant: what you said.

I am still (sadly)amazed at how so many on the left can rewrite their participation in today's stories: Reagan, Iraq, the First President Bush.

Here's another fresh example today of the acute rewrite of historical memory on the part of today's liberal left. You can be right at the birth of a new leftist myth! (Hat tip to Instapundit):

from this month's The Atlantic:

Ironically, the vice president’s office itself has provided evidence of this latter danger. Representative Henry Waxman, the Democratic chair of the House Oversight Committee, has pointed out that Dick Cheney’s office has been involved in at least three major leaks since 2003: disclosing parts of the National Intelligence Estimate, passing secret information to coup plotters in the Philippines, and revealing Valerie Plame’s identity.


Uh, tap, tap . . . hello!

It was Richard Armitage, no brown-noser to the Bush Admin, that we all know "revealed" Plame's identity.

Good Grief!