Don't you just love the French?

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by OPTIONAL777, Dec 2, 2002.

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  1. US invented air attack on Pentagon, claims French book

    Jon Henley in Paris
    Monday April 1, 2002
    The Guardian

    A bizarre book claiming that the plane that ploughed into the Pentagon on September 11 never existed, and that the US establishment itself was at the heart of the New York and Washington attacks, has shot to the top of the French bestseller lists to indignation on both sides of the Atlantic.
    The Frightening Fraud, by Thierry Meyssan, sold out its original run of 20,000 copies within two hours of going on sale. "We've sold 2,500 copies in 10 days, when a blockbuster novel sells maybe 1,500 in a month," a spokesman at Fnac Les Halles, one of France's biggest bookshops, said. "It's a phenomenon."

    Mr Meyssan's conspiracy theory argues that American Airlines flight 77, which killed 189 people when it smashed into the headquarters of the US defence department, did not exist, and that the whole disaster was a dastardly plot dreamed up and implemented by the US government.

    The French media has been quick to dismiss the book's claims, despite the fact that Mr Meyssan is president of the Voltaire Network, a respected independent thinktank whose left-leaning research projects have until now been considered models of reasonableness and objectivity.

    "This theory suits everyone - there are no Islamic extremists and everyone is happy. It eliminates reality," said Le Nouvel Observateur, while Libération called the book "The Frightening Confidence Trick... a tissue of wild and irresponsible allegations, entirely without foundation".

    A Pentagon spokesman, Glen Flood, said the book was "a slap in the face and real offence to the American people, particularly to the memory of victims of the attacks". He said he had not read it and had no intention of doing so.

    Mr Meyssan's argument, which started out as a rumour on the internet and has risen to prominence largely thanks to the author's reputation and chatshow appearances, suggests that the plane could not have existed because eye-witness statements are contradictory, there are suspiciously few photographs of the catastrophe and none of them shows any wreckage. Even the rescue workers' accounts, published on the Pentagon website, are not convincing, he says.

    He also asks why the facade of the Pentagon did not immediately collapse from the shock of the impact, and questions the fate of the plane's passengers. "What became of the passengers of American Airlines flight 77? Are they dead?"

    Both Libération and Le Monde set out to disprove his theory, tracking down photographs that do show debris, and speaking to victims' relatives.

    But Le Monde admitted that the information made public by Washington did not entirely add up. "There is no official account of the crash. The lack of information is feeding the rumour," it complained.

    Special report on the events of September 11 at guardian.co.uk/september11
     
  2. bobcathy1

    bobcathy1 Guest

    Ever read that bullshit about The Holocaust never happening? Some people are so foolish!
     
  3. rs7

    rs7

    It is amazing that crap like this can come out of France.

    I visited France in on my honeymoon for a few weeks (a long time ago) and found the people very unfriendly at that time in Paris. And in Nice and Cannes. Yet friendly in Chamonix. Maybe the Parisians don't like the french people from other parts of France. I am not familiar with their culture. I know that there are old resentments in America between north and south. So who knows...

    I would have thought it was just me, but when we arrived at JFK, and the customs people had all the passengers with American passports go ahead of those with French passports, a cheer went up from virtually all the Americans.

    About 10 years later, I worked shortly in Monte Carlo. Again, I found the french people to be less than friendly. What offended me the most was that it seemed that the french people resented my efforts to try and use my (admittedly horrible) ability to speak french .... 2 years of high school and 2 years of college level french. But when I ordered "white ice cream" (not remembering the word for "vanilla"), they acted like they had no idea what I wanted. Really nasty. In Paris, at the "information" booth in the metro, I asked how to find the Louvre. Because I pronounced it wrong, I was told they did not know what I was talking about. How difficult is it to figure out what I meant? It seemed like an intentional way of being disrespectful to an American.

    I kept thinking these people would be speaking German if it weren't for Americans.

    Now, I have a friend that spends a lot of time in Paris. She tells me that things have changed. That the Parisians have changed their attitude towards Americans. But, according to her, this is because they are so inundated with Arabs that they just see Americans as the lesser of two evils. Of course, she is a little nutty, and I don't take her all that seriously. But obviously, the French people are NOT the most tolerant and friendly people. Having driven all through Europe, I was astonished that only in France did I experience such unfriendliness. I was a bit intimidated going into Germany....figured they were our enemies in WWII. But they were as friendly as could be. But France, the country we truly saved, well, it was like they did us a favor taking our money. What makes these people so xenophobic?

    This year, my best friend's daughter is at the Sorbonne for a year. He is really upset about it. He refuses to visit her there. Thinks they (the French) are, as he calls them "anti-semitic nazi bastards". Well maybe he is going a bit overboard, but he is basing his opinions on something. And this guy has been in virtually every part of the world. And France and France alone is on his shit list.

    So, being the peace loving guy I am, would someone PLEASE explain to me why I (and so many) have the impression that the French, in general, have no use for foreigners? Did we Americans not do enough for them when they were occupied by Germany? Or maybe they liked being part of Germany? What is it with these people? And what is it with their intolerance of people who cannot speak their language the way they want it to sound?

    Wish I had taken Spanish. Would have been easier and MUCH more useful. (Never been to Montreal...).

    Peace, Pax,
    Au Revoir,
    :)rs7
     
  4. bobcathy1

    bobcathy1 Guest

    My girlfriend who travels all over said there is a lot of resentment towards Americans in every county now. Makes me afraid to travel for sure!:(
     
  5. Mispe

    Mispe

    "The american dogs can't bark...." In that country (America) all living species including the human race is in a degenerating process, all species are smaller than in Europe and weaker...." etc ....It was in middle of the 18th century. It was said by a very famous and great french savant, Buffon. The "celebrated zoologist" that Thomas Jefferson when Ambassador in France tried to refute, but shyly so great was the prestige of this man...

    Since that time and for more than 2 centuries, the french intelligentsia, "les intellectuels", have always fed their natural and deep antiamericanism with any subject, thesis, images etc. without checking or even trying to understand the reality.

    These superior brains never accepted that America show them democracy, freedom, scientific and economic progress, and simply the search for a better life.....
     
  6. Mispe

    Mispe

    Because the french precisely are the debtors of the american people for having been freed from Germany, and as you know helping somebody is not the best way to strenthen your relations. It may have the opposite effect. Unfortunately we are in that situation.
    But be quiet, I know a lot of french people we like America and who are grateful of what America did for France and what America brougth to mankind.
     
  7. rs7

    rs7

    Well, I can understand that right now there may be a greater degree of fear because America is the obvious target of the craziest of the crazies. And in places like Bali and Kenya, which are pro-american and at least not anti-Israel, it so far has been easier to target civilians. Which is what terrorism is about.

    So the "resentment" is really fear. After all, the old "your enemy is my enemy" way of thinking can be easily distorted. America was ostensibly attacked for (among other things) being a supporter of Israel. It is certainly not unreasonable to think that if a country is pro-American that that would make them a potential target of the terrorists. So people in virtually any country right now can be intimidated by the presence of Americans. That they may perceive any American presence in their homelands as a threat. But the truth is, as hopefully we can all agree, that winning the war on terrorism can only be achieved by making the tactics and strategy of killing innocents universally perceived as so insane, so distasteful, so inhuman, that it will have a backlash effect. An effect so much greater than the "terror" effect that the whole world will vehemently oppose the terrorists, and the terrorists will lose every bit of support for their "causes" due to their tactics.

    The Palestinian cause was set back after the massacre at the 1972 Olympics. Hopefully the tragedy of the past year's events will cause the terrorists to lose rather than gain support for their beliefs. And maybe eventually this will cause a change in strategy and tactics. After all, when has terrorism really accomplished anything? What percentage of the world's population can condone these tactics? No matter how "just" a cause may be, can the cause truly be furthered by murdering innocents?

    Even assuming that America may have "evil" policies. America may be perceived by much of the world as the "great Satan", etc. But no matter how "evil" we are, clearly it is and always has been our intent to avoid civilian casualties even in a "declared" war. Al Qaeda and Hamas and all the rest of these Islamic terrorist organizations clearly seek to inflict as many casualties as possible. To anyone. Uniformed or not. Children or women. Anyone.

    I am sure I will get responses about how America shot down an Iranian commercial airliner. Bombed weddings in Afghanistan. Israel has destroyed Palestinian civilian targets. Etc., etc., etc.

    All this is true. Or seems to be. But nonetheless, apologies were issued, and there is very little doubt that these were mistakes. Errors in judgement or "intelligence". No matter what anyone thinks, however, a case for America purposely targeting innocent civilians could never be made. Why do the "brave" leaders of these terrorists organizations hide among the civilian populations? Why do they paint red crosses on the roofs of vehicles to transport themselves?

    It is sickening that these "leaders" behave with such cowardice. It is shameful that American presence is, in so many places, treated as a threat. Can the threat be real? Obviously so. But to adopt the attitude shown towards Americans as a threat to the people and places they visit is to give victory to terrorism. Some things really are worth dying for. Or perhaps a better way to express it is to say that living in fear and living in accordance to the wishes of mass murderers is a cowardly way to succumb to terrorism. Losing that way is losing to fear. Freedom never came cheap.

    Imagine what would have happened to England had fear been the deciding factor in the war with Germany. Imagine the outcome of WWII if Roosevelt and Churchill had not rallied the people to know that "the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself".
    "Our darkest hour". Etc. ...And they had plenty to fear (more so in England than in the US). Nightly bombings. V-2 rockets to contend with with virtually no defense. A nuclear program that was on the verge of ending it all. Yet the notable "stiff upper lip" mentality prevailed. Which is what we need to see more of in the world today. The Israelis have it. And so far the Americans have held up well. But as Bobcathy's girlfriend says, the worldwide "resentment" is a reflection that there is not enough of this determination not to give in to fear to see us through these times. At least not yet. Hopefully right will prevail. Wrong will fail. And like with the Nazi's, this is NOT a case of just "perception". This really is a war of good versus evil.

    Right now, FEAR is the greatest weapon the terrorists possess. Is it difficult to stand up to FEAR? What wars are won easily? Why is Saddam such a scary adversary? Maybe it is because he KNOWS he has been living on borrowed time for so long. And his "fear" is such an ingrained part of his life that it has a greatly diminished effect on him. Of course it helps when you have doubles and decoys. But bottom line is, he is not afraid. Combine a lack of a healthy degree of fear with total insanity, and that makes him a frightening opponent.

    So yeah, traveling as an American right now comes with too much "resentment". And terrorism has successfully cut down on American travel. And devastated the tourism industry in Israel to a point that it virtually no longer exists. Hopefully things will get better. This is a time unprecedented in history. What is the solution? Fighting an enemy that uses cowardice and murder is a whole new kind of war. Let's all pray that our leaders are smart enough to figure out how to go about it. But in the end, it is up to the world's population to somehow deny victory to the insanity of the cowards that send children on suicide missions. And adults on suicide missions. And yet somehow keep themselves well hidden and well protected.

    That the Bin Ladens and Arafats of the world can be actually followed defies logic. They live with great wealth and their safety is of utmost importance. Only the "followers" are expected to die as "martyrs". Truly a sickening state of affairs.

    Peace (when possible),
    rs7
     
  8. wild

    wild

    rs7,

    "the French" aren´t xenophobic at all ... imo. to he contrary, France is - well deserved - the world´s #1 tourist destination with approx. 70 million visitors/year. mind you, despite being a German and not speaking/understanding a single word of the most beautiful language (besides Italian) when i first arrived there, i spent 4 very happy years in that wonderful country ... the best time of my entire life. btw: many Frenchmen don´t mind speaking German ... and aren´t all too bad at English either if they feel like showing it.

    my best guess is you probably didn´t realize that most of the "unfriendly" people you encountered weren´t actually French. most (if not all) of the low wage service jobs in France are filled by immigrant workers. life isn´t easy for those people in extremely expensive places like Paris, Nice & Cannes ... the same goes for Monte Carlo quite obviously, which isn´t even a part of France.

    there´s more to be seen in France than just hectic Paris and glitzy Cote d´Azur. try to avoid those very "un-french" tourist traps next time and travel "la France profonde". i´m convinced that you´ll love France and the friendly, open-minded French people, but don´t expect to be loved by them in return. the French love heir wives and kids like most people in this world, certainly not foreign nations or tourists ... no matter where they come from.

    regards

    wild
     
  9. rs7, will you ever post about trading again? are you trading? these days seems all your considerable efforts are confined to chit-chat. what gives??
     
  10. It depends where you go. I wouldn't visit Egypt and brag about being American. Otherwise, if worse comes to worse, I'll just say I'm Canadian, because everyone loves Canada.
     
    #10     Dec 2, 2002
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