FRENCH-BASHING….Former CIA director James Woolsey has a good column in the Wall Street Journal today about French-bashing:
Although we have a serious dispute with their governments, we should not forget all we have been through together with the French and German people over the years–in the case of France, over the centuries.
….To take only one case, Internet messages mocking French courage and denying that the French have ever successfully defended Paris not only should be beneath us but are quite false–the drafters of this nonsense should consult, among other things, the history of the Battle of the Marne in September 1914. Gen. Gallieni’s mobilization of the taxis of Paris to rush reinforcements to the front and save the city is as famous in France as Washington’s crossing the Delaware is to Americans. We diminish ourselves and our arguments by denying the noble side of these nations’ history and slandering their national honor. Yes, the Germans had the Nazis and the French the Reign of Terror and Vichy. And we had slavery. We have both had our villains and our heroes–we have had our Audie Murphys, they their Ewald von Kleists and Jeannie Clarenses.
Quite so. It is one thing to disagree on policy, it is quite another to whip ourselves into a frenzy that turns them into the enemy of the day. Save that for Saddam and al-Qaeda.