March 08, 2005

A Printemps Arabe?

A grudging nod to W from Le Monde's editorialists! (Hat Tip: Paris-based attorney Luis Roth).

Mais ce "printemps arabe", selon l'expression des médias américains, doit être encouragé et au besoin défendu par tous ceux qui voient dans le respect des droits de l'homme une valeur universelle.

Le mérite de George W. Bush est d'avoir tenu ce discours dès le lendemain des attentats du 11-Septembre - mis à part quelques écarts de langage sur "la nouvelle croisade". Il a développé l'idée que les peuples musulmans avaient le droit à la liberté, à la démocratie, à la prospérité. Il ne l'a pas fait seulement par altruisme mais parce qu'il est convaincu qu'une telle évolution correspond aux intérêts de sécurité des Etats-Unis.

Translation:

But this "Arab Spring", per the expression of the American media, must be encouraged and if needed defended by all those who see respect for human rights as a universal value.

The merit of George Bush is to have held firm to his discourse from the day after 9/11--apart from some unfortunate language about "the new crusade." He developed the idea that the Muslim peoples have the right to freedom, to democracy, to prosperity. He didn't do this only out of altruism but because he is convinced that such evolution corresponds to the security interests of the United States.

As I said, grudging. But pas mal nevertheless, eh?

Posted by Gregory at March 8, 2005 11:37 PM | TrackBack (10)
Comments

It looks like France has surrendered!

Posted by: Hawthorne2k at March 9, 2005 12:50 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

On 12 September 2001, we were "all Americans." That lasted for about a week or three. I give this latest shift in attitude about the same shelf life.

France is not our ally. The actions of the French government over the past 3+ years (hell, the past 87 years if you want to be snotty about it) has shown this to be true. The U.S. and France are not belligerents - but the days where we were on the same side with the same goals are gone.

Posted by: Greg T. at March 9, 2005 12:56 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Well, the French schoolkids are taught about the French Revolution and "liberte, egalite, fraternite". I wonder if that still resonates with them at all.

Posted by: Tom Maguire at March 9, 2005 02:05 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

If you REALLY want to be snotty about it, the French have never been our ally. The business during the Revolutionary War wasn't because they admired our struggle for democracy, but because they were trying to offset English influence in the world. Afterward, still playing the balance of power game, they joined the Anglais in trying to keep the young republic weak.

Posted by: Jerry at March 9, 2005 02:25 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Well, I s'pose that after 3 years of saying that US national security was directly tied to the spread of freedom in the US in every single foreign policy speech he's made, even the FRENCH are starting to think that maybe he means it and maybe he's right. And those of us in the red states are the ones that are stupid, right?

Now, if we could only get Ted Kennedy, Barbara Boxer, and Cynthia McKinney to understand... Apparently, the American-hating-French are easier to convince than the American-hating-Americans.

St Wendeler
Another Rovian Conspiracy

Posted by: St Wendeler at March 9, 2005 02:29 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

In the same vein from Der Spiegel.

Posted by: Nathan Hamm at March 9, 2005 02:49 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"because they were trying to offset English influence in the world."
In fact they wanted to get rid of Washington and install a 'military dictator', i.e. they were planning to take over the colonies from the Brits. Their plot was inadvertently exposed by Lafayette. We were saved by Lafayette. Lafayette and his army were the only French we should be thankful for.

Posted by: ic at March 9, 2005 03:10 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

He didn't do this only out of altruism..

And France hs always been such a supporter of democracy and human rights and purely from altruistic motives, especially in her former colonies.

Posted by: Buck Smith at March 9, 2005 05:02 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

If France isn't our ally, it's our enemy, right? With us or against us, right? Wrong. French commandos in Afghanistan, check. French secret service counterterrorist help: check.

the French government's opposition to the invasion of Iraq didn't make the whole country our enemy. bill o'reilly and his boycott just comes off like an ass. don't be like him. be an adult.

Posted by: sonny at March 9, 2005 06:17 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

If France is our enemy, we should FIGHT THE FROGS! On to Normandy!

Posted by: praktike at March 9, 2005 06:18 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Yeah, Sonny/praktike, when there is no post for an hour and then two within a minute, both forwarding the same drivel, its pretty obvious that its the same person.

And no, France is not our ally, but that doesn't make it an enemy. I assume you have some "moderate" leanings, so you especially should understand the "grey" areas (since you most probably don't believe in any black-and-white ideas such as good/evil, right/wrong, etc).

Posted by: Obviously False at March 9, 2005 06:54 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Actually Le Monde is not incorrect to say:

Il ne l'a pas fait seulement par altruisme mais parce qu'il est convaincu qu'une telle évolution correspond aux intérêts de sécurité des Etats-Unis.

This is actually quite a breathtaking concession. It is true that America acts in her own interests, and quite apart from the worries of good ol' liberals like Hitch and Totten, America generally doesn't do things solely out of altruism. Even Kosovo might've been seen as Clinton trying to ensure his own legacy and buy some Muslim sympathy.

Nonetheless, one thing that Americans had been largely successful with in the post-war world is in persuading others that what's in America's interests is generally in the interests of all. This was true too of the British Royal Navy during the heyday of the British Empire, and is most certainly true of the US Navy today, particularly the Seventh Fleet.

The French have benefitted, even profitted, from America's stabilizing effect on the world (one only needs to look at Oil-for-Food for an example), which is why M. Chirac was so eager to prevent the Iraq War. The French government is, unfortunately, cynical and corrupt. But the French people have not lost complete sight of idealism, or they wouldn't have been moved by the Purple Revolution of 30 January.

Le Monde's recognition that America has been a force for good in the world, blunders notwithstanding, is much more than it can say about any other big power, and as such, I'll take it as a major concession.

Posted by: Bruce at March 9, 2005 08:35 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Hell has frozen over.

Posted by: Z at March 9, 2005 02:48 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

If Praktike is on board I'll hit Omaha beach with him. However, Praktike, can we wait until October and stop by in Bayeaux for a few days. I would like to spend some time at the “festival gourmand du cochon de Bayeux.” There is nothing like marching into Paris with a stomach full of French Pork. I am getting a little tired of what my state gets from our senators.

Posted by: Lance at March 9, 2005 03:37 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Lance, nous mangerons sur le porc de Bayeux, et puis le sang coulera dans les rues de Paris comme si beaucoup de Bordeaux. Pas encore de vichysoisse pour notres enemies.

Posted by: praktike at March 9, 2005 07:42 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Heh

Posted by: Lance at March 10, 2005 04:32 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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