Never be afraid to speak up, even in Iran.

http://channels.netscape.com/ns/news...

Not withstanding Ambassador Joe Wilsons statements that Iran is a democracy (it isn't), I wish the human rights group would spend more time on brining these things to light. Any negoations with Iran that include carrots, like France wanting to sell Airbus planes, should require Iran to liberalize their society.

Not withstanding Ambassador Joe Wilsons statements that Iran is a democracy (it isn''t), I wish the human rights group would spend more time on brining these things to light. Any negoations with Iran that include carrots, like France wanting to sell Airbus planes, should require Iran to liberalize their society.

I agree - but would you be willing to apply that same standard to us when we deal with countries like China and Saudi Arabia?

"Minase" wrote:
Not withstanding Ambassador Joe Wilsons statements that Iran is a democracy (it isn''t), I wish the human rights group would spend more time on brining these things to light. Any negoations with Iran that include carrots, like France wanting to sell Airbus planes, should require Iran to liberalize their society.

I agree - but would you be willing to apply that same standard to us when we deal with countries like China and Saudi Arabia?

Yes.

my friend...standards do not apply to the French...when it comes to selling anything to make money...well...the word whore comes to mind...

Surely that applies to all governments, ever.

Like Iran was liberalized when the US sold them stuff? Come on...

yup...they sure were leaping..that''s my recollection!

In July of 1999 the US eased sanctions on Iran and allowed American companies to sell goods to Iran. The same president was in place there as today, Khatami. Shortly after, October of 1999, a very similar action occured where a person was put in prison for five years for spreading ""anti-islamic propaganda"". Seems very much the same as the original article, so were they ""liberalized"" in July when the sanctions were eased?

Now if you say they''re liberalized just because they have an elected president, well that''s still true today.

yup...they sure were leaping..that''s my recollection!

They were ruled by a King returned to power by a US-sponsored coup, who maintained discipline with a feared internal security service (SAVAK) which killed thousands to maintain power, much like what Pinochet did in Argentina. SAVAK was set up with help from the US and Israel. Pahlavi''s Iran had a record of ruthlessly shutting down the opposition, until it was overcome by an even more ruthless religious dictator.

""Standards do not apply to the French""? Forgive me, but your bias has gone way overboard. Please list for me the ways the French have harmed us, that lead you to this conclusion.

Robear, I would have to do a research paper on this one...

the haughtiness of the French, imho, since WWII after their last ''duck and run'' event has been apalling. Yes, American tourists are a pain in the ass, and so can America be, but when you owe your entire nations freedom to a country or two, a little appreciation is nice. The French, have been stuck in a period where they have been rendered by and large irrelevant on the world stage of power, yet continue to pretend they are a major player. Their economy sucks, their unions shut down the workplace at will, etc.

What was the defining moment - well, to me it is when they decided they didn''t want to be a member of NATO proper...oh...they want the benefits, safety, security, a voice at the NATO table, and a seat on the security council, but they don''t want to be a full member, because, well, I can only assume because they aren''t in charge of the whole shebang... That to me defines the whole crux of why i have no respect for France as a national entity. (and hell, I took 10 years of French in school...lol)

Standards btw...was definately the wrong word, but I hope you understood the context. For instance, what is the underlying reason that the French opposed action in Iraq - well, no moral high ground, just basically they had been circumventing the rules in doing business with Iraq, and a) didn''t want that to get out, and b) knew they would lose out on the money owed to them by Iraq.

I admit an open and pure bias to the French - it start from Britain and the US having to rescue their sorry asses for the pathetic effort they put into WWII (run awayyyyyyyyyyyy) - its just a combo of factors that lead me to have absolutely no respect for the French govt...and their systems in place.

Want me to go on my friend...

"pigpen" wrote:

but when you owe your entire nations freedom to a country or two, a little appreciation is nice.

I am totally shooting from the hip here, without having done any research to substantiate this point... but wouldn''t you say that America''s existence is owed at least partially to France''s support of the American Rebellion, as well has harassment of the English navy?

No question about the French assistance in the revolution...I would say the factor is often overplayed as the main driver, and it was not, but yes, they were of great assistance (more for the ''poke a finger in the eye of England'' than any desire to support American democracy...but it was there nonetheless).

I think that I''ll then give that as a wash for our support in WWI, and the whole history has been back and forth. I''m trying to pull more recent in my allusion above though, since WWII to present is kinda the modern era if you ask me.

"Pigpen" wrote:

(more for the ''poke a finger in the eye of England'' than any desire to support American democracy...but it was there nonetheless).

Likewise, come think of it, America''s desire to instill democracy worldwide were more of a poke in the Soviets'' eye, too.

Agreed cold war time...but I think now, theres no superpower to poke in the eye...except ourselves...

*poke * poke * poke *

I was meaning to say that according to the record, one nation''s intentions to spread the democracy elsewhere in the world have never been quite altruistic.

And speaking of France... I can''t help but keep being amazed about this whole French WWII cowardice reproach. Come on people!! Like three generations have changed over since. Everyone has seemingly already forgiven Germany and Japan themselves for their wartime atrocities, but still can''t forgive France for being beaten up by them -- in the middle of last century!! Let it go already!

Can''t...heres the difference - Germany/Japan had to face their role, their loss, and to some extent, the deeds. The French have never been anything but ''our sh*t doesn''t stink, so piss off and do as I say''

That is why we hold on to the grudge - I don''t expect them to be a loyal brother, but come on...the NATO example shows it all to me...

Sick as a dog today.

Pigpen, look at what you wrote. The French are ""haughty"" towards Americans. This is easily shown to be false; just read any of the beloved accounts of American vets from Normandy, who rave about the treatment and thanks they get from the French, downt to the grandkids. Even my parents were greeted like royalty there in the 50''s. How do you account for that?

Parisians, yeah, they''ve always been arrogant. Not to the level of the average American abroad, but yeah, they can be a pain in the butt. Funny, though, any big tourist city has that problem.

With Iraq, where did they cover up their involvement? How was it different from ours, or from the Russians, or the Chinese? We benefited Hussein far more than the French, we helped him fight Iran, we helped him develop his WMD''s, we allowed him to slaughter the Marsh Arabs right after the first Gulf War. But somehow, the French being above-board partners with Iraq is more of a problem. That''s just propaganda. They did some bad stuff, but so did every player in the region. The only reason they have been picked on is because they continued to oppose the war. We handled France the same way Rove handled McCain.

And to denigrate them as ineffective in WWII...Do you really think they did not pay? Do you think the Soviets would have stopped in East Germany if we had not come in? We did not win WWII, the Soviets did. Take a look at their losses and successes. We were a sideshow, a hastening of the end in Europe, not the Great White Hope. It''s astounding that you can take shots at them, make light of them, when they suffered 5 years under the Nazis.

I notice you don''t include the Brits in the list of countries whose butt we saved. But then, I guess that would mean going after our current ally. Even though that''s been the standard argument - we saved the Brits and the French - today, we have a new spin. Again, it''s propaganda.

We''ve been presented with the French as scapegoats to focus on as evidence of European intransigence. In reality, up through 2003 they had broken up more terror cells and arrested more terrorists than we had. We got information from them, since they have the most complete humint network in the region, with decades of experience.

We have been encouraged to think of the French as enemies, because it creates a simple story that lets us gloss over what we''ve done, what''s gone on in the region, for decades. Heck, the Russians were set up that way too, until they toed the line. Remember all that stuff about how Russian advisers were going to run the war? Yeah. Where did that stuff go?

The only reason we''ve been encouraged to think this way, to refer to Freedom Fries (but not say they speak ""Freedom""?) is that they opposed our position on the recent war. And the evidence shows they were right. I find it hard to get past that.

Heck, I''m not French. But I know propaganda when I see it. It''s very disturbing to see it in America, but it''s even more upsetting to see people taking this stuff seriously. It''s also interesting that Bush thinks he can fix it with a conversation.

Wonder what we are giving them? The talks this week must drive you nuts, if you really believe this stuff.

Agreed cold war time...but I think now, theres no superpower to poke in the eye...except ourselves...

If you think that, you are gonna be really surprised in 15 years or so.

to your last...only china and india beckon...so I do know what you speak of.

as for above...I see England as different because England did not blink and run, but held fast. I think the russians, with the other allies beat Hitler...I think its naive my friend to think the US juggernaut on that front (France, Africa, etc...) was a sideshow, because without that sideshow, Russia would have fallen in a year or two imho. And the coastal population, anyone over age 65, still shows friendship to the Americans and allies, so I will agree with you on my trips to france.

AND never to I consider France an enemy, thats waht gets me, when an ally likes to show you up in public vs talking behind the scene, you have a slimy ally there...and that''s how I see France. Haughty, a once glorious empire that is a very tiny player on the world stage, and will not accept that role - and as such, creates even more problems for their friends than their enemies.

Explain the NATO situation if you will. I''ve actually had several of your arguments change my mind Robear, but I think you are off base on this my friend, I really do.

And yeah, you better believe I''ll continue to make fun of them regardless of what they brought largely upon themselves in WWII, because to be haughty invites that type of ''piss off'' attitude that you get (as the US and its haughty attitude is getting on the world stage these days.)

Why did the French plant so many trees along the Champs-Elysses?

** So the Germans could march in the shade **

I think its naive my friend to think the US juggernaut on that front (France, Africa, etc...) was a sideshow, because without that sideshow, Russia would have fallen in a year or two imho.

Germany was defeated in Europe. Not in Africa. To appease your national pride, I think we can agree that USA defeated Japan (but! without Russians ""on the sidelines"", the Japanese would be all over California in a year or two).

Gorilla, don''t get me wrong...didn''t mean to imply the Russians were a sideshow...I think the forces on either side combined to win the war...no question...just took issue with the us being a sideshow...

think it was a team effort...

YAY...gooooooooooooooo TEAM!

as for above...I see England as different because England did not blink and run, but held fast.

I wouldn''t call the British disaster in Europe and subsequent evacuation from Dunkirk as ''holding fast''. Do you really think that they could have resisted the Wehrmacht if they didn''t have the English Channel to hide behind? On top of that, they probably would have lost the Battle of Britian if the Luftwaffe hadn''t failed so miserably in the intelligence and command/control departments.

What about Poland? Are they scum too? Hell, everybody''s invaded Poland.

What about Poland? Are they scum too? Hell, everybody''s invaded Poland.

Talk about a country that is now supporting us because of past deeds. If France was more like Poland, we wouldn''t be having this conversation.

Talk about a country that is now supporting us because of past deeds. If France was more like Poland, we wouldn''t be having this conversation.

Didn''t we give Poland quite a bit of ''aid'' money in return for their Iraq support?

"Minase" wrote:
Talk about a country that is now supporting us because of past deeds. If France was more like Poland, we wouldn''t be having this conversation.

Didn''t we give Poland quite a bit of ''aid'' money in return for their Iraq support?

Most of ""new"" Europe has supported. I think we moved some bases to Poland and gave them military support. I think it is a good thing.

Most of ""new"" Europe has supported. I think we moved some bases to Poland and gave them military support. I think it is a good thing.

I think it is too - I just wanted to point out that money is a motive for all countries, not just France.

I see England as different because England did not blink and run, but held fast.

Well, that explains the English evacuation at Dunkirk during the Nazi invasion, then. The Blitzkrieg attack through the Low Countries was designed to take advantage of French weaknesses. The French went down to an overwhelming force applied in the correct way. I mean, that''s the idea of war - never give your opponent a fair fight. Did they run away? On the whole, not. And the French Resistance being the largest and most active of all the European resistance groups again speaks for itself.

The British did not ""stand fast"" during the invasion of France, but rather took the only course they could - precipitate retreat.

I think its naive my friend to think the US juggernaut on that front (France, Africa, etc...) was a sideshow, because without that sideshow, Russia would have fallen in a year or two imho.

The Russians had taken the strategic offensive in 1943, recapturing Stalingrad, Kharkov and Kursk. By the time we were mired in the hedgerows, they were in Poland. How can you say they were about to fall to German armies? They had advanced to the Polish border without our invading France.

AND never to I consider France an enemy, thats waht gets me, when an ally likes to show you up in public vs talking behind the scene, you have a slimy ally there

You don''t think that''s how we are perceived in turn on the Iraq war issue? The White House leaked about 40 fake stories in the run-up to the war, to make the French look bad. We denigrated ""Old Europe"" in speeches, and when the Turkish government refused to allow an attack from the North, we initiated contacts with the generals there...Can you imagine why our own allies were surprised at our behavior? And you think the French were worse?

We treated an ally badly because they dared to act in their own interest. After all, they got the nature of the threat right; we didn''t.

I see you understand why we are seen as arrogant and haughty ourselves. Why is it hard to make the leap to our unfair treatment of the French?

Again, look at the major countries involved in Iraq - the US, Russia, France and China. The Chinese we have a standoff with; we don''t mess with them, they don''t seize our intel planes. The Russians and French we attacked for their support of Iraq - at least, until the Russians publicly said, okay, go ahead, we''ll get out of the way. And of course we ourselves were not going to easily admit our own roles and abuses in the area, some of which are still being uncovered.

What does that leave as a target, a rallying point for public ridicule? The only involved country besides China that stuck to it''s position and was able correctly understand the situation - France. And for that, for their not getting on board, we whipped up the sort of attitude you have towards them.

I''m pretty sure that if someone asked you which our allies was the most perfidious, you''d probably have said ""Moscow"". I don''t think the French would have been on your radar until the concentrated media campaign against them that the White House put together in 2002/2003.

As for ""the NATO situation"", I''m not sure what you mean.

Poland had up to 2500 troops in Iraq, making them the fourth largest Coalition contingent, not including ours. That''s about, what, 2% of troops there? Somewhat less, I think. Unfortunately, they have dropped that to 1700, and will do a total exit most likely by the end of this year. If all our allies were like that, we''d be alone in Iraq by December.

Total Coalition troops in theatre are about 24,000, or what, one-sixth?

NATO situation is their ''I will NOT be in your NATO pact...but, I want to sit in on all your meetings, have a say in what goes on, be a major player and enjoy the security that NATO gives me...but, I still don''t want to be in your stinkin'' pact.""

I''ve not been a fan of France and their crap attitude and foreign policy since i was 2 Iraq only highlighted the difference - so your comments in the second to last paragraph do not ring true. Again, the basis for my distaste for France is the NATO pact - not Iraq. Iraq simply highlighted it with an exclamation point.

Unfair treatment of the French - I''m waiting for some examples on this one. I think the French have even gotten close to everything they deserve because we have to play nice in the world sandlot...

As for WWII - I don''t know why it is so tough to ever concede a point to me or issue - I find it ironic since I often do the same when you have good and valid points. Oh well...but here it is again. I DID NOT say Russia was a bit player - I do make the inference with the losses the Russians had taken, that their offensive counterattack would have been doomed long term if England had fallen, US did not play, and Germany was able to focus on one front. That said, they were as vital to allied success as the US and Britain. Those of you who denigrate Britain''s hold fast and point to a few pull backs or failures, really don''t understand the scope and context of war if you ask me. To denigrate the effort of a small island holding fast against the German war machine again goes to the naive about war category. If the French has shown 1/100th of the resolve the Brits did, the war may have ended much sooner. You can point to the Germans being effective with the Blitzkrieg against the French...well trust me, they had no idea they would be so successful so quick, even outrunning supply lines initially.

The French Resistance...hey, the time to fight first is when the enemy is on your doorsteps, not when they occupy your country. They played a significant role in the allied victory, but no where near on the scale that the Brits, US and Russia played.

Again, and I repeat this above, you all seem to thing the US was the bit player, and I disagree...it was a collective team that pushed back the Axis powers, and to denigrate any of the 3 main players for their massive will and sacrifices is to do a disservice to them in my opinion.

Also, finally, one-sixth is a helluva lot better than none. And when you consider the size and state of some of these militaries, 2500 is a big contribution. Why is it that the liberal side of the house, even when they oppose the war (and thats fine) has to constantly put down the contributions of allied forces as insignificant or ''bought''. So what if aid came as a result before/during/after...what is wrong with that. That''s been the way of politics since before Christ was born...you help me, I''ll help you...come on guys. What gives?

OK, and I keep reading the

We treated an ally badly because they dared to act in their own interest.

This one just gets me. First, I''m tired of the ''everything in the world is America''s fault'' liberal pathos. It just gets soooo old. An ally sticks by you sometimes, something I can''t remember France doing at all in the past many years on a major issue. I consider France an ally due to its location in Europe, but not an ally in fact or practice. How bout pointing some of the rift in relations at the French, or do they get a carte blanche because, well, they aren''t the US, so couldn''t be their fault.

Saying the US was a side show...well, the more I think about it, in my opinion, without the US coming in when it did (and it was before we were ready) yeah, I''m willing to stand up and say that Germany defeat Britain and Russia. Damn right! Again, I stick to my point of the team concept that won the war, but this goes to the lefts ""America is full of themselves, they are always at fault, and its never them that comes in to save the day"".

This is frustrating, because Robear, and I don''t think you are like this,...but your posts come across as purely liberal ""blame the US, never the ally/enemy"" I keep looking for some point where you actually concede that America did something right, that the US did come in for the world good, etc...some ray of light.

Other points -

The British did not ""stand fast"" during the invasion of France, but rather took the only course they could - precipitate retreat.

Pulling back from a country not willing to fight for itself to hold fast at YOUR borders is not retreat in my opinion...

Also, I don''t know that I consider Russia as an ally...more as a world partner...so that''s why the more direct attack on France, which in theory, if rarely in practice, is supposed to be an ally.