In its attempt to support its War Against Terrorism, the United States has fully launched its war against nonconformity, most notably against France – which has recently been sophomorically dubbed the “cheese-eating surrender monkeys.”
Making fun of the French has always been pretty popular, with their rude waiters and their fanatical attempts to put an end to McDonalds. But the jokes about this new French Resistance spark up a significantly stronger image of egotistical U.S. international presence and moreover indicate a grave underestimation of worldwide opposition.
As a UCSB student currently living in France, hearing news about the growing anti-French sentiment seems blatantly misdirected. The New York Post recently printed a photo of a World War II Veteran’s cemetery with a sensationalist headline: “They died for France but France has forgotten.” They are wrong. France has not forgotten.
The day of the worldwide demonstration against a war in Iraq, the peaceful protest carried through the major streets in town and ended in front of the Monument des Morts, a World War II memorial that stands in almost every French city. For them, the war is recent history.
The U.S. pop media can continue making “France surrendered and we kicked Nazi ass” jokes, but really, that just gives the French more ammo to stereotype us as ignorant gun-toters. These kinds of asinine comments only widen the gap between our two continents, which threatens the political well-being and legitimacy of our own nation.
Chirac isn’t anti-American, and he isn’t doing this for oil interests. If that were the case, he’d be better off pulling a Blair and jumping on the bandwagon in order to get a bigger slice of the oil pie when all this is said and done. And as much as Dubya would like to say that this war is about Sept. 11, terrorism and democracy, it’s undeniable that our government stands to make earnings from defense contracts and great Iraqi oil “checkout coupons” from the newly instituted puppet government.
Not that Chirac isn’t an egoist himself – using this opportunity to bring back French glory days of diplomatic and political grandeur in spite of obligations to NATO and the U.N. – it’s just that it seems trite and immature when our own officials respond by name-calling France as “Old Europe.”
So, to the High Point Country Club in North Carolina, which took all French wines off their menu, and to its neighboring restaurant that changed its French fries to “Freedom Fries,” revel in your patriotic contributions.
I hear the French are really pissed about the name change; you know how they love fast food. Way to hit them where it hurts.
Ladan Moeneziai is a Daily Nexus staff writer.