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Our French "allies"

Posted by Ed Davis,DPM on 8/25/03 at 19:21 (127967)

Enough is enough!


France: No proof Hamas is terror group
Official fingers only 'military wing' of organization for violence

Posted: August 25, 2003
2:38 p.m. Eastern

2003 WorldNetDaily.com

The French government is once again bucking the United States-led international war on terrorism and urging fellow Europeans to follow suit by not classifying Hamas and Islamic Jihad as terror organizations.

While the U.S. State Department lists the groups as sponsors of terror, the European Union has only flagged what it calls a 'military wing' of Hamas Izzedine al-Qassam. The terror designation allows the freezing of assets and the imposition of sanctions.

Following last week's suicide bombing on a crowded Jerusalem bus in which 20 people were killed, including several children, the U.S. froze the assets of six Hamas leaders and those of mostly European-based Palestinian charities it accused of fund-raising for Hamas.

Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack and Hamas released video of the 29-year-old Hebron man it said was the bomber. After Israel launched retaliatory missile strikes in which a senior Hamas leader was killed Thursday, both groups pronounced an end to their seven-week cease-fire.

Hamas and Israeli leaders traded accusations over this latest road block to the 'road map' to Mideast peace.

'The assassination of Abu Shanab ... means that the Zionist enemy has assassinated the truce, and the Hamas movement holds the Zionist enemy fully responsible for the consequences of its crime,' Hamas spokesman Ismail Haniyah told reporters in Gaza.

Last night, the EU joined the diplomatic frenzy to put the 'road map' back on course. The Associated Press reports Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, whose country holds the EU presidency, held telephone talks last night with Secretary of State Colin Powell, Israeli Foreign Minister Sylvan Shalom and Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath on 'the tragic events in Iraq and the Middle East.

Frattini reportedly stressed the struggle against terrorism must 'continue to be among the international community's top priorities.'

To that end, Frattini said EU foreign ministers will discuss 'the problem of Hamas' at a Sept. 5-6 meeting in northern Italy, ostensibly to review its classification of the group.

According to the news wire, Frattini said that while Shalom called for 'the immediate dismantling' of Hamas, Shaath pleaded for European understanding of the 'particularly delicate phase the [Palestinian] government of Mahmoud Abbas is experiencing at the moment.'

The Jerusalem Post reports an adviser to President Chirac, Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, is lobbying the EU to resist Israel's pressure to add the full Hamas organization to its terror list.

'If we find that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are indeed terror groups opposed to peace, we may have to change the EU's stand,' Gourdault-Montagne reportedly told the Israeli ambassador in France, Nissim Zvilli. 'However, we mustn't limit ourselves to one, clear cut, position.'

According to the Post, Gourdault-Montagne's assertion drew outrage at Israel's foreign ministry.

'Such an attitude is one of criminal negligence. It refuses to assume responsibility over the war against and thus legitimizes terrorism,' an official is quoted by the paper as saying.

In March, a threatened veto by France forced the U.S. and Britain to abandon efforts to secure a new United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing the use of military force to disarm Saddam Hussein of suspected weapons of mass destruction. A coalition of some 40 countries subsequently invaded Iraq over continued pleas for diplomacy from a handful of council members, including France.

Paradoxically, France subsequently offered its military expertise with weapons of mass destruction to the coalition effort, despite its fierce opposition. French ambassador Jean-David Levitte told CNN days before the launch of the war that the use of biological and chemical weapons by Saddam Hussein's forces would 'change completely the perception and the situation for us.' He said the French military had equipment to fight 'under these circumstances' and could join the coalition if forces came under such attack.

French officials, who have consistently objected to placing Hezbollah on the EU terror list, claim there is insufficient proof the entire organizations of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, not just their 'military wings,' are involved in terrorism.

Israel and the U.S. argue no such distinction can be made.

'There's no question that there is a direct link between the heads of Hamas and the terrorists on the ground,' Gideon Meir, an Israeli foreign ministry official, told the Jerusalem Post.

Meanwhile today, Izzedine al-Qassam leaders again vowed revenge after Israeli missile strikes killed another four members in Gaza City last night.

'Our response will be painful and quick,' officials pledged in a statement.

Related articles:

Cease-fire scrubbed

Suicide bomber strikes Jerusalem bus

Abbas tells senator: Arafat undermining me

Arafat blocking 'road map'?

Congress presses Bush on 'road map'

Radical alternative 'road map' proposed

25,000 in NYC to protest PA 'terror state'

Mideast peace 'road map' unveiled


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Re: Our French "allies"

marie on 8/25/03 at 19:44 (127971)

Hamas probably owes the French government money.

Re: Our French "allies"

Dr. Z on 8/25/03 at 19:52 (127972)

Hamas is the French word for Hey mom

Re: Our French "allies"

BGCPed on 8/25/03 at 22:27 (128004)

They need to worry more about all their people that are dead after the heatwave. France is a joke. Well maybe they would be a joke if their greedy, cowardly, dishonest actions were not so dangerous to world peace.

Re: Our French "allies"

Dr. Z on 8/26/03 at 17:02 (128083)

Did you hear how they determined that 10,000 people died in the heat wave? They took the total amount of dead people from last year and substracted from the dead this year. The difference is how many were killed by the heat wave. This is what is wrong with the French

Re: Our French "allies"

Dorothy on 8/26/03 at 19:32 (128098)

Here's what annoys me about the French. They are eager to criticize Americans for being too 'moralistic' or too 'uptight' or not being 'sophisticated' enough or being too concerned with 'cleanliness' and so on and so on. There are always Americans who are willing to jump on that bandwagon and join in the criticism of Americans' being so backward and unsophisticated. I recall the Clintons promoting this line of thinking when they had a special interest in trying to make Americans who thought their behavior was shameful look small and petty and stupid and prurient - not like the wonderful French who 'understood' these little peccadillos and didn't get all upset about 'inappropriate' sexual behavior - why, even their president had a wife AND a mistress and children with each and all attended his funeral supposedly amicably. How sophisticated and brilliant, the Clintons and the like-minded wanted us to accept. I won't give the French word for this, IMO; a good English word for it is Nonsense.

Re: Our French "allies"

Sharon W on 8/26/03 at 20:40 (128111)

WELL SAID, Dorothy!!
=D> ;)

Re: Our French "allies"

BGCPed on 8/26/03 at 22:34 (128120)

Great post Dot, you hit the nail on the head. They thought Jerry Lewis was a comic genius so thats all that needs to be said

Re: Our French "allies"

Mason M. on 8/27/03 at 00:45 (128122)

Soon we will be approaching the one-year anniversary of many Americans' new favorite pastime of badmouthing France and all things French.

This seems to me to be a classic example of scape-goating; of people looking to denigrate a group so as to avoid acknowledging their own foibles, mishaps, and mistakes; of people over-reacting in the extreme when someone disagrees with us. I realize this kind of over-reacting is human nature, but it is one of human nature's more amusing - and sometimes tragic - ways of coping, or not coping. Regarding France in particular, one wonders when we will get over it. If we do not plan to get over it, what is our ultimate goal?

Please remember what can happen when one group or nation suddenly acquires a need to demonize another and blows disagreements wildly out of proportion. Rash generalization is the road to nowhere.

Good day to all.

P.S. I am not French, I have no French ancestors, and none of my best friends is French. I have never even traveled to France. I would balk at this long-lasting scape-goating if the new national pastime were to demonize teachers, Martians, doctors, Australians, rocks, New York City, musical instruments, gardeners, or Thailand.

Re: Our French "allies"

Dorothy on 8/27/03 at 01:41 (128123)

I take exception to characterizing what I have said as bashing the French. I will acknowledge that I am criticising the French being held out as being in any way superior to Americans. It is a myth, in my opinion. I think that France had a very rough 'life' in the twentieth century and was in the unfortunate geographic position of being next door to voracious, war-mongering Germany(oh, am I bashing Germany?), so I find it difficult to judge France's political positions very quickly. However, this recent 'pas de deux' with Germany is a big puzzler, I do think, and, like their Vichy history, smells too much of their special sort of pragmatism. Yes, to be honest, I think that France should be more loyal to America than to Germany or Russia or Iran, but they always seem to be looking for where their 'pain' will be best buttered. Do I think America is unfailingly honorable? No. The point is that neither France nor Europe as a whole is in any way superior to America; yet that is the myth that is all too often foisted on us... i.e. we are always told 'what the French think' of how we are acting about this or that. I just don't happen to think we need to take instruction from Europe about much of anything except perhaps cooking and the preservation of old structures.

Re: Our French "allies"

john h on 8/27/03 at 10:25 (128142)

Some personal observations: I was flying in and out of England,Germany, and France on a routine basis from 1954-1960. In the early 50's France and Germany still showed the destruction of WWII. German cities in particular were leveled to the earth and still looked like a war zone in 1954. By 1960 the Germans had completely rebuilt and you could hardly tell there had been a war there. It was easy to see the Germans moved at a very different pace than the French. They walked faster and seemed to always be doing something.During this same period I did not see nearly the reconstruction in the French cities. The people lived a much more casual life and seemed in no hurry. I loved to sit out on the Champs in the sidwalk cafes and drink wine, eat cheese, and watch people and so did many of the French people. Compared to the Germans they appeared to move in slow motion. I have no explanation for this other than this is what I really saw. This could stem from a cultural difference or historical difference but there is definitely a difference in the way the French and the Germans approach things. Even their languages show a marked difference. I think the French language is considered a romantic language and the German language is a much more abrupt language.Of course all this is non scientific and just a passing observation.

Re: Our French "allies"

BGCPed on 8/27/03 at 13:38 (128164)

Cant forget street Mimes....I love street Mimes

Re: Our French "allies"

BGCPed on 8/27/03 at 15:50 (128173)

Dont worry Dorothy, that was well put. You dont need to apologize for anything. Some people think it is honorable to do anything that undermines or back slaps at America. When Isreal bombed the reactor that the French were building they saved many untold lives. The French are lying decietful pigs as it applies to Iraq, oil and weapons.

Thats it in simple form but there are loads of documented historical examples.

Re: Our French "allies"

BGCPed on 8/27/03 at 15:51 (128174)

p.s. sorry about the i before e slip in the above post

Re: Our French "allies"

Dorothy on 8/27/03 at 18:07 (128203)

The French have much less heart disease and some say it is related to the long, slow meals (and the red wine!)

Re: Our French "allies"

marie on 8/27/03 at 18:29 (128209)

Red wine! I think I will keep the red wine and cheese tradition from France. I don't have a good heart so I do my best to have at least 2-3 glasses per week.

Re: Red wine or purple grape juice?

Sharon W on 8/27/03 at 18:32 (128210)


Well, it looks like even those of us who can't drink alcohol anymore (because of incomplatible medications) can at least get the benefits from drinking red wine that are so often attributed to the French! In fact, American tea-totaler 'health nuts' may actually be one up on the French this time -- a key antioxidant called catechin remained in the blood for more than 4 hours after the volunteers drank the nonalcoholic wine, compared to only 3.2 hours for the full-strength cabernet! Check out this story about the benefits of drinking purple grape juice rather than red wine (excerpts follow):



The Buzz about Grape Juice
OK, it's not wine. But it has many of its health benefits.

By Peter Jaret


WebMD Feature Archive

'If you don't like wine, the latest studies show you can get almost all the same benefits from grape juice. The reason: Purple grape juice contains the same powerful disease-fighting antioxidants, called flavonoids, that are believed to give wine many of its heart-friendly benefits.'

'The flavonoids in grape juice, like those in wine, have been shown to prevent the oxidation of so-called bad cholesterol (LDLs, or low-density lipoproteins) that leads to formation of plaque in artery walls.'

'Wine only prevents blood from clotting [when it's consumed] at levels high enough to declare someone legally drunk,' says University of Wisconsin researcher John Folts, Ph.D. 'With grape juice, you can drink enough to get the benefit without worrying about becoming intoxicated.'

'What's more, alcoholic drinks don't seem to improve the function of cells in blood vessel linings the way grape juice does. And alcohol generates free radicals -- unstable oxygen molecules that can actually cause damage to blood vessel tissues -- dampening any of the benefits that red wine's antioxidants may offer.'

'But wine may provide at least one benefit grape juice doesn't: Alcohol has been shown to increase levels of HDL, the so-called good cholesterol, in the blood.'

'If you do go for the juice, choose the purple kind, which is far richer in antioxidant flavonoids than red or white. Surprisingly, eating red table grapes won't provide as much protection. That's because the juice is made by crushing not just the skin and flesh but the seeds, too, which are especially rich in flavonoids. White grapes and grape juice won't do either, because they don't contain the flavonoids that purple or red grapes do.'

Re: Red wine or purple grape juice?

marie on 8/27/03 at 19:33 (128218)

Thanks Sharon. I would prefer non alcoholic because of my medicine! You're an information warehouse....I'm so glad you come here!!!!


Re: Our French "allies"

Ed Davis,DPM on 8/27/03 at 19:41 (128220)


I agree that we should not demonize groups of people but am willing to make an exception for one group of people -- the French.

Re: Our French "allies"

marie on 8/27/03 at 20:36 (128226)


It's nice to see that your still hanging around the boards. How are you? Hope your footsies are ok.


Re: read this

BGCPed on 8/27/03 at 22:24 (128236)

find the dumbest statement in this article and win a prize http://ap.tbo.com/ap/breaking/MGAO03CQVJD.html

Re: Our French "allies"

BGCPed on 8/27/03 at 22:49 (128241)

Plus less stress from not having any war veterans living in their country

Re: read this

Dorothy on 8/28/03 at 00:52 (128255)

Difficult to pick just one. There seem to be several choice ones.
I guess I don't get the prize.

Re: Red wine or purple grape juice?

Dorothy on 8/28/03 at 01:05 (128257)

Yes, I'm aware of this and am glad for several reasons. First, I prefer purple grape juice - specifically, Welch's Concord (Concord grapes were reported to be the best grape for the health benefits when this info. was in early days)from a glass bottle (harder and harder to find) - I love the stuff. Second, any alcohol intake is risky business for women since even one alcoholic drink raises the risk of breast cancer significantly - an immediate rise in estogren occurs with alcohol intake.

Re: The term "Bashing" ?

BGCPed on 8/28/03 at 06:15 (128260)

I think the term bashing is used when a person or a group wants to cast doubt on an idea or statement. It is an attempt belittle the idea by labeling it bashing. An example women, or men can sit around and make general comments on common behaviors of the opposite sex, and most of it has a lot of truth to it. The side that doesnt like the comments that cast them in a bad light, but may be true regardless, will call it bashing.

One mans bashing is another mans truthful comment

Re: The term "Bashing" ?

john h on 8/28/03 at 09:28 (128270)

BG: Certainly 'bashing' is a hot word used to elicit emotions. It is much overused and used inappropriately for the most part.

Re: The term "Bashing" ?

Mason M. on 8/28/03 at 15:47 (128310)

In case there is any misunderstanding, I myself never used the term 'bashing' above.

It was Dorothy who responded to my post by introducing the term 'bash' herself. Perhaps she won't use the term any longer, as you wish.

In using the term 'bash' as she used it above, she seemed subtly to think that France's refusal to participate in the invasion and occupation of Iraq might somehow be on a par with Germany in the 1930s/40s.

I hope I misunderstood. That would be quite a wild and strange thought.


Re: The term "Bashing" ?

Dorothy on 8/28/03 at 18:31 (128318)

Yes, I did use the word 'bashing'. You used the word 'badmouthing' and 'scapegoating'. I used the word 'criticising'. To all of that, I say, so? I was not the one who found the use of the word 'bashing' problematical. It may be imprecise and it may be overused lately, but otherwise, it is just recent vernacular or common parlance. If you or others don't like it, then don't use it. Should we make a list of acceptable and unacceptable vocabulary?
As to the content of my two posts on this topic, you did completely misunderstand. They seem perfectly clear to me and I can only suggest you reread them if you care to understand them. I do not have any idea where you got the idea of any parallels being made between France's refusal to participate in the invasion and occupation of Iraq and something about Germany in the 1930s and 1940s. Actually, I was making a point about France's tendency to 'collaborate', but I was also making the point that some of that behavior is understandable given their geographical position. I was making the point that France's 'loyalties' are really Machiavellian pragmatism, but that I felt she should be more loyal to the U.S. than to Germany, Russia, et al. I really don't know what you are talking about otherwise and don't see any point to simply reiterate any more than I already have. I am criticising some aspects of our relationship with France and France's relationships with us and some other countries (Germany, Russia, Iran...). I have not 'demonized' (your word) France or any other country. I have criticized some aspects of France and I criticise Americans who happily join with France and anyone else who likes to portray France (and Europe) as superior to the U.S. I think that is absurd. (cheese and wine and a few other cultural features don't count for everything) I have come close to demonizing Germany because I think - and have said in some past post - that Germany has been the cause and source of a tremendous amount of the sorrow and misery in the world for a very long time, sorrow and misery that peoples and countries experience even unto this very day, AND I think they got off pretty easily after WWII for all the evil they set upon the world. I don't criticize France for their position on the invasion of Iraq; I do criticise France for their position on the invasion of Iraq when their hands are not clean in their support of Hussein. They supported him and his regime out of greedy self-interest, not out of some (perhaps misguided) geopolitical strategy - as we ostensibly did as a hedge against the known enemy of Iran. That is enough from me on this topic. I can talk and discuss ad nauseum - and I think I have reached the ad nauseum point. Re-read the post and perhaps you will see.

Re: The term "Bashing" ?

Mason M. on 8/29/03 at 10:23 (128354)

I apologize if I misunderstood your position on France. I don't think in terms of people or countries being superior or inferior to each other, so I did not understand your worry that some may think France superior to the United States.

Again, however, I was not one complaining about anyone's use of any word, including 'bashing.' A couple of others seemed to have a problem with it, and I pointed out that I had not used it.

I don't have a problem with the use of any term such as 'bashing' - or 'demonize,' which I did use - when it applies.

Re: The term "Bashing" ?

Dorothy on 8/29/03 at 16:10 (128397)

ok ~ thanks for the clarification. No apology needed. I hope discussions can continue with open hearts and open minds. I tend to get a bit carried away...prone to high dudgeon, as it were.

Re: The term "Bashing" ?

john h on 8/30/03 at 14:58 (128440)

Some real bashing: those girls that beat up the other girls in the park a few weeks ago. Now that is bashing. If that was some sort of Sorority deal then that must be the girls equivlent of the guys jock fraternity.

Re: The term "Bashing" ?

BGCPed on 9/02/03 at 16:57 (128586)

Well no bashing here. I think Dorothy is right on. I also think that for many reasons France, as a government sucks. The have displayed cowardice, deceit, greed, cowardice, snobery and cowardice to name a few.

Re: The term "Bashing" ?

john h on 9/02/03 at 17:34 (128595)

BG: Why don't you say what you mean?

Re: The term "Bashing" ?

BGCPed on 9/03/03 at 19:18 (128725)

I tried John, I just got stuck on the top two or three reasons