Category Archives: The French

Carter should be happy he won’t go down as the worst President ever

France and the UN are proving to be more ethical than the US.

That line alone should fill you with disgust. The fact that it’s true is even worse. France is calling for air strikes against Libya. The UN has approved them (and remember the UN Security Council has a long history of sheltering tyranny). Hillary Clinton appears to be demanding them behind the scenes (what kind of sick world are we in where a Clinton is our moral compass?)…

…and all this time Obama dithers. I am certainly not the first, nor will I be the last to point out that Obama’s recent behavior has been beyond pathetic, but it needs to be repeated.

I may not have approved of the cynicism of Rohm’s statement that you should never let a disaster go to waste, but Obama seems to be taking the exact opposite tack now.
Instead of appearing as leader, making a statement, doing something, ANYTHING about Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Sudan, Japan (I could go on) we are only occasionally getting a sanctimonious statement here and there and nothing that even resembles action.

I will admit that often there are lots of moves and negotiations going on behind the scenes that the public doesn’t know about (Wikileaks more than proves this) but even if Obama is doing work behind the scenes (which I somehow doubt) he forgets that one of the chief tools and chief responsibilities of the presidency is the bully pulpit. A president needs to look presidential. A president needs to be there and say that ‘We are America, we will do what is right, we may not have all the answers but we will act as best we can.” Not, you know, talk about women’s history month in his radio address and fill out his pick for March Madness.

It is in times of stress of and disaster that people’s true character comes out. With nations in rebellion against tyranny, with Japan in desperate need of help, with our own problems here at home….what has this shown us about Obama’s character?

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Filed under Foreign Policy, The French

What do to about Libya? Part II

Well, first off, while I’m usually always willing to take down a dictator by force, believe it or not I am not going to be arguing for anybody to send an army to Libya. I advocate this policy for two reasons. First, no country I particularly trust has all of their forces available, what with Afghanistan still an issue and Ahmadinejad and Kim Jung Il always being more than willing to play the psycho card it’s not like there are a lot of free standing armies available. (And while the French aren’t overly committed right now, I don’t trust Sarkozy growing a spine is particularly indicative of the entire French population).

The second reason military forces shouldn’t be sent is that the Libyan people have already started their revolution, and it will create stronger psychological dedication to making sure the revolution does not just result in another dictator. People value what they have to sacrifice for, and if we just go in and do it for them it will not create the ground work necessary for a successful nation in the future (see Afghanistan). However, that doesn’t mean we can’t have strafing runs on Qadaffi’s tanks and other armored fortifications to even the playing field. Nor does it mean we can’t send in the Rangers/SEALS/Deltas or SAS to get rid of the nut job dictator himself. And I’m all for giving help—not winning it for them, but giving help. Will we do it? No. Obama’s a gutless wonder. Will Cameron, Sarkozy, or Merkel. Quite possibly! And if they do I applaud their actions.

But more importantly than getting rid of the dictator is setting the ground work for a lasting democratic, secular, Classically Liberal representative government in Libya (or anywhere for that matter). The international community needs to make it very clear from the moment Qadaffi is toppled, that Libya has a choice. They can go their own way back into a dictatorship or some kind of psycho Taliban-style theocracy and be shunned and embargoed by the entire world to the point where they envy North Korea…or they can be lavished with aid, infrastructure repair and help (again, I could swear we had some people in this country who needed a job). Tax breaks will be given to any company from any nation that wishes to invest in this new Libya. And for this help all they have to do is guarantee a secular government, that representative authority chosen through democratic means (and probably outside observers for a decade or so), that women are constitutionally acknowledged as the equals of men, that protection of religion and freedom of speech are guaranteed, and that all the other freedoms and liberties that these people are fighting for are protected. Also, a promise by treaty that once Libya is stable enough to spare troops and money that they too will help rebuild the next nation that chooses to go from tyranny to democracy.

Now some things we also have to offer in addition to Marshall Plan style rebuilding is, among other things, military support on the borders of Libya until they build up the their own forces enough to defend their own borders. One thing we should all have learned from the last ten years is the military dangers (Afghanistan and Iraq) and economic dangers (just look South) that come up with unprotected borders.

I think Libya is the right place to focus on right now because if we can create a stable Liberal nation bordering Tunisia and Egypt (which already borders another Liberal democracy in Israel) this will help to bring these other two nations out of tyranny (yes, Egypt is still under a military tyranny, just because Mubarak left it doesn’t mean anything changed) and into a Classically Liberal model which defends the rights of the people.

Will this put us further behind on paying off our debt? Yes. But it will create a new bastion of economic development, which in turn will help the economies of every country that deals with it.

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Filed under Foreign Policy, Laws the GOP should pass, The French

Three Cheers for the French!

As anyone who knows me personally knows, I have little love of the French. Anglophile yes, Francophile, no (actually I love lots of different countries…but France holds a special place in my heart, i.e. not in it). Just on a philosophic and historic level they are a bit annoying…which reminds me, how many Frenchmen does it take to defend Paris?…No one knows as it has never been tried. And then of course there is my personal experience in France. Not only are the waiters there more obnoxious than the stereotype holds, but I encountered smells so horrific in De Gaulle International Airport I did not ever imagine were possible until I actually experienced them. Oh yeah, and unless you’re willing to go to an upper-end restaurant most of the food is absolutely unpalatable (most of the time went to Subway and the Jewish Deli just down the street from my hostel to get food…I couldn’t find a McDonald’s to have a “Royale with Cheese”, but I did look). I’ll be honest, there are just days I feel the Terror did not go far enough. But if there is a real reason to dislike the French, it’s their obsessions with socialism. But that’s changing.

But I do love Nicolas Sarcozy (not to mention envy him…can you blame? Have you seen Bruni?) And this last week has shown me three reasons why I love him and why I should not give up totally on the French.

The first is that the French banned the full veil worn by extremist Muslim women. Why is this a good thing? Well as a feminist I find nothing a better symbol of gross misogynist practices than the burka. Anyone who believes that women need to be completely covered up clearly hates women (and that includes the women who agree to wear this). This has nothing to do with showing humility before God. If it did it would apply to both men and women (as both men and women Hasidic Jews both must cover their heads, and Sikh men and women must never cut their hair). To apply a standard to women and not men isn’t religious piety, it’s a statement that women are inferior. And this is the greatest insult to God you can possibly create. It states that something god created in his own image is inferior, thus you claim God is inferior. For supposedly pious people, they do have a low option of the divine…kind of goes along with the low value some put on God’s other great gift, life. But Sarcozy’s push to ban the face veil wasn’t based on religion, no law should be, but on the fact that it is an insult to the dignity of women, which is guaranteed under any country that professes to abide democratic and republican principles. And anyone who opposes such equality under the law clearly does not get democracy, natural rights or the inherent equality of human beings…i.e. basic self-evident truths. But you say under a free society don’t people have the right to dress as they like…well, here in America you can’t show pornography in public because it is demeaning to the very nature of human dignity…and a public show of female inferiority isn’t more insulting? A woman being paid to have sex is at least an expression of free will and capitalistic entrepreneurialship (not a particularly good example of either, but an example nonetheless)…covering a woman in a burka is just an insult to human dignity. So way to go France for standing up for human dignity.

The second reason to love the French and Sarcozy this week came in the form of raising the retirement age to…gasp…62. Okay, it’s not great, but it’s a step in the right direction. Maybe over here we can make a similar step and raise the retirement age for our Social Security. Way to go Sarcozy for continuing your uphill battle toward capitalism!

Finally my final reason to love the French this week is their insult of the Obamas . Granted the official statements from the French Embassy is that Bruni never told an author that Michelle said she thought her position as First Lady was “Hell” (can you imagine such a statement coming from a woman who said she was never proud of America). It’s petty, I know, but right now I’ll take any insult I can for the Obamas as just about anything they do is worhy of insult.

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Filed under Civil Liberties, Multiculturalism is Dead, Nicolas Sarcozy, Obama, Social Security, The French