Talking of things French, Antoine Audouard - an expat in The Big Apple - makes a plea for tolerance in today's New York Times. As he points out, there are fair reasons to be irritated with Chirac's stance on Iraq, etc, but out-and-out contempt for an entire nation is never a good idea. His summary of the roots of French-baiting also touches on an obvious point which had actually never occurred to me before:

"France is one of the few major European countries to have never undergone any widespread immigration to America. So there is no French minority to pander to, no French lobby to placate."

UPDATE: On the same page, John J. Miller, author of a caustic new book on Franco-American relations, thinks neo-Gaullism is to blame:

"If France threatens to undermine American interests with its Security Council veto, we should call its bluff, pointing out that such behavior merely weakens the institution that is the prime source of France's undeserved prestige. (Despite all the bluster, France has not used its veto power unilaterally since 1976.)

"Moreover, making an example of the French is precisely the wrong approach because it elevates France in the eyes of the world's anti-Americans, who will always be with us. The one thing France and the neo-Gaullists can't possibly abide is being ignored. Perhaps that's punishment enough."
|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/01/french-bashing-talking-of-things.html|||1/03/2005 11:28:00 am|||||||||