Survival Instinct

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Smart move.

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  1. If I was an Iraqi conscript I would be shitting my pants and wondering why I should die for a thug.

    Its looking that this really isn’t a war but a US-backed Coup. Or maybe more like a police-standoff that ends with a mixture of violence and surrender. But not really a war…I hope.

  2. At this rate, they’ll be surrendering to France soon.

  3. but, Mr. Tuttle,

    wouldn’t it be a race to see whose hands would go up first?

    🙂

    couldn’t resist. sorry.
    drf

  4. The draftees (except those conscripts unable to surrender) will likely surrender in droves, as they have no vested interest in maintaining the status quo. Career military, however, will stay on until close to the end, surrendering at the last possible moment. Losing this war means a career change for them.

    The same thing happened in 1991 when I was there. The draftees just want to go home and make sure that their families are okay, while the career military kept retreating further and further into Iraq.

  5. I get sick of all this carping about the French military. I doubt that very many of you have, outside the very limited historical memory you may have of WWII, very much knowledge of French military history. Lets put it this way, if Charles Martel and his army of Frenchmen hadn’t stopped the Muslims from expanding out of Spain in 732 CE, we’d all be wearing turbins right now.

  6. hey Gary!

    actually, i was thinking of the franco prussian war. 🙂 that’s why it was only a whimsical comment. i like yer note about the turbans. very “au currant” *grin*.

    the french military was very effective in sinking the rainbow warrior. so, they do get some good points from me for that (ha ha). and this citizen doesn’t like renaming stuff (freedom fries, etc) because of some simplistic black/white argument about the french policies.

    did you (or anybody else) see how some restaurant in atlanta poured all of its french liquor into the river? jeez.

    cheers!
    drf

  7. I agree that the bashing of the French military is silly (though satisfying) but having to go back to Charles Martel for an example of French bravery isn’t flattering to them either.

  8. David F,

    Well, the French surrender in the Franco-Prussian war has a lot of myth associated with, partly because the Germans were so good at selling their victory as “swift.” Yes, the Germans did quickly defeat a large portion of the French army in the field in the first weeks of the war (Sedan is the oft most cited battle), but the fact that the war stretched on longer than that is generally not known. In fact, it is generally not known that Paris underwent a seige (with no real hope of military aid from the outside) of about five months before the French surrendered. In other words, yeah the government of Napoleon III capitulated quickly (at Sedan basically) in September of 1870, but the nation of France itself didn’t succumb until January of 1871.

    Well, pouring out French liqour and wine into a river is about as smart as pouring out Kentucky bourbon because you don’t like some of the policies of that state. I happen to love France, despite its faults, just as I love the US despite its faults.

  9. hey Gary!

    thanks for the bit about the F-P war. no, i did not know that (and interestingly enough, the chapter in Geschichte Deutschlands really didn’t go over that too much either (published in the 50s i think). 1871 is usually given as the date of victory, so B. could “unite” germany. and considering his swift victories over denmark and austria, they certainly would want to claim the quick trifecta!

    and that’s an excellent comparison with the bourbon — and imagine that someone would do such a thing!

    which parts of france do you particularly enjoy? (my last trip was to alsace region in late march, springtime, and that was great) — i’ve lived in denmark and austria (and had a job in prague, but that fell through, bummer), so i completely understand and respect the idea of really enjoying countries, languages, cultures, etc., while appreciating and recognizing each country’s quirks, faults, etc.

    merci bien!
    drf

  10. geophile,

    Well, I could go back to the American Revolutionary War. Remember de Grasse bravely took on and defeated the British fleet (the world’s most dominant navy at the time) in the Cheseapeake, which in turn led to the Franco-American success against Cornwallis at Yorktown. Or WWI for that matter. In Feb. 1916, the Germans tried to break the deadlock on the Western front by mounting a massive assault on Verdun (they planned to bleed France white); the French, rallying with the cry, “They shall not pass!,” held fast despite enormous losses.

    The French defeats in WWII and the Franco-Prussian wars are pretty much anachronistic. They do, however, provide a lot of fodder for those who don’t like France. Quite frankly I have never understood the long animus between France and the US.

  11. David F.,

    I am very fond of Longuedoc actually. I want to build a house there and eat cheese, wine and bread all day. 🙂

  12. David F.,

    And Napoleon III was a petty tyrant, BTW. So I don’t see his going as a bad thing neccesarily.

  13. anachronistc = anomalous

    I need to write more slowly. 🙂

  14. Hey Gary!

    the Longuedoc — isn’t that on the mediterranean? and letsee — eating cheese, maybe roquefort? (cuz isn’t there a cave down there with that name???)

    au re-lire, (parce que nous nous ne voyons pas)
    mais je m’excuse — il y a lengtemps depuis quand j’ai etude francais…

    drf

  15. I can’t understand the logic of pouring french wine out at all. I mean the retailers already bought the wine. The only thing they’re doing is getting rid of their chance to make their investment back. Why not drink what you’ve already got.

  16. Hi y’all,

    as a Frenchman it’s good to hear some nice things about us.
    I still don’t understand how they figure Chirac “surrendered” (axis of weasel and all). It was actually a lot harder to stand up against George “I’m on a mission from God” W. Bush, and it took courage from Chirac. No he thinks he’s some sort of Hero too.

    Now I’m sick and sad of all this trans-atlantic resentment (hatred is the word), with is both ways too (I didn’t demonstrate against War because I think people demonstrated for the wrong reasons – not that I don’t feel strongly against the war).

    This has all gone very emotionnal, I’m afraid. And our Europe is torn apart. Sad sad waste. I won’t even talk about the war itself, that was decided on a long time ago, and I think if the President of the USA wants to do something, nothin’ much will stop him.

    Last thing : LAnquedoc, with ‘a’. Roquefort is actually a small town. So is Camembert.

    I am crazy about the Pays Basque, even thought the Basque people are stubborn as mules (kind of like the Irish – I’m crazy about Ireland too)

    And Petain WAS a pretty bastardly so and so. Don’t forget that. He wrote a pretty nasty paragraph in europeen (an world) History, just like Bush is writing a fat sickening chapter in the US (and world) History.
    The fact that other persons of influence have killed civilians and so on doesn’t mean (as the pro-Bush argument goes) that it’s okay to do the same.

  17. Hey Mouchon!

    what’s the atmosphere you see now? i haven’t seen the “chicago reaction” yet. i don’t think there will be anybody who will pour their drinks into the river (Heather — you’re right… that’s alcohol abuse to pour it away. Ben: thank you for stepping up to prevent the waste, Sir)…

    talking to a few yesterday, even those with the “no war” pins, they all wished for this to be completed with minimal loss of life. i’ve met a few european soldiers who were attached, in some way, to the first gulf war. man oh man. “easy” war… yeah — thanks to them. all of ’em.

    there is bound to be the entire range of emotions, from the schadenfreude of those opposed to the fierce focus of the supporters.

    did anybody notice the powerful reference (powerful as a rhetorical device, not a persuasive argument) that dubyah made yesterday when he used the churchill-esque “we will fight them in the fields…” bit? dubyah basically set it up as “better to have the armed forces duke it out over there than to have police, fire, and emt deal with it here”. that really was a strong rhetorical connection between this and 9/11. not thinking about the truth/falshood of that, but that was a striking part of his speech.

    anyhow, have a wonderful day, all.

    cheers,
    drf

  18. 1.4 million French soldiers died defending their nation in WWI. They were not “quick to surrender” in World War II; they didn’t give up until they were thoroughly beaten.

  19. They should have given it to me. I have no problem drinking all the wine they don’t want.

  20. Actually, it’s anachronistic to call Charles Martel and his boys French; there was no France, or French, at this period. They still considered themselves Gauls or Franks; the Roman Empire had only fallen in 43something and a lot of people in Martel’s day still thought of themselves as heirs to the Romans. Martel’s grandson (I think – or great grandson), Charlemagne, was King of the Franks, not King of the French, and Charlemagne’s successors broke up into many petty fiefs and kingdoms; France as a nation didn’t really exist till the 11th or 12th century or thereabouts.

    For a very funny (though not to a Francophile, so be warned) summation of French military history, go here:

    http://silflayhraka.blogspot.com/2003_01_19_silflayhraka_archive.html#90229835

  21. Franks and Gauls are two different peoples. The Romans conquered the Gauls, and the Franks conquered [some of] the Romans.

    The Frankish Kingdom evolved into modern France. Gaul just happened to occupy the same plot of land.

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