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Our President is only a lightning rod for long-deeply rooted feelings of envy, jalousie and resentment for America's "hyperpower". An inferiority complex and a love for ultra egalitarianism - a belief that no nation should be stronger than any other - aren't new feelings. They came to light with Charles de Gaulle public addresses, who kept hard feelings for being snubbed and humiliated by Roosevelt. Already in his August 25th, 1944's address, General de Gaulle had transformed the French defeat into a French victory, thus depriving US soldiers of their due credit, young Americans who had put their life on the line for strangers who were deprived of freedom.
We must also factor-in a growing presence of radical Islamic groups in France who hate America for supporting Israel ( Two days ago, another Jew got stabbed by a suburban kid who was yelling 'Allah Akbar'). Maybe as a need to cater to Muslims in France, a French official proposed to give the Arab world nuclear weapons so that they could attack Israel if necessary.
Self-loathing Americans are partly responsible as well. J. Robert Lilly, professor of sociology and criminology at Northern Kentucky U comes to mind. His work prompted French film writer Moreau to capitalize on his allegations and shoot "The Hidden Face of GIs", soldiers who allegedly raped thousands in Europe. Professor Robert Lilly was inspired to examine rape by GIs from stories by his father and uncle, both World War II veterans (reminiscent of Kerry's own allegations in Vietnam). In his book, he contends that GIs raped over 17,000 women; 1,040 in Germany, 3,620 in France, and 2,420 in England.Like many, I believe J. Robert Lilly's work is motivated not by the pursuit of truth and justice but rather by a personal contempt toward his own country and more particularly toward this segment of America that continues to hold to its traditional way of life and values. In his suicidal quest, the gravity of the charges is his primary weapon in his attempt to spread a negative perception of America around the world. The veracity of those allegations doesn't matter and it would even be preferable that those accusations remain unresolved. The objective being to implant in the world's psyche a disgusting and lingering possibility of GIs wrongdoing, an ethereal negative impression as convincing as truth itself.
Obviously history is being rewritten and truth becomes elusive as more than 1,000 World War II veterans die every day with it.
Diplomats' sporadic efforts of reconciliation between France and America won't make a dint against the more recent wave of anti-American propaganda routinely spewed on State-sponsored French TV. A recently aired French documentary viewed by 7 million raised the notion of "contradictory aspects" in their American Liberator (such as ethnic cleansing, lynching, bombings, etc.,(?)) without touching on the newly found freedom from the Nazis. This piece of disinformation and false association simply exposes the personal agenda of its producer, Patrick Rotman. He stated in an interview that hopefully his documentary would serve as a stepping stone in "our reflection on what is being done in Iraq".
We are definitely witnessing shifting alliances. On the one hand, the telling presence of Chancellor Shröder's at the D-Day ceremonies, and on the other, an obvious French departure from the once tutelary power of the United States. Today, 82% of French feel that Germany is France's strongest ally while only 55% feel that the US is a trustworthy ally.
I wish France and America would stay united. But their respective vision of the world has become irreconcilable on too many essential points; France has abandoned its fundamental principles. That's an unfortunate reality.
Ex-French Citizen, Proud and Unapologetic US Citizen By Choice and By Law