Proud (ex-)French Citizen ♠ Fier (ex-)Citoyen Français

15 years and 2 weeks ago

Proud (ex-)French Citizen ♠ Fier (ex-)Citoyen Français

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As a general rule, I don't post contributions from other people in the dacha. It's not just that I'm being a convinced individualist enjoying his private property, but also that the whole point of blogs is precisely to be such an easy and cheap way to publish content on the the wide web of the world that just about everybody, his dog and their sister (not in that particular order though) can now have a large exposure, and incidentally be a living and vibrant FYYSBY¹ to the leftist infected mainstream media. I therefore strongly encourage each of you to get a blog running, even if only to write everyday "FYYSBY at ABC", "FYYSBY at CNN", "FYYSBY at CBS" or "FYYSBY at the BBC".

Let's see how they will take a bit of their own medicine, now that those half-cocked rebels became the Establishment. Hah.

Having said that and unlike your local Socialists, I have no use for "general rules" that fail the test of reality, which is one of the reasons why I'd like to give you to read a post by... Okay, let's call him "A."

The other reason being that, to put it bluntly, A. is in some way the kind of man I hope to be one day. And once you'll read his very own tagline at the end of the post, you'll understand what I mean by that.

I left his text unedited and if I also considered to translate it to French at some point, I finally decided to abstain, considering that this US citizen is indeed addressing exclusively his fellow Americans.

One last thing: I'm sure A. will appreciate your comments after this post - and I hope he'll feel free to answer them - but in case you'd want to email him, please send your correspondance my way, and I'll forward it. He will then decide if he gets back to you directly or not.

Here you go. Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. A.

¹: "Fuck You, You Slimy Bastard You". What else were you expecting anyway?

" C'est le Débarquement! » (" It's the Landing ! »). Cries of joy, freedom is in the air. My dad, a native Parisian was eleven years old and right on Champs-Elysées Avenue to cheer on US soldiers. Like today in Iraq, American soldiers were synonymous to freedom, great big smiles, and free chewing gum. The latter remains vivid in my dad's memory, the sweet minty taste of American freedom along with this indescribable hope and joy in the heart.

Sixty years later, the French chose to distance themselves from their liberator, with some reluctance to fly the US flags over the Champs-Elysées. Arecent survey reveals that 50% of the French public feels that France has no moral debt to the United States.This opinion is shared by 63% of the newer generation (population 18 to 24), and by even 32% of those 65 and older. The study also found that 82% of the French felt that France was sufficiently grateful to the US and that as little as 3% admire the US.

The chief reason America came to liberate France was motivated by selfish economic and strategic interests. That is the thesis believed by at least 41% of the surveyed population (adopted by 63% of the younger generation). This thesis, advanced via a subtle unanswered set of questioning passed off as academic inquiry, was inserted into my malleable young mind in French government school (Lycée, classes de seconde et terminale).

Don't be deceived by our media or by John Kerry's interpretation of the French sentiment towards America. President Bush is not responsible for this French ungratefulness or for its mistrust of America.

(continued in next column)

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(continuing)
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.

A.
Ex-French Citizen, Proud and Unapologetic US Citizen By Choice and By Law

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Comments thread (24)

  • Comment author avatar
  • Beck

The other reason being that, to put it bluntly, A. is in some way the kind of man I hope to be one day.

Is this a veiled hint that you’d like to become a US citizen?

  • Comment author avatar
  • the dissident frogman France

Is this veiled?

Time to take sides

  • Comment author avatar
  • Fabien, le breton

Des chiffres, des chiffres et encores des chiffres.

  • Comment author avatar
  • Hank Scorpio

“Is this veiled?”

C’mon, isn’t there some Frogmanista out there who isn’t adverse to a marriage of convenience to get DF a green card?  Mark my words, if I hear about a Frenchman braving the Atlantic on a makeshift raft of innertubes to reach freedom it’ll be on your heads!

  • Comment author avatar
  • the dissident frogman France

Hank:

Bah, the whole misunderstanding comes from the fact that since the beginning people have been confusing “frogman” with “frog”.

And you know, these days with the Communists teaching them Red Bullshit in faculties and all that, it’s such a pain to find romantic maiden ready to transmute frogs into handsome (well, we’re just doing our best Miss) princes with a kiss. Next to impossible actually.

Tell you what, this whole world is going down the drain and I’m afraid we just forget how to swim.

Time to take sides

  • Comment author avatar
  • Nightfly

DF - of course I’ll take your word about things in France; some of your shining lights did just give first prize to Michael Moore’s latest fakeumentary.  We get just as much smoke blown in our faces here (but only figuratively - it’s illegal to smoke indoors in most places).  I think the difference here is that it’s also easier to get fresh air.  Enough of the old FYYSBY spirit remains, and it’s easier for it to find an outlet despite campus speech codes, school indoctrinaires, and professional busybodies and killjoys.  Make it over to Crappy New Jerseyâ„¢ and lunch is on me.

Mr. A - I still have two living relatives who served in the Armed Forces during the war.  I will pass on your regards and your thanks.

  • Comment author avatar
  • Maryse

Nightfly,
Please pass on my heartfelt thanks as well.
I was not born in 1944, butlike the DF, my parents taught me about the war and the liberation of France. I was only a child when my father explained me how Americans had come to our rescue, and how outrageous it was that the only “thank you” they got at that time was “US go home”. I grew up learning to love the country to which we owe so much. As an adult I got the opportunity to travel to the United States and even lived there for three years - the three happiest years in my life! Life called me back in France and I have felt homesick ever since I returned.
You are lucky; you can rightly be proud of your country, of its past and its present. It is a feeling I will never experience - well, maybe someday, if I manage to go back to the right side of the Atlantic…
Again thank you; words are not enough to express my gratitude and my admiration, we will always be in your debt and I really wish I could do something to repay only a little of it.

  • Comment author avatar
  • vindavent

Merci et salut à l’Amérique
En tant que citoyen d’un petit pays au centre de l’Europe (qui n’est pas membre de l’UE) je n’ai pas de raison particulière d’être dissident ou d’avoir honte de mon pays. D’autant plus que celui-ci a une constitution libérale depuis l’avant dernier siècle, garantissant pour de bon la liberté économique et personnelle de ses citoyens sans leur promettre, après leur avoir volé leurs emplois, une abondante manne de l’Etat (volée aux contribuables). Contrairement à son grand voisin à l’ouest, ce pays n’a de plus jamais jamais trahi son appartenance à l’Occident, malgré n’avoir jamais été un allié “officiel” de l’Amérique. Ce que je veux dire, c’est que (heureusement) le choix n’est pas forcément que un choix entre la France et l’Amérique, il y a quelques autres qui pourraient faire l’affaire, et qui peuvent même aligner quelques avantages de plus ;) . Concernant l’Allemagne de Schröder, GRACE A L’AMERIQUE, elle ne ressemble plus trop à celle des années 30, et je trouve normal que les allemands d’aujourd’hui puissent eux-aussi se réjouir du débarquement allié en 1944 (leur position est d’ailleurs de loin moins anti-américaine que la position française, et leur gouvernement socialiste est en pleine banqueroute).
Ceci dit, depuis que j’ai mis les pieds aux E.U. je ressens quand même une certaine attirance (plutôt irrésistible) d’y retourner, ne serait-ce que pour une vie ou deux…

  • Comment author avatar
  • the dissident frogman France

Vindavent:

Effectivement, ceux que je connais et qui sentent confusément qu’ils sont nés au Pays du Grand Sommeil (et parait-il de Droits de l’HommEu) uniquement par erreur ou par hasard - et qui envisagent donc de tracer la route - le coeur balance entre les USA et ce “petit pays au centre de l’Europe (qui n’est pas membre de l’UE)”, en raison des qualités que vous avez exposé.

Je réserve personnellement mon jugement, considérant que je ne l’ai pour l’instant qu’abordé par ce que je pense être le mauvais bout : le coeur noir et décati de l’ONU à Genève. Pas vraiment représentatif j’en ai peur.

Time to take sides

  • Comment author avatar
  • Chris Josephson

Dear A:
Always nice to have new citizens. Welcome! I honestly believe it’s the people, like yourself, who come here from other countries and become US Citizens that continues to make the US strong.
People who are born here take so much for granted. I find it’s the people who have come from other countries who make the most enthusiastic citizens. You help us to stay on course.
I have had the pleasure to know, and work with, many people who have come here that used to live under Communism. They have become citizens and their joy in living in the US is contagious. I have a renewed appreciation for the US because of them.
The US is not perfect, but we are unique in many ways. I never understood that until I saw my country through the eyes of people who had not grown up here.

  • Comment author avatar
  • Mitch

DF: I don’t know about the “marriage of convenience” idea, but I would consider adopting you as my son, if you like.  Or, if you would prefer to take your chances, try http://www.agreaterdate.com/Categories/Republican.htm.  But are you going to leave poor Sabine Herold all alone?

vindavent: I salute you and your remarkable country.  It was one of our great models.  Maintaining your peace, liberty, and independence in such a neighborhood is no small accomplishment.  Perhaps you can help us teach the Iraqis to get along despite different languages and religions.  We would be willing to double whatever the Pope pays, if your fellows still have that job.

  • Comment author avatar
  • Maryse

However appealing the “marriage of convenience” idea may seem, I for myself would not consider it for two reasons:
- you don’t cheat on people you love - and I do love the United States
- being an American is not about cheating
But believe me, the day I can get a green card honestly, I will not hesitate for a second. If that day doesn’t come, i will just have to bear my cross, stay in France and defend American ideals as best I can!

  • Comment author avatar
  • the dissident frogman France

Maryse:
My thoughts exactly.

One option is to follow the Mayflower’s route though: if you recall, she shipped a boatload of wine from France to… Britain, before she took her most famous road to the new world.

Reaching the Anglosphere could be a significant first step.

Time to take sides

  • Comment author avatar
  • Maryse

DF,
You are right, of course, and whether I cross the Atlantic or just the English Channel (my second choice), I do not intend to finish my days in France. but for the time being I am stuck here.
By the way, thank you for making me feel less isolated. Before my life was paced only by not frequent enough trips to the US, and visits from American colleagues and friends. Now I also have your blog to keep me going in between.

  • Comment author avatar
  • Mitch

I wish the US would adopt a more rational immigration policy.  After all, if people want to come here, it must be worth something.  Why not give first preference (after humanitarian imperatives) to the talented, educated, and ambitious?  That would benefit those already here as well as the newcomers.

I’ve worked with software professionals from India and Russia, and they are superb.  One friend of mine from India finally converted from a temporary work visa (H1-B) to permanent residence (“green card”), married, and is settling here.  Besides being a genius at anything to do with computers, he became an avid snowboarder.  It would have been cruel to send him back where there was no snow!

  • Comment author avatar
  • Papertiger

At Enough!  Valerie recently posted a story about a French televison program…
http://www.e-nough.hmdnsgroup.com/archives/000216.html

...which features an ex-pat Frenchman living in New York who hosts a Frenchman from Paris( or Lyon ). The object , to convince him that America is a nice place to live.

Valerie says it gets 43% ratings in it’s time slot.
So I am thinking that , DF and Maryse, you are not as alone as you would imagine by looking at the headlines in Le Monde. In fact Valerie and Carine are good company in the heart of France.  Give them a visit at http://www.e-nough.hmdnsgroup.com/

On the other hand,  wouldn’t it be a hoot if you went on the show?

  • Comment author avatar
  • Nathan

I have been a reader of the DF for a while and really enjoyed this article.  None of it really surpised me though.  I remember the quote of Mitterand’s that Porphyrogenitus had up last year about France not knowing that it was at war with the US.  Times change and alliances do change.  That is just one of the facts of life.  I have read some who believe that Franco-American relations began to sour after WW1.  Being that so much has been said in the past few weeks regarding D-Day and the like, we must remember that all those soldiers died so the French could say and think what they wish.  I do not like what they say and think, I do not agree with any of it, but if we tell them that because people died pushing Nazis out they have no right to hate America, then all those people died for nothing. I have a letter my grandfather sent my grandmother containing a line about “knocking the soup out of German supermen.”  The same as the Nazis had to be shown they were not superior, because we are Americans or are believers in democracy and capitalism, we are not so superior that our opponents do not have a right to say whatever they please. As for a debt for WW2, I will say that for all that they have to go through holding pro-American ideals in a severely anti-American environment, “A’, the Dissident Frogman, and Maryse have no debt.  In the way they best can, they continue the work of men like my grandfather and his brothers.  No, blogging and speaking one’s mind is not like combat, but it is SOMETHING and their work is in a manner done to defend us. I am proud to have “A” as a citizen of this country.  He has more of an American mindset than most Americans. Should the Frogman and Maryse ever make it over, I will be equally proud to have them here.  It is an old saying that immigrants make better Americans than Americans do.  In spite of all the hatred that France bears towards my country and myself, I respect them.  If we love the memory of Lafayette who gave so much for us and who loved France, then we must end our relations with France without too many more hard words and without much more malice regardless of what the French public says or believes. “A”, the Frogman, and Maryse carry with them the best that France has to offer, not because their beliefs and opinions praise the United States and agree with my own beliefs, but because they speak their mind without regard for what others will think.  That is freedom.  That is individuality.  That is a glorious thing.  And if you ever do end up in the US, do not change.  It is not desirable to wave a flag and say everything is perfect.  Find the flaws here the same as you have in France and do not restrain your criticisms.  Only in that way can we improve.

  • Comment author avatar
  • Maryse

Natan,
There is some truth is what you say. But I think one of the things that irritate me most here is that arrogance of people who think they know everything about everybody and believe they are so superior.
Quite often, when I try to talk with people who criticize the USA, and explain my point of view - based on experience - I am interrupted because they just don’t want to listen. Their only answer will be: “Everybody knows…”. So generally I wil ask them “OK, you seem to know very well what you’re talking about - tell me, you must have spent a really long time in the United States to have such an extensive knowledge?” Eveytime of course the answer is “No, I have never set foot there but everybody knows…” And my final remark is “Of course; you are so much more qualified than I am; you have never been in the US and I only spent three years there: it is obvious that you should know so much more about that country than I do. Who am I to discuss it with you?”
I can understand the attitude of people who only get the information you find in the French media. What I cannot tolerate is
- the lack of true information available in the country (did you know that President Busch’s speech on June 6 at the American cemetary was censored by the French TV?)
- and the fact that, when given an oportunity to know the facts, most people prefer to ignore them.
I agree that everybody is entitled to his(her) own opinion, but nobody should be allowed to distort the facts on which that opinion is based.

  • Comment author avatar
  • Maryse

And by the way; if I do end up in the United States I will never allow myself to criticize my adopted country. After all, should I not like it over there, I’d have a very easy option: come back here… At this time I have no choice: France and I are stuck together, for better or for worse (for worse right now!) I am unhappy with France, but I cannot stand foreign people who choose to live here and then criticize the country. After all, we can assume that, imperfect as it is, it gives them a better life than their own country; if not, why stay?

  • Comment author avatar
  • the dissident frogman France

Maryse:

”- and the fact that, when given an oportunity to know the facts, most people prefer to ignore them.

That’s because they engage in group thinking rather than relying on their personal intellectual curiosity. Granted, sometimes they don’t have any - which is why group thinking is so appealing to them: one only has to stick to allegedly “well known truths” (Bush is stupid, the US went to Iraq for oil, etc.) even though the facts are in complete contradiction, and keep repeating them ad nauseam, as a very comforting therapy to their lack of culture and reasoning.

That’s how you get 80% of our “fellow” citizens gently bleating on the same tone as their Great Leader Joke Cheerook, no matter their initial political positions.

Maryse, may I suggest an excellent book from one of the last worthy French thinker Jean-François Revel? If you haven’t already, please do yourself a favor and read La Connaissance Inutile (for our English reading friends: The Useless Knowledge). That book is more than 10 years old, but its theses are still incredibly valid - It will cast some interesting light on the stupid behavior you can’t tolerate anymore, just as I do.

“I cannot stand foreign people who choose to live here and then criticize the country. After all, we can assume that, imperfect as it is, it gives them a better life than their own country; if not, why stay?”

Simply put because the system encourages them to stay, collect the benefits and bitch:
“it’s not enough, what about my (housing, caring, working… no, wait, not working) rights?”
Since the system will of course answer their demand (let’s not forget that in France, the one who bellows the most - usually in the street, if possible by blackmailing the other - is the one who is right), then they have indeed all sorts of good reasons to stay, and keep bitching.

I’m all for immigration. I mean totally for it. I’m all for the free movement of people and goods.

Granted of course, that the system is not designed in such a way that it despoils Pierre to give to Ivan, Ahmed or Consuela, who came to live near Pierre not because they knew they would have the same opportunities (i.e. egality) but because they know they will be given more or less the same advantages and achieve the same position without actually working for it (i.e. egalitarianism) and incidentally at Pierre’s expense and without leaving him the choice to give them or not.

Because that’s when people such as Le Pen suddenly get Pierre’s attention.

Other wrote it before me: the effects of the French system of social benefits (and “free” healthcare, almost “free” housing, etc.) is actually one of the root causes of racism in this country.

Time to take sides

  • Comment author avatar
  • Maryse

DF,
Thank you for the suggestion and the link; I immediately ordered the book and cannot wait to get it. Jean-François Revel is one of my favorite authors - along with Guy Millière - and I recently read another of his books that I am sure you know: “L’obsession anti-américaine” (translated into English: “Anti-Americanism”) and I loved it.

  • Comment author avatar
  • Eolas

Dear A.,
Although I quite understand your post (and congratulate you for being a brand new US citizen, best of luck !), there still must be resistance here (in France). There are so much false things propagated about United States that fighting them is a duty, not only toward United States (Whom I believe we are in debt with), but toward the truth, as simple as it is.

I know that attacking the leftist US basher will be useless. But the peopole who are listenning to them and believe them are open to counter-demonstration. As Revel says in his -excellent- AntiAmericanism (L’obssession anti américaine), the facts are here, and they are easilly accessible, even more today.

A lot of honest French of good will are resisting here. Please pass on the news there.

Hope is never to be lost.

Eolas

  • Comment author avatar
  • B.

I really liked this entry, however I do not share A.‘s biased, myopic, and possibly uninformed perspective of Professor Robert Lilly’s work.  In a world with crap getting thrown out there as legitimate academic work that is both partisan and useless, I feel that this analysis fails to understand the value of Lilly’s research on the crimes of U.S. servicemen during WWII.

Studying problems and breakdowns of military discipline, crime, and occupation can only help our militaries develop improved methods for carrying out occupations where we can minimize blackmarketeering, rape, brutality, etc.  A modern, democratic, humanitarian armed forces needs to know what it needs to do to reform itself; I found Professor Lilly’s work a step forward in this regard.  I encourage everyone who feels that American power should be a force for good in the world, and support its use in liberation, to read this book and start seriously thinking about the seedy underbelly of occupation, even the most noble occupations, so that we can mitigate or eliminate such aspects in the future.

The truely great American value is continual self improvement.  As horrors like Abu Ghraib demonstrate we can continue to improve.  We are the ‘can do’ people.  We can do better, and we must.

Peace in the East, and may American power be an every brighter tool for good in the world.

B.

  • Comment author avatar
  • Maryse

“there still must be resistance here (in France)... Hope is never to be lost”
I would like to believe it. Have you read “Un goût de cendres… France fin de parcours ?” from Guy Millière? Some find it too pessimistic but I share his views. Short of a miracle, there is no hope for this country… and miracles tend to be sparse these days!