Posted on December 1, 2006


Sorry, France

We have no room to laugh


Daniel Clark


Dear France,

I'm writing this open letter of apology for all the years you've suffered as the butt of American jokes. In the interest of full disclosure, I probably laughed as hard as anybody when the Simpsons character Groundskeeper Willie called you "cheese-eating surrender monkeys." Since our recent elections, however, I've come to understand that Willie was wrong.

A pillar of strength?

Sure, you surrendered to the Nazis in just over a month, and then collaborated with them against your own allies. But the Germans would eventually surrender also, and become friendly with their conquerors, and we don't go around laughing at them for it. The point is that when you surrender, it's because you've been defeated on the battlefield. We've never once known you to beat the enemy to a quivering pulp, and then surrender, as we have just voted to do.

At least the Vichy government was unelected. Our legislative collaborators were voted into office, after months of promising to undermine our war effort by ending our surveillance of terrorist communications, cutting off funding to the military, and granting our foreign enemies access to our domestic criminal justice system.

Decades from now, millions of us Americans will claim not to have known what the Democrats' agenda was, but if we didn't, then it's only because we didn't want to know. Our enemies knew enough to hope for, and later celebrate, a Democrat victory, and their glee doesn't seem to have taken any of us over here by surprise.

The thought of letting our mortal enemies tell us who to vote for is so absurd, it sounds like a bad joke that we would tell each other about you Frenchmen. Yet we're the ones who have done it. Then again, the hypocrisy of this may not surprise you, given the fact that we're constantly blaming you for Jerry Lewis, who is an American, and achieved stardom in America long before you guys had even heard of him.

Perhaps you don't even understand the gravity of our post-election situation. That might be because you still associate our Democratic Party with FDR, who demanded nothing short of unconditional surrender -- from our enemies, that is. Well, today's Democrats would have called Roosevelt an arrogant, power-drunk cowboy. I can't explain to you exactly why they would have called him a cowboy. Most of us Yanks would love to be cowboys, but to the Democrats, it's an insult. But then so, probably, is "Yanks."

In early 2003, a year and a half after 9-11, Howard Dean said that Osama bin Laden deserved a presumption of innocence. The Democrats have since chosen him as their party chairman. This must sound strange to you, since French citizens are not even presumed innocent in your own courts, but in our system the defendant must be proven guilty beyond doubt, to the satisfaction of twelve people who probably believe in the Loch Ness Monster. Now, the Democrats want to extend this system's protections to our foreign enemies, and give them the same chance that O.J. Simpson got.

(If you don't know who O.J. is, he's kind of like Gerard Depardieu, except that he runs faster through airports, he's murdered a couple people, and he's a better actor. And if you don't know who Howard Dean is, he's kind of like one of those sanitarium inmates who walks around thinking he's Napoleon.)

From letters we've intercepted, we know that terrorist leaders are aware that they're losing in Iraq, but they believe they'll prevail after the American people lose their will and force an untimely withdrawal. If we'd reacted with a show of defiance, it might have broken them, but instead, we've done just what they've hoped for, by turning our Congress over to the party that has been demanding a "redeployment." Thankfully, we still have a president who won't let us quit the war, but we've made our enemies confident that if they can just survive until he leaves office in 2009, they'll have won.

If you're having trouble believing this, that's probably because throughout much of the world, the U.S. military is the face of our country, and our soldiers remain as brave, dedicated and resourceful as ever. Tragically, we on the homefront, who are wilting under a daily barrage of negativity from the news media, seem to be lacking in all of those qualities. While our soldiers are risking their lives every minute against snipers and roadside bombs, we're apparently willing to make any concession, if only the network news would agree to stop making us feel bad.

Some nerve we have poking fun at you Frenchies, for surrendering while staring down the turrets of a division of Panzers. We're in the process of surrendering to people who are armed with little more than cameras, microphones and printing presses. In other words, we have absolutely no business disparaging you as "surrender monkeys," until after we've untied the white flags from our own tails.

In the meantime, pass the cheese, s'il vous plait.

-- Daniel Clark is a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.



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