“The opinions expressed on the editorial page are those of the columnists and not necessarily those of The Herald Newspapers, the publishers, or our advertisers and sponsors.” – The Editors
Howard Leach, President Bush’s ambassador to France, says the friction between America and its erstwhile ally are “in the past and now part of history.”
When an ambassador is so out of synch with the people he’s supposed to represent, maybe it’s time for him to come home. Leach needs to familiarize himself with the depth and intensity of anti-French feeling in the United States.
The American people are not nearly as eager as their ambassador to make peace after the French seemed to value Saddam Hussein over their traditional ally (us). We are voting with our mouths and our feet against reconciliation with France.
According to Wine Spectator Magazine, sales of French wine in the United States fell by 26.2 percent between April 21 and May 18 of this year. The French global share of wine exports has fallen almost in half since Jan. 1.
And Americans are staying home, refusing to travel to France. The very depressed Leon Bertrand, the French tourism secretary, reported that American tourism to his nation has dropped by 20 percent – likely quite an understatement of the looming reality of a massive summer boycott.
A May Fox News/Opinion Dynamics survey indicates that half of Americans favor a boycott of French products. The ripples will soon be felt by the perfume, fashion, fabric and other industries on which France depends.
Why did France betray us?
Look at last year’s presidential elections: 18 percent backed either the Communist Party, the Trotskyite Socialist Workers Party, or the Communist-allied French Green Party; another 19 percent voted for Jean Marie LePen, the anti-Semite who said that the Holocaust was a “detail of history.” So, between the anti-Americanism of the left and the racism of the right, 40 percent of French voters are nuts.
It doesn’t take much to create a majority for total insanity. When Saddam Hussein promised the French two of his top undeveloped oil fields, but said they could have them only when the sanctions and embargo against him were lifted, commercialism joined with the left’s communism and the right’s anti-Semitism to give Saddam a mandate, French style.
Should the United States, or the American people, forgive and forget? Not on your life! Unless we show the French that we cannot be taken for granted or rebelled against in some adolescent acting out, we will have to put up with their ingratitude time and again.
Americans were uniquely threatened by 9/11 and the terror alerts that haunt us to this day. We seek the support of other countries not just as a diplomatic nicety, but because we need their help to repel the assault on us and our values. Those who help us, we should help. To those who freeze us out, we should return the favor in every way we can.