Wednesday, April 10, 2002

COLD WAR REDEUX --I MEAN REDUX: Charles Murtaugh --reacting to a bit of Glenn Reynolds reader mail-- is non-bullish on our relationship with Europe, and France in particular:

It may actually be that the first Cold War was the only thing holding back this second one, at least if it is true that the Gaullists are spearheading it. Even before September 11, Americans were routinely treated with especial contempt by the French, and it sounds as if it has only spread through the Continent since then. A friend of mine was stuck in Belgium in the days after the terrorist attacks, and he tells me it was all he could do to not resort to fisticuffs in response to the endemic anti-Americanism.

And to think I was watching the Marseilles scene in Casablanca a few days ago and thinking to myself, "How could anybody hate the French?" And I never really thought of Casablanca as a propaganda movie, though there is a lot of pro-France and anti-Germany in it --though what movie didn't at the time? This American French hate (and the French American hate) must be a more recent development, having its roots in I don't know what. French humiliation at loss of position in the world? That seems more likely; after the New Wave in movies, France hasn't had a lot of impact in anything cultural. And politically they're known for fighting losing battles in former colonies. So I'm guessing the France-America hate has its roots more there than here, since America was by-and-large an admirer of France since its inception --all that Lafayette and Statue Of Liberty stuff counted for something.

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