March 14, 2003

FRENCH MEMBER of parliament Olivier

FRENCH MEMBER of parliament Olivier Dassault asserts his nation's superiority:

One of our great "weaknesses" is that we do not, alas, have the kind of gutter mentality, rubbish-bin culture, which could enable us to reply in kind to the amiabilities which the Anglo-Saxon press pours on us at the slightest sign of a divergence of interests.

We cannot create a gutter press, Anglo-Saxon style. French people are (still) too well educated for there to be any readership for such a publication.

Yet a bucket of lies claiming that September 11 was engineered by the US government somehow became a best-seller. Tony Blair has had enough of all this French bullshit:

British prime minister Tony Blair has declared diplomatic war on France, accusing President Jacques Chirac of trying to destroy his efforts to win majority support in the United Nations for war on Iraq.

In an extraordinary move that risks inflicting long-term damage on Anglo-French relations, Downing Street accused the French of "poisoning'' the entire diplomatic process with its pledge to veto a second UN resolution.

Some risk. John Howard shares Blair's wrath:

Prime Minister John Howard today launched a blistering attack on France ... He said France has always regretted the rise of the United States as the pre-eminent world power and the fact that Europe was no longer as powerful in relation to the United States as it used to be.

Mr Howard said Australia had solid evidence of links between Iraq and the al-Qaeda terrorist network, blamed for the September 11 attacks.

But if Australia had to wait for criminal jury proof, it could result in another Pearl Harbour style attack, he said.

This mention of Pearl Harbour prompted Simon Crean to say something unusually imbecilic:

Opposition Leader Simon Crean said Mr Howard's evocation of Pearl Harbour suggested Australia was an outpost of the United States.

"Goodness gracious, what have we become? The 51st state of the United States?" he said on ABC radio in Melbourne today.

Impressed, ABC radio has been running this quote on every news broadcast since.

UPDATE. Steven Den Beste writes regarding Olivier Dassault's claim that "without France's intervention in 1776, the US would only be a New England, a sort of Australia (politically) and New Zealand (economically)." Says SDB:

Which France? It was imperial France which intervened in the American Revolution. And it didn't do it in 1776; it intervened in the Battle of Yorktown, in 1781. I'm not aware of anything the French did as early as 1776.

Posted by Tim Blair at March 14, 2003 11:47 AM