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El Nastio
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#1 Posted on 4.2.03 2005.23
Reposted on: 4.2.10 2016.27


I'm Canadian. I'm French. I'm Irish. In one we have dependency on other countries and horrid leadship, in the other we have a history of running off in fights, and the last we have the inability to settle conflicts peacefully.

In the middle case, I wonder. I see no posts on this board about how Germans are all "mass murdering genociding lunes". But the French, who backed down and retreated from Hitler (I'll say that again, Hitler), have not been able to live that down since. I fail to see why the actions of one country can be ignored, if not forgotten, while another country can not escape a reputation based on something in the same timeframe.

America, in two world wars, had to be delibratly attacked to toss their hats in the fray, and by that I mean declaring an offical state of war. And one of the only reasons the USA is not looked down on for that is because they played such a huge role in both wars after they joined. Meanwhile, France surrendered to Hitler (who had a very good track record at that time when it came to taking over countries), and now for the last 50 years plus have not been able to shake a rep.

The Germans have. The Japanesse have. France, a traditional ally, hasn't. How much longer will it take? And what can we do? Can an Americian on this board please answer that for me? How much longer will it take? And what can we do?
Promote this thread!
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#2 Posted on 4.2.03 2219.56
Reposted on: 4.2.10 2227.02
Let me give it a shot.

It's ok to hold the French accountable for their lily-livered cowardice (I jest) for a couple reasons.

1.) Americans had to die to cover for France's horrible blundering.

2.) It's relatively harmless. Calling the French cowards has the air of a joke. We joke about it on this board all the time. Hell, it brings people on both sides of the aisle together. However, it's not at all funny to joke about the Third Reich, and is something most people probably want to put in the past.

3.) Germany was horribly evil, but they were, for a time, a fierce enemy. One can respect an enemy to some degree, no matter how evil. the Civil War, for example. No one likes slavery, but lots of people romanticize Robert E. Lee, et. al.
messenoir
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#3 Posted on 4.2.03 2335.51
Reposted on: 4.2.10 2341.39
I would just like to say both my French grandparents were part of a widespread, organized resistance against the Nazis in France, during which they were both captured and put in work camps. Many other French CITIZENS were too, in a country which was essentially the front line.

So I'm sorry, but the government being crap should never be representative of the people themselves. Without that resistance, victory very well might not have been possible. Are there problems in France? Many, same as any other country. Are the French a bunch of pussies with stinky armpits? Not a chance.
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#4 Posted on 5.2.03 0130.01
Reposted on: 5.2.10 0130.40
The French Underground saved my grandfather after his Lancaster was shot down over Nazi occupied France.

You'll never hear me say an ill word about them.

Quebecois, on the other hand.....
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#5 Posted on 5.2.03 0245.14
Reposted on: 5.2.10 0248.32
OK - here is my take on this.
France, as a nation, gets no respect from the United States because it, as a national policy, is ungrateful. There is a lot to this.
I have no doubt that the French in the resistance were very brave and did a lot of good in the effort to liberate their country. This really cannot be denied. But the arrogance in relation to the US that France displays is incredible. More on this later
The reason France has a "rep" for being "surrender Monkeys" is the fact that as a nation, they have had no coherantly sound military strategy and planning since NAPOLEON. They were trounced in WWI by Germany. The Maginot Line, perhaps one of the greatest and potentially most effective defenses against German agression was rendered completely USELESS by bungled military planning that ASSUMED that there was no way that Germany would go through Luxembourgh. For two straight world wars, France was essentially "carried" by the Allied Powers. While they were the first major target of German aggression, and bore the brunt of it, the IMAGE that they were the victims "rescued" by the US and UK is hard to shake. More recent events like confrontations with GREENPEACE of all groups where they were rendered useless by an "eco-terrorist" organization raises the French military reputation to laughable status. Granted, these seem to be exaggerated accountings, but they are the easiest and most available means of targeting the French.
The French "rudeness towards Americans" is renoun. The most common line a French Character actor can utter is "Stupide Americanes!" The French have a reputation for considering themselves above everyone else, which leads to resentment.
Tales that French schools teach students that "France defeated Germany in WWII, with a little help from America and Englad" adds to the image of arrogance.
Considering all of these factors, France has a track record of being very stubborn about working with any other nation. Recall their flaunting of the Nuclear test ban. France basically stuck its nose up at the rest of the world and resumed testing nuclear weapons. France regurally opposes the rest of NATA, for no apparant reason, and this gives the rest of the world the impression that France is just OPPOSING these issues to maintain a sense of self importance.
If France does not lead the way, then France is not participating.
Take the current Iraq situation. France is DOCUMENTED as a supplier of a large quantity of weapons-grade uranium to Iraq. However, France is completely unwilling to accept the notion that Iraq still possesses that material, for some unknown reason. France, of all nations, should have a good idea of Iraq's potential capability, but it does not take the notion that Iraq could potentially still possess it at all seriously. And no one understands why.
Germany, on the other hand, since re-unification and until recently, has acted in nothing but a supporting manner towards NATO and the United States. This is really the first time they have actively opposed us on any issue (minor disagreements, yes, but flat out opposition, never). A Nazi regime no longer exists there- they are a fellow Democracy, so there is no contemporary reason to bash them for that, where as France has PROVIDED countless reasons continuously over the last 50 some odd years.
Personally, I don't cling to the whole "We saved their ass, so they owe us" mentality. I have had a great interest and respect for French history and culture for a long time (hell, I took the language for SEVEN YEARS). But France as a nation displays an ego that the United States only DREAMS of attaining. And that ego is the reason for the resentment. And since they do not have the ability to back their ego up (refer to military blunders), it is impossible to take them seriously.
That is my take, anyway...
CRZ
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#6 Posted on 5.2.03 0255.33
Reposted on: 5.2.10 0255.35

    Originally posted by Pool-Boy
    OK - here is my take on this.
What exactly IS your aversion to paragraph breaks, anyway?
Grimis
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#7 Posted on 5.2.03 0605.28
Reposted on: 5.2.10 0607.07
The "We are French and our shit don't stink" attitude has a lot to do with it. And it's not just the fact that the US liberated France twice. It's not the fact that the French got us involved in Vietnam. It's all of it. Hell, the French seem to think that they are particularly sophisticated when there is still quite a level of anti-semitism throughout France. It was jsut hte late 1890's when Alfred Dreyfsu was being tried in a star chamber hearing?

Want another reason to hate France? They are in the process of violating around 220 years of seperation of church and state by using government tax revenues to build....Mosques.
dMp
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#8 Posted on 5.2.03 0615.36
Reposted on: 5.2.10 0616.13
Funny thing is, you talk about reputation? Let's talk about Holland and Germany..

According to Dutch lore we all are still waiting for the Germans to return our bikes (not to mention our church bells) that they took during WW2, we are still waiting for the day they do not come every year to once again race to the beach and occupy it (during hollidays many Germans visit the Dutch coastline).

More serious, in general the Dutch still think that Germany misbehaves, playing big shot in Europe (their new way of conquering the place is via the E.C.)and looking down upon smaller nations like ours.

We still look for revenge (especially during soccer contests) for the 5 years of occupation, though over the years the loss to Germany in the 1974 soccer finals has been added. (Seriously, when a soccer match takes place the only numbers you hear are 40-45 and 1974)

Is this image justified? Hell no..just like the French image in the USA is mostly bullshit. It's something to make fun with just like many Europeans believes Americans are gun wielding maniacs with no knowledge of culture or history, Japanese are tiny little men with big teeth who do nothing but work work work while their wife walks around as a geisha.





redsoxnation
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#9 Posted on 5.2.03 0920.28
Reposted on: 5.2.10 0925.11
Considering pre-burn out my dissertation was going to involve French Political History, I'll list a few reasons why France is held in low regard (some have already been mentioned).

Since Louis XIV (died 1714), France has had a horrid; and I mean horrid record in wars led by Frenchmen (Napoleon was a Corsican, as was Napoleon III, thus not really Frenchmen).
The lights out victory by Prussia in the Franco-Prussian War established the reputation that the French can't take a punch. Quick submission by the French, and the German Empire is formed with a crowning at Versailles. The only fighting spirit shown by the French is within the Paris Commune, where they kill each other for a few months and eat the zoo.
Now, as what happened in Germany between WWI and WWII, when a country suffers military humilation, a scapegoat is necessary. And, as was generally the case, Jews were the scapegoat, with the Dreyfus Affair that was demonstrated within turn of the century France. Anti-semitism was much larger in France than in Germany prior to the 1920's. And it remained through WWII within France.
I won't kill the French on WWI. They fought a stalemate for most of the four years with the Germans.
The Third Republic was a joke. By the last few years, the government was changing every few months.
Unlike the Soviets, who took a beating and kept fighting, the French quit against the Germans. Arguably, the Vichy Government was the most sympathetic government towards the Nazi's. Was there a resistance in France? Yes. But it wasn't nearly as large as the French claim.
Sadly, most of this could have been avoided by the French, if they had just let the Comte de Chambord ascend to the throne in 1873, however the French forcing him to accept the tri-color flag instead of the Bourbon flag in order to take his rightful throne prevented that, causing the Third Republic, which was the root cause for the submission of 1940.
MoeGates
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#10 Posted on 5.2.03 0949.41
Reposted on: 5.2.10 0951.49
It should be pointed out that the Franco-American alliance is the longest running military alliance in the history of the world (now, granted that officially the DeGaulle govt. in exile is counted as the "French Govt." during the VIchy years). It's a little like brothers fighting. They'll say some pretty mean shit, but nobody's going to get violent about it (especially not the French...Hah!). But I'll try to explain some reasons for the shit-talking. I'll try to distinguish "French" from "European." A lot of times when we talk shit about "the French" we actually mean "Europeans that don't speak English and didn't used to be commies."

Anyway, It's not the surrendering thing, or the inability to sustain a government thing. If it was, Italy would definitely be the subject of our derision. It's the inability to admit their past.

All us Americans want is a "Thank You." The thing that irks us about the whole WWII thing is the inability of the French to just admit they screwed up, apologize, and move on. This is difference between the situation of France, and the situation of Japan or Germany.

Now, I'll be fair and say that we aren't so good at this ourselves. We cling to our national myth of the Minutemen kicking out the Brits, and give a couple of lines at the end to how the Froggies sent some ships or something. Now, of course, in reality we'd be singing "God Save The Queen" if it wasn't for the French, and the American Revolution was really nothing more than an extension of the Anglo-Franco war that had been going on for a while. And in terms of "who defeated Hitler" the credit goes something like 50% Russia, 40% England, 10% U.S. Sure, the U.S. tipped the balance in favor of the good guys, but come on, Wall Street bankers didn't go to work everyday knowing Messerschmidts could reduce their office building to rubble, and the population of Boston didn't beat back a crippling seige with nothing but old hunting rifles and vodka.

2 other things:

1) The French refuse to accept their place in the World right now. See England for an example of a country that has "aged gracefully."

2) This is the big one - the French have no sense of humor about themsleves. Anyone with no sense of humor about themselves deserves all the shit talked about them until they can laugh at it.

Now, as of late, we've been losing our sense of humor about ourselves also, which worries me.
CRZ
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#11 Posted on 5.2.03 1000.57
Reposted on: 5.2.10 1002.26

    Originally posted by MoeGates
    Franco-American
Uh oh, Spaghetti O's!

(You were saying about losing our sense of humour....?)
redsoxnation
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#12 Posted on 5.2.03 1019.48
Reposted on: 5.2.10 1029.03
I have to disagree with Moe on the 50-40-10 percentages. First, the Soviet Figure should be closer to 55-60 percent. As for the other 40-45 percent, it should probably be an even split. True, the US didn't get bombed by Hitler in '40 like the British. Conversely, the US didn't lose most of its equipment at Dunkirk in '40 like the British. Without the US military supplies, there is no way the British can attempt a continental attack on Hitler (also, the supplies did help the Soviets as well). If the US doesn't get involved in Europe, in all likelihood Hitler is defeated in about '48-'49, and the entire European continent would have been under the hammer and sickle.
Now, for the Pacific portion of the war, the percent would probably be 74-25-1 U.S./U.K (counting the Australians in the UK contigent)/Soviet.
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#13 Posted on 5.2.03 1102.34
Reposted on: 5.2.10 1112.34

    Originally posted by CRZ

      Originally posted by Pool-Boy
      OK - here is my take on this.
    What exactly IS your aversion to paragraph breaks, anyway?

Ah, Zed, I was wondering why you were not giving me any love anymore. I missed it!
Paragraph breaks are "inefficient."
vsp
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#14 Posted on 5.2.03 1123.01
Reposted on: 5.2.10 1124.26

    Originally posted by Pool-Boy
    Paragraph breaks are "inefficient."


One vote here for "legibility" over "efficiency."
Scott Summets
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#15 Posted on 5.2.03 1149.47
Reposted on: 5.2.10 1150.19

    Originally posted by MoeGates
    It should be pointed out that the Franco-American alliance is the longest running military alliance in the history of the world (now, granted that officially the DeGaulle govt. in exile is counted as the "French Govt." during the VIchy years). It's a little like brothers fighting. They'll say some pretty mean shit, but nobody's going to get violent about it (especially not the French...Hah!). But I'll try to explain some reasons for the shit-talking. I'll try to distinguish "French" from "European." A lot of times when we talk shit about "the French" we actually mean "Europeans that don't speak English and didn't used to be commies."

    Anyway, It's not the surrendering thing, or the inability to sustain a government thing. If it was, Italy would definitely be the subject of our derision. It's the inability to admit their past.

    All us Americans want is a "Thank You." The thing that irks us about the whole WWII thing is the inability of the French to just admit they screwed up, apologize, and move on. This is difference between the situation of France, and the situation of Japan or Germany.

    Now, I'll be fair and say that we aren't so good at this ourselves. We cling to our national myth of the Minutemen kicking out the Brits, and give a couple of lines at the end to how the Froggies sent some ships or something. Now, of course, in reality we'd be singing "God Save The Queen" if it wasn't for the French, and the American Revolution was really nothing more than an extension of the Anglo-Franco war that had been going on for a while. And in terms of "who defeated Hitler" the credit goes something like 50% Russia, 40% England, 10% U.S. Sure, the U.S. tipped the balance in favor of the good guys, but come on, Wall Street bankers didn't go to work everyday knowing Messerschmidts could reduce their office building to rubble, and the population of Boston didn't beat back a crippling seige with nothing but old hunting rifles and vodka.

    2 other things:

    1) The French refuse to accept their place in the World right now. See England for an example of a country that has "aged gracefully."

    2) This is the big one - the French have no sense of humor about themsleves. Anyone with no sense of humor about themselves deserves all the shit talked about them until they can laugh at it.

    Now, as of late, we've been losing our sense of humor about ourselves also, which worries me.



I would disagree about the fear of the average American in New York not fearing anything. My grandfather was a chief engineer who worked on the warships near Boston, and every day him and his entire team had to pray U-Boats didn't find their secret location and kill them all.
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#16 Posted on 5.2.03 1201.14
Reposted on: 5.2.10 1204.20

    Originally posted by redsoxnation
    Now, for the Pacific portion of the war, the percent would probably be 74-25-1 U.S./U.K (counting the Australians in the UK contigent)/Soviet.


You can forget the Russians in regard to the Pacific theater. They were too concerned with the Germans(and rightly so). They didn't actually get around to invading Manchuria and declaring war on Japan until August 8, 1945(two days AFTER Hiroshima!) in an attempt to claim some of the fabulous prizes of victory.
redsoxnation
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#17 Posted on 5.2.03 1222.52
Reposted on: 5.2.10 1229.02

    Originally posted by Grimis

      Originally posted by redsoxnation
      Now, for the Pacific portion of the war, the percent would probably be 74-25-1 U.S./U.K (counting the Australians in the UK contigent)/Soviet.


    You can forget the Russians in regard to the Pacific theater. They were too concerned with the Germans(and rightly so). They didn't actually get around to invading Manchuria and declaring war on Japan until August 8, 1945(two days AFTER Hiroshima!) in an attempt to claim some of the fabulous prizes of victory.






I know. Originally I had it at 75-25, but I thought I'd be nice and throw the Russians one percent because their tying up the Germans allowed the US and UK (counting Australia) to use resources in the Pacific Theatre.
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#18 Posted on 5.2.03 1238.19
Reposted on: 5.2.10 1241.26

    Originally posted by PalpatineW
    Let me give it a shot.

    It's ok to hold the French accountable for their lily-livered cowardice (I jest) for a couple reasons.

    1.) Americans had to die to cover for France's horrible blundering.

    2.) It's relatively harmless. Calling the French cowards has the air of a joke. We joke about it on this board all the time. Hell, it brings people on both sides of the aisle together. However, it's not at all funny to joke about the Third Reich, and is something most people probably want to put in the past.

    3.) Germany was horribly evil, but they were, for a time, a fierce enemy. One can respect an enemy to some degree, no matter how evil. the Civil War, for example. No one likes slavery, but lots of people romanticize Robert E. Lee, et. al.



Ummm...excuse me? Not only did Americans die, but most of them happen to be Canadian. Canadians were the first ones to set foot in France, and the last to leave. Before you toot your countries horn, do some research and get the facts straight.

Darryl.
dMr
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#19 Posted on 5.2.03 1249.19
Reposted on: 5.2.10 1259.03

    Originally posted by PalpatineW
    Let me give it a shot.

    It's ok to hold the French accountable for their lily-livered cowardice (I jest) for a couple reasons.

    1.) Americans had to die to cover for France's horrible blundering.



Eh, i think the original point was that americans continue to take the piss/resent/hate (delete as applicable) the French while they have no grudge against the Germans. I dont think I'm being to harsh on Germany when I suggest that they were perhaps more responsible for the deaths of americans than france in WWII.

On a more general note i've got no problem with people taking the mickey out of another country/race/sex as long as its done in a light hearted manner and all parties involved know its a joke. If somebody wants to imply that I'm a tight arsed, mutton molesting scottish bastard then thats fine as long as they're good enought to put some thought into the delivery and i know that deep down they're only playing.

Incidentally, in Britain we always thought the italians were the only army that returned home from wars with suntanned armpits. *ducks*
MoeGates
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#20 Posted on 5.2.03 1305.25
Reposted on: 5.2.10 1307.38
Don't they also teach you that you guys "won" the war of 1812 despite not being a country yet? I nearly busted a gut the first time I heard that one.

Anyway, kidding aside, in terms of "first to set foot in France" I'm guessing you're referring to the raid on Dieppe, where you guys did take quite a hit for the team (depite it being an utter failure), but it's not like you were the elite forces opening up Normandy for the rest of us. And I have no idea why "last to leave" France demonstrates anything other than incredibly poor taste.

"Not only did Americans die, but most of them happen to be Canadian?" Come on, "most?"

http://web.jjay.cuny.edu/~jobrien/reference/ob62.html

That's the WWII casualties by country. This shows two things:

1) Even if you allow that 85% of the U.S. deaths occured in the Pacific (and none of the Canadians), there were still more American dead in Europe than Canadians. I will point out though, that a higher % of your troops were killed in combat.

2) I really lowballed the 50% figure for the Russians. Not only did they provide more troops than the rest of the allies COMBINED, they also had more people killed or missing than everyone other country in the entire war...COMBINED. Diz-zamn.


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