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imperialism & war

Andy Rooney and the French

If you missed Andy Rooney on Sunday night, read on. Most that heard him
couldn't believe their ears. They kept expecting CBS to cut him off. (CBS) A
weekly commentary by CBS News correspondent Andy Rooney.
You can't beat the French when it comes to food, fashion, wine or perfume,
but they lost their license to have an opinion on world affairs years ago.
They may even be selling stuff to Iraq and don't want to hurt business.

The French are simply not reliable partners in a world where the good people
in it ought to be working together. Americans may come off as international
jerks sometimes but we're usually trying to do the right thing.

The French lost WW II to the Germans in about 20 minutes. Along with the
British, we got into the war and had about 150,000 guys killed getting their
country back for them. We fought all across France, and the Germans finally
surrendered in a French schoolhouse. You'd think that school building in
Reims would be a great tourist attraction but it isn't. The French seem
embarrassed by it. They don't want to call attention to the fact that we
freed them from German occupation.

I heard Steven Spielberg say the French wouldn't even let him film the D-Day
scenes in "Saving Private Ryan" on the Normandy beaches. They want people to
forget the price we paid getting their country back for them.

Americans have a right to protest going to war with Iraq. The French do not.
They owe us the independence they flaunt in our face at the U.N.

I went into Paris with American troops the day we liberated it, Aug. 25,
1944. It was one of the great days in the history of the world. French women
showered American soldiers with kisses, at the very least. The next day, the
pompous Charles de Gaulle marched down the mile long Champs Elysee to the
Place de la Concorde as if he had liberated France himself. I was there,
squeezed in among a hundred tanks we'd given the Free French Army that we
brought in with us. Suddenly there were sniper shots from the top of a
building. Thousands of Frenchmen who had come to see de Gaulle scrambled to
get under something. I got under an Army truck myself. The tank gunners
opened fire on the building where the shots had come from, firing mindlessly
at nothing. It was a wild scene that lasted, maybe, 10 minutes.

When we go to Paris every couple of years now, I rent a car. I drive around
the Place de la Concorde and when some French driver blows his horn for me
to get out of his way, I just smile and say to myself, "Go ahead, Pierre. Be
my guest. I know something about this very place you'll never know."

The French have not earned their right to have an opinion about President
Bush's plans to attack Iraq.

On the other hand, I have.

(c) MMIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.
huh 31.Mar.2003 11:47

mike

wait a minute, didn't the French get wiped out by the Germans for several years before the US even got over there? Didn't they have an underground to help people escape? Cheese and rice. The French didn't earn the right?What an a-hole.

mmm-hmmm . . . 31.Mar.2003 11:53

??

and what about the Germans?

Fuck Off Idiot Cop 31.Mar.2003 12:03

DM

Why don't you go pepper-spray some babies. I hear that's called "liberating" now.

germans? not the point. 31.Mar.2003 12:17

uu

The US didn't save the Germans to have an opinion. I think that was his point.

We saved the French and lost over 150K americans in the process.

they don't have to agree with us, but we also don't have to pay any attention to them either.

Andy Rooney Sunday march 30 31.Mar.2003 12:52

clean-cut kid

(CBS) A weekly commentary by CBS News correspondent Andy Rooney.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We all find war more interesting than peace. Any time death is imminent, life is exciting and we're watching this war as though it was a video game.

On television, it's hard to know where to look to find what you want to know. There are pictures on top of pictures, moving print on top of those. There's more than the eye can see or the brain comprehend.

The generals are giving us the play-by-play action from their Hollywood studio in Qatar. They're telling us everything, but we don't feel we know anything.

Some reporters are attached to military units and we're getting stunning coverage from them. We're seeing war first hand.

We're all asking each other what we think, too. Strangers ask me what I think as if I was smart because I'm on television. I have opinions - no information.

Experts talk about precision bombing but on the ground, where bombs hit, it is not precise. People are killed, history destroyed. We didn't shock them and we didn't awe them in Baghdad. The phrase makes us look like foolish braggarts. The president ought to fire whoever wrote that for him. Just an opinion.

We haven't caught bin Laden so we're transferring the blame for 9/11 to Saddam Hussein. There are soldiers who think that's why they're fighting. Hussein is a bad man who didn't have anything to do with 9/11. Just an opinion.

When I see President Bush with soldiers, I wish he had been one at war himself. He'd know more about where he was sending those soldiers. Just an opinion.

It bothers me that America is hated. I don't like to be hated personally - which happens - and I don't like my country to be hated - which has happened.

I have one opinion I don't like having. We have stores of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons in this country. If we were losing this war, would we, as a last resort, use them? I'm afraid we might.

Hussein has chemical and biological weapons. If he is about to lose this war, will he use them? I'm afraid he might.

I wish my America had never gotten into this war, but now that we're in it, I want us to win it.

Written By Andy Rooney MMIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

... 31.Mar.2003 13:13

...

I dont really see what the point is about all of that...first of all...if i remember correctly, the US didnt even go to war until Pearl Harbor was attcked by the Japanese. I was also under the impression that the Germans and Japanese were allies which in turn resulted in America having to go to war with Germany as well. But sure, France has its independance because Japan decided to bomb us but that still doesnt change the fact that the US will do whatever the hell it wants to no matter who objects because WE CAN. Oh and lets not forget that the number of casualties that the Russians suffered were BY FAR way more then US casualties...does that mean we should care what they think?(if using that one example)...doesnt seem like it so far.

Exactly 31.Mar.2003 13:54

James

As others wrote, the Russians lost a million at Stalingrad alone. So by that logic, we should certainly listen to them.

Furthermore, it's not as though France didn't put up a fight. But unfortuantely, France lost 5% of her men of fighting age in WWI, just 20 years earlier. There simply wasn't enough time for the country to replenish its stock of men!

And aside from WWII, the French gave the US its independence from the British at Yorktown. Were it not for the French, we'd still use words like 'dossier' in this country and buy Big Macs with queen-backs.

Normandy was payback for Yorktown. Now, I suppose, we're even.

we didn't liberate the russians either. 31.Mar.2003 14:46

fd

gosh, don't they teach critical thinking anymore?

the russians were our allies in wWII.

we didn't liberate them. they liberated themselves.

fuck it, if you people are that stupid, then all the posting in the world wont; help.

maybe we are shooting the wrong people in this war.

Gosh, 31.Mar.2003 16:31

James

FD:

Gosh, don't they teach critical reading skills anymore?

Everyone here knows the Russians were our allies.

We know we didn't liberate them. We know they liberated themselves. (That was the point - maybe we should listen to them, since they lost more people than we did liberating themselves and other countries...And Andy Rooney seems to think body counts have something to with international diplomacy).

fuck it, if you are that stupid, all the posting in the world won't help.

maybe we should shoot you?

France? 31.Mar.2003 20:34

I. Protest

France is a pretty hazy subject these days... as is "liberation"...

The Francophobic war to rename everything with the offensive words "France" and "French" in the name is going to get a lot more complicated that people thought. Anyone up for the battle to rename French's mustard and Mr. French from "Family Affair"?

The war in Iraq also seems to be getting a lot more complicated than people thought, and I think France was brave and considerate enough to try to tell us it might.

France may have every right to not like the idea of war and invasions, having actually had such things go on in their very own back yard within living memory.

Probably most important of all is that, perhaps unlike the present war, we probably didn't liberate the French in WWII by declaring war on the French.

Despite the Iraqui tendency to play down their own casualties and the U.S. tendency to not even want to count the casualties at all, naturally, I've seen it alleged that so far we've "liberated" one Iraqui for every two we've taken as P.O.W.s...

Today we "liberated" a vehicle full of Iraqui women and children in cold blood, may they rest in peace...