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The French lesson

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by rmarin, May 9, 2007.

  1. rmarin

    rmarin New Member

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    France has provided the American voters many lessons in how starkly contrasting candidates, failed policies of
    high taxes and overregulation and “scum” immigrants who regularly challenge their host nation’s culture, can
    inspire record turnouts of over eighty five percent of a population. In the most important election of a
    generation, French men and women marched to the polls to redirect the future of France .

    The citizens had a real choice. They faced two candidates with differing present and future visions of a proud
    country who was on the verge of losing its grandeur.

    Small businesses were suffocated in a system that punished growth while workers were penalized for laboring
    beyond thirty five hours and families were watching their rich culture yield to a prehistoric yet conquering one.

    In one corner stood Sarkozy, a determined realist intent on implementing practical proposals to restore the French
    economy to its perceived rightful place in the lead pack of economic powers. His proposals targeted personal tax
    reductions, eliminating the thirty five hour work week and reforming a system that punished small businesses for
    each measure of their growth.

    The other aspect of his candidacy possibly eclipsed his economic program which was his gritty resolve in
    preserving French culture in the face of the threat of radical Islam which had spread throughout France’s
    extensive immigrant community. He was fierce in confronting its menace and politically incorrect in
    characterizing its followers. Sarkozy views the world in absolutes where people are increasingly receptive to
    judging in relative terms.

    The other corner was occupied by Madame Royal who, like liberal American politicians, campaigned by fear and
    castigation. To her and her followers, cutting welfare benefits, imposing immigration restrictions, introducing
    competitive economic measures and putting forth the idea that human beings were capable of 36 hours of work
    per week was draconian.

    The voters disagreed.

    Out of vogue are thirty five hour work weeks, unmanageable and unaffordable taxes, demanding and draining
    immigrants and an economy ill equipped to compete. In its place are paired down policies aimed at pragmatism
    and economic growth.

    In her concession speech, without mentioning her opponent's name once, she professed her hopes of a peaceful
    transition without riots. But, like many American civil rights activists before her, she had utilized the tired riot
    instigator. By warning against them, she was subliminally inspiring them.

    Most importantly, these elections showed the failures of leftist policies. With a conservative in government in
    both France and Germany , Europe has shown a willingness to abandon the failed ideology that guarantees
    everything while accomplishing nothing.

    The question becomes, will Americans have to experience failed immigration, bitter culture divisions and labor
    unions with too much power to recognize the necessity of a conservative government?



    www.theabsenteeballot.com
     
  2. ArmChair General

    ArmChair General New Member

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    The French have the most glorious military history in Europe, maybe the world.
     
  3. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    Until you hit the 20th Century.
     
  4. Dave

    Dave New Member

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    Yeah, I remember when they opted out of the NATO nuclear protection umbrella to form their own nuclear arsenal, almost as if to say "look guys, we're a legitimate military power again." Seriousely, its like an 8 year old trying to play with the grown ups.

    Kudos to them on the election though.
     
  5. TruthAboveAll

    TruthAboveAll Active Member

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    I like the observations on this. With an 85% voter turnout (WOW!), and nearly 7% margin of victory, it is far from a landslide. And it appears that Madame Royal is going to do everything humanly possible to thwart him everywhere and whenever possible.

    When doing a Google search on this in NEWS I did find a couple actual articles but the majority of hits were far and away editorial in nature. Some presented as actual news reports, but the verbiage gives them away.

    I found this one especially wonderful from NYTimes.com:p :


    By CRAIG S. SMITH
    Published: May 6, 2007

    PARIS, May 6 — Arrogant, brutal, an authoritarian demagogue, a “perfect Iago”: the president-elect of France has been called a lot of unpleasant things in recent months and now has five years to prove his critics wrong.

    But what is certain is that Nicolas Sarkozy, who won Sunday’s runoff election, is one of the most polarizing figures to move into Élysée Palace in the postwar era. He is a whirling dervish of ideas who inspires hope and fear. Even many members of his own party, the Union for a Popular Movement, are holding their breath in anticipation of what his presidency may bring. “Other politicians don’t want to take risks, but he will take any risk,” said Brice Hortefeux, one of Mr. Sarkozy’s closest friends and political allies.

    Mr. Sarkozy is also a bit of an outsider, the first son of an immigrant to rise to the French presidency in a country struggling to integrate second-generation immigrants, the grandson of a Sephardic Jew who converted to Roman Catholicism in a country still riddled with anti-Semitism and a graduate of France’s creaky state university system in a country long governed by technocrats trained at a handful of small, elite “great schools.”

    He has always been nakedly ambitious, pragmatic, calculating and not beyond betrayal to reach his goals.

    He is full of nervous energy, often rocking on his toes when not at the center of attention — a habit that sometimes makes him look taller than he is in photographs but otherwise draws attention to his small stature.

    Nicolas Paul Stéphane Sarkozy de Nagy-Bocsa was born in Paris on Jan. 28, 1955, the son of a minor Hungarian aristocrat who fled Communism after World War II. His mother was a law student, herself the daughter of an immigrant, a doctor who had arrived a generation earlier from Greece.

    Mr. Sarkozy was the middle of three sons, but his father left the family when Mr. Sarkozy was 5, marrying twice more and fathering two more children. (The mother of those children, Christine de Ganay, went on to marry Frank G. Wisner II, the son of a celebrated spy and now the United States special envoy to Kosovo. Her son Oliver Sarkozy, Mr. Sarkozy’s half-brother, is the joint global head of UBS Investment Bank’s financial institutions group in New York.)

    The abandonment marked the Sarkozy family, leaving them largely dependent on Mr. Sarkozy’s maternal grandfather, with whom the family lived in the 17th Arrondissement of Paris.

    “I was fashioned by the humiliations of childhood,” Mr. Sarkozy told a magazine in 1994.

    His mother finished her law degree, took a job and sent her sons to a private Catholic high school. The family later moved to Neuilly-sur-Seine, an upscale suburb. Mr. Sarkozy eventually earned a law degree and became a member of Neuilly’s town council at 22.

    But he got his real start in politics as a long-haired, bell-bottomed youth leader of the Union of Democrats for the Republic, a Gaullist party led by Jacques Chirac, who was serving his first term as prime minister.

    Mr. Sarkozy’s brash manner and strong oratory caught Mr. Chirac’s eye and won him the patronage of other party leaders. Yet Mr. Sarkozy was not afraid to outmaneuver his elders when the chance arose.

    He unexpectedly challenged Charles Pasqua, a senior Gaullist, for the job of Neuilly mayor in 1983, becoming the youngest mayor in France at 28.

    The mayor’s job gave him his first national attention in 1993 when he negotiated to free schoolchildren taken hostage by a deranged man who called himself the Human Bomb. The man was eventually killed by the police, and the children were freed.

    Mr. Sarkozy served as budget minister under Prime Minister Édouard Balladur, and betrayed his mentor Mr. Chirac by backing Mr. Balladur’s rival candidacy for president in 1995. When Mr. Chirac won, Mr. Sarkozy was shut out of the new administration.

    He has had a strained relationship with Mr. Chirac since then, but his political skills were too powerful to ignore: Mr. Chirac brought him back into the government as interior minister in 2002.

    Mr. Sarkozy has been unstoppable ever since, dominating the news and often stealing the spotlight from the president with his projects, including a high-profile law-and-order campaign. After a cabinet shuffle in 2004, he served as finance minister, overseeing the government bailout of the bankrupt engineering giant Alstom, a move that marked him as a “dirigiste,” or interventionist in the Gaullist tradition, in many eyes.

    With his focus clearly on this year’s presidential elections, Mr. Sarkozy ran for and won the top job at the UMP, Mr. Chirac’s party, later that year. But in an unusual move, Mr. Chirac — who may still have harbored ambitions for a third term as president — forced Mr. Sarkozy to resign from the government in order to take the post.

    Mr. Sarkozy was called back within months, though, as Mr. Chirac struggled to restore confidence in his administration after the humiliating rejection of a proposed European Union constitution in a referendum in May 2005.

    In his second term as interior minister, Mr. Sarkozy was more aggressive than ever, threatening to “clean out” troubled neighborhoods plagued by petty crime and vowing to repatriate illegal immigrants.

    Many people regarded the anticrime campaign as a calculated effort to win support from France’s far right in anticipation of his presidential bid.

    The strategy appeared to backfire when second-generation immigrant youths rebelled, touching off weeks of arson and riots across the country. Again, Mr. Sarkozy turned the emergency to his advantage, taking the lead in quelling the unrest while other officials dithered. He emerged more powerful than ever.

    Mr. Sarkozy’s personal life has been less successful than his public one: in 1996, he divorced his first wife, with whom he has two sons, and married Cécilia Ciganer-Albeniz, with whom he had another son.

    For years, Ms. Sarkozy acted as Mr. Sarkozy’s closest aide, but she left him to have a very public affair with another man in 2005. The couple have since reconciled, but Ms. Sarkozy has been notably absent from her husband’s presidential campaign, fueling rumors that he will inhabit Élysée Palace alone.


     
  6. ArmChair General

    ArmChair General New Member

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    Bulla****.

    The French went Toe to Toe with the Germans in a little squabble you might have heard of called WWI. ****, we strut around like we're so tough and we can't even handle a few uppity Iraqi villages. These guys faced the Germans head on for five years, and we call them cowards? And at the end, it was the Germans, not the French, who pulled the white flag.

    Verdun. Just that name was enough to make Frenchmen and Germans, the few who survived it, wake up yelling for years afterward. The French lost 1.5 million men out of a total population of 40 million fighting the Germans from 1914-1918. A lot of those guys died charging German machine-gun nests with bayonets.

    I'd really like to see one of you office smartasses joke about French being cowards with a French soldier, 1914 vintage. You'd piss your dockers.
     
  7. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

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    Nice story except you left out the part where we liberated france and it was the underground who fought germany for 5 years because their army went down like a $5 hooker.
     
  8. Sgt Schultz

    Sgt Schultz New Member

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    But that was in WWII, where he was discussing WWI. The French, along with most of the other European countries let their military readiness slip after the war to end all wars. Germany rearmed and was able to do what they wanted because of their superior equipment, training and tactics. Even the US had to play catch up when we entered WWII because we let ourselves slide.

    As Armchair General said, the French have a successful military history. It just some seem to think that their military history started and ended with WWII.
     
  9. USMC the Almighty

    USMC the Almighty New Member

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    France didn't recognize a German threat until it came marching down down the Champs Elysee and the Nazi flag was flying from the Eiffel Tower.
     
  10. ArmChair General

    ArmChair General New Member

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    This is the only real evidence you'll find to call the French cowards, and the more you know about it, the less it proves. Yeah, the French were scared of Hitler. Who wasn't? Chamberlain, the British prime minister, all but licked the Fuhrer's boots, basically let him have all of Central Europe, because Britain was terrified of war with Germany. Hell, Stalin signed a sweetheart deal with Hitler out of sheer terror, and Stalin wasn't a man who scared easy.

    The French were scared, all right. But they had reason to be. For starters, they'd barely begun to recover from WW I.

    When the sequel war came, the French relied on their frontier fortifications and used their tanks (which were better than the Germans', one on one) defensively. The Germans had a newer, better offensive strategy. So they won. And the French surrendered. Which was damn sensible of them.

    This was the WEHRMACHT. In two years, they conquered all of Western Europe and lost only 30,000 troops in the process. That's less than the casualties of Gettysburg. You get the picture? Nobody, no army on earth, could've held off the Germans under the conditions that the French faced them. The French lost because they had a long land border with Germany. The English survived because they had the English Channel between them and the Wehrmacht. When the English Army faced the Wermacht at Dunkirk, well, thanks to spin the tuck-tail-and-flee result got turned into some heroic tale of a brilliant British retreat. The fact is, even the Brits behaved like cowards in the face of the Wermacht, abandoning the French. It's that simple.
     
  11. ArmChair General

    ArmChair General New Member

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    Appreciation of the French martial spirit is just about the most basic way you can distinguish real war nerds from fake little teachers'pets.

    :D
     
  12. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    First off I didn't call them cowards.

    Secondly there wasn't a whole lot that was glorious about World War I. Rat-infested trenches, no man's land filled with mortar holes and barbed wire, machine guns, and long range artillery...lots of death and not a lot of gain.

    The French did go "toe-to-toe" with the Germans...with help from the British, the Russians, the Japanese, the Italians, and eventually us. Who'd the Germans have helping them? The inept Austro-Hungarian Empire and the "sick man of Europe" Ottoman Empire. Go France.

    You might want to look up a gentleman by the name of Robert Nivelle. His "glorious" strategy sent 187,000 French troops to their deaths without even the slightest gain against the Germans and caused the first wave of French mutinies from during the Great War.
     
  13. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    All true. And Stalin was one crazy ass muthafaulka.

    Tons of political infighting and the presence of somewhere around thirty distinct political parties didn't help matters.

    Their "frontier fortifications." That'd be the Maginot Line, which they built along the German/French border and didn't continue along the French/Belgian border. Despite the fact that Germany invaded through Belgium in WWI. Very bright of them, no?

    As for strategy, both France and Britain made pledges of defensive-only strategy near the end of WWI when it became apparent that throwing large numbers of troops at enemy fortifications just resulted in large numbers of dead bodies. That pledge was still in effect in 1940. Oops?

    In fact, the only ones who didn't run away from the Germans were the Russians. They didn't need to; every time the Germans killed a hold mess of Russians there was always another whole mess of Russians waiting a few miles down the road. Then Stalingrad happened. Brilliant Russian strategy? Terrible German command decisions? Extreme luck? You decide.
     
  14. ArmChair General

    ArmChair General New Member

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    Yep, WW I was the worst war in history to be a soldier in. WW II was worse if you were a civilian, but the trenches of WW I were five years of Hell like General Sherman never dreamed of. At the end of it a big chunk of northern France looked like the surface of the moon, only bloodier, nothing but craters and rats and entrails.

    My point wasn't to single out just France in the coalition. My point was that the French certainly weren't cowards or "surrender monkeys". They suffered a 75% casualty rate, lost around 1.5 million men.

    Umm..I already brought up the battle of Verdun and the fact that a good portion of French soldiers died charging German Machine Gun Nests.
     
  15. Coyote

    Coyote Active Member

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    Europe lost so many of their young men in WW1, an entire generation - not to mention devasted land - did they have much real military left to draw upon?
     
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