Admit It: the French Were Right

You say you’re not pleased with the French? Savor a few more freedom fries. Chew softly, put emotion aside and admit it, you were wrong and they were right. Don’t look for this revelation on the O’Reilly Factor anytime soon.

The usually MEGO (my eyes glaze over) insider magazine, National Journal, just published a great cover story titled, “The French Were Right.” The author, Paul Starobin, demonstrates that those “cheese-eating, surrender monkeys” were right: what they predicted has happened in Iraq.

A few facts caught my eye. First, a recent poll showed that favorable ratings for the good ol’ US of A have plunged from 61 to 15 percent in Muslim Indonesia. That worries Mr. Donald Rumsfeld (IQ north of 100), who cares about “hearts and minds,” but the president isn’t bothered cuz his IQ…well, let’s just say it’s unknown. But we know that he doesn’t read newspapers. He relies on Karl Rove and other White House staff. On war, their advice is, “Don’t go to Dover, Delaware, where the caskets come in. Don’t go to Walter Reed hospital to visit the wounded. Don’t go to graveside services at Arlington cemetery.” Visits to fire-victims in California? Sure. Good evening news copy. No worries, mon.

Back overseas, meanwhile, a majority in Islamic nations fear the US military threat, although majorities also favor democracy. Maybe Arabs don’t want to embrace representative democracy at the point of Bush’s emissaries’ weapons. A Bush-appointed panel on the Middle East reports that “hostility toward America has reached shocking levels,” so we may have a “situation in progress.”

Here’s another major fact: Jacques Chirac, the major domo in France, warned the US government insistently month after month about the malign consequences of invading Iraq. In trying to dissuade the inexperienced, cocky president from attacking Iraq, Mr. Chirac reportedly said to Bush, “Personally, I have some experience of international political life. Be careful.” Patronizing yes, but France lost Muslim Algeria to insurgents and has far more experience against global terrorism than the bumblers in the U.S. government. And hadn’t the Texas governor campaigned for a moderate foreign policy and criticized nation-building anyway?

Maybe it was Bush’s evil twin that led us into all this hell. We invaded a country halfway around the world that posed no threat to us, although headed by a bad guy. Bad guy? The least-hungry team in the NFL doesn’t win the Super Bowl and the meek and gentle do not inherit power. The power-hungry get to the top in government – duh! It’s happened in this country, over in Louisiana, I hear.

Now here’s the kicker: when Chirac talked to Bush, both knew that either one could start of war on his own. So why all this praise for democracy? I don’t get it. Bush’s power to initiate war differs not a whit from Chirac’s or any punk dictator’s around the globe. President Clinton orders a missile fired into a pharmaceutical factory in the Sudan, Bush invades Afghanistan, Iraq, …whatever. Once the firing begins, our boys and girls are in harm’s way, bickering must stop at the water’s edge, don’t comfort the enemy, get a frontal-lobotomy, fall in line.

The founding fathers thought they had solved the problem. The U.S. Constitution says in Article I, Section 8, that “Congress shall have power … To declare War” (clause 11). No one else. Yet the pusillanimous idiots in the Congress repeatedly tell trouble-maker Ron Paul of Texas, the only Congressman apparently who’s read the Constitution, that the clause is “anachronistic.” You see, the Constitution is a “living” (read: dead) document. Declaring war is old hat. The last time Congress declared war was World War II and ever since, wars have been excellent adventures. Korea, Vietnam, Gulf Wars I and II, you name it. Congress likes to fob its war responsibilities off onto the president, yet all Article II, section 2, really says is: “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States.” Fire away, prez.

The lion-hearts in the Congress – how about blow-dried Bill Frist of Tennessee, fearless leader of the Grand Old Party in the US Senate? – are awe-inspiring. They jealously guard their war power on behalf of the people against usurpation by the executive branch. Sure, and the fraud that “we’re different” goes on.

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