Today is Bastille Day and I will be celebrating down at the largest Bastille Day celebration in the U.S. over the next few days.
I got an email today from a friend who said, "I don't like France, the French, or Bastille Day." I really can't understand that sentiment, as ubiquitous as it is.
Before we went to war in Iraq (a situation which has curious parallels to the McKinley administration and America's first war of intervention) most countries, including France, Germany, and Russia believed that Sadaam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Colin Powell went before the UN to argue our case.
The difference between the U.S. and those who opposed invasion was that they did not think the case was adequate and that we should give the U.N. inspectors, who were doing a good job, more time to find said WMDs.
Yes, Sadaam is a terrible person. Yes, he killed more nearly a million of his people and a million Iranians in the war in the '80s (we supported him and gave him the chemical weapons he subsequently used on the Iraqi Kurds). Yes, he invaded Kuwait and we sent 600,000 troops (how many did we send this time?) to kick him out. Yes, he even said that he didn't have WMDs and then was so evil that he actually didn't!
One thing he didn't do was support Al Qaeda. In fact, no Arab nation did, which is why Osama Bin Laden was holed up in Afghanistan.
Somehow we hate the French (for full disclosure, I am of French ancestory) because they didn't do what we told them they should do. There isn't the same sentiment against the Germans. There isn't the same sentiment against the Turks. But the big problem is that the French were RIGHT! There are no WMDs. Yet now we've created a hotbed of terrorism.
The current president has no plan to solve the problem and no plan to get out. With nearly 2,000 dead Americans and 100,000 dead Iraqis, shouldn't GW at least admit he was wrong about the reasons that he took us to war?
107 years after McKinley "liberated" the Cubans in 1898, they are still not free. God told McKinley to invade the Philippines; George W's 2004 state of the Union address is eerily similar.
The French were right, but now all we hear is racist remarks against them. "Freedom Fries." Give me a break. We Americans are big boys. We can handle other people being right.