Nicolas Sarkozy Speaks in Congress

Today, French president Nicolas Sarkozy came to the US to give an address before Congress. When I first heard he was planning to do this, I was very skeptical of it given the poor relationship we've had with France under Chirac, and their obstructionism in the UN as well as their corruption regarding Iraq.

I've not been able to locate a transcript of the actual speech, but given the widespread press coverage and all of the headlines on every news service I can find, it appears as though Sarkozy is ready to turn a new page in US-French relations. Sarkozy is looking to renew our alliance, our friendship, and earn back the trust of the American people that was lost by Chirac. The best part though, is during this speech, Sarkozy went on to heap praise on our troops, express sympathies for those who have died in battle, and even personally thanked a member of Congress who served in WWII for liberating his country from the Nazis. Sarkozy then went on to express a very deep understanding of traditional American values and beliefs.

Nicolas Sarkozy said:

To the millions of men and women who came from every country of the world and who -- with their own hands, their intelligence, and their hearts -- built the greatest nation in the world, America did not say, "Come, and everything will be given to you." Rather, she said, "Come, and the only limits to what you will be able to achieve will be those of your own courage, your boldness, and your talent."


This guy gets it. He gets it all too well. What he said here is something I've attempted, probably very badly, to put across in my own postings. He's more or less speaking of the values of hard work, personal responsibility, educating yourself, and growing your own success. In short, traditional conservative values. These are values he campaigned on in France, openly and honestly. They won him the presidency with 53% of the vote there, in what is decidedly a very liberal country. But he goes even further, to speak of our forgiving nature, our compassion, and our moral integrity:

Nicolas Sarkozy said:

The America that we love throughout the world impedes this extraordinary ability to grant each and every person a second chance, another chance, because, in America, failure is never the last word. There is always another chance. Here -- in your country, on this soil -- both the humblest and the most illustrious citizens alike know that nothing is owed to them and that everything has to be earned. That is what constitutes the moral value of America.


For expressing this viewpoint, some are already calling him "Bush's poodle". I guess some people just can't accept that the leader of an allied nation could actually be proud to have us as a friend and ally and want to express his appreciation for everything we've done for them in the past. In stark contrast to what a lot of media types and other left wing sites think, Sarkozy greatly appreciated what we did for them in WWII and genuinely seems to be thankful for what we continue to do now in the name of freedom:

Nicolas Sarkozy said:

America liberated us, and this is an eternal debt we owe America. Every time, whenever an American soldier falls somewhere in the world, I think of what the American army did for France. I think of them and I am sad as one is saddened to lose a member of one's family.


Sarkozy has also committed to rebuilding the strength of France, both economically and militarily. There's been talk that he's planning to reinstate France's role in the NATO command structure again, after some 40 years of being absent from it. He has also publicly declared that Iran should not be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons:

Nicolas Sarkozy said:

It is unacceptable for Iran at any point to have a nuclear weapon, I believe even in the need to toughen United Nations sanctions now leveled against Tehran for continuing to enrich uranium.


Sarkozy does go on to say that Iran should be allowed to pursue a peaceful civilian nuclear power program. Nothing wrong with that IMO, as long as he's willing to back strict monitoring of Iran to be sure they don't use the results to build bombs.

France still has disagreement with us over how we handled the resumption of the Iraq war, however it's clear that even though they disagree with our handling of it, Sarkozy has no intentions on acting out against us in the way Chirac did.

His speech before the joint session of Congress was laced with several instances of loud applause, and he got at least one standing ovation that I know of. Overall I come away with a very good impression of the man, and am cautiously optimistic now that he's going to be able to rebuild our relationship with France.

It's a shame that people like Leslie Stahl of 60 Minutes thought that asking the guy about his divorce was so important when clearly the man has plenty of better things to be worrying about. Even there, Sarkozy did exactly what he should have done: Stood up, took off the mic, and told her "I have more important things to worry about."
.........................
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

       
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Posted on Nov 7, 2007 8:27 pm by Samson in: | 50 comment(s) [Closed]
Comments
You know, Samson, the irony is that there are many more French people than you might think who share the same views as he does (even the economics: as you say, he got >50% of the vote). The country was stereotyped by the actions of relatively few. And hey, the same thing happened in the other direction. Some French people have a pretty nasty view of the USA due to the crazy actions of relatively few. The "Bush poodle" thing is mainly just people who shout loudest. (A minority that shouts loud enough will be heard the most...) I am very happy that people are finally coming to their senses about this -- in both directions.

And yeah, what he did with Leslie Stahl was just classic. He told her once that he had no interest discussing it at the time, and she insisted, so he said "forget about this" and left. You have to say, though, that the idea of a presidential divorce is pretty unheard of...

       
Dude. This guy may make the French not suck so much. I think I might like this guy.

       
I'm glad that I wasn't misunderstood in the other thread, David, I wasn't advocating we join forces with Russia, I think their current regime is even crazier than our own.. oddly enough, given how crazy the whole world seems to be of late, maybe they're just fitting in...

I still think we'll need more than just one speech to decide (hopefully, at least) that France has decided to be worthy allies.. but again, the world's gone a bit crazy lately, who knows what our governments will decide to do...

Didn't Hillary announce that she was considering divorcing Bill when the whole Monica Lewinski thing surfaced? It's certainly a rarity, and has been since the Dark Ages, for a national leader to divorce, but it's far from unheard of.. just ask King Henry VIII. ;)

       
For those of you who might also have been looking, I located a complete transcript of his speech: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2007/11/the_frenchamerican_alliance_is.html

I must say, having read that, I would have voted for him in a heartbeat if I were a citizen of France. About the only thing I found any real fault with was the paragraph about global warming, since it seemed to be framed around the belief that we can "correct" it. Other than that though, the guy reminds me an awful lot of Ronald Reagan.

I was also especially pleased to see this part:
Nicolas Sarkozy said:

Let me tell you solemnly today: France will remain engaged in Afghanistan as long as it takes, because what's at stake in that country is the future of our values and that of the Atlantic Alliance.


David Haley said:

You have to say, though, that the idea of a presidential divorce is pretty unheard of...


Unheard of, yes. But frankly I don't view that as significant enough to matter when you're talking about running a country. That's his personal private life and it should be left to him to handle how he sees fit. Considering the state of the world, all of the things Sarkozy has planned for France, and all of the incredible leadership and intelligence he has, you'd think Stahl could have filled a dozen interviews with relevant commentary. Instead she chose to go down the tabloid path, and he made her pay for it.

       
Conner said:

I still think we'll need more than just one speech to decide (hopefully, at least) that France has decided to be worthy allies.. but again, the world's gone a bit crazy lately, who knows what our governments will decide to do...

Or, maybe one speech was enough for some people to realize they shouldn't judge an entire nation based on one man's actions. A lot of feelings were hurt during the war buildup (as corny as that may sound) and it will take a lot of time for the deep wounds to heal.

Still, you need allies especially in today's world where problems can come truly from everywhere; would you rather have France as an ally, or Pakistan and Russia? :-)

Samson said:

I was also especially pleased to see this part:
Nicolas Sarkozy said:


Let me tell you solemnly today: France will remain engaged in Afghanistan as long as it takes, because what's at stake in that country is the future of our values and that of the Atlantic Alliance.

For what it's worth, France, even under Chirac, always supported the Afghanistan war and has stood with the USA there since day one.

Samson said:

Unheard of, yes. But frankly I don't view that as significant enough to matter when you're talking about running a country.

Oh, I wasn't trying to say the contrary. It was just a remark in general. If only more politicians would blow off silly questions like that, we could get more interesting coverage of politicians' actual views and not irrelevant details about private lives.

       
Hey, if more Politicians had balls like this guy, I might actually pay more attention.

       
Samson said:

Other than that though, the guy reminds me an awful lot of Ronald Reagan.

Wow, that's sayng an awful lot, Reagan was probably the most recent president we had that I actually respected enough to feel deserved the title of Commander-in-chief... despite the great jokes that our comedians were able to generate from his tour in office.. *chuckles to himself remembering Robin Williams talking about poor ol' Ron...*

David said:

Still, you need allies especially in today's world where problems can come truly from everywhere; would you rather have France as an ally, or Pakistan and Russia? :-)

Ah, but you are failing to realize that I still think George Washington had the right idea and we should just practice isolationism. ;)
Seriously, those can't be my only choices?!? I'd prefer none of the above.. let's see, as long as we're picking teams, I'll take England, Israel, Japan, Switzerland, and, of course, USA for my starting line up and see who else scampers to join us.. who are you picking? :P

David said:

For what it's worth, France, even under Chirac, always supported the Afghanistan war and has stood with the USA there since day one.

They sure could've been a bit more vocal about it then... :(

Kayle said:

Hey, if more Politicians had balls like this guy, I might actually pay more attention.

Hmm, I don't know about being ballsy, but if politicians made more effort to be honest, take a single stand, and actually try to represent their people, I'd be far more interested in them.

       
Conner said:

let's see, as long as we're picking teams, I'll take England, Israel, Japan, Switzerland, and, of course, USA for my starting line up and see who else scampers to join us.. who are you picking? :P

My choice is pretty simple; I'd want any truly democratic country to be on my side. That's the best way to fight oppression and terror tactics. And I'm a little surprised that you didn't mention other countries that actually participated in Iraq, such as, say, Australia.

Conner said:

They sure could've been a bit more vocal about it then... :(

They were, some of them at least. But who was listening? (Were you?) And seriously, how would you feel about a country that was out calling your country a bunch of cowardly, traitorous scumbags? They preferred to quietly do their part in Afghanistan and not fight about other issues. That is what I meant about feelings hurt on all sides... the Americans weren't the only ones who felt like they were being treated extremely unfairly.

Although I am very happy to see this outpouring of pro-Sarkozy feeling, I'm a little bitter that people didn't realize before that maybe, just maybe the entirety of the French nation wasn't how they thought it was. This guy was elected with >50% of the vote, people... The point now is to put the disaster of the past behind us and move forward. Saying that France is no longer a worthy ally is exactly the kind of attitude that is not going to help move forward. :-(

       
Sorry, I forgot to reply to this:
Conner said:

Ah, but you are failing to realize that I still think George Washington had the right idea and we should just practice isolationism. ;)

Sure, maybe that would be best in some ways, but that only works until the world comes knocking on your door... be it militarily or economically. :/

       
David said:

My choice is pretty simple; I'd want any truly democratic country to be on my side. That's the best way to fight oppression and terror tactics. And I'm a little surprised that you didn't mention other countries that actually participated in Iraq, such as, say, Australia.

Actually, I was tired (you can't imagine what I am now..) and just picked the first four countries that came to mind plus us.. but you can't pick the same countries that I did, unless you're joining my forces already. ;)

David said:

They were, some of them at least. But who was listening? (Were you?) And seriously, how would you feel about a country that was out calling your country a bunch of cowardly, traitorous scumbags? They preferred to quietly do their part in Afghanistan and not fight about other issues. That is what I meant about feelings hurt on all sides... the Americans weren't the only ones who felt like they were being treated extremely unfairly.

Like the rest of the nation here, I was listening, but only to what I could hear, that which our wonderful international media (and the internet) provides coverage of. We all heard the French response at the UN Summits, we all heard the international news that followed about other problems in France, but not about protesters rallying against the decision rendered at the UN Summit. :(

As for how I'd react to a country that was out calling my country a bunch of cowardly, traitorous scumbags... I don't recall our country calling France that until this blog actually. I do recall hearing that France was calling our country and our leader warmongers and bullies and other such terms.

David said:

Although I am very happy to see this outpouring of pro-Sarkozy feeling, I'm a little bitter that people didn't realize before that maybe, just maybe the entirety of the French nation wasn't how they thought it was. This guy was elected with >50% of the vote, people... The point now is to put the disaster of the past behind us and move forward. Saying that France is no longer a worthy ally is exactly the kind of attitude that is not going to help move forward. :-(

I guess you'll have to forgive me for not running to embrace France as my best ally after just one speech, no matter how good a speech it may have been and no matter how sincerely it may have been delivered. As has already been pointed out in the previous thread, France has demonstrated plenty of reasons they could use our help and guidance over the last 75+ years and frankly that haven't exactly been demonstrating a whole lot of reasons that we need them, so while I'm all for second chances, I'd still just assume we accept their olive branch with a watchful eye to see how they're going to actually conduct themselves over the next few years rather than how they say they'll conduct themselves. I'm sure we can all easily think of some situation in which someone has previously said they felt one way and then turned around and shown the lie for what it really was, I just was to be assured that we're not, again, hearing one man's opinion. And the fact that he was voted in by more than 50% is very nice, we've made similar mistakes in our own elections before too.

David said:

Sorry, I forgot to reply to this:
Conner said:

Ah, but you are failing to realize that I still think George Washington had the right idea and we should just practice isolationism. ;)
Sure, maybe that would be best in some ways, but that only works until the world comes knocking on your door... be it militarily or economically. :/

I think that Switzerland had the right idea. There's nothing wrong with leaving the rest of world to their own problems and devices. You can still trade with other countries without getting deeply meshed into their politics and you can stay neutral to others for most things. When someone comes to your door carrying a weapon, you defend yourself but you don't have to do so by jumping to the aide and defense of everyone else too. Our country is far from perfect, but its also one of the youngest countries out there especially considering how well we have done despite our mistakes. Quite an amazing number of other countries have reformed their governments to model them after ours even down to copying large parts of our Constitution, in many cases despite the fact that they were much older countries. I think that in itself speaks volumes for the wisdom of the gathering of gentlemen who founded this nation and one of their initial ideals was that we deal with our own problems before we worry about other countries, yet today we've got more than enough problems here at home... bah, this is a whole separate rant that doesn't belong on Samson's blog and certainly not in this thread anyway. Maybe one of these days I'll post it to my own blog where it'd be more appropriate. Besides, it's several steps far too serious for the tone I try to take when I come here anyway. :(

       
Conner said:

Ah, but you are failing to realize that I still think George Washington had the right idea and we should just practice isolationism. ;)


Not to put too fine a point on it, but you sound like a Ron Paul supporter. Ron has some great ideas, and I'd have no issue supporting him for president if it wasn't for his dangerous belief in complete US isolation. Those days are past, and we're never getting them back. Islamofascists aren't going to care if we decide to withdraw from the world stage. Their stated goal includes the conquest of America. If we follow his model, we'd be sitting and waiting for them to come to us - and they would, right after they've wiped out anyone who could have helped us.

Also, if you think Switzerland would have been "left alone" by Hitler, you've got another thing coming. He might have ignored them at first but his stated goal was world domination. Including the Swiss. It was only because we came and beat Hitler's ass that the Swiss are even still here.

David Haley said:

They were, some of them at least. But who was listening? (Were you?)


I was listening. But like Conner, all I heard was what the left wing media wanted us to hear - France hated the US. Chirac backed that impression with his actions, leaving many of us to have nothing but contempt for them. Sarkozy has taken a page from the Bush media plan - if they won't spread your message, go forth and spread it YOURSELF. Bush has had a lot of success in this country by bypassing the traditional media path and going directly to the people with issues he cares about. If Sarkozy is any indication, he's got the same plan. Go directly to the people with the issues he cares about. It's the only way you're ever going to see traditional conservatism get any press attention at all.

As I said, I'm cautiously optimistic. If our own country is any indication, Sarkozy is in for a difficult 5 years. But if he sticks to it, and stands by what he says, things will turn around.

       
Conner said:

Like the rest of the nation here, I was listening, but only to what I could hear, that which our wonderful international media (and the internet) provides coverage of. We all heard the French response at the UN Summits, we all heard the international news that followed about other problems in France, but not about protesters rallying against the decision rendered at the UN Summit. :(

Iraq was the big story, there wasn't much reason to talk about Afghanistan at the point -- even the US press seemed to have forgotten about it during the lead-up to the Iraq war. So like I said, nobody really was listening, including the press. That's why it's incredibly dangerous to make assumptions about an entire country based on such a short period of time during such a tense period where emotions run high and people aren't necessarily being entirely rational anymore.

Conner said:

As for how I'd react to a country that was out calling my country a bunch of cowardly, traitorous scumbags... I don't recall our country calling France that until this blog actually. I do recall hearing that France was calling our country and our leader warmongers and bullies and other such terms.

Seriously? You didn't see any anti-French sentiment until this blog?

Samson said:

I was listening. But like Conner, all I heard was what the left wing media wanted us to hear - France hated the US.

You lost me on that one, Samson... What would the left-wing stand to gain from telling you that France hated the US? (i.e., why would they want you to believe that?)

Samson said:

Chirac backed that impression with his actions, leaving many of us to have nothing but contempt for them.

I guess so, kinda-sorta. It kind of bugs me that people generalize to an entire country based on one president or administration. It drove me nuts in France when people would generalize to the entire USA based on Bush... Sure, a country can elect somebody, but that doesn't mean that person represents the majority of views. Chirac was rather unpopular during his second election and only won "by accident"; the other parties couldn't get their act together during the first round of presidential elections and so he ended up running against the extreme-right, who had basically no chance to win. His 80% election was a total fluke in that sense: people weren't voting for him, they were voting against the only other option.

(The French electoral system is two rounds: first a free-for-all, and then you pick the top two from there and have them run against each other.)

       
You lost me on that one, Samson... What would the left-wing stand to gain from telling you that France hated the US? (i.e., why would they want you to believe that?)


For the same reason they're so intent on making us all believe that the Iraq war is lost and that it was one of the worst mistakes we've ever made, and for the same reason they think Bush is a scumbag. They want their power back, and the media wants to help them get it. If it's found out that Iraq is going well ( which it is ) and that France wants to rebuild their friendship with us ( which Sarkozy says he does ) then they've got no issues to use to attack the republicans and they'll likely lose the election. I know it sounds cynical, but that's pretty much all there is to it.

       
I still don't get it. If "they" want to make us believe that Iraq is lost, and France is against the war, then shouldn't they be glorifying France to make it look more credible, instead of vilifying it to make it look less credible? The French were being vilified far before Sarkozy came to power, so I don't see how your reasoning would have applied for the past ~4 years until just now. (I'm not sure it applies now either but let's assume so for the sake of the argument.)

       
You've missed my point. They're saying France hates us to support their contention that Bush has driven our allies away from us because of Iraq. Sarkozy smashes that all to shit provided he's not conducting some kind of massive hoax on us.

       
Oh. Well, I see what you meant, now. France has never hated the US and the news sources I read never said that they did. They said that everybody was pretty pissed off at everybody but that is a very different thing to say. And, well, the fact that Sarkozy has to come make this whole speech in the first place should be a sign that the general impression was that the alliance had been broken. (I mean, just look at what was being said on this blog not so long ago.)

It's interesting to note that you believed what the left-wing media said in this case: you believed them when they said that France hated us. :D I thought you didn't believe what the LWM had to say. :-)

       
I don't believe them, and didn't trust what I was hearing out of France either. But you try convincing people the media is wrong when you know they're wrong and have the evidence to prove it.... oh wait.

       
What I'm trying to understand is why you hated France so much if the evidence against them came from the "left-wing media" for which you have such distrust. (I say that because you were saying how much the left-wing media wants us to hate them, which suggests that the right-wing media doesn't. That might not be what you're saying, though...)

       
Samson said:

Not to put too fine a point on it, but you sound like a Ron Paul supporter. Ron has some great ideas, and I'd have no issue supporting him for president if it wasn't for his dangerous belief in complete US isolation. Those days are past, and we're never getting them back. Islamofascists aren't going to care if we decide to withdraw from the world stage. Their stated goal includes the conquest of America. If we follow his model, we'd be sitting and waiting for them to come to us - and they would, right after they've wiped out anyone who could have helped us.

Also, if you think Switzerland would have been "left alone" by Hitler, you've got another thing coming. He might have ignored them at first but his stated goal was world domination. Including the Swiss. It was only because we came and beat Hitler's ass that the Swiss are even still here.

Actually, given what I do know of the current candidates, I am leaning towards Ron Paul, not because I agree with all of his positions (I don't really think it's feasible for us, at this point, to become complete isolationist anymore), but because so far he appears, to me, to be rising as the lesser evil for this upcoming election.

I never said anything like that, Samson, I know as well as you do that Hitler intended to take Switzerland too, but unlike most other countries, Switzerland has a very defensible geographic boundry and has trained EVERY citizen to be the military as needed so it would've been a tough fight that might not have yielded him any more than a hollow victory, not that that would've slowed him down...

David said:

Seriously? You didn't see any anti-French sentiment until this blog?

Honestly, no, I really hadn't. In most aspects of my life, France was too insignificant to even come up. At least, after the very start of the Iraqi war this go around, prior to that, obviously I heard all sorts of things about the UN summits. *shrug*

David said:

people weren't voting for him, they were voting against the only other option

Sadly, this is what most presidential elections in the country have become for me since I turned old enough to vote. The last good president we had was Reagan, and I wasn't quite old enough to vote for him.

Samson said:

Sarkozy smashes that all to shit provided he's not conducting some kind of massive hoax on us.

Alas, call me suspicious, or just cynical, if you will, but I've been burned too many times to not be worried specifically about this facet. His speech sounds great, but let's see a little evidence before we unreserve judgement, that's all I'm asking.

       
Conner said:

Honestly, no, I really hadn't. In most aspects of my life, France was too insignificant to even come up. At least, after the very start of the Iraqi war this go around, prior to that, obviously I heard all sorts of things about the UN summits. *shrug*

I guess you weren't paying much attention. :-) (And I don't mean that as a slight or anything, just to be clear. From what you said, it looks more like you didn't really care about it since it didn't come up.)

But, well, there was the whole "freedom fries" thing very early on; then came the renewal of all the surrender jokes; it wasn't long until France was being dragged through the MUD pretty much every time it came up but not just in jokes. (And even for the jokes, if you were to tell those same jokes but about, say, a minority group and not France, you'd be considered downright racist... so it's unclear why it was acceptable to tell them about the French.)

And perhaps, yes, it is just because you simply didn't hear about France that much. But following what was coming out of Washington, e.g. Condi Rice's rather (in)famous remark, it was pretty clear that France was no longer at all popular...

Conner said:

I never said anything like that, Samson, I know as well as you do that Hitler intended to take Switzerland too, but unlike most other countries, Switzerland has a very defensible geographic boundry and has trained EVERY citizen to be the military as needed so it would've been a tough fight that might not have yielded him any more than a hollow victory, not that that would've slowed him down...

I think the point Samson was trying to make is that it is not neutrality that would have stopped Hitler from attacking Switzerland. Even in your response, you (correctly IMHO) cite the terrain as Switzerland's main defense, in addition to a somewhat more trained population. So basically, isolationism wouldn't really have worked for them.

       
David Haley said:

What I'm trying to understand is why you hated France so much if the evidence against them came from the "left-wing media" for which you have such distrust.


Chriac's actions are why I harbor hatred toward France. What their media said barely raised a blip with me. So when he backstabbed us in the UN and accused us of conducting an illegal war and telling the world what bastards we were, I looked back on their other past actions and strung together a pattern of behavior. And while I don't trust our own left wing media to tell us France sucks, EVERYONE in the media, right or left, were pretty much universally anti-French. There was no real reason to think otherwise until Sarkozy came along.

I think the point Samson was trying to make is that it is not neutrality that would have stopped Hitler from attacking Switzerland. Even in your response, you (correctly IMHO) cite the terrain as Switzerland's main defense, in addition to a somewhat more trained population. So basically, isolationism wouldn't really have worked for them.


No. My point was that any nation who thinks neutrality, isolationism, their geography, and even trained citizenry armed to the teeth is going to do any good, they're delusional. Switzerland was delusional. Hitler had artillery, and a humongous air force. He could have reduced the Swiss to smoldering ruins without firing a shot on the ground. There was no reason whatsoever to take him at his word that he'd leave them alone. He was simply stringing them along.

By the same token, Ron Paul is delusional. Isolationism and retreat from the world won't help anyone. The muslims would seize the opportunity, take over Europe and Asia, then turn their sights on us. Without allies left to provide aid it would only be a matter of time before we'd be forced to use nuclear weapons and then it's Armageddon.

       
David said:

I guess you weren't paying much attention. :-) (And I don't mean that as a slight or anything, just to be clear. From what you said, it looks more like you didn't really care about it since it didn't come up.)

I really do try not to pay too much attention to current politics (some I can't avoid but...), because when I do pay attention to it I generally just find it depressing, this is why I find most presidential elections to merely be a choice between evils anymore as well. Our modern politics, not to be too, well, politic, suck.

David said:

And perhaps, yes, it is just because you simply didn't hear about France that much. But following what was coming out of Washington, e.g. Condi Rice's rather (in)famous remark, it was pretty clear that France was no longer at all popular...

Keep in mind that the only news I generally hear/see is what comes into my in-box (yahoo & CNN, but "breaking alerts" only), my rss feed (primarily CNET), and inews.. well, I catch the CNN news briefs some evenings on the radio too (but only when I happen to be driving while it's airing and it has to compete with the kids).. sometime Paul Harvey too (but usually only his "the rest of the story" bits...) ...in any event, those are more news than I can stomache some days, I certainly couldn't see myself going out of my way to listen to talk radio and such as Samson seems to enjoy. *shrug*

Samson said:

David said:

I think the point Samson was trying to make is that it is not neutrality that would have stopped Hitler from attacking Switzerland. Even in your response, you (correctly IMHO) cite the terrain as Switzerland's main defense, in addition to a somewhat more trained population. So basically, isolationism wouldn't really have worked for them.

No. My point was that any nation who thinks neutrality, isolationism, their geography, and even trained citizenry armed to the teeth is going to do any good, they're delusional. Switzerland was delusional. Hitler had artillery, and a humongous air force. He could have reduced the Swiss to smoldering ruins without firing a shot on the ground. There was no reason whatsoever to take him at his word that he'd leave them alone. He was simply stringing them along.

By the same token, Ron Paul is delusional. Isolationism and retreat from the world won't help anyone. The muslims would seize the opportunity, take over Europe and Asia, then turn their sights on us. Without allies left to provide aid it would only be a matter of time before we'd be forced to use nuclear weapons and then it's Armageddon.

But I wasn't talking about Hitler or even the Muslims, I was talking about in general. And if either of you ever comes up with a truly ideal system of government, or even just an ideal political candidate, just let me know and I'll jump on your bandwagon gleefully, in the meantime, as I mentioned earlier, from what I'm seeing so far, Ron Paul's actually looking like the closest thing we've got to a good candidate for this upcoming election. Who would you prefer to see take the White House in next year's election? Hillary?? :(

As for being forced to use nuclear weapons resulting in Armageddon.. could that be considered a system reboot for the planet? Might clear up all sorts of current errors, just like rebooting your Windows box every so often.... :P

       
Conner said:

As for being forced to use nuclear weapons resulting in Armageddon.. could that be considered a system reboot for the planet? Might clear up all sorts of current errors, just like rebooting your Windows box every so often.... :P

A reboot in a sense, except that you can't actually restart the system in a functional state for quite a long time... so it's more like a "long term maintenance shutdown". :-)

Samson said:

Chriac's actions are why I harbor hatred toward France.

I guess it's unfortunate that you reduce an entire country to a single man. Would you like it if the rest of the world judged the entire USA based on just Bush or just Clinton? It wouldn't exactly be fair, right? Because the country is a whole lot more complex than a single president...

Samson said:

No. My point was that any nation who thinks neutrality, isolationism, their geography, and even trained citizenry armed to the teeth is going to do any good, they're delusional. Switzerland was delusional. Hitler had artillery, and a humongous air force. He could have reduced the Swiss to smoldering ruins without firing a shot on the ground. There was no reason whatsoever to take him at his word that he'd leave them alone. He was simply stringing them along.

I think we are agreeing that it was not a good idea for Switzerland to think isolationism could protect them...

       
Who would you prefer to see take the White House in next year's election? Hillary??


No. I would most certaily not prefer to see Hillary in office. If by some strange twist of fate it becomes her vs Ron Paul, then Ron Paul gets my vote. But Ron Paul has no chance in hell of being nominated in the republican primaries, so we won't have to worry about that. Right now my preferred candidate is Fred Thompson, but it's beginning to look like Guliani is going to take it.

I certainly couldn't see myself going out of my way to listen to talk radio and such as Samson seems to enjoy.


I don't go out of my way to look for it. But I have a long commute both directions 5 days a week and there's very little in the way of anything decent to listen to on the radio, so I usually end up with talk radio. Personally I think both you and David would benefit greatly from listening to some an hour or so a week. All of the hosts I have links to are very informative and back up everything they say with factual evidence instead of "I hate Bush".

       
I read articles from three newspapers (two from the USA, one from France) almost every day, which I think gives me pretty good information. :-) I tend to be more interested in information rather than somebody's opinion on that information -- at least, for the first round of processing.

       
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