Mostly posting this to stir the pot. I am now officially PI**ED at "old Europe." I am reminded of some of the recent threads calling for boycotting France, etc., which I initially was shocked and defensive about. I don't like Pres. Bush, his father or his family. Didn't, never would vote for him. And now, I find myself inexplicably cheering him on. Of course we don't want war. My brother is in the Air Force and currently at an "undisclosed" location, but I'm not worried about him and I don't take it personally. He wants to do what he is doing, and he was raised in the same war-hating liberal household as I was during the Vietnam era. We didn't like Nixon. We hated Reagan. Need I say more? So why am I so p***ed with France? Love the food, the culture, the mustard, etc. Yeah, I guess they bailed us out a little, over 200 years ago. But let's not forget the great General Kosciusko who actually had an even greater, and certainly more selfless role at West Point and beyond. Why am I so ? Look at Chirac. Look at French history. I am reminded of the blatant anti-semetic history and present in the government and hopefully a minority of the population. You can't deny that the French govnt. doesn't have an even greater interest in the oil than the U.S. does, you can't deny that (as over the course of history they have blundered even more than the U.S. in terms of colonization, slavery, immigration) they have an out of control situation of their own creation with the muslim world, within their own borders. Algeria, Morocco, Southeast Asia, Africa in general, etc., etc., I can only suppose if they came out in "support" of the war they fear the reaction of mostly their own immigrant population. That would be like the U.S., fearing a reprisal from all hispanics in our/their country, backing down from the Cuban missile crisis and allowing the Soviets to install weapons capable of taking out our defense systems. Or something like that If anything, the French people, the people of "old Europe" should at least be speaking up more, and not, by default, supporting the opinions of their leaders. The same holds true with Americans. I recently witnessed the protest rally here, and heck, I encouraged my GF to go (and she lived in soviet ruled Poland and was basically forced to attend anti-American "rallies"), because I think it is important to speak up; but I was kind of dismayed by the lack of balance. No one is talking about or protesting the obvious human rights violations and cruelty of Iraq, the Palestinians, the French, the Germans, Italy, or even the Belgians. As some few have posted before me, and which I basically ignored, we can't forget history. I never knew, for example, that De Gaulle refused to sell fighter jets to Israel in the 1960s. And I thought he was a hero. I never understood why my French teacher in HS started crying when someone ridiculed her little speech about French Jews during WW2. I didn't even know what a "Jew" was. I never actually learned in my history classes about the plight of the French Jewish, the Polish Jewish, the Poles in general. Talk about getting scre*ed by your own country! And your "allies." What happened to Poland during WW2 is a tragedy, and yet it's never discussed. I know at least a couple of old ladies who lived through the bombing of London. What does this have to do with Iraq, and "old Europe?" We cannot afford to be complacent. We cannot rest upon our old recipes as cooks and chefs. Gosh forbid we reject an ethnic twist to our repetoire of cookery. Why deny the fact that we are dealing with an unsympathetic despot? I am not Jewish, Polish, Catholic, etc. I am not saying that "old Europe" is evil. I like to believe that even the average French, German, Spanish, etc., citizen can at least comprehend some sort of middle ground position on this. Of course none of us want war. But should we stand up for what we believe in? At the French Culinary Institute, we had emblazoned upon our shoulders: something along the lines of "quality, passion, experience," I think. At this point, I find it difficult to support a culture I so strongly advocate and have taken pains to learn so much about. Therefore, I am currently boycotting French, German and Belgian (no more of those waffles!) products and culture, realizing at the same time my own complacency and hypocrisy. I'm not calling on everyone to do the same, rather, I'd like to hear any and all comments and thoughts about it. Including wine. As most of you regulars know, I am not the most decorous, diplomatic person, and I certainly don't want to offend anyone, but I am surprised that this subject has not been broached more recently. I will now take my beatings.