France, Germany

Discussion in 'The Late Night Cafe (off-topic)' started by chef1x, Feb 26, 2003.

  1. chef1x

    chef1x

    Messages:
    261
    Likes Received:
    11
    :)
    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 :mad: ?

    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.:)
     
  2. momoreg

    momoreg

    Messages:
    2,938
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef
    Daer Chef1x,
    I agree with almost all of your sentiments...But I can't-for the life of me--understand how your political views lead you to boycott a culture. After all, here in the U.S., we have based our own culture on those of others. That's what we're all about. We are a country comprised of all religions, nationalities, and races. If we all took on that credo, that we should boycott all things from those countries we clash with, we'd boycott a lot more than 2 countries. I am particularly close to a German woman who is my sister-in-law. If I had the attitude you are suggesting, I'd have to blame her for what is going on in her country, and end my relationship with her. Not gonna happen. Maybe I just don't harbor the political passion that you do, but I believe that a country's population, and more importantly, its culture cannot be lumped in with the government, and how you think the people should react to it.
     
  3. chef1x

    chef1x

    Messages:
    261
    Likes Received:
    11
    Well put, momoreg, and thanks for responding.
    And you're right, it's silly to boycott a "world" culture, and as I said, I wouldn't expect everyone to do the same.
    I hardly have political passion, but I do have passion, and I suppose I'm just looking for a way to vent my frustration and put words to it.
    So what do we do? Protest against their governments? Are the German and French governments not representing their respective cultures?
    Well, so much for a boycott, let's just say I'm gonna curse every time I see one of their diplomats or Presidents speak as my personal protest.
     
  4. momoreg

    momoreg

    Messages:
    2,938
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef
    Does our government represent US ???

    I hope not!

    ;)
     
  5. ironchefatl

    ironchefatl

    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Other
    I don't really know about boycotting anyone. I did recently read an article describing Chirac's relationship with Saddam. It included public statements he had made in the past in a positive Saddam way. Then said different later. I wish I had the link to the article, but maybe if someone is interested in it thet can search it out.
     
  6. pongi

    pongi

    Messages:
    467
    Likes Received:
    10
    As for Italian people's feelings, I recently read the results of a poll, according to whom the large majority of italian population is against whis war.
    I cannot express a personal opinion as I don't think I have enough knowledge of the facts to say something making sense. But I'll quote the words of an Italian journalist, Beppe Severgnini, who knows America very well, having lived in US for a long time.

    G.W.Bush is a Texas man and doesn't have a flair for nuances, so he doesn't seem to understand (as many Americans) that Europeans are not coward, but cautious. We live very close to Arabs, and know them better than you.

    We too hate Saddam, of course, but the world is full of scoundrels, why just HIM? You seem to believe that 9/11 terrorists came from Iraq, but they didn't, they were Saudi.

    The largest part of American press tries to be balanced in its opinions, but Americans are influenced almost exclusively by television - and all television programs promote war.

    As I said, this is not just my personal opinion as I have no opinion...it's just to stir a little bit more the pot.

    Pongi
     
  7. chef1x

    chef1x

    Messages:
    261
    Likes Received:
    11
    Oh man, you make me feel like a Republican!:eek:

    I'm not. I swear.

    Never.:rolleyes:

    But that's part of my point momo, in theory YES, our government represents us, we elected it. Bush didn't even get a majority of the popular vote. AND lots of people protest this. Lots of Americans are protesting against what they think is wrong.

    Surely not all the Europeans agree with the sentiments of their governments? Where are those people?

    Where are the Bruce Willis's and Kid Rocks of Europe offering the counterpoint:) ?

    Surely, if you study the history of events leading up to clashes of this magnitude and nature, you find counter viewpoints. Many polls suggest that a majority of Americans would support a war, although not necessarily all the reasons behind it, and we all certainly don't share the same sentiments of our government.
    I honestly believe this is much more than Bush's personal Vendetta (I have to, or I'd go :crazy:), but as usual, they've not sold a very good media package.

    Pongi, the article you quote is a good example, I think of the sentiments of many, and I think the TOTAL misperceptions spread through the media don't help very much.

    And OK, I'm not going to boycott anything, can't I be a little self-righteous?

    :chef:

    I'm gonna move to the Caribbean anyway, what do I care?

    Let's hope we don't have a war, but if we do, I want ALL of Europe there too, OK?
     
  8. holydiver

    holydiver

    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    10
    The thing is we made Saddam lock stock and barrel Reagan,Bush.Cheney all of them sold this guy all kinds of weapons but didn't seem to see him as bad why is he evil now?. Our own diplomat told him it was cool to attack Kuwait in 90-91 and we helped him gas the Iranian's and before that they were our friends too, I just shake my head at people who get mad when other countrys do not see it the way we do. I love the US but I also know we have supported terroists murderers and thugs around the world Saddam,Pinnochet,Noriega on and on. We overthrew a democratic goverment in Iran because it was Moslem and were gonna throw the oil companys out so we wanted the Shah in there cause he was a US lapdog so I kinda laugh when I hear about us spreading democracy. Plus if I had even 1/10th of the ties to the Bin Ladens and Al Queda that the Bush family and Rumsfeld did I would be locked up in Guantanomo bay...
     
  9. chef1x

    chef1x

    Messages:
    261
    Likes Received:
    11
    Well, yah,

    I think you speak of the obvious, and this is the way international politics has worked since the begining of time. For every intrigue you mention, Europe is most certainly it's predecessor. Furthermore, the actions you're talking about were mostly covert, done behind the backs of the American people. And I think you're right, the Bush folks and those they represent created the monster(s) we now face. But isn't that often the case?

    Right now we have a situation that is taking place with the whole world watching, and no doubt there is back room dealings, but at least we have an important role in which things sway.

    And again, all I'm asking for is some balance to every argument and a reaffirmation from our friends and allies.

    It's the classic debate: do we make stock from scratch or do we use base?:chef: Dijon or trashy yellow mustard. Ragu sauce or homemade?
     
  10. holydiver

    holydiver

    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    10
    Another point is these absurd warnings yellow,orange,red. put duct tape and plastic on your house, report your neighbors bow down to the patriot act and the patriot act 2. I am starting to wonder what century I am in is this the Roman empire? report my neighbors? patriot acts? are the Stasi and the SS going to knock down my door next? it is all to keep people scared so you do not know what is going on and when we do question it you are called a coward a **** a this and a that. I do not want any more wars my Father was an airborne ranger in ww2 my Ucle was marines other Uncle was navy and 4 cousins army my family gave enough to this country and I seen how my Father was treated at the VA when he got sick it was shameful. I hope all our soldiers realize when they get sick like the guys in Nam who got agent orange dumped on them and the guys in the GUlf who are sick now and who are told they are not sick by the goverment realize the deal they are making. To fight a dubiuos war over dubiuos proof for people who either ran awar from service or went AWOl or dare I say deserted like our Prez did. I just think Europe has seen enough centurys of war and do not want more of it.