Monday, October 7, 2002

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THE KEY TO UNDERSTANDING THE FRENCH: InstaPundit has a lengthy post on France and Al Qaeda, in particular how the French will respond to terrorist attacks against them.

The key to understanding what the French will do in international relations was made clear to me a decade ago by an American woman who grew up there: "France will do whatever it takes to magnify their importance." Most of the time, this means publicly disagreeing with the United States about a vital matter of world politics, before caving in if the Americans call their bluff. [Hey, replace "U.S." with Germany, and you can explain their warfighting capabilities as well--ed. Just kidding!!]

Ah, the French. Teaching international relations, making jokes about ethnicities or nationalities is improper classroom decorum. Except the French. If I ever want to get a cheap laugh, all I have to do is say "France" and roll my eyes. Works every time.

Fair? No, but neither is the European assumption that all Americans are trigger-happy, illiterate rednecks. In the end, everything balances out.

posted by Dan on 10.07.02 at 02:25 PM