Is France Bashing Unwarranted? - U2 Feedback

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Old 05-06-2003, 12:52 PM   #1
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Is France Bashing Unwarranted?

It looks like France continued to aid the Saddam regime through the conflict.

France helped Iraqis escape
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Old 05-06-2003, 01:07 PM   #2
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I think we need to avoid confusing the ordinary French people and their government. French Cheesemaker X isn't necessarily going to approve of his/her government's actions. I do not know how many political parties France has but it's quite a few. Some French people oppose Chirac. I don't like this French bashing because I don't think it's fair. I remember being in Paris a few years back and seeing a demonstration against the government. I think the demonstrators were members of some union. I don't want to penalize French wine-makers, cheesemakers and others because their government is doing something I don't like. It's not my government, anyway. Since I disagree with some of my own government's policies I'd hate it if people in other countries didn't like me because of the government. I don't think that's fair. My family in Italy can't stand their government. Please don't hate Italians if you think Berlusconi is a . The Italian branch of my family agrees with you!
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Old 05-06-2003, 01:18 PM   #3
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"Bashing" is really never directed at the ordinary citizens.
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Old 05-06-2003, 01:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
"Bashing" is really never directed at the ordinary citizens.
Excuse me, how do you figure? Boycotting French products, calling French cowards, not even wanting to mention the word "French"...you don't think any of this effects or is aimed towards the citizens of France?
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Old 05-06-2003, 01:33 PM   #5
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Oh, please.

When there was a boycott against Arizona for refusing to adopt the MLK holiday, it was directed against the actions of the Arizona legistlature. No one was crying about how this would affect the people of Arizona

Now we get hypersensative to how the French citizens might be affected by US-France relations?
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Old 05-06-2003, 01:38 PM   #6
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Bashing IS directed at the ordinary French citizen when their livelihoods are affected by the "patriots" in the US who refuse to buy anything with the "F word" on it.

By all means, bash Chirac and his government directly if you don't like their support of Iraq but boycotting all things French and calling the French people "surrender monkeys" (among other things) hurts people who have no control over what their government does.
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Old 05-06-2003, 01:43 PM   #7
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If everyone lived up to the cries of boycotting French products, you think that's an attack on the government. No, it hurts the everyday citizen that work their ass off every day just like you and I. Stop and think about it for a second.
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Old 05-06-2003, 01:51 PM   #8
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So, BAW, are you suffering from US bashing by Europeans? When Europeans stop eating at McDonalds, are you hurt by the economic impact?

The affect on the ordinary French citizen is so negligible, I don't understand the self-flagellation over individuals expressing dissatisfaction with the actions of the French government.
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Old 05-06-2003, 02:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
If everyone lived up to the cries of boycotting

Pretty big IF there.


Outline the principle of your position (avoiding negative speech if it could impact others indirectly) and lets see if we really want to live according to that standard.
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Old 05-06-2003, 02:23 PM   #10
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IMO when criticising a country's political actions, it's usually appropriate to limit that criticism to the government of that country and avoid extending it to stereotyping all citizens of that country.

In my opinion the use of phrases like "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" is stereotyping of an entire nation based on criticisms of their government. I'm sure Americans on this board would find it offensive if anti-war activists were to start stereotyping all Americans based on their government's decisions regarding Iraq and I'm sure most Americans would be appalled if people decided to boycott American owned businesses in protest at the war.
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Old 05-06-2003, 03:00 PM   #11
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Pretty big IF there.
Of course it is. People talk the big talk, but when it comes down to it very little want to change their lifestyle. But the point is these attacks are aimed towards France. If it was the French government people wanted to bash then single out that administration. If someone had something derogative to say about the Bush administration then change everything that had the word Bush in it, not everything that has the word American in it. Bush is not America.
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Old 05-06-2003, 03:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees
IMO when criticising a country's political actions, it's usually appropriate to limit that criticism to the government of that country and avoid extending it to stereotyping all citizens of that country.

In my opinion the use of phrases like "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" is stereotyping of an entire nation based on criticisms of their government. I'm sure Americans on this board would find it offensive if anti-war activists were to start stereotyping all Americans based on their government's decisions regarding Iraq and I'm sure most Americans would be appalled if people decided to boycott American owned businesses in protest at the war.
I agree. I get incensed when I read letters in the local newspapers calling the French "cheese eating surrender monkeys" and other such names. This stuff is directed at French citizens. It's not fair. By all means call Chirac a if you don't like what his government's doing but spare the people who may be planning a demonstration against his government. I don't like it when someone boycotts U.S. businesses because of my government's policies. Many Americans were involved in protests against the war in Iraq, many Americans didn't vote for Bush, many Americans are Moslems and/or Arabs, etc, etc. It's unfair to lambast us all because of our government's policies.
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Old 05-06-2003, 04:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
So, BAW, are you suffering from US bashing by Europeans? When Europeans stop eating at McDonalds, are you hurt by the economic impact?

The affect on the ordinary French citizen is so negligible, I don't understand the self-flagellation over individuals expressing dissatisfaction with the actions of the French government.

No, I can't say that I have personally suffered because of a European boycott of McDonalds...I don't have a financial interest in McDonalds. You can't compare a massive, globally recognized brand like McDonalds losing a few customers to the small, family run businesses that lost money due to French bashing. This also directly impacted merchants in the US who depend on selling French imports and were left with unsellable inventories.

Just because the results of this backlash aren't directly hurting the average French citizen, does it make it right?
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Old 05-06-2003, 04:37 PM   #14
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France is not an ally in my humble opinion. I am not opposed to any form of boycott. If you believe it is worth boycotting over something go for it. Sometimes, people need to be woken up, and the wallet is the way to do it. The French governement has made their decisions and with every decision in life there are consequences.

Peace
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Old 05-06-2003, 04:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bono's American Wife
Just because the results of this backlash aren't directly hurting the average French citizen, does it make it right?
I've seen essentially two arguments suggesting that any backlash against the French is wrong.

1. Stereotyping/name calling. "Cheese eating surrender monkeys" detracts from the issues.

besides, db3 might be offended

2. The backlash hurts the average French citizen. If individual US consumers had this much power, we could scrap the military and boycott other countries into submission.

The article referenced in my original post suggests that France took direct actions to protect members of Saddam's regime - actions contrary to the clear objectives of the United States (and most would support the removal of Saddam's regime given the evidence of Iraqi's suffereing under the regime). I think it is fair for people to ask, "Hey France, what the "?
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