One of the most annoying myths that Americans persist in perpetuating is that they saved the French. They did no such thing.
Niall Furgeson makes a telling point when he criticizes the Americans for participating in the last 18 month of the war; yet dominating the subsequent Versailles.
What the Americans did was to permenantly tilt the startegic balance to the Allies side. I'm blunt because the American's belief that they saved the French is pernicious. It totally denigrates the sacrifices of the Commonwealth and French colonial troops
Writing more familiarily about the Canadian army, they played a determining role in saving the Allies. Along with the Aussies, Indians, New Zelanders and South Africans they saved the British as well as the Imperial High command's reputation. It was the Commonwealth's flexibility, lack of social pretentions and willingness to innovate that distinguished the Commonowealth troops from British.
However much British military histography tries to present Mons as a 'moral victory' it was a strategic defeat. Further the Brits were damned lucky that they fought the Boers 15 years before the the First World war. The Brits learnt the very bitter lesson of the devastation of magazine fed rifle power in the hands of crack shots without adequate protections. The Brits while professional would've been mauled, if not destroyed, because they wouldn't have learnt the lesson to dig deep trenches.
Pierre Berton in his various books on Vimy and Canada's experiences with war in general points out that the British army accurately reflected the countries rigid class structure and that often had fatal results as well as a resistence for the lowly to rise; by contrast the Canadian army was more meritorious and far looser with respect to class differences.
Most Americans forget another very important factor: that France's population since the 1850 had platformed and wasn't growing. Unlike America and Germany's. Further French industry lagged behind Germany's which was further aggravated by loss of Alsace and Lorraine- France's main area of iron ore. France was still very much a rural country.
Paul Johnson avait ?crit un article contre l'UE qui m'a surpris par sa ranceur. C'est parfaitement l?gtime et raissonnable qu'il exprime son opposition ? l'EU mais pas avec un ton si pol?mique et rancid qui nuit ses raisions. En plus, l'anti-gallicisme n'avait pas d'allure et vraiment Johnson s'est exc?d? de fa?on gratuite.Johsnon me fait reveiller une reproche envers les Britanniques: qu'il est intol?rable qu'ils ing?rent dans les affaires du Continent toujours emp?chant que les Europ?ens se rapprochent soit pour parfaire une union, soit pour discuter de probl?mes en commun, soit tout simplement harmoniser certaines activit?s afin de faciliter la vie. C'est une chose ? s'y opposer Napol?on et Hitler; c'est autrement avec Bruxelles. Autrement, puisque les Europ?ens se approchent de fa?on pacifiques, ?clari?s, sans contrait et avec l'appui de leurs populations apr?s des interminables d?bats et ?l?ctions. L'UE n'est pas ni le syst?me napol?onien ni rein d'avoir avec l'Europe hitlerienne quoiqu'il en r?ve qu'il f?t ainsi.
En consequence, Johnson reveille ce que je d?teste de ce rameau id?ologique dont il appartient: c'est que l'Angleterre, en association avec les ?tats-Unism s'arroge toujours cette pr?tension de veiller sur les affaires continentaux sans vouloir faire partir de l'Europe. On ing?re sans repr?sentation comme l'ont a faite jadis. Et on accuse la France d'?tre une nostaligique pour son Empire et d'exaggerer son influence au monde!
Que le functionariat de l'UE est parfois arrogant, distant, orgueilleux, gaspilleur, vainteux, etc, etc personne en dispute; cependant Johnson d?passe les bornes du bon go?t. D'imputer les morts pendant la canicule ? une conception fran?aise de l'UE qui conduit ? l'utopie est une calumnie surtout envers Jean Monnet.
Heureusement le ditriable de Johnson n'a pas pass? non-aper?u par d'autres commentairistes qui se sont ?galement r?torqu?s avec v?hemence.
Well, well, well. As the only blogger who went against wind and current to defend the French, the rest of the blogosphere is finally abating its anti-Gallicism. Case in point Andrew Sullivan is finally conceding that he should highlight more anti-idiot French intellectuals and Frenchmen.
He cites approving Sylvain's post on Jean-Fran?ois Revel, Bernard-H?nri Levi (BHL) and Alain Finkelkrauft.
Yo Andrew, I deserve some acknowledgement too but no matter if I'm completely ignored, it's the price I pay for having sailed so consistently against the Anglophone's recieved wisdom about the French. Deep down there's been a some rather snarky sactimony vis-?-vis the French that they're nothing but shitty little cowards with a pathetic military, weak economy, laughable policies and tiresome intelligensia who'll appease terrorists at any time and then surrender when it's too tough to defend themselves; so by all means let's ensure that the French perservere as moral reprobates and drum them out of Western civilization while where at it too.
You learn something new everyday. Yesterday I passed by Bruce Rolston's blog where he posted a fascinating article on the Canadian connection to Roger's rangers. I had no idea that Canada can also claim his unit's heritage and it's a militia unit- in American jargon that the National guard; in European, it's a reservist formation- to boot. What this news goes to show is how close and convulted both North American relations and how interrelated our military traditions are.
Let's not forget that Roger also incorporated the French voltiguer tradition (i.e. light infantry); in Quebec that's still preserved through many Francophone regular and milita regiments. Again that's because historically North America has been a light infantryman's territory par excellence and where unconventional warfare- by 18th standards were developed and fought.
J'ai trouv? cet article d'un haut resposnable de l'espionnage roumaine. Il explique que Arafat est une cr?ation du KGB et ses sat?llites.
Je n'en doute pas. Cependant ce que j'ai frapp? c'est comment les communists- les lutteurs anti-fascistes par exellence, (suppos?mment bien sur)-choisi?rent Al Husseni-le grand moufti peandant avant et pendant le 2e GM comme l'h?ro d'Arafat.
D'opter pour un personnage religieux qui a ?t? virulentment anti-s?mite et peut-?tre aurait incit? les ?meutes de 1929 et '39 est un peu surprenante ? premi?re vue si l'on croit la propogande communiste. Un homme qui admirait sinc?rement ? Hitler. Tout ces renseignments nous rappelle que les communisme loin d'?tre une v?ritable enemmi du fascisme/nazisme est parente de ceux-ci et autant anti-s?mite que le nazisme. Staline le fut aussi et on ne doit pas oubli? que les ?v?nements qui ont conduit aux purges avaient comme but l'?cartement de Vieux bolch?viks fdont la majorit? ?taient juive, m?me si non-croyant ainsi que le soi-disant complot de m?dcin juste avant sa morte.
En tout cas, je me demande ce qui passerait ? la cause palestinienne le lendemain de la mort d'Arafat. ?vaporera-t-elle ou plongera-t-elle dansd un guerre civile entre les nilistes et les mod?r?s?
When Rumsfield decried Old Europe in praise off New Europe, he should had his subordinates check the background on the concept. It appears that the name originates from Nazi occupied
Even more surprising is that some of the foundations of the European union come from a group of French collaborationists intellectuals. Not some prototypically right-wing collabos but pacifists from the non-communist left who had been thinking and working on teh subject of a single Europe since the 20s.
History sometimes reserves astounding surprises. Here are a group of leftist intellectuals, pacifists in political ideology, Europeanist in outlook who end up collaborating with Hitler under the delusion that they're fulfilling their dream of a united Europe which he supposedly shares. Obviously not but how they could blind themselves so completely is an interesting question that I'd like to explore further as well as if their collaboration with the Nazi has poisioned the European union project since its inception.
I don't have the book but I added it it to my wish list to buy at a later date; or for someone to buy it for me.
Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the university's rugby club Since last Thursday we had most been getting together, reacquinting each other, reminicising of our time as young and impestuous rugby players. Yesterday's supper brought back my memories of my time as a rugby player.
It was a warm, grey day in early September, I was walking with some friends when I spotted a small group sitting by a table with a pitcher of beer. I'd recognized some of the people with whom I went to high school. My original intention was to say hi and leave. Well fate had something else in mind because one of the guys I knew from high school, lobbied me to come and play rugby. I was dubious and I asked Bill- he was the coach and a university professor at the businesss faculty- if it mattered that I had no experience. Sure there was rugby at my high school never bothered to play. Bill basically said it didn't matter at all and if I was still interested to come by the practice field behind the sports complex the next day.
So I did and I saw Bill and he calls out to me, for the first and last time with my first name in full, to say how hhappy he was that I came. I thanked Mr. Robson- after all he was a university prof- but that was the only time I addressed him as such- for the invite. He simply said call me Bill.
After that practice I played for 4 years.
If I'm to summarize my experience it's the following: a relatively undistinguished player who had fun, stayed in shape, learnt new things, played games, made friends and has fond memories of it all for life