The other France

The Chirac presidency has taken an enormous toll on Franco-American relations. France is now actively despised by a substantial segment of the American public, regarded as a betrayer of trust, an ingrate and perfidious to the core. Of course, America has long been a subject of political hatred in France. I am very far from an expert on French pubic opinion, but in my bones I suspect that popular French attitudes toward America are shaped more by over-intellectualized theories covering up a sense of loss over France's position in the world, than by actual dislike. In fact, the vast majority of French people I know actually like and enjoy America and Americans based on their own experiences here or with Americans. France, after all, was occupied by Germans, and then sequentially by Americans, and even though the generation with personal experience of this is dying, such memories do not die quickly. Nothing better demonstrates the inherent goodness of America than our behavior as victors...(Read Full Post)