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Author Topic: A Poem For France
The Rubber Chicken
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Finally, to illustrate the growing gap in "freedom of expression" between the two countries, most (if not all) French people I know would accept the OP as misguided but would defend the author's right to express his opinions; on the other hand, imagine what the reaction would be if a French author asked the question "how could the greatest superpower the world has ever known not be able to reach conclusive victories in any major conflict since 1945?"
Apparently you hang out with a whole bunch of ultra-enlightened French people. I imagine the response to the above question would be the same in the U.S. as anywhere else. Some people would come up with thoughtful rebuttals, some people would simply ignore it, and some people would respond with spiteful remarks about France. I don't know many Americans who would try to prevent somebody from asking that question. So, in short, the response in the U.S. would probably be pretty similar, IMHO.

To get back to the poem in question... well, the whole thing is rather silly. I am not real fond of the "we saved your ass, you owe us" mentality for a few reasons. The main reason is because the "we" is a group of people of who there are few left today, and soon there will be none. I am American, but I didn't liberate France in WWII. Nor did any French people today help with the American Revolution. Nor did the vast majority of the Japanese people around today bomb Pearl Harbor or participate in the Rape of Nanjing.

I personally find it silly to either take credit for, or lay responsibiltiy on a group of people for events that occurred long before my/their birth.

Yeah, I know it is more complex then that, especially in nation-nation/group-group relations, but I'd rather be proud of my own accomplishments than my grandfather's.

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Mr. Fed
Happy Holly Days


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How would you say that France's geopolitical interests in helping the revolutionaries against the British in the American Revolution compare with America's geopolitical interests in helping the French in WWI and WWII?

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RoofingGuy
The First USA Noel


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Don't forget that the Manhattan Project was an "ABC" venture (American-British-Canadian), not merely American. Britain had originally considered building an atomic bomb with Canada's help, and not involve the Americans... but England desperately needed the Americans to fund the project due to their own wartime struggles. Yes, Oppenheimer was placed in charge, and it was mostly done on U.S. soil, but there were British and Canadian scientists involved, and not just at the bottom levels, but all throughout the project. And some of the work was done in locations in Canada (where it would have *all* been done had the U.S. been left out), it wasn't all strictly in New Mexico. But then after the war when the American polititians didn't want to share the knowledge with Stalin because they frankly didn't trust him, legislation was passed that banned providing information to "any foreign power", which effectively meant that the british scientists weren't even allowed to take their *own* notes home with them, or they'd be executed as spies, which was a *major* setback and kick-in-the-teeth for the British. (Those who knew it was a joint venture were prevented by secrecy and security from letting the lawmakers know that there was Canadian and British involvement as well, and that the information should be shared with them - Senator McMahon later said if he'd known of the involvement, he'd have allowed in his bill for the continuation of the wartime collaboration).

So, don't forget that the "where would you be without us?" point works in both directions, and that the world is made up of communities and partnerships... The British and the Canadians usually don't go the "you wouldn't be such a world superpower if it wasn't for *us*" route.

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Steve
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by RoofingGuy:
(where it would have *all* been done had the U.S. been left out)

No, the US had its own plans for the Manhattan Project. Under your scenario, it just wouldn't have been a joint venture, and the allies would have had competing projects for the bomb.
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RoofingGuy
The First USA Noel


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I didn't mean to imply that the only atomic work worldwide would have been done in Canada, and absolutely none would be done in the U.S. or elsewhere. I meant that Britain would have worked "alone" in Canada, where the uranium was and the Germans weren't, and yes, this would have turned into a competing project with what became the Manhattan Project. But the point is, that it already was a joint venture, at least secretly, when Roosevelt ordered "a research program to develop a war weapon using uranium fission" December 6, 1941. It wasn't that the British and Canadians were "let in on it."

And as reported in the New York Times, August 7, 1945:
quote:
The imagination-sweeping experiment in harnessing the power of the atom has been the most closely guarded secret of the war. America to date has spent nearly $2,000,000,000 in advancing its research. Since 1939, American, British and Canadian scientists have worked on it. The experiments have been conducted in the United States, both for reasons of achieving concentrated efficiency and for security; the consequences of having the material fall into the hands of the enemy, in case Great Britain should have been successfully invaded, were too awful for the Allies to risk.

Before the Dec. 6 order into a weapon, Roosevelt had in 1939 only started a "commission to investigate the use of atomic energy for military purposes."

1939 was "what can we do with it?"
1941 was "ok, make a bomb"

Britain already was planning to build a bomb before Roosevelt's "official" (although secret, of course) 1941 decision to build a bomb so it's not completely true to say that the Manhattan Project was already in place. Scientists from all corners were investigating, and had ideas and concepts, but Britain was already moving towards "let's do it" before Roosevelt was urged to commit to the same thing.

And neither the Americans nor the British could have done much if Canada wasn't willing to mine and sell uranium (as well as produce quantities of plutonium from uranium). There was a very tiny amount of African uranium available to the Americans and/or British, but it certainly wasn't enough to produce warhead-sized fissionable amounts of U235 and Pu239, especially since experiments needed to be done first.

Britain had all the expatriate European scientists, and Canada had the uranium, so there is still an essence of "you couldn't have done it without us" to the whole matter... Canada and Britain certainly helped forge the U.S.'s position of power... I never claimed Britain and Canada were solely responsible for America's dominance. But the bigger point is Britain and Canada don't go around using these types of examples and saying "where would you be without us?" and Britain and Canada certainly don't go around saying "we saved your ass" to France.

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Steve
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by RoofingGuy:
I didn't mean to imply that the only atomic work worldwide would have been done in Canada, and absolutely none would be done in the U.S. or elsewhere.

You didn't imply it. You stated it in the part I quoted above.

quote:

Britain already was planning to build a bomb before Roosevelt's "official" (although secret, of course) 1941 decision to build a bomb so it's not completely true to say that the Manhattan Project was already in place.

Has anyone said that? I said there were plans for it.

Now I agree with your larger point that the "we saved your ass" mentality is stupid and that the US was part of an allied effort and not saving the world single-handedly. But it doesn't really help your case to use overblown claims such as "Britain had all the ex-pat scientists" when, say, Enrico Fermi came straight to the US.

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LeaflessMapleTree
The twelve shopping days 'til Christmas


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quote:
Re-name your chips, refuse to buy their wine - THEY DON'T CARE ONE WAY OR THE OTHER!
Actually, as a funny sidenote, there were some (SOME) misguided Americans who bought French wine for the sole purpose of dumping it in the sink. Because that would offend the French...obviously.

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Ghost on Toast
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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I've never understood any of this French-bashing. It's childish and idiotic.

I didn;t realise that when everyone joined in WW2 it was with a guarantee that France would repay them by fighting their battle later on - 60 years later on.

Whoever wrote this poem is an absolute jerk.

As for the earlier comments about the French resistance being massively overblown - I don't think so.

They aided the UK greatly in the war, saved the lives of many and fought like tigers.

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by Ghost on Toast:
As for the earlier comments about the French resistance being massively overblown - I don't think so.

They aided the UK greatly in the war, saved the lives of many and fought like tigers.

The argument some make is that after the war suddenly every French person who had lived through the war was a member of the French Resistance, which is just not true, or at least so I've always understood. Of course most of the people making this claim have no real knowledge of the circumstances in France during WWII, they are just spouting the usual knee jerk anti-French rhetoric but there you go.

By the way anyone who would deny the existence of the French Resistance is deluding themselves. Just one example: "the White Mouse"

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Oualawouzou
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by kristine:
i cannot believe such a trashy poem,my grandmother was french so iam also shocked about TRASH LIKE THAT!!!!WHAT WOULD THE WORLD BE WITHOUT FRANCE ANYWAY???OR ANY OTHER GREAT COUNTRY IN THIS WORLD????by the way iam a new member here my name is kristine and iam from germany and love to diskuss politics!!hello to you all!!!

Then I'll tell you now while there is still time: please lay off the caps, and consider using regular periods (.) once in a while. No need for multiple ! or ? either. Thanks. [Smile]

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ottercreek
The First USA Noel


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The problem with American "We saved your ass" posturings:
...snip...

You know, there is much debate over what would have happened had France not helped out in the Revolutionary War. The basic question the poster is getting at is whether the colonists would have won. Without getting really into it, yes they would have, maybe not in the same manner or in as fast of a time but they would have. I want you to try to imagine 280 million Americans still under the Union Jack....Really think this is what would have happened? England lost something like 98% of the population that once was under the Union Jack after they lost us. Does the author of this post really think that we would still be under it had it not been for what France did more than two centuries ago? I get the idea that some believe that the presence of France was not a CONTRIBUTING reason for the victory, but the SOLE reason. But this historical what if is really moot. They were there. Would we have won, again a big historical what if but just think about it...historically and logically.

I am annoyed by the French even if not for the same reason most right wingers are. Right wingers are annoyed because the French oppose the war in Iraq. I am annoyed by them because they oppose everything the USA ever does almost by default, even if I opposed the Iraq war myself. If they happen to agree with me, there is no alliance here, just coincidence. They are a very forgetful people when it comes to how many times we have bailed them out which way outnumber how many times they made a contribution to something that would have happened anyway and was more than 2 centuries ago.

BUT....I find it very sad, that a lame ass country like France is now held with higher regard worldwide than the USA is. For that you can thank George Wmd Bush and company for starting the most unneeded war I can think of (me and billions of people). Heck, every time there is a lunar eclipse, the French surrender out of habit and yet because of the debacle this administration has caused, France is being priased way more in the Arab world and pretty much most other places than the USA is. I am not a liberal, I am a moderate if you have to call me anything at all. I have voted for republicans and democrats based on who I think is better. This bozo in office did not get even one thing right about the war and who is gaining from this? The French! That's right, the African/Asian land grabbers of the recent past, the country with a history of coming in 3rd place...They have benefitted from the idiocy of George Bob Jones Wmd Bush. Gee Thanks.

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Ghost on Toast
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
I want you to try to imagine 280 million Americans still under the Union Jack....Really think this is what would have happened? England lost something like 98% of the population that once was under the Union Jack after they lost us.
Oh yes, as a nation we are absolutely gutted to have lost you. Honestly, no we are. Boo hoo.

And 98 per cent of the population? I doubt it - cite your source.


quote:
They are a very forgetful people when it comes to how many times we have bailed them out which way outnumber how many times they made a contribution to something that would have happened anyway and was more than 2 centuries ago.
You arrogant NFBSK. When the US went in to help France they were doing it , as I understood, to fight the evils of Nazism and to uphold what was right. They did not go in to notch up 'brownie points' that could be redeemed against future conflicts.

To summarise - they don't owe you shit.

quote:
BUT....I find it very sad, that a lame ass country like France is now held with higher regard worldwide than the USA is.
Oh. My. God. You really are an idiot aren't you? Have you ever been to France in your small little life? Lame Ass? Lame Ass?

Your attitude is lame ass.

France is a beautiful country, filled with , IMHO, a lovely people. France has bought us art, food, music, film, literature.

Your statue of liberty? Came from France. Enjoyed the 3 musketeers? Written by a Frenchman, Alexandre Dumas. Read Braille? Created by a Frenchman.

Monet, Debussy, Marie Curie, Louis Pasteur, Louis Braille, Andre Ampere, Victor Hugo, Lautrec....I could go on!

I personally also think Chirac is a fine leader - very knowledgable. He was the first leader to admit that he didn't think the world was a safer place after Saddams capture.

Try actually going there and educate yourself - not just Paris but to rural France, the real France and you'll love it. Watch the sun set over the Dourbie Gorge, eat Aligot with a fine red wine in a little cafe in Millau - just go there before you criticise it.


quote:
Heck, every time there is a lunar eclipse, the French surrender out of habit
I'm not even going to justify this hateful comment with a reply -oh, I just did.

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Johnny Slick
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by ottercreek:
The problem with American "We saved your ass" posturings:
...snip...

You know, there is much debate over what would have happened had France not helped out in the Revolutionary War. The basic question the poster is getting at is whether the colonists would have won. Without getting really into it, yes they would have, maybe not in the same manner or in as fast of a time but they would have.



Yes, because as we all know, everything that ever occurred in history is inevitable. The Nazis would have lost to the Allies whether or not Britain was part of it. Sooner or later, anyway. Could you imagine the entire nations of France and Poland and Spain and Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia and Albania being under Nazi rule? Of course not. Therefore, it would have broken up.

quote:
I want you to try to imagine 280 million Americans still under the Union Jack....
As it happens, I don't have to imagine. Take away a zero and you've got Canada.

quote:
Really think this is what would have happened? England lost something like 98% of the population that once was under the Union Jack after they lost us.
I don't even know what you mean by this. In fact, I doubt you do either. I think you just made up a number and put it in because you thought it would make your argument look better.

quote:
Does the author of this post really think that we would still be under it had it not been for what France did more than two centuries ago?
I do. Canada stayed with the UK until very recently, despite several attempts at revolution of their own. One huge reason why they didn't split up is that all the Tories in what became the USA packed up and left (many were forced off their land, an episode of US history that is never told by US historians). John Adams once commented that roughly a third of the people of the US wanted to revolt, a third wanted to stay with England, and a third didn't care. If a third could have been kicked to Ontario after the war, I see no reason why a third couldn't have been kicked to Louisiana.

quote:
I get the idea that some believe that the presence of France was not a CONTRIBUTING reason for the victory, but the SOLE reason.
Of course it was a contributing reason. But it was a HUGE contributing reason. Without the French navy, the Brits would have been able to fortify Yorktown. Without Lafayette, Washington would not have trained his troops nearly as well. And most of all, without the French threat in general, Britain would have been able to prosecute the insurgency at their leisure.

quote:
But this historical what if is really moot. They were there. Would we have won, again a big historical what if but just think about it...historically and logically.
Yes, you should do that. Read up on some Revolutionary War history, particular that written by the Canadians. It's very enlightening.

quote:
I am annoyed by the French even if not for the same reason most right wingers are.
Because Rush Limbaugh told you to be annoyed at them? Well, at least you're honest.

quote:
Right wingers are annoyed because the French oppose the war in Iraq. I am annoyed by them because they oppose everything the USA ever does almost by default, even if I opposed the Iraq war myself. If they happen to agree with me, there is no alliance here, just coincidence.
Oh, bullshit. As has been said elsewhere, I'm not seeing the right wing up in arms over the refusal by Canada and Russia and France and Germany to enter the war (other than the oil-for-food scandal, which mark my words will tar the American military-industrial complex as much as it does the UN when everything is out) or Spain for pulling out too early... no, they hate France because they hate their freedom.*

quote:
They are a very forgetful people when it comes to how many times we have bailed them out which way outnumber how many times they made a contribution to something that would have happened anyway and was more than 2 centuries ago.
I'm sorry, but how many times have "we" bailed them out again? Are you a World War 2 veteran? I guess twice, if you count our pinch-hitting for them in Vietnam, but then again we lost that war just as much as they did.

quote:
BUT....I find it very sad, that a lame ass country like France is now held with higher regard worldwide than the USA is. For that you can thank George Wmd Bush and company for starting the most unneeded war I can think of (me and billions of people). Heck, every time there is a lunar eclipse, the French surrender out of habit
Congratulations. Your knowledge of World War II is every bit as detailed and nuanced (read: not at all) as your knowledge of the Revolutionary War.

And remind me... when did France surrender in World War I again? I forget.

quote:
and yet because of the debacle this administration has caused, France is being priased way more in the Arab world and pretty much most other places than the USA is. I am not a liberal, I am a moderate if you have to call me anything at all.
Yes, stupidity knows no party. Thank you for reminding us of that.

*That was mostly sarcastic.

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Bug Muldoon
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
And remind me... when did France surrender in World War I again? I forget.
WW I : Fought until the bitter end with 5.6 million casualties

WWII : Fought for a two-and-a-half months against a vastly superior enemy before officially surrendering; government-in-exile called for armed resistance against the Germans.

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Doc J.
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quote:
Originally posted by Johnny Slick:
Yes, stupidity knows no party. Thank you for reminding us of that.

And you know what scares me most here . . . ottercreek claims to be a teacher. Heaven help the next generation if this is what they're being taught.
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Johnny Slick
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by Bug Muldoon:
quote:
And remind me... when did France surrender in World War I again? I forget.
WW I : Fought until the bitter end with 5.6 million casualties
Rhetorical question, Bug. Rhetorical question.

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Bug Muldoon
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Sorry.

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Ghost on Toast
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Ooooh I like it when Johnny gets all angry!

I thought I'd be flamed for having a pop at this hate-filled utter crap Ottercreek posted.

You know, I'm reading a really good book right now - The Unknown Living Soldier by Jean-yves Le Naeur (sp?) About what the grief of losing all those men in WW1 did to France. It's about one particular amnesiac Anthelme Mangin who hundreds of grief-filled families tried to claim as their lost son, brother, husband.

400,000 Frenchmen were missing after the war, that's no body being found and no-one witnessing the death. Very sad reading, I can recommend it.

During WWI France paid heavily. I can't believe Ottercreek is a teacher - no way.

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rotten little boys
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Just because France and the U.S. are not seeing eye-to-eye over this issue, does not mean we should become enemeys.

I always thought having alies was not to keep a running tab on who owed who, but to help each other when needed.

You know, like friedns?

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Ghost on Toast
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Quite right RLB, quite right.

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Friend of a Friend
The Red and the Green Stamps


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The poem in the OP is poetry like a turd is edible. Technically it's possible, but no one in his right mind would think of it that way.
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RoofingGuy
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Friend of a Friend:
The poem in the OP is poetry like a turd is edible. Technically it's possible, but no one in his right mind would think of it that way.

YOMANK!

One of the best analogies of... well, anything.

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Ghost on Toast
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Ha ha - love that analogy!!

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Ghost on Toast
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Hm. I notice Ottercreek has gone off with his tail between his legs.

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First of Two
The Bills of St. Mary's


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Don't worry, Others will carry on. [lol]

Y'know who really helped the US out a lot during the Revolution?
Poland.

Pulaski and Kosciuszko. May have done more to win the war than any other foreign soldiers.

Good on Poland. Steadfast and true.

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Ghost on Toast
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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My sarcasm radar is beeping but I don't understand.....

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Bug Muldoon
The "Was on Sale" Song


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I think FoT's link was supposed to point to this.

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All along the untrodden paths of the future, I can see the footprints of an unseen hand.

Posts: 6912 | From: Flanders | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Ghost on Toast
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Hmmmm... we just flamed OC for his anti-france rant and then post that??

It's not even funny you naughty pair!

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It's been a while but I'm back!!

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Bug Muldoon
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
It's not even funny you naughty pair!
Pair !?

I just fixed his bad link  -

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All along the untrodden paths of the future, I can see the footprints of an unseen hand.

Posts: 6912 | From: Flanders | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
First of Two
The Bills of St. Mary's


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Bug speaks correctly. He is not of my opinion on this subject. And he DID correct my bad link.

BTW, Casey & Andy is a damned funny webcomic. [Razz]

Or maybe I just think so because I bear a remarkable resemblance to Casey. Except for the looks and the girlfriend with Wolverine claws. But the "Dr. X" persona is right on the money.

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"Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for western civilization as it commits suicide." - Jerry Pournelle

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Ghost on Toast
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Aiding and abetting Buggie !!!

And First - I'm desperately trying to work out what you look like now!!

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It's been a while but I'm back!!

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Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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quote:
Originally posted by Bug Muldoon:
WWII : Fought for a two-and-a-half months against a vastly superior enemy before officially surrendering . . .

Not actually a vastly superior enemy; had the French/British forces not fallen into the trap (moving forward into Belgium) the campaign might easily have settled down into see-saw mobile war, lasting for a much longer time. (Comparable to North Africa.)

The Allies weren't outfought, nor even much outclassed; they were, however, catastrophically outmaneuvered.

(If you look at actual casualties on a day-by-day basis, the Germans in France were losing men at almost exactly the same rate, per capita in the field, as they were on the Russian Front. Modern war is messy that way.)

Guderian and Rommel: damned geniuses...

Silas

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First of Two
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by Ghost on Toast:
Aiding and abetting Buggie !!!

And First - I'm desperately trying to work out what you look like now!!

Desperate?

Try: First of Two: Now with More Ugly!

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"Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for western civilization as it commits suicide." - Jerry Pournelle

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Felessan
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
quote:
Originally posted by Bug Muldoon:
WWII : Fought for a two-and-a-half months against a vastly superior enemy before officially surrendering . . .

Not actually a vastly superior enemy; had the French/British forces not fallen into the trap (moving forward into Belgium) the campaign might easily have settled down into see-saw mobile war, lasting for a much longer time. (Comparable to North Africa.)

The Allies weren't outfought, nor even much outclassed; they were, however, catastrophically outmaneuvered.

(If you look at actual casualties on a day-by-day basis, the Germans in France were losing men at almost exactly the same rate, per capita in the field, as they were on the Russian Front. Modern war is messy that way.)

Guderian and Rommel: damned geniuses...

Silas

Good summary, Silas, but the real genius of the German operational plan, Operation Sichelschnitt (Sickle Cut) was Erich von Manstein, who put together the combination of the feint in Belgium and the main attack through the Ardennes. To quote Alistair Horne in To Lose a Battle, "Sichelschnitt was one of the most inspired blueprints for victory that the military mind has ever conceived." But it had one fatal flaw; no-one in the German chain of command had any plans for after the fall of France - no plan for dealing with Great Britain. This lack was to be Germany's downfall.

But to the primary topic; I hated the poem that began all this. The assumption that France somehow owes obedience for services rendered sticks in the craw. The blatant ignorance of French suffering in both World Wars (especially the Great War) is offensive and immature.

I have walked through just one major French Great War cemetery, Notre-Dame-De-Lorette, where the skeletal black crosses seem to reach clear to the horizon. I have seen the beautifully maintained cemeteries and memorials set up on land ceded in perpetuity to Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States at places like Vimy Ridge, Thiepval, Fromelles, Bullecourt and Beaumont-Hamel, and witnessed the respect still given for the sacrifices made to preserve France.

But times have passed, and the French Government must work in the interests of the French people. Whatever price was paid ninety years ago, in the blood of the youth of other nations, it does not give them - or us - the right to demand in a new century that our interests must come first at all costs.

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You fool! That's not a warrior, that's a banana!
- a surreal moment in a role-playing game

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Kilrati
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
The Free French Army and the Maquis (French Resistance) won many victories in WWII. They were important participants in the liberation of Europe.
A resistance alone cannot win the war. This is critical as it as implications on the arguments, often made by anti-war activists, that we should not interfere in a foreign and let them develop democracy themselves.

On just how useful the French resistance was, see:
http://historyhouse.com/in_history/nato/

quote:


I'm not seeing the right wing up in arms over the refusal by Canada and Russia and France and Germany to enter the war

The Canadians do not owe their freedom, democracy, free press and human rights to a American interventions in a foreign war, in all ways similar to the one they now oppose. The Germans have no particular reason to be grateful for anything we did 50 years ago. The French, on the other hand, vote because we installed a democracy there in ‘45. For a Frenchman to oppose the liberation of Iraq, ( unless it is a anti-freedom, anti-free press Frenchman who refuses to vote in French elections on principle), is hypocrisy.


I thought it was a rather good poem.

Kilrati

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