Our French friends

Steven den Beste:

"...Real friends don't have to explain to each other how close their friendship is. They know it, and they demonstrate their friendship through their actions. But if someone fucks me over (or tries to), and then tells me that I should forget all about it and act as if it never happened because we're such good friends, I find myself getting suspicious that he's trying to get close to me so that he can try to take advantage of me again.

"It's almost as if there's an inverse relationship between how hard someone tries to convince you of his friendship and how close of a friend he actually is. Real friends don't have to do that, perhaps because real friends don't do things to you that make you doubt that friendship.

"I guess that's just my unsophistication as a crabgrass Jacksonian. It must be some sort of unsophistication; if not that, some other kind. After all, we Americans are unsophisticated rubes. It must be something like that, because to my unsophisticated eye, in the few months it's looked as if Chirac and the French seem to have been doing everything they could to try to make my nation fail and to cause us to be defeated and weakened. But surely that can't have been what they were trying to do, since they've also spent that entire time telling us what good friends they are."

"...Never mind that for the last hundred years the relationship has been one of the US giving and the French taking. Never mind that we've saved their bacon three times in the last hundred years but haven't needed them at all and still don't, and that they've never forgiven us for it.

"And never mind that it's been the center of Gaullist foreign policy since the founding of the Fifth Republic to try to impede and impair the US whenever possible. (They've managed to go through five republics while we're still working on our first. I guess they're better at it than we are. It's yet another sign of their sophistication.)"

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