Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

French Diplomacy In Action

I try to avoid, as much as possible, French-bashing here on this blog. I liked the French officers I worked with at CENTCOM, who seemed embarassed by their government's position on Iraq. (The German officers there, however, were insufferable pricks, and always made snarky little comments whenever something went wrong in Iraq.) The French have done a good job in Afghanistan, and especially on the Fourth of July, you can't avoid thinking about one of the most amazing men who ever lived, the Marquis de Lafayette. While the history of the U.S. and France has suffered some cyclic "troubles", when the chips are really, really down, the French seem to be there for us... and we for them.
That being said, this is hilarious:

"Anglo-French tensions heightened last night after Jacques Chirac delivered a series of insults to Britain as London and Paris fought to secure the 2012 Olympic Games and faced fresh disagreement at the G8 summit.
"The president, chatting to the German and Russian leaders in a Russian cafe, said: "The only thing [the British] have ever given European farming is mad cow." Then, like generations of French people before him, he also poked fun at British cuisine.

""You can't trust people who cook as badly as that," he said. "After Finland, it's the country with the worst food..."
"...Mr Putin and Gerhard Schröder, the German chancellor, laughed. Mr Chirac then recalled how George Robertson, the former Nato secretary general and a former defence secretary in Tony Blair's Cabinet, had once made him try an "unappetising" Scottish dish, apparently meaning haggis.
"That's where our problems with Nato come from," he said.
Mr Schröder and Mr Putin laughed again.
"Unfortunately for the leaders, all of whom will be guests of Britain at the G8 summit opening at Gleneagles tomorrow, the remarks were recorded by a journalist without their knowledge and published in the French newspaper Liberation."

And the left claims that President Bush is undiplomatic...

(Intel Source: The Drudge Report)


Blogger ninme said...

Hey, I like the French too. But any chance I get, no matter how juvenile and unfair, to make fun of, ridicule, and bitch about Chirac, I have no qualms about enjoying to the utmost.

7/05/2005 1:16 PM

Anonymous Cricket said...

Jacques ChIraq.

The arrogance and "let em eat cake" attitude. While I normally respect the wishes of blog owners, and while you have said that the French officers were decent, I maintain that in many respects the French have NOT been there for the US.

I would ask you when the last time was that France actually put it on the line for the US of A?

Other than to gretch about the lack of generosity on our parts to the tsunami relief, whining about getting their hands caught in the oil for food scandal and other issues, name one time in the last five years that M. ChIraq did more than pay lip service to the US.

7/05/2005 1:26 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

I was looking more in the "macro", long term historical approach. Not so much in the last 40 years (actually 60, if you count the total disregard of Eisenhower's orders that General Leclerc demonstrated). For instance, I think that if Earth were invaded by aliens, the French would be on our side. Seriously, though, they did a lot of good work in Afghanistan, and before that, they were one of three countries to actually go into Iraq during Desert Storm.

7/05/2005 1:58 PM

Blogger ninme said...

Um, I think this whole French bashing thing is a huge culture gap. The French elites, the ones that regularly get quoted on CNN and manage to very neatly piss off the vast majority of this country, they're not representative of their country. Saying that they are is like saying that Ted Kennedy speaks for all of our country, except times 100, or so. Their political culture and elite are way more removed from the rest of their society, and the public goes along with it with a much more casual attitude than we have, which is probably a result of the 20 different governments they've had in the past 200 years. It starts to get kind of exhausting, keeping up. So then they finally get fed up and have a revolution. But the French people are much more pro American than the country seems, even if they won't admit it in conversation. They have their pride, too.

So, save the bashing for the elites. They deserve it. And then some.

7/05/2005 4:21 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Yes, but it wasn't the French "elites" who subjected me to a very, VERY thorough search when I was running late for a flight at Charles De Gaulle... one look at my red American passport, and they just got a smile on their faces...

7/05/2005 4:28 PM

Blogger ninme said...

Isn't your passport blue?

Canadian and British passports are red.

7/06/2005 12:25 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Nope... the "shoot me first" diplomatic U.S. passports are dark red... actually almost brown...

7/06/2005 12:41 AM

Blogger half said...

Hey! Nobody likes diplomats. :>

7/06/2005 10:32 AM

Blogger Chap said...

Funny thing is the German navy guys I worked with have been great (Niedersachsen has been one supportive ship!), but the French submariners I've worked with...


7/06/2005 11:29 AM

Blogger PigBoatSailor said...

I'm gonna have to echo Chap here-

The Germans we worked with were great, esp. the one that rode us as we schooled one of their boats (good active mainframe makes all the difference). We got him good and plastered to make up for it, though.
The French submariner who rode us, well, let's just say the XO spent a lot of time in the wardroom, to avoid being stuck in his stateroom alone with the guy.

7/06/2005 12:44 PM

Anonymous 50-50-90 said...

Tony doesn't care what Chirac says...

Paris lost, London won.

7/06/2005 12:59 PM

Blogger ninme said...


You have a shoot-me-first passport!


Do you still have it? Or did they take it away from you.

7/06/2005 1:21 PM

Blogger VaSlim said...

How stupid! Jacques Chirac pokes fun at the English for their food but then puts a little jab into Finland too. Well he probably expected the English to vote for London but there were 2 Finnish voters too. Wonder how they voted after that remark? Hmmm, oh, by the way Paris lost out by 4 votes or the swing of 2 voters! Maybe Chirac should offer ice cream to go along with his cake!

7/06/2005 2:08 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reddish brown US passports are official passports issued for government employees and certain contractors. True diplomatic passports are black. Personal passports are dark blue. I've had them all. Official passports convey no diplomatic privileges, but perhaps surprisingly neither do diplomatic passports. Simply having a dip passport does not mean you have immunity. It merely indicates that you may have immunity, depending on your status in a particular country. Generally, if you are stationed in another country in a diplomatic post, your credentials will be presented to the host country (usually a Ministry of Foreign Affairs) which will issue a "dip card" that signifies that you have been granted diplomatic immunity. Short term visits are handled in a different manner depending on what program you're supporting.

The official passport has exactly the same status as a personal passport, although minor officials such as customs officials will often render certain privileges to you. You might get through the airport more quickly. Just to make things more complicated, you can be traveling on an official passport (not diplomatic) and yet actually have diplomatic immunity. Your status may be defined by a bilateral agreement you're working under.

For info on diplomatic privileges, google on "Vienna Convention."

7/07/2005 8:31 AM


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