The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

14 November 2005

I wanna be loved by you

Nice idea for a song, but a lousy idea for foreign policy:

[T]he opinion of "the world" — which term of course refers to certain media conglomerations and certain world governments, not the entire population of the earth — is not worth consulting, considering what a puling, infantile, hysterical mass of babies this "world" is. Perhaps Mr. McCain has personal reasons for pushing this anti-torture bill, but he should know of all people that words on paper mean nothing to really determined people.

Which, of course, describes McCain, who is really determined to get into the White House.

The torture bill, far from being seen as a conciliatory attempt to make nice to the world, will be seen as a cynical attempt to buy friends and manipulate world politics, the way everything else we do is always seen. The only thing we really have going for us is that no one is quite sure that we are really the bastards they keep saying we are. I still remember the refreshing look of terror in the eyes of world "leaders" like Mubarak of Egypt after September 11th as they offered their "condolences." Nobody was sure what we'd do next; for all the rest of the world knew we had already pushed the big red button and the Middle East would soon be a nice, smooth, radioactive glass bowl. That's the only reputation we need to worry about — "They could go crazy at any moment! Don't bother them — don't even look at them funny!" Worrying about being loved is for weak nations like France.

Except, of course, for the minor detail that traditionally, France doesn't worry about being loved; as far as they're concerned, they're France, and you're not, and you can just suffer for your lack of Franceness (Francitude?).

But then again, I was really hoping that France would reassert its legendary hardassedness in response to that recent spate of street thuggery. This is, after all, la République that proved itself badder than Baader-Meinhof in 1968; seeing them knuckle under is discouraging in the extreme. (File this under "Grudging Respect".)

I'm not saying we should actively court world hatred or anything, but what's the percentage in trying to avoid it? Your friendly neighborhood Islamofascist is indifferent to that sort of nuance, and the small contingent of "Everything America does is wrong" types won't be persuaded otherwise no matter what.

Posted at 10:46 AM to Political Science Fiction

Franceness? Francitude?

Try francophonie.

Boop oop ee doop.

Posted by: Fûz at 12:53 AM on 15 November 2005

Actually, the France that didn't worry about being loved, because she was France, is the old, apparently missing-in-action France. I hear it still exists in the countryside where the tv cameras don't go. Still, France has become a weak nation, anxious to placate its enemies, not beat them until their noses bleed buttermilk (so to speak). They were brought to this state by the combined effort of their intelligensia and their government. Let's not be France.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 6:11 AM on 15 November 2005