At a ceremony to commemorate the 9-11 attacks, French President Jacques Chirac told the world that "France knows what it owes America. The French people stand with all their hearts at the side of the American people." He said the terror attacks had wounded "liberty and fraternity," and he vowed "to fight against international terrorism and combat without respite barbarity and the forces of evil."
Who is Mr. Chirac? He is a centrist. He is a professional politician accused of corruption, womanizing and of being a "political beast par excellence."
How quickly we forget how the French deserted their own in France by surrendering to the Germans and forced all French Jews to turn themselves in to the Germans. The leaders sold out to Adolf Hitler by surrendering 1.5 million French soldiers and publicly vowed to never attack a German. How quickly we forget that the French government set up office in Vichy and resisted by military force the Allied attempts to free their country.
How quickly we erase from our text books the USS Augusta's lead role in opening a second front in North Africa to protect the flank and assist the British forces in Egypt and the planned attack by Joseph Stalin on Stalingrad on the eastern front. This landing met strong resistance, Americans and British died, planes were shot down and ships were sunk - not by Nazis, but by Vichy French troops being controlled by the French government in power at the time.
Now we find the centrist president of France standing in the way of the United States and Britain, defending themselves from a barbarian once again.
President George W. Bush said after 9-11, "If you're not with us, then you are against us." France is not with us. I say, "Let's roll." And on the way, let us pluck the Statue of Liberty out of the New York Harbor and drop it back in France. Frankly, (pun intended) I believe it is spoiling the already bereft New York skyline.
J. Scott Wade, Clark Hill, S.C.
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