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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 11/15/15

France's Tragic Irony

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Message Michael Galli

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The great American experiment owes much to our brothers and sisters in France. Long before the emergence of the U.S. Empire, the works of Descartes (gift of reason), Voltaire (separation of church and state), and Rousseau (power derives from the people), helped underpin the framing of our Declaration of Independence and subsequent Constitution. In fact, another French philosopher, Montesquieu (separation of powers), was cited more often by America's Founding Fathers than any other historical figure save for St. Paul of the bible.1
Yet when the government of France applied the reasoning of these same enlightened philosophers to oppose America's 2003 preemptive war in Iraq, many in our nation heaped scorn upon the French. The American press called them "wimps and weasels," state rep Stephan Bararr sponsored a bill to ban the sale of French wine in Pennsylvania, and Congressmen Walter Jones and Bob Ney were responsible for changing the name of "french fries" to "freedom fries" in three D.C. congressional restaurants. 2, 3, 4
This weekend American animosity toward the French has one again turned to empathy as their nation comes to terms with the second terrorist attack in eleven months. While the Charlie Hebdo strike that left twelve dead for "lampooning the Prophet Mohammad" was linked to Ansar al-Shari'a (al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula) whose goal is to implement the same brand of shari'a doctrine in Yemen "espoused by the Afghan Taliban and the Islamic State of Iraq," this weekend's 129 murders were carried out by ISIS in retaliation for the French military participating in U.S. led bombing raids in Syria. 5, 6
It is hard to escape the tragic irony visited upon France considering that the rise of ISIS is a direct result of the 2003 invasion of Iraq that her government opposed. 7
It wasn't the destruction of the World Trade Center that "changed the world," but America's response to it which has led to the death of over a million men women and children. 8 With French president Francois Hollande declaring Friday night's killings to be "an act of war" and vowing a response that "will be ruthless," one can only hope that our French brethren retain the wisdom of the Enlightenment and carefully weigh the forthcoming advice of the American men and women campaigning to become the next ruler of the U.S. Empire. 9
1 Authors Most Frequently Cited By the Founders of the United States:
3 Stephen Barrar, Pennsylvania State Rep: click here
4 House restaurants change name of 'french fries' and 'french toast': click here
5 Terrorist Designations of Ansar al-Sharia as an Alias for Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula:
6 ISIS claims responsibility for Paris terror attacks: click here
7 ISIS: The "unintended consequences" of the US-led war on Iraq: click here
8 Body Count Report Reveals At Least 1.3 Million Lives Lost to US-Led War on Terror: click here
9 Paris attacks: Suicide bomber identified; ISIS claims responsibility for 129 dead: Paris attacks: Suicide bomber identified; ISIS claims responsibility for 129 dead
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Michael Galli is the Dean of Students at Rivendell Academy, a small 7-12 interstate public school on the New Hampshire / Vermont border, where he teaches classes on media and U.S. foreign policy.

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