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Bomb la France
With Iraq defeated, the allies need to find a more suitable target. Did someone say bonjour?
BY STEVE ALMOND

Now that weíve opened a can of Good Old American Whoop-Ass on the Iraqi army (official motto: please stop shooting), our military needs to find new opportunities to invade countries.

The reason for this is simple: war is, when you come right down to it, fun. I know the pansy/peacenik coalition doesnít like to admit that, but itís true. Life is just more interesting when our dudes are out there scoping the enemy with those cool night-vision goggles and dropping those precision-guided munitions from high over the clouds. (Sometimes, when Iím at home at night, Iíll sit back in a comfy chair and say those words ó precision-guided munitions ó over and over. Thereís a euphony there I find soothing.)

Also, TV is way cooler when a war is on. Itís been terribly dispiriting to watch the networks try to return to normal programming in the post-Iraq-butt-whipping era. Like all of a sudden weíre supposed to care that the state is running a deficit, or that some movie star got arrested, when two weeks ago we were watching the course of history being changed. I get shivers just thinking about it.

There are some obvious candidates out there: the Elvis-imitator guy in North Korea and whoever the hell runs Iran these days. Syria, maybe. But everyone knows these countries are patsies. And itís starting to look a little unseemly, a little unsporting, to attack only the patsies.

What we need to do at this point is to take on a genuine First World power.

I nominate France.

What the Bush regime needs to realize (and I think, deep down, it does) is that Americans are ready for a war against France. The recent squabble over Iraq is really just a symptom of a bone-deep, longstanding hatred between these two nations.

I would remind those of you with a less-than-awesome historical grasp which side France supported in the Civil War. (Hint: the side that lost.) Not only that, but France is really sort of unfinished business when it comes to kicking Euro butt. Weíve already kicked the hell out of Britain, Spain, Italy, and Germany (twice).

Maybe more important, France ó and, more specifically, the French ó are really annoying. A brief list of annoying things the French do:

1) Speak French. Spanish I could see, because Spanish is useful. The only reason to speak French is some lame effort to impress chicks.

2) Make depressing films. What is it about this whole cinéma de bummer? Are these people allergic to fun? Do they assume that doom and gloom automatically convey depth of intellect? And, if so, how does one explain the Jerry Lewis thing?

3) Sell weapons. If anyoneís going to be selling weapons to unstable despotic rulers, itís the US of A. Got it?

You notice I did not include such items as fail to bathe and smoke constantly. This is because I am an American and therefore reluctant to stereotype.

I realize this list isnít necessarily enough to justify going to war against another country, one that is supposedly an "ally." But there are several other major geopolitical factors that the current administration could use to justify a war.

First, thereís the plain and obvious fact that various European nations ó led by the French ó are attempting to band together, in a crass effort to prevent America from establishing total global dominance. This group, known as the European Union (note the distinctly commie-ish sound of that name), has already established a common currency and various other strategic alliances, some of them no doubt military. A campaign against France would strike at the heart of this so-called union, as France is located roughly in the middle of Europe.

Second, France is, in the truest military sense, low-hanging fruit. The French army might have been hot stuff back in the time of Napoleon, but its recent track record can be summed up in two words: we surrender. (I donít think I need to remind anyone that, if it werenít for us Americans, the French would be eating sauerkraut and blood sausage right now.)

And if weíve learned anything over the past few months, itís that Americans will support pretty much any war as long as there arenít too many casualties. I feel safe in predicting that the French would get one taste of our "Shock and Awe" capabilities and start singing that lullaby known as "Goodnight, Pierre." And, as a bonus, Iím pretty sure we could count on the Brits to help with mop-up.

Third, and most important, is the issue of plunder.

Weíll probably get some oil out of the Iraq deal. But just imagine what we get if we liberate France: unlimited supplies of wine and Champagne, the French Riviera, some incredibly good bread, a bunch of great restaurants, an efficient wait staff, the Louvre, Paris, the Alps, and a whole bunch of hot French babes.

If we play it the right way, we could basically supply pastry chefs and au pairs to the entire Midwest. We could put Disney in charge of running the country and charge admission to anyone who wanted to visit. That alone would take care of our budget deficit.

The main thing we need to do in the next few weeks is to whip up the good people of this country. The recent call for the boycott of French products is a good sign, as is the decision by patriotic cafeteria owners to eliminate the "French" from fries. As recently as this weekend, I saw a T-shirt for sale in the North End that said france sucks. (My own suggestion would be to strengthen this assertion: france swallows.)

Mr. President ó or Mr. Vice-President or Mr. Rove, whoeverís calling the shots ó now is the time to act. Letís get our boys the hell out of the desert and go after these cheese-eating, Gauloise-smoking, Musketeer-pimping, Sartre-quoting mère-fuckers.

Steve Almond peut être atteint à sbalmond@earthlink.net

Issue Date: May 23 - 29, 2003
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