Open letter to Mr Jonah Goldberg by Michel R. of Aix en Provence, France.

Dear Mr Goldberg,

I read your article about France of October the 24th with much attention. I have to say that I’m very surprised by the virulence of your speech about my country, and by the virulence of the American media in general.

First, I am deeply shocked of the fact that you agree with Mr Friedman, considering France as your enemy. How can you say that, meanwhile French troops are in Afghanistan helping the USA in the war against terrorism, paying by their life (with the attempt of Karachi last year) their engagement with the United States? France is also one of the best allies of the United States in the field of Intelligence.

Listening to you, we would believe that the whole of France has the virus of anti-Americanism in their blood. It’s ridiculous! The French are not anti-American. The majority of the population loves America, what it represents, that is to say freedom, personal achievement, and democracy. But they are also, in their majority, against the Bush administration policy, who represents, I think, the dark side of America: Christian fundamentalism, ignorance, and a Manichean and simplistic vision of the world. If the Parisian elite hates America as a whole, it’s a tiny minority. The French in general appreciate the USA. I will add however that articles like yours and comments of, for instance, the conservative channel Fox News start to irritate my fellow citizens. You would never see in the French medias, even in the left-wing newspaper Le Monde, opinions as “hard” as those published in America.

Then, answering to your affirmation that France wants to see the US lose the peace in Iraq, I would say that you are totally wrong! France is aware of the importance of the stabilization of the Middle East, and considers it as a priority. Indeed, considering the strong Jewish and Muslim minorities in France, it would be a great danger to let the Middle East fall into chaos. The French government knows it. And that’s why it voted the later UN resolution, even if all the conditions proposed by France were not in the final text. I think it is a great step toward the USA. You would notice that no French officials affirm in any way things like “I told you so!” in front of the difficulties faced by the coalition in Iraq. But reproaching the French (and the German, who are, strangely, totally missing from your reproaches) because they do not to contribute financially to the reconstruction of Iraq is, in my view, a bit exaggerated! Why would a country that did not want a war that was not an immediate threat, that warned its ally against that, would have to give money to the reconstruction of Iraq? And above all if this money falls into the pockets of Halliburton!

My conclusion would be that you, Mr. Goldberg, know perfectly all that I wrote. But, I do not know why you keep, in your mind, a deep and frightening resentment about the French shared by a growing part of the American media. It is quite worrying but I am confident in the American people who will, I am sure of it, recognize their real friends, and put President Bush out of the White House, realizing all the lies that this man said to them. This “Franco phobia” will be seen, in the future History books, as a brief fever comparable to McCarthyism.