Adieu Bush, Adieu Cheney…

In the waning days of the second Bush / Cheney presidency, I can barely contain the seething anger that rises in me. This is not a liberal rant; this is not a left-wing diatribe nor is it a politically motivated article. This statement is what I want on the record before political amnesia settles in.

To President Bush and Vice President Cheney,

In the name of all French Expatriates across America, temporary migrants or permanent residents, in the name of Americans of French extraction, be they recent or distant, may they be Cajuns, may they be from Maine, Vermont or Michigan, I want to tell you how much you hurt and damaged the fabric of Franco-American relations, how much you made our lives difficult and painful. May your Anti-French political side-show go down in history as a vicious, petty and as a spiteful act of backstabbing cowardice.

May all Americans remember what you did, not so much in respect to our citizenship or culture, but how it speaks volumes about how you treated dissent, opinion and opposition

When you and your administration pushed the truth aside to embark upon the folly that was the Iraq war, opposition from the French Government became your excuse to operate a systematic, top down Anti-French policy from within your own office; aimed not only at French interests, but against all things Gallic be they our culture, our language and our people.

Five years of Anti-French slander and vilification was thrust upon us by you direct from the White House, from your administration , your members of Congress , from your governors * and from your lackeys in the media .

May all Americans and Franco-Americans alike, remember what you did. Not so much in respect to our citizenship or culture, but how it speaks volumes about how you trampled on dissent, opinion and opposition: true constitutional freedoms you swore to uphold one cold morning of January 2000.

We shall neither forgive nor forget…

Marc St Aubin du Cormier

Richard Perle, Condoleeza, Rice, Donald Rumsfled, Paul Wolfowitz, Jed Babbin
Roy Blunt, Ginny Brown-Waite, Tom Delay, Jack Kingston, Dennis Hastert, Peter King, Bob Ney, Walter Jones, Jim Saxton
* Mike Foster, Bill Owens
Fred Barnes, Ann Coulter, Tucker Carlson, David Denby, Gordon Dillow, Steve Dunleavy, Tomas Friedman, David Frum, Frank Gaffney, John J. Miller, Richard Chesnoff, Kenneth Timmerman, Denis Boyles, Bill Gertz, Jonah Goldberg, Christopher Hitchens, Don Imus, Bill Kristol, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Ron Marr, Dick Morris, Ralph Peters, Gary Schneider, Michael Smerconish, George Will …

51 Replies to “Adieu Bush, Adieu Cheney…”

  1. Very well said, Marc.

    I’m worried that this administration and the disastrous side-effects of its policies will have long standing effects for French-Americans.
    Surrender jokes, ‘smelly’ slurs; it’s all become part of the background of American pop culture almost every time the French are mentioned.
    And unfortunately, it’s still going pretty strong.
    Just last night on the Daily Show for instance…

    I have the hope that an Obama presidency based on diplomacy and the respect of International Law will open many people’s eyes and alleviate a little bit the anti-French misunderstandings, myths and prejudices that have emerged or re-emerged during the Bush – Cheney years.

  2. I apologize on behalf of my very very very stupid country.  We are a nation composed of idiots.  (As proof I offer the results of our 2000 and 2004 elections and the vapid drivel spewed by , , *, and .)

  3. Miquelon: Chapeau! Indeed, now, political amnesia will settle in; but we’ve still got a lot of work ahead of us; just like at the end of WWI or WWII, the catastrophe has ended, but the reconstruction has just begun!

    Reality Cheque — no need to apologize for your fellow countrymen. We understand that only a very stupid minority of people actually engage in French-bashing, and therefore, at least personally, I appreciate American anti-bashers doubly.

  4. Well, RealityCheque, Americans are no stupid as they elected Obama ! Whereas the french elected an hysterical rightwing (nut) dwarf with a complex of inferiority (but he has a sexy italian wife, so the situation is not so hopeless than one might think…)

  5. Miquelon:

    Amen to that!

    Let’s hope that the French bashing will stop now. I’ve lived 5 years of insults, slander and was forced out of a job because of my French heritage.

    Let’s hope that attitudes and people will change, now that Obama is elected. The party of “dissent is treason” was voted out of office.  I will give people the benefit of the doubt and say that they finally realized what Bush and Co. stood for and said NEVER AGAIN  at the voting booth.

  6. Denise, and everybody else of course, our documentary is now going into post-production. It is to be called [Educating Jay] which is all about’s cross country road trip and attempt at giving Jay Leno some French history books (summer of 2006).

    We will need audio for some of the segments.

    Tell us your story.

    We would love to have people like you drop us a simple PHONE MESSAGE, it can be as short or as long as you wish, telling us your story.

    Please feel free to call 646-495-9201 extension 77707
    This is a New York number so long distance charges do apply

  7. Must say, there’s one thing that this Bush administration, their villification of the French has done for my kids —  they became more proud patriotic French who learned to combat the bashings with class and intelligence and a healthy dose of stinging humour. They received their share of villifying from their own school mates (they went to an international school) that there were times my daughter would be fuming mad, raging and almost in tears for being encountering “idiots” as she used to call those who bashed the French; my son who was 12 at the time got into a couple of fist fights…

    My own experience: In the aftermath of the French refusal to countenance the US illegal invasion of and war on Iraq, things got pretty difficult for us in official and social circles where my spouse (who is English) and I “circulated” and the French were often the butt of strong gratuitous criticisms (even in my presence) and sometimes when people didn’t know I was French, some people would profer virulent anti-French expletives. The first time I heard something offensive against the French, I was just dumbstruck and did a tit-for-tat. 

    One thing positive that came out of this odious period was that I’ve stopped taking my being French for granted and have since given the American and/or British bashers as good as I got! In other words, I never accepted crap from anybody, no matter who was dishing the crap, American or British official or not (my spouse has “more or less” an official status but not me so I couldn’t care less!) 

    Matter of fact I have spoken openly and bashed Bush, his American neo-con cronies, et al, even to members of the US military or diplomatic corps and even to some members of the US press I used to run into in social or diplomatic functions.)

  8. Miquelon:

    I live in northern NJ, so long distance charges wouldn’t apply 😉

    I’d love to tell you some of the abuse I received because of my French heritage. However, I’m really afraid of speaking out because I’m afraid of negative repercussions.  I know that sounds stupid, but after 8 years of Bush, I’m scared shitless of political repercussions. 🙁  My husband is French, and we’re finishing up the permanent green card business.

    If i gave you some stories, could you just use my first name and not my last name?

  9. Miquelon:

    you have my email address. If possible, could you reply to me there? I don’t always get a chance to login here, and the webadmins at work like to block all blogs, social networking sites, etc.

    It’s always a challenge to get around their proxies 😉

  10. Hillblogger:

    You go!!   I feel the same way. Since this French bashing became politically correct, I am more proud of my French heritage than ever.   I have told the French bashers off, including a WW2 veteran, and I told him off in a stinging, truthful way that shut his mouth big time.

    Your children should feel proud that they hail from a culture with a long, proud, artistic, strong, intellectual and creative history.

    After all that, they still  brag about good French wine 😀

  11. The French bashing has effected me.  I am American of partial French descent.  I’m proud of my French heritage.  I love the French culture.  I am bilingual French.
    The French bashing made me want to learn more about France and the French so that I would have plenty of ammunition to fight back. 
    I’m happy that our president-elect does not have an Anglo-Saxon name and does not look Anglo-Saxon either. 

    I’m always ready to silence the bigots.

    Marc, I will call you after I decide exactly what it is that I’m going to say.

    I relate to Denise’s and Hillblogger’s comments.

  12. Hillblogger:

    I didn’t resign. I was questioned officially by the admins if I was an American or a “Foreign national”  because parents were calling up the superintendant and telling him to fire that “French woman.”

    I have documentation, because the union rep was with me. My 2nd year there, the students were questioning my nationality, questioning why I spoke French, I was harassed by other teachers for knowing French, for having lived in France, etc. 

    I was terminated at the end of my 2nd year for totally fabricated reasons. I also have documentation of this. in addition, one of the school board members told me in front of the entire school population, including other board members, parents, admins,  what they did to me, WHY and how she was telling me this because she had nothing to do with their dirty politics and she thought I was getting shafted.

    For the record, i was born in the USA.

    I’m at my new job now for 5 years. I’m tenured, and nobody cares what my nationality is. I work with people from all over the world and you hear a variety of languages here. thus, no French bashing 🙂

  13. MIquelon:

    As long as my identity can be hidden, then I have no problem with telling you the story.  I already posted it here and at SuperFrenche’s site.

    I have more than that one incident!  This bashing happens non-stop.  The insults, the harassment, I’m sick of this shit.

  14. Denise, that is a most terrible, appaling and gobsmacking story. Words fail me…

    How could they, merely on the basis of your cultural background, give in to bigots? Did you sue for discriminatory practice?

    Unbelievable that lynch mob mentality in America still thrives in our day and age, and to think that this was triggered by an odious, illegal, immoral invasion of and war on Iraq. The mind boggles!

    That said, we’re not better off in Europe. Many Brits are as parochial as many Americans when it comes to the French. And I’m not exaggerating. To show you how bad it is, my son’s best friend whose mother is French and whose father is a Brit and who is perfectly bilingual has now completely refused to speak French after he and my son experienced bullying at school  because France didn’t join the British-American alliance to invade Iraq (my son remains stubborn and strong-willed and continues to say he is as French as he is English and tough on those who can’t accept it). 

    I have sparred with my own English mother-in-law for bashing the French — fortunately she’s stopped because as I’ve said, I’ve made it my life’s motto that <i>I ain’t accepting no French bashing crap from nobody no longer.</i>

    In any case, I’m glad you  left for a better employment. Good luck!

  15. Denise, I read your story before on SuperFrenchie’s site.  It’s really appalling what you went through.  The level of anti-French bigotry that emerged a few years ago was surprising to me.  I’m happy that it has improved since then although it was better before 2003.

  16. We all put the start at 2003, but I think it’s been simmering for some time, and 2003 was the explosion they were all waiting for. For instance, Dennis Miller had already been writing his disgusting surrender jokes for some time, and the “cheese-eating surrender monkey” phrase was even earlier…

  17. Yes, French Bashing is much older, look at the 1995 Mururoa tests and their consequences, or Howard Stern’s Montréal inauguration performance, or Leno’s bashing after the 1998 world cup…

  18. Do I know if it was French bashing? NO, because there were other political forces working behind the scenes.  However, when parents file formal complaints to the superintendant because of your heritage, when the principals have to “explain” to the complaining parents why the teacher taught the students French (which is required under the foreign languages part of the education law), instead of German,Spanish, Russian, Turkish, Hindi or Italian, as if any other language is accpetable except FRENCH, when other teachers slander me because I’m proud of my French heritage, and hang repulsive anti-French signs in the faculty room,   then I start to see a pattern here….

  19. Did I tell you the story about the bigoted American doctor in Saranac Lake, NY who told me and my French husband that French and Quebecois (hi Miquelon!) were dirty, unwashed, smelly, hairy women, etc… all because when my leg fractured on Wright’s peak and I went to the urgent care facility, i had neglected to COMPLETELY groom myself before going to see this doctor??  

    Apparantly, he expected me to be perfectly coifed, shaved, etc. when I couldn’t walk due to the earth giving way under my leg on the side of the mountain.  He thought he was being funny by insulting French and Quebecois in front of me and French Husband. We thought he was just being an asshole.  This was July, 2008.

    Now, let me tell you about the postal worker from last Christmas who told me to go back to France……

    This shit never ends.   Long live Obama. Maybe having a person of color in the White House will change things, or at least put a damper on French bashing.

  20. Miquelon:

    You need to add me to your facebook friends list. We knew each other on French IRC.  I already have salix and chainess on my list 😉

  21. André and Miquelon,

    Right you are! But the whole French bashing exercise became an international phenomenon of incredible proportions when the Repugs headed by Bush led the onslaught — that’s what I actually meant by “triggered.”

  22. Denise,

    Gosh! I would have bashed the doctor on the head had he said that in my presence. 

    Your had been through some more gross injustice than I had imagined! I am so sorry to hear that. If I may offer a bit of consolation: Your French heritage gives you a far more civilised advantage — those people who gave you the rough treatment aren’t worth the ground you walk on.

  23. Hillblogger — I agree. That’s why, sadly, we can’t yet engage in singing “ding dong, the witch is dead”: the witch is alive and well, I’m afraid, and it’s going to be decades before all these retarded stereotypes disappear.

    Unless… unless of course, a strong French-American lobby could appear, thus making French-bashing as unacceptable as antisemitism or mexican-bashing, for instance.

  24. No one mentions Ezra Suleiman as en expert in French bashing. But i think he would deserve it. He is more educated than Jay Leno and co of course, and speaks French. But the content of most of his articles is a systematical lecturing of France, blaming it in fact for not beeing enough like America and of course not acting enough in foreign affairs like the US. This is his message.

  25. Please, please, please don’t assume that just because one is proud to be French (or French-American), that one is also Liberal, of that it’s suddenly OK to put down Conservatives on a site that is supposed to be about stopping hate. I’m willing to call Bush & Co.  on their French bashing, but much more am I looking for a condemnation of oh-so-“tolerant” Hollywood for exploiting this hatred. And, at no time, am I willing to vote Democrat.

    Short version: some of the commenters here need to apologize to Conservatives, FAST, or forever be known as Grade A, premiere hypocrites.

  26. Kell, I agree. Conservatism should not be rejected in the name of fighting against French Bashing as many “liberals” have bashed the French as well (SNL). We have to address French Bashing without resorting to Anti-Conservatism as there are many on the right who are worthy friends of France and the French.

    Let’s hope the Republican party will do some soul searching and walk away from the politics of extremism and über populism.

  27. I wholeheartedly aggree. There is too much “role-playing” in the world, nowadays, anyways: “I’m a liberal, therefore I dress like this, listen to this or that music, watch this, do that”, and you can’t, somehow,make people understand that you can be a liberal, a conservative, or whatever, and differ in one of these “sacred points”.

    So, I say, three cheers for our conservative friends (and our liberal friends, too).

  28. Kell, I agree.  I belong to the N.Y.S. Conservative Party although I do not agree with them on everything.  I lost alot of respect for the Republican Party because of their French bashing.  

    I was always proud to be an American.  However, French bashing has made me feel less proud, even ashamed at times, about being American but much prouder about my French heritage.  I am happy that France stood firm against the invasion of Iraq.   

  29. And now, for something completely different … well plus ça change …

    “In Paris we stopped at a creperie and ordered chocolate crepes. When we wanted to order more the owner said “You’ll have to leave now because we need to make room for customers.”

  30. Something completely different too:

    Did you know that America owes France their Thanksgiving Day too?

    <a href=””>Thanksgiving Day: The first European arrivals seeking religious freedom in the “New World” were French</a>

  31. Miquelon,

    Hah! N’est-il pas plus approprié de souhaiter aux américains happy thanksgiving  en français ?

    Btw, didn’t know that Anne Sinclair had a blog… thanks for the link.

  32. Brit Performs, French Surrender” – Very disappointed by TMZ’s French Bashing. By referring to the 1940 surrender to describe some pop culture news, TMZ is showing utter contempt and disdain for a people and their history. To the French, the 1940 surrender is as funny as 9/11 is to Americans. Please show some cultural understanding the next time you wish to write something about France or the French.

    “No other national or ethnic group appears to get the same continually negative treatment in print media reserved for France and the French, with the possible exception of Arabs or Palestinians, and even there, the treatment is not so much cultural as political, linked to a specific context or event.If one were to substitute, for example, “Mexican” or “Japanese” or “Indian” for “French”, what would reader reaction be?”. Edward C.Knox, May 2002

  33. Miquelon,

    Anti-French comments coming from parochial commenters, whatever their political or cultural colour are as you say garbage and might I repeat, pure, unadulterated crap!

    They’re thinking and talking from thei backsides.

  34. “..This is not a liberal rant; this is not a left-wing diatribe nor is it a politically motivated article…”

    Good thing you mentioned that…because it had all the trappings of it…

  35. So: What to do?
    First, understand that if your friends like you, that’s a positive for French-American relations. Public opinion is just that. If we are the fourth largest ethnic group in the country, individually we count a lot.
    Second, understand that America suffers from Attention Deficit Syndrome: It gets it’s messages and knowledge in sound bites. Unfortunately, lots of kids have learned to hate the French. It’s going to take positive feedback, not bitter words, to change things, and you should aim at youth, because as we all know, adults believe what they believe, period.
    Third, time for the French government to get off its ass and conduct a publicity campaign here. There is a Catholic modesty thing going on in French PR efforts: Americans are just supposed to know that they should include French consciousness, culture, and cuisine in their lives. Why? Nobody tells them, really. Look at this society: We have Columbus day saluting an Italian hero, St. Patrick’s Day saluting an Irish icon; a pretty good knowledge of most major Jewish holidays, and now we’re learning African heritage through Kwanzaa and even Muslim culture with increasing post-911 publicity about such religious observances as Ramadan. Is there one French day of note? In New york, Bastille Day is celebrated by closing off one half block. Right now, the French might as well be Bosnians as far as being in American minds. “The French? Hey, don’t they make perfume and run at the first sign of trouble?” But go to France and you find the people there actually think Americans keep up with France as France keeps up with America. C’est triste.
    The lesson here is that vacuums are vacuums and they will be filled by someone else if you don’t step in first. Next time this happens, see you at the French-American marcgh in Washington, and in the defamation lawsuit as it reaches class-action status. But until then, see you in earnest conversations all across the country…


  36. I think it would be vital to draw attention from the French government; this could be done with a sufficiently large petition. The petition, the existence of sites such as this and SF, and Sarkoléon’s national pride could well be catalysts for the success of our mission; especially considering that, with Obama’s rise to power, there’s a general atmosphere of goodwill and a will to please the United States; I think it could work, especially with the positive scope offered by Claude.

  37. Completely agree, Marc.

    But I’m afraid that, when the International Court of Justice at long last indicts that sorry bunch, our grounds for litigation will be very small in comparison with those of the millions who died in a war of aggression which they conspired to launch and to wage (the very same indictment which sent a few dozen German leaders swinging from a rope in Nuremberg).

  38. Hi All,

    I can relay to that. I was living in San-francisco, right before the rise of dark ages in 2000 election, and I never heard french bashing that time, nor perceived animosity from the locals wasp community.
    After the 2003 debate I was just settling down in Ireland, and I still can remember the french bashing starting right with the opposition of the french to the Anglo-American pathetic pissing contest in Irak.
    It started in Sky news, english broadcast, and was all over interview and press conference given by neoconist like rumfield and its idiotic peers.
    It remains me of the anti-french bashing that took place in germany in the 30”, and which ultimatly lead to the 2nd wold war. The parrale you can draw between Nazi Germany and Neoconist USA is that for example all reference to the peace movement in France illustrated by the “la grande illusion”, a reference to the stupidity of war, and the peacefull nature of simple people, where bared form entering Germany, and labelled by the nazi, as Ennemi movie no 1.
    In teh same time, back to the post-2003, many french writters, movies had a very hard time being showed in the USA.
    But most alarming of all, is the inclination from all American to give into that french bashing.
    I think mostly, it was caused self-denial and fear.
    What we can hope for, is that the USA will loose for good its hegenomy, and that it will increasingly step further in deline.
    I used to love the USA before 2003, but I despise it nowadays, and do not trust it anymore, not because of the french bashing, but becuase it try to silence the voice of liberty and raison in the name of democracy and freedom.That shows a great deal about this country and how it cannot be trusted anymore.
    It’s time we, as continental European end our tolerance of the USA, and start governing without the meddling of USA.
    Anyway, for what I see in Shanghai  ( I’m running a company there), is that of all expatriates there, most of the Americans I see work either as English Teacher or for big corporation, I’ve been here 5 years and met only 2 American entrepreneurs, but countless entrepreneur of french nationality, starting their business here.
    So much for the much self acclaimed American Entrepreneurial Spirit.

    1. Hi Jean (2009-04-02 17:04)
      When you were in Ireland, were the people in Ireland as hostile as in England? Last time I checked, Ireland was (read: tried to stay) neutral during WWII, so I believe the ‘cheese-eating surrender monkeys’ stereotype probably never caught on there unlike England, where French-bashing has become a cultural norm. Did the Irish press post any insulting articles to demean the French like the UK press did?
      I just want to know. Thanks.

  39. If it’s any consolation, there is a standing summons that will be served to Rumsfeld(and I think in Belgium too) if ever he musters the courage to set foot in Germany for accusations of war crimes.

Comments are closed.