Or at least whatever percentage of the population that agrees with Le Monde know where they can stick it.
Caption reads (translation): “Let me handle it. I know the country well.”
The execrable cartoonist of Le Monde, Plantu, hitting yet another low. Over 155,000 people have died in this massive tsunami disaster. The U.S. is spearheading critical aid efforts in the region. Little matter, of course. Better to make snide commentary along the lines that, hey they destroyed Iraq–and so are well suited to handling such calamities. Sick thought process, no?
Note the cartoon is linked to this story entitled “How the U.N. is Coordinating Aid to a Devastated Asia.” ( http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-3208,36-392846,0.html ) [Note: Linked article in French] What’s it about? Basically, French resentment that the U.S. is making a bid at being the leader of a “humanitarian coalition” assisting the hundreds of thousands devastated by the massive seaquake. The short article is, encore, obsessed with the U.N. (read: France) having a major role! Yawn.
It gets worse. In an article on the American humanitarian effort in Indonesia, after a lengthy preamble about how unpopular the Iraq war effort was in Indonesia etc etc., this gem:
http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-3216,36-392854,0.html [Note: linked article in French]
[Begin Le Monde excerpt] Colin Powell, qui se trouve ? Bangkok et doit se rendre ? Djakarta, essaie de faire comprendre le sens de la d?marche : "Nous ne recherchons aucun avantage politique", assure le secr?taire d'Etat am?ricain. "Nous n'essayons pas de nous faire mieux voir par les musulmans, affirme-t-il. Nous le faisons parce que des ?tres humains en ont besoin, en ont m?me d?sesp?r?ment besoin." Autrement dit, m?me les avions de reconnaissance am?ricains P-3 Orion qui survolent Atjeh ne cherchent qu'? rep?rer les destructions pour faciliter l'aide humanitaire. Translation: Colin Powell, who is in Bangkok and is on his way to Jakarta, tries to make sense of the [U.S. initiative]: "We are not looking for any political advantage," assured the U.S. Secretary of State. "We are not trying to make ourselves look better in the eyes of Muslims," he affirmed. "We are doing it because human beings need it, even desperately need it." [b]In other words, the P-3 Orion American reconnaissance planes that are flying over Aceh are only surveying the destruction to facilitate the humanitarian effort.[/b] [emphasis added] [End Le Monde excerpt]
Note the staggering sarcasm. We are doing recon over Aceh, not really to help (wink wink) but to perhaps prepare another oppressive, anti-Muslim adventure we’ve got up our sleeve. Absurd and insulting. Memo to Le Monde and their ilk: Get over yourselves. You are a middle power, lucky to have a U.N. Security Council seat still, and with little resources to mount the kind of operations the U.S. is currently pursuing in places like Indonesia.
Rather than commend the U.S., if just for a moment in the midst of this immense tragedy, Le Monde’s journalists and cartoonists prefer to insinuate that the U.S. has nefarious motives in Indonesia, or make crude fun of the difficulties in Iraq having ‘prepared’ us for Indonesia’s blight. Such sad fare isn’t just wrong, tasteless, petty and rancidly provincial. It speaks of a society, like contemporary Germany, that’s ails and needs scapegoats. It’s not politically correct to look internally for them anymore. So everyone loves to beat up that favorite bogeyman–the U.S.–out of a mixture of incomprehension, envy, fascination, stupidity and crude stereotyping. It’s sad really.
Look, don’t get me wrong. I love many things about France. And we cooperate with them in places like Haiti, Afghanistan, critical intelligence sharing on terror. But France has become a society in desperate need of fresh thinking, different directions, new horizons. Sarkozy would help–though there is no easy panacea. After all, this kind of myopic, obnoxiously self-interested news treatment of this massive tragedy speaks volumes, doesn’t it?
Posted by Gregory Djerejian at January 5, 2005 05:25 AM