This past Tuesday in one of my hurried moments I put up a link to Super Frenchie's post on Nicolas Sarkozy's recent interview with Le Monde and promised that I would soon post a piece, on Franco-American relations. Well, I still am. But, I just haven't had the time to do it yet. (Help me, platoon. I am a dying cockroach.)
You see, I have a significant number of French readers (probably about a third) and whatever post I put up, will most likely be subjected to some pretty close scrutiny (and I welcome it), so it won't pay to half-do it. What credibility I have (if any at all), will all be neutralized with one failing effort, if I foul this up.
But seriously, that's not the only reason that I want to get it right. I want to do it justice because, I see two countries that:
1. Have never been openly hostile to one and another.
2. Have never been in a war against each other.
3. Have been in three wars together as much needed and appreciated allies. (Once, as allies in the American Revolution; twice with Britain, to free the European continent of imperialist war machines.)
4. Have nitpicked each other to death over stuff that sometimes doesn't mean a thing, in between those instances of allied partnership.
The first three items I listed, I can understand quite well. America needs France, France needs America, and that can only mean that we need each other. But despite that bit of poignancy, somewhere in the midst of it all, there lies a certain disconnect that doesn't get explained adequately. And sometimes, when attempts are made to do so, the connection sometimes fails.
So because this is such a complex subject, I believe it will take more than one post. Therefore, I will need to look at this from some very different angles. I want to look at the similarities as well as, the differences. I want to attempt to explain and clarify some common misconceptions from the American point of view and want to give both my French and American (or any other nationality, for that matter) readers an opportunity to object, correct, clarify, and/or qualify whatever content I present and tell us all what their perspective is. I welcome the close examination and the comments.
If it goes well and looks to be enlightening, educational, and productive, I will probably make it a recurring series from time to time, when the time is right. Right now, I have enough to write three different posts from three different areas of focus. And from there, who knows? Maybe more will come as things gets going. I know that with the French elections coming up next year, there will be no shortage of material.
Another idea I have, is an occasional guest poster on the subject, from either side of the pond. If anyone is interested, let me know. If you have your own blog, you can post it to your blog and I will link to it; if you don't have one, I can post it here for you (whatever floats your boat is okay with me).
So anyway, now that I have turned an intended piece of informational housekeeping into a shameless piece of self-promotion, I will say that I hope to have part one of "The Franco-American Disconnect" up and running, by the weekend. In the meantime while I am waiting to complete the first post, I may throw up a few "off-the-cuff" posts like I am accustomed to doing, when I am pressed for time (which is almost always, anymore).
But most importantly, as always, thanks for reading PYY.