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Thread: A degree of humour and bite

  1. #1
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    Default A degree of humour and bite

    Got this in an email today, which is probably a resurrected bit of of the 'cheese eating surrender monkeys' bile and American jingoism that was going around at the time that France, and other European nations, wisely opposed America going into Iraq. It's possibly apocryphal. Still, there is some humour and bite.

    1. US Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, was in France in the 60's when DeGaulle decided to pull out of NATO. DeGaulle said he wanted all US military out of France as soon as possible.

    Rusk responded "Does that include those who are buried here?"

    DeGaulle did not respond. (Said according to internet searches to come, in essence if not in detail, from Rusk's autobiography, but I don't have a copy to check.)

    (This reminds me of Woodrow Wilson, the President of America with a population around 100 million, trying to treat Billy Hughes, the Prime Minister of Australia with a population of 4 million, dismissively as the head of a power of no consequence at Versailles in 1919. Each country lost around 60,000 dead, but the impact in America was relatively minor compared with the impact in Australia which had one twenty fifth of the American population. The essence of the variously reported exchange is that Wilson said to Hughes, condescendingly to a minor power "And who do you speak for?". Hughes replied "Mr President, I speak for 60,000 dead Australians.")



    2. There was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break, one of the French engineers came back into the room saying 'Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intended to do, bomb them?'

    An American engineer stood up and replied quietly: 'Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?'


    3. A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S. , British, Canadian, Australian and French Navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of Officers that included personnel from most of those countries. Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English. He then asked, 'Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?'

    Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied, 'Maybe it's because the Brit's, Canadians, Aussie's and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German.'


    4. Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on.

    "You have been to France before, monsieur?" the customs officer asked sarcastically.

    Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.

    "Then you should know enough to have your passport ready."

    The American said, 'The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it."

    "Impossible. Americans always have to show your passports on arrival in France !"

    The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained, ''Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn't find a single f___ing Frenchmen to show a passport to."


    5. When in England , at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of empire building' by George Bush. He answered by saying, 'Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.' (Apparently true in essence, if not detail http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/powell.asp)
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  2. #2
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    Default Re: A degree of humour and bite

    4 - Heard that several times...

    I have even witnessed it on one occasion during arrival at Quistreham harbour. 3 American veterans were asked for their passports by a very rude customs guy. No please, just a Gestapo style 'PAPERS!'.

    One of the Yanks turned round to me and said loudly "Dont remember having to put up with this shite last time we landed..."

  3. #3
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    Default Re: A degree of humour and bite

    Ummm... has to be said, that doesn't fit with my experience of France. Over most of North-Eastern France, you're surrounded by war memorials to Allied troops - beautifully kept up, and not just by the CWGC either. Plus the customs aren't nearly as bad as the US ones, who really didn't want to let me into the country last time I went and treated me like a terrorist (and I'm from the closest US ally). France is much more friendly and welcoming, provided you treat them politely and make an attempt to speak the language.

    Having said that, I will make an exception for Paris. If ever a country would be improved by removing it's capital city, it's France. Even the French generally hate the place.
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

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    Default Re: A degree of humour and bite

    Quote Originally Posted by pdf27 View Post
    Even the French generally hate the place.
    Yeah... You got us there...

  5. #5
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    Default Re: A degree of humour and bite

    Seriously, but for the fact that the Mrs can't speak French and is scared to learn, plus the fact that a certain strand of politics over there drives me nuts ("it's our right for the state to pay for everything for me, and guarantee me a 'job' where I can sit around and do nothing all day" - I'm not saying this is a majority view, but it exists) I'd move there tomorrow.
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

  6. #6
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    Default Re: A degree of humour and bite

    Quote Originally Posted by pdf27 View Post
    Seriously, but for the fact that the Mrs can't speak French and is scared to learn
    What is there to fear about learning the language of love? Apart, perhaps, from having to use it to communicate with you?

    Quote Originally Posted by pdf27 View Post
    , plus the fact that a certain strand of politics over there drives me nuts ("it's our right for the state to pay for everything for me, and guarantee me a 'job' where I can sit around and do nothing all day" - I'm not saying this is a majority view, but it exists) I'd move there tomorrow.
    A strand of politics which creates that view, or an attitude in segments of French society which some politicians exploit?

    The recent upheavals in France about raising the retirement age a couple of years is rather difficult to understand for those of us used to our government tweaking things through tax, superannuation and other laws to achieve a rather later retirement age, and us meekly accepting it.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  7. #7
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    Default Re: A degree of humour and bite

    Quote Originally Posted by pdf27 View Post
    Ummm... has to be said, that doesn't fit with my experience of France. Over most of North-Eastern France, you're surrounded by war memorials to Allied troops - beautifully kept up, and not just by the CWGC either. Plus the customs aren't nearly as bad as the US ones, who really didn't want to let me into the country last time I went and treated me like a terrorist (and I'm from the closest US ally). France is much more friendly and welcoming, provided you treat them politely and make an attempt to speak the language.

    Having said that, I will make an exception for Paris. If ever a country would be improved by removing it's capital city, it's France. Even the French generally hate the place.
    Sadly, I too have had the rough end of the US customs and immigration wallahs. I was searched in a rather unpleasant manner all because one's surname is rather odd. In fact it happened several times in my visit to the states a few years ago. It has rather put one off going there again.
    "There is no country on the face of the earth to which the principle of citizen-soldiership is so well adapted as our own, for the freedom possessed by Britons is of so general and real a character as to cause the humblest in the land to feel deeply the neccessity of preserving the safety and independence of the nation of which he is a part"

    The Volunteer's book of facts 1863

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    Default Re: A degree of humour and bite

    Quote Originally Posted by student-scaley View Post
    Sadly, I too have had the rough end of the US customs and immigration wallahs. I was searched in a rather unpleasant manner all because one's surname is rather odd. In fact it happened several times in my visit to the states a few years ago. It has rather put one off going there again.
    I was searched merely because I had a one-way ticket...I mean, it's ****ing ridiculous!

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    Default Re: A degree of humour and bite

    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

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    Default Re: A degree of humour and bite

    LOL

    My mother, who's almost 70, was also searched because she had a one-way ticket (bought for her by relatives via frequent-flyer miles). Part of the problem is that the U.S. is trying to observe some sort of politically correct notion of 'not profiling' to an extreme of stupidity...

  11. #11
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    Default Re: A degree of humour and bite

    My family always gets the sh!t end of the stick: search my mum because she speaks English with a heavy French accent, search my dad because he's 6"4, and search me because I have three nationalities(all of which are US allies)... You'd think that living in Texas for 13 years would help, but it doesn't...

  12. #12
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    Default Re: A degree of humour and bite

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    I was searched merely because I had a one-way ticket...I mean, it's ****ing ridiculous!
    They will also search you, and everything you have if you stay only one day in a place.worse if its the same day. They figure one to be a drug smuggler. with a one way, they figure one for a suicide bomber.
    I was sent to the "Red Line" when returning from Scotland a few years back, (the red line is similar to the group "W" bench from the saga of Alice's restaurant) There I joined people from India, and other parts of the Mid East .( I have a light olive skin tone, and a long beard ) for a goodly wait. When I got to the front they found my bottle of single malt to be worthy of interest. (a gift for my boss's boss.) So after missing my bus, I was waved through. I guess my bag of chocolate buttons wasnt on the suspicious stuff list.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: A degree of humour and bite

    Having slagged off the American immigration & custom chaps, I feel it only fair to point out the gross failings of the UK's border agency. I recently flew to europe, and as I went through to the departures lounge (aka the shopping centre where you load up on booze, fags and CDS which aren't usually cheaper than normal) I had to go through the scanner, as usual with me and technology it didn't like me and off it went. Oh joy thinks I, this is going to be fun. I must point out at this point, dear reader, that one's trousers are beltless and are starting to sag and furthermore I am now cufflink-less and as such am looking rather strange.

    Luckily for me further humiliation is to come, because the little alarm went off I have to remove my shoes! There are some things a Englishman shouldn't have to stand for but thanks to the Terrorism Act 2006 I have to endure such privations. At this point I'm already miffed, but then I have to be searched and patted by a rather suspect effiminate guard and I swear there was cuppage!

    Not a happy chappy.
    "There is no country on the face of the earth to which the principle of citizen-soldiership is so well adapted as our own, for the freedom possessed by Britons is of so general and real a character as to cause the humblest in the land to feel deeply the neccessity of preserving the safety and independence of the nation of which he is a part"

    The Volunteer's book of facts 1863

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