Le Thread

In honor of Bastille Day, and in recognition of one of America’s greatest and most beloved allies, I’ve given this thread a Frenchified name. Voulez-vous commenter?

The Discussion: 196 Comments

“Haurh, haurh, haurh!” (that’s a chuckle with a French accent).

So did you hear that the Congressman who changed the name of “French fries” to “Freedom Fries” in the House cafeteria is now saying he made a terrible mistake in supporting the war and is calling for US withdrawal from Iraq?

July 14, 2005 @ 7:21 pm | Comment

Yes Lisa, that was wonderful news. He was very apologetic about the Freedom Fries noinsense, and oh so contrite. I have to give the guy a lot of credit for having the nerve to do that and admit how wrong he was. Now, if only Conrad would do the same.

To Chinese-reading commenters, someone dropped this URL into another thread, and I’m a bit suspicious — is it a naughty site??

July 14, 2005 @ 7:41 pm | Comment

Har! Har! Har! Screw those damn frogs.

It’s not just Iraq, they oppose any and everything America does. The only thing I regret is that we still have American soldiers burried in that heap of compost over there.

July 14, 2005 @ 8:02 pm | Comment

That sexblog is as it’s name suggests. The writer is a married woman, though I couldn’t see any name or handle.

The blog talks about her sexcapades with her husband and the various different ways of enjoying, you know, “it”.

Skimming through the first page, the lady has a very grim view of past mainland Internet sex-writers 木子美 and 流氓燕 (Mu Zimei and Liumang Yan) saying they used their bodies to sell themselves and their writings.

However, this lady says she’s very different from other past sex-writers BECAUSE this site has a very UNIQUE feature (you’re not going to believe this). On this site, her readers can download audios of her sex-sessions with her husband!

You couldn’t make it up.

July 14, 2005 @ 8:28 pm | Comment

LA FRANCE – the conscience of the mankind

it’s fortunate for the US to have an ally like france, just image what will happen if all US allies are nations like japan or britain

July 14, 2005 @ 8:29 pm | Comment

Yes, because the French have always had such a glorious colonial history themselves, what with Algeria, central Africa, etc. Not to mention an imperial conquest of Europe in the early 19th century. Truly a nation of saints.

Honestly, that comment aside, I don’t mind the French not because I think they are more worthy of being America’s conscience than anyone else, but because someone, anyone, ought to be the gadfly to our national arrogance. The French are as good at that as anyone else.

July 14, 2005 @ 8:37 pm | Comment

Thanks for the translation, Martyn. Kind of what i suspected (the “sexblog” helped give it away). ๐Ÿ™‚

And Bingfeng, I tend to agree. The nation that brought us escargots, eclairs, the statue of liberty, Voltaire, French kissing, Estee Lauder skin cream, Le Bon Pan (sp?), the Sorbonne, Notre Dame, Emile Zola and Napoleon Brandy can’t be all bad. In all seriousness, they were our greatest friends in the Revolutionary War, they were splendid heroes in the Great War, and despite the horrors of Vichy France many rose up to collaborate against the Nazis (not all; I know all about the many bad apples). All in all, they are among our very greatest allies and must be commended for having the ingenuity and the prescience to see that our McWar in Iraq was a losing proposition from the get go. Vive la France!!

July 14, 2005 @ 8:40 pm | Comment

Will, don’t forget Vietnam, which le Frogs managed to exploit and gloriously f*ck-up, before dumping the problem in the laps of their American allies.

July 14, 2005 @ 8:42 pm | Comment

Conrad, you Republican you, that was our choice. The French didn’t put a gun to our heads. You and I are both old enough to remember all that domino theory bullshit…. And it was pure bullshit as history has proved.

July 14, 2005 @ 8:44 pm | Comment

It wasn’t really bullshit though, was it. Just look at the map. Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Burma (sort of). The French got trashed by the VC so they cut and ran. America’s mistake was to think they could do better.

And no-one’s mentioned the Suez, although that was the Brits as well.

As a sobering reminder, the French have nukes, as many glowing South Pacific islanders can attest.

Now for something completely different…while MAJ has passed on from these pages, just came across a tangentially related article on the yuan and oil price at Asia Times.

July 14, 2005 @ 8:47 pm | Comment

Ahh yes, France, the great defender of human rights…

How are they doing on lifting the arms ban against Beijing these days?
Have they finished exterminating people on the Ivory Coast yet?

Oh and Conrad, don’t forget about Cambodia.

July 14, 2005 @ 8:49 pm | Comment

Simon, you really do miss MAJ, don’t you? ๐Ÿ˜›

July 14, 2005 @ 8:52 pm | Comment

Pure, unadulterated BS, and (with all due respect, Simon, whom I love) only die-hard neocons, so painfully discredited by our little Bushcapade in Iraq, subscribe to such Colkd Warrior thinking.

C’mon dude. The line back then was it would lead to the emasculation of the US in the face of rampant, uncontrolled Communism. (Shudder!) Remember those retarded maps with red all over them — all of China and the USSR and assorted other countries all dyed red on the map, as though they were monolithic, all threatening the US with death and destruction and the enslavement of mankind? Well, it all turned out a tad differently, dontcha think? It was pure BS. How was it true? Where is the great anaconda of communism that was going to engulf us all? Nowhere, because it was a scare tactic resulting from cold war hysteria and, frankly, stupidity. What a waste of all those young American lives in Vietnam. Almost as tragic as our new iteration of that insanity.

July 14, 2005 @ 8:54 pm | Comment

Jeez, how could I have overlooked Indochina? (Or, more properly, L’Indochine, I suppose.)

Right, well that does it for the French conscience. They’re as sordid as the rest of us.

Now, in their defence, I’d like to day that I have had two lovely holidays in France, one in Dijon and one in Antibbes (both admittedly some time ago). Splendid place for a visit. Their wobbly moral compass aside, I have nothing but regard for their cultural compass.

July 14, 2005 @ 8:55 pm | Comment

Re France. They don’t simply see themselves as the “conscience” of America or the West, oh no no no. That’s beneath them.

The French genuinely think of themselves as a world power defined as perhaps not having the economic/military might of America (even they can’t fool themselves that much, they’re not Chinese, after all) but making up any such shortcomings with “cultural”, “civilising”, “capturing the higher refinements of mankind” greatness. Honestly, this is how they think.

I remember reading a load of translated French newspaper articles during the first Gulf War. Although French Mirage jets did take part in the initial attack, the articles made it sound like France was fighting the war almost single-handedly with the US and the especially the incompetant Brits just tagging along just to make up the numbers!

On a seperate issue, I’m shocked that the Freedom Fries guy has done an about-turn.

July 14, 2005 @ 8:55 pm | Comment

Aren’t the French just Italians in a bad mood?

July 14, 2005 @ 8:56 pm | Comment

I saw this the other day…Tokyo Governor on French:


July 14, 2005 @ 8:59 pm | Comment

I love French food. And French vanilla ice cream. What would we be without France? The answer is simple: mierde.

July 14, 2005 @ 9:02 pm | Comment

Yeah, But today you get better French food outside France.

July 14, 2005 @ 9:04 pm | Comment

*Warning* to mainland readers

Simon’s above tinyurl links to Blogspot. If you don’t want to ruin your connection, slip on those dancing shoes and do the funky proxy.

July 14, 2005 @ 9:05 pm | Comment

Oh, and this just in: the city in which we invested more manpower, dollars and American lives than just about any other in recent times has flared up again, proving that our occupation of Iraq is a pipe dream (as if by now we didn;t know). Why, oh why didn’t we listen to those “weasly” French?? We are now engaged in a huge and bloody game of whack-a-mole, and everywhere we turn the enemy keeps popping up, despite being in their last throes. I hate them, but there’s no doubt they’re winning.

July 14, 2005 @ 9:08 pm | Comment

Nuthin’ worse than a pissed off camel jockey.

July 14, 2005 @ 9:11 pm | Comment

“I saw this the other day…Tokyo Governor on French:


that tokyo governor is a super nationalist blockhead, i had a post about his visit to a japanese “soil” covered by seawaters:


it tells a lot that tokyo citizens elected such a fool as their governor

July 14, 2005 @ 9:13 pm | Comment

If he was Chinese he would be a National hero.

July 14, 2005 @ 9:15 pm | Comment

they are serving suhc traditional chinese foods like chun-bing and zhou in KFC, just wonder what does KFC offer in france?

why KFC could survive in country like france?

July 14, 2005 @ 9:21 pm | Comment

a Microsoft staff is reading Mao’s works to improve hisself, amazing and amusing:


July 14, 2005 @ 9:29 pm | Comment

I heard that Isihara also had a good rant at China in some article on the UCLA Media Centre. I’ll try and get the URL.

Imagethief has a great post on an article from the Financial Times no less and I’ve also seen it on the WSJ.com.

Imagetheif post called “Article is called “How Not to Alarm People, Lesson One: Don’t Mention the Nukes” and is about a Chinese general recently going into detail to an audience of foreign journalists about the conditions for China nuke-ing the US.

As I said in a comment there, just another in a long line of “Talk big and do absolutely nothing”.


July 14, 2005 @ 9:30 pm | Comment

Yeah, re Isihara, at least Japan only have the one, how many nationalist, hate-filled lunatics does China have? 1.4 billion?

July 14, 2005 @ 9:32 pm | Comment

And as I said, If China ever fired one nuke at the United States, there wouldn’t be a China to launch anything else from.

I’d take that article witha grain of salt though. That general sounds like a Chinese Howard Dean.

July 14, 2005 @ 9:33 pm | Comment

I saw that FT article earlier today and meant to blog it, about the nuclear threat. I’ll go see Will’s post now.

July 14, 2005 @ 9:34 pm | Comment

Thanks for the plug, Martyn.

Per KFC in France, Bingfeng, 10% of the people make 90% of the noise. For all the scandalized outrage about American fast food and whatnot invading China, your average French person probably doesn’t give a sh*t, and is perfectly happy to dive into a bucket from time to time.

After all, do you think the French would make so much noise about protection the language if young French people weren’t appropriating foreign words? If most French people wanted to preserve the language in a specimen jar, they wouldn’t need a bureaucracy to do it. (Note to the Quebecois: This applies to you, too.)

July 14, 2005 @ 9:35 pm | Comment

Thank you again Martyn. Great response to Bingfeng, who speaks as though the Chinese are calm and rational…. I suggest he visit a China Daily forum.

July 14, 2005 @ 9:36 pm | Comment

I’m pretty sure all these people sitting around me as I type aren’t hate-filled nationalists. Or, if they are, they hide it really well. (Sinks lower in cubicle…)

July 14, 2005 @ 9:38 pm | Comment

“Yeah, re Isihara, at least Japan only have the one, how many nationalist, hate-filled lunatics does China have? 1.4 billion? ”

“And as I said, If China ever fired one nuke at the United States, there wouldn’t be a China to launch anything else from.”

warm comments, thank you!

an advice – have some beer ๐Ÿ™‚

July 14, 2005 @ 9:42 pm | Comment

Hey, Martyn – saw you had a little comment trouble. Sorry about that; my anti-spam is a bit of a hack, so it makes comments slow to appear. It’s up there.

July 14, 2005 @ 9:44 pm | Comment

No problem Will, I clicked “submit” without putting in my url. I wrongly assumed that a url was required so I typed it in and send it again, sorry. Won’t happen again as I saved my details on Imagthief.

July 14, 2005 @ 9:46 pm | Comment

warm comments, thank you!

I really like the way you take phrases out of context to make them appear as something other than they were intended.

You should apply for a job at Xinhua or the People’s Daily.

an advice – have some beer ๐Ÿ™‚

Maybe later in the day. Drinking in the morning is not my style.

July 14, 2005 @ 9:47 pm | Comment

“Thank you again Martyn. Great response to Bingfeng, who speaks as though the Chinese are calm and rational…. I suggest he visit a China Daily forum.”


i think 99% chinese are more calm and rational than martyn, if you don’t believe it, i suggest you visit peking duck “le thread”

July 14, 2005 @ 9:48 pm | Comment

Richard, I can’t believe you didn’t mention French wine…no, NOT whine! The good, red stuff! Bordeaux! mmmmm…..

July 14, 2005 @ 9:50 pm | Comment

Lisa, I am totally enamored with Australian Shiraz, followed by Napa Valley Zinfandel and Cabernet. I am not impressed with European wine at all. Now, baijiu – that’s my kind of drink!

July 14, 2005 @ 9:51 pm | Comment

“Yeah, re Isihara, at least Japan only have the one, how many nationalist, hate-filled lunatics does China have? 1.4 billion?”

“And as I said, If China ever fired one nuke at the United States, there wouldn’t be a China to launch anything else from.”

“I really like the way you take phrases out of context to make them appear as something other than they were intended.

You should apply for a job at Xinhua or the People’s Daily.”


so what do you think martyn and you want to say in these two comments?

they are “warm” to a chinese reader, indeed!

July 14, 2005 @ 9:53 pm | Comment

Bingfeng,you really think this thread compares to a China Daily thread, where on any given day they shriek that Iris Chang was murdered by Jews and that Sars was an American plot? Do you really believe that?

July 14, 2005 @ 9:54 pm | Comment

Simonworld’s Daily Linklets are particlularly good today. There’s a load of good stuff about.

One of the links qouted the China Daily:
“An honesty crisis has hit Chinese fledglings as they find an honest quality hardly leads to any benefits. A recent survey polled a total of 700 middle school students, aged from 12 to 16, and found that nearly 90 percent bypass honesty for the sake of interests.

The survey results has shocked the public as the Chinese younger generation has grown so pragmatic that self benefits easily trump the quality of honesty, which has been long preserved by Chinese as one of their traditional core values.”
I think that’s quite sad.

July 14, 2005 @ 9:55 pm | Comment

Personally, I prefer this Chinese wine that’s really cheap, called something like “chateaux dijing” or something.
something tells me it is baijiu mixed with grape soda….

July 14, 2005 @ 9:56 pm | Comment


the two comments made by martyn and gordon somehow reminds me the china daily forum, if you think their comments are good response to me, then it should be fine with you to let me compare china daily forum with peking duck site

July 14, 2005 @ 9:59 pm | Comment

Kevin, do you have an email address? Couldn’t find it on your blog (assuming you are Kevin in Pudong). If it’s private, can you send me an email? I was hoping maybe we could talk when I visit Shanghai in a few weeks. Thanks!

“I think MAJ is a little cuckoo for cocoa puffs” — I am still laughing out loud over that!

July 14, 2005 @ 9:59 pm | Comment


C’mon man, I have no patience for those who criticise others (e.g. Ishihara) but look at themselves and their own country through “rose-tinted spectacles” (this means never seeing anything bad, only seeing good).

We have Americans on this very thread criticising America. Therefore, when these same people criticise another country then I tend to listen because I know they are fair, balanced and not biased. It’s as simple as that mate.

July 14, 2005 @ 10:00 pm | Comment

chinese wine is too sweet, french wine is a little expensive

July 14, 2005 @ 10:01 pm | Comment

Bingfeng, it is fine for you to compare them. I just wanted to know why. I agree, Gordon’s remark might seem extreme, but what he said makes sense — if China attacks the US first with nukes, they can indeed expect to become the world’s largest pancake shortly thereafter.

Needless to say, I hope we never have to prove that, as it would mean the death of us all.

July 14, 2005 @ 10:02 pm | Comment


I’m reminded of that baby photograph on The Fantabulist thread. You can’t slam other people and other countries and then cry foul when others say something about China. You know, it’s not “one rule for one and one rule for another”.

July 14, 2005 @ 10:03 pm | Comment

hey, i sent you an e-mail with my address. i keep my e-mail on the downlow cuz it is my work address.
leaving now to go to nanjng for the weekend, see ya.

July 14, 2005 @ 10:07 pm | Comment

Thanks Kevin, I responded already.

July 14, 2005 @ 10:09 pm | Comment

Thanks for putting my comments back into perspective Richard.

Simply put, China has stated that it would never be the first to use nuclear weapons in any military confrontation, but that directly conflicts with what the Chinese Howard Dean just stated in the FI article.

Just as has allegedly sworn never to be the first to use nuclear weapons in a conflict, the United States has resolutely promised to respond with the full capacity of its nuclear arsenal should any nation ever fire a nuclear weapon at the US.

Considering the US has more than enough nuclear weapons (12,000+) to blow the world up 10 times over, the means just what you stated, China would become the worlds largest pancake and I would hate more than anything in the world to see that – especially since I have family here.

July 14, 2005 @ 10:10 pm | Comment


If you want a gmail account to use for your blog, send me an email and I’ll send you an invite.

I still have like 200 of those damn things. They just keep piling on.

That goes for anyone else too. If you want a Gmail account, send me an email. (horsesmouth-at-gmail.com)

July 14, 2005 @ 10:12 pm | Comment

Thanks for the props, Martyn. Sorry about the blogspot URL, I forgot about the old proxy two step.

I know we’ve moved on, but France’s problem is it can’t allow that it is no longer a great nation…hell, it’s even a falling power within Europe. The Brits managed it all with reasonable grace and flair.

July 14, 2005 @ 10:16 pm | Comment

โ€œWe . . . will prepare ourselves for the destruction of all of the cities east of Xian. Of course the Americans will have to be prepared that hundreds . . . of cities will be destroyed by the Chinese.โ€


First, I think he’s being overly optimistic about the fate of the cities west of Xian, since the US has thousands of missiles capable of reaching anywhere in the world.

Second, I am not quite sure how he expects China to destroy hundreds of US cities since:

China has only a very small number of nuclear-armed missiles that can reach the United States today. Current estimates are that China deploys about 18 intercontinental ballistic missiless (ICBMs) capable of reaching the United States.

Since China’s missiles only deploy a single warhead each, I think he’s gonna come up a few hundred cities short.

July 14, 2005 @ 10:23 pm | Comment

Re Ishihara’s views on China. I’ve tracked down that article I heard he penned on New Perspectives Quarterly, link below.

Tom Plate, writing at http://www.asiamedia.ucla.edu summarises Ishihara’s article as follows:

“The governor virtually dismisses all of Chinaโ€™s arguable claims of sovereignty, whether over Taiwan or Tibet or disputed islands, as conclusive evidence of Chinaโ€™s expansionist ambitions. He condemns this ancient and oft-magnificent civilization for lacking the very basics of โ€œcivil societyโ€ and explains away Chinaโ€™s fantastic economic growth as fueled solely by exploitation and designed entirely to feed its aggressive-minded military building. Furthermore, he suggests China is Asiaโ€™s only monster polluter, and at one point compares China to Nazi Germany. The argument — as he writes it — that โ€œTaiwan should be part of China is tantamount to Adolf Hitler’s view that Austria be annexed because the Austrians were of the same ethnicity as Germans.โ€
However, if you go to the New Perspectives link and read for yourself, the article isn’t as extreme as Plate makes out:


July 14, 2005 @ 11:00 pm | Comment


Do you know the Meta code that was used to provide the blockquote style that is utilized on your blog?

I’ve been trying for a few weeks now to get that function on my blog, but it just doesn’t quite work out.

If you can access your meta coding, would you mind sending that string to me? I would really, really appreciate it.

July 14, 2005 @ 11:03 pm | Comment

re KFC in France : We hardly have any, I don’t think I ate at KFC before I came to China. McDonald’s pretty big though.

And yes, France was an evil colonial power. Yet somehow it manages not to be hated by everyone in the world (well, except for those nuclear tests). OK, it’s not as admired as the US is either, which probably explains.

The main things I think are better in France than in the US :
* the politics – multiple parties, runoff elections, no religion or not many cheap scandals …
* the architecture : medieval towns, castles, canals, churches … you don’t get old stones like that in the US.

As for the food, heck, give me New Orleans !

July 14, 2005 @ 11:04 pm | Comment

Just from reading history, I’ve always heard that the Dutch and the Portugese colonialists were obsessed with trade and little else, they tended to let the locals get on with it, politics-wise.

The British were very paternalistic and saw the locals as people who needed to be looked after and civilised. The Brits did genuinely believe they were bringing civilisation to the pagan world.

The Belgiums saw its colonies as baubles and playthings (evidenced in today’s Central African Republic formerly being the private hunting ground of the King Of Belgium!).

The Spanish saw colonies as merely ways of getting rich.

The French were always known to be very hard colonial taskmasters who tended to rule colonies with an iron grip and ruled via the franco-fication of the colony’s upper-middle/ruling class.

I think the peoples of L’Indochine and Afrique francophone may agree with that but I suppose all colonists were hard by the very fact that they controlled colonies.

Anyway, Emile, so you’re French? What do you think about the American politician that started calling French Fries “Freedom Fries” now regretting it all?

July 14, 2005 @ 11:25 pm | Comment

Do they even eat “french fries” in France?

July 14, 2005 @ 11:28 pm | Comment

I’ll just cut and paste from today’s linklets, sans links:

A Chinese general mentions the nuclear option over Taiwan. As in the good old days of the Cold War, the only way to generate Mutually Assured Destruction is to form a credible threat that you will use your nukes in your enemy’s mind, thus forcing a stalemate so long as you think your enemy is as mad as you. Dr Strangelove is laughing.

Or, as my people say, this guy is mushuga.

July 14, 2005 @ 11:36 pm | Comment

I thought it was meshugge.

Having trouble with Virtual Browser (looking for Jing’s piece on the meshugge general from Simon’s link). Anyone else in China experiencing this? Has Nanny eaten it?

July 14, 2005 @ 11:45 pm | Comment

Other Lisa,
I agree with Richard about French wine. Don’t think much of it. But may be it’s because I can’t afford the expensive variety. Barossa Valley shiraz or melot are more like my sort of thing.
As for KFC, in my student days, we went on hunger strike to stop KFC from operating on campus. I told this story to my students the other day. They want to know why. What can I say?!!!

July 14, 2005 @ 11:45 pm | Comment

Simon, that link to the phtograph of the world at night, provided by one of your commenters (on the thread about North Korea) is an amazing photo. I’m still looking at it.

Japan is lit up like a Christmas tree.

July 14, 2005 @ 11:53 pm | Comment

I saw your comments about the Vietnam war and I am not sure you guys have an understanding of that conflict. If you will indulge me, I will relate how I understand the Vietnam War (American War).

With the collapse of the Axis powers in 1945, most saw that the coming conflict was going to be between the United Stated and the Soviet Union. The Japanese saw this, the Germans saw this, I suspect even the Italians and the French had an inkling of what was coming up. The Americans proposed, first to Ho Chi Minh, then to Mao, and then to Tito, that they could have any form of government that they wanted, they did not even have to be allied to the USA, but they would have to be at least neutral in the coming conflict. Only Tito took up America’s proposal.

In 1945 the Free French attache was in Kunming with the Americans. With the fall of the Japanese he attempted to fly from Kunming to Hanoi to re-assert Frances claim to Vietnam. Every attempt to do so he found that all flights (controlled by the Americans) was filled and he had to wait. It took him some time to make his way to Vietnam. In the mean time Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnams independence in Hanoi. On the balcony with him was an American colonel (intelligence type). We supported Ho then, but later Ho allied himself to Stalin and we pulled out and allowed the French to resume their colonial bid. Actually, the French government at that time was not particualy interested in reclaiming Vietnam, they had far more problems on their hands, but Churchill, still in power, wanted to retain the Raj, and lobbied the French to retain Vietnam (he did not wish France to give a precedent to the Indians, but alas, he went out of power and the Raj ended and the poor French were stuck with Vietnam).

The French made their feeble effort, but they really did not have sufficient wealth to expend on such a folly. But the Korean War changed American attitudes to some degree. Although not wishing to allow the French to retain a colony, the United States supported the French sufficiently that the Southern half of the country could be kept out of the North’s hands. And so the Eisenhower years go by. Just a quick aside, during the Korean conferences to end the war, the Chinese were getting pretty belligerent. Eisenhower told them to cut the nonsense, if they did not sign a cease fire agreement, then he would turn the military loose and they would start nuking China. I believe it was the French who told Mao that Eisenhower was not much of a comedian, so they grudgingly signed.

Kennedy is elected President. The Russians see a young kid without experience and push him hard. Every time Kennedy turns around the Russians are pushing him hard. Things were not going well for him. No matter what you may have read, his re-election prospects were not looking like a walk in the park. So the Kennedy regime thought they needed to push the Russians back, and hard. President Kennedy, like most people from the left establishment, do not know economics, but have very little understanding of geo-politics. So he chose to push the Russians in Vietnam. Things do not quite work out, he orders the Vietnamese government to be overthrown, the Diem brothers are killed (Ziem in North Vietnamese, Yiem in South Vietnamese, the Vietnamese have a “D” sound, but it is written with an slash in the vertical stroke). Things go downhill from there. Kennedy is killed, Johnson takes over and carries on the Kennedy program lock, stock, and barrel. Not much better results. Nixon is President and he has a secret plan. Nixon is now dead, and it looks like he took his secret plan to the grave with him. Anyway, the USA finally pulls out of Vietnam.

The story does not really end there, though. South Vietnam was a rather vibrant economy during this time, in spite of the war (wars, contrary to popular thought, are not good for economies). But the communists pulled off one of the great economic miracles of the 20th century. I think everything pales before it. In just 15 years they developed Vietnam into South East Asia’s poorest country. If you have been to Cambodia and Laos, you will see this is no mean feat. It took a lot of will power, effort and energy. But it is a miracle that most of us would not want to see repeated.

By the way, Richard, 1/3 of Cambodia’s people disappeared during Pol Pot’s regime. I do not think they consider the Red Peril all that much bull shit. That was nasty stuff, even for a left liberal intellectual.

July 14, 2005 @ 11:54 pm | Comment

It’s funny, as Henry pointed out on his blog the other week, KFC is seen as a top-end food in China. The prices are about double that of local rice-based meals.

I’ve always preferred pizzas. A couple of great pizza places have opened in Guangzhou recently, with Italian chefs! Heaven.

July 14, 2005 @ 11:56 pm | Comment

Actually, the French had quite a bit to do with the development of modern armies. They were the first to institute a draft, thereby mobilizing a nation, which allowed them to conquer countires whose own armies were modelled on the French, or required to study French miltary thought because they were fighting the French. Put an end to the Barbary pirates and settled Algeria, thereby creating what became the Algerian nation. Sent off a generation of military explorers into the Sahara and Africa south of the Sahara, laying the basis of what were to become many African states. Intervened in Indochina to reestablish a throne. Gave modern Indochina its boundaries (thereby preventing a Vietnamese takeover of Cambodia and a Thai takeover of some parts of Northern Cambodia and Southern Laos. Made Vietnam an economically functioning entity (the only French colony that paid for itself), thereby establishing one of the bases for future independence. Unfortunately, also exposed their colonial subjects to the ideas of Marxism, thereby laying the basis for destroying any economic progress made. Established the EFEO, restored Angkor Wat, catalogued languages of peoples totally unknown to previous generations of Europeans, and the histories of their colonies and protectorates. Between 1945 and 1961, had one of the most formidable airborne forces in the world. Yes, France was a world power, and threw a large shadow across the world (as did the Brits), and I believe that in the end, they were a force more for the good than evil (ditto the Brits). So, here’s a tip of the hat to the French. I look forward to seeing video of white leather aproned, bearded, Legion sappers parading down the Champs Elysee, followed by the Paras of the 3rd RPIMa, and 8th RPIMa, as well as the Spahis and “Marsouins” of the RICM.
And, since I’m going to be excoriated anyway for being an apologist for colonialism, as well as (shudder), a francophile:
En nomme de Dieu, vive la coloniale, et par St. Michel, vive les paras.
p.s. Note that Giap, while using Soviet and Chinese equipment, fought his war with napoleon’s campaigns as his model.

July 15, 2005 @ 12:04 am | Comment

Gerard Depardieu is an ugly mofo!

July 15, 2005 @ 12:10 am | Comment


You having probs reading Those Who Dare? I read the site earlier same way as I do everyday, no probs.

This is the link that I always use to read Those Who Dare:


July 15, 2005 @ 12:14 am | Comment

a friend of my wife just joined a pizza franchise and told her the tricks played by Pizza Hut in china – they ask their customers line up in front of their stroe even if there are empty seats in the store.

there are local pizza with prices as low as 39 RMB, and the pizza franchise her friend just joined offers 12 RMB and 7 RMB pizzas.

Croissants de France is a bakery brand very popular in shanghai, eventhough, it has great pressure from local bakeries like “apple garden”, which offers similar products with much lower prices.

we will see this “core competence” of low cost spread to the whole country in the next couple years. so i think someday when american products die in china the french ones will still be alive.

vive la france!

July 15, 2005 @ 12:15 am | Comment

France smells like China.

July 15, 2005 @ 12:19 am | Comment

No ambiguity as where your international support lies bingfeng my friend! To be honest France, the country, is quite popular in China, especially since the Iraq War. I remember that the Chinese press, quite rightly I suppose, reported France’s anti-war comments a lot at the time.

However, re your above comment, China is no different than any other country, despite what 1.4 billion people think. McChina is here to stay.

July 15, 2005 @ 12:22 am | Comment

Boy! that Fantastic Four is doing really well at the B.ox O.ffice.

July 15, 2005 @ 12:28 am | Comment

About freedom fries, heck, I’ll just copy what I wrote in an earlier thread adter it turned dead :

D’you think that “freedom fries” thing offended any of us French ? We tasted the yelow things you serve at Mc Donalds (I think France is the eureopean country with the most McDonalds restaurants ^-^), we’re *glad* you disassociate our name from them. Come to the North of France or Belgium if you want to taste the real stuff ! Fries and Mussels, hmm …

(And no, we don’t call them “french” fries, just fries, and tend to associate them more with Belgium than with France. I’ve also heard belgium doesn’t have any belgian waffles ^-^)

As for France as an ex-world power, I read on wikipedia that “until 1795 metropolitan France was the most populous country of Europe, above even Russia, and the third most populous country in the world, behind only China and India” (That is, using the present borders), which certainly puts things in perspective – it explains the exagerated position of France in the “world consciousness” compared to it’s current status (of course, so does being a bunch of arrogant snobs who always thinik they’re right, but that’s excuseable, because you see, we *are* always right).

July 15, 2005 @ 12:31 am | Comment

Thanks, Martyn. VB ok now. Just paranoia, I guess.

Bingfeng: I agree with Martyn, McChina is here to stay. American brands have had their death warrants written before, but they are like cockroaches. They can survive in virtually all environments. Once you have an infestation, you just can’t get rid of them. Worse, the brands that are dying in the US often seem to find second wind in Asia.

That reminds me, I am due to go downstairs and get my afternoon Starbucks (speaking of things that scandalize the French, and Italians). Ahh, sweet caffiene…

July 15, 2005 @ 12:31 am | Comment

Ha! Pizza isn’t even a concept that’s native to France and I for one wouldn’t be a bit sad to see all the Pizza Hut’s go under.

If I really start missing the food from home, I just go to a Chinese Pizza Hut because it tastes like shit – just like it does at home.

Bingfeng, in order for American products to die in China, the Chinese would have to start producing qualitiy products that aren’t stolen ideas from other countries.

Whether you like it or not, America is going to be around for a long long time and her products will continue to remain superior to those of China because American companies have quality control standards that Chinese companies lack.

Of course I can’t wait for you to call that a China-bashing statement…but it’s just the truth.

July 15, 2005 @ 12:32 am | Comment

“McChina is here to stay” – yark. How disgusting! But I’m afraid Martyn is correct.

July 15, 2005 @ 12:32 am | Comment

Even the French can laugh at themselves. The Chinese on the other hand……….

July 15, 2005 @ 12:37 am | Comment

……laugh at every foreigner they see…

July 15, 2005 @ 12:40 am | Comment

“Ugliness is in a way superior to beauty because it lasts” Serge Gainsbourg

July 15, 2005 @ 12:41 am | Comment

it seems most of you didn’t get what i mean in my post

china is becoming a bi-polar society (unfortunately), french luxury products will have a place in serving chinese rich while american products, many of them serving mass market, will have a hard time in competing with chinese brands who could make fair quality products with much lower cost

July 15, 2005 @ 12:41 am | Comment

Nope, We’ll just make them in China.

July 15, 2005 @ 12:43 am | Comment

Most Chinese people I know would rather buy foreign products. It seems Chinese products have a bad reputation in China. Also the Chinese like McD’s, KFC etc.. because they are clean. It can’t be for the “Cuisine”.

July 15, 2005 @ 12:54 am | Comment

Dear Fat Cat,

It’s all about good wine. There’s lots of stuff you can drink that seems to taste great when you don’t have a lot to compare it to. When you start drinking a lot of wine, you can learn the differences between stuff that tastes good and stuff that’s truly fine.

Truth be told, California makes some of the best wines in the world. Australia and New Zealand also make some nice wines, as does South America. They also make a lot of mediocre but friendly wines that are easy to drink and not particularly complicated.

The French make a lot of mediocre wines too, but they also make some of the best wines in the world, and we should give them credit for really developing the whole wine industry.

Other Lisa (who has just drunk some damn fine California cabernets with several of her buddies, keeping in mind that these cabernets might be considered far from subtle, dare I say, perhaps overbearing and overly forward where they to be judged according to French standards. But they were very nice wines, believe me…).

July 15, 2005 @ 12:57 am | Comment

Dear Bingfeng,

Come to California. There are a lot of mediocre American products, as you said. But we make great stuff here. Great food, great wine and big box office movies that aren’t half-bad.

I will pick you up at the airport!

July 15, 2005 @ 1:00 am | Comment

I believe you’ll find it is New World winemakers that have really brought the product to the masses, by producing drinkable wines at low prices. Meanwhile the French have been busy defending the terrior system, slurping up CAP subsidies from the EU and losing market share hand over fist.

It’s like football or cricket – maybe the English invented it, but they aren’t that good at it. (*ducking*)

July 15, 2005 @ 1:02 am | Comment

Dear Lisa,
I totally agree with you. I’ll save up some penies and get a good bottle of French wine next time. I’ve heard about Californian wine. But I can’t buy them here in OZ. Not in the bottle shops next doors anyway. But I’ll try to hunt for some.

July 15, 2005 @ 1:05 am | Comment

Haha, Emile, thanks for taking the time to post. I’ve just learned a bunch of stuff that I didn’t know.

I don’t think anyone would knock France’s contribution to the world, which is considerable, it’s just that modern France, especially with politicians Dominique de Villepin and Chirac (who I understand is now very unpopular in France), seem to rub up everyone the wrong way and they come across as arrogant to a lot of people. Quebecois also have this reputation.

However, on a more personal note, everyone I know that has visted France has loved the country, the architecture, food, wines etc are some of the best in the world.

Mind you, I did read that one reason that Paris was rejected for the 2012 Olympic Games, was that the Olympic Committee percieved a culture that refused to speak English. Don’t know how much of that is true like.

I’ve often thought that an Asian would make a good UN Secretary General next time round but apparenly there’s some unwritten rule that UN heads should speak both English and French.

Anyway, I wasn’t aware that we had French readers Emile. I think that’s great.

July 15, 2005 @ 1:12 am | Comment

I find the California Cab’s to be too humorous and jovial for my tastes.The Willamette Valley pinots are rapacious and edacious to the extreme. A fine Cote Du Rhone petulant. Maddog 20/20 would at first appear naive and guileless.Upon further examination it is an uncommonly companionable and fearless co-pilot.It’s also very nice on the pocketbook.

July 15, 2005 @ 1:14 am | Comment


Ha! Spot the Australian!! I’m just surprised that you’ve gone this long without commenting on English sporting prowess. It must have been torture mate. Bloody Australians.

July 15, 2005 @ 1:15 am | Comment

Simon, you just made me blow Starbucks latte all over my computer.

Actually, Other Lisa raises a really good point. The Chinese may replace American fast food (the Filipinos did that with Jollibee a while ago) and clothing brands. But you’re fully hooked on our pop culture, and that is, after all, America’s most successful export. You can get a few French films down at my local pirate DVD store, if you can find them wedged between “Ghost Dad” and “Showgirls”.

Mind you, I am not suggesting that this is necessarily a good thing.

July 15, 2005 @ 1:17 am | Comment

And what EXACTLY was wrong with Showgirls?

July 15, 2005 @ 1:18 am | Comment

Not enough nudity.

July 15, 2005 @ 1:29 am | Comment

I apologise to your computer, Will.

Nothing was wrong with Showgirls. Nothing was right about it, either.

Why isn’t anyone talking about the great Chinese wines? Oh, wait a sec…

July 15, 2005 @ 1:29 am | Comment

So you’ll be off to Starbucks again soon, Will?

July 15, 2005 @ 1:30 am | Comment

This whole French thing has me thinking about Monty Python’s Life of Brian.

Reg: All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?
Attendee: Brought peace?
Reg: Oh, peace – shut up!
Reg: There is not one of us who would not gladly suffer death to rid this country of the Romans once and for all.
Dissenter: Uh, well, one.
Reg: Oh, yeah, yeah, there’s one. But otherwise, we’re solid.

(From IMDB…and now I know what I’m watching tonight).

July 15, 2005 @ 1:34 am | Comment

And another classic from the same movie:

Reg: [arriving at Brian’s crucifixion] Hello, Sibling Brian.
Brian: Thank God you’ve come, Reg.
Reg: Well, I think I should point out first, Brian, in all fairness, we are not, in fact, the rescue committee. However, I have been asked to read the following prepare statement on behalf of the movement. “We the People’s Front of Judea, brackets, officials, end brackets, do hereby convey our sincere fraternal and sisterly greetings to you, Brian, on this, the occasion of your martyrdom. ”
Brian: What?
Reg: “Your death will stand as a landmark in the continuing struggle to liberate the parent land from the hands of the Roman imperialist aggressors, excluding those concerned with drainage, medicine, roads, housing, education, viniculture and any other Romans contributing to the welfare of Jews of both sexes and hermaphrodites. Signed, on behalf of the P. F. J. , etc. ” And I’d just like to add, on a personal note, my own admiration, for what you’re doing for us, Brian, on what must be, after all, for you a very difficult time.

July 15, 2005 @ 1:37 am | Comment

And Chinese beer – not bad at all!!
So starbucks in China already?!!!

July 15, 2005 @ 1:41 am | Comment

Bingfeng disparages “American products, many of them serving [the] mass market.”

Dude, WTF are you talking about?

The US exports very, very few products serving the mass market. Most “American” consumer goods sold abroad are actually made elsewhere. The US isn’t exporting consumer goods to the world, they are having them made low wage countries and slapping a US band name on them (e.g., Nike made in China).

50% of US export products are big-ticket capital goods (e.g., aircraft, medical equipment, computers, telecommunications equipment, etc)

Another 40% are agricultural products and industrial supplies.

The few consumer goods that the US actually does manufacture and export are overwhelmingly high value-added products like pharmacuticals.

However, the US’s biggest “export” doesn’t even show up in the statistics. It’s services, like investment banking, consulting, banking, legal services, accounting, insurance, engineering, research & development, advertising, programming, etc.

The US economy has evolved into a service economy, leaving manufacturing to countries like China.

July 15, 2005 @ 1:47 am | Comment

Another good thing about France – le Tour de France – an event in France without the French. I know what I’m watching tonight.

July 15, 2005 @ 1:49 am | Comment

Simon, one a day is all my wallet and nervous system can handle.

Actually the discussion had me thinking about Monty Python as well, but from Holy Grail:

ARTHUR: Please go and tell your master that we have been charged by God with a sacred quest, and if he will give us food and shelter for this night he can join us in our quest for the Holy Grail.

MAN: Well, I’ll ask him, but I don’t think he’ll be very keen. He’s already got one, you see?


GALAHAD: He says they’ve already got one!

ARTHUR: Are you sure he’s got one?

MAN: Oh yes. It’s very nice

CUT TO BATTLEMENTS. THE TAUNTER (MAN) turns to some others.

MAN: I told him we already got one. (They all giggle.)

ARTHUR: Well … can we come up and have a look?

MAN: Of course not! You are English pigs.

ARTHUR: Well, what are you then?

MAN: I’m French. Why do think I have this outrageous accent, you silly king.

GALAHAD: What are you doing in England?

MAN: Mind your own business.

ARTHUR: If you will not show us the Grail we shall storm your castle.

MAN: You don’t frighten us, English pig-dog! Go and boil your bottoms, son of a silly person. I blow my nose on you, so-called Arthur-king, you and your silly English K…kaniggets.

GALAHAD: What a strange person.

July 15, 2005 @ 1:51 am | Comment

Conrad, I actually think what Bingfeng means we export is “consumer brands” rather than “consumer products”. That we do in spades.

July 15, 2005 @ 1:59 am | Comment

And let’s not forget the French Tickler.

July 15, 2005 @ 2:06 am | Comment

Absinthe. And cheese. God bless the French for their cheeses. Although the Aussies have learned how to knock those off also.

Simon, what’s the deal? Austrialia = France with Kangaroos and cane toads. Should we even trust you?

July 15, 2005 @ 2:12 am | Comment

By the way, “Austrialia” is how we spell it in the US. It’s the extra “i” that we took out of “Aluminum”.

July 15, 2005 @ 2:13 am | Comment

Will, don’t get me started…it’s going to be a late night at my place tonight.

“It’s only a flesh wound!”

What an amusing day – from Cowboy Jiang Regean to Monty Python. It must be Friday.

July 15, 2005 @ 2:17 am | Comment

From this day forward Aussies are to be referred to as “Cane Toads” “Those fuckin’ Cane Toads are always suckin’ Chinese ass!” My father actually said that!

July 15, 2005 @ 2:18 am | Comment

Martyn : Hmm, a culture that refuses to speak english ? I haden’t heard about the reasons the olympic comittee didn’t choose Paris, but that one makes sense ๐Ÿ™‚ (I still prefer esperanto over english or french, but hey, fat chance)

And yeah, Cheese, how could I forget cheese ! You can’t get good cheese in China or in the US. (OF course, I’m sure the chinese say the same about chinese food in France, and the americans about, uhm, what do the americans wish they could find abroad ? I’d put dowhn root beer, but apart from that ?)

(and what is the French Tickler ?)

July 15, 2005 @ 2:21 am | Comment

don’t forget the best thing of france – french women! lovely, intelligent, not agreesive, and very beautiful …

July 15, 2005 @ 2:21 am | Comment

How the hell can you get an equation like Australia = France with Kangaroos and cane toads!!! We friggin’ went to war in both Iraq and Afghanistan with the Sepos and this is the thanks we get?

I wouldn’t be dissing it too much, Will. After the Chinese nuke the West coast, where else are you going to go?

July 15, 2005 @ 2:24 am | Comment

“Those fuckin’ Cane Toads are always suckin’ Chinese ass!”

Like granting assulym to diplomats, perhaps?

Cane toads are the nickname for Queenslanders.

July 15, 2005 @ 2:26 am | Comment

“You can’t get good cheese in China or in the US. (OF course, I’m sure the chinese say the same about chinese food in France, and the americans about, uhm, what do the americans wish they could find abroad ? ”


“i misss the burger king!”

oh, Friday restaurant!!

“i had nostalgia in Friday restaurant!”


July 15, 2005 @ 2:29 am | Comment

And the Cane toads just crossed border a month ago to WA. Bloody Queenslander.

July 15, 2005 @ 2:29 am | Comment

That’s quite a jump…they went the whole way over the Northern Territory?

July 15, 2005 @ 2:38 am | Comment

I thought Queenslanders were referred to as “Those people in drag.”I must have some bad information. Maybe I watch Fox news.au too much.

July 15, 2005 @ 2:45 am | Comment

French girls? Blah! (No offense Emile).

I find Japanese and Vietnamese girls to be pretty damn hot. South American girls are smokin too if you hook up with them before they start the big horizontal expansion.

July 15, 2005 @ 2:45 am | Comment

If you like hairy armpits the froggy gal is the way to go.

July 15, 2005 @ 2:46 am | Comment

I cannot get a good steak ,hamburger, NY style pizza, Knish ,bagel ,pastrami , corned beef. America makes wonderful cheeses now. Mexican food here is really repugnant. .

July 15, 2005 @ 2:51 am | Comment

Apparently you haven’t noticed all the Chinese girls walking around with hairy armpits?

That’s one of those culture things I’ve had trouble dealing with.

Fat Cat,

Maybe after Armstrong retires the French will actually be able to win a le Tour de France.

July 15, 2005 @ 2:52 am | Comment

Not only have I noticed em’ I’ve caught a whiff of em’ as well. Deo puhleeeeze!

July 15, 2005 @ 2:54 am | Comment

Tour De Lance?

July 15, 2005 @ 2:55 am | Comment

It’s impossible to find good bread in China, anywhere. The best you can hope for is an almost tolerable imitation of “French” bread.
But most Chinese bakeries smell like sewage.

July 15, 2005 @ 2:57 am | Comment

Ah, yeah, mexican food, that’s something I wish they could do right in France and in China … (though I’m not sure it counts as fully american – at least, not what most foreigners would call american)

July 15, 2005 @ 3:00 am | Comment

I’m just sayin’ it looks suspicious Simon. Orleans in the outback, if you ask me.

Once the Chinese nuke the west coast (assuming I haven’t been incinerated with rest of Beijing – not that you’d know the difference in a Beijing summer) I’ll just move back to Singapore, where I spent the last nine years anyway.

Of course, with the new US naval base and it’s strategic position at the apex of the Malacca Strait, Singapore may be just another radioactive mangrove swamp with a good view of Malaysia after the big conflagration.

July 15, 2005 @ 3:01 am | Comment

Well, Emile about 70% of Los Angeles might disagree with you.

July 15, 2005 @ 3:01 am | Comment

Actually, I’ve found reasonable bread in Beijing. Not great, but not embarassing. Of course, my wife bakes as well, which helps.

Americans take a bad rap on cuisine. There is plenty of great food in America — or at least there was in San Francisco — from Jewish deli to tex-mex to west-coast fusion. The problem is that we have no one “identifiable” cuisine (befitting an immigrant nation) and our most *visible* food, especially internationally, is utter sh*t.

July 15, 2005 @ 3:12 am | Comment

Hamburgesa con queso is muy delicioso! guey!

July 15, 2005 @ 3:14 am | Comment

Southern BBQ,Hushpuppies,cornbread,greens,fried catfish po- boy,gumbo,jambalaya,muffaletta etc…..

July 15, 2005 @ 3:22 am | Comment

I agree Will.

You can find just about any kind of international cuisine in America and that’s of course because you can find just about any kind of ethnicity in America.

As for the Chinese bread…I like some of their bread products, but sandwich bread sucks here and where the hell are those hamburger buns?

I walked into the “Chain Store” (that kills me by the way) and found what I thought was a package containing two hamburger buns. So, being the big sucker that I was, I took them home, pulled out the ground beef and grilled up some hamburgers. Everything was in place. I had the onions and tomatoes slice, the ketchup and Mayo ready and I was looking forward to a god burger..but then I went to open my hamburger bun I discovered some sweet jelly shit in the middle.

I didn’t look down when I threw it out the window. I wonder if I bunned someone in the head…

July 15, 2005 @ 3:24 am | Comment

Gordon, That “sweet jelly shit” Well….I…….Uh……. never mind……

July 15, 2005 @ 3:27 am | Comment

BTW, Getting bunned by a “jizz cake” is an honor in China. Everything is the opposite here.

July 15, 2005 @ 3:30 am | Comment

Attention! Calling all Chinese Trolls!

To all Chinese trolls lurking on this site that have not found a blog to reside on yet, Kevin in Pudong is looking for a few resident trolls to homestead on his blog.

July 15, 2005 @ 3:30 am | Comment

Will he accept American trolls too?

July 15, 2005 @ 3:31 am | Comment

They all must be: A- playing CS or B-Picking their noses and looking longingly at it’s contents.Thinkin’ “Hey,I wonder how this would taste on a bed of fluffy..white…rice…Um”

July 15, 2005 @ 3:35 am | Comment

America seems to have something against the French doesn’t it.

I find it ironic that many people in America seem to believe that France is less domocratic and less free than America and that France was wrong to force French rule on other countries yet seem to think that it is perfectly OK to force US style democracy and morals on other countries, or to say that other countries can’t have nuclear arms while it can.

July 15, 2005 @ 3:38 am | Comment


You regret having US soldiers in Europe?

Whatever the governemtns of Europe may say, the people of Europe certainly want US troops out. The only people who want US troops in Europe are politicians looking for US support and shop keepers in the towns around US bases who want the income from high spending GIs.

July 15, 2005 @ 3:40 am | Comment

Most Americans really don’t give a crap about ANY other country.

July 15, 2005 @ 3:40 am | Comment

Who’s gonna bang all dem local Euro ho’s? Who’s gonna bust up the town?Who’s gonna piss of ALL the locals?Life will be even more boring in Europe.With Americans there at least it’s a living museum. If America leaves it’s yawnsville baby

July 15, 2005 @ 3:54 am | Comment

Who’s gonna bang all dem local Euro ho’s? Who’s gonna bust up the town? Who’s gonna piss of ALL the locals? Life will be even more boring in Europe.With Americans there at least it’s a living museum. If America leaves it’s yawnsville baby.

July 15, 2005 @ 3:55 am | Comment

ACB said:

You regret having US soldiers in Europe?

ACB, please take a closer look at what I said… I said that I regret having American soldiers burried in France.

Whatever the governemtns of Europe may say, the people of Europe certainly want US troops out. The only people who want US troops in Europe are politicians looking for US support and shop keepers in the towns around US bases who want the income from high spending GIs.

Aside from the fact that you twisted my words around, I would like to see a serious downsizing of US troops in all of Europe. It costs the American taxpayer too much money to keep ’em over there. Of course, as you pointed out, the Europeans would suffer a huge economic hit if that were to happen.

July 15, 2005 @ 4:05 am | Comment

Yikes! I don’t know what happened with that last tag.

July 15, 2005 @ 4:05 am | Comment


A quick search turns up polls showing that 52% of British 45% of Germans want US troops to remain in their respective countries. Who knew there were that many shopkeepers and politicians.

July 15, 2005 @ 4:24 am | Comment

You nested your blockquotes. Pervert.

Americans on average probably didn’t care about France one way or the other until their politicians told them to become enraged. Americans aren’t above propaganda. Past masters, actually.

July 15, 2005 @ 4:24 am | Comment

Now for something completely different. Just added this to my linklets for today:


No, it’s not April 1.

July 15, 2005 @ 4:25 am | Comment

I love my dear frensh neighbours. The food is great the vine also, the beaches are nicer than the German ones and they have this funny accent when they speak German.
Also they gave us Voltaire who did a great job showing the world how ridiculous those christian fanatics are. Unfortunatly it seems he didn’t make it to the US (perhaps because he was Frensh?).

Vive la France et allez les bleau!

On the Vietnam war.
Saw a documentary just recently called “The fog of war” (great, absolutely recomendable).
It’s mainly an interview with McNamara who himself says that this whole domino-theorie was nonesense. Basicaly what he says is, that the american administration made the mistake to see the civil war in Vietnam as a war between Communism and the free world while the Vietkong themselves saw it as a war of national liberation and had no intention to have too close ties with China which they saw as a former colonial power.
He also said American politicians should think twice when a lot of it’s allies don’t support a war like it was the fact in Vietnam and in Irak. They might have some reasonable causes.

July 15, 2005 @ 4:25 am | Comment

I’m currently in the process of trying to replace some of the music that I lost when my hard drive crashed on me a couple of weeks ago and I just can’t remember all of the songs and artists that I had collected in my iTunes folder so I would really appreciate it if some of you wouldn’t mind stopping by and leaving a few artist/group suggestions. I listen to everything from all different countries (except Sarah Brightman), so pretty much anything goes.


July 15, 2005 @ 4:31 am | Comment

I would recommend these sites to you.
Great places to find stuff you never heard from:

July 15, 2005 @ 4:39 am | Comment

Well Simon, suck it up and help mom out. hahaha!

Guess they don’t have pacifiers, eh?

Reminds me of that comedy where some guy creates a strap on boob for fathers to nurse their infants.

The strangest thing I noticed about that article was the flawless English. Unless the editors over at PD finally hired some decent English majors to maintain their English portal, they’ve cut and pasted that article.

July 15, 2005 @ 4:42 am | Comment

These are great places to find stuff you (at least me) never heard of:

July 15, 2005 @ 4:42 am | Comment

Something wrong with that link Gordon.

July 15, 2005 @ 4:43 am | Comment

Simon…my nipples explode with delight!

July 15, 2005 @ 4:46 am | Comment

These are great placess to find music you (at least me) never heard of:


July 15, 2005 @ 4:46 am | Comment

Check out these music-blogs:


July 15, 2005 @ 4:49 am | Comment


Nevermind. I don’t think I want to touch that one…. ๐Ÿ˜›

July 15, 2005 @ 4:52 am | Comment

Thanks Martyn. Here, try this link

July 15, 2005 @ 4:55 am | Comment

These are great placess to find music you (at least me) never heard of:


July 15, 2005 @ 4:55 am | Comment

last one was me.

July 15, 2005 @ 4:56 am | Comment

Hi guys, gals and others.

Long time no see. Looks like there have been all sorts of interesting developments, of which I’ll have to get someone to update me on later when I’m back home.

Just my 5 cents worth, and apologies if it has come up before. The French are scum. Why? Two words: Rainbow Warrior. The latest news to come out … the terrorist attack was authorised by the president himself. The scumbag should be disinterned and his remains dumped unceremoniously into the sea. For all the evils people love to repeat about the USA and the CIA … I don’t recall ever hearing a US president directly authorising sobotage and murder in the territory of an allied power, whose troops had died defending her in two world wars. The 20th anniversary of the attack just came around recently … Did the French ever punish anyone for this action? Ha! Get real. They gave them medals. THAT is the kind of country France is.

So … you want to strike back against state-sponsored terrorism? BOMB PARIS.

OK … I’m ranting. But I feel strongly on the topic of “france”

July 15, 2005 @ 4:56 am | Comment

Gordon: It was another Monty Python reference (the fake Swedish dictionary). Simon ought to get it. He’s sufficiently deranged.

July 15, 2005 @ 5:00 am | Comment

Shulan, China was never a factor in the Vietnam War, as a matter of fact they were America’s strongest allies (while officially an ally of Vietnam). Vietnam’s real ally was the Soviet Union, with the blockade of the Tonkin Gulf, the only feasible route for Russian goods to Vietnam was through China. A full loaded train would be loaded in HellongJiang with the Russian cargo. It would take at least a month to finally make it to the Vietnam border. The only problem, the train had only 10% of its initial load of war material. The other 90% dissapeared somewhere in China, must have been the corrosive weather. There is nothing wrong in reading or listening to anything Mac has to say, but much of it rather skewed, after all, no one wants to really be identified with a losing war.

July 15, 2005 @ 5:29 am | Comment

Thanks Shulan.

Will..you had me worried there for a sec.

July 15, 2005 @ 5:37 am | Comment

O.K. I got that wrong. But the main point was that there was nothing like a communist worlrevolution, but in many countries the revolutions had very nationalistic causes which then also infuenced the following politics of the new government. The national was more impotant than the unity of the worlds socialist countrys and thus the communist threat was exegerated by this domino-theorie.

In the film McNamara is quite selfcritical about his and the administration’s mistakes.
The film also does a great job of confronting the statements of McNamara with historical documents like audio-tapes of conferences in the white house that were just releast in the past few years.

July 15, 2005 @ 5:47 am | Comment

Emile, welcome —

— and you forgot to add to your list … French Baroque music! Lully, Rameau, Couperin, Marias, LeClair, Boismortier, Charpentier, Hotteterre, … the jewel-like music of Versailles.

I moved to my present apartment because it is near a Carrefour. Fresh french bread, hooray!

I can make my own fries, but not my own bread. Thank you, people of France!

July 15, 2005 @ 5:47 am | Comment

I’d agree with a lot of what’s being said here about Vietnam. Still, we’ve got to remember that hindsight is a wonderful thing and also the difference in general thinking between now and the 60’s is huge. The world was a very different place back then.

In America and Europe there was a very real fear of world communism. Both the USSR and China’s only foreign policy was world revolution. There were US/USSR-backed proxy wars being fought in every corner fo the world

However, I agree strongly with that “Fog of War” shulan mentions when it says that China and Vietnam were never really true allies. Vietnam didn’t spend more than 1,000 years resisting Chinese aggression just to open the door and let them in because of communism.

July 15, 2005 @ 5:55 am | Comment


That’s hilarious re the Russian train filled with ordanance and weapons which would only be 10% when it arrived at the Vietnamese border. Do you know anywhere on the www that I can read more about that by any chance?

I see that “sticky fingers” China was pinching stuff even back then. Like a load of gypsies, take anything that’s not mortared into place!

July 15, 2005 @ 5:59 am | Comment

There is a nice interactive website on the film here:

July 15, 2005 @ 6:02 am | Comment

Quote of McNamara from the film:
“We saw Vietnam as an element of the cold war, not as they saw it as a civil war. We were wrong.”

From the above mentioned site.

July 15, 2005 @ 6:19 am | Comment

Much appreciated shulan

July 15, 2005 @ 6:19 am | Comment

Shulan, that is interesting about Mac’s comments on the viewpoint of the Vietnam war. It is true somewhat, there are two ways to view the war itself (perhaps more, not important, two for my purposes). From the Vietnamese standpoint, it was a civil war with the cold war as a backdrop. For the Americans, it was a cold war with the civil war as a particular. If you take the Vietnamese viewpoint, then the United States lost and it was a war fought in futility. If you take the American viewpoint, then it was in reality one “battle” in the long conflict with the Soviet Union, one battle in which we lost, but in the end won the war. I think the Vietnamese viewpoint is accurate for the Vietnamese, but not for the Americans. (There is no reason that history has to have only one viewpoint). Given that position, then for the Americans, the question is was this particular “battle” necessary or useful in the Cold War. I do not think so, but nevertheless, it did occur and we did defeat the Soviets.

Martyn, I fear I do not know of any such item on the WWW, but there may be. This was info that I came across while in the military.

July 15, 2005 @ 7:19 am | Comment

Ok, thanks.

Your comments re the Vietnam War are very interesting and I’d tend agree with them.

I think the Vietnam/Amercian War is a fine example of two differnet viewpoints of one single historical event.

I met up with some US Vets when in Vietnam and I always remember them telling me how shocked they were at the genuine warmness with which they were welcomed back despite the horrors inflicted, especially by the old VC/NVA soldiers. Obviously the Vet groups organised meetings between the US and Vietnamese Vets and the US guys said these old guys were very complimentary about the US forces (101st was full of very tough soldiers etc). Fantastic people.

July 15, 2005 @ 7:54 am | Comment

Yeah there were these two point of views and exactly thats the point McNamara makes. The analysis (point of view) of the American administration was wrong. They had not the right information or their view was blured by the specific historical situation. Thats why the film is called the fog of war.

July 15, 2005 @ 7:56 am | Comment

Don’t get me wrong. this is not about accusations but about learning from history like the guys of the โ€œCritical oral historyโ€ project, which is related to the film, trie to do it
Here is a description what they do and two examples of the results (sory a little long):

“โ€œCritical oral historyโ€ was developed to build a bridge between the confusion of experience and the relatively cut and dried rendering of that experience. It does so by combining, in structured conferences, (1) decision-makers, (2) scholars, and (3) declassified documents (which provide added accuracy and authenticity to the conversation). Critical oral historyoften yields rich and surprising insights into what it was really like for decision-makers, then and there, thus yielding more accurate analysis …”

“Critical oral history can sometimes reveal information and perspectives so startling that the participants can scarcely comprehend what they are being told. Such a moment occurred at our January 1992 conference in Havana on the Cuban missile crisis. General Anatoly Gribkov revealed that the Soviets had deployed short-range tactical nuclear warheads in Cuba, and that if the expected U.S. attack and invasion had come, the Soviet commander would probably have used them. Cuban President Fidel Castro added that he had urged the Soviets to do just that. Upon hearing this, several U.S. participants, led by Robert McNamara, literally went pale and temporarily speechless, their eyes wide with disbelief. The Americans knew that the attack may have been just hours away, but they did not know that ships carrying the invading forces would likely have been destroyed and any U.S. marines making it to the beaches would have been incinerated. It was a rare moment: decision-makers on all three sides were literally thrown into a time machine and the others present could watch and palpably feel, as if watching an instant replay thirty years later, some of the horror, revulsion and despair the leaders felt at the time, as the clock seemed to tick down toward nuclear holocaust.”

“The decision-makers who come to the table for a critical oral history conference take risks in doing so. At any time, revelations can indicate that they were mistaken in critical respects, and even that their mistakes led to tragedy. To agree to participate, their curiosity about what they might learn must overwhelm their fears about the effects possible revelations might have on their reputations. One such moment of truth occurred at our June 1997 conference in Hanoi. Vietnamese General Dang Vu Hiep revealed that an attack on U.S. forces in the Central Highlands at Pleiku, on February 7, 1965 was not ordered by Hanoi, as Americans had always believed. In this short statement, General Hiep (who was present at the attack site in 1965) refuted the American rationale for initiating the bombing of North Vietnam, bombing that was begun in response to the Pleiku raid, and thus inadvertently forced the Americans to shoulder a far greater share of the burden for the more than three million people killed in that war. The U.S. had been mistaken, and the mistake had tragic consequences. The Cuban missile crisis conference, Havana, January 1992.”

From the teachers guide to “The fog of war” p. 22 http://www.choices.edu/fogofwar/

July 15, 2005 @ 8:07 am | Comment

You miss my point, Shulan. The fog of war is not about viewpoints, that is something else. Both view points are legitimate, not one right and the other wrong. Mac is blurring the issues. The Americans were fighting the Soviet Union, the Vietnamese were just particulars in that conflict. The whole Vietnam war from the American standpoint is not the viewpoint of the Vietnamese. That does not make the war necessarily the correct strategy in fighting the Soviets, but that is a different issue. For the Viets, that was just applying Marxist ideology to a specific civil war on their part, the American viewpoint is not important to them. Mac was part of the group that devised the war strategy. He may claim a fog of war, but that is disengenious on his part. He thought that modern management techniques and modern technology would overcome the military disadvantages of the conflict (although we could bomb the North, no invasion can take place. It is difficult to win wars when all the fighting is in your backyard and you tend to destroy all your own things. Wise words from a good General, General Patton, were something to the effect, You are not here to die for your country, but you are here to make that other poor bastard die for his country. You do that by taking the war into his backyard. Well, all that management skill and all that technology did not do the trick, they thought it would, but it did not. Good old military strategy, and a good use of geo-politics and other things wins wars. The geo-politics was just agains the Americans here (China, did not want to get the pro-Soviet faction in China the raison d’etre (or whatever) to take control of the government, etc.

Thinking about it, Martyn, I believe there were newspaper accounts in the public press during the 1960s recounting some of these China events.

July 15, 2005 @ 8:19 am | Comment

y the way, Richard, 1/3 of Cambodia’s people disappeared during Pol Pot’s regime. I do not think they consider the Red Peril all that much
bull shit. That was nasty stuff, even for a left liberal intellectual.

You’re crazy (with all due respect). I never said a word about Pol Pot. All I said was the domino theory we were taught about in ther US was pure bullshit. And history bears it our and Macnamara himself admits it. Pol Pot’s ascent had absolutely nothing to do with the domino effect. So don’t put words in my mouth, okay? And watch the ad hominems. Thanks.

July 15, 2005 @ 8:37 am | Comment

Oh, and Simon, here’s the source of the nipples article. Funny, how the PD article cited its source as China Daily!!

July 15, 2005 @ 8:40 am | Comment

I don’t understand your arumentation. You say:

“That does not make the war necessarily the correct strategy in fighting the Soviets, but that is a different issue.”

Why is it a different issue? That’s the core point. Was Vietnam a treat like the domino-theorie suggests? The US administration thought so but they were wrong. It was not a battel that had to be faught.

July 15, 2005 @ 8:44 am | Comment

Check out the latest comments under Kevin’s Top 10 List below. Oh brother.

July 15, 2005 @ 10:45 am | Comment

notable crassness from Filthy Stinking 9, about the French. If what he said is meant ironically, then I apologise in advance.
because it itโ€™s meant seriously then the comment is a disgrace, “rant” or no rant.
so the french government authorised bombing a ship and killing one person. this is enough for FS9 to declare, The โ€œFrench are scum.โ€
doubtless after tianenmen skuare FS9 belives Chinese are scum. And Germans are scum. And British are scum. And Americans are scum. and iraqis. and so on.

Gordon also is characteristically chauvanist on the subject of a foreign people.

definitely the kind of stuff Iโ€™m told is on China Daily boards.

I see that we’re also told on this thread, courtesy of Martyn, that every single chinese person is a nationalist, hate-filled lunatic.

even richard reminds us that chinese people are not rational or calm.

well guys you’re not exactly proving yourselves paragons of measuredness and reason today are you?

BTW bingfeng youโ€™ve forgotten itโ€™s not good manners here to criticise other countries if youโ€™re chinese, unless you first denounce your own country as a pile of poo. you also mustnโ€™t suggest to some people here the possibility that 50 years from now the US might not be top nation, they donโ€™t like it very much.
show some humility for godโ€™s sake!!!

maybe I’m being a bit spiky here but these open threads are becoming alarming.

July 15, 2005 @ 11:57 am | Comment

KLS, the last thing I want is for you to be alarmed. Seriously. I agree that FSN9’s opinions on France are harsh and I disagree, and I agree there’s been a lot of outspokenness. But compared to many blog threads, this is indeed a paragon of courtesy and intelligence. And you’re not sounding very calm or rational yourself right now, so join the club. ๐Ÿ™‚

Seriously. Don’t be alarmed. If it alarms you, I really hope you won’t inflict it on yourself. There are lots of blogs out there. I want to welcome as many people here as possible, but if it upsets you I don’t want the burden of your health and well being on my conscience and I suggest you find a blog where you feel the environment is less alarming. Seriously.

July 15, 2005 @ 1:06 pm | Comment

Gordon, re. the metacode, you are asking the wrong one as I am a total html cretin. If you tell me where to look, I can try to find it for you…

July 15, 2005 @ 1:11 pm | Comment

How about French Movie?

July 15, 2005 @ 1:35 pm | Comment

I like French movies.

July 15, 2005 @ 1:49 pm | Comment

As Richard asked me to try to post, after a bit of trouble doing so, I’ll ask a question.

How reliable in people’s opinion is a news site called” http://EpochTimes.com ?
Or http:english.epochtimes.com

for news and analysis regarding China issues?

July 15, 2005 @ 2:19 pm | Comment

Fair enough Fred, until the appearance of any of the following words; Falun Gong, Falun Dafa, Nine Commentaries, Communist Resignations, Li Hongzhi, etc. If the article touches upon any of the aforementioned, be critical.

July 15, 2005 @ 4:37 pm | Comment

Fred, I’d be very wary of this paper. They are totally owned and operated by Falun Gong and are wildly anti-CCP, with unashamed prejudice. I almost never cite them, and usually avoid their articles as they are basically all the same.

July 15, 2005 @ 4:46 pm | Comment

“Owned and operated by Falun Gong” …

Ah, that makes sense, considering the kinds of things that “make news” there. I understand.

Asian papers, in english are a new addition to my reading, so I’m still picking my way through them.


July 15, 2005 @ 5:08 pm | Comment

KLS, China Daily is always looking for foreigner’s who agree with the C.C.P. line. You could be the internet Da Shan.There might be a some good money in it. How do you say “Oh, I seemed to have dropped my soap” in Chinese?

July 15, 2005 @ 5:45 pm | Comment

Richard, Did you read about the Chinese General who says that China would nuke the U.S.?

July 15, 2005 @ 5:59 pm | Comment

AM, you made my evening with that reply to KLS.

And yes, I saw the the article about General Nuk. It’s just so daffy and so many others have covered it I don’t think there’s much I can add.

July 15, 2005 @ 6:01 pm | Comment

Glad to be of service! They are sounding like the North Koreans.

July 15, 2005 @ 6:04 pm | Comment

ah, so anyone who disagrees with the Peking Duck’s anti-China line is necessarily a member of the CCP?
anyone who disagrees with Bush’s war in Iraq is necessarily anti-American?

you don’t see even a hint of hypocrisy in chuckling along with AM’s comment?

July 15, 2005 @ 6:12 pm | Comment

KLS ,Again, Lighten up!

July 15, 2005 @ 6:14 pm | Comment

KLS, I really doubt Richard or anyone else cares either way about your opinions.Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

July 15, 2005 @ 6:17 pm | Comment

Of course in China you are issued an opinion at birth. You must never lose it.

July 15, 2005 @ 6:18 pm | Comment

KLS, you are so cute when you get mad. But please, don’t put words in my mouth, okay? Or in AM’s. I don’t think you have to be a Rhodes scholar to see he was being funny. Very fiunny at that!

This thread is about to capsize. Please migrate to the new one. Thanks guys.

July 15, 2005 @ 6:19 pm | Comment

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