Why do NeoCons hate France?

Why exactly do NeoCons hate France? After all, for anyone who has studied or lived in France, as I have, it is apparent that France does in fact have a strong conservative tradition, one could argue, even stronger than the one in the U.S. France has its problems – like any country, especially its liberal media and bureaucracies – but it certainly does not deserve the unhinged neocon propaganda it receives.

Neocon Denis Boyles, French-hater par excellence, author of boilerplate articles and book Vile France: Fear, Duplicity, Cowardice and Cheese, rants about the current election in France over at National Review. Unsurprisingly, he is disappointed that the neobliberal Francois “I am a Clintonian” Bayrou probably will not make the final round in the election. He says:

“Only a Bayrou-Sarkozy contest will force the center-left and the center-right to stake out genuine differences. Sarkozy trails in that projected contest, but what his campaign should be about — creating fundamental change — is best suited not only to his real personality but more importantly to a pursuit of a mandate for change.”

Following Burke, shouldn’t conservatives be skeptical of unbridled change? Or shouldn’t we at least give reasons for it, and not just blindly celebrate it?

And in an ideal world, what change would Boyles like?

(1) For France to become an obsequious client state in a neocon global empire?

(2) Of course, globalization, globalization, globalization. Suicidal free trade, etc?

(3) For France to relinquish any pride in her traditions (especially those conservative ones, against which the neocons have declared war)?

Of course, if National Review were conservative – which it is not – it would come out in support of Le Pen, the only real conservative in the race. But Bayrou barely mentions him in his article.

The typical neocon / neoliberal dismissal of Le Pen is that he is a “socialist.” If this were true, which it is not, it would not automatically disqualify him from being a conservative. This type of economic reductionism practiced by Republicans, the building of a political philosophy upon an economic system, is more reminiscent of Marxism than conservatism. For any real conservative, tradition, family, and ancestors should matter more than ideological adherence to an economic system. Le Pen is a real conservative because he has an interest in conserving, i.e. preserving, France, the French and their totemic traditions.

Paut Gottfried has recently written – and he is correct – that authentic conservatives in the U.S. should be looking at the Front National for inspiration. Even though we may not follow it point for point – Americans definitely would want a more decentralized variant – it certainly passes as more conservative than the Republican Party, arch-defender of neoliberal corporate globalism.

So why do the neocons hate France? Chilton Williamson, although writing about John J. Miller, hits the nail on the head, and could be discussing almost all neocons, when he writes:

“Miller and his co-author (an old school chum who teaches history at Seton Hall University), are very angry with France and with the French. The proximate reason is President Chirac’s opposition to the Iraq War. An amazing list of more distant reasons is also adduced, ranging from the French-Indian Wars of the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the XYZ and Citizen Genet Affairs of the 1790s, Napoleon’s insults to the young American republic, Napoleon III’s contemplated support of the Confederacy and his invasion of Mexico (perhaps if he’d won, the Border Patrol would today be arresting Frenchmen in berets along the U.S.-Mexican border?), Clemenceau’s bamboozling of President Wilson at Versailles, Jean-Paul Sartre, Charles De Gaulle, and Deconstructionism.

Only at the conclusion of the book, with its coy references to the French people’s “historic levels of anti-Semitic sentiment” and the French government’s failure “to grapple with a rising tide of anti-Semitic sentiment,” are we given a hint at what is really eating the authors. “

Of course, the French are not truly anti-semitic, unless of course by “anti-semitism” one means criticism of Israel, under which charge about half of American Jews would be found guilty. But since the Suez Canal crisis, the French have been a little more pragmatic and patriotic (i.e. concerned with what actually is in France’s interest), which is bound to upset any neocon itching for perpetual war in the Middle East.

It is also amusing that the anti-French neocons are in fact the modern manifestation of the Jacobins: armed with liberal abstractions, they are prepared to transform the world to liberal democracy. And, simultaneously, they denounce the French conservative tradition, which is skeptical of this Jacobin nonsense.

The neocon hatred of France is about one issue and one issue only: Israel. It has nothing to do with France’s political and intellectual traditions.

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9 thoughts on “Why do NeoCons hate France?

  1. Pingback: University Update

  2. Filmer

    Great article. There has always been Anglo-French ill will. The kind of ill will that comes from two great nations who each think they are the greatest. So historically, prejudice against the French has been common. In Louisiana. In the Northern States that border Quebec, etc. But the neocon issue with France is different, and it is not just Jewish neocons concerned specifically about Israel. It is the neoconized conservative masses who think foreign countries are supposed to rubber stamp all American foreign policy.

    Here is an interesting piece of social commentary. Back in simpler, less multi-cultural times, the heels (bad guys) in wrestling were often given French names. That was back in the good ol’ days when the French represented the other.

  3. Michael Hill

    The Neo-Cons hate all homogeneous, white, Christian civilizations. France (or, the French people) is simply one of many. That is also why they hate the South.

  4. Ron Lewenberg

    I find it amazing that the author of this pathetic article lists a bunch of reasons why Miller dislikes France and then ignores them to say the new slander of its all neocons support for Israel.

    The fact is that De Gaulle instituted a policy of Arabism in the creation of the Mediterranean Project. He wanted France to be a major power again, to balance the US and Soviet Union. Understanding French weakness, he courted Arab and Muslim support, just as he pulled out of Algeria and betrayed Israel. Perfidious France has been working against American interests ever since, making deals to rally the Third World against US, and turning the EU into an anti-American block.
    The net result of the Mediteranian Project and the co-opting of the EU has been the Eurabia project, or the merging of Europe and the Muslim world. Europe is being overrun by Muslims. France thought it could control this process. However, as we saw in 2005, it cannot.

    Of course, neoconservatives cannot talk about immigration or seriously consider the full implications of the Eurabia project. If they did they would have to look at immigration in America. They would also have to look at things like culture, sovereignty or the idea that nations are formed by blood and iron, not lofty ever-changing scribblings.

    All conservatives should be appalled by what France and Germany have wrought on Europe.

    That said, Le Pen is not the solution. All too often, he panders to the Muslims on the grounds that he can best attack America and Israel.
    Le Pen celebrates France for being Multi-ethnic and Islam as France’s second religion. The man is a Fascist first and foremost.

    http://nycright.blogspot.com/2006/02/has-le-pen-pulled-marshall-petain-in.html

    Le Pen has made it clear that he does not want to clear out the immigrant suburbs and has reached out to the Muslims by telling them:
    “You are the branches of the French tree. You are as French as can be.”

    http://tf1.lci.fr/infos/elections-2007/0,,3427327,00-pen-veut-pas-karcheriser-banlieue-.html
    http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/2043

    Le Pen is more accommodating the Islamification of France than Sarkozy. Of course the only candidate to actually acknowledge the problem in full is Philippe de Villiers, a true French Conservative.

  5. Ron Lewenberg

    I may have been a little overly vociferous.

    Neocons may hate France for petulant or in some cases correct reasons. The problem is that hate blinds.

    Ron

  6. Bede Post author

    Le Pen cares more about immigration more than Islam because it is a bigger problem. First, not all the third world immigrants are Muslim. Many of the worst elements (esp. Algerians), although nominally Muslim, are vulgarly secular. (Just go to any of the Muslims suburbs and see how they act: drugs, prostitutes, etc.) If you take care of the immigration problem, you will naturally take care of the Muslim problem. Le Pen wants to halt all immigration and start deporting some of the invaders there before he starts dealing with the Muslim problem. This, I think, is the proper order in dealing with this problem.

  7. Bede Post author

    Things similar to Miller’s indictments against France could also be leveled against a number of other European countries. But the neocons chose France to be their bete noire. Why? I don’t now exactly, but probably because France actually has a real conservative tradition and will not let the neocons bully it into submission.

  8. Dallas

    Neocons hate France for a number of reasons, but I believe highest on the list is France’s opposition to the US led invasion of Iraq. For many Neocons, history is all World War II, and they believe France should be basically a perpetual vassal state to the US, doing whatever a Republican President wants. It is especially galling that France not only refused to participate in the invasion, but actually used diplomatic means to try to stop it. Neocons view this as a profound betrayal. To make matters worse, France is viewed as “too liberal” and therefore should be kept at arm’s length, lest too many Americans see examples of liberal policies, such as France’s socialized health care, which is the best in the world.

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