Beattie on France and War

I don’t mean to blog so much today before I get some work done and then catch up with all the things I want to blog about but haven’t had time to, but it’s just easier right now to just blog the stuff…

Russell Beatie: History Lesson: The Statue of Liberty

I’m not one to normally defend the French or France, but I’m so embarrassed by what I’ve seen lately in the news and on blogs that I just wanted to give my American compatriots a history lesson which they so desperately need. When you see the Statue of Liberty in the harbor, or on TV and think of the liberties and freedoms she represents, remember that it is France that gave you those liberties, for without their help we would never have been able to win against the British. Our ancestors in the U.S. were farmers and merchants fighting against one of the world’s great super powers for independence, and the ancestors of those in France right now came to our aid when we needed it. More on Franco-American relations from the History channel.

“After Congress declared independence in July 1776 its agents in Paris recruited officers for the Continental Army, notably the Marquis de Lafayette who served with distinction as a major general. Despite a lingering distrust of France, the agents also requested an alliance. After readying their fleet and being impressed by the American victory at Saratoga in October 1777, the French in the following February concluded treaties of commerce and alliance that bound them to fight Britain until American independence was assured.

“Later a fleet and an army commanded by the Comte de Rochambeau arrived in the United States. At the crucial victory of Yorktown in October 1781 French forces outnumbered Americans. … In all, the French contribution to American independence was decisive.”

For all those cries from my countrymen of France not remembering history and not being grateful, it is they who are the forgetful ones. We saved France during WWII and they have been continually grateful despite our ramming it down their throat for 60 years. But the fact is the score is even. We simply returned the favor in 1944 they gave us 140 years earlier.

Being against the war isn’t the same as being anti-American. I’m a proud American and I’m against the war and the precedents it makes. Don’t let the warmongers make you think otherwise.</em>