Thursday, May 12, 2005

France, Please Apologize Already

I am subbing for the usual POYS editor today as he is too exhausted from finishing his last final today.

Recently, the Associated Press published a short article regarding France’s refusal to apologize for Algerian deaths which occurred on V-E day. On that day an Algerian uprising began which would eventually result in the deaths of 15,000 to 45,000 people, depending on which sources you want to believe. I was even surprised to learn how so many people died during a short period of time after the end of World War II, most of whom I assume are civilians. I am also surprised France even had colonial troops and a war ship. Shouldn’t those troops have been helping to fight and liberate France? The Allies had already reconquered Northern Africa by early 1943, and proceeded to launch an invasion to Italy later that year. Any French soldiers still in Africa should have joined in the fight to join the soldiers from other countries who were willing to die to help liberate France.

Although, I may not be aware of the whole situation, I find France to be at fault. While France did have a “legal” claim to occupying territories such as Algeria and Indochina based on the agreements that the Allies worked out, such claims should not be merely accepted as being just simply because the international community accepts them. The Allies were merely trying to help their good old buddy France, restore her status as a world power, even though she essentially had little or no power the previous 5 years. They even awarded France with a sector in Germany for being one of the four main “victorious powers.” I find it hypocritical that the Allies in liberating Europe from tyranny would not choose to liberate other countries that France occupied. We condemn Stalin for what happened with Eastern Europe. But, perhaps we should also condemn the other Allies for not setting a better example.

Personally, I don’t see France’s point of view in refusing to apologize. What right did they have to be occupying Algerian soil? Even if Algeria was at fault for killing two dozen French citizens, how can France today still justify the killing of tens of thousands? The French need to make a strong apology not just for the events following WWII but for her past colonization, which was done for the purpose of exploitation, if they hope to mend ties with Algeria. I’m not convinced the French have it in them to rise to the occasion.


Blogger bum from jersey said...

note to specs: even if you are tired and don't feel like posting for a day, i prefer you not have anything posted for that day versus allowing someone else post in your place. your fill-in for the second straight time has been disappointing.

my comments:
why should france apologize? i honestly couldn't nail down one reason why you thought france should apologize. wait, i am sorry - you said that they should apologize because they had no right being there even though the international community acknowledged they had every right. that was the only reason you put forward but i wasn't sure if that was legitimate reason or a sorry attempt at humor. while what happened was sad (which i am sure france probably acknoledgees), don't expect france to believe they should apologize for trying to stop an uprising. were they not supposed to suppress a revolt by the people over a country they had every right to be in? please.

where is your anger towards the us, and every european nation during colonialism? do you know how many countless deaths resulted because these countries believed they had domain over africa, south america, and other regions around the world? shouldn't they even be held more responsible than france because in most instances they raped and pillaged 'their colonies' so bad that their economy has yet to rebound (and i say rebound because in most places before the europeans and americans colonized them, the economy was vibrant)? you expect france to apologize for this specific incident yet you don’t demand anything else from any other country for doing the exact or similar act during another period of history. unbelievable

your post was a waste of time. you said it best - I may not be aware of the whole situation. that and a lot more.

5/13/2005 09:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree with bum from jersey. If you have nothing to say, then so be it! There is virtue in silence.

5/13/2005 10:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Response to sling's post:
Your grammar is really bad. However, what is more disconcerting is some of your weird reasoning. Why do you say that French troops should have fought to liberate France? How do you know that they weren’t doing that? Do you think that France did not fight for her liberation? Assuming the French did not send all their forces, do you think they necessarily had the choice? What if they stayed behind because of Allied commands (particularly that of the US and UK)? Maybe it was pointless for the French troops to join the fight as they were exhausted and weak from the years of resistance. It is also neither unusual nor unwise to have troops occupy conquered territories. The French troops could have stayed behind as a defense measure.

The event you are referring to takes place during a celebration of the end of World War II on May 8, 1945. The war was already over. Why shouldn’t French troops be in French colonies? And shouldn’t they be there even more since there was an uprising?

You write “Although I am not aware of the whole situation, from what I know, I find France to be at fault.” I ask “what do you know?” Your accusation against France is baseless.

You write “I find it hypocritical that the Allies in liberating Europe from tyranny would not choose to liberate other countries that France occupied.” If the mission of the Allies were to liberate Europe from tyranny, was Algeria living under tyranny with the French? Was Algeria even a country before French colonization? It’s not like France invaded a country known as Algeria and assumed control of the government. Had it not been for French colonization, Algeria wouldn’t even be what it is today (for better or worse).

You write “Personally, I don’t see France’s point of view in refusing to apologize. What right did they have to be occupying Algerian soil?” Then what right do you have to live in America? You are benefiting from the outright robbery and exploitation of the Native Americans. If you feel bad, why don’t you move back to your ethnic homeland? Are you going to apologize to the descendents of Native Americans? If you find the French hypocritical, you are in every way hypocritical.

5/13/2005 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger Ha ha hit him again said...

Yea the French "resistance" to the Nazis lasting a whopping 6 weeks.

French military victories. Google it and note the first result.

5/13/2005 01:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep in mind, the French were walloped by the Nazi forces. Also keep in mind that the leader of Vichy France, Philippe Pétain, was a puppet of Nazi Germany. Following the Allied invasions of France, Pétain and his ministers fled to Germany and established a government in exile at Sigmaringen.

5/13/2005 02:36:00 PM  
Blogger truthseeker said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5/13/2005 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger truthseeker said...

While I might otherwise refrain from participating in such a pointless blog (take note of the senseless comments throughout the entire website), I feel compelled to respond to this particularly rash and bigoted post from sling. From reading his posts and comments, I was sad to know there are people like him: selfish, ignorant, and thoughtless. I was horrified at an earlier comment he once wrote: “benedict arnold.. no doubt.” That was really offensive: he compared the newly elected pope, a man who dedicated most of his life to the service of God, to an infamous American traitor. What was his purpose in saying that? Was it to act cool? If so, then that is just one example of his selfish and thoughtless character. Only a person with such qualities would mock someone, make a joke at the expense of another, for his own glory (in this case, to look cool). Was he trying to make others laugh? That would be a ridiculous as well.

I’m almost tempted to think that he must be some smart-ass from a community college where his knowledge and opinions help him appear intelligent. However, if he were to join my Ivy League academic circles, his foolishness and bigotry would be quickly realized by others as evidenced here. He tries to act smart, but even the acting is poor as his grammar is bad at best. I’m impressed that the anonymous commentator above me pointed that out. I’m relieved that there are still people who appreciate the mechanics of the English language.

His post on Taiwan was, in my mind, either the consequence of being stupid or meant to be manipulative and deceptive propaganda. One of the commentators argued the latter rather eloquently.

This post concerning French-Algerian relations is utterly ridiculous. Who is he to think that he is in any position to offer such criticism? He, as the commentator above properly noted, is a huge hypocrite himself.

To add to the poignant Native American example, do Americans ask the British to apologize for the thousands killed in the Revolutionary War? As a parallel example, the British sought to suppress the uprising in the American colonies, albeit unsuccessfully.

If you want to discuss monstrous acts against humanity, why do you not talk about how the Japanese refuse to apologize to the Chinese concerning their slaughter of millions of innocent Chinese civilians during WWII? And their act of aggression was not to suppress an uprising in a territory they believed was theirs.

Good leadership requires careful consideration of the implications of any action. There is so much in international affairs of which you are clearly ignorant. Are you even aware of what’s going on in the world today? Sometimes restraint is necessary at the cost of being polite.

Think about this possible scenario.
Why would the Algerians request for an apology, especially at such a time? Why would they want an empty apology? It’s almost meaningless; it’s just words. It would be more practical, if they asked instead for reparations. What could be the effect of the French apologized just to ease old tensions? Are the French being rude in not apologizing? Are they in denial? I’m not denying that it would be a nice gesture to apologize, but can there be bad consequences in apologizing? Think about the time and age. Algeria is an Arabic, Islamic country. Algeria has a history of terrorism. What could an apology from France do? It would be a formal acknowledgement of the “evils” done by Western civilization. I do not deny that Western civilization has committed injustices. However, any formal acknowledgement could fuel the fire of hate that has consumed the Arabic, Islamic world; it would add ammunition to the righteous cause of destroying the evil west. Such an apology can serve as justification for revenge (perhaps through acts of terror) for Europe’s imperialistic past as well as the perceived notion that Western civilization continues to enslave and exploit the Arabic, Islamic world. If this went through the minds of the French government, then the French are pragmatic in exercising restraint instead of yielding to frivolous demands by people such as sling.

bum from jersey is really funny and when he writes: "your post was a waste of time. you said it best - I may not be aware of the whole situation. that and a lot more." haha. However, the subject on which you posted and your ignorance, sling, is no laughing matter.

5/13/2005 02:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ignorance breeds ignorance. sling is just exacerbating this sad reality of human nature.

5/13/2005 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger sling said...

The only reason why I said they should apologize:

The French need to make a strong apology not just for the events following WWII but for her past colonization, which was done for the purpose of exploitation, if they hope to mend ties with Algeria.

Apparently they do care about mending ties with Algeria... Read the end of the article.
"The day that the truth is established by historians, we can qualify the facts," Muselier, told reporters here. "But we must move forward with cooperation between the two countries."

"Each of the two sides has its view of these events. For Algerians, it was a war of colonization and for the French it was a war."

Paris and Algiers have been making a special push to improve ties and France reaffirmed Tuesday that it wants to conclude a friendship treaty with Algeria by year's end.

In Paris, Foreign Ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei said both sides must "examine and overcome the past, including the most painful pages of the colonial period and the war of Algeria."

5/13/2005 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger bum from jersey said...

you have to read these comments because your reasoning still isn't valid. i believe a couple of people cited the american revolution - did britian ever have to apoligize to the colonies (or today's united states) to become allies? no. and the two situations aren't that much different. i had an algerian professor who spoke about his home country and many of the customs of france can be seen in algeria (minus religion). so we aren't talking about two radically different people who need to find a common ground in order to become peace partners. an apology is not needed and you know what - you haven't even established that algeria is even looking for an apology. amazing.

5/14/2005 04:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you even reading the comments?

5/16/2005 09:49:00 AM  

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