Monday, February 24, 2003

If you want to read a good book about conservatism that is not written by the latest flash in the pan or hack from some right-wing group, I would urge you to read Beyond Greed, by Hugh Segal. Segal is a Canadian and a member of the Progressive Conservative Party. He attacks the me-myself-and I variant of neoconservatism that rules today. The book is not about outrage ala Ann Coulter, but about reasoned debate. Buy this book soon. It's puts flesh and bones on "compassionate conservatism," instead of using the phrase as a marketing tool.

Is it me, or have the neo cons become ahistorical when it comes to France? They are good at talking about "surrender monkeys," but forget that France came to our aid during the American Revolution, and what about the Partisans during World War II? It is the French that are trying to bring peace in Ivory Coast, a former French colony. Chirac is also no wimp. Remember that he was the one who sent the world in an uproar when France resumed nuclear testing. As for the cracks about the French being anti-American, let me share with you a quote from last week'sTime Magazineby President Chirac:

"I've known the US for a long time. I visit often, I've studied there, worked as a forklift operator for Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis and as a soda jerk for Howard Johnson's. I've hitchiked across the whole United States; I even worked as a jounralist and wrote a story for New Orleans Times-Picayune on the front page. I know the US perhaps better than most French people, and I really like the United States."

Hmmm, this doesn't sound like some one that hates the United States and all we stand for. What also odd is that the American neocons are beating up on a fellow conservative. Chirac is Gaullist, which is part of the French right. Frankly, Chirac is acting more conservative than most conservatives here. He is cautious and reading the situation. He isn't talking about a democratic Iraq and the flowering of democracy in a region that has no history of it. He is worried about how this might make a thousand bin Ladens flower instead of democracy. Here in America, conservatives are sounding more like doctrinare socialists who ignore history and have dreams of a more perfect world. The dreams of course turn into nightmares like the did in the Soviet Union.


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