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France's anti-US feeling revived over ex-IMF chief

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The stunning reversals in the criminal case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a putative French presidential candidate, have reawakened a dormant anti-Americanism here, fueled by a sense that the raw, media-driven culture of the United States has undermined justice and fair play.

There was shock in France after the arrest of Strauss-Kahn and intense criticism of the manner in which he was displayed in handcuffs, pulled unshaven into a televised court session and stuffed into a jail cell under suicide watch. There was confusion and criticism over the glee with which the New York tabloids in particular highlighted every humiliation and turned to cliches about the French – “Chez Perv” and “Frog Legs It” – in its coverage. And there was a sense that it was not just Strauss-Kahn who was being so jauntily humiliated, but France itself.

Now, with the case appearing to collapse over questions about the credibility of his accuser, and Strauss-Kahn freed from house arrest, the French are feeling a kind of bitter jubilation of their own, and renewing their criticisms about the rush to judgment, the public relations concerns of elected prosecutors and the somehow uncivilized, brutal and carnival nature of U.S. society, democracy and justice.

Former Prime Minister Lionel Jospin said Friday that Strauss-Kahn “was thrown to the wolves” in the U.S. system; a former justice minister, Robert Badinter, called Strauss-Kahn’s treatment “a lynching, a murder by media.”

Noelle Lenoir, a former European affairs minister, said many French felt insulted. “They thought the prosecution was making common cause with the tabloids,” she said.

Though it was the U.S. prosecutors who revealed the accuser’s various fabrications, the turnabout “does wake up this slumbering anti-Americanism,” said Dominique Moisi, a longtime analyst of French-American relations. “The case does damage to the image of America and recreates negative stereotypes that existed before.”

Even in the 1990s, “when we were so close, when the Cold War was over and before the second Iraq war, we were divided along the line of the death penalty,” Moisi said.

“There is a sense in Europe that you can’t be fully civilized with the death penalty,” he said. “Now this feeling is reinforced – that the United States is not a fully civilized country with a police that behaves like that, that wants to humiliate,” he continued. “There is a sense that it’s a dangerous country.”


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  • sky

    Anti US feelings? That’s laughable, I can’t think of anything France has ever done for the world; other than tourism and War.

    Funny how they worship Charles De Gaulle as their liberator from the Nazis, a man who fled Nazi-occupied France to start a radio program.

    No mention or thanks for the 200,000 British and American causalities suffered on the beaches of Normandy. Not even to mention the millions that died saving France during World War one. How about the 50,000 American deaths in Vietnam trying to save one of their French Colonies?

    That’s the thanks we get for bombing Libya for you(to protect your oil)? Yet another foreign entanglement that American citizens don’t want. Maybe next time we will left France suffer national death, or just make you an American state next time we save your small scrap of land.

    France you owe us your very ungrateful lives.

    • Hockeyjock

      What? Well, to start, the US wouldn’t EXIST without France’s help. We wouldn’t have half our land. We wouldn’t have won in 1812 without French naval help either. The French designed the layout of our capital city, and they gave us the Statue of Liberty as a gift – you sir, are the one who is ungrateful!!! Have you EVER been to France??? Maybe if you had, you would know there are huge, and very well kept, American, British, and yes even German cemetaries.

      But, I understand, you like to take credit for everything. Sorry, but your wavering back and forth on Libya takes a backseat to what France and Britain have actually been doing there…not to mention in Côte d’Ivoire, Tunisia. It’s very, very funny to see an American complaining about their over-reaching military presence : oh, so I guess the world MADE you bomb Vietnam and Iraq, huh? And now you’re mad, because we didn’t send you a thank you card…get real!

      I like Americans, but not the ones who have a completely warped idea of history and international politics.

  • Ha!

    The France needs to give itself a colonic for it’s obviously so full of s__t it’s blocked…

    Maybe next time they feel the need to invade a country for oil they should call on someone else like China. I would have said Germany but every time the Germans show up, the French get on their pathetic knees and beg the US for assistance..

  • Slowly the truth is unfolding and the cnspiracy is showing the US being implicated in trying t hide their gold reserves, or lack of, secret. :oops:

  • jk

    Readers..let us be careful on what we read. :) There are soo many Western-haters right now..Because these countries they wanna rule the world.. but i know they will fail…

    • lol


  • pedzz

    Long Live Allies…This article is a funny one…maybe you are paid by the Chinese government to publish a some sort of propaganda thingy. America may not be good but there is no better than the US to lead this world in harmony and peace..Imagine if China will rule the world. lol! or what.. IRAN?? haha..I prefer to die my friend.

    • peter

      I will die with you fella.. if CHINA will rule the world.. lol.. stupid idiots Chinese..

  • zepter

    French loves Americans ;)

  • zizitski

    Anti-US feeling?? or maybe on the muslim people in France?? no wonder. O_o

  • hönö

    He’s khazar jewish isn’t he ? Why would the french care what a horny global banker is doing ?

  • Hockeyjock

    It is completely ironic, despite many Americans who claim that the US is ‘the fairest country in the world, the most democratic, has the best legal system’ etc, when it’s a French politician, suddenly none of that applies.

    No, instead, for DSK, you have New Yorkers lining the streets, cheering and clapping gleefully, just praying they get to see a (non-American, repeat, non-American!) politician go to jail. You have the US media in a drunken feeding frenzy, just thrilled about their opportunity to ruin the French election. Really nice of you to guarantee a Sarkozy win, thanks! What happened to ‘innocent until proven guilty’? Yeah, something about the way a lot of Americans overreacted, immediately believing the woman and immediately acting very happy and enthusiastic about DSK going to jail, and completely ignorant or unsympathetic for the political consequences, something about that just seemed a little bit nasty. It’s like Americans didn’t really care who was guilty or not, instead they were treating it like American idol, call in and vote for who you want to win! And of course they choose the ‘poor, hardworking American mother’……who really turns out to be a scam-artist who has admitted to making up rape stories for her own gain, and is on tape saying she knows how to make money off of the scandal!

    Sorry, but I expect at least SOME Americans to be the voice of sanity in their own country and tell the media and people who instantly buy into it to f#%$ off. Sadly, all my friends in New York were instantly calling me bashing DSK – despite knowing absolutely nothing about the case except that ‘DSK raped this woman and now he’s going to jail for 72 years, it’s great!’. Just…weird.

    • Hockejock

      Yeah, I just have to say, as someone who is American and French, I was offended! The US treated this like a Salem witch burning – from what I saw, there was little to zero respect for DSK, or for the actually very tragic consequences of the timing of this case. If DSK raped her, then he deserves to pay for it – BUT you could AT LEAST wait until the facts are in before you point the finger. You could AT LEAST show a shred of respect, which is what the French would do for you.

      I laughed when I first heard this story, because it just seemed too perfectly timed, too good to be true for Sarkozy, an obvious scam. When I learned it was a real story, I couldn’t believe it – we finally had the chance to get the right-wing out of power in France (and really, they really need to go), and it’s been dashed, months before the election. How would your country feel, if Obama had been publicly humiliated and strung up due to a fabricated accusation in another country? Would you be annoyed that the (fabricated) scandal had just handed your presidency to Sarah Palin? I think so.

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