3.00 FYI France: Ejournal and archive

by Jack Kessler, kessler@well.sf.ca.us

September 15, 2001 issue. This file presents an archive copy of the issue of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which was distributed via email on September 15, 2001.

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Versions of the following have appeared online regularly, since 1992, as a feature of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which is distributed for free via email every month except August. Ejournal subscriptions may be obtained via email request to: kessler@well.sf.ca.us

Here this file is one of a number made available -- hopefully attractively, all in one place, and relevant to libraries and online digital information work in France and Europe -- as part of FYI France (sm)(tm), an online service to which anyone can subscribe for 12 months by postal mailing a check for US $45, payable to Jack Kessler, to PO Box 460668, San Francisco, California, USA 94146 (site licenses also are available): please write your email address on the front of your check. Please email suggestions for improvements to me at kessler@well.sf.ca.us


FYI France: Institut d'Histoire du Livre, and a note about la solidaritè...


Getting back to normal after last Tuesday's events -- as we are advised to do -- but without forgetting... there is a note about French reactions, following the announcement here...

* IHL: a reminder, for anyone who will be in France this month and next, that the new Institut d'Histoire du Livre is sponsoring the following events -- http://ihl.enssib.fr/

-- and, Mon 9/24 thru Thu 9/27, all three of the following will be held at the Lyon Ecole normale supérieure - Lettres et sciences humaines, 08:30 to 17:00, register at http://ihl.enssib.fr/3_ecole/information/inscription_fr.htm --


But now also that note, concerning "la solidarité":

France is a nation far more tied to the Arab world than is the US -- physically closer, with a longer and more intimate history of contacts with the Moslem and Arab and general North African and Middle Eastern worlds, with greater personal memories of souks and minarets and the North African and Middle Eastern ways of life than most Americans possess, with far greater related problems of immigration and minority difficulties and reliance on petroleum, and with a far longer experience of terrorism and of wars fought on home turf... It is very different, in these things, to be French.

France also enjoys a reputation among Americans for being difficult, especially among US government people and particularly among US diplomats. Charles De Gaulle was no exception, in many American minds: with the French generally, in international relations, many Americans become impatient too often over the various minor frictions, and small policy disagreements, and petty cultural differences, which occasionally separate the US from this close ally. "Qui aime bien, châtie bien" would be well - translated into l'américain, and made a fundamental part of the US - France relationship, going both ways.

So I thought it might be useful, even important, to present here a couple of the French reactions to the events of last Tuesday and the ongoing terrorism crisis. "Talk is cheap", and "actions speak louder than words", and so on, I know. But the French have stood by us before -- as we have stood by them -- and they may be standing by our sides once again, very soon. The cost will be very great to them, if they do. It is comforting to see that however complex the world becomes the hearts of the French are with us: (my tr.) --

* The French president --

Terrorist attacks in the United States,
Interview with the President of the Republic, M. Jacques Chirac,
with CNN

(Paris, September 13, 2001)


* The French prime minister --

Terrorist attacks in the United States,
Interview with Prime Minister Lionel Jospin,
on 'TF1'

(Paris, 12 septembre 2001)

... plus, have a look at the French national flag, flying at half - mast over the Quai d'Orsay, at,



A French friend writes, "I believe that Washington thinks war, when Europe has justice in mind". I hope that this is not so. I hope very much that both are thinking "justice". The US leaders, so far, are speaking of and budgeting for long - term and thorough campaigns -- there is more opportunity for justice there. Colin Powell and the others have keen aversions, often - expressed, to the kneejerk retaliation strikes which Clinton tried. I am just not certain, myself, yet -- nor is anyone, I think -- of what must be done to achieve "justice" in this case.

But it now is just as easy to drop a hijacked 767 onto the Tour Eiffel, or Notre Dame de Paris, or La Défense on a crowded weekday morning -- or on Buckingham Palace or Trafalgar Square, for that matter -- or on downtown Cairo, the Great Mosque of Mecca or central Riyadh, the Forbidden City, Chadni Chowk or the Taj Mahal -- as it was to drop one on the World Trade Center in New York City last Tuesday.

Any idiot can do it now, apparently, armed only with a razor blade cardboard cutter and a shortcourse from some matchbox pilot training school.

As for current safeguards -- anywhere in the world -- well, if they can hit the Pentagon...




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Document maintained by: Jack Kessler, kessler@well.sf.ca.us
Last update: September 17, 2001