Friday, October 01, 2004

John J. Miller's Pants Are On Fire

Miller bloving at The Corner:

Kerry tried to invoke a golden age of Franco-American friendship which in fact is a myth. It certainly didn't exist when de Gaulle was around. No American president cared for the French leader.

I have three words for Mr John J Jackass: Richard Milhous Nixon.

Yes, Nixon was rotten, but his relationship with DeGaulle is one of his good points: from it Nixon built the foundation of detente; from De Gaulle specifically he got the Washingtonian maxim that "politics may change, but nations always have interests", which Nixon goes on about in a book he wrote called Leaders. Using this, Nixon later exploited the historical breach between China and Russia which so many said had vanished because, why, both of them were commies and therefore identical and monolithic.

Perhaps Miller has "forgotten" about the thirty-fourth President's relationship with De Gaulle, as well?

But never mind all that. Miller's job is the typical apparatchik's: not only is France no good now, it must be asserted that it never was any good, that none of its leaders were any good, and that all United Statesmen have to their core always detested France.

Update: De Gaulle, at least, liked JFK. It's true, though, that JFK was aggravated at times with De Gaulle. LBJ, on the other hand, was conciliatory and principled, overruling his Rumsfeld, Robert McNamara:

Perhaps the strongest case for Johnson's foreign statesmanship can be made over his reaction to President de Gaulle's decision to eject NATO headquarters from France and to withdraw France from the integrated command system. He declined to echo the very strong language that was to be heard from the affronted creators of the alliance and told Robert McNamara, his Secretary of Defense, 'When a man asks you to leave his house, you don't argue; you get your hat and go'.

Update 2: To further puncture Miller's distended ravings, I should add that to whatever extent De Gaulle's Government was in disagreement with America, it usually began and ended with regard to a certain unwinable, disastrous land war in Asia. Kerry's anecdote was said to underline a) mutual trust and b) necessary gravity over legit WMD claims. Bush has lost the former and so can no longer expect the latter. The truth of this is apparent in the general squeals of rage among the rightwing this morning.

Also, to pre-empt possible wingnut retorts, yes, LBJ instructed Dean Rusk to deliver a personal cheap shot (Does that mean the soldiers in the American cemetaries in France, too?) to De Gaulle after the eviction. This quote is heavily circulated among warbloggers, though, of course, the official public conciliation and acceptance of LBJ's is always neatly excised. De Gaulle might as well retorted that if the shoe was on the other foot, he could ask the same of the French sailors in Davey Jones's locker on the American East Coast.