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ROGUE WARRIOR DESIGNATION GOLD by Richard Marcinko & John Weisman

ROGUE WARRIOR DESIGNATION GOLD by Richard Marcinko & John Weisman

Author:Richard Marcinko & John Weisman
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: PSY010000
Publisher: THOMSON COURSE TECHNOLOGY
Published: 1997-07-15T00:00:00+00:00


Chapter 13

IT WAS COOL OUT—THE SORT OF BONE-CHILLING DAMP MORNing for which Paris is famous in the autumn. But Paris, even cold and wet, beats Moscow—or just about anyplace else. I may not care for Parisians, but the city itself is always wonderful. I dodged speeding traffic on Boulevard Malesherbes, dashed across the Place St. Augustin and headed west, up Haussmann, toward the Arc de Triomphe. Just to be on the safe side, I jumped onto the metro at Miromesnil, rode one stop, got off at the last instant, and waited as the train pulled out of the station. So far as I could discern, no one was following me. It was improbable that I was a target at this point. But, as I have said many times, there is no being too careful.

Especially here in Paris. Of all our Western allies, the French are the most alert, suspicious, and watchful about American operations on their soil. Now, they will tell you indignantly that any foreign ops—l’Amérique inclusif—are contemptible violations of the great French Republic’s sovereignty, and up with zem zey wheel not poot.

Maybe. So far as I am concerned, however, the answer is more basic; old-fashioned Gallic paranoia about les États Unis—which is what they call the U.S. of A. in case you didn’t know.

You’ve probably heard it all before—the French insisting—loudly—that theirs is the finest culture, the best food and wine, the richest language, the most imaginative arts and letters; indeed, most French will even stipulate, in writing, that the best of everything is French.

But let me tell you a secret: deep down in their Frog souls, the French know they are inferior to the United States. Despite Renoir, Monet, or Toulouse-Lautrec; Racine, Molière, Voltaire, or Albert Camus; triple-crème, truffles, or Château Trotanoy, they are a third-rate power. And despite the Fox network, Chicken McNuggets, and plonk wine in boxes, we are a superpower. More evidence? Okay—we have not become a nation of Francophiles. When’s the last time you had a Kronenbourg beer and a side of foie gras at the Horse Shoe Curve (or whatever the name of your local watering hole may be)? But in the last two decades, the French have become totally Americanized—from le Big Mac to les jeans Levi’s to le Diet Coke, to le bière Budweiser, they have adopted our culture and lifestyle at the sacrifice of their own.

So far as I am concerned, that is a BFD (look it up). But to les Françaises, it is profoundly … galling. Bottom line? The French are saddled with a deeply rooted inferiority complex, which often makes them paranoid and unfriendly where Americans are concerned. Have you ever been to a restaurant in Paris where they absolutely refuse to speak English? Or stood in a bank on the Champs-Élysées while the teller, arms crossed, pretends that American Express traveler’s checks are not valid in his country? Behavior like that is symptomatic of French inferiority.

Moreover, despite all their Gallic pride and snappy military uniforms, the French are all too well aware of their sorry history as warriors during the twentieth century.



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