Friday, 28 November 2008

Extremism, Sarkozy voodoo dolls and basic human rights

Following the extremist attacks on Mumbai from Le Figaro:
Deux Français ont été tués dans les attaques de Bombay Two French were killed in Mumbai attacks
Le Quai d'Orsay a confirmé la mort de ce couple, qui séjournait à l'Oberoi/Trident. L'armée a repris le contrôle du centre juif de Bombay où les corps de 5 otages ont été retrouvés. Des explosions et des échanges de tirs ont encore lieu à l'hôtel Taj Mahal. Quai d'Orsay has confirmed the death of the couple who were staying at the Oberoi/Trident hotel. The army has taken control of the Jewish center of Mumbai where the bodies of 5 hostages were found. Explosions and gunshots are still heard in the Hotel Taj Mahal.
Loumia Hiridjee et son mari dînaient à l'Oberei, au moment de l'attaque. Loumia Hirdjee, a French-Indian national and founder of Princess Tam Tam lingerie, and her husband were dining at the Oberei during the attack. They had been living in Mumbai for a year doing humanitarian work.
The Times headlines Jewish hostages killed as British terrorists linked to Bombay attacks. Pakistanis holding British citizenship have become very radical and as we all know, some have been directly linked to Al Qaeda. British laws on immigration and nationality have been considered some of the more lax in Europe when it comes to immigration which have probably allowed foreigners with extremist links to circulate freely and liberally in the UK.
Time to rethink state policies and to formulate better strategies on dealing with extremism -- whatever the colour. Si vis pacem para bellum!
Meanwhile, the Paris Appeals Court agrees that the Sarkozy voodoo dolls sold in the streets attack presidential dignity but rules that this attack does not justify forbidding their sale.

La poupée vaudou de Sarkozy reste dans le commerce Sarkozy voodoo dolls to remain in shops
I don't agree with the Court of Appeals. Let's leave the presidential seal out of it and look at it from the perspective of human rights.
No French or any human being should be deprived of his/her dignity and certainly not by a group of individuals whose objective is purely borne of malice, depravity and with serious intent to cause moral harm. By virtue of the fundamental right to dignity that each and every human being is entitled to, why should Nicolas Sarkozy be deprived of his elementary human right to dignity just because he happens to be the president of the republic? It doesn't make sense!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

To the oppressive regime in China: We eat Chinese threats for breakfast!

The Chinese are flexing their muscles and are trying to pin down Pres Nicolas Sarkozy to the ground.

From Le Monde:

Le régime chinois veut imposer un rapport de force avec M. Sarkozy The Chinese regime want to impose their will on Mr Sarkozy

Pékin a décidé d'annuler la tenue d'un sommet UE-Chine, prévu le 1er décembre à Lyon, pour protester contre la prochaine rencontre entre le président français et le dalaï-lama. Peking has decided to cancel a UE-China summit scheduled on 1st December in Lyon to protest against a forthcoming meeting between the French president and the Dalai Lama.
The French president and the Dalai Lama are scheduled to meet on 6th December. The Tibetan spiritual chief is also awaited in Brussels next week.
EU member nations are astonished by the virulent reaction of the Chinese, reports Le Monde:
A Pékin, certains observateurs européens interprètent la décision chinoise avec un mélange d'incompréhension et de rancœur, estimant que le coup de colère en dit long sur la vision que se font les Chinois du reste du monde en général et de l'Union européenne en particulier : le principe de priorité, même à propos d'une question tibétaine particulièrement sensible pour la République populaire, aurait dû normalement faire passer les relations sino-européennes avant une irritation essentiellement dirigée contre la France. In Pekin, some European observers interpret the Chinese decision with a mixture of incomprehension and sadness, and believe that the tantrum shows how the Chinese view the rest of the world in general and the European Union more specifically: the principle of priority, no matter how senstive the Chinese are feeling about the Tibetan question, should have taken precedence and that Sino-European relations should have been been put first before their irritation that's primarily directed against France.
The French president and the Dalai Lama are scheduled to meet on 6th December. The Tibetan spiritual chief is also awaited in Brussels next week.

Peking has been very vocal about their opposition to a meeting between Sarkozy and the Dalai Lama since August and have threatened Paris firms doing business with Peking with sanctions should such a meeting take place.

Well, here's what I say to these old hooliganistic Chinese regime leaders: I am not particularly enamoured of the Dalai Lama but this is the last straw. You guys are now trying to export to the West your authoritarian attitudes borne of decades of suppression within your own walls so, I think, it's time to say, you can do it to your own but shouldn't tell us what we, the freedom loving people of the West, could or couldn't do.

You, the morally corrupt leaders of China, have been going on a murderous rampage in Tibet, have been suppressing Tibetan freedon, are still trying to cow the Tibetans into submission, are continuously wrecking the lives of Tibetans living abroad and you want us to kowtow to your desiderata?
You may have lulled yourselves into believing that you are now poised to take over the world just because one of your debtor nations, America which is considered the mightiest and the most powerful on earth, cannot pay you back the hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars they owe you, and so you are starting to believe that the rest of the West has weakened, but guess what? You are kidding yourselves! As long as your corrupt, reppressive and murderous regime continues, there's no way the West will respect you.
Communism is dead! There's no way you can export your communistic diktats to France, a nation that was borne of a revolution, long before you guys did the unthinkable when you murdered millions and millions of your own.
The French are a civilised people but don't be fooled by the lip service because as a freedom loving people, there's no way we will accept your stupid childish diktats. You can take back your Chinese yuans and feed on them -- your threats are chicken feed to us. We eat Chinese threats for breakfast.
This blog now officially supports a Free Tibet!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Believe it or not: America owes Thanksgiving Day to France!

Thanksgiving Day in June? (H/T to Mark over at SuperFrenchie's)

Kenneth C. Davis, author of “America’s Hidden History: Untold Tales of the First Pilgrims, Fighting Women and Forgotten Founders Who Shaped a Nation”, wrote an amazing Op-Ed piece in the NY Times, suggesting that a June date would be far more appropriate to commemorate the arrival of the first pilgrims to America’s shores, “After all the first European arrivals seeking religious freedom in the “New World” were French. And they beat their English counterparts by 50 years.” °

A French Connection
Published: November 25, 2008

[...] That French settlers bested the Mayflower Pilgrims may surprise Americans raised on our foundational myth, but the record is clear.

Long before the Pilgrims sailed in 1620, another group of dissident Christians sought a haven in which to worship freely. These French Calvinists, or Huguenots, hoped to escape the sectarian fighting between Catholics and Protestants that had bloodied France since 1560.

Landing in balmy Florida in June of 1564, at what a French explorer had earlier named the River of May (now the St. Johns River near Jacksonville), the French émigrés promptly held a service of “thanksgiving.” Carrying the seeds of a new colony, they also brought cannons to fortify the small, wooden enclosure they named Fort Caroline, in honor of their king, Charles IX. [...]
Full NY Times article here.
Now, let me tell you that this was a surprising discovery for me just as I think it will surprise many Europeans and Americans alike to learn that America has a lot to thank the French for, eg., not only when they helped Gen George Washington boot King George's colonial armies but also for Thanksgiving Day! (I can't wait to hear what my English side of the family will say about that!)

So, with history for a backdrop, what better way than to wish all our friends in America a Happy Thanksgiving Feast in French: Joyeux Fêtes de Remerciements a tous nos amis en Amerique!

Monday, 24 November 2008

Dream Team Obama

Hmm... President-elect Barack Obama has come up with his team. Le Figaro headline:

Pour braver la crise, Obama choisit les «meilleurs esprits»

To confront the crisis, Obama selects the "best minds" or The Dream Team!

  • La «dream team»
    de Barack Obama

    Click (on the link above) to see the gallery of pictures of Obama's "Dream Team"

  • And the cost of the Obama plan? » Le plan Obama à 700 milliards d'euros
  • And guess what? The stock market surged all over world! A result of confidence in the American president-elect and his economic dream team.
  • Here's a message from David Plouffe, Campaign Manager, Obama for America:
Friend --

Today and yesterday, President-elect Barack Obama announced key members of an economic team tasked with creating jobs, stabilizing the economy, and getting our country back on track.

Barack is bringing together some of the best minds in the country to make swift progress on the economic challenges we face.

Timothy F. Geithner, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, will serve as Secretary of the Treasury. Lawrence H. Summers, former Secretary of the Treasury under President Clinton, will serve as Director of the National Economic Council.

Christina D. Romer will serve as Director of the Council of Economic Advisers, Melody C. Barnes will serve as Director of the Domestic Policy Council, and Heather A. Higginbottom will serve as Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council.

Peter Orszag, currently Director of the Congressional Budget Office, will serve as Office of Management and Budget Director, and Rob Nabors will serve as Deputy Director.

Watch the video of Barack's announcement yesterday and learn more about the economic team:

Barack's economic team has already begun work on a recovery plan, and he'll provide progress updates in the coming weeks. He'll also provide their initial recommendations to the incoming Congress.

You'll be instrumental in generating support to pass legislation that puts America on the road to recovery.

While we can't underestimate the challenge we face, we also can't underestimate the opportunity we have to bring the change our country needs.



David Plouffe
Campaign Manager

Obama for America

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Mettons dehors ces individus lâches qui insultent la France! (Kick out those cowards who insult France!)

A disturbing phenomenon is happening right here in France and I don't like it...

Le Figaro reports: «La Marseillaise» sous surveillance La Marseillaise under surveillance

Crédits photo : AFP

Le secrétaire d'Etat aux Sports, Bernard Laporte, a annoncé qu'il quitterait le stade si l'hymne français venait à être sifflé lors du match contre l'Uruguay. The Secretary of State for Sports, Bernard Laporte, announced that he will walk out of the stadium if the French national anthem is hissed, whisteled over, etc. during the match with Uruguay.

Les sifflets qui ont couvert La Marseillaise lors du France-Tunisie du 14 octobre résonnent encore. Un sujet sensible. Le lendemain du match, le gouvernement avait préconisé la suspension des matchs en cas d'incidents de ce genre. L'hymne national sera-t-il encore sifflé ce soir ? Si La Marseillaise devait être à nouveau conspuée, ce ne serait pas le fait des supporteurs uruguayens, ils ne seront pas nombreux, mais plutôt de provocateurs profitant du contexte. The hissing and the whistling that drowned La Marseillaise during the France-Tunisia match on 14th October still resonates and continues to be a delicate subject. The day after the match, the government suggested the suspension of matches in case of another incident of the type occurs. Will the national hymn be hissed and whisteled over again tonight? If La Marseillaise is whistle-mobbed again, it won't come from supporters of the Uruguay team because they are not likely to be that many, but it will certainly be by provocateurs who will take advantage of the sporting context.

(Translation by France Blog. More on the story here.)

Commentaires de France Blog: Je suis complètement interloquée ! Comment peut-on tolérer ce genre d'agissements de la part de gens qui sont visiblement hostiles à la France. Le fait de siffler La Marseillaise dans un stade public lors d'une rencontre sportive qui se déroule en France ou ailleurs est une insulte à la France et au peuple français. Ces individus font preuve de la plus grand hostilité envers la France qui les accueille. Ils n'ont aucune raison de se trouver et de rester en France.

Il est du devoir de tout français qui se respecte de mettre un terme à ce genre d'agissements ignobles -- ces individus lâches doivent être montrés du doigt en public et, s'il se trouve qu'ils sont étrangers, il faut les expulser illico!

France Blog comments: I'm completely gobsmacked! How can we tolerate this type of act by people who are clearly hostile to France. Hissing, whistling, booing while La Marseillaise is being played in public during a sporting event, whether it's taking place right in France or somewhere else, is an insult to France and to the French people. It's a proof that those individuals are hostile to France that's welcomed them. They have no reason to find themselves nor to stay in France.

It is the duty of every French worthy of the name to put a stop to these ignoble actions -- these cowards should be pointed out in public and if they are foreigners, they must be kicked out without a moment's hesitation.

Monday, 17 November 2008

France nabs Basque terror chief suspect

From: Le Point: Le chef militaire présumé de l'ETA arrêté en France ETA military cell chief arrested in France.
L'opération a été menée sur commission rogatoire de la juge antiterroriste Laurence Le Vert, par des fonctionnaires de la Sous-Direction antiterroriste (SDAT), de la Direction centrale du renseignement intérieur (DCRI), de la PJ de Bayonne et du Raid. Selon une source proche du dossier, c'est un renseignement de la garde civile espagnole, transmis à la DCRI, qui a permis l'interpellation.
The operation was led on the basis of an order issued by Anti-terrorism judge Laurence Vert by members of SDAT (Counter Terrorism Sub Unit), the agents of DCRI (Interior Intelligence Central Office), the Judiciary Police unit and of Raid. According to a source who knows the file, the arrest was made on a tip received from the Spanish Guardia Civil which had been transmitted to the DCRI.
From CNN:

MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- Police arrested the suspected military chief of the Basque separatist group ETA in a pre-dawn raid Monday in southern France, the French interior minister announced.

Suspected ETA military chief Aspiazu is considered a Basque separatist hardliner.

Suspected ETA military chief Aspiazu is considered a Basque separatist hardliner.

The suspect, Mikel Garikoitz Aspiazu, 35, is wanted in connection with the shooting deaths of two plainclothes Spanish Civil Guards last December -- while they were on an anti-ETA investigation in France. He is thought to have been the ETA commander who trained and sent operatives to carry out attacks.

French anti-terrorism police arrested Aspiazu, alias "Txeroki," at an apartment in the Pyrenees resort village of Cauterets, about 30 kilometers (18 miles) from Lourdes. A woman, not immediately identified, was also detained in the raid with a warrant from French anti-terrorism judge Laurence Le Vert, CNN partner station CNN+ reported. Full story here.

Comment: I can safely say that I know the Basque regions both in France and in Spain. For years, we used to holiday in the Basque region down in the southwest of France and had made excellent friends with both French and Spanish Basques that continue to this day. We had a home in Ascain, a small village near the coastal towns of Cibourre, Biarritz and St Jean-de-Luz. The children learned to ski in the Pyrenees near Saint Nary Soulan, a few miles from world famous pilgrimage site Lourdes.

Basque terrorism (ETA) on the other side of the border (in Spain) was raging but despite the troubles in the neighbouring region of San Sebastian, there were no incidents over at our side. The French Basques were perhaps more financially at ease. They had integrated very well into the mainstream French way of life. Didier Deschamps and Bixente Lizarazu were two prominent football players who played for the French team in 1998 and became World Cup champions. Deschamps captained the team to victory.

Why a group or a handful of Basques in Spain continues to violently espouse independence thus causing havoc and misery among the otherwise peaceful population in the Spanish Basque region is beyond me. Doesn't make sense. They cannot go it alone even if they had their independence. That part of Spain is not just up to it.

Taliban at the gates of Peshawar and threatening to hit Paris

From Le Figaro:
Des officiers de la police pakistanaise sont en état d'alerte, à un croisement à Shabqadar, à 30 kilomètres au nord de Peshawar, le 12 novembre. Un attentat-suicide venait d'y faire 3 morts à l'entrée d'une école.
Des officiers de la police pakistanaise sont en état d'alerte, à un croisement à Shabqadar, à 30 kilomètres au nord de Peshawar, le 12 novembre. Un attentatsuicide venait d'y faire 3 morts à l'entrée d'une école. Crédits photo : AP (On 12th November, Pakistani police were in a state of alert at the junction of Shabkadar 30 kms north of Peshawar. A suicide bombing had killed 3 people at the gates of a school.)

Refuge des habitants des zones tribales chassés par les bombardements, la capitale du Nord-Ouest frontalière de l'Afghanistan est devenue la cible des talibans pakistanais. (Refuge for tribes who were driven away by the bombings, the capital of the North-West border of Afhganistan has become the target of Pakistani Talibans.)
Comment: The Talibans should be decimated. Extremism has no place in a society that wishes to survive. They are a menace to every man, woman and child who simply want to go about living their lives.
The bloody Talibans even had the audacity to threaten to bomb Paris if we didn't withdraw our forces from Afghanistan! Do they really want to end up like Bush?
So they want to bring their poppy cultivating war right to our doorstep? Well, here's what... I have no doubt that President Sarkozy will follow Jacques Chirac's nuke doctrine if these Taliban weasels even if they remotely try: France will make potholes every single square foot of land these Taliban weasels inhabit!

Reuters video

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Sarkozy à Putin: "Tu veux terminer comme Bush?"

French left-wing take on the Sarkozy-Putin anecdote: «Oui, mais tu veux terminer comme Bush ?»
From one of the most critical and anti-Sarkozy left wing political tabloids, Le Nouvel Observateur: Sarko le Russe (Sarko the Russian).
But despite their hate-Sarkozt spins, Le Nouvel Obs couldn't hide the fact that President Sarkozy played a great stabilising hand in the then Russia-Georgia debacle. Obviously, Nouvel Obs wouldn't be Nouvel Obs without their usual virulent snarks, but it really doesn't matter -- at the end of the day, no matter the left-hand/backhand salute, there was no beating around the bush: President Sarkozy saved the day for the Western World. Russia did stand down!
La scène, qui n'a jamais été racontée, se déroule au Kremlin, le 12 août, en début d'après-midi. Nicolas Sarkozy est seul face à Vladimir Poutine et Dimitri Medvedev. Il essaie de convaincre les deux Russes d'arrêter les combats en Géorgie et surtout de ne pas prendre Tbilissi. Il sait qu'une grande partie de l'armée russe veut aller jusqu'au bout et renverser Saakachvili. Comment ? Grâce aux interceptions des services secrets français ! Selon une note de la direction du renseignement militaire à ce sujet, certains responsables de l'état-major à Moscou conseillent à leurs chefs de foncer puisque la voie est libre. Sarkozy sait aussi - ou croit savoir qu'un pouvoir géorgien fantoche a été constitué par le Kremlin et qu'il est prêt à prendre la relève.
Le président français interpelle Poutine et Medvedev : «Vous ne pouvez pas faire cela, le monde ne l'acceptera pas.» Poutine réplique dans son langage ordurier habituel : «Saakachvili, je vais le faire pendre par les couilles.» «Le pendre ?» demande le président français, effaré. «Pourquoi pas ? répond le Premier ministre russe. Les Américains ont bien pendu Saddam Hussein.» «Oui, mais tu veux terminer comme Bush ?», rétorque Sarkozy. Poutine est interloqué. Comme Bush ? Il réfléchit puis lâche : «Ah, là, tu marques un point.»
C'est gagné : Saakachvili sauve sa tête et ses... Cet échange fleuri, épisode crucial de la geste géorgienne de Sarkozy, nous a été relaté par Jean-David Levitte, le conseiller diplomatique à l'Elysée. Normal : il donne le beau rôle au président français, auquel beaucoup, en Europe comme en France, reprochent d'avoir - par ignorance ou par calcul - trop cédé aux Russes cet été.
The scene that has never been told before happened in Kremlin early in the afternoon of 12 August. Nicolas Sarkozy was alone with Vladimir Putin and Dimitri Medvedev. He was trying to convince the two Russians to stop the combat in Georgia and more specifically, not to invade Tbilissi. He knew that the Russian Army wanted to go the whole hog and depose Saakachvili. How? Thanks to the interceptions made by the French Secret Service! According to a note issued byt the chief of French military intelligence, some of the top ranking members of the Moscow estabslishment were advising their chiefs to go ahead. Sarkozy was well aware too -- or believed he knew that a puppet regime (to replace Saakachvili) had been formed by Kremlin and was preparing to take over.
The French president told Putin and Medvedev: "You can't do that, the world won't accept it." Putin replied in his usual trashy language: "Saakachvili, I'm going to hang him by the balls." "Hang him?" the surprised French president asked. "Why not?" the Russian Prime Minister answered. "The Americans hanged Saddam Hussein." "Yes, but do you want to end up like Bush?" countered Sarkozy. Putin was gobsmacked. Like Bush? He thought for a while and said: "Ah, you scored a point there."
The "battle" was won. Saakachvili saved his head and his ... This rather pittoresque exchange, a crucial episode in Sarkozy's Georgia initiative was recounted to us by Jean-David Levitte, a diplomatic adviser at the Elysée. Well, nothing extraordinary really that he should attribute the hero role to the French president whom many in Europe, just like in France, reproach for having given in too much to the Russians last Summer either out of ignorance or cunning.
(Translation by HB) Complete Nouvel Obs story here.
This is effing funny! Hah!
Like it or not, Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvili should thank his lucky stars that President Nicolas Sarkozy of France saved his balls from the destructive ire of ex-KGB butchering operative-turned Russian president-turned Russian PM Vladimir Putin.
A delicious, effing funny anecdote from The Times on last August's ex-would be Russian grand invasion of Georgia (For the benefit of US VP election loser Sarah Palin: Georgia the country not the state in the US, OK?):
.../... With Russian tanks only 30 miles from Tbilisi on August 12, Mr Sarkozy told Mr Putin that the world would not accept the overthrow of Georgia...

"I am going to hang Saakashvili by the balls," Mr Putin replied.

Mr Sarkozy responded: "Hang him?"

"Why not? The Americans hanged Saddam Hussein," said Mr Putin. (Which reminds me of a debate that was raging in Russia earlier this year: To be "as cruel as the Americans" or not)
Mr Sarkozy replied, using the familiar (French) "tu": "Yes but do you want to end up like (President) Bush?"
Mr Putin was briefly lost for words, then said: "Ah, you have scored a point there."
President Mikhail Saakashvili, who was in Paris to meet Mr Sarkozy today, laughed nervously when a French radio station read him the exchange. "I knew about this scene, but not all the details. It's funny, all the same," said the Georgian President.
Mr Putin's reported remarks appear to confirm that he was calling the shots in Moscow and not President Medvedev, who was Mr Sarkozy's host at the Kremlin meeting.
The language was in keeping with Mr Putin's fondness for coarse imagery. More here.
Hat off to the French president who, like it or not, can be really persuasive. A lawyer by training and a professional politician by vocation, the man is quick witted and a pragmatist par excellence.

Meanwhile, in an exclusive interview with French broadsheet Le Figaro today, Russian chief executive Dmitri Medvedev declared that Russia is prepared to cancel its plans to deploy nuclear weapons in Kalinigrad if the new US president (Barack Obama) renounces American plans to build an anti-missile shield in Poland.

Medevdev will be in Nice shortly to attend a Russia-EU summit and will be in Washington this weekend to attend another summit aimed at tackling the global economic crisis.

Clearly, President-elect Obama cannot or shouldn't refuse this proferred Russian hand of "world peace". Question is how will he do it without making America appear or at the very least, his presidency weak? Hmm... Wonder if President-elect Obama plays chess...

100,000 driving licenses withdrawn from French car owners in 2008

From Le Figaro: Record : 100 000 retraits de permis de conduire en 2008 (Crédits photo : AFP)

Report says: The cancellation of driving permits after losing points have never been as many. But other indicators show that drivers have returned to good old caution when on the road.

And I say, excellent news this is...

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Félicitations America! Félicitations Monsieur le Président Obama!

Le Figaro: Barack Obama élu président
Le démocrate Barack Obama a remporté mardi une victoire historique, devenant le premier Noir élu président des Etats-Unis. John McCain a reconnu sa défaite
Related sister blog: US Presidential Election 2008: Game over! Barack Obama is POTUS-elect! (Liveblogging updates!)

Félicitations America!

Landslide French vote for Barack Obama

Americans will elect the 44th president of the United States today. Polls have consistently forecast Obama as the winner. Same is true the world over.

Aucun doute pour les Français, qui plébiscitent le concurrent démocrate dans la course à la Maison-Blanche. Un soutien qui transcende les clivages sociologiques et politiques.
Aucun doute pour les Français, qui plébiscitent le concurrent démocrate dans la course à la Maison-Blanche. Un soutien qui transcende les clivages sociologiques et politiques. Crédits photo : AFP (No doubt about it for the French who prefer the current Democratic candidate for the White House. Barack Obama transcends all social and political divisions.)

In France, Le Figaro reports that 80% of the French voted for Barack Obama.

Le départ de George Bush de la Maison-Blanche ne pourra qu'améliorer encore l'opinion, déjà bonne, que les Français ont de l'Amérique. Surtout si Barack Obama, plébiscité par nos concitoyens, est élu. (The departure of George Bush from the White House could only improve the already good opinion of the Franch towards the United States, particularly if Barack Obama, who's preferred by our countrymen, is elected.)

Les Français ont plutôt une bonne opinion des Américains. C'est George W. Bush et la politique de son Administration qui se sont chargés de dégrader l'image des États-Unis dans l'Hexagone, le jugement de nos concitoyens n'étant d'ailleurs pas différent de ceux recueillis en Europe et partout dans le monde. Conséquemment, l'opinion que les Français ont de Barack Obama, le successeur le plus éloigné possible de l'actuel hôte de la Maison-Blanche, est excellente. (The French have a rather good opinion of Americans. It was George Bush and the politics of his heavy handed administration that damaged the image of the United States in France, a judgement call of our countrymen that isn't any different from those in other countries in Europe and elsewhere in the world. Consequently, the opinion of the French of Barack Obama, the successor who is as far from the current White House tenant as possible, is excellent.)

Here's the rest of the report in French....

Selon l'enquête menée par l'institut TNS Sofres et Logica, les 2 et 3 septembre dernier, pour la French-American Fondation et publié en excusivité par Le Figaro, le candidat démocrate est ainsi préféré par 80 % des sondés, John McCain ne recueillant que 8 % des souhaits de victoire pour l'élection de novembre prochain à la présidence des États-Unis. Dans cette étude auprès d'un échantillon de quelque 1 000 personnes, 66 % des sondés ont une «bonne opinion» des Américains.

Sympathie pour l'Amérique

Dans ses précédentes enquêtes, la French-American Fondation avait mesuré la «sympathie» des Français à l'égard de leurs alliés d'outre-Atlantique. Au début des années 2000, nos concitoyens, à peu près 40 % d'entre eux, ont exprimé cette «sympathie» pour les Américains, 10 % des sondés avouant plutôt de l'antipathie, quand le reste se refusait à se prononcer. Mais après le déclenchement de la guerre en Irak, en 2003, ils n'étaient plus que 31 % - 10 points de moins -, à éprouver de la «sympathie» pour les cousins d'Amérique. Bien que l'énoncé de la question ne soit plus le même, faut-il en conclure que le prochain départ de George Bush - seulement 18 % d'opinion favorable dans le sondage TNS Sofres -, commencerait à raviver la flamme pro-américaine en France ?

Aucun doute possible sur Barack Obama, dont l'image auprès des Français est des plus nettes. Parmi les personnes interrogées, 86 % ont une «bonne opinion» du représentant démocrate - contre seulement 35 % pour McCain -, 80 % des sondés souhaitant voir le candidat démocrate élu. Un tel soutien transcende tous les clivages sociologiques et politiques. Barack Obama est ainsi plébiscité par les hommes et les femmes, les jeunes et les vieux, les cadres et les ouvriers, les ruraux et les citadins, les électeurs de gauche et ceux de droite. Son arrivée au pouvoir, selon les sondés, aurait des effets positifs sur la société américaine (84 %), les relations des États-Unis avec l'Europe et la France (82 %), la protection de l'environnement (81 %), le conflit en Irak (76 %), l'économie mondiale (72 %).

Les Français ne sont pas les seuls à déclarer leur amour à Barack Obama, qui, selon un sondage de la BBC réalisé dans 22 pays, est préféré par 49 % des personnes interrogées, contre 12 % pour McCain. L'avance d'Obama sur son rival va de 9 points en Inde à 82 points au Kenya.

» L'intégralité du sondage TNS-Sofres-Logica (pdf) (Complete TNS-Sofres-Logica poll results)

Monday, 3 November 2008

Tragic turn of events for Senator Obama

23h07 Paris time - A very sad news
Sen Obama's grandmother Madelyn Dunham has just died. 'Toot' as Sen Obama fondly called her died ater a battle with cancer. How sad and tragic that she did not live to see the day her grandson might be proclaimed the next president of the United States.
Condolences to Senator Obama, to his sister Maya Soetoro-Ng and their families.

Actor Leonardo di Caprio says he's just voted for Obama

bandeau elections usa 980*60
Guesting on French TV TF1's Laurence Ferrari primetime newscast (tonight), Hollywood actor Lionardo di Caprio, accompanied by film director Ridley Scott, announced that he's just cast his absentee ballot vote for Sen Barack Obama.

Di Caprio, who's in France to promote his latest film (which I know nothing about and can't even remember the title), said that Sen Barack Obama represents change and will be the next best thing that could happen to America.

Will post the link to TF1 interview of di Caprio when it's up.

Bonne chance Monsieur Obama!

Je parie que le prochain président des Etats-Unis sera...

I too am confident that Obama will be elected president of the United States tomorrow; that he will replace bumbling and clueless George W Bush who almost brought the United States to its knees and who, with the help of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, abetted no less by Tony Blair, the British liar par excellence, has made the world a Christian extremist-Islamic fundamentalist battlefield, a much less safe place to live in.
Although Mr Obama is the exact opposite of Mr Bush, and despite his intellectual brilliance, his great analytical mind, his ability to cope under extreme pressure, I won't expect Mr Obama to solve the ills that's plagued Bush's and Fox News' America. Nor do I believe he will be able to wipe away the global economic meltdown that was started by American financial and economic institutions in one go -- not in one hundred days and not even in a couple of hundred days, but I do believe he will be able to regain the moral high ground and the good will that America lost because of the inept Bush presidency. He will restore world confidence in America and will regain the trust and respect of hundreds of millions of people in the United States. And that will be a great judicious start...
How ironic that a little less than fifty years ago, the likes of Mr Obama would not have been allowed to sit on a bus along with the white folks in the South or would have been physically abused and refused entrance in an all-white university. How ironic too that a president who hails from the South and who has failed America and the world will now be replaced by a coloured man! When that finally happens, i.e., when he beats the Republican Party's John McCain on November 4, this entire US election season's clamour for change will at last have found its true meaning.
Bonne chance Monsieur Obama!