Wednesday, May 09, 2007

France returns

This speech, I hope, may usher in the return of France as she should be.
"I want to launch a call to all those in the world who believe in the values of tolerance, of liberty, of democacy and of humanism, to all those who are persecuted by the tyrannies and by the dictators, to all the children and to all the martyrized women in the world to say to them that the pride, the duty of France will at their sides, that they can count on her."

"France will be at the sides of the Libyan nurses locked up for eight years; France will not abandon Ingrid Betancourt; France will not abandon the women who are condemned to the burqa; France will not abandon the women who do not have liberty. France will be by the side of the oppressed of the world. This is the message of France; this is the identity of France; this is the history of France."

"My dear compatriots, together we will write a new page of our history. This page of our history, my dear compatriots, I am sure that it will be grand, that it will be beautiful. And from the bottom of the heart, I want to say to you, with the most total sincerity which is mine at the time when I speak to you: Long live the Republic and long live France."
If this follows up with action, France may actually get what it has wanted - a position of leadership in the West. I don't see any present or potential leader in a major Western nation (USA, GBR, ITA, ESP) coming close to being so clear, so right - with enough political capital to make it happen.

Yes, I said USA. GWB? HRC? BHO? Rudy? McCain? Maybe Romney. And the other nations in the West: Cameron? Brown? Merkel? Prodi? No way. Can't say it as clear, or have to much baggage to run with it.

Oh, and go and read the original. It reads much better in French. Even better, watch the video.

Yes, vive France!

And for those whose memory of France starts in 1919, here is an English translation of their national anthem, La Marseillaise. Read the English lyrics - then watch Sarko's followers sing it.

You need to read the whole thing, but here are the juicy bits.
To arms citizens
Form your battalions
March, march
Let impure blood
Water our furrows

Tremble, tyrants and traitors
The shame of all good men
Tremble! Your parricidal schemes
Will receive their just reward
Against you we are all soldiers
If they fall, our young heroes
France will bear new ones
Ready to join the fight against you

We too shall enlist
When our elders' time has come
To add to the list of deeds
Inscribed upon their tombs
We are much less jealous of surviving them
Than of sharing their coffins
We shall have the sublime pride
Of avenging or joining them

Support our avenging arms
Liberty, cherished liberty
Join the struggle with your defenders
Under our flags, let victory
Hurry to your manly tone
So that in death your enemies
See your triumph and our glory!

Hat tip Volokh.

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