Let me say publicly that DonBoy’s answer exudes a combination of intuitive genius and confidence that make me think DonBoy is going to do big things in his life. -- Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics blog)
Thursday, September 01, 2005
Why They Hate Us, Part 137: The French

Mark Kleiman sez:
James Lileks has a nice little slam at -- you guessed it -- France, for failing to offer to help the victims of Katrina. That's right: first Lileks and his buddies make every effort they can to wreck the French economy because Chirac wouldn't back Bush over Iraq, and then they complain that France isn't pitching in to help out in our hour of need. Now that's real chutzpah.
Well, it's not Lileks, but for a reasonable interpretation of "his pals", may I remind us all of various NRO-ers' scorn for the tens of thousands dead in the European heat wave of 2002 -- 15,000 in France?

Denis Boyles:
Dead and dying: In Liberation, yet another story on the devastating heat wave. According to the health ministry, the number of dead is now hovering at 15,000. Meanwhile, in Le Monde, an editorial calling for acceptance of euthanasia. Maybe if the editorialists at Le Monde hadn't taken the month of August off to go on holiday with all those French doctors, they would have been on time with this one. As it is, too late!
Victor Davis Hanson:
So even our dealings with a more sophisticated Europe are not exempt from such awakened reptilian instincts. Revelations of recent German and French arms sales, French unilateral intervention in the Ivory Coast, the thousands who perished in the August heat wave in Paris, the spooky election-rhetoric in Germany, the holocaust in the Balkans, the oil deals with Saddam Hussein, the wave of anti-Semitism across Europe, or the callous policy toward Israel — all manifestly reveal Old Europe to be hardly a moral place, but in fact one that narrowly protects its own interests, falls back on bias and hate, and indulges in petty nationalism.
Hanson again:
When you look at Iranian fascists being wined and dined in Paris, count up all the corpses from the August heat wave, and contemplate the explosive issue of school scarves, France, not the United States, is the real sick puppy.
Ooh! Luskin! And it's a fresh one -- just one month old:
Oh, and about that "excellent health care." I seem to remember something from about two years ago, when about 15,000 elderly people in France died in a heat wave. That's more than five times as many as were killed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. And why did it happen? In part, because most French households are too poor to afford air conditioners. But more importantly, those people died because so many doctors were on vacation.
(To be fair, that was also Chirac's excuse.)

Finally -- too good to be true!
From a Corner reader, quoting a French friend:
"We were above all revolted that these elderly people, who as you said survived many horrors, passed because of lack of air-conditioning during the "sacred" French holiday time. Our dear president was having his in Canada - didn't bother to return. This country is run for many years now by stinking corrupt ambitious unscrupulous and moneythirsty politicians. I do not have the slightest respect for these people."
Chutzpah, indeed.

By the way, did you know that there was serious flooding in Europe this past week? I sure didn't, but the latest report I find from CNN gives the death toll as over 50, with widespread property damage. No comparison, but plenty ironic. I wonder if we sent them anything.

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