Friday, August 04, 2006

Freedom (Fries) no more

Well, it looks like the relationship between some die-hard conservative Republicans and France has quitely improved.
You may remember that French fries were renamed "Freedom" fries in the wake of France's opposition to the US going to war in Iraq. Not that most of the U.S. followed suit - only restaurant operating in the House of Representatives and a few other "patriotic" places (and you also had "freedom" toast on the menu) . It made the headlines for a few days and died down as the situation in Iraq became more... "complicated".
As the French embassy noticed at the time though, French fries are not French anyway - they're Belgian, adding:
"We are at a very serious moment dealing with very serious issues and we are not focusing on the name you give to potatoes,"
Strangely enough, as Wikipedia points out, this action did not include other names (but it could by funny to think of it) such as French kissing, French poodles, French dip sandwiches, French ticklers, French horns, French augmented sixth chords, France, and even American actor French Stewart.

Ironically, one the men behind that action in the House, Republican Edward Jones, later said he regretted it and turned anti-war, saying the United States went to war "with no justification", and that he wished the "freedom fries" episode " never happened".
As the other man behind the decision, Republican Bob Ney, he "was forced to give up his chairmanship of the committee because of his extensive ties to the disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The current chairman, Vernon Ehlers of Michigan, seems more sensible about both intergovernmental affairs and cafeteria management." (NYTimes). Some poetic justice, after all.

Today, the N.Y.Times also wrote:
In the last few weeks, as The Washington Times reported, Congress has quietly changed the name back. We could think of many good reasons for the move.
"Freedom fries" is now a stale relic of a naïve time, when the war's supporters were convinced that Iraqis would be free right after they finished greeting their liberators with rose petals.
It comes to a very wise conclusion in saying that "harassing the French is probably not the wisest course now that America may need their help negotiating a cease-fire in Lebanon." (see our previous post)

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