Here's Dinesh D'Souza in Front Page on reparations and why they're not only a bad idea, but unjust. And check out this piece that Mickey Kaus linked to on the Council of Europe's proposal that might force us bloggers to give equal time to those we criticize. Now, that's not prior-restraint censorship, but if they actually begin enforcing this rule, I quit. I have no desire to provide a forum in which the SocioCommunists get half the space to express their ideas. Let them start their own blogs and get into the marketplace of ideas on their own merits.
Oh, well, if this dumb thing actually goes through, which it won't, we'll be able to make El Pais give us tons of space to spout off our points of view.
Here's Victorino Matus from the Weekly Standard on the most recent European conference at Lake Como. I hope he's right and that the Western Alliance will be able to patch up its wounds, and it suffered plenty. The Americans will not forgive the French for a good little while; they feel truly betrayed over the French threat of a Security Council veto. The Yanks would not have objected in the least to an abstention mixed with some anti-Bush rhetoric, but the threatened veto is not seen as the action of a friend who disagrees with you; it is seen as the action of an enemy.
Still, though, it's about time to get our relations back on track. I vote we don't do the French--or the Germans or the Belgians--any favors over the next few years, but that we don't become their open enemy either, and that we don't do anything petty and childish in seeking revenge. We should treat them fairly and politely but without warmth. It'll take a while to wake up those friendly feelings again, but it can be done, and that is much more important than the temporary fun we've been having bashing the French. Not that they didn't deserve it.
Oh, just a comment. There have been several short articles in the Vangua about the "xenophobic anti-French campaign" in the United States, based apparently on decreased sales of French wine and the wave of French jokes that swept the US this spring. Jeez. They dis us all the time, right and left, over nothing. It is absolutely impossible to pick up a newspaper in continental Europe that doesn't contain an anti-American slur somewhere; if nowhere else, the TV section will insult most of the movies on that night. But we tell a few jokes like the French rifle advertised for sale--never fired, only dropped once; that's the one that seems to make them the maddest--and there's a xenophobic campaign going. Jeez.