Sunday, August 19, 2007
Today marks the 63rd anniversary of the liberation of Aups (the tiny village in the South of France where I've lived for the past six years) by American troops. And as you can tell from the picture below, the date is still very much etched in the collective memory of the village. Every year, a group of avid collectors of WWII-era American Jeeps and memorabilia organizes a procession that culminates in a gathering on the main square.
The commemoration has taken place every year I've been here, under Chirac as under Sarkozy, despite the overwhelming opposition of French opinion to the Iraq War. Which exposes the neocon attacks on French "amnesia" for the reductionist distortions they were. The fact is, no one here has forgotten the sacrifices made by the American people to liberate France. They were just capable of assessing the merits of an invasion of Iraq independently of that history.
French dissent was not betrayal. Just as American dissent is not treachery. Any suggestion to the contrary is demagoguery of the worst kind.