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Are the French this dumb?

post #1 of 115
Thread Starter 
Are the people of France this dumb or do they think this book is some kind of parody? I guess they are.?

<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2002/06/22/international/europe/22FRAN.html" target="_blank">Conspiracy Theory Grips French: Sept. 11 as Right-Wing U.S. Plot</a>
By ALAN RIDING

ARIS, June 21 Even before the fires were extinguished at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, conspiracy theories began flooding the Internet. A few quickly spilled out of Web sites and were widely circulated by e-mail before fading into oblivion. One, however, has taken on a life of its own in France. It was turned into a book that has become the publishing sensation of the spring.

In the book, "L'Effroyable Imposture," or "The Horrifying Fraud," Thierry Meyssan challenges the entire official version of the Sept. 11 attacks.

He claims the Pentagon was not hit by a plane, but by a guided missile fired on orders of far right-wingers inside the United States government. Further, he says, the planes that struck the World Trade Center were not flown by associates of Osama bin Laden, but were programmed by the same government people to fly into the twin towers.

What really interests him, though, is what he sees as the conspiracy behind these actions. He contends that it was organized by right-wing elements inside the government who were planning a coup unless President Bush agreed to increase military spending and go to war against Afghanistan and Iraq to promote the conspirators' oil interests.

To achieve their goals, the theory goes, they blamed Osama bin Laden for Sept. 11 and later broadened their targets to include the "axis of evil," centered on Iraq.

The 235-page book has been universally ridiculed by the French news media, while its arguments have been dismantled point by point in "L'Effroyable Mensonge," or "The Horrifying Lie," a new book by two French journalists.

A Pentagon spokesman said, "There was no official reaction because we figured it was so stupid."

Yet in the past three months, Mr. Meyssan's book has sold more than 200,000 copies in France, placing it at the top of best-seller lists for several weeks. Foreign rights have also been sold in 16 countries (a Spanish version is already on sale), and Mr. Meyssan traveled to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates in April to present his arguments at a local university.

The book's French publisher, Éditions Carnot, said it would release an English version in the United States in July.

Mr. Meyssan said in an interview that he was surprised his book had so far provoked no major debate, but he was convinced that his message was being heard.

"Two-thirds of the hits on our Web site come from the United States," he said. "I'm not saying all my readers agree with me, but they recognize that the official American version of the attacks is idiotic. If we can't believe the official version, where do we stand?"

It is nonetheless puzzling why so many of the French have been willing to pay the equivalent of $17 for "The Horrifying Fraud." Is it a symptom of latent anti-Americanism? Is it a reflection of the French public's famous distrust of its own government and mainstream newspapers? Or has the French love of logic been tickled by the apparent Cartesian neatness of a conspiracy theory?

Certainly, after Sept. 11, some leftist intellectuals suggested that the United States had invited the attacks through its support for Israel. Others recalled that Islamic militants had been financed and armed by the United States to fight the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980's. Yet, in this case, Libération and Le Monde, left-of-center newspapers with no love for the Bush administration, have led the assault on Mr. Meyssan's book.

"The pseudotheories of `The Horrifying Fraud' feed off the paranoid anti-Americanism that is one of the permanent components of the French political caldron," Gérard Dupuy wrote in an editorial in Libération. Edwy Plenel, news editor at Le Monde, wrote: "It is very grave to encourage the idea that something which is real is in fact fictional. It is the beginning of totalitarianism."

Guillaume Dasquié and Jean Guisnel, the authors of "The Horrifying Lie," favor a different explanation for the book's success. They write of France's "profound social and political sickness," which leads people to embrace the idea "that they are victims of plots, that the truth is hidden from them, that they should not believe official versions, but rather that they should demystify all expressions of power, whatever they might be."

Still, even if some French are susceptible to conspiracy theories, few had heard of the book until March 16, when Mr. Meyssan appeared on a popular Saturday evening television program on France 2, a government-owned but independently run channel. In the program, Mr. Meyssan was allowed to expound his theory without being challenged by the host. In the two weeks that followed, his book sold 100,000 copies.

Mr. Meyssan himself seems an unlikely purveyor of tall stories. A 44-year-old former theology student, he dabbled in leftist politics before forming a political research company, Réseau Voltaire, or Voltaire Network, in 1994.

The company's Web site (www .reseauvoltaire.com) adopted specific causes, like fighting homophobia and opposing Jean-Marie Le Pen's far-right National Front. Its investigative methods seemed thorough and objective.

In person too, Mr. Meyssan, a slim, wiry man with short hair and penetrating eyes, comes over as both serious and rational.

French journalists who had given some credibility to his Web site were all the more surprised, then, to find him building a vast conspiracy theory around the fact that photographs of the Sept. 11 attack showed no airplane parts in or near the smoldering gap in the Pentagon. This became the departure point for his book.

The line of reasoning that follows is a case study in how a conspiracy theory can be built around contradictions in official statements, unnamed "experts" and "professional pilots," unverified published facts, references to past United States policy in Cuba and Afghanistan, use of technical information, "revelations" about secret oil-industry maneuvers and, above all, rhetorical questions intended to sow doubts. At the end of each chapter, Mr. Meyssan presents his speculation as fact.

To gather his evidence, he worked mainly from articles, statements and speculation found on the Internet. He did not travel to the United States to interview any witnesses. Indeed, he dismisses the accounts of witnesses to the crash of the American Airlines Boeing 757 into the Pentagon.

"Far from believing their depositions, the quality of these witnesses only underlines the importance of the means deployed by the United States Army to pervert the truth," he said.

His "truth" is that no Muslims took part in the attacks "because the Koran forbids suicide." To his original claim that the Pentagon was bombed from the inside, he has now added his conviction that the building was struck by an air-to-ground missile fired by the United States Air Force. "This type of missile, seen from the side, would easily remind one of a small civilian airplane," he said.

In response, Mr. Dasquié and Mr. Guisnel said they traveled to Washington and interviewed 18 witnesses to the Pentagon crash.

They also have named experts explaining how the Boeing 757 could disappear inside the crater caused by the impact. Further, they identify several people mentioned only by their initials in Mr. Meyssan's acknowledgments, including a French Army officer currently on trial for treason and a middle-ranking intelligence officer.

The book has proved to be a windfall for Mr. Meyssan's publisher. More accustomed to publishing marginal books on subjects like the "false" American moon landing in 1969 and the latest "truth" about U.F.O.'s, Éditions Carnot can now boast of its first best seller.

Further, confident that this conspiracy theory will endure, Mr. Meyssan and Carnot have just published a 192-page annex, with new documents,
post #2 of 115
[quote]Are the people of France this dumb or do they think this book is some kind of parody? I guess they are.?<hr></blockquote>

Stop trolling. Please.
post #3 of 115
This book is crap. It has been deal here on AI one or two months ago in a thread.

I will not waste my time again with that **** .

May i suggest you to change the title of your thread by are the french by this crap. Because this dumb is quite infamous <img src="graemlins/oyvey.gif" border="0" alt="[No]" />
post #4 of 115
Je conviens absolument. Arrêtez ce trolling; va sucer le pipe d'une baleine.

Pourquoi inclut-il ses qualifications scolaires dans son nom d'écran? Insécurité profonde au sujet de son potentiel intellectuel?
post #5 of 115
[quote]Originally posted by Hassan i-Sabbah:
<strong>Je conviens absolument. Arrêtez ce trolling; va sucer le pipe d'une baleine.

Pourquoi inclut-il ses qualifications scolaires dans son nom d'écran? Insécurité profonde au sujet de son potentiel intellectuel?</strong><hr></blockquote>

<img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />

I just suggest a correction you should just say : va faire une pipe Ã* une baleine, ou va tailler une pipe Ã* une baleine
post #6 of 115
We seem to have enough Americans who are ready to believe the same thing.

You have to be pretty impotent to go for this stuff. I can see the scheming "masses" sitting in their homes with the blinds shut and thinking, "ah, I knew it!" Meanwhile they actually do nothing to either really prove or change the status quo except to purchase more fodder for their warped little minds and pat each other on the back in chatrooms.

If things were that bad, maybe these people could actually do something about it? Nah, we're powerless against this oppression. Yeah, that's it. These people would have my pity if they weren't so content to see themselves as "victims."
post #7 of 115
There certainly is a population in France recently that's been garnering them a lot of negative attention, first through this book and then more recently through Le Pen's(?) surprising popularity.

I tend to think it's poetic justice for a nationality so well-known (stereotyped) as being cultural snobs and all-together elitist in matters of foreign affairs.

"What goes around, comes around" as they say.


I know idiots in America who want this book. I had to argue with one girl about 4-5 months ago after she said that the "U.S. wasn't allowing this book to be sent to America".
Like some crackpot Frenchman's bullshit conspiracy theories would garner enough attention and strike enough fear in the .gov to put secret mechanisms in place to block it.

It will sell a lot in the U.S., we have a lot of fuckwits here, too.
proud resident of a failed state
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proud resident of a failed state
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post #8 of 115
Merci M. Doc!
post #9 of 115
scott you really are a jerk
"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
--George W Bush

"Narrative is what starts to happen after eight minutes
--Franklin Miller.

"Nothing...

Reply
"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
--George W Bush

"Narrative is what starts to happen after eight minutes
--Franklin Miller.

"Nothing...

Reply
post #10 of 115
I mean to call a whole nation of people dumb simply because 100,000 people buy a stupid book . . . if that's your criteria then all Americans are dumb several times over . . . And besides, France has a huge non-French population who's religion and background might make it seem in their interests to believe this stuff. Also, I'm sure, many people bought it simply for curiosity.
"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
--George W Bush

"Narrative is what starts to happen after eight minutes
--Franklin Miller.

"Nothing...

Reply
"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
--George W Bush

"Narrative is what starts to happen after eight minutes
--Franklin Miller.

"Nothing...

Reply
post #11 of 115
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by pfflam:
<strong>scott you really are a jerk</strong><hr></blockquote>

So pointing out the stupidity and anti-american hatred of the French makes me a jerk but bashing the US is ... what? ..."objective", "open minded".
post #12 of 115
Talk about your blanket generalizations. Scott you would have me think that this book is mandatory reading for the French.

Geez!
post #13 of 115
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Hassan i-Sabbah:
<strong>
Pourquoi inclut-il ses qualifications scolaires dans son nom d'écran? Insécurité profonde au sujet de son potentiel intellectuel?</strong><hr></blockquote>

Only because I dropped my yahoo mail account and needed to register a new name. In between that I finished my PhD so I just added it on. Does my status threaten you?
post #14 of 115
I don't know how dumb the French are , but this is pretty dumb: <a href="http://www2.justnet.ne.jp/~kiti/Ufo/wtc/wtc.htm" target="_blank">http://www2.justnet.ne.jp/~kiti/Ufo/wtc/wtc.htm</a>

But Gosh darn it, they have pictures and diagrams!
post #15 of 115
[quote]Originally posted by scott_h_phd:
<strong>

Only because I dropped my yahoo mail account and needed to register a new name. In between that I finished my PhD so I just added it on. Does my status threaten you? </strong><hr></blockquote>

Mais non! Not your status; your savoir faire, oui, peut-être; your sense of the mot juste, certainly. Enfin, I'm threatened by the easy bonhomie generated by your every post that causes le tout Apple Insider to hang happily on your every word.

Your Phd? Desolé, non.

Salut mon pot!

[ 06-22-2002: Message edited by: Hassan i-Sabbah ]</p>
post #16 of 115
This kind of obviously stupid rubbish, that is typified by sensationalist books like this with absolutely zero credibility, has the added "benefit" of muddying the waters when it comes to rational inquiry as to any official complicity or fore-knowledge regarding 9-11. So convenient, just brand any future story or controversy as another wacky conspiracy theory, and out goes the baby with the bathwater.
Why of course the people don't want war ... But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a...
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Why of course the people don't want war ... But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a...
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post #17 of 115
Babelfish said:

[quote]Stop this trolling; will suck the pipe of a whale.<hr></blockquote>

Elegantly put!
post #18 of 115
Getting two cents in is the typical post, so here it goes ...

I have always had problems using my first name on boards since it usually is already taken; moving up a notch has proven better (us Scott's have to stick together).

IMHO 9/11 is too hot a topic. I read the referenced website a good month or two ago and never talked to anyone in the States about it (missed the previous thread). I should also mention that I am American and have been living in France for quite a few years now.
post #19 of 115
"Stop this trolling; will suck the pipe of a whale."

I take it this "pipe of a whale" is what could be referred to as a "dork."

About the thread:
Even for someone who thinks the generic French culture is hopelessly primitive and ridiculous, I don't think I can really take this journalism too seriously. Mileage may vary, though. I'm sure some French feel that way.
Cat: the other white meat
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Cat: the other white meat
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post #20 of 115
Thread Starter 
Well it is on the best sellers list in France. So I think my question still stands and cannot be dismissed as just a troll.

Do the French think this book is real or is a joke to them? Hard proof or trivial summer reading?
post #21 of 115
Well let's do a resume of the former thread about this subject (perhaps the thread was from Groverat i don't remember anyway and the title was does the french buy this crap, which is a much better title)

This book was promoted (unfortunately) in a french emission of TV rule by a professional provocator, Thierry Ardisson. It was a primetime TV emission and unfortunately it make the book popular, because every craps which appear on TV seems more real for people.
At first i did not eard of this book, until Groverat's post, one week after i read an article on my regional newspapers about it. The journalism of the regional newspaper, said at first, he did not wanted to speak of this book, but as he was becoming too popular, he has to report this phenomena. He said that this book was absolutely ridiculous, but worse as SJO said it's "So convenient, just brand any future story or controversy as another wacky conspiracy theory, and out goes the baby with the bathwater".

Who blame for making this rubbish popular, the author of course, but certainly more the TV animator, who is a perveted guy certainly delighted at the idea of making an huge contreversy and scandal in the name of liberty of press and TV

Concerning the guy's bibliographia : it seems that this man is a sensationalist US hatred journalist : (False) american moon landing in 1969 <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" /> , and truth about UFO

Concerning the popularity of the book i think that this extract of the article is interesting : "Guillaume Dasquié and Jean Guisnel, the authors of "The Horrifying Lie," favor a different explanation for the book's success. They write of France's "profound social and political sickness," which leads people to embrace the idea "that they are victims of plots, that the truth is hidden from them, that they should not believe official versions, but rather that they should demystify all expressions of power, whatever they might be.""

I wish that the english version of this crap will not meet any readers (but unfortunately there will be some).

Last word, Scott H phd : the content of your thread is not a troll, but the title of your thread certainly is : i am sure that you will see the difference between :
- does Scott H phd is this dumb
- and does Scott H phd buy this dumb thing
post #22 of 115
[quote]Originally posted by Splinemodel:
<strong>"Stop this trolling; will suck the pipe of a whale."

I take it this "pipe of a whale" is what could be referred to as a "dork."

</strong><hr></blockquote>

Not that it's relevant to the thread, simply in the interest of mutual understanding, 'va' here is an informal way of saying 'go and...' rather than 'will', while 'pipe' is probably self-explanatory. 'Baleine' really does mean 'whale'.

[typo edit]

[ 06-23-2002: Message edited by: Hassan i-Sabbah ]</p>
post #23 of 115
[quote]Originally posted by Splinemodel:
<strong>
Even for someone who thinks the generic French culture is hopelessly primitive and ridiculous</strong><hr></blockquote>

<img src="graemlins/surprised.gif" border="0" alt="[Surprised]" /> <img src="graemlins/oyvey.gif" border="0" alt="[No]" />
I could apply several less-than-complimentary adjectives to the above statement, but in the interests of transatlantic relations I will leave them to your imagination
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All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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post #24 of 115
[quote] from Powerdoc:
Last word, Scott H phd : the content of your thread is not a troll, but the title of your thread certainly is : i am sure that you will see the difference between :
- does Scott H phd is this dumb
- and does Scott H phd buy this dumb thing
<hr></blockquote>
Once again Powerdoc, you are thoughtful and measured in responce to the constant anti-French attacks by scott-. I do think, however, that at some point you might find that it feels like you are ingratiating yourself too much to his sense of 'Reason'... why? because, as in many things, scott seems to not operate from Reason but from reaction: as he obviously hates the French en masse, and proves as much every chance he gets . . . ordinarily that kind of simplistic attitude is thought of as 'racist' (but I won't say that, knowing that that just gives scott an excuse to discount my opinion if I do.) and is by no means reasonable.

Also, there is a big difference between calling a single person a 'jerk' and a whole nation of millions 'dumb'. . . . clearly, even, a person who would do the latter might qualify to fit the former
"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
--George W Bush

"Narrative is what starts to happen after eight minutes
--Franklin Miller.

"Nothing...

Reply
"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
--George W Bush

"Narrative is what starts to happen after eight minutes
--Franklin Miller.

"Nothing...

Reply
post #25 of 115
[quote]Originally posted by pfflam:
<strong>
Once again Powerdoc, you are thoughtful and measured in responce to the constant anti-French attacks by scott-. I do think, however, that at some point you might find that it feels like you are ingratiating yourself too much to his sense of 'Reason'... why? because, as in many things, scott seems to not operate from Reason but from reaction: as he obviously hates the French en masse, and proves as much every chance he gets . . . ordinarily that kind of simplistic attitude is thought of as 'racist' (but I won't say that, knowing that that just gives scott an excuse to discount my opinion if I do.) and is by no means reasonable.

Also, there is a big difference between calling a single person a 'jerk' and a whole nation of millions 'dumb'. . . . clearly, even, a person who would do the latter might qualify to fit the former</strong><hr></blockquote>
You are right Pfflam, as i have said in a previous thread, there is more chance that i become a professional golf player rather to make change Scott his mind.
but you can always dream

In real life i will not be as measured and thoughtful, but we are in internet, so ... more time to calm down. Have a good day Pfflam
post #26 of 115
[quote]Originally posted by scott_h_phd:
<strong>

So pointing out the stupidity and anti-american hatred of the French makes me a jerk but bashing the US is ... what? ..."objective", "open minded".</strong><hr></blockquote>

anti-American hatred of the French...so, 200,000 people buy a book, 200,000 out of what 40 million? 60 million? and it constitutes as "the French"?

What exactly is your phd in mate? It can´t be maths anyway.

Or is it because you think "the French" or the more common "the Europeans" have a thing against your country that you feel the need to have something against theirs? That is not only childish, that makes you no better than the people you´re throwing your unfouded assumptions at.

However, you do give a lot of hope to the people reading these threads that are still in college. If you can get a phd, pretty much all of us can. I hope you were a bit more measured, substantive and objective in your thesis or your prof should have his head examined.

<img src="graemlins/oyvey.gif" border="0" alt="[No]" />
You cannot conquer Ireland. You cannot extinguish
the Irish passion for freedom. If our deed has not
been sufficient to win freedom, then our children
will win it by a better deed.
Pádraig Pearse

...
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You cannot conquer Ireland. You cannot extinguish
the Irish passion for freedom. If our deed has not
been sufficient to win freedom, then our children
will win it by a better deed.
Pádraig Pearse

...
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post #27 of 115
[quote]Originally posted by pfflam:
<strong>scott you really are a jerk</strong><hr></blockquote>
post #28 of 115
Astonished.

Not by the fact that people buy shît books, but by the simple conflation of a group of French people with "the French."

Basic dodgy logic. I am utterly stunned by the last 3 characters of someone's screen name.

[EDIT: GOT to be a troll everyone. I actually can't believe someone would say that and repeat it again. I mean, according to the article, "The 235-page book has been universally ridiculed by the French news media, while its arguments have been dismantled point by point in "The Horrifying Lie," a new book by two French journalists. In Scott's logic, these people are dumb too.]

[ 06-24-2002: Message edited by: Harald ]

[ 06-24-2002: Message edited by: Harald ]</p>
meh
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meh
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post #29 of 115
Wow! A real "phd" in our own little forum! <img src="graemlins/surprised.gif" border="0" alt="[Surprised]" />
Certainly not a phd in tact or decorum.

...I think not
post #30 of 115
I'm a poet and I didn't even know it
post #31 of 115
Thread Starter 
Still waiting for an answer. French? This dumb or not?
post #32 of 115
[quote]Originally posted by scott_h_phd:
<strong>Still waiting for an answer. French? This dumb or not?</strong><hr></blockquote>

Is scott_h_phd really this dumb?
--
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
Reply
--
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
Reply
post #33 of 115
[quote]Originally posted by scott_h_phd:
<strong>Still waiting for an answer. French? This dumb or not?</strong><hr></blockquote>

Still waiting for an answer?

Not.

The answer's 'not'.

Abandon thread! Abandon thread!

[ 06-24-2002: Message edited by: Hassan i-Sabbah ]</p>
post #34 of 115
[quote]Originally posted by MiMac:
<strong> I'm a poet and I didn't even know it </strong><hr></blockquote>

Oh, we know that took you hours to think up.
post #35 of 115
hmmm, ...
200,000 copies does seem like a lot. Who buys books these days anyways? If Im that desperate for information I just place an order with the local library. Somebody is sure keen to support this author. They might not even necessarily be of French origin ...

mika.
post #36 of 115
[quote]Originally posted by PC^KILLA:
<strong>hmmm, ...
200,000 copies does seem like a lot. Who buys books these days anyways? If Im that desperate for information I just place an order with the local library. Somebody is sure keen to support this author. They might not even necessarily be of French origin ...

mika.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Let's keep Islam out of this thread, eh, Mika?
post #37 of 115
[quote]Originally posted by Hassan i-Sabbah:
<strong>

Let's keep Islam out of this thread, eh, Mika?</strong><hr></blockquote>



mika.
post #38 of 115
[quote]Still waiting for an answer. French? This dumb or not?<hr></blockquote>

Dumb enough to answer to your flame bait?

Obviously not.
Soyons réalistes, Demandons l'impossible.
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Soyons réalistes, Demandons l'impossible.
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post #39 of 115
I think it's sad that such an idea can find purchase in a country such as France. Also, the lack of any concerted effort on the part of the French gov to stem the violent antisemitism that is occuring within its borders is criminal. Something is rotten in the State of France.
"Those who shout the loudest often have the least to say." -Me
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"Those who shout the loudest often have the least to say." -Me
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post #40 of 115
France has a huge Arab population and their own problems with them. If they criticize those activities too much, they can expect a backlash and being called pro-Jewish. Perish the thought.
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