Saturday, June 06, 2009

Magazine Article of D-Day

From the May 26th Time magazine:
Queen Elizabeth Snubbed! War Declared on France

France and England have fought each other in the 100 Years' War, the Seven Years' War, the Napoleonic Wars and scads of less memorably named conflicts. And more recently, the French and English have treated the blood-and-tears clashes between their national rugby and soccer teams as fetishes for those battles of yore. The geysers of bile pouring forth from the London tabloids this week suggests a new chapter in Anglo-French enmity may be upon us. Call it the "Great D-Day Hissy Fit."

The casus belli in the latest cross-Channel spat is the slight dealt by the French government to Queen Elizabeth II in failing to invite her to the June 6 ceremonies marking the 65th anniversary of the 1944 Allied invasion at Normandy. While the Queen has attended -- and also skipped -- various previous D-Day commemorations, this year's event seems to have been given heightened allure by the planned attendance of U.S. President Barack Obama, who remains the King of Pop on the diplomatic circuit. British tabloids have gone ballistic over what they see as French President Nicolas Sarkozy trying to hog the Obama-radiated limelight. (See portraits of Queen Elizabeth.)

"A diminutive egomaniac, the stain of Nazi collaboration and why the French can't forgive us for saving them in the War", was Thursday's headline in London's Daily Mail, above an article filled with denunciation of the French and their leaders as cheese-eating surrender monkeys. For good measure, the paper ran a second story titled, "What did YOUR dad do in the war, Sarkozy?" The paper's answer to its own question was to claim Sarkozy's Hungarian-born father celebrated D-Day by fleeing collaborationist Budapest for Nazi-controlled Germany to escape advancing Soviet troops. The same story also alleges that the family of Sarkozy's current wife, industrial scion Carla Bruni Sarkozy, had been pretty chummy with Mussolini.
(via reader Doug J.)

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