Friday, August 04, 2006

Adieu, Les Pommes Frites de la Liberté – Et Bonjour aux Pommes Frites “Françaises”

It was with little fanfare recently that the “Freedom Fries” at the cafeteria of Congress reverted to their more familiar name, “French Fries.” This marked the end of a curious era for the lovable potatoes, and settled a good amount of the identity problems they had been going through.

In all seriousness though, the whole Freedom/French Fry thing might be a broader signal of the change of politics we can only hope is coming to our nation’s capital. The changing of the name was ridiculous at best, giving many a chance to – rather than poke fun at the French – ridicule our Congress, who should have better things to do than to try to influence what people call their deep-fried potatoes. It was a rash act, one that has now been rectified.

But rash acts were a symbol of this administration for a long time, full of bravado and brash statements, and in the end very little content. The “war” in Afghanistan, which is still plodding along amongst rumors of increased Taliban activities, as well as enormously large opium crops (didn’t we wipe that out when we “won” the war in 2001/2002?) is only one example. The total list is beyond this server’s capacity to upload.

Along with these positions goes with the unilateral feeling of the administration, lampooning allies when they weren’t totally with us, while forging relationships with foreign powers we were soon to try and reverse (gee, that doesn’t sound familiar, does it? See: Taliban in Afghanistan, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and Osama bin Laden for more information). So, haraunge the French when they opposed our war in Iraq, but now we realize they might be crucial to any sort of peace talk in Lebanon, not to mention the Darfur region.

So perhaps we are seeing a more multi-lateral form of politics emerging, a spirit of contrition and willingness to work with others, rather than just stick it alone. That would be a big change in policy from our “decider” President. Talk about flip-flopping on issues. Fries are just the beginning.


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