Monday | July 14, 2003
It's freedom ....er Bastille day
By Steve Gilliard
On May 5, 1789, the King convened the Estates General to hear their complaints, but the assembly of the Third Estate, representing the citizens of the town, soon broke away and formed the Constituent National Assembly.
On June 20, 1789, the deputies of the Third Estate took the oath of the Jeu de Paume "to not separate until the Constitution had been established." The Deputies' opposition was echoed by public opinion. The people of Paris rose up and decided to march on the Bastille, a state prison that symbolized the absolutism and arbitrariness of the Ancien Regime.
The storming of the Bastille, on July 14, 1789, immediately became a symbol of historical dimensions; it was proof that power no longer resided in the King or in God, but in the people, in accordance with the theories developed by the Philosophes of the 18th century.
Reading this makes me want to :
A: Have some freedom fries and fois gras
B: Chug a big glass of freedom wine
C: Sing some Edith Piaf and watch Amelie again.
Also, it makes me want to grab John McCain, Chuck Hegel and John Kerry and remind them why Donald Rumsfeld should be sent to a nice relaxing retirement on the Sea Islands with a membership at the Hilton Head golf course.
They stood by while one of this country's senior public officials denigrated the oldest ally the United States has with nairy a word in defense. Even today, the French are being blamed for the Niger fraud when it was clear it came from the Italians. When members of Congress wanted to extend this vendetta for disobedience, why didn't other people remind them of our 200+ year alliance? That they were acting shamefully. Nope, only silence, despite the importance of France as an economic and military partner.
Allies, in many ways, are like best friends. Sometimes they say things you do not want to hear. All manner of slander was lodged against the French, even an economic boycott based in petulence, because God knows it had no other reason. Why? Because they questioned the wisdom of the Iraq war.
Questions which are now exploding across the American media daily.
So today, eat a fry for France, even though they were really created in Belgium.