of lines, maginot, red, and conga…

Forget ‘crossing the Rubicon’…

That famous Maginot line… And now we have the French foreign minister of la même France that had taught Germany a harsh, unforgettable lesson at the end of World War I. The rewards that flowed from that humiliation in 1919 of an entire nation in a train in Versailles the civilised world still sees. And, clearly, even today France arrogates to itself the right to teach a former colony, not a defeated power, a lesson. Vraiment, according to The Guardian, the French Foreign Minister stated.

In contrast, the French foreign minister said: “The position of France is to punish and negotiate.” Laurent Fabius told France 2 television before travelling to the summit: “We are convinced that if there is no punishment for Mr Assad, there will be no negotiation. Punishment will allow negotiation, but obviously it will be difficult.”

No breathalyser given. The unruly rabble of the ‘Third World’ (if the expression is still en vogue) would beg, what else, to differ. But as they say in Spain, ‘Plus ça change, plus c’est la meme chose’.

And, as children in the English-speaking world would have learned from their Sesame Street, the Count knows how to count and so too should grown-ups.  The world, even that part ‘informed’ by US corporate media, could count how many times the world had said so. So may we now suspend disbelief. ‘Who said I said?’ Moi?

Barack Obama appealed to the international community to back his plan to punish Syria with a military strikes, saying the “world had set a red line” over the use of chemical weapons, not him.

And, with Slate allowing the White House to do the count. And if the White House counted five times, cinq fois...

Here is a compilation, sent to me by the White House press office, of the statements in which President Obama has warned that Syria’s use of chemical weapons would cross a red line

And that is an official statement from the White House, even as others suggest a mere seven times of red line – and we are talking about threats of death and destruction to be inflicted on another Arab and Moslem country which never attacked the US. So, in all this, if the US sets a red line, une ligne rouge, therefore, ergo, ipso facto, the world has set the red line, la ligne rouge. Garbled imperial garrulousness?

As ‘we’ all join the conga line and head past the blurred red line will the chorus be, USA! USA! USA! Or, this, which, for certain countries, has displaced French as the language of diplomacy?  And one notable absentee from the line…

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