Does anyone remember when or why the term freedom fries came about? I do — it was in 2003 as a wave of anti-French sentiment came because the French had the sheer audacity to oppose the US/UK lead illegal war in Iraq.
So, I suppose that I find it incredibly ironic that in the wake of the ISIS/ISIL attacks in Paris that many of the same types of people who got their knickers in a wad about freedom fries are now all about standing in solidarity with France in the wake of these attacks.
It’s almost like these people are merely repeating a set of talking points provided by their insular media of choice (i.e., Fox Media and all of the crazy right wing blogs) instead of actually thinking about the situation and reflecting thoughtfully on the problems created by decades of American interference in the region (something libertarian and liberal sources can agree on) and most notably the destabilizing effect that our illegal war in Iraq had on the region.
Unfortunately, Americans seem to like having someone to hate — this has been the basis for our foreign policy and its domestic implications since the Cold War. But I suppose that it’s much easier to uphold the faulty notion of American exceptionalism if we create the strawman of a war on ‘radical Islam’. This way we can galvanize fear, allow our lives to be increasingly altered by fear or policy-based responses to that fear (anyone remember the Patriot Act?). Winner.
So, if the words ‘freedom fries’ ever escaped from your mouth in any serious way (i.e., you weren’t just mocking the people who did it), you really should probably stop talking about the tragedy, pretending like you suddenly care about the French, and just be honest — you like having someone to hate and you like fear.