John Leo
Here in the mainstream media, we are so good at cloaking the news in decorum that it's often hard to figure out what people are really thinking. This problem isn't a big one on the Internet, where enormous scorn has built up for the French-German "axis of weasels" (a term that arose on the Net).

The French are "cheese-eating surrender monkeys," a memorable line from the Simpsons TV show, popularized by Jonah Goldberg of National Review Online. A mock sale on the Internet offers a French clock, with hour and minute hands aimed at 11 o'clock and 1 o'clock, like arms raised in the surrender position. The ad copy describes the clock as unreliable, but the permanent hands-up position seems to have worked for more than 150 years in France. You can never surrender too often or too early.

One Internet site, ScrappleFace, contributes this satirical news report: "France today will introduce a new resolution in the U.N. Security Council giving Iraq 'only 12 more years to comply' with the U.N. resolutions of the past 12 years. The resolution is the hardest line yet taken by the French, and has driven a wedge between France, Germany and Belgium. Leaders of the latter two nations support a competing resolution calling for 'inspections forever, or until nothing is found, whichever comes first.'"

Another site, Broken Newz, says the French army is marketing its own video war game, Ultimate Surrender. To win, a contestant must give up without getting his uniform dirty or firing a shot. Then he must meet other challenges, such as pretending he is part of the Resistance.

"Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordian" is a familiar one-liner that has circulated on the Internet since January. It sparked an on-line contest by the Federalist Society for the best going-to-war-without-France simile. The entries include: Going to war without France is like a Texas barbecue without a croissant; like going to Marine boot camp without a "Best of Liza Minnelli" album; like going into the ninth inning without your place-kicker; like planning the Normandy invasion without Yves Saint Laurent; and "I'm sorry, war without whom?" (Belgium, tiny fellow traveler of France and Germany, is not involved in the contest, though some Internet chatterers are anxious about going to war without Belgian chocolates.)

John Leo

John Leo is editor of and a former contributing editor at U.S. News and World Report.

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