The Corner

My Heavy Burden

A French emailer blames my book for destroying “the union of the western

civilisation and eventually of democracy.” But the first sentence is the best one. Maybe it should go on the paperback edition.

Dear Sir,

I am french and I am outraged by this book you just

wrote. I don’t know what your intentions are, but I

can see nothing good in calling another country “the

oldest ennemy”.

This very title is proven wrong right away by the

small excerpt presented online. You rightly remind

that Chirac was the first foreign leader on ground

zero. You could have call it “the new enemy”. I still

would have hated the intention, but at least it

wouldn’t be misleading for the many who will not read

the book and don’t know anything about history. It

sounds like you made an historical research and found

out that France really has been an ennemy over time,

which is false: you are only studying the last 4


We are thankful for what the US did in WWII, but we

gave our lives for your freedom long before you did

for us. Do I have to remind you that France helped

liberating the US in the first place? So no doubts we

don’t owe you anything but friendship.

I won’t bother you much more with my views, which you

probably don’t care about anyway since I’m one of

those “enemy”, but I just want you to know that France

will always be on the side of Liberty and Human

Rights, and that we are actually proud to be

considered like an enemy by people like you. The

parallel you’re making with Ivory Coast only proves

your total ignorance of History and Africa. Today, the

UN security council gave an UNANIMOUS (US included)

clearance of french action in this country. The same

cannot be said over Irak!

The US are falling in the trap of Ben Laden, and only

religious fanatics can buy it so easily and forget

about international law for example! Your work will

contribute to the end of the union of the western

civilisation and eventually of democracy. You can be


No salutation.

[name withheld]

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.


The Latest