French for Romney
Roger L. Simon at PJ Media has posted an article in English translation, from the French daily Libération, about the minority of French people who are for Mitt Romney. Their reasons are mostly economic, but some of their insights on our disastrous foreign policy are sound:
On the diplomatic front, America has weakened herself, and it is probably due to this that in France, from the extreme Right to the extreme Left, she is so loved. In Egypt, in Libya, in Tunisia, or in Syria, the United States has buttressed Islamists and the Muslim Brotherhood. Was this Obama’s grand design while he went to deliver his speech in Cairo in June 2009? If yes, he has achieved his objectives. Facing Iran, Obama does not know how to be firm, leaving this country, the major supporter of international terrorism, to advance toward obtaining atomic weapons. Can the free world accept living with the sword of Damocles, that would be an Iran with nuclear weapons, capable of threatening Europe and its neighbors thanks to its ballistic capability?
I found the comments very helpful as well. One commenter provided this link to Mitt Romney speaking French just before the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002. He has an American accent, but he makes himself understood.
On a side note, here is a video of actress Jodie Foster speaking French in an interview on French television. Her French is perfect, and is an example of what very early language training can produce. She lived in France and went to a French high school. Because of this, and because she still travels to France, she will never lose her accent or her fluency. Romney spent two years in France and while this is enough to learn to speak, I believe five years minimum are necessary to achieve total fluency. And time must be spent learning the grammar and structure of the language: you cannot rely just on the "direct method" of total immersion, unless you happen to be a person of unusual ability who can actually hear, comprehend and mimic intelligently without any pre-existing analysis. I have no idea how this is done, I have only heard that the military, in dire circumstances of national security, has had programs such as these.
When we were attacked on 9/11, we learned to our dismay that very few Arabic-speaking Americans were available for service in the fields of diplomacy and intelligence. We have been relying, I believe, on native speakers of Arabic, which can be problematical if they are of split loyalties.
As I post, a Swiss website is saying the two candidates are tied 48-48.