Best Re-Telling of an Old Joke
If it were not for the US of A, the French would be wearing lederhosen.
But an even better joke (at French expense, of course) is re-told by Mark Petersen from the US Naval Academy at Large,
A US Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included 20 Admirals from the US, English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies.
At a reception, he found himself standing with a huge group of officers that included personnel from most of the countries.
Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks, but a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages. Americans learn only English.
He then asked.”Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?”
Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied, “Maybe it’s because the Brit’s, Canadians, Aussie’s and Americans arranged it so you wouldn’t have to speak German”
You could’ve heard a pin drop.
I’ve heard that joke and its various forms for quite awhile. I know this might seem contraindicative but it seems that one thing the US must do is strengthen its relationship with France. France, aside from the UK, is the only other country in the world, exclusive of the DeGaulle fiasco during the tsunami in Asia, that has and is willing to use its blue water navy.
Germany seems to think that frigates with 21 day range and very quiet non-nuclear subs, only two built so far, will allow them to make a claim to world power status. Russia has lost its ability to project power except via oil pipelines, nuclear tipped missiles and the indiscriminate carpet bombing its own citizens. China makes a lot of noise but the only air craft carrier it has is an old radioactive Russian VSTOL that appears likely to end up as a hotel. Reading of China’s attempts to place small bases near sea lanes reminds me more of Jefferson’s old American System of forts and small patrol boats. Except for the base of the Statue of Liberty the rest proved singularly unuseful.
I hoping and I suspect that relations between the US and France, at the strategic level, are still cordial and ongoing.
The brits still have a fair bit of firepower – we may not rule the waves like we once did, but we arn’t out the game yet.
Ive heard a similar joke describing a convsation between an aircraft pilot and ATC operator as he brings his plane in to land at berlin airport. After getting into an argument about landing slots or some technicality, he complains over the radio: “I am a german pilot on a german plane working for a german airline trying to land at a german airport under direction of german air-traffic control, so we must I speak english!”
At which point another voice interupts, as the ATCs supervisor takes the mic: “Because you lost the war!”