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Today on Context Florida: Sympathy, solidarity and unity with France after the Paris attacks

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Today on Context Florida:

Martin Dyckman reminds us about “freedom fries,” and how Americans expressed spite towards France after they wisely declined the opportunity to participate in George W. Bush’s ego-driven war in Iraq. But in Paris on Friday, France paid a terrible price for the chaos we created when we invaded Iraq and destroyed its government with no thought of history or of the consequences beyond the premature boast, “Mission accomplished.” The evil we didn’t know proved to be worse than the evil we did.

For reasons that do us no credit, Americans find it easy to insult the French, says Diane Roberts. We call the French “cheese-eating surrender monkeys;” we sneer at John Kerry and Mitt Romney because they speak French. At the Oct. 28th debate, Jeb Bush tried to get clever about Congress’ laziness, accusing them of adhering to a “French work week.” Now that Paris has suffered terrorist attacks that killed at least 132, some Americans are expressing sympathy and solidarity with France.

The Paris attacks raised the level of concern and awareness of the ISIS threat to this country, Stephen Kurlander notes. An attack on a major U.S. city was feared next, and expected by many anxious Americans. However, we are – supposedly – all the same citizens of the same Western world. Unlike ISIS, we are, of course, civil people in the truest sense of the word. That mantra was confirmed in the Democratic debate Saturday night by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, an architect and continued advocate of such international policies: “But it cannot be an American fight. And I think what the president has consistently said – which I agree with – is that we will support those who take the fight to ISIS.”

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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