Wednesday, August 09, 2006

No more "freedom fries"

This should have been bigger news: French fries and French toast are back on the menu in the cafeterias of Capitol Hill, three years after they were renamed "freedom fries" and "freedom toast" by two Republican congressmen indignant over France's opposition to war in Iraq.

Today, 60 percent of Americans are just as opposed to war in Iraq as the French ever were; one of the two "freedom fries" advocates, Bob Ney of Ohio, just bowed out of his re-election campaign amid an ongoing corruption scandal (though you wouldn't know it from his website); and the other, Walter Jones of North Carolina, now favors a pullout of U.S. troops. "I’m more concerned about terrorism south of the border than I am in Iraq," Jones says.

During World War I, amid a wave of anti-German sentiment, patriotic Americans similarly renamed things. Hamburgers became "liberty sandwiches," dachshunds "liberty hounds," sauerkraut "liberty cabbage" and -- my favorite -- German measles "liberty measles." (If they hated Germans so much, why not blame the measles on them?) "Freedom fries" are receding just as rapidly into obscure history. The war will be with us much longer.


Anonymous said...

I hope the new Red Alert doesn't mean we have to change back--Supergee

Barry said...

> If they hated Germans so much, why not blame the measles on them?

Here's an interesting bit of fact that I just learned myself last week, over a dinner conversation with a physician. "German measles" aren't really measles. Who knew?