PARIS–Several French leaders got their panties in a twist yesterday over U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s implication that France, well…doesn’t really matter–except where pastries are concerned.


At a news conference Wednesday, Rumsfeld expressed indifference to French and German criticism of America’s stance on Iraq.  “Germany has been a problem and France has been a problem…but if you look at vast numbers of other countries in Europe, they’re not with France and Germany on this.  They’re with the United States,” he said.  He then proceeded to refer to the two vocal, but irrelevant, nations as “old Europe.”


French Finance Minister Francis Mer described himself as “profoundly vexed” by Rumsfeld’s discovery of France’s uselessness as a country.  “I wanted to remind everyone that this ‘old Europe’ has resilience and is capable of bouncing back,” he added.  “And it will show it, in time.”  Traditionally, Europe’s time for bouncing back has been right after American troops save it from the clutches of an imperialist dictator.


France’s Ecology Minister was so mad that she almost said something offensive herself.  “If you knew what I feel like telling him, to Mr. Rumsfeld…”  she warned, lacking the courage to complete her sentence.


In the event of a war, it is unclear whether the U.S. will be able to surrender effectively without guidance from the French.

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