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French Military Contributes To Thunderbird 3

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the mais-oui-l'oiseau dept.

Mozilla 379

fredboboss sends news about Mozilla's email client Thunderbird 3, whose release we noted last week. "Thunderbird 3 contains code from the French military, which decided the open source product was more secure than Microsoft's rival Outlook. The French government is beginning to move to other open source software, including Linux instead of Windows and OpenOffice instead of Microsoft Office. Thunderbird 3 used some of the code from TrustedBird, a generalized and co-branded version of Thunderbird with security extensions built by the French military."

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379 comments

It's over... it's all over (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427324)

Thunderbird just surrendered to Outlook on my computer. Now it's even helping Outlook import old messages.

I love this joke (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427378)

For sale: WW II era French rifle. Never used, only dropped once.

Continuing the naming tradition (5, Funny)

Rising Ape (1620461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427462)

TraceMonkey, SeaMonkey... SurrenderMonkey?

FleeMonkey! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427614)

TraceMonkey, SeaMonkey... SurrenderMonkey?

FleeMonkey!

Damn you! (3, Funny)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427816)

Excuse me. Are you suggesting the French give up easy? Alright you win.

What does it do??? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427342)

see a security threat and surrender? j/k

Re:What does it do??? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427612)

Now now, leave those smelly french fagots alone..

Outlooks looks bad.... for outlook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427346)

First :)

yay Thunderbird

about time someone stood up to outlook

It means a lot when Defense systems move over (4, Interesting)

Kloplop321 (1610287) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427348)

I would guess that it means a lot for a country's defense administration to move over to Open Source. I've never heard of TrustedBird before this, but it seems a WHOLE lot more secure than Outlook is. I use Thunderbird personally.

Re:It means a lot when Defense systems move over (3, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427814)

MS has a reputation for adding security as an afterthought, which almost always makes for very poor quality security. The whole "secure by design" concept just isn't part of their general dev cycle. Looks like this TrustedBird is taking an already solid base and hardening it, which is not necessarily the ideal way to go, but certainly beats the alternative of trying to harden something that's very soft to start with.

Kudos to them for open sourcing it.

Well, at least we know it'll run well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427352)

... although I have doubts about its security, given the military involved

Re:Well, at least we know it'll run well... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427424)

Yeah the French suck, I mean they only liberated your country and all.. Wanker.

Re:Well, at least we know it'll run well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427746)

I think it's safe to say we've paid them back more than once over.

Re:Well, at least we know it'll run well... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427886)

I think it's safe to say we've paid them back more than once over.

When DeGaulle told Lyndon Johnson he wanted all the American soldiers off of French soil. LBJ responded "When you say you want all American soldiers out of France, General, does that include the ones who are buried here too?"

While the French government has always been odd, the people are generally nice; they just hate the way Merkins speak that Frenchie jibber-jabber.

If you read the battle history of the French Army in WW2, on the whole their reputation as cowards is undeserved. Had there been a land bridge to GB, London would have looked much like Paris in 1941. Fortunately, things worked out as they did.

everyone hates the French (5, Funny)

Swampash (1131503) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427752)

They imposed ridiculous penalties on Germany after WW1 and allowed Germany to remilitarize, giving birth to Nazi Germany.

They defeated the British Army in the Revolutionary War and provided financial aid to the Continental Army, giving birth to the USA.

Basically the French are directly responsible for the two most hated nations in living memory.

Re:everyone hates the French (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427860)

Hmm well it wasn't just the French that signed the treaty.

Re:Well, at least we know it'll run well... (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427772)

I assume that you're assuming that he's American and that you're referring to the Revolutionary War. Of course, the American Revolution really needs to be viewed more as a global, European war, of which North America was one battle front, and the French were here to stick it to Britain. They didn't really have much interest in us at the time otherwise, and in retrospect, what with Enlightenment-leaning military officers returning to France and helping instigate revolution there, the French really would have been better off staying out of it, at least from a Crown perspective. What I'm trying to get at is, they didn't altrusistically "liberate" the Colonies, they were just trying to punish the British.

Now, the U.S., at least in WWI, really had no legitimate beef with Germany & Co., and thus no reason to get into the war except out of friendship for France. Hell, after the Revolution, War of 1812, British support for the Confederacy during the American Civil War (Confederate failure at Gettysburg is responsible for them backing out, but had the South won, they likely would have committed troops. They had already given a great deal of Naval (ship production) and Commercial support to the South), tacit U.S. support for the Fenian invasion of Quebec after the the Civil War, etc, the U.S. and Britain weren't exactly chummy during WWI. It wasn't until after then that we really had a solid alliance with the UK.

Thus, I would say that the U.S. "Liberated" France, where as France, or at least the French government, was mostly interested in using as a pawn in a greater game against their enemy, sort of like Korea and Vietnam between the U.S. and Soviet Union.

Re:Well, at least we know it'll run well... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427920)

Yeah the U.S. definitely has the high moral ground when it comes to wars.

Nah, (1, Offtopic)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427366)

I'll just go on with enigmail.

French thunderbirds rock (4, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427372)

Take a look at some of the footage of those French fighter jocks doing terrain avoidance at a few feet high. Incredible.

As for thunderbird the email program, I like some things about 3, and not others. I'm glad the devs allow you to switch the old toolbar back on. Much better than the Mozilla Firefox attitude of forcing you into changes you don't want to make.

Re:French thunderbirds rock (1)

amirulbahr (1216502) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427508)

I'm glad the devs allow you to switch the old toolbar back on. Much better than the Mozilla Firefox attitude of forcing you into changes you don't want to make.

They force you to upgrade?

Re:French thunderbirds rock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427556)

Yes, they keeping adding higher numbers like Mozilla 4, knowing that I can't stand not to have the highest number at all times. It's psychological warfare!

Re:French thunderbirds rock (2, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427558)

Security fixes aren't around forever for old branches, so essentially yes.

Re:French thunderbirds rock (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427686)

You can't expect them to maintain old versions forever. Besides, you're always free to backport FF3's applicable security fixes to FF2 on your own, if you really want to keep using FF2 that much.

(I don't usually like "do it yourself" as a response to "it's missing a bugfix/feature/whatever", but in the case of no-longer-supported open source software I think it's acceptable.)

Re:French thunderbirds rock (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427800)

Haven't the time or the programming chops, and I don't care enough to pay someone to maintain an old branch.

It's a bit different with, say, Debian, who will happily apply security fixes to old software for a few years, but when one is running Windows (in an institutional environment, say), that's not really an option.

No they nag you into upgrading. (2, Informative)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427704)

They force you to upgrade?

Install Firefox 2 and see how often you get nagged to upgrade. Then there's the fact that security fixes are only released for the latest browser, extensions don't support the old version etc.

I'd love to have Firefox 1.0 co-exist with 3.0 but it'd be a pain in the neck to run with all the nagging.

At Least... (5, Interesting)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427382)

At least some government agencies seem to understand that open source CAN be secure, stable and worthwhile. More power to them I say, they're quite forward-thinking on those matters it seems.

If only more could see that! With every new user, especially military organizations and government agencies, there are more bug fixes, more patches and more useful features added into the open source projects they use. That in turn makes the projects more appealing, more competitive and generally better, which closes the loop by enticing more to adopt it. We just need to get the ball rolling and, most importantly, to break old notions of open source being garage-geek-type material; I think we've seen all around us that we've evolved from that point.

Re:At Least... (4, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427618)

I wouldn't mention OpenOffice while talking about how secure, stable, and worthwhile OSS can be. This is really only meaningful because people are starting to wake up and realize there are superior alternatives out there. But that doesn't apply to OO - OpenOffice is freer but it's not better. OpenOffice is a total mess of staggeringly bloated Java components. It's by far the most sluggish, memory-devouring application on my machine and integrates badly with my GTK theme. And there aren't any good ideas in OO, it's like someone bought Office 2003, made a list of features they saw, and tried to implement as many as possible throwing everything together without any kind of purpose or vision other than to take as much market share as possible away from MS office.

Gnumeric and AbiWord, on the other hand, are actually usable. The project knows what it wants, and continually refines toward that purpose, while OpenOffice scrambles to throw in new features every time someone discovers a use case that Office handles and they don't. A good sign that a project is maturing is when someone asks for a relevant feature that makes sense, and the project says no. I don't think openoffice has ever said no.

Re:At Least... (1, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427680)

A good sign that a project is maturing is when someone asks for a relevant feature that makes sense, and the project says no.

That doesn't sound very mature to me.

Re:At Least... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427766)

> If only more could see that!

Careful. If it becomes very important to them they may decide they need to control it.

Re:At Least... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427952)

The French are not the only people who are trying to shore up and add security to things. The NSA has added a lot of code to the Linux kernel and a top notch security mechanism. OS X went from storing passwords in UNIX crypt (3) format to a format that is extremely brute force resistant.

The fact they do this to an OSS product benefits not just them, but it benefits everyone worldwide. MUAs are programs that are in constant contact with extremely untrusted code (spam), and have to be highly secure. Thankfully, few people demand that MUAs do more than render HTML, so there isn't the issue with add-ons that Web browsers have where one broken extension can root a user, and on some machines, root a system.

ROI-wise, it gives France a secure MUA to use internally without having to concern themselves on license fees; a major gain.

The French military's contribution.. (1, Funny)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427396)

...helps Firefox run...

Ba-dum Tish...

I'll be here all week, try the lamb.

How About a Plain Text Mode? (4, Interesting)

camperslo (704715) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427408)

Doing away with all of the potential HTML, javascript, Java, Flash etc vulnerabilities by having a forced plain text only mode would sure help with security and privacy issues.

Re:How About a Plain Text Mode? (4, Insightful)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427478)

Use the about:config editor. Come on, you're a slashdotter and should know better.

Re:How About a Plain Text Mode? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30428018)

You already can set Thunderbird to run operate only in text mode (for 2.0 at least).

ToolBar -> view -> message body as -> Plain Text

+

Tools -> Options -> composition -> General -> Send Options -> Text Format = Convert the message to plain text
(or = Send the message in both plain text and HTML)

Open source software and govt's (5, Interesting)

Andorin (1624303) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427426)

Score one for the French. Proprietary software does not belong on the computer systems of any significant (ie, state or national) government. Access to source code is necessary in order to ensure that secrets remain secret and the software is up to any custom tasks the government might require.

This [archive.org] is a letter written by a representative of Peru's government to a representative of Microsoft in 2002, explaining to MS exactly why the government feels that free software is necessary on their computers. Not only does it provide some insightful reasons as to why they're using FOSS, but you get a chance to laugh at the Microsoft rep's arguments. ;)

Re:Open source software and govt's (4, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427454)

> Access to source code is necessary in order to ensure that secrets remain
> secret and the software is up to any custom tasks the government might
> require.

That is, unfortunately, not a strong argument for Free Software as governments (and other large organizations) often can and do purchase access to proprietary source code.

Re:Open source software and govt's (2, Interesting)

Andorin (1624303) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427566)

Well, there are other arguments too, such as the principle of using open software on publicly owned computers versus closed software. Access to source code is simply the one that came to my mind the quickest.

Also, if a government really can buy access to source code, you could just file this as yet another expense saved by using open software. I can't imagine Microsoft charging a government a trivial amount for Windows source code.

Re:Open source software and govt's (0, Redundant)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427716)

> Well, there are other arguments too...

Yes, of course there are.

Re:Open source software and govt's (3, Interesting)

rsborg (111459) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427604)

That is, unfortunately, not a strong argument for Free Software as governments (and other large organizations) often can and do purchase access to proprietary source code.

So let me ask you this, when Microsoft or Adobe, etc give these governments the "source code" do they allow compilation of the resulting binary from the given source... with deployment of that binary as production-level binary?

The whole "shared source" concept fails when it comes to security because you can't VERIFY the source code is what you have in your binary unless you have the entire toolchain necessary to build, execute, and formally test the binaries you will deploy in your organization.

Re:Open source software and govt's (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427760)

> So let me ask you this, when Microsoft or Adobe, etc give these governments
> the "source code" do they allow compilation of the resulting binary from the
> given source... with deployment of that binary as production-level binary?

Why don't you ask the governments? They (nor Microsoft and Adobe) are certainly not about to tell me. I do know that some other software vendors do allow this.

Personally, I use Free Software wherever I can, which is almost everywhere. However, I don't let my support for Free Software blind me to reality.

Re:Open source software and govt's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427622)

By GNU definition of "Free software," access to proprietary source code does not protect any freedom to a user, since you cannot do anything with it at all, other than look at it. I might be off here, but I don't know of any other definition of Free software. It is possible that governments purchase a license to alter and redistribute the altered/patched code, but somehow, I doubt it.

Re:Open source software and govt's (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427712)

That is, unfortunately, not a strong argument for Free Software as governments (and other large organizations) often can and do purchase access to proprietary source code.

The key word there is "purchase" - with open source software the source code is (by definition) free. If $ORGANIZATION mentions "we can purchase access to Office 2003's source code", the simple response is "why purchase something you can get for free?" (Obviously that won't always work, but it's a counter-argument, at least.)

That isn't what the article said (1)

shis-ka-bob (595298) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427838)

I read

The military found Mozilla's open source design permitted France to build security extensions, while Microsoft's secret, proprietary software allowed no tinkering.

So the French Military do not seem to have this access to the source code that you are talking about. Do you have first hand knowledge of Microsoft sharing Outlook code with governments and allowing them to build modified versions?

Thunderbirds are Go! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427434)

All sorts of good space news. SpaceShip Two is getting ready to launch. And now Thunderbird 3 is about to be released, with some good code from the French Military Program.

Thunderbirds are Go!

Re:Thunderbirds are Go! (1)

Comboman (895500) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427762)

F.A.B.

That explains... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427460)

why it keeps quitting unexpectedly whenever I receive emails from Germany ;-).

Re:That explains... (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427562)

That's more inventive than the obvious "surrender" jokes. :-)

Military? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427468)

While technically military the "Gendarmerie Nationale" aren't exactly soldiers, from my understanding limited of how France works (le sange et sur l'arble?) they are cops who basically do all the shit that municipal police don't (although organized investigations are done by national police force), these guys do the running around, traffic,borders, small villages, etc.

Re:Military? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427836)

They function more like the FBI in the US yes.

Thunderbird 3 is the spacegoing one isn't it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427496)

It's good to see the French contributing to International Rescue.

France: going OSS like the rest of EU but better (5, Informative)

KlaasVaak (1613053) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427516)

The French Government really seem to get the hang of OSS every depeartment seems focused on using OSS like their entire justice department going ubuntu http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2009/03/french-police-saves-millions-of-euros-by-adopting-ubuntu.ars [arstechnica.com] and unlike the Germans(+1 million failed projects) or Dutch(going Microsoft everywhere despite promises and even laws(!) to go open source) etc they actually seem to be making progress

Re:France: going OSS like the rest of EU but bette (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427744)

Being french and working with various agencies, I can give a few more information.

First, you should know that it's the military police (the gendarmerie) that switched to ubuntu, not the civilian police. The military have been using open source for years now and switching the gendarmerie is only one big step in a much bigger plan to move away from proprietary software. The justice department has not switched yet as far as I know.

On the civil departments side, there is a division (the DCSSI http://www.ssi.gouv.fr/archive/en/dcssi/index.html) that push for open source software and good practices in use by the government. All departments are ordered to follow those recommendations where it makes sense. They don't recommend to drop existing proprietary solutions unless it saves money. They do recommend new solutions to be open source though. It seems they changed their name again in the recent months though, but their mission statement remains the same: http://www.ssi.gouv.fr/site_rubrique88.html

Another impact this is having is the creation of various websites for public use. For example there is a website about computer security aimed to the general public: http://www.securite-informatique.gouv.fr/index.html

In the central government the move to open source is already well in progress. But I can't say it's the same nationwide, yet.

Thats a very smart move... (1)

MindPrison (864299) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427544)

...know the software your enemy is using - then you can know your enemy.

Re:Thats a very smart move... (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427874)

Dude... now they know which website you're using, and therefore they know you!

Who "they" are? ALL OF THEM.

Bias much? (1)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427564)

One expert was less certain of that.

"The professional market is showing more resistance to open source software," said Bernard-Louis Roques, chief executive of Truffle Capital IT, an investment fund specializing in software. [emphasis mine]

Gee, I wonder what this Mr. Roques' bias might be...

Cheers,

Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begin (5, Insightful)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427576)

If there is one thing that is certain in this world, its that if someone says "The French" or "France" within hearing of any US Citizen, the immediate response will be an endless string of "Surrender" or "SurrenderMonkey" Jokes.

Caveat: I am not French just to clarify that. I am (English) Canadian, and I don't even particularly like the French myself.

It gets awfully tiring to be reminded of just how fucking bigotted the US is in this way. You should get over yourselves already.
Yes, the French got their asses kicked in WWII, whatever. Any nation invaded by Germany at that time would have suffered the same fate (and many of them did). You got your asses kicked in Vietnam, even if you don't want to admit it. You pulled your forces out before anyone had to surrender of course.

All these jokes serve to accomplish is to remind me just how fucking ignorant, narrow minded, bigotted and offensive the US can be at times. They make you look like nothing more than a nation of assholes. Then you wonder why the peoples of many other nations find Americans offensive.

Of course none of you seem to have enough education or enough wit to recall that during the Napoleonic period, France was the most respected and feared nation on earth. They conquered pretty much all of Europe and it took the combined might of England, The Austro-Hungarian Empire, Prussia, Russia and others to eventually defeat them after 20 years of warfare. At that point in time the US couldn't even carry out a successful invasion of Canada, and we (as the British) burnt the White House in response.

I for one would like to see this fucking "meme" be laid to rest. It was always present but seems to have been resurrected when the French decided not to commit forces to the first Gulf War (because it wasn't authorized by the UN I believe).

Now, queue all the responses from people calling me a "liberal", "faggot", "commie", "pinko" etc, because I criticized the US (I am none of those things by the way). What I am, is tired of seeing US citizens act like a bunch of fucking ignorant assholes, and then wondering why people think they are a bunch of fucking ignorant assholes :P

Yes, yes I have met many very decent and nice Americans, they just don't seem to post in response to their fellow citizens offensive shit that crops up like this every few days.

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427640)

Stuff it America Junior.

Plus "You got your asses kicked in Vietnam." Hardly, the North was not much of a fighting force after Tet. The United States got its political ass kicked.

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (4, Insightful)

wronskyMan (676763) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427644)

Not going to call you a "liberal", "faggot", "commie", "pinko" etc but I will say you have a thin skin. There is a reason it's called a joke. Same reason we call Mac users gay and Southerners toothless.

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30428058)

It was a joke FIFTEEN YEARS ago when the Simpsons did it. Now it's just a tired, thin cover for bigotry that's about as funny as black-guy-on-welfare "jokes."

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (1)

mattr (78516) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427648)

NICE TRY. You can't restart a dead meme that easily, especially when the article is positive about France.
Mod parent DOWN.

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (0)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427718)

I am pleasantly surprised it got modded up. I expected flame bait to be honest. The article is positive about France, but when I posted my response, the ONLY other responses were SurrenderMonkey jokes.

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427796)

Why would you want Flamebait? All that does is melt your igloo.

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427726)

... except the two dozen "surrender" jokes above your parent post suggest otherwise.

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427664)

Sometimes, a joke is just a joke. No strings attached, no intent to offend, no distaste for others, just a comment made in jest. The same people that make the surrender jokes will often make fun of their own nation just as quickly.

Try removing your head from your ass, you might see things a bit more clearly.

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (1)

PenisLands (930247) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427748)

And there are jokes that are funny, and jokes which just suck.

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427794)

The problem isn't the joke itself. The problem is that when it's a "joke" made by many Americans, it's made with complete ignorance.

I mean, many of these people can't even find France on a world map, even when it's labeled. They have absolutely no understanding about World War I or World War II, or any of the many armed conflicts that France fought in the centuries before the last. They don't even know of France's significant military involvement in the American Revolution.

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (0, Redundant)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 4 years ago | (#30428038)

[citation needed]

Apparently it's okay to be bigoted when the target is the US.

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (5, Insightful)

moz25 (262020) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427698)

Well, you don't hear many jokes about Poland, The Netherlands or Belgium being invaded by the Germans. Perhaps the French history as a great nation and the cultural arrogance that comes from that makes them more of a valid target to joke about.

But with that said: the French were absolutely right about standing up to Bush against an unnecessary war. All they had to do was commit a symbolic number of troops to "fight" in some relatively peaceful outback region like other countries did. If only more people stood up to the false claims...

Now, years later, we know that the primary achievement of the whole Iraq war effort has been to transform their country from a secular dictatorship to a theocratic dictatorship. This at the mere cost of hundreds of billions of dollars, thousands of US military lives and tens of thousands of civilian lives.

So much for them Freedom Fries, eh...

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (5, Insightful)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427850)

Now, years later, we know that the primary achievement of the whole Iraq war effort has been to transform their country from a secular dictatorship to a theocratic dictatorship.

It's worth mentioning that most American foreign interventions before Iraq had been for the purpose of removing democratically elected politicians and replacing them with pro-US dictators. The missions don't always succeed, but the outcome is always disastrous for the inhabitants.

Next time a anyone mentions "liberating" a foreign country, think about the Philippines, Chile, Indonesia, El Salvador, Cuba, Nicaragua, Iran, Vietnam, Laos, Afghanistan, Guatemala, the Seminoles, and Haiti.
I've probably missed a few in there, but anyone with a grasp of US history with regard to foreign interventions should be quite skeptical of any claims of "liberation" or "promoting democracy" abroad.

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427710)

Yeah, and you're an idiot. The biggest reason the French suck is because they had the right, the obligation, the duty, to prevent the Germans from building up their military after WWI, and they gave in, they failed, they surrendered. Every death in WWII, including millions of Jews and Russians, can be laid at the feet of the French for failing to live up to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles which gave them the right to march into Germany at any point they desired and smack them down. But the french were afraid, and thus were key to making WWII happen by their inaction.

Then, of course, there's this fact: "There has rarely been a war in which France did not surrender or win with the help of making allies with another country that would do all the work for them."
http://www.personal.psu.edu/users/u/u/uup101/France.htm [psu.edu]

The meme won't die because it's based in historical fact. Sure, France helped the US out mightily during the Revolution--but not due to any great purpose or charity, only to hurt the British. And there's no one more smug, more racist, that I know of than the French.

The french are wussy surrender-monkeys and smug bastards. I'm sure it won't be long now before the french give in to the muslim elements in their society and become the first muslim european state.

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (4, Insightful)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427756)

Yeah, and you're an idiot. The biggest reason the French suck is because they had the right, the obligation, the duty, to prevent the Germans from building up their military after WWI, and they gave in, they failed, they surrendered. Every death in WWII, including millions of Jews and Russians, can be laid at the feet of the French for failing to live up to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles which gave them the right to march into Germany at any point they desired and smack them down. But the french were afraid, and thus were key to making WWII happen by their inaction.

[Patrick Stewart voice] Gods! What a moron! [/Patrick Stewart voice] If the French are to be blamed for anything after WWI, it is for being too *aggressive* against the Germans. They crippled the German economy with vengeful reparations. They invaded and occupied the Ruhr. If it hadn't been for the post-WWI aggression of the French, Adolph Hitler would most likely have remained a unknown, raving anti-Semite and an artistic and political failure.

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427996)

Adolph Hitler would most likely have remained a unknown, raving anti-Semite and an artistic and political failure.

Did he remain a raving anti-Semite. Did he remain an artistic failure, albeit an artistic patron.

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (5, Interesting)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427724)

Perhaps somewhat off-topic but I read somewhere that all this French = weak stuff started as allied propaganda to explain why the Nazis managed to beat such a powerful (and it was a world power at the time) country so easily. The thinking (according to this article or whatnot) was to keep up morale after such a disastrous outcome by essentially claiming that any other nation would have managed to fight them off but that the French are weak and gave up without a fight. Naturally the real reason was the blitzkrieg tactics combined with bypassing the majority of the French and English (they too where out in force as well) army by going thru the Ardennes (a forest region that the allies thought was not practical to pass thru). Its worth noting as well that every other European country attacked (including Russia at the start) pretty much collapsed under the blitzkrieg.

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427728)

Where's that -1 Don't Care moderation...

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427732)

That's an awful lot of pompous self satisfaction from someone who uses emoticons.

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (1)

thuerrsch (1442235) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427734)

I don't even particularly like the French myself.

So I guess you know every single one of them personally? Because if not, this statement would be chauvinist, maybe even racist. Which would make it only the worst part of a largely pointless rant.

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (1, Flamebait)

fandingo (1541045) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427778)

I'm tired of the rest of the world trying to tell US citizens what to believe. If you are so pissed off at us, then do something about it.

I think the US is the best country in the world, no exception. I don't give a shit in the least what anyone else thinks of that. I'm proud to be an American.

During the Napoleonic Era, France had the best armies in continental Europe; England dominated the seas. From the Wikipedia entry on the Battle of Trafalgar, "The British victory spectacularly confirmed the naval supremacy that Britain had established during the past century..."

I absolutely agree that the French surrender thing is stupid and juvenile. It needs to go away. There's some "The French always surrender," then we get comments like yours that are like "but the French saved you in the Revolutionary War" and so on. I'm sick of the whole damn thing.

I suppose you mean the War of 1812 when you mention the US losing to Canada. That's a retarded conclusion to make. First, we were primarily fighting Britain because of trade tensions because the British restricted trade to, of all countries, France. The war ended because both sides finally realized that there was no point in fighting.
A lot of people think that Vietnam was a huge "defeat." I'm not going to say that it wasn't, but we did accomplish some goals. Communist Vietnam never became a strong force in Asia, and didn't spread. We effectively contained Communism there. There were two goals in the Cold War: 1) don't allow Communism anywhere, and 2) if #1 fails, then contain it. We absolutely failed at #1, but #2 worked well. People will probably respond that we shouldn't have done anything to stop Communism; I agree that we probably should have stayed out, but the countries where we did stop Communism are markedly better off now, in particular North vs. South Korea.
You seem to be confused that all assholes are ignorant. I'm perfectly fine with being an asshole sometimes, especially when someone criticizes something of which I am proud.

I think that you are an ignorant, America-hating asshole that seems to be so pissed off because the US makes the rules for world. There are a lot of groups/countries that have hated the US over the years, none of them have done particularly well.

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427880)

the countries where we did stop Communism are markedly better off now, in particular North vs. South Korea.

This might have something to do with the war killing 1/4 of all North Koreans and utterly destroying all of its infrastructure, followed by economic sanctions that would bring any country to mass starvation.

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (1)

fandingo (1541045) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427990)

Entirely untrue. The North had a majority of the industrial infrastructure and manufacturing base at the end of the war. It was in a significantly better position.
The problem was that they couldn't do anything with it. The West certainly didn't want to buy any of their products, and who could blame them for not wanting to do business with a hostile, oppressive regime that fought a bloody battle? I can't think of a single good decision that North Korea has taken since the '50s. They are second to none in the worst run country category. They have no allies; the best thing going for them are countries that tolerate them (i.e. China and Russia), although they are starting to get ticked off as well.
It's unbelievable that anyone could consider the North Koreans victims.

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (2, Insightful)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 4 years ago | (#30428046)

I'm proud to be an American.

I'm proud to live in that dot over here. My friend wishes he had been born on the dot on the other side of the map, though. If only.

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427802)

Caveat: I am not French just to clarify that. I am (English) Canadian, and I don't even particularly like the French myself.

In other words, you have an inbuilt inferiority complex and are still a member of the Commonwealth (ergo, you answer to the UK, bitch).

Of course none of you seem to have enough education or enough wit to recall that during the Napoleonic period, France was the most respected and feared nation on earth. They conquered pretty much all of Europe and it took the combined might of England, The Austro-Hungarian Empire, Prussia, Russia and others to eventually defeat them after 20 years of warfare.

This is more of a pathetic showing by the European powers than it is of French military prowess.

At that point in time the US couldn't even carry out a successful invasion of Canada, and we (as the British) burnt the White House in response.

You're always welcome to try again. Elimination of Canada even with EU support (you're trying to join that faggot brigade, remember?) would take less than a month. You're a nation full of effeminate cowards.

I for one would like to see this fucking "meme" be laid to rest. It was always present but seems to have been resurrected when the French decided not to commit forces to the first Gulf War (because it wasn't authorized by the UN I believe).

If you want to see it laid to rest, then do not come to a site based in the US, Dr Hawking. You're dumber than a bag of hammers.

What I am, is tired of seeing US citizens act like a bunch of fucking ignorant assholes, and then wondering why people think they are a bunch of fucking ignorant assholes :P

I'm not sure who you're speaking with, but the people I know do not care what the rest of you think. Quit putting words in our collective mouth. You're saying what you wish were happening, not what actually is happening. You Canucks have always had a peculiar version of the Aussie "tall poppy" syndrome with regard to the US.

Yes, yes I have met many very decent and nice Americans, they just don't seem to post in response to their fellow citizens offensive shit that crops up like this every few days.

Don't you have sites up there where you can discuss igloos, poutine, and moose fucking?

Btw, two other things: the Avro Arrow always was an overblown fictitious piece of shit (talk about vaporware), and the guy who played Joe Canadian immigrated to the US.

And.. I double dog dare you to come down to the states and run your mouth in public in the manner you've just ranted on here. Just be forewarned that we don't have universal health care.

Now, in all seriousness, if it makes you feel any better, the average USian doesn't think about Canada.. ever. You just don't matter that much. Keep sending the lumber, water, and oil down and you might not end up as the next US state.

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427856)

1) Canadians make just as many jokes at the expense of the French as Americans do (I've lived in both countries and have heard it with my own ears)
2) I suggest you go here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_War#UN_resolution and read up on the bucket load of resolutions passed by the UN authorizing actions taken during the first Gulf War
3) Stop being such a cliched Canadian, the US isn't to blame for everything.

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (2, Interesting)

Timbotronic (717458) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427862)

Actually I think you'll find that Kiwis, Aussies and especially the Brits enjoy the "surrender monkey" theme just as much. All of us (including Canada of course) sent troops to France on D-Day so I think we're entitled to a little fun. Perhaps Canadians are just too polite - eh?

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427876)

Please, do NOT lump all of us Americans in the same group of smacktards who order "freedom fries" at the McDonalds in Wal-Mart while chugging Cokes the size of aquariums and riding around on the powered carts.

There are a lot of us who know about WWII, the French resistance who did a large part in getting the Germans out of their nation by supplying critical intel and paying for it with their lives.

There are also people who know about the fact that if it wasn't for the French, the US would be either a much smaller nation (Louisiana Purchase, anyone), or would not even exist as a nation in the first place, but remain as a British colony.

Oh, and presently, France is the only European nation that isn't taking the easy way out, surrendering their infrastructure to the former Soviet Union and basing their whole electric grid on Russian natural gas. People may sneer at French nuclear power, but they are energy independent and not having to throw bodies of their citizens to protect pipelines or war-torn areas of the world to keep the lights on and the cars moving.

It would be nice to take Americans through France. I'd love to take them not just through Paris, but through Normandy, and other areas of the country so the image of all France being full of bad mimes gets dumped on the ashbin of history.

Conversely, I'd also like to take Europeans through Texas so they don't think this state is full of drunk rednecks who cast roving eyes on nearby farm animals when their cousin isn't available.

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427888)

Grow up and stop being so easily offended. It's just a funny stereotype, [janegalt.net] like Americans being loud, and British food sucking.

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427890)

PHROGMAN, eh?

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427900)

- Gallic Wars
        - Lost. In a war whose ending foreshadows the next 2000 years of French history, France is conquered by of all things, an Italian. [Or at ths time in history, a Roman -ed.]

        - Hundred Years War
        - Mostly lost, saved at last by female schizophrenic who inadvertently creates The First Rule of French Warfare; "France's armies are victorious only when not led by a Frenchman." Sainted.

        - Italian Wars
        - Lost. France becomes the first and only country to ever lose two wars when fighting Italians.

        - Wars of Religion
        - France goes 0-5-4 against the Huguenots

        - Thirty Years War
        - France is technically not a participant, but manages to get invaded anyway. Claims a tie on the basis that eventually the other participants started ignoring her.

        - War of Revolution
        - Tied. Frenchmen take to wearing red flowerpots as chapeaux.

        - The Dutch War
        - Tied

        - War of the Augsburg League/King William's War/French and Indian War
        - Lost, but claimed as a tie. Three ties in a row induces deluded Frogophiles the world over to label the period as the height of French military power.

        - War of the Spanish Succession
        - Lost. The War also gave the French their first taste of a Marlborough, which they have loved every since.

        - American Revolution
        - In a move that will become quite familiar to future Americans, France claims a win even though the English colonists saw far more action. This is later known as "de Gaulle Syndrome", and leads to the Second Rule of French Warfare; "France only wins when America does most of the fighting."

        - French Revolution
        - Won, primarily due the fact that the opponent was also French.

        - The Napoleonic Wars
        - Lost. Temporary victories (remember the First Rule!) due to leadership of a Corsican, who ended up being no match for a British footwear designer.

        - The Franco-Prussian War
        - Lost. Germany first plays the role of drunk Frat boy to France's ugly girl home alone on a Saturday night.

        - World War I
        - Tied and on the way to losing, France is saved by the United States [Entering the war late -ed.]. Thousands of French women find out what it's like to not only sleep with a winner, but one who doesn't call her "Fraulein." Sadly, widespread use of condoms by American forces forestalls any improvement in the French bloodline.

        - World War II
        - Lost. Conquered French liberated by the United States and Britain just as they finish learning the Horst Wessel Song.

        - War in Indochina
        - Lost. French forces plead sickness; take to bed with the Dien Bien Flu

        - Algerian Rebellion
        - Lost. Loss marks the first defeat of a western army by a Non-Turkic Muslim force since the Crusades, and produces the First Rule of Muslim Warfare; "We can always beat the French." This rule is identical to the First Rules of the Italians, Russians, Germans, English, Dutch, Spanish, Vietnamese and Esquimaux.

        - War on Terrorism
        - France, keeping in mind its recent history, surrenders to Germans and Muslims just to be safe. Attempts to surrender to Vietnamese ambassador fail after he takes refuge in a McDonald's.

        The question for any country silly enough to count on the French should not be "Can we count on the French?", but rather "How long until France collapses?"

        "Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordion. All you do is leave behind a lot of noisy baggage."

        Or, better still, the quote from last week's Wall Street Journal: "They're there when they need you."

With only an hour and a half of research, Jonathan Duczkowski provided the following losses:

        Norse invasions, 841-911.
        After having their way with the French for 70 years, the Norse are bribed by a French King named Charles the Simple (really!) who gave them Normandy in return for peace. Normans proceed to become just about the only positive military bonus in France's [favour] for next 500 years.

                Andrew Ouellette posts this in response:

                1066 A.D. William The Conquerer Duke and Ruler of France Launches the Largest Invasion in the history of the world no other was as large until the same trip was taken in reverse on June 6th 1944 William Fights Harold for the Throne of England Which old king Edward rightfully left to William but Harold Usurped the throne Will fights the Saxons (English)wins and the French Rule England for the Next 80 Years. then the French start the largest building and economic infrastructure since the fall of the Roman Empire the Norman Economy skyrockets and the Normans inadvertantly start England to become a major world Power Vive La France-

                Matt Davis posts this in response to Andrew Ouellette above:

                Oh dear. We seem to have overlooked some basic facts. Firstly, Philip the First (1060 - 1108) was King of France at the time of the Norman invasion of 1066 - William was Duke of Normandy and, incidentally, directly descended from the Vikings. William was, therefore, as alien to France as the experience of victory. Since Philip did not invade England, the victory at Hastings was Norman - not French. Normandy may be a part of France now but it most certainly wasn't in 1066. Therefore, William's coronation as King of England had nothing whatsoever to do with the French. As usual, they were nowhere near the place when the fighting was going on. The mistaken belief that 1066 was a French victory leads to the Third Rule of French Warfare; "When incapable of any victory whatsoever - claim someone else's".

        Mexico, 1863-1864.
        France attempts to take advantage of Mexico's weakness following its thorough thrashing by the U.S. 20 years earlier ("Halls of Montezuma"). Not surprisingly, the only unit to distinguish itself is the French Foreign Legion (consisting of, by definition, non-Frenchmen). Booted out of the country a little over a year after arrival.

        Panama jungles 1881-1890.
        No one but nature to fight, France still loses; canal is eventually built by the U.S. 1904-1914.

        Napoleonic Wars.
        Should be noted that the Grand Armee was largely (~%50) composed of non-Frenchmen after 1804 or so. Mainly disgruntled minorities and anti-monarchists. Not surprisingly, these performed better than the French on many occasions.

        Haiti, 1791-1804.
        French defeated by rebellion after sacrificing 4,000 Poles to yellow fever. Shows another rule of French warfare; when in doubt, send an ally.

        India, 1673-1813.
        British were far more charming than French, ended up victors. Therefore the British are well known for their tea, and the French for their whine (er, wine...). Ensures 200 years of bad teeth in England.

        Barbary Wars, middle ages-1830.
        Pirates in North Africa continually harass European shipping in Meditteranean. France's solution: pay them to leave us alone. America's solution: kick their asses ("the Shores of Tripoli"). [America's] first overseas victories, won 1801-1815.

        1798-1801, Quasi-War with U.S.
        French privateers (semi-legal pirates) attack U.S. shipping. U.S. fights France at sea for 3 years; French eventually cave; sets precedent for next 200 years of Franco-American relations.

        Moors in Spain, late 700s-early 800s.
        Even with Charlemagne leading them against an enemy living in a hostile land, French are unable to make much progress. Hide behind Pyrennes until the modern day.

        French-on-French losses (probably should be counted as victories too, just to be fair):

        1208: Albigenses Crusade, French massacared by French.
        When asked how to differentiate a heretic from the faithful, response was "Kill them all. God will know His own." Lesson: French are badasses when fighting unarmed men, women and children.

        St. Bartholomew Day Massacre, August 24, 1572.
        Once again, French-on-French slaughter.

        Third Crusade.
        Philip Augustus of France throws hissy-fit, leaves Crusade for Richard the Lion Heart to finish.

        Seventh Crusade.
        St. Louis of France leads Crusade to Egypt. Resoundingly crushed.

        [Eighth] Crusade.
        St. Louis back in action, this time in Tunis. See Seventh Crusade.

        Also should be noted that France attempted to hide behind the Maginot line, sticking their head in the sand and pretending that the Germans would enter France that way. By doing so, the Germans would have been breaking with their traditional route of invading France, entering through Belgium (Napoleonic Wars, Franco-Prussian War, World War I, etc.). French ignored this though, and put all their effort into these defenses.

Thomas Whiteley has submitted this addition to me:

        Seven year War 1756-1763
        Lost: after getting hammered by Frederick the Great of Prussia (yep, the Germans again) at Rossbach, the French were held off for the remainder of the War by Frederick of Brunswick and a hodge-podge army including some Brits. War also saw France kicked out of Canada (Wolfe at Quebec) and India (Clive at Plassey).

Richard Mann, an American in France wants to add the following:

        The French consider the departure of the French from Algeria in 1962-63, after 130 years on colonialism, as a French victory and especially consider C. de Gaulle as a hero for 'leading' said victory over the unwilling French public who were very much against the departure. This ended their colonialism. About 2 million ungrateful Algerians lost their lives in this shoddy affair.

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427906)

Knock knock.

Who's there?

Shut the fuck up, Donny.

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427966)

What makes you think that you are not bigoted for thinking that the majority of Americans hold this opinion about the French instead of a handful of Fox News commentators and some Republicans from the Bible Belt? Most Americans with any education realize that not only do we have them to thank for success in the Revolutionary War and for half our country with the Louisiana purchase, but that we also have a strong linguistic connection with their culture in addition to genetic ancestry. Most people with college education realize that the French aren't surrender monkeys either (i.e.: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_French_wars_and_battles#Modern_Period [wikipedia.org] ). Americans care about and have a high opinion France and the rest of Europe--many of us descend from there.

Rush Limbaugh and Bible Belt republicans don't represent the views of the majority of Americans.

Re:Now let the Endless French Surrender jokes begi (1)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 4 years ago | (#30428028)

It gets awfully tiring to be reminded of just how fucking bigotted the US is in this way.

Apparently isn't not bigotry if you're the one doing it, right? Way to go.

..re: Well Excuuuuuuse Meeeeeeee! (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 4 years ago | (#30428054)

Up your nose with a rubber hose ~Ubu Roi

Thunderbirds are go! (0, Offtopic)

Kaeso (1275972) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427630)

Am I the only one who read the headline and first thought of the old TV show?

Re:Thunderbirds are go! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427832)

It seems so :)

Lightning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427632)

I wishing the Lightning would get off their ass an contribute to Thunderbird 3.

Re:Lightning (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427896)

I went on the mozilla.org ftp site and found a beta of 1.0

But they should have warned us that lihtning was not compatible (yet) and that there is NO built in calendar (as advertised)

I hope they have the calendar built in for Thunderbird 4 (as well as it being waterproof to great depths)

More secure than Outlook? (5, Funny)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427738)

I fail to see how anything on their list of features provides any more security over what can be obtained with a properly configured Exchange/Outlook system.

mod 04 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427782)

I'm disappointed, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30427788)

I read the title, and thought, holy crap, this new space program is going to kick ass!

Encryption ... (2, Interesting)

dougmc (70836) | more than 4 years ago | (#30427976)

... it wasn't that long ago that using encryption of any sort [kioskea.net] (except for signatures) by civilians was illegal in France. Seriously.

Not really here nor there, just something to mention.

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