Tag Archives: French Resistance

One man’s Guerrier, another’s Terroriste

WELL LOOKY WHAT I FOUND! Published in France just after the war, this book is about “LES TERRORISTES.” Can you tell by the cover art, who play the title role?
Souvenais-vous, les Terroristes

USA POST-2001: America designates its war zone detainees as EPWs, or “Enemy Prisoners of War,” because to call them POWs would confuse public sympathies. To the average American, “P.O.W.” commemorates the GI captivity experience in Vietnam or Korea. When a soldier of ours is caught, that’s a POW. To grant both sides equal status would be to humanize our enemy. Of course, POW used to mean all “Prisoners Of War,” ours and theirs, in WWII days, before, and as mentioned in all international conventions.

We label the people of Iraq or Afghanistan who resist our occupation, as insurgents. Be they Bathists or Taliban, we call their cause an insurgency, not a resistance, because that would confuse American public affection for the French Resistance: La Resistance! Every nation in Occupied Europe had a resistance movement, and the WWII archetypes are still fresh. Occupiers equal Germans. Collaborators equal cowards, traitors, Qwislings, Vichy. Resistance fighters equal the heroes.

Since then, American occupations, of postwar France for example, have avoided mention of their assigned task. In Germany and Japan, US soldiers are merely “stationed” there. In countries which we’ve invaded, like Vietnam, Americans denied being the despised occupiers, we were advisors, protectors, etc. And the populations who opposed our military administration were insurgents, and if they attacked us by unconventional means, they were terrorists!

In Iraq as well as Afghanistan, the American spectator can discern that al-Qaeda has been the only named terrorist organization, yet Sunni, Shiite, and Taliban fighters are all called terrorists. Militant Islam is considered terrorist, Hezbollah and Hamas liberation movements are called terrorist, even the Somali pirate brigands are being condemned as terrorists.

So who were “Les Terroristes” of Occupied France? The book cover heeds us to “Souvenais-vous!” Never forget them. The book is full of their pictures and accounts of their brave deeds. Most of them fell to the Nazis, to firing squads and Gestapo tortures. The brave Terroristes were the scourge of the German Occupation, rooted out and almost eradicated before the last year of the war. The Nazis called them “terrorists,” they were LA RESISTANCE!