Some restaurants, angered by the lack of French participation in the current war on Iraq, have taken to renaming foods on their menu. This effort received a boost on March 13 when the U.S. House of Representatives eliminated the use of the terms “French fries” and “French toast” in all restaurant facilities in the House office buildings. Instead, “French” has been replaced with “freedom.”No changes have been made to the names of any food items available at UR.

These renamings echo the trend in World War I, when names were changed across the United States, giving sauerkraut the name “liberty cabbage” and causing many German-Americans to anglicize their names — for example, Muller becoming Mueller or Miller.The announcement was made by Chairman of the House Committee on House Administration, Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio.

“Over the years, France has enjoyed all of the benefits of an alliance with the United States, and all our nation has received in return is a trade deficit and a cry for help when their appeasement efforts fail.”

“This action today is a small, but symbolic effort to show the strong displeasure of many on Capitol Hill with the actions of our so-called ally, France,” Ney said in a press release.

Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina co-sponsored the change, calling it a declaration of “our sincere disappointment in our old friends, the French.” Most national newspapers and magazines have responded with criticism in the past week, including “Business Week’s” rhetorical headline, “Will ‘French Kiss’ Be Next to Go?”

The French government has not made an official response, but French newspapers and citizens have criticized the effort as childish. “First of all, French fries are not French at all — they are from Belgium,” French embassy press officer Jeannie Freud told the “Washington Post.” “It is too bad that someone would take a beautiful word like ‘freedom’ and put it on something as trivial as a potato. Freedom is too important for fries.”

UR students also question the importance of the gesture. “If we wanted to send a message to France, why would we change the name of a food product?” freshman Eddie Hall asked.

The trend has also hit the wine and spirit industry, as some stores are discontinuing their stocks of French-made goods.

Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite of Florida wishes to allow the families of those deceased veterans buried in France and Belgium to have the veteran’s remains disinterred and reburied in America.

“The remains of our brave servicemen should be buried in patriotic soil,” Brown told the “Orlando Sentinel,” “not in a country that has turned its back on the United States and on the memory of Americans who fought and died there.”

Brown can be reached at cbrown@campustimes.org.



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