Our dear friends in Europe

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 28, 2005

AP and UPI reported that the French Government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from &uot;run&uot; to &uot;hide.&uot; The only two higher levels in France are &uot;surrender&uot; and &uot;collaborate.&uot; Raising the level was precipitated by the recent fire that destroyed one of Frances’ white flag factories, disabling their military.

Of course that’s not true but it indicates our level of frustration with a former ally. It was to save the likes of France that our nation invaded Europe back in 1944. That adventure sopped up two and a half years of my life and the lives of millions of others who willingly put on a military uniform and risked their very existence.

Try this one…

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I may have mentioned in a column that the a/c pooped out in my old Buick. So I got a new car but returned to the dealer the next day because I couldn’t figure out how the radio worked. The dealer explained that the radio was voice activated. He spoke the word &uot;Nelson!&uot; and the radio replied: &uot;Ricky or Willie?&uot; &uot;Willie!&uot; he said…and &uot;On The Road Again&uot; came from the speakers.

That was great, and for the next few days; every time I’d say, &uot;Brahms&uot; I’d get beautiful classical music, and if I said, &uot;Beach Boys&uot;, I’d get one of their great songs. One day some kids ran a stop sign and nearly creamed my new car, but I swerved in time to avoid an accident. You can imagine what I yelled at them. The radio came on and played the French National Anthem, sung by Jane Fonda and Michael Moore, backed up by John Kerry on guitar, Al Gore on drums, and Bill Clinton on sax… I LOVE THIS CAR!

That’s not true either but it sure vents my spleen and covers a much wider area of pent up annoyance. But back to France, a place to which I will not return even though I walked across most of it. Their wine was great, their women beautiful, their villages decimated, and their attitude toward us back then grateful. If it were up to those old folks they would be fighting along side our troops in Iraq.

I have no trouble understanding why Germany won’t assist us, we whipped them soundly and they have long memories. But when terrorists strike there, and they will, minds will change. They will remember that we saved the majority of them from the Russians who had more reasons than we did to destroy their country. So let’s move our military bases, hospitals, and troops to England. Spain, the place where they have no trouble killing bulls, a spectator sport, is a nation of spectators and will remain just that. When you add it all up, our friends with us in battle, most of them speak English. That is our common denominator; it bonds Australians, Americans, and the British together. I’m not so sure about the Irish…they’ve got to think about it a bit longer.

The greatest danger for our troops is still the press and TV liberal media who forever question our nation’s objectives, and our general’s abilities, have forgotten 9/11. The best we can do is hope that it will not be bloodily brought home to them, and us, again. England had dropped its guard but they are fully awake now. Are we?

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Two new hotels about to rise from the turf in northern Suffolk, both to be constructed for Marriott, a well-known chain, one with 95 rooms, the other 72 suites. They are expected to be open for sleep business in less than a year. It does make one wonder if the manager of the Hilton on the Nansemond is sharpening his pencil.

I had thought the Hilton was for those visitors to the high-tech businesses up north; is this kind of competition good for the Hilton? I can’t see how this will help the Garden Inn occupancy rate…unless they arrive by boat after traveling several miles up the river. The slow to develop Suffolk airport will probably see an influx of private jets filled with high-tech business travelers who will &uot;limo&uot; up to the Marriott entrances, driving right by the Hilton.

You can now see the pendulum swinging away from downtown. The gateway to the city coming in on West Washington will be a new development, a private one, and they are not favorite sons.

No doubt the buildings they bought to restore or tear down cost much more per square foot than that paid for the Jefferson School. It will dress up that part of town and all those surrounding the development…a big plus for Suffolk but not exactly downtown. And the Godwin/Obici area is expanding, taking off again so that Suffolk from Elephant Fork north to Kings Fork will compete with old Suffolk south of the Hilton. It will soon be named as a village. But what can we name the very busy, tax producing Suffolk business section that stretches from the Hilton hotel, north to the 58/by-pass? How about, &uot;Ignored?&uot;

Robert Pocklington lives in Suffolk and is a regular News-Herald columnist. He can be reached at robert.pocklington@suffolknewsherald.com.