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Matthew Alice:

Why don't the French-- or is it just their government-- like us Americans? Or is it just our government they don't like? Re: Several fugitive extraditions refused; murder, rape. Also prohibitions on use of English, etc.

-- Jim, North Park

A lot of Americans don't like the American government, so adding some Frenchmen to the list won't make much difference. And besides, according to the resident experts in our Hey, What's the Deal with the French? Department, they don't dislike us any more than they dislike anyone else. They're very reserved and real homers about all things French, especially the language. No crime there. Though, they sent us champagne and Claude Monet, we gave them Coke and EuroDisney, so in the personal-insult arena, maybe we were asking for trouble. None of which has anything to do with your questions, actually. The French don't refuse extradition just because they're French or because they're difficult or because they love the idea of harboring dangerous American fugitives. The French have the same problem many foreign countries have-- Americans' enthusiasm for the death penalty. Courts in countries that reserve capital punishment for treason or like crimes often won't extradite someone who could potentially be executed here for a lesser crime. So it's nothing personal, Jim. And hardly peculiar to the French. The "prohibitions on use of English" thing is in Quebec, not France. Quebec's gripe is political, historical, and directed at English-speaking Canadians, so we can't take that as a personal affront either. But in my book your question gets a gold star for assuming we Americans are so damn lovable there must be something wrong with any country that doesn't like us.

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