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French online cheese vendor hit by boycott over NATO

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As American legislators propose sanctions against France and Germany over their position on NATO, French online cheese vendor Marc Refabert is already experiencing the wrath of the American public, reports Reuters. France, Germany and Belgium are blocking proposed NATO deployments in Turkey, so, "Pam and I" won't be buying any more of Marc's cheese until Chirac climbs down.

Refabert's company has been getting emails like that from irate Americans all week, and as 80 per cent of its customers are in the US, a boycott will clearly have an impact. But as Reuters reports, he is shrugging off the boycott, presumably with that Gallic shrug which Americans in particular seem to find so irritating. ''It's just temporary," he says with that slippery Gallic grasp of realpolitik that the White House in particular finds so irritating. "They'll come back in two or three months."

Not that we're taking sides or anything, or that what follows is even slightly to do with tech, but we were vastly entertained by Congressman Rep Pete King's measured assessment of the French and Germans (good at surrendering, start world wars, respectively) on Radio 4's Today programme on Tuesday. The increasingly incredulous interviewer is if anything, even funnier. So we thought we'd share it with you (RealPlayer file). In the interests of balance we thought we'd also share with you some information on Rep King's hard line on terrorism. And finally, for our smelly, cheese-eating surrender-monkey readership, a reminder of the role of the French 6th Light Armoured Division in the first ground assault on Iraq, and the encirclement of the Iraqi occupation forces, during Desert Storm. As we recall they spearheaded it, but we may be mistaken.

Update And indeed we are. Thanks to Sven for the information that they covered the extreme left flank, and for the order of the day from the commander of a hussar regiment in the division: "Hussars will adjust headgear and coattails. We will shortly have the honour of charging. Good luck to all." Their planes always strike us as mysteriously more dashing than ours, too... ®

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