Launching <em>Le Cercle Lafayette</em>

-

lafayette.gif
Completely independently of my recent post acknowledging France’s diplomatic maneuvers in securing UN Resolution 1701 calling for an end to the violence between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon, I have agreed to help organize a new U.S.-France group of public affairs and policy intellectuals called Le Cercle Lafayette.
With the enthusiastic support of French Ambassador Jean-David Levitte, we will be launching this new group at the Ambassador’s home September 6th on what is Marquis de Lafayette’s 249th birthday.
I need to read up on Lafayette, whose important role and contributions to America’s independence and its history I know in thin form. I know we have some revolutionary era officianados reading this blog, and I’d appreciate any notes or materials that might bring Lafayette and a contemparary appreciation for his role to life.
More later.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

51 comments on “Launching <em>Le Cercle Lafayette</em>

  1. Mr. Garcia says:

    i would really like to know about Jean Baptiste Donaben de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau because i have searched for some time and nothing is really informed me of why he was not the choosen character to represent the french as a figure of the revolution because i believe this man of importance was the cause for the american revolution who came up with the bottled up military tactic…………

    Reply

  2. tomka says:

    Hi! i found a lot of films here, of course if you are using rapidshare premium account http:// megauploadfiles.com

    Reply

  3. Sithan says:

    You can say what you like in the US, just as long as you don’t ask awkward questions about America’s role in the Middle East

    Reply

  4. hoodia weight loss says:

    Hoodia Gordonii Plus is a cutting-edge, advanced appetite suppressant, metabolism booster, fat burner and energy enhancer all in one. This is a supplement if you are looking for more than just an appetite suppresent.
    http://hoodia.weightloss.lt/hoodia-review.php

    Reply

  5. uktj iuabqkod says:

    gyrb rgqijkx qatv mqrose xfnbo udhfv jzlfasdk

    Reply

  6. xhlqoprc xvynrg says:

    cnuio lkvq puht yshfvdeu bmrwvnk wpieo kegfchzsj

    Reply

  7. Berin Szoka says:

    Et quoi de nous qui aiment la France mais qui abhorrent la Revolution monstrueuse? Est-ce que les monarchistes sont invites bien que les Jacobins et les Girondistes?
    N’oubliez pas que Lafeyette soi-meme n’etait plus qu’un Feuillant–vraiment, un monarchist constitutionel et liberale.
    Vive la liberte, vive le roi. Mort a la Revolution!

    Reply

  8. MP says:

    Frank, is history repeating itself? Here’s an interesting clip from Wikipedia’s post on Charles Lindbergh who was a member of the America First Committee (a group Carroll might feel comfy in):
    “As World War II began in Europe, Lindbergh became a prominent speaker in favor of non-intervention, going so far as to recommend that the United States negotiate a neutrality pact with Germany during his January 23, 1941 testimony before Congress. He joined the antiwar America First Committee and soon became its most prominent public spokesman, speaking to overflow crowds in Madison Square Garden in New York City and Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois.
    Charles Lindbergh speaking at an AFC rally
    In a speech at an America First rally on September 11, 1941 in Des Moines, Iowa entitled “Who Are the War Agitators?”, Lindbergh claimed that three groups had been “pressing this country toward war” – the Roosevelt Administration, the British, and the Jews – and complained about what he insisted was the Jews’ “large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio and our government.” Although he made clear his opposition to German anti-Semitism, stating that “All good men of conscience must condemn the treatment of the Jews in Germany”, other comments seemed to suggest that he believed that Jews should expect trouble for supporting the war: “Instead of agitating for war, the Jewish groups in this country should be opposing it in every possible way for they will be among the first to feel its consequences. Tolerance is a virtue that depends upon peace and strength. History shows that it cannot survive war and devastation.”
    I wonder what he meant when he said that Jews “wil be among the first to feel its consequences”? Hollywood and the media then, AIPAC today. Same shit; different bucket.

    Reply

  9. Frank says:

    Goes to show the strength of puppeteer AIPAC’s strings. The puppets, politicians and MSM, really are dancing to the strings pulled by AIPAC. No one should wonder about the drummed up hysteria of little pious Joe losing the primary. Israel knows some of their leverage in controlling this government will be lost if little pious Joe loses the election as an independent.
    Succinctly put; a vote for Lamont is not only a vote for the fight against terrorism, but a vote against the control of our government by AIPAC’s masters.

    Reply

  10. donna bionda says:

    What does the Statue of Liberty and Greater Lebanon have in common?
    They are both a gift from France.

    Reply

  11. chris_from_boca says:

    oui. tres bien. may I commend to you for the location of your first retreat, my cousins’ hotel on the shoreline in Cape May, NJ? The Marquis de Lafayette, of course!

    Reply

  12. JohnStuart says:

    Le Cercle Rochambeau—more apt than the le Cercle Lafayette
    Steve, I welcome the French Ambassador’s initiative, but I regret that he chooses the conventional figure (the Marquis de Lafayette) as his symbol of French-American cooperation rather than the more important (but less well-known) Jean Baptiste Donaben de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau.
    Rochambeau was in many ways a “founding father” of the United States.
    With the invaluable help of a combined French military force commanded by the Comte de Rochambeau, General George Washington and his Continental Army cornered and forced the surrender of a large British army under the command of Lord Cornwallis.
    This defeat at Yorktown, Virginia, on October 19, 1781, forced the British to seriously negotiate for a peace and recognize American independence.
    The story began when France sided with the Revolutionaries in America and Louis XVI and his minister Vergennes, wanted to limit their support to providing more naval assistance.
    But by the end of 1779, the situation in the colonies had became so difficult that the King agreed to give La Fayette 5,500 men. The soldiers had been chosen from among the best regiments in the kingdom.
    They were placed under the command of Rochambeau whose own son had joined the expeditionary force. They sailed for America in July 1780. Rochambeau advised Washington to attack Cornwallis in the South instead of Clinton in New York.
    Washington’s decision to accept the stragegic assessment of his French colleague, Rochambeau, led directly to the American victory at Yorktown.
    The French government has wisely named their Lycée in Washington (actually in Bethesda) after the Comte de Rochambeau.
    I my view, the new cercle should follow suit.
    John Stuart

    Reply

  13. Brian C.B. says:

    Gilbert du Montier (ZHYEE-berh due MON-tee-AY), Marquis de Lafayette (mar-KEE de-la-FIE-ett) was a French aristocrat who had been orphaned at 13, signed into the army at 14, and married into a second powerful and wealthy, ancient and noble, French family at 16. He took up the American cause, against the French throne’s wish, in 1777 out of personal ambition and a desire to strike the British, who had been part of the alliance that killed his father at the Battle of Minden. By 1781, he had become a capable, 24-year-old commander of American troops, a competent speaker of English, a significant financial contributor to the United States, a favorite of George Washington, and a vigorous advocate for the Franco-American alliance. At his death in 1834 he had barely survived the French Revolution, been one of Jefferson’s closest friends, and grown into his generation’s foremost champion of liberal democracy. He met such popular adoration on his 1824 tour of the United States that he became the namesake of dozens of American counties and towns, a number that would grow to over one hundred. Today, the Stars and Stripes and the Tricolor alike adorn his tomb in eastern Paris, and an equestrian statue of the French nobleman rises from an eponymous square in front of the White House.
    *Full name: Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Montier, Marquis de Lafayette

    Reply

  14. Kelley says:

    To brush up, just grab your passport. La belle langue has been the ‘other’ language in US passports since we were founded. I recently renewed, and they have recently added Spanish. Perhaps because it’s more useful in the current American mix, but knowing these clowns, I think it’s probably to obscure the history between France and America. After all, what else have these Republicans ever done for the non-Cuban Spanish speakers of the U.S.?

    Reply

  15. Kathleen says:

    Well, thank goodness, some sense again. How idiotic for the US to forget our friend, France.
    We need to help remind everyone and to repair our friendship and respect for France. Our most beloved national monument is Lady Liberty, but dywe’ve forgotten too much about it’s origin and meaning.
    Freedom is on the march allright, right on out of here.
    French 75; 4 bottles of champagne, 1 bottle of brandy. Named after France’s biggest gun, at the time.
    un autre etienne, I belive you m,eant to say “meileur”, not “milleur”?

    Reply

  16. Houndslow says:

    Here is a good article that all you anti-Semites should enjoy, entitled:
    The land of the free – but free speech is a rare commodity
    You can say what you like in the US, just as long as you don’t ask awkward questions about America’s role in the Middle East
    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1843543,00.html

    Reply

  17. sapeur says:

    Lonely Heart …….. wrong, on both. Especially watch C-Span tonight to see for yourself. As an American you’ll either like the guy for his demeanor and sensible intellect, or you’ll hate the guy for his demeanor and sensible intellect.

    Reply

  18. Daniel says:

    I had the honor and the pleasure of meeting Ambassador Levitte at a private talk he gave in summer of 2003 in Santa Monica at RAND. During the talk he told us that he was the president of the UN Security Council on September 11, 2001. He described some of what transpired in the UN that day and that week. Many of his comments were on the record; Steve I encourage you to ask him about those days and about the French contribution to the Afghanistan mission.
    Without the diplomatic, military and financial support of La France during the American rebellion – when the Americans were the insurgents against a hegemonic power – this country would not have come to be.
    Many readers may remember the following day Le Monde printed “Nous sommes tous Américains!”. We had no stronger allies in all the world at that time. It is deeply distressing how our own leaders have squandered the goodwill of France and the world since then.

    Reply

  19. L Heart. says:

    Quote:
    Just saw the 60 minutes Mike Wallace interview with Iran’s President Ahmadinejad and he was wonderful, a real nice guy, laughing, joking and talking sense. The whole interview will be on C-SPAN tomorrow evening. Watch, you’ll love the guy and wish you could love your President as much.
    Cheers
    _____________________
    Reply:
    This is also intended as sarcasm…right????

    Reply

  20. L. Heart says:

    Quote:
    This is great, Steve.
    It’s about time the French were honored for standing by the American people even when our government is hostile to them.
    __________________________
    Reply:
    This is intended as sarcasm…right???

    Reply

  21. Fred says:

    Interesting and this triggers youthful memories. I grew up in and around Camden, S.C. and went to Baron DeKalb school in my early years. When we moved into town we lived on Lafayette St. which ran alongside the county courthouse where the Lafayette Cedar still grows. This tree was, I believe, planted by Lafayette when he was in Camden. I will be back over there in a couple of weeks and will take a photo of the tree and the monument. I also haven’t visited the site of the Battle of Camden in decades so I may run up there since my 90+ old great-uncle lives near the battle site.

    Reply

  22. lebedeb says:

    Just saw the 60 minutes Mike Wallace interview with Iran’s President Ahmadinejad and he was wonderful, a real nice guy, laughing, joking and talking sense. The whole interview will be on C-SPAN tomorrow evening. Watch, you’ll love the guy and wish you could love your President as much.
    Cheers

    Reply

  23. Mark Horton says:

    Interesting topic. You can think of the French, during our Revolutionary period, like the Iranians of the current crisis in Lebanon. France officially denied that they were helping our forefathers in any way. When the British showed captured French weapons, intelligence, and even French (ex)military officers, still the French government claimed no responsibility. It would almost be comical how inter-country diplomcy functions until you remember that real people are dying as a result of the actions or inactions of diplomats and politicians.
    Steve, I applaud your interest in the history of this period. I just hope in the one month of your “reading up” on the subject that you will be able to go beyond the outer skin material so prevalent in our ‘modern media’.

    Reply

  24. Regis says:

    My wife and I visited LaFayette’s grave in the Picpus Cemetary in Paris several years ago. It remains a highlight of many trips to Paris. The setting and history associated with the cemetary, in addition to it being the burial ground of LaFayette and his wife’s family, make the cemetary a must-see for those with an interest in LaFayette as well as The Terror.

    Reply

  25. Joker to the Thied says:

    I would personally recommend this book “Sister Revolutions: French Lightning, American Light” by Susan Dunn.
    As a teacher of English in (Pars) France, I find your project very interesting. My (American) friend and I, we have actually been trying to build bridges between our two nations in all sorts of ways and I’d be curious to follow your project… and maybe help if needed be.
    Joker-to-the-Thief.

    Reply

  26. Leonard says:

    Steve,
    Simon Schama’s history of the French Revolution, Citizens, uses the figure Lafayette as a touchstone throughout, beginning with his relationship with George Washington in America.
    One of the more recent studies on Lafayette and America is Lloyd Kramer, Lafayette in Two Worlds: Public Cultures and Personal Identities in an Age of Revolution.
    For background on the vital French role in winning the War of the American Revolution, see William Stinchcombe, The American Revolution and the French Alliance, the essay collection edited by Ronald Hoffman and Peter Albert, Diplomacy and Revolution: The Franco-American Alliance of 1778, and the scholarship of Jonathan Dull, esp. A Diplomatic History of the American Revolution.
    Good luck with this project.

    Reply

  27. Hedley Lamarr says:

    Today we are called insurgents. How long before aWol & Co. get us on the no-fly list?

    Reply

  28. jeff roby says:

    Jeff Shaara paints a fascinating picture of Lafayette in one of his Revolutionary War novels, The Glorious Cause. Yes, it’s a work of fiction, but is well-researched and has a ring of truth not gotten from “scholarly” sources.

    Reply

  29. Maude says:

    This is great, Steve.
    It’s about time the French were honored for standing by the American people even when our government is hostile to them.
    The French are saving lives by getting a cease fire.
    I used to be fluent in French, but not now.
    I was in Paris when they were burning the American flag over Viet Nam.
    Any book book on the French/Indian war is helpful.
    France was right about Iraq.
    We can learn a lot from countries that have gone through the imperialism phase and know the folly of it.
    Maude

    Reply

  30. mike says:

    Lafayette, whose full name was Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, would have been a fascinating character even if he had never come to America. He is quoted by Burke Davis who has a great book on the battle of Yorktown as saying: “The moment I heard of America, I loved her; the moment I knew she was fighting for freedom, I burned with a desire of bleeding for her.”
    But Lafayette got all the press, so please do not neglect some others from France who fought beside Washington:
    * General Rochambeau along with French infantry regiments, cavalry troops, and and an artillery battalion. Many of these died fighting alongside Americans at Yorktown and were buried in Virginia soil.
    * Admiral de Grasse along with 22 French warships. Many of his sailors and marines died fighting the British fleet at Cape Henry just off the mouth of the Chesapeake bay and were buried at sea in American waters.

    Reply

  31. Liam Shortall says:

    vive le france

    Reply

  32. bakho says:

    Matt Stoller is on board for the next Bolton fight. Interesting take:
    http://www.mydd.com/story/2006/8/12/205819/682

    Reply

  33. MNPundit says:

    According to Wikipedia’s entry, Lafayette was that rare person who when he had power, was not corrupted by it he was not a particularlly good general, he was not a particularly good politician, but he always seemed to fight for those Revolutionary ideals. An interesting guy Lafayette.

    Reply

  34. Peter Eggenberger says:

    It’s a very small point, but “cercle” is a masculine noun. The group should be called Le Cercle Lafayette.

    Reply

  35. cm says:

    Le Cercle Lafayette is later referred to as La Cercle Lafayette.
    You were right the first time.

    Reply

  36. Pissed Off American says:

    Speaking of revolution, Newt Gingrich just called Anti-war Americans “insurgents” on Fox News. We are now seeing fascism here in its purest form. I ask you, as “insurgents” are we now subject to being termed “enemy combatants” as well? Is this the rhetoric of tomorrow, that will justify Bush rounding up his detractors and holding them incognito and without judicial oversight? As we look outwards towards France, towards Lebanon, towards Iraq we are forgetting the war we should be waging HERE to save our own democracy.
    Will YOUR vote be counted in November?

    Reply

  37. elementary teacher says:

    Marcia, Je suis également fasciné avec les écritures de La Boétie, se rapportant à elles pour placer des dilemmes courants dans le contexte plus profond de l’histoire des idées.

    Reply

  38. Marcia says:

    Je recommande aussi la lecture de la correspondance entre Montaigne et La Boétie, qui se prénommé Etienne. Tous deux étaitent déjà préoccupés par les mêmes questions que celles qui nous torturent aujourd’hui, les abus de pouvoir de l’état et les penchants des peuples à se jetter dans les bras de tyrans.
    A ceux qui passent des examens on dit “Merde” pour leur souhaiter bonne chance.
    My ancestors were in all the wars, Revolutionary, 1812, Civil, on both sides, I had friends whose ancestors paid others to go in their place. Perhaps they were related to the Bush and Cheney gang. We have often had discussions as to whether they were smarter or just richer. The world of ideas never stops turning.

    Reply

  39. elementary teacher says:

    calvinthecat,
    From what I could dig up General Pershing is said to have declared upon his arrival in France during the First World War, “Lafayette, we are here!” (Lafayette, nous voilà!), suggesting that the United States was repaying its debt for his assistance during the Revolutionary War. However, this attribution is apocryphal, and was actually said by Lieutenant Colonel Charles E. Stanton at the tomb of La Fayette, in the cemetery Picpus in Paris,
    July 4, 1917.

    Reply

  40. calvinthecat says:

    calvin, being an aging cat, no longer has total recall, but does seem to remember some French phrases, like:
    “Lafayette, nous sons arrivee.”
    Does anyone else plugged in here recall it’s significance?

    Reply

  41. km4 says:

    Steve, are you having French or Freedom fries at the Ambassador’s home September 6th ?

    Reply

  42. Carroll says:

    Dear elementary teacher …
    I have been to Calif. wine country, it’s beautiful out there..and I confess I drink some Calif. wines….I do think some of them are equal to some French wines…but the best of French wines are still the best!
    NC has some wines too..but to tell the truth they are pretty awful..every year I have a friend who gives me Duplin and Biltmore wines at a Christmas party…I always insist on opening them and “sharing” with everyone right then so I won’t have to take too many home..LOL.

    Reply

  43. Keith says:

    Although he died 172 years ago, the Marquis has his own website – http://www.marquisdelafayette.net – which has links to many articles and collections. There is a great deal of information at Cleveland State University.

    Reply

  44. elementary teacher says:

    Carroll, Hey.
    One teeny weenie caveat: it’s about the wine, hon. I do live in wine country (Southern) California. It’s called Temecula. The vineyards are all around me, peek over my back fence, you’re at a winery.
    If TWN’s Carroll & The Posters (sounds like a 1950’s rock group) are ever out this way, kindly remember: (a)do look me up, pretty please, and (b) at our winery, you drink local.
    As I live and breathe…

    Reply

  45. Carroll says:

    Marvelous idea!…
    Most of my reading on the Revolution has been mainly about the South’s part…but I do know Lafayette was what you could honestly call “a rebel’s rebel”…a real adventurer. From a wealthy noble family who bought his own ship and sailed to America. There is a town not far from me in NC named after Lafayette’s homeplace in France, La Grange.
    I know he fought with Washington at Valley Forge and I think maybe at Yorktown too.. he was the one responsible for getting France to send aid to the colonies fight.
    I tried to remind my congressman, Jones, of this when he had french fries renamed freedom fries. Interestingly enough, I called the French embassy during the France bashing to apologize for my politicans and the embassy said they had received many of the same type calls so not everyone in this country is a total imbecile.
    Drink more French wine and sell Louisiana back to France, maybe they can do something with it.

    Reply

  46. Steve Clemons says:

    To The Other Etienne —
    Many thanks for the wonderful note. I will need to take up French but find that Google Translation works pretty well. On the guest list, it’s closely held — but will let you know how Le Cercle Lafayette evolves.
    Best,
    Steve

    Reply

  47. elementary teacher says:

    MP,
    J’ai signalé une réponse à votre question dans le fil précédent. Merci bien.

    Reply

  48. un autre Etienne says:

    Alors, je suis tres heureux que Etienne (nos “Steve”) est a la tete d’ un nouveaux “salon” qui est consacre a la formation de milleur relations entre les communautes, Francais et Americain, et j’espere ils pouvent arrete le plonge a Armageedon et bois beaucoup de bon vin et mange exquisite si le situation est trop fou et le fin est certain. Embrassez, tous baisez!

    Reply

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *