An Open Letter to Walter Beaman Jones Jr.

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Respected member of the Congress of the United States of America

I take today the initiative to email you regarding a subject that is dear and near to my heart and was once near and dear to yours: The naming of different types of culinary delicacies made from potatoes.

Let me explain why this subject is important to me: I am a French national living in Belgium.

I know our countries have had several very emotional issues in the recent past, but I wanted to tell you how much I appreciated the fact that you made several years ago an important correction to the faulty expression "French fries", for as you know, they should be called "Belgian fries".

However, several years ago, you took the initiative to temporarily rename these delicious fried potatoes after a political concept, the concept of freedom.

Now, I believe this change occurred in light of the opposition from France to the project by the United States to send military forces in Iraq.

You might wonder why I would email you about such an old story. Let me just say that it is important to reflect on events once one has had the time to look back at them in a broader perspective.

Four years ago, while the world was shocked to learn that your government was about to attack Iraq under the false pretend of the "war on terror" and the "weapon of mass destruction" program, most people (including myself) didn't know about what is called "peak oil". I personally had to come live in your country for some time and meet some of you genuinely good but so naive countrymen to learn about this frightening phenomenon.

Respected Congressman, it is my belief that a man of you responsibility already knows about peak oil, but if it is not the case I suggest that you start researching the subject without delay. For it is the very reason why the 9/11 attacks happened, the very reason why your country invaded Iraq, the very reason why you cannot win this so-called "war on terror" that should be renamed the "great energy war".

It also saddens me to see that so many have to die in the name of an illusory "energy security" that cannot, will not ever be achieved again. However, I cannot hide the fact that I enjoy seeing the almost repentant tone of the US politicians that were so arrogant four years ago, so sure of their might and, I might add, so disrespectful to my country. I know people in the United States are very religious, so I am sure that you cannot miss the quasi-biblical "metaphor" behind this repentance. It reminds me of the "prodigal son" of the story. Watching the USA lose ground everywhere has to be particularly humbling, especially for you, respected Congressman, who were so proudly displaying the "freedom fries" sign only four years ago.

While I can offer neither help nor relief to the fact that the United States fails to steal the dwindling energy ressources of this planet, I come to offer an advice:

Respected Congressman, I know that renaming dishes after abstract concepts is something you enjoy, so I offer a name that I am sure suits our times perfectly well for the cafeteria at the United States Congress. Maybe you can give me some kind of feedback regarding you opinion on this name. Here it goes:

Bitterness fries.

Or at least this is what the Republican politicians ought to call them from now on.

But let us not all be bitter. The next time I will be enjoying some delicious fried potatoes (here we enjoy them with mayonnaise), I will think about you, and be glad France has had no part in your invasion, while I keep munching on my "Revenge fries".


Any given Frenchman

PS: Maybe you could tell me if it is custom to say for American servicemen killed by roadside bombs in the streets of Baghdad that they have been "Freedom fried"?

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