Congress Cuts and Runs on Freedom Fries

The cafeterias on Capitol Hill are serving “French fries” and “French toast” again.

The fries on Capitol Hill are French again. So is the breakfast toast in the congressional cafeterias, with both fries and toast having been liberated from the appellation “freedom.”

Three years after House Republicans trumpeted the new names to get back at the French for snubbing the coalition of the willing in Iraq, congressmen don’t even want to talk about french fries, which are actually native to Belgium, and toast. Neither Reps. Bob Ney of Ohio nor Walter B. Jones of North Carolina, the authors of the culinary rebuke, were willing this week to say who led the retreat, as it were, from the frying pan. But retreat there has been, as a casual observer can see for himself in the House’s basement cafeterias.

Does this mean the French are forgiven? Or is “freedom” no longer deemed worth fighting for?

And does this mean that “freedom” is just another word for “nothing left to lose” after all?



FILED UNDER: Congress, Uncategorized, , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Maybe they didn’t want freedom associated any longer with growing waistlines and the fattening of America.

  2. LJD says:

    Meanwhile France declares IRAN a stabilizing force in the mideast.

    I would settle for Belgian Fries…
    …or Battered Toast!

    Can any one share how exactly these things came to be named ‘French’ when they’re not even ‘Of France’?

  3. Michael says:

    “Frenched” is a term used to describe a method of cooking.

    Which just proves that switching the name to “Freedom Fries” was exactly as stupid as people said it was.

  4. LJD says:

    Except that no one calls it frenched toast or frenched fries. Any menu, anywhere, clearly says ‘french’.

    The beautiful thing about free speech is that it provides the means for individuals to express themselves- to be funny, and yes, on occasion, to be stupid. Of cours, that is a matter of opinion. In this case, I would say it’s funny.

  5. anjin-san says:

    What do the French need to be “forgiven” for? The fact that their money is worth something and their kids are not dying in a pointless war in Iraq?

    Funny how the right makes so much noise about democracy, but when a democracy makes a decision we do not like, well, ummmm, errrr, that’s taking this freedom thing a bit too far.

  6. Kenny says:

    What do the French need to be “forgiven” for?

    they need to be forgiven for being right in 2003….

  7. Herb says:

    The French, like most Europeans dislike America and Americans with a passion. I don’t know why, nor does Most anyone else. I can say one thing that is fact, that is, the Europeans, French included, dislike us for the Economy we have, and our way of life.

    The fact that there were several thousand Americans who sacrificed their lives, so they could be free and make an economy and way of life like ours in the US, is NOT APPRECIATED or remembered.
    It is not only now that the French dislike us, look back at Charles De Gaulle in and after WW11, He did every dirty trick in the book to discredit and take us down to his level, but he failed. And, look at Chirac right now, he is a crook and the French Courts will indite him as soon as he leaves office, yet Chirac makes no bones that he dislikes America and Americans.

    The use of “French” in fries can remain out of the menu and I think most every true American will agree.

  8. McGehee says:

    they need to be forgiven for being right in 2003….

    They were right to be taking bribes and kickbacks from Saddam, and being a part of the massively corrupt “oil for food” program?

  9. anjin-san says:


    I guess you have forgotten that Saddam was Cheney & Rumsfeld’s boy back when they thought they could use them and that the US supplied Saddam with much of his arsenal. I don’t think we are in a very good position to get all high and mighty vis-a-vie France.

    At least the President’s father stepped up and pulled Saddam’s fangs. Sadly, GW was either unable or unwilling to recognize it.

  10. Kenny says:

    They were right to be taking bribes and kickbacks from Saddam, and being a part of the massively corrupt “oil for food” program?

    They were right in saying that Saddam didn’t have WMD’s.
    They were right in saying that Saddam had no links to 9/11
    They were right in saying that an invasion would lead to long term instability and violence in Iraq

    You know , everything the US government was utterly wrong about..

  11. LJD says:

    What sanctions were in place when we ‘assisted’ Iraq? What sovereign country did Saddam invade back then?

  12. anjin-san says:

    Saddam was already hard at work killing his own people back when he was our “friend”. The war he started with Iran killed over a million people. That’s the guy Rumsfeld and Cheney were so happy to climb in bed with. Who cares if there were no sanctions in place back then. Anyway LJD, I thought you were part of the”UN Sucks” crowd. Do you suddenly become a fan when you can uses sanctions to support your argument?

  13. LJD says:

    O.K You don’t do well with subtlety…

    France was actively assisting Saddam in violating the sanctions a la Oil for Food. This is not a statement about Iraq (you broken record), it’s about France.

  14. anjin-san says:


    And the fact that Saddam was our creature in the first place is a statement about America, if we invoke your logic..

    btw dude, you are not subtle. Don’t fool yourself.

  15. LJD says:

    O.K. Ijit, there’s no point talking to you. I make a sound argument about the substance here, and you move the goalposts. What next, implying that somehow Ghengis Khan was a problem because of pre-American sentiment?

    I wonder if you think the U.S. has EVER done anything right? I wonder if we were right to pull out of Korea (or even be there in the first place) in light of your spouting off about the ‘frozen Chosin’.

  16. anjin-san says:


    The US has done many things right, I just can’t recall any under Bush. One of the big lies the right loves to tell is “liberals think we are always wrong”. What crap.

    As for my “spouting off” about Frozen Chosin, my comment was that I had been lucky enough to spend time with the heroes who fought there, and to be made welcome by them at a gathering few outsiders get to attend. So try not to be a dick an misprepresnt my remarks about war heroes.

  17. Robert Mitchell says:

    Freedom Fries – How can adults in this too-often juvenile country not be embarassed by a Congress that exhibits its grasp of important affairs by renaming French fries to diss the French. Sheesh.
    PS How many high school graduates know that the French gave us the Statue of Liberty?