I was going to Fisk the multiple idiocies of Regis Le Sommier, as catalogued by Lileks, but then realized there was no point; Lileks had already imbedded links to enough hard facts to thoroughly debunk Sommier’s nonsense.

Still, the breadth of Sommier’s ignorance and/or dishonesty (take your pick) is rather staggering, to say nothing of his apparently unshakable belief in things that aren’t remotely true. France was Saddam’s leading European trading partner and second-largest armorer. The French-built Osiraq plant–personally negotiated by none other than Jacques Chirac–was capable of producing bomb-grade nuclear materials. France’s Fina-Elf did have a huge financial stake in a Saddam-controlled Iraq’s oil business, having signed sweetheart deals with the dictator before the war.

None of these are opinions. They’re all established, documented facts. All denied, with the vehemence of the worst partisan spin doctors, by a guy who’s the American bureau chief for one of his country’s major magazines. This dude has the gall to complain about Fox News? He’s not a reporter, he’s a cheerleader. And a baldly dishonest one, at that.

Think about that little exchange with Lileks the next time you read about American “ignorance” vs. European “sophistication,” or the alleged high level of French education and/or “open-mindedness,” to say nothing about Euro charges that the US media is “unbalanced” compared to the completely equitable and fair-minded press in Old Europe. Ask yourself whether the opinions of people so devoted to flat-out lies are actually worth anything to you, or your country.

And also remind yourself: this guy, who apparently reflects a large majority of opinion in his country, is rooting for John Kerry. Hard.