Didn't turn out that way did it?
We're all well aware that the French aren't known for putting up much of a fight, but this latest episode of surrender before honor would even shame most Democrats (oh, well, maybe just some).
By Jules Crittenden, Boston Herald City Editor:
...In recent weeks, France stepped forward to act as a broker of peace in Lebanon. “Act” is the key verb in that last sentence, as it now would seem that the only other verifiable part of the sentence is “in recent weeks.”
To correctly parse that sentence, one must understand that when France suggested it wanted to broker peace in Lebanon, it did not necessarily mean “broker” or “peace” or “Lebanon” in the way we might understand those words. The same is true when France further suggested it wanted to “lead” a “strong” “multinational” “force” there.
I don’t speak French, so I have no idea what the actual French words are for those concepts or what possible nuances there may be. I’ve been relying on news reports in English, which now inform me that the French do not intend to send any significant number of troops to what is supposed to be a force of 15,000 in Lebanon, like everyone thought they said they would.
The heady moment of peace brokering having passed, uponsober reflection, the French now say they already have a general and some staff in south Lebanon ordering about UNIFIL, the U.N. monitoring entity there. That’s plenty of leadership, the French suggested: All France needs to contribute now is another 200 combat engineers.
In tactical terms, when it comes to securing a Middle East conflict zone, that can be referred to as “squat.”
The United Nations, which is trying to salvage what is left of its own self-respect after the utter failure of UNIFIL in Lebanon, is now publicly begging European nations to contribute troops.
To find the last plain-speaking French leader, it is necessary to go back to Napoleon Bonaparte. He said he was going to take over Europe, and proceeded to do so. No, scratch that. He said he was going to bring French liberty and equality to Europe, then crowned himself emperor. Subsequent French history offers us a sordid string of third world colonizations followed by bloody wars to hang on long after the time to relinquish colonies had passed, setting the stage for corrupt government and prolonged conflict in places like Vietnam.
More recently, we’ve seen the naked hypocrisy of Dominic de Villepin in the United Nations, braying about his humanitarian concerns for the Iraqi people, while trying to ensure mass murderer Saddam Hussein remained in power to honor his French contracts.
The shamelessness of France knows no bounds. They have a domestic Arabic population and business interests in the Mideast to satisfy. They desperately want to be taken seriously as a major power. So they sat down with the United States and hammered out a peace plan. Then, before the ink was dry, they shrugged a Gallic shrug.
I wish I could be charitable here and find some good excuses for the French. Ernest Hemingway, who had a soft spot for them, used to like to say, “Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk.” But Hemingway, unlike the French, had a sense of honor. [continue]