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France is so useless ... kinda like the UN
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sometimes the French become a parody of themselves, I swear.

Jacques Chirac has managed, single handedly, to again make the French appear as a country that should never be taken seriously when it tries to play with the big boys:
France has rebuffed U.N. pleas to make a major contribution to a peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon, setting back international efforts to send a credible military force to the region to police a cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah, according to U.N. and French officials.

French President Jacques Chirac instead committed Thursday to send a relatively small military engineering company of 200 soldiers to serve in a reinforced U.N. peacekeeping mission that is expected to grow to 15,000 strong and that will help Lebanon police a demilitarized zone in southern Lebanon. He also said that a force of 1,700 French troops and crew stationed in ships off the coast of Lebanon could be sent in to help the U.N. force during a crisis.
You can't make this stuff up.
Senior U.N. peacekeeping officials said they had hoped that a commitment to have French troops form the "backbone" of the U.N. peacekeeping mission would spur other countries to join.

U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan called Chirac today to see if he would change his mind. Following the meeting, Chirac's office released a statement indicating he had not yielded. He said that France would only double its contribution to the U.N. force, which is headed by a French general, and hoped to continue commanding the mission.
France had angled for the primary role all along, and it was indeed assumed the French would form the 'backbone' of the effort. But that was then and political pressure in now. And Chirac made sure that he let everyone know he didn't cave when Kofi called. Heh ...

Let's review the way this all came about:
France did little to dampen expectations that it would play a far more ambitious peacekeeping role as it joined the United States in fashioning agreement on a resolution authorizing the force. At a critical stage in talks, President Chirac broke with the United States and backed Lebanese demands that the new force be placed under the command of the United Nations. The United State ultimately yielded to the French position.
So why again is Chirac backing off his former pledge (or at least inference) to play a major role in the UN peacekeeping effort?
But senior military officials from France, Italy and other countries considering sending troops expressed unease at the prospect of serving under U.N. command.
France. If they didn't exist, you'd have to make them up ... if for no other reason than comic relief. Jimmy Carter ought to run for President there ... they'd love him.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Look McQ droppin’ rifles is hard on’em and the French are parsimonious. 200 rifles dropped is damage enough to the French Treasury. Dien Bien Phu and May 1940 really took a toll on the French rifle inventory, they’re just hedging their bets, playing it safe.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
to serve in a reinforced U.N. peacekeeping mission
Sure we’ll send our troops to a war zone. As long as they are allowed in the reinforced ’mission’
1,700 French troops and crew stationed in ships off the coast of Lebanon could be sent in to help the U.N. force during a crisis.
I can see it now "this is the UN - we have a crisis. Send in the French... hello... France? Where are you???"

they had hoped that a commitment to have French troops form the "backbone" of the U.N. peacekeeping mission
French backbone????
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
1,700 French troops and crew stationed in ships off the coast of Lebanon could be sent in to help the U.N. force during a crisis.
It is the French version of "redeployment". Except they really don’t deploy in the first place.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
So, if no international force to speak of even bothers to show up, and the Lebanese can’t even be bothered to pretend to disarm Hezbollah ("please Mr. Hezbollah, don’t make us look at your weapons until they are ready to fire"), will the world notice that the terms of the cease-fire are null and void?

Do I even need to ask?

Why does "the world" expect anyone like Hezbollah to keep up a bargain when "the world" can’t be bothered to even pretend to keep up theirs? And where do they get the audacity to yell at people who point out that people like Hezbollah have no intention of honoring agreements?

(Yeah, France wasn’t the whole backbone, but who wants to place bets that the other peacekeepers will stay in the game after Mr. Big Talk, No Action has blazed the trail to backing out?)
 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://
I don’t blame Chirac, those French soldiers will be needed in Paris for the next Car Torching Festival.
 
Written By: the wolf
URL: http://gabbleratchet.blogspot.com
Fine by me, the cease-fire will be violated, the fault will be the UNs and France, and Israel can finally go in and kill Hezbollah.

France really is the friend of the Joooos!
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
The mistake was doing a deal with France.

Again France plays Lucy to the US Charlie Brown.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
McQ, do you think France may be dealing directly with Iran on this, possibly as a proxy Security Council representative? Their wavering positions don’t seem as strange to me if Iran has bought them off.
 
Written By: Scout
URL: http://
well , so how can you exept the french troops doing the same error than the scummy unbrained US gov?

sending troops without clear missions? France waits from UN clarity of the misions, and not play the same game that france is witness in Lebanon since 1978!

US troops have big balls, they are hided behind bunkers all over iraq and as cowards they are fear to going down town!

ha ha ha, what a bunch of sissies, remind me when they feared the nazi in 1940 with their neutral treaty, so why i call them americans, they are so Jews drove in washigton and latinos in whole country that i ’m desperate about to meet a real "anglo saxon" in the 2020!

ha ha ha ha
 
Written By: roloo
URL: http://
Their wavering positions don’t seem as strange to me if Iran has bought them off.
I really don’t know Scout but you’re right to point andout their deep oil based relationship with Iran and the possibility that some influence may have been exerted.

Proxy? I doubt it. At least not in the sense that they’re willfully acting at the behest of Iran. Under intense pressure to do so with Iran using oil as leverage? Possible.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I have said it before and will say it again. The French do not matter. France is not a true nation-state anymore. All you are seeing is the sad, declining remnants of a once great people.
Consider; They have had an absolutely stagnant economy for decades. They have an over educated population adverse to any sort of work. They have lost much of their
previous creativity in the arts and sciences. They no longer reproduce themselves.
They have proven that they will not lift a finger to defend themselves or their culture from a hostile alien people.
They are destined for the Ashheap of history and sooner rather than later. In one more generation France and several other European nations will cease to exist as we know it.
They simply do not matter anymore, at all.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
Thanks for answering, McQ. I often look to oil influence when France’s positions seem strange, sometimes they make more sense that way. Was there ever definitive proof they were trading with Iraq outside of sanction parameters?

Although they sometimes stymie America, I have to admire France’s skill at diplomacy. France is very good at getting what’s good for France, and they don’t seem to care much what others think.
 
Written By: Scout
URL: http://
This is definitely frustrating (infuriating?) on the part of the French, but I don’t think this is dead yet. The quotes I’ve heard from the French are that they want a better (more permissive?) mandate. That’s not only a reasonable point, it’s a positive sign that they’re interested in what their mandate says at all.

I predict that the French deployment will get larger. There’s a case to be made that the delay is a toxic thing, though.

Some concern for how you’re what you’re going to do when you get there and how you get out, *before* you get in, for once, is something the US could have used recently.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
This story would be amusing if it weren’t rather tragic. I find myself wondering what it would be like to be in this peace force? Hezbollah will not be disarmed, the Lebanese Armed Forces seem to be in cahoots with Hezbollah, and the UN force is going to be caught in the middle of a remarkably dangerous situation.

They are really there as hostages to prevent Israel from launching another attack that might kill them.
 
Written By: MaxedOutMama
URL: http://maxedoutmama.blogspot.com
A better question is, do we really want the French entrusted with so important a mission? Have the French actually demonstrated any capacity for force major since Napoleon? Have they not had their collective derrier’s handed to them in every conflict since 1900? If the job is keeping Israel and Hezbollah apart, I want a better wall than France can build, don’t know about you.

I believe the people we should appeal to in this case are the Czechoslovakians. They have russian stubborness and an understanding of what happens when you allow state-within-a-state problems to fester. So far as I know, they have no particular love for either jews or arabs, so they’d be impartial. As a former USSR component state, they also understand decades of grinding misery - which is exactly what this assignment amounts to.

-Gil
 
Written By: Gil
URL: http://
Wait a second. Chirac is not the entire French government. His role is not like the president of the USA. Let’s hear what the foreign minister and prime ministers say.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
A better question is, do we really want the French entrusted with so important a mission? Have the French actually demonstrated any capacity for force major since Napoleon? Have they not had their collective derrier’s handed to them in every conflict since 1900? If the job is keeping Israel and Hezbollah apart, I want a better wall than France can build, don’t know about you.
Okay, I need to stand up for the Frogs here. The year is 1983. Hezbullah car bombs our Marine peace keepers in Beirut. Ronald Reagan pulls them out. We do not otherwise respond to the attack.

French troops were bombed in a separate but similar attack. France pulls out their troops, but at least they bombed some Hezbullah facilities in retaliation.

 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Not to quibble, but French troops did perform well in the Crimean War (granted under British command), World War I (poor strategy, but unbelievable courage), and the latter part of World War II (again, under Allied command). It’s not really the troops that are lacking; it’s the generals.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
"...a once great people."

We’re talking about a people whose originally coalescent political event is a smashing defeat at the hands of Julius Caesar.

"Have the French actually demonstrated any capacity for force major since Napoleon?"

I never tire of pointing out November 27, 1942: in the largest single French naval action of WW II, they sank their own fleet in the harbor at Toulon.

That they are taken remotely seriously in affairs like the current unpleasantness speaks volumes about the value of the UN, or anyone who endorses it in any way.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Why on earth should they go along with this charade? Any serious effort would eventually result in armed confrontation with Hezbollah, resulting in casualties to both sides and almost certainly collateral damage and civilian casualties. Not to mention the almost certain immediate diminution of French diplomatic stature and increase of anti-French opinion in the Arab world. What is on the plus side for them?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
That’s easy for you to say aizheng .
 
Written By: McQ2
URL: http://www.nukethebabywhales.com
Yeah, let’s send the GI’s they are doing such a great job in Mesopotamia...
I doubt the French care what the US think of them, and you can be sure they’ll take a serious look at what’s in for them.
 
Written By: gemini
URL: http://
After the Israelis killed the Canadians who were there last it going to be hard to find a country not having problems paying their army willing to station them along the blue line without anti aircraft weapons. Does anybody think these are the last UN troops that will get killed by either side?

I know lots of guys in our armed forces who are far from wussy and none of them would ever volunteer for this job. Its a suicide mission.
 
Written By: cindyb
URL: http://
If anybody still cares who "won" and who "lost", here an objective assessment.

Center for Stratigic Studies
 
Written By: cindyb
URL: http://
Anthony Cordesman is a God....I bet his Graduate Assistants got NO rest putting this together.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
If anybody still cares who "won" and who "lost", here an objective assessment.
Looks like the objective assessment leans toward Israel as the victor pending the outcome of the UN Peacekeeper force. I think it also clearly shows that Israel learned a lot of lessons - and they paid a high price for attempting to limit the amount of damage done to civilians.

I’ll wager that if/when they are forced to defend themselves again, they will do so with conviction and Hezbolah and Syria and Iran will be left scrathing their heads saying ’damn - they did it again!’
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
VIVE LA FRANCE et merde aux cons
 
Written By: Jean-Marie LE PEN
URL: http://
French Casualties during the battle of France in WW II 90,000 killed, almost 300,000 wounded. This battle lasted only 3 or 4 weeks. The men did not run away, they were poorly led by stupid generals and politicians.

In WW I France had 1,300,000 killed and over 4,000,000 wounded.

The current government of France is weak, venal and cowardly. It is possible that that will change next year if Sarkozy becomes President.

 
Written By: Stanley Honig
URL: http://
i agree with Gemini, in my mind France really don’t care what the US (or others) think of them. but read that :

"I remember the unhappy experiences of other operations where UN forces had neither a sufficiently precise mission nor the means to act," french ministry said. "You cannot send out men and tell them that they should watch what’s happening but that they have no right to defend themselves or fire."

May be they ll send more troops...

Please stop this stupid french-bashing, i think we need them. Open your eyes, because of bush, the whole world (except britons) hate US, We cant fight everywhere, we need military capable allies.

Steve J.
 
Written By: Steve
URL: http://
Please stop this stupid french-bashing, i think we need them. Open your eyes, because of bush, the whole world (except britons) hate US, We cant fight everywhere, we need military capable allies.
I’m sorry ... tell me again how it is "stupid French bashing" when they say one thing and then do another.

They deserve every bit of "bashing" they get for stupid tricks like this. Given this present nonsense, how in the world can you ever trust anything they say?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog

 
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