Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Are France And America Allies Again?

From the Washington Post comes this op-ed piece from David Ignatius. Many times I disagree with Ignatius, but this is a very intriguing and thought provoking essay. I recommend that all of my readers, take a good look at this, chew on it awhile, and see how it tastes.

Here is a teaser:

PARIS -- Once every five or six weeks, a French presidential adviser named Maurice Gourdault-Montagne flies to Washington to meet with his American counterpart, national security adviser Stephen Hadley. They spend several hours coordinating strategy on Iran, Syria, Lebanon and other hot spots, and then the Frenchman flies home. In between trips, the two men talk often on the phone, usually on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Whether you read the article or not, let's analyze this a little further:

After the hissy fit Chirac and his ensemble threw when we removed Saddam, it's hard to believe that this is happening. But let's think back a bit, to immediately after 9/11. Remember when the President announced that many nations had agreed to provide the U.S. intelligence, some overtly and some secretly?

Well, I am beginning to suspect that France has been cooperating more than they've let on. We all know that they have been in dire straits on their Arab/Muslim situation for a long time. They had to know it too. They had to know that the mood of that population within their borders, had been simmering and waiting to come to a full roiling boil, for long time.

Maybe they had no real choice but to put on a facade for the record. But off the record, maybe both France and Germany have been secretly working with the Bush administration. Whether or not they really were upset over us killing their cash cow in Iraq, I am not completely sure. But for the rest of the war, they may have been on our side all along.


Once the riots blew up in their faces, maybe they now feel that their cooperation needs to be understood, by the enemies of western civilization. They also might feel that there needs to be a global united front presented to islamofascism and a show of unity with the United States is truly in their best interests.

If this is true, it would appear that I have been overly harsh in my criticism of France. And if that truly were to be the case, then will I have no trouble admitting that I have been wrong.


You see, whatever it takes to defend the free world against oppressive murderous thugs that want to destroy my way of life, I am for it. If France wants to help, I would not be against it, in the least. In fact, I would much rather have France on our side, than to have them on the other side. So if it means letting them pretend to hate us while they are actually helping us, then, so be it.

12 comments:

Leslie Bates said...

There are times when may have to say "nice doggie" while reaching for a good sized rock.

If France and Germany want to overtly embark on a common course in dealing with enemies of Mankind then that would be great.

SuperFrenchie said...

//Maybe they had no real choice but to put on a facade for the record.//

leslie bates: //If France and Germany want to overtly embark on a common course in dealing with enemies of Mankind then that would be great.//

Are you saying that somehow the French decided to fight islamofaciscm just yesterday?

As it appears to be the case, I don’t think you're following too closely what’s happened in France.

The French have understood what islamofacism was all about for a lot longer than the Americans have. Since 1995 to be exact.

Just because they have not felt the need to invade a country unrelated to Islamic extremism does not mean they have not done anything about it.

You might be confusing with the British...

//But for the rest of the war, they may have been on our side all along. //

Gee, they "may" have been?

Time to get informed! Check out your own military command has been saying about it:

Support to the Global War on Terror (Operation Enduring Freedom):

Historical perspective:

French commitment to OEF has been strong and resolute since the beginning of the operation.

[…]

As soon as United Nations Security Council Resolution 1378 was issued on 18 October 2001, France forces were sent in Afghanistan.

[…]

Indeed, France was the first country, along with the United States, to have flown bombing missions over Afghanistan in direct support of American ground troops. French forces arrived on the ground as early as 2 December 2001, securing Mazar-e-Sharif.

In total, some 5,500 French service members were sent to the region.

[…]

In addition to its OEF commitment, France is one of the main contributors to the NATO International Security Assistance Force. Since French Lt. Gen PY became the new ISAF Commander on 11 August 2004, France increased its troop strength. Today, out of approximately 6300 personnel in ISAF, 1000 belong to the French armed forces.

France is thus the United States’ second-largest partner in Afghanistan with a total of 1670 French troops.

LASunsett said...

Frenchie,

Thanks for visiting and commenting, your comments are always welcome here.

"Are you saying that somehow the French decided to fight islamofaciscm just yesterday?"

No, that is not what I am saying, at all. I am saying that while they appeared to be extremely critical of the US and its policies, maybe they were helping behind the scenes.

"As it appears to be the case, I don’t think you're following too closely what’s happened in France."

I don't live there, but it would most foolish of you to assume that do not understand France, based on one essay.

"The French have understood what islamofacism was all about for a lot longer than the Americans have. Since 1995 to be exact."

Maybe you are right. That's one of the points I am trying to stress in the post.

"Just because they have not felt the need to invade a country unrelated to Islamic extremism does not mean they have not done anything about it."

The rhetoric that has come out of the French government since the decision was made to remove Saddam, has been very anti-American. My suspicion is that the French government was profiting in Iraq, through the "Oil for Food Scandal". If that truly has been the case, then it is easy to see why they have used the same argument you are trying to use, here.

As for the rest of your comments, please give us a source for your information and numbers. I will read and analyze it and if it warrants further comment, I will do so, after that. If not, I will let your comments stand, unchallenged.

Again, thanks for commenting. Please feel free to come back. I am a mutt and I have a significant amount of French in my lineage (also English, Irish, German, and American Indian), so I have always found French history and culture fascinating. I haven't always agreed with French policy and ideology, but I have found it interesting, nonetheless.

France (as well as all of Europe) needs the U.S. and the U.S. needs Europe. We are western civilization. And if we do not defend it, and work together to do it, we will all fall.

SuperFrenchie said...

Lasunsett: // My suspicion is that the French government was profiting in Iraq, through the "Oil for Food Scandal".//

There is no evidence that the French government was profiting in Iraq from the Oil for Food scandal: http://superfrenchie.com/?p=96

There is however evidence that many French companies, as well as many other companies from all over the world including the US (but undoubtedly more from France) were profiting from it. A former French UN ambassador is involved in the scandal. Note that he was no longer an ambassador when he got involved.

But certainly France had some financial interests in Iraq. By most estimates between 4 and 8 billion dollars. So would that make sense for a 2.1 trillion dollar economy to defend those few billions tooth and nails? Knowing full well that the war was likely to happen anyway and that they would be cut off, whereas siding with the US would have open the door to much more lucrative reconstruction projects.

Look, the official French position before the war was that they doubted WMDs’ existence and that the war would increase terrorism. It might be difficult to admit, but they have just turned out to be exactly right.

// The rhetoric that has come out of the French government since the decision was made to remove Saddam, has been very anti-American.//

Any fact to back that up?

On the contrary, I am still to hear a single “We told you so” from the French government. Yet, they certainly told you so!

// As for the rest of your comments, please give us a source for your information and numbers.//

You mean on the Afghanistan situation. I linked to it in my post. Here it is again: http://tinyurl.com/avkgq

// France (as well as all of Europe) needs the U.S. and the U.S. needs Europe. We are western civilization. And if we do not defend it, and work together to do it, we will all fall.//

Amen!

SuperFrenchie said...

There is also much more about what France is and has been doing about terrorism here

Excerpt:

"When it comes to counterterrorism operations, France is hard-core"

LASunsett said...

"Look, the official French position before the war was that they doubted WMDs’ existence and that the war would increase terrorism. It might be difficult to admit, but they have just turned out to be exactly right."

I am not so sure. Saddam had plenty of time to hide contraband in Syria. But whether he did or not, the thing you have to understand is that Saddam, himself, did nothing to prove he didn't have the weapons, he was certainly content to be defiant. Many speculators believe that he didn't want to admit that he wasn't as far along in the WMD programs, as many intelligence reports had indicated. (Partly becuase he didn't want his hand tipped to Iran.)

As for it increasing terrorism, and I knock on wood when I say this, there hasn't been an attack on U.S. soil since the invasion. Europe, on the other hand, has not been so fortunate. But remember, terror has existed for years and had been escalating well before the invasion. Saddam harbored Nidal and Abbas, and we now have good information that Zarqawi was in Iraq prior to the invasion.

You going to have to really work harder than that to persuade me to believe that removing Saddam was a bad thing. I will concede that many mistakes and miscalculations have been made along the way. And, many more may come to light before all is said and done. But before the final chapter is written, many things may also be proven to have been true, things that cannot be proven now.

As for your challenge to provide facts about the anti-American rhetoric coming from the French government, read transcripts from Chirac's and Villepin's speeches, as well as articles from the French media, and then tell me that it isn't so.

Thanks for re-posting the link, I missed it. I was in a hurry at the time and had some distractions, at the same moment I was reading your comments. I will check it out, when I get enough time to look through it more carefully.

Thanks again for stopping by, and don't be just another drive-by commenter. My blog covers many, many topics. Some things you may not agree with, but you may be surprised that on some things, you just might.

Always On Watch said...

France has a good intelligence network. Chirac's statement on January 19 (I think) may have been the result of some intelligence about Iran.

If our allies are truly with us, all the better.

SuperFrenchie said...

//Saddam had plenty of time to hide contraband in Syria. //

What idiot would ship his best weapons abroad before the “mother of all battles”?

//As for it increasing terrorism, and I knock on wood when I say this, there hasn't been an attack on U.S. soil since the invasion.//

I doubt that the war in Iraq has anything to do with having no attack in 4 years. With or without the Iraq invasion, there has been increased security measures, increased surveillance, increased cooperation between western governments and an attack over the terrorist’s home base in Afghanistan.

But who could argue that terrorism in Iraq and elsewhere has increased in the last 3 years?

//read transcripts from Chirac's and Villepin's speeches//

Since the invasion? I do all the time. Again, I challenge you to find a single anti-American “I told you so”- type speech since the invasion.

//as well as articles from the French media//

Well, the French media isn't the French government. You could certainly find some there, although not many.

//Thanks again for stopping by, and don't be just another drive-by commenter.//

Mine (http://superfrenchie.com) keeps me pretty busy, but I'll try to stop by every now and then.

LASunsett said...

"What idiot would ship his best weapons abroad before the “mother of all battles”?"

Any common criminal understands the need to hide evidence. The contraband may have been in the form of components to make WMDs, not completely assembled. If this was the case, he certainly did not want us to find the evidence.

"I doubt that the war in Iraq has anything to do with having no attack in 4 years."

Maybe, maybe not. The things you cited such as increased homeland security are a very important factor, not to be ignored. But many terrorists (many of which that have already met their demise) came to Iraq to fight the great Satan and drive it from Arab soil.

Here's the bottom line here:

To know that Saddam will never use WMDs on anyone, ever again, was worth it. To know is better than not knowing.

If Bush had not removed Saddam and later there would have been a WMD attack that was proven to have originated from Saddam, Bush's ass would have been grass, and the American people would have been the lawnmower. He was damned either way, so he opted to err on the side of caution.

Like I said, there were some serious miscalculations along the way, but the world (to include Iraq) is better off without Saddam in power.

Increased terrorism in Iraq, you say? How about the years of terror that Saddam and his sons, inflicted on the Iraqi people? How about the mass murders that occurred by the village? You have to count that as terror, too. Terror goes much farther than just al-Qaeda.

As as I said previously, more will come out before the final chapter is written. Just be sure to keep an open mind, when it does. As will I.

SuperFrenchie said...

//As as I said previously, more will come out before the final chapter is written.//

I agree with that.

Not that I feel optimistic about what's coming. From where I stand, it don't look good.

But I'll keep my fingers crossed that it will all work out. Not much else I can do anyway.

//Just be sure to keep an open mind, when it does. As will I.//

Wise words :)

PS: I'll try to answer your question about Iran on my blog a little later.

Not that I have a ready-made solution :(

RemyCC said...

Have France and America ever been at war ?
I think America and France have always been allies.
Suggesting, by the title of your post, that both country may not be allies sounds very dangerous to me because it makes forget who your true allies are.
America and France may not be good friends but when it comes to big issues they 're in the same team, share the same values and interests.

LASunsett said...

//Have France and America ever been at war ?//

Technically, America has never been at war with France. The French and Indian War was fought against English colonists that later became Americans.

//I think America and France have always been allies.//

Not always the best of allies, though. Yes, France helped us fight the British for our independence. Yes we helped them in WWI and WWII. But during Napoleon there was some strain and now there has been strain over Iraq.

//Suggesting, by the title of your post, that both country may not be allies sounds very dangerous to me because it makes forget who your true allies are.//

How is it dangerous?

You have to understand that just because France and America haven't been arch-enemies and fought wars directly with each other, that fact alone, does not mean they have always necessarily been allies, either.