Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Look Who's Talking

French-bashing II: the Return of the Vengeance of the Dead Potato--no, really. Don't the US media get tired with that? Is contempt/dislike of the French so ingrained in the collective subconscious of the American media that they must jump at the smallest excuse to start yet another anti-French campaign?

I'll grant you that the most recent, and ongoing one has a bit more beef to it, since it's based on an apparent U-turn by Jacques Chirac on the matter of the international force in Lebanon. Still, while it would be understandable for the general public to misunderstand what's going on behind the scenes, it's unforgivable for the media to feign to have the same analysis.

Let's get back to the facts: when France pushed to get an immediate end to the conflict, it got a "no" from the US, which wanted to allow Israel all the time it needed to "anihilate the Hezbollah's threat" (a really fantastic operation which resulted in the exact opposite: giving the Hezbollah stronger and deeper roots and furthering even more the hatred of the Arab world against Israel, which anyone with brains could have told them would happen). And things dragged on. While France wanted an immediate end to the war, it also wanted a clear agenda, solution and mission for the international force that would get sent to disarm the Hezbollah. For once, Jacques chirac was pretty clear when he said that France would lead an international force, on the strict condition that this force would receive a clear and full mandate from the UNO in order to accomplish its mission.

I believe that anyone in his/her right mind will agree with the fact that sending troops there with no clear mission, and no clear rules of engagment is sending them into a swamp that won't help the situation but worsen it, not to mention be costly in lives for no gain at all.

One of the favorite angles of attack from the US media is that France co-signed the UNO resolution. Well, yes, it was indeed co-written by France. But you forget one very tiny, very very tiny little thing, my dear American media: the other writer of that resolution was none other than your oh-so nice and kind US government. And that oh-so nice and kind US government simply sat down on a solution for as long as it could, and then forced the wording to be as useless as it is. They only came around when Tsahal's operations started being a bit too costly in terms of grisly images of civilians "killed in unfortunate collateral damages". In that moment, France should perhaps have refused to agree to that resolution, but it would have allowed the conflict to continue, and everyone wanted the war to end.

So the war ended. But the terms set by France for its strong implication in the international force were not met, by far. Sending troops with things as they stand would be stupid, and would only result in failure, and in giving even more sway and leverage to terrorists like the Hezbollah (has anyone forgotten the tragedies of the 80s, the kidnappings and deaths of journalists, of soldiers who had no means to carry out their mission, or the problems in Bosnia?). So not sending them is actually the only sensible thing to do.

It will force the US's hand into accepting something that has a chance to work.

It may give a chance to peace (hello there to you all who think that peace will come only after a good all-out war, wouldn't you like it if Israel dumped a nuclear weapon on Iran in your place? I love you too, never fear).

Going in without that, committing troops to a force without the means to carry out its mission would be beyond stupid. Just who is it who's berating France for not making such a moronic blunder?

Wait, aren't those people the very ones who started a war based a a rationale basically made of lies, replaced a tyranny by a bloody civil war, destabilized the whole Middle East in the process, and announced they'd have a quick victory and would be welcomed as saviors by the whole population?

Okay, forget I asked.

(oh, and before you ask, I really dislike Jacques chirac ^_-)

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