Follow up to Twas the Night Before Christmas
Tuesday Blogosphere Happenings

Respond To The French On My Behalf

Okay, people, here is your chance to...to what?...well, let me explain.

Most know that I do not hold the French (government or military) in very high regard. This is not something that I extend to ALL French people. One thing you should know is that I have had a Frenchman as a house guest for Thanksgiving dinner several times. He is a Parisian cop named Hadi (yes, he is a Muslim). I also have gone skiing with French paratoopers in the alps. I have spent time in France several different times (probably totalling a mere month).

The first post I ever put up was about my run in with General Jannier of the French Army. I received a few emails from others in the U.S. Army who had encounters with Jannier. My favorite was from Sapper Mike. (Sapper Mike - I ended up losing your email about supporting the French Army in Desert Storm, so if you want to, post it in the comments or send me an email and I'll put it here on the main page).

I have posted a few notes about boycotting French products.

So, occasionally, I get email from French people about my 'hatred' and 'scorn' for the French. I will put the latest one, from Oliver, in the extended portion below. But, I need some help responding to Oliver. I usually respond to email quickly, but I just haven't found the words to say...maybe, you can help me?

Please post your responses in the comments:

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So you met some French asshole who happens to be a general... so what?

My father (French Foreign Legion, Vietnam, Algeria decorated vet) also recalls meeting some US assholes "attachés" in a bar in Saigon bragging how the US would "take care of the situation in 3 months" with a big sneer on their face (God bless all those American boys who died there)...

Listen, with all due respect, the French military bashing is getting a little old... for pure Comedy, I suggest a little history of the Italian army ("Italy never ended a war on the same side they started" - Napoleon) starting with their 1890 routing by barefooted Ethiopian bushmen...

As far as the French military is concerned, sure, you could argue they never retained their prestige since Napoleon (actually, Foch was rather brilliant in WW1, and Leclerc is the only WW2 French general worth mentioning, perharps also Koenig and his brilliant stance against Rommel's superior German forces at Bir-Akheim, North Afica), you can also argue about France's stance vis-à-vis the Irak situation ...

I don't blame you but look, no one mentions the fact that they're helping in Afghanistan alonside the US as we speak with peacekeeping and special operation forces and of course the presence of the Foreign Legion's 2eme REP (and no, not ALL legionnaires are foreign). Often poorly led (politically, mostly), I'll conceid, but not that bad when they do show up (Lebanon '82, Irak '92, Kosovo '99, Africa this year...).

Blame Chirac all you want, but give the French some credit when it's due even though, I know, it's hard to admit it.

Just my "2 cents worth"...


Regards,

Oliver

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