War In Libya: US Should Not Have Gotten Involved With It Or France

War In Libya: US Should Not Have Gotten Involved With It Or France

If there is one thing that I have learned in my lifetime, if France is eager to use American “military muscle,” then try and avoid it at all costs. Matter of a fact, run like hell! French Indo-China (Viet Nam) should be your first lesson learned when looking at their political motives. Besides, wasn’t it the French who opposed the United States every step of the way in prosecuting a “worldwide war on terror” from the onset of 9-1-1? Yet, whenever another former vestige, (or an enemy) of its North African colonialism gets into a jam, they want someone else to sacrifice for them. I say, since the French were quick on the accelerator with the Libyan Civil War, we should have said “vous le faites.” For those who have forgotten their high school French, it simply means – You Do It!

Look, if any reasonable person would have thought that Moammar Gadhafi was not going to ramp up his attack on rebel insurgents, just because of some United Nations Resolution, they would have been way too gullible for my liking. Gadhafi views this uprising as a civil war and an internal issue. Well, we should too.

And no, I am not a Gadhafi supporter, just a realist. If Libya falls, the power vacuum it creates will grip that nation and then there will be other worries to come. At least with Gadhafi in control you know what you got. Not only that, oil again will flow and end this speculator’s dream market if Gadhafi and Libyan people are allowed to deal with its internal problems. If the insurgents want freedom, they need to earn it on their own. Have they not already shown a propensity to steal ammunition, helicopters and planes all on their very own?

And, if that weren’t enough for me, well, I just don’t trust the damn French. Any country that is supposed to be a democracy and then calls its president’s residence the “Presidential Palace” should tell you what level of arrogance there is in their society. Think too, where was the United Nations when France quelled its “Muslim Problem?” Its human rights record against non-French? Not a peep out of the United Nations right?

France has long called itself a staunch ally of the U.S., but they far too often forget the American blood that was spilled on their behalf in World War II and Viet Nam. Of course, shame on President Harry Truman for first backing France in its colonialism in Indo-China & Dwight D. Eisenhower for providing “limited assistance” as Viet Nam fought to free itself from French colonial rule in the Viet Minh War. After the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, Viet Nam was officially split into North and South and then we committed to defending them. Kennedy and Johnson escalated the war and the rest, as they say, is history. If anyone is interested in the complete history, I would highly recommend reading Viet Nam: A History, by Stanley Karnow.

North Viet Nam and Ho Chi Minh, had long been viewed as the enemy, unfortunately, that wasn’t the truth. For some reason Viet Nam had always been victim to a slew of foreign invaders. Thousands of years of foreign invaders ranging from the Chinese to the French. In retrospect, Ho Chi Minh was the one fighting an honorable war against a corrupt puppet regime in the south and its misinformed allies. That too thanks to France!

History has shown us that not everything is what it seems. France continues to favor wanting dominion over Northern Africa. Nearly all of the North African nations have French roots, but where does the U.S. fit into that? When Gadhafi does fall, we will see the true measure of French political motives there. It is more than oil, although that is a part of it. The United States owes nothing to France at this juncture and putting our pilot’s lives at risk should have given President Obama pause before taking off to Brazil on yet another family trip at taxpayer expense. That too is getting a little out of hand.

Everyone wants American help, but when everything is said and done we are the fu$king imperialists spreading our will. Well fu$k that. How many times does our military have to go to some shit-hole country that is of no concern to us? Libya is no longer a major threat to anyone given its sad sack state of a military. Sure, he has money and he has funded terrorism in the past, but hasn’t that been greatly diminished already? So far as I can see, the only threat is to his own people. In time, that too will change on its own accord if the people are willing to fight for their freedom themselves. Didn’t Egypt and Tunisia do it?

Besides, we have to ask ourselves, would the United States tolerate a civil war here?

Then why is it any different in Libya?


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  • Gosh, what a load of nonsense. Factually inaccurate (or facts twisted to suit an argument) - basic Francophobia 101. I would have thought we could move on from that in the 21st century...

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    LOL No lots and lots of military experience in the Middle East with them. Perhaps a deeper understanding of France's political agendas, which by the way, have cost American lives on more than a few occasions.

  • In reply to maciric:

    As opposed to American political agendas, which have lost the lives of many other people (including French lives)?

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    I never said we were angels either. The problem is we tend to get sucked into conflicts that we shouldn't be involved in. I still wonder why I was sent to places sometimes, Look, the French has sold arms and circumvented embargo's that hurt a lot of people. They didn't seem to care either. The French Foreign Legion, to this day, spreads instability. France has had influence over nearly the entire Northern coast of Africa; Morocco, Algeria, Chad, Tunisia and they obviously have vested interests there, what in the hell does America have there except a bad reputation? We are fighting two wars, on two fronts and our debt is soaring - so are you telling me that France, Britain and Germany can't handle this? Are they not the ones with the most to gain here? hell we don't use a drop of Libyan oil. I think it is time we say no sometimes.

  • In reply to maciric:

    NOBODY has sold more arms than the US, including to all manner of evil dictators (Saddam Hussein was a creation of the US, and so were the Taliban). But if the French take a part of the world arms sales then it suddenly becomes wrong?

    The French Foreign Legion does NOT spread instability - that is just more nonsense. It's a fighting force that gets used as the Americans use the Marines.

    France has influence in North Africa - correct. But this conflict also impacts the Middle East and Arabic World, and that is where the US is trying to play the dominant role.

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    You really need to check your history (and I am not talking school book history) as you have apparently never been involved in the military operations in the Middle East. Arms deals? legal and illegal are two different things so I don't give a rats ass if the French sell arms, only not to the enemy when they are being engaged. The number one illegal arms dealer in the world are the Russians and its former states. The French aren't far behind including their back door illegal sales to Iran. Like I said unless you ever served in that region, then get the facts.

    The FFL there was a time I would agree but today they are nothing more than glorified mercenaries protected by the French Flag, you need to look into their operations over the last 50 years and you will find out what they do. Don't confuse them with Special Forces just because they have the same training, their function is different. Matter of fact there is a nice documentary made by they themselves. Find it.

    As far as American influence in the Middle East goes, soldiers don't have opinions where we are sent, when we are sent - but after we leave we are permitted to have an opinion - because we earned it, have you? We should never have supported anyone in that region and our support and then turning of our backs on Afghanistan the 1st time around - yes it led to the Taliban.

    Like I said we are no angels either. Now get a grip on what France does. There was a reason they objected so strongly to the war on terror.

    People need to stop believing school book propaganda there is a lot more happening than you think.

  • In reply to maciric:

    France objected to the war on terror??? They fought it long before Americans even heard of it, let alone became involved in it.

    Grow up, little man. Just because you WANT to see history some particular way doesn't mean it is that way. Deprogram yourself from the indoctrination you apparently received, then study history properly, and then start again with the discussion.

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    Like I said you haven't been there and you seem to like intellectual arguments. I don't see history I have lived it as opposed to whatever you do in France. I do recall a few conversations with you on some conspiracy theory's you believe in. I got an idea for you maybe you should sign up for the FFL, as that is only legal in France, and go on a suicide mission for them. Then you can recapture the glory.

  • In reply to maciric:

    LOL - firstly, you don't have a clue about where I have been and what I have done, so don't presume to know.

    Secondly, I don't do anything in France - I don't live in France, nor am I French - guess, you are wrong again, just one more time.

    You recall me from a conversation on some conspiracy theory? Now I *know* you are delusional - I don't believe in conspiracy theories, and I certainly wouldn't defend them.

    Back to square 1: try and get some facts for a change, instead of living in a world you make up to suit yourself.

    There really seems little point in pursuing any discussion on any point if you claim to know things you couldn't possibly be informed about.

    Lastly, if you don't see history, then keep quiet about historical events.

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    Then some is using your handle Ginny and if you aren't the same one well then I apologize for that one. You too are making presumptions. While the FFL is a crack military unit, they have also had controversy over the years; i.e. allegations of torture in Algeria and interference with NATO objectives in Bosnia. The FFL has a long history but just like the American Military and its "auxiliaries" sometimes do more harm than good. I will stand by my opinion that France has more to gain, and at stake, in North Africa than we do.

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    p.s. I just went back into my saved comments / contacts file and indeed an apology is due. But it is awfully close to your contact name it was "ginnys". That I apologize for.

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    They objected to Iraq, now that is common knowledge. Perhaps they have fought terror longer, but they have also been involved in the Middle East for a long time. I don't want history a certain way, it plays out well all on its own.

  • In reply to maciric:

    And again, you are wrong - you seem to make a habit of that.

    France was an active partner in the first Gulf War - the one that was called when Sadam invaded Kuwait.

    France was NOT a partner in the second Gulf War, the one that was based on the lie that Sadam had WMDs. Contrary to Colin Powell's pretty PowerPoint presentation at the UN (and the whole Bush administration's claims in their dealings with the American public), such WMDs did not exist - just as France (and Germany, and many other countries) said.

    So, the French (and Germans, etc) were perfectly correct in rejecting the phoney reasons given for the war. As the French (and Germans, etc) said at the time, if the UN inspectors had found *any* evidence at all of those WMDs, they would have been willing partners in that war, as they were in Gulf 1.

    Iraq has *nothing* to do with the war on terror. In fact, as an anti-religious leader, Sadam supported the fight against Islamist extremists. There are far more Islamist terrorists in Iraq now than there were under Sadam...

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    I said they objected, I didn't say it wasn't without justification. Personally, I also believe we should not have invaded Saddam he was a zero threat and Colin Powells Powerpoint presentation was a sham based on erroneous information. The fight should have always been in Afghanistan / Pakistan. This is part of my anger over further involvement in the region.

    The USA has backed too many rogues in the region, as well as other places.

    Here is my argument: I don't think we need to join in on this Libya mess. we have little to gain but more mud on our face. France, Germany and Britain can handle this since they have the most to gain in this particular fight. Now that is where I want this conversation to be at.

    Every industrialized nation, US, France, Germany, Britain, etc have their agendas. Sometimes they mesh with each others and sometimes not. Right now we are fighting 2 wars and bleeding money and to shoot off $62-$156 million in Tomahawks in Libya is just not in our better interests.

  • In reply to maciric:

    Now you are beginning to contradict yourself!

    The US has a *lot* to gain from leadership change in Libya. The present administration has been actively supporting terrorists around the world until they decided on a policy change a few years ago (which suited their commercial interests).

    But now that they feel betrayed by the West, the concern is that if the current regime stays in power, it will revert to the active support of terrorism - and *that* is why the US is interested in this situation.

    By the way, this is a potential war pursued by the US in conjunction with France and Britain, *not* involving military support from Germany. Germany will provide back-door support, but won't be involved in any fighting. So, you need to leave them out of the list of countries you think should deal with this situation.

    Also, in terms of commercial and security interests, you would have to list Italy, whom you haven't even mentioned.

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    I only added Germany because of their reliance on Libyan oil for their clean diesel refining. Qadhafi had supported terrorism, yes, but he has pulled back on that as you indicated. No doubt the US has an interest, but do they need to get involved? That is the overriding question here.

    Is this an operation that even France and Britain couldn't achieve on their own? I happen to think they can do it. Their pilots are every bit as good at hitting the high value targets. Plus, are the French / FFL not already on the ground in neighboring countries and have a relationship with the region? Germany I know is only providing non-combatant assistance. But they have an interest, right? Italy probably has greater commercial interests, but could be overwhelmed with refugees.

    My argument was that France wanted us "all in" and I still don't believe it was necessary. Particularly since we are already stretched in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am not sure that is a contradiction, I am basically asking the bigger question which is Does the US have to be actively engaged in what appears to be something our allies can do?

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    I am also concerned about the power vacuum that this will create. Who is backing the rebels? Will a Qadhafi less Libya be any more friendly to the US than it is now. As we know, the region has many, many players and many many agendas. This could turn into a third front that we just can't afford.

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    And yes, France was a participant in Desert Storm. Done that. Look we also can go around and around on Europe's view of America under Bush II. We have all engaged in wars and conflicts, right or wrong. Allies, still tend to go along with each other, at least as a public face. Diplomatically, well that is entirely different and as it should be.

    To set the record straight, Bush II was only looking for an excuse to go after Saddam because of the assassination attempt on his father. I am not even sure if that was credible. But, and this is a big but, Europe publicly objected (even though they were right) but it also had consequences. Not every war is noble contrary to what people want to believe and many vet scratches their head and asks "what the hell I am doing here?"

    The notion that America needs to be a trendsetter of some sort in the region bothers me. Our allies can do much more to stabilize the region in some instances than the US can, don't you think?

  • In reply to maciric:

    I am losing track of what you are saying...

    It looks like you are saying that Iraq was wrong (which it was), but that the French should have supported that war, even though it was wrong?

    The war in Iraq actually achieved nothing (the people there are no better off, and the US is much poorer because of it), so why should France have supported it anyway?

    Yes, the American allies can do a lot more, but that presupposes that American interests (in regard to Israel, oil, and so on) become a lot more transparent and not based on the whims of somebody who thinks that daddy might have been threatened by somebody at some stage...

    As it is, many European leaders cannot understand why the US does what it does (e.g. in regard to giving misleading PowerPoint presentations in which some random truck is "clearly identified" as a chemical lab). As long as US policy lacks transparency and credibility, nobody can expect other countries to get overly involved in some new US adventure. But that doesn't mean that they cannot pursue legitimate aims of their own.

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    Absolutely. Iraq was wrong! The French, and others, I believe should have at least put on a face instead of the very public repudiation. That created what was perceived as a complete split. Back door diplomacy would have been more effective I think. The lynch pin was trying to get Tony Blair to back France and Germany and then the three could have possibly prevented Bush from proceeding. I don't think he would have pursued it if all the allies rebuked it.

    This Powerpoint presentation was predicated on an Iraqi who was playing both sides, unfortunately he was too convincing and then later retracted it. The initial intelligence placed too much importance on what he said, as it backed some doctored intelligence that came out of the Middle East from some of our allies. WMD's had been suspected because of Saddam's use of chemicals on Iranis during their war. The data was old, as well as trumped. Saddam, thought he had capability because his scientists would not tell him that his program was undo-able for fear of reprisal.

    I believe all the allies were duped into believing Saddam had more than what he had, at least for awhile. And by that I mean all the allies as that was a major discussion in the UN for years leading up to it.

  • In reply to maciric:

    You seriously assert that Bush II could be reasoned with???

    Blair would *never* have joined the Germans and French in their opposition since one of his main aims was to drive a wedge into the Franco-German leadership of Europe.

    European intelligence wasn't duped - they actually had more, and better, information than the US, but Bush and Cheney appeared disinterested unless it supported their view of the world...

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    Is there really a deep and enduring Franco-German relationship, or do they just tolerate each other these days?

  • In reply to maciric:

    Once again, you show your ignorance. The two countries are closer than they have been at any time in history.

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    Today yes it wasn't always so.

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    I don't give a hoot about Vichey France, Churchill sinking the French Fleet or FDR's isolation and antisemitism. Nor do I care that FDR hated de Gaulle. You saying the US didn't support France in Viet Nam until they were gone is inaccurate. Truman began that chain of events before France left. Trying to imply the French governor in the south during that time didn't subvert Ho Chi Minh would also be inaccurate. France has been every bit as opportunistic as any other nation. I will not buy the argument that France has stood tall above the rest if that is what your view is.

    Throughout history everyone, and I mean everyone has had their agendas. It isn't one-sided.

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    If you want to continue this discussion, then start afresh by trying to formulate a central thesis, and please do so without xenophobic diatribes. At present, you are all over the place, ignoring rebuttals merely to jump onto peripheral issues, etc.

    For example, whether Roosevelt was before your time or not is quite irrelevant

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    Fair enough. We won't discount FDR yes he failed to deliver the planes. We know that FDR was antisemitic and didn't care for de Gaulle. FDR did not want to engage in war, rather profit from it and resisted all calls for intervention. We also know that Churchill sunk the French Fleet rather than let the Germans take control of the ships since the Vichey government had the SS and troops assigned to Vichey to keep Petrain (I believe that is how you spell his name) from over-stepping his authority. After Churchhill sunk the fleet he was greeted by the MPs in jubilation. So not only was Franco-American relations soured so were Anglo-Franco relations. De Gaulle was not accepted as "spokesman for France until 1944" if my history serves me right.

    Yes there is a dynamic there - indisputable and we can not undo that history. So I don't ignore it as much as there isn't anything to be gained by rehashing America and England not wanting to support France. There was an anti-war sentiment in the US prior to entering the war. I am sure that just reinforced FDR's personal feelings as well.

    Political relations between France and the US in the post-WWII era have never been smooth. Beginning in the 1950s Charles de Gaulle used French foreign and defense policies as "counterweights" to US hegemony in Europe. More recently, French and US interests have collided in the Middle East. The French were reluctant allies of the US in the first Gulf war.

    So how about we start with the reluctance to assist in the first Gulf War to present day? I'll pick this up later in the day.

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    The reasons for the sinking of the French fleet were far more complex than you suggest. There was little risk of them falling into German hands. What is more, since the ships were in harbor and not battle-ready, they could have been taken to supplement the British fleet, but Churchill went down a different path (some think that it was mainly due to his overestimation of the British fleet's capacity).

    Americans were largely pro-French during WW2. Roosevelt's actions were directly contrary to the advice he received from the State Department and the military (including from Eisenhower). So, it wasn't as if America didn't want to support France.

    Nor was Roosevelt anti-French per se - he thought that he was helping the British war effort by supporting Vichy France (contrary to American opinion today, which really only developed in the last 30 years, the Americans of that era thought highly of the French as soldiers and wanted to make sure that they didn't join the German side). Roosevelt's policies were misguided and ill-informed - instead of attempting to keep the French out of the war, he should have supported them entering the war on the Allied side (as the American military did, albeit often against FDR's wishes, in the latter part of the war).

    When the Americans did what appeared to be making every effort to hinder the French interests (not delivering the planes, supporting the wrong side of the French, etc), leaders like de Gaulle began to seriously doubt the reliability of the US as an ally.
    Some post WW2 actions (already mentioned) further supported that notion. This made de Gaulle, on his return to power, decide to take a path independent of the US - develop an independent aircraft industry, develop an independent armaments industry, and develop an independent nuclear deterrent not relying on information from America. This irked the Americans, especially when they were invited to take their military to Germany instead of keeping it in France.

    This, in turn, created the myth of French

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    I agree that the Attack on Mers-el-K

  • In reply to maciric:

    PS: Since you raised uncertainty about the spelling of names -

    it was (Mar

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    Thank You I was going off memory on Petain (sorry for lack of stress mark as this blogging software does not offer international characters so it is not an omission)

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    Agreed thus far, with a few minor amendments.

    1) Yes, sinking the French fleet was utter stupidity - it was a powerful navy and could have done a lot of good on the Allied side. It was Churchill grandstanding to impress on Roosevelt how committed he was to the war, but ultimately it was a counter-productive measure for many reasons.

    2) The American public was against sending US soldiers into war, but it wasn't against material support. That was clear right from the outset, since the Roosevelt administration had no great hesitation in sending equipment to Britain. Sending the planes to Britain, instead of France, was an example of that.

    3) The planes were promised to France *before* the war - so, it wasn't a question of sending them to Vichy or Britain. Had they been delivered in time to the French government, the Blitzkrieg might have had a different outcome (or may never have developed into a Blitzkrieg in the first place).

    4) I am not sure what you are trying to get at when you say that FDR was antisemitic - so were several members of his administration, including Cordell Hull, yet that didn't prevent Hull from being pro-French (and, specifically, pro Free French).

    As an aside, it was Hull who advised Roosevelt to reject the SS St Louis, because the passengers (being refugees) didn't have a return address, and therefore couldn't be issued with a visa (which seems a fairly self-defeating ruling in regard to refugees).

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    Let me clarify (point 4) as it has nothing to do with France but with FDR. Basically, it was about his state of mind and personal prejudices. No one knows how they played a role in his political decision-making. Historians have studied and restudied without a clear resolution. As I stated before, "a difficult man to figure out especially where his moral compass was. We know he was the consummate politician and overly concerned his popularity. That is a given, but some of his decisions seemed to come out of left field at times.

    Now I do not know where you are, okay? History, as taught, in most countries tend to propagandize and glorify their roles to reflect what they want their children to believe. The USA is no different than any other country in that regard. The majority of US textbooks come out of Texas and there have been many disputes as to how they "write history" as opposed to the realities. Now if you live in the States, then you know the story behind the Texas school board and the interaction with history book publishers. I was born in Europe and we emigrated here and certainly history there is taught with a slant also. With so much historical fact protected by governments, it often takes decades to arrive at the truth through Freedom of Information Acts, etc.. Thus history is rewritten constantly.

    Long story short, history tends to be distorted on many fronts.

    So back to the points:

    1) Yes - stupid and counterproductive, considering much of the fleet wasn't even "battle ready" and that assurances had been given to Britain that the Germans would not get their hands on them and would be scuttled in the event they did.

    2) Is more complex; the public definitely did not want troops deployed, but there was also a segment of the population that felt if you supplied materials to one or the other (Allies or Axis) then you were in effect choosing a side thereby breaking the Neutrality Acts. I will agree that the consensus was that Hitler had to be stopped but WWI had left a bad taste in Americans mouth due to the fact that many felt duped into the war by arms merchants. Like I said - a complex dynamic. Much like today - Big Business Protecting Trade Interests?

    FDR, it appears, wanted to supply both sides to appease the manufacturers. Coming out of the Depression and implementation of the New Deal required money. You say he had no hesitation? Yes true, but I don't think he concerned himself with selectivity either. A sale was a sale is how many historians have put it.

    **I am not sure if you are familiar with the writings of Dr. Thomas Bailey from Stanford University in the 1970's, but he debunked many of the idiosyncrasies of American History. Although we used his text, many didn't want to use it because it was brutally honest on historical inaccuracies; i.e. the sinking of the USS Maine in Havana, which triggered the Spanish-American War. He held Spain faultless.** If you get a chance to read his earlier writings I believe you would find it interesting.

    3) I do not doubt your assertion that the planes "may have averted" France's capitulation to the Nazis. It was wrong. But I do understand the "politics" behind such a decision. My guess, and it is purely a guess when it comes to the rationale of FDR, that putting the planes into the hands of Britain probably made sense given the uncertainty of exactly where France was at that precise moment with the Nazis. That too is a complex dynamic - but Britain's political blunder with the French Fleet turned that event, right or wrong, into their favor. It certainly convinced FDR.

    But wouldn't much of the blame fall on Britain? American war production was good, but I don't think orders were being filled quickly enough either. It appears Churchill knew exactly what he was doing to sway US opinion. I don't know if I could pin 100% of the blame on the US on that point.

  • In reply to maciric:

    Agree with most of that, but the planes preceded the war itself. They were ordered by pre-war France, not by Vichy.

    The British role at the outset of the war isn't at all glorious. Contrary to the anti-French propaganda of recent times, the British were just as much defeated by the Germans at that stage (just as the Austrians, Czechs and Slovaks, Poles, Danes, Dutch, Belgians, etc, including later the Soviets), but they had the good fortune to be able to withdraw (leaving the French to cover their retreat) to an island. Considering what huge resources were required by the allies to create an invasion fleet at the end of the war (when the Germans were already out of men, materials and, importantly, fuels), it is clear that the Germans never had the capacity to create a sufficiently large invasion fleet to take Britain at the beginning of the war.

    So, Britain survived by vistue of having no land-connection with Germany, a luxury none of the other European countries had.

    And even then, when the British claimed to "stand alone against the might of the German empire", that was a farce - they stood alone with Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India, South Africa, etc, etc, etc.

    So, the mythology of the French as easy-beats and the British as winners really requires reevaluation, particularly when we examine the many mistakes made by the British leadership to begin with.

    I don't think anyone would pin 100% of the blame for events on the US at the beginning of the war - that certainly has never been my aim. However, the US did not help France by the actions it took early in the war, and FDR's attitudes towards de Gaulle and the Free French was ludicrous right to the end. Luckily, the French still managed to get sufficient material support (thanks to Ike and the State Department, as well as through the support of Churchill and others) to play a significant part in the final victory, but given the traditions of the French fighting forces, they could have played a much more significant part, had more common sense prevailed at the White House.

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    I realize the plane order was "pre-war" but given the time it took to produce them things had changed drastically in France. I agree though, France got screwed there. But like I said, one must look at FDR's state of mind; i.e. why he didn't like de Gaulle versus Stalin? Much of FDR's presidency is open for debate. The Brits made many a blunder for sure so I agree there too. Look, there is much to be desired regarding the actions on all sides during WWII and historians are rightfully revisiting the events.

    Could the French have played a greater role? Of course. You must understand, I would not question the heart, or the will, of the French people, it is the politics that I question. Sadly people of all nations get duped by their leaders all the time.

    As events continue to unfold with the Arab Spring - I still have to question the decisions made regarding Libya as opposed to Assad's Syria. Yes, it was a tragedy that Qaddafi went after his people, but you know, we still don't know very much of the rebels and who is behind them. Meanwhile things have gotten worse there while Assad gets away with the same shit against his people? Where does it all end and how do we justify the one without the other?

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    gotta be honest, this is one of the dumbest things I have ever read in my life. Whoever wrote this is an idiot. The us is involved in Libya because americans are interested in helping people obtain freedom. It has nothing to do with France. And BTW..haven't americans asked France for help before? Like someone named George Washington? Oh and didn't the USA ask France for help in the gulf war, and in vietnam war and...of course we couldn't bother to help France in 1954 when they needed our help. Sorry..seeing Idiotic posts like this really make me understand why americans irritate everyone else in the world so much.

  • In reply to pat1138:

    Glad you liked it. While Americans are interested in helping people obtain freedom, the actions of politicians don't necessarily align themselves with the "want." From a political standpoint, America's involvement in Libya is a farce and to this moment do not know who the rebels are or what their intentions are. Fighting wars on three fronts with a federal budget only China could love or profit from is insane. Comparing this involvement to aiding America during the Revolution is idiotic as well since that has nothing to do with this action. Besides, the world has changed quite a bit as has the agendas. If there was a reason to intervene anywhere in that region - it should have been against Assad's Syria.

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    I don't think we are as far off fundamentally as this discussion started when it comes to Bush II. The US lacks transparency, but so does France, Britain, so on and so forth. We all have geopolitical agendas. That is the nature of powers. I do not ever recall, though, that the US had ever said no to an ally request in stern public forums. We have backed France, Germany, England and a slew of others. If there is major disagreements and arguments, they tend to be behind the scenes as to not fracture the perceptions of the people.

    Have we all done things wrong? Of course we have, and I don't see that ending anytime soon because we have to back rogues sometimes as the lesser of two evils. They have all come back to haunt us at some point. And not just the US. We have all paid the price in blood too. Sadly, sometimes it has been all for naught because of those agendas.

    To say there have been mistakes all the way around is an understatement, at the same token we must consider how things are prosecuted and then perceived. Let us all see how this plays out, because I believe there will be a power vacuum and we do not know what the bigger picture is yet. Let's consider this too, what if Qadhafi survives this onslaught?

    I wonder if it just wasn't better to let the civil war play out and then try and pick up the pieces.

  • In reply to maciric:

    There is a *huge* difference between the lack of transparency associated with every country

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    FDR's isolation policy's are way before my time. He didn't want to back anyone initially because he wanted to profit from both sides of the war. As for Viet Nam - the US supported France since 1946 when Harry Truman was President, so WTF - the US backed France! As for taking an interest? After France cut and run after their efforts to subvert Ho Chi Minh failed and they got their asses kicked, the US under Eisenhower felt obligated to defend that shit eating corrupt regime France left behind. Selective history doesn't solve shit.

    Don't give me this holy roller bullshit where the French are angels, far from it. Hell, they played both sides too during WWII with their complicity. Your points 5 & 6 though do show the crux of it - namely French influence in Africa. Same thing we are speaking of again.

  • In reply to maciric:

    Okay, no point in further discussion as, quite clearly, you have abandoned any attempts at arriving at a reasoned argument and have sunk to simplistic name-calling.

    I hope you are happy in the imaginary world you inhibit.

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    sorry: inhabit (although inhibit might fit as well...)

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    I would think a simple answer to the original question long ago would have led to better discussion. The question remains why was France eager for an "all in" and could they not have established a No Fly Zone in tandem with England? That remains the burning point. I said they could have, considering we are already fighting two wars at great expense. It seems no one wants to proceed unless the US is involved. Hey we are tired of war.

    Based on news accounts today of a difference in opinion of the mission objective doesn't help either since France is adamant that Qaddafi is ousted, whereas the US commander felt that wasn't the objective of the UN Resolution.

  • In reply to maciric:


  • In reply to ginnyw:

    p.s. a no-fly zone did nothing for Srebriniza during the Balkin Wars, except for more genocide.

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    From what I understand of the reports, we lob the cruise missiles in, but France is supposedly providing the air power.

    Yesterday everyone was talking about Obama making ultimata, but expecting France to back them up. That hit me as somewhat backward. Also, there were the statements, such as from Mark Kirk, that we shouldn't have told Qaddafi to get lost and then let him win in Benghazi. Apparently Ghadaffi's press aide was also lying about a cease fire.

    Hence, as usual, I can't tell what to make of any of this, except that Khadaffi has it coming.

  • In reply to jack:

    Oh Yea Gadhafi deserves it, but who deserves to give it him? Naturally he was going to hit the last two strongholds irregardless of what the UN had to say. The French are notorious for ducking their obligations. They also have a tendency to play the fence, especially with their arms deals and subverting embargo's. Like I wrote above to the other person, one needs to read their history (and there is plenty). I have served from Nam to the Middle East and I have seen my share of smooth moves. My fear is that in the end, the U.S. will again shoulder the bulk of the work and take the repercussions that always follow. America is despised in the region even though we come to their aid over and over again. The only country who has exhibited a good loyalty has been Kuwait, then again most of the other nations and kingdoms don't like them very much because of their "loose adherence to Islam."

    Mark Kirk, in theory was correct. You don't threaten unless you are ready to intervene right then and there to prevent it. Obama is in a fog when it comes to understanding military strategy. I am just waiting for his "Bay of Pigs."

  • In reply to maciric:

    I'm sure the only reason Kuwait is loyal is that we saved their posteriors in about 1991.

  • In reply to jack:

    I am sure that is part of it, except the younger generation has become a little anti-American. But like I said the Kuwaitis are NOT the most revered in the region because of the flaunting of wealth

  • In reply to jack:

    As reported on MSNBC earlier: "French Defense Ministry spokesman Laurent Teisseire said from Paris that Qatar was sending warplanes to join the operation alongside French jets, as a "historic partner" of France in the Arab world."

    Is there any truth to my earlier assertions of French desire (and maybe an agenda) to stay relevant in their former North African colonial stronghold? Hmm. Read On:

    "U.S. and European military officials said the assault was only the first wave in the international operation in Libya. But already there were signs of differences over the goals. France took a more assertive stance, suggesting the allies' intervention must ultimately lead to Gadhafi's downfall. The U.S. military appeared more wary of overtly taking a side and getting pulled deeper into Libya's conflict, with the top American U.S. officer saying Gadhafi's ouster wasn't necessarily the goal."

  • In reply to maciric:

    ??? This is hardly a startling revelation on your part - of course, the French are trying to protect their well-established zone of influence in Africa. BUT, Libya isn't part of that zone - it is as peripheral to France as it is to the US.

    And whatever the US may say, there is no positive resolution to this as long as the current regime (father or son) stays in power in Libya.

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    It is true that Libya has never been part of the colonial zone, but all around it has. Imagine this scenario: the southern coast of the Mediterranean is one long buffer zone for Europe. Political Influence over that entire coastline would have its benefits.

  • In reply to maciric:

    Eehhmm... wrong again. *Not* all around it. To the East is Egypt, which was never part of the French zone of influence or interest.

    Libya was Italy's zone of interest, and Egypt fell into the area of British interest.

    *Nobody* in Europe has influence over any part of the Southern Mediterranean, only slightly closer ties than to some other countries.

    Go further east into the Middle East, and you have the mess of Israeli and anti-Israeli forces and supporters...

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    You are playing semantics I said nearly the entire coast.

  • In reply to maciric:

    So, the Southern Mediterranean MINUS

    - Libya
    - Egypt
    - Israel
    - Lebanon
    - Syria

    = *nearly* the entire coast?

    That takes some imagination - it only leaves Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia which, combined, have less coast than Libya plus a part of Egypt...

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    Again you are omitting what southern coast as to African Continent means; Morroco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya & Egypt are on the southern coast Israel, Lebanon, Syria is the eastern coast. Now you are just being contrary and asinine so we will end the conversation. Thanks for your comments.

  • In reply to maciric:

    You were *not* talking about Africa but about the Mediterranean.

    And while Israel, Lebanon and Syria may be on the south-eastern coast, they are still part of the Southern Mediterranean coast. Nor can you exclude them when talking about zones of interest or influence.

    But even if you were only speaking of Africa alone (which you were not), the French "coast of interest" is less than half.

    If you are speaking of the Southern Mediterranean being an area of interest for the European Community, then I am not sure what the point is - of course the Europeans are going to have an interest in what is happening so close to their own borders - there is nothing unusual or selfish or sinister in that.

    Lastly, the Americans have long had a peculiar interest in Libya - or have you forgotten the Marines' Song?

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    Actually I was talking about North Africa all along. Given the fact that Tunisia, Algeria have already had their uprisings, bringing down Libya, as our former governor says would be "a bleepin' Moment." Add Morocco to that corridor and that is one hell of a long stretch of influence. At this point in time I really don;t give a crap about the usual hot spots on your "south eastern coast" Israel, Lebanon, Syria et al will continue to have their troubles and occupy far more time than it is worth. My focus has been, and remains to be North Africa. That point has been repeated until the cows come home and I still don't think it will produce anything tangible in return for US interests.

    But, thanks for all your comments just the same.

  • In reply to maciric:

    Algeria had its uprising???

  • In reply to ginnyw:

    Their protests / uprising: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/01/2011171242359602.html

  • In reply to maciric:

    Not exactly the same - anyway, your article was about the US shouldn't have become involved, a decision which, unless they now employ fortune-tellers, they couldn't have based on an event of today (even if that had been conclusive - Algeria has had protests for decades without change).

    But to return to what I said a few moments ago, there seems no point continuing this discussion once you abandon historical facts in favour of xenophobic platitudes.

  • In reply to jack:

    p.s. the cost of 112 Tomahawk's? $62 million - $156 million depending on model - priceless.

  • what they call freedom I call political interest. U.S will never help unless they will get some. If they really want to help go first to North Korea or other communist country. France are responsible for many civil war in many african countries and now they decided to be the angels?? What they all want is the oil and more OIL. What is happen now to Somalia is american fault. Show me what development or better life are in Iraq or Afghanistan? none,zero. UN is also responsible for this.

  • In reply to Soba:

    I can't agree more. Thanks for your comment.

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