The list of McChrystal's vulgar attacks on the administration was long and appalling. But President Obama was reportedly even more incensed by the contempt shown America's allies, above all the French.
Unlike most Europeans in Afghanistan, the French have done serious fighting -- at the cost of more than 40 soldiers' lives. (The biggest French unit, located in Kapisa Province, is named Brigade La Fayette.)
Just last October, Stars and Stripes reported that "the French military is going toe-to-toe with the Taliban, shedding blood and proving a worthy partner in Afghanistan," according to U.S. officers.
French marines were tasked with calming the Tagab Valley, a place the Soviets couldn't pacify in the 1980s. The article quotes one American solider saying that he liked patrolling with the French because "they roll out heavy."
The first French soldier landed in Afghanistan within three months of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America. A poll taken right after the terrorist outrage showed 96 percent of the French public "in solidarity" with the United States.
Nonetheless, when France refused to go along with the Iraq War, yahoos in Congress forced the House of Representatives cafeteria to change the name of French fries to freedom fries. (Three years ago, the old name was restored.) Dimwits in the U.S. media ridiculed the French as cowards.
When it comes to facing down terrorism, the French have been tougher than most. And so why do American leaders become so deranged on those occasions when the French see their national interests as other than ours?
An outbreak of American buffoonery toward the French seems never far below surface. McChrystal, the Rolling Stone piece said, resented playing the diplomat, though that's part of the job. He also hated going to posh Parisian restaurants with candles on the table. Well, suck it up, general.
Lafayette had his differences with Gen. Washington, but in his public comments, he never offered anything other than the highest praise for the founding father. Lafayette, we are embarrassed.
Friday, July 2, 2010
From RealClearPolitics (h/t Polly-Vous Français):