From Jules Crittenden of the Boston Herald:
The heady moment of peace brokering having passed, upon sober reflection, the French now say they already have a general and some staff in south Lebanon ordering about UNIFIL, the U.N. monitoring entity there. That’s plenty of leadership, the French suggested: All France needs to contribute now is another 200 combat engineers...
...The United Nations, which is trying to salvage what is left of its own self-respect after the utter failure of UNIFIL in Lebanon, is now publicly begging European nations to contribute troops.
To find the last plain-speaking French leader, it is necessary to go back to Napoleon Bonaparte. He said he was going to take over Europe, and proceeded to do so.
...More recently, we’ve seen the naked hypocrisy of Dominic de Villepin in the United Nations, braying about his humanitarian concerns for the Iraqi people, while trying to ensure mass murderer Saddam Hussein remained in power to honor his French contracts.
...The shamelessness of France knows no bounds. They have a domestic Arabic population and business interests in the Mideast to satisfy. They desperately want to be taken seriously as a major power. So they sat down with the United States and hammered out a peace plan. Then, before the ink was dry, they shrugged a Gallic shrug...
France may indeed be desperate to be seen as a world power; yet they act like any other third-world country. Compare its efforts with the rest of Europe:
Italy's cabinet and two chambers of parliament agreed Friday to send an unspecified number of troops to south Lebanon...
...Finland announced Friday that it will send 250 troops by November to help the Lebanese army police a demilitarized zone reaching from Lebanon's border with Israel to the Litani River.
....U.N. officials had anticipated that France would lead a mostly European advance force, but Malloch Brown said Italy is the only major European power to make a "firm commitment" to provide "frontline troops" in the vital first phase of the deployment. "It's clear they will be part of the first wave of troops," he said.
Malloch Brown said the United Nations is now looking to poorer countries -- including Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Nepal -- that have pledged nearly 4,000 troops but are unable to get their forces to southern Lebanon.
Shame on France, whose economic resources outweigh most of the countries listed above. Too bad the great poverty of France lies within her people's hearts and soul; a people whom cannot look one meter past their own self-interest.
What to do? Well, Jim Hoagland in today's Washington Post doesn't come out and say it, but he is on the right track:
Japanese membership on the Security Council is a necessary first step toward serious reform of the world body. Tokyo should help clear the way for that step by removing the inscriptions that honor war criminals at Yasukuni.
Germany's case for Security Council membership is complicated by the fact that Europe already has seats held by France and Britain. Chancellor Angela Merkel has prudently deferred the once-insistent push by Germany for its own seat. But Germany and Japan both deserve to be heard and treated as the responsible international partners they have become across six decades.
It is time to diminish the international stature of France, who would have lost WWI if not for America, had to be rescued by America in WWII after their shameful refusal to fight the Nazis in 1939, and have done little else since except run interference for tin-pot dictators and terrorists, while always keeping a sharp eye out for a way to make a few francs on the side.
Japan especially has done its penance, and has turned into a responsible "Western" nation. And while Germany has its flaws, I would have more faith in their army to protect Israel in Southern Lebanon than the French, who can be assured to turn tail at the first sign of a fight.
Time to put the old French poodle to sleep....