Freedom Fries taste better
Published 7:15 am Monday, March 24, 2003
Leave it to the French. They might well take credit for the rise of the sun tomorrow, or if it snows in Minnesota, they might want credit there.
As much as the United States has done for France, the very minute the USA needs France, she is playing hooky in trying to control the United Nations.
Today in America we have many living Americans who well remember 1917 when Uncle Sam's boys went to France and, in truth, many of them never came home. But with the arrival of American troops there, Gen. John J. Pershing stood at the grave and said, "Lafayette, we are here." Of course, Lafayette and a few of his French friends, numbering hardly more than 100, did give George Washington a helping hand in our struggle for independence. But history has never recorded any outstanding service given by Lafayette and his boys. But they were here.
Now 1770, as well as 1917, are a few years apart. But, let the world never forget 1943 and that bloody and tragic battle at Normandy Beachhead. Just a few days ago, we heard an American general say that we lost more than 10,000 boys that day. We lost heavily, while the French were enjoying themselves on the sidelines. They had long ago thrown in the towel and called it quits.
Then some months later, American GIs were all set to march into Paris, but orders were changed and Gen. de Gaulle and his Free French troops, far away from the battle scene, were allowed as a friendship gesture to march down Champs Eleesa with the victory smiles shining so brightly. Then the American troops waited patiently outside.
We might cite other battles such as the Bulge but let it rest by saying when there was a job to do or a battle to fight, the French were elsewhere.
Today, as America stands at the brink of war against Iraq, the French representative in the United Nations vowed to veto the call from the USA to the Security Council to vote favorably on a motion supporting the United States. From all that we read, and all that we hear, President Bush has worked overtime lately calling French leadership as well as that of other nations. But again the French are just not interested in helping the United States.
When this Iraq crisis is over and we live in a normal world once more, we suspect the French will be explaining to the people of this universe how they helped Uncle Sam in an hour of need. And the French have a way of explaining their position that makes what they say seem creditable.
All in all, and over the years, a huge amount of American blood has been shed in the fight to set men free and particularly the French. Today, thanks are mighty feeble if they are there at all. In truth, it just seems that when this America of ours needed a little diplomatic help, the French retreated again.
No vote has been taken in the U.N. as we write this. However, the French have been loud in the condemnation of the USA position. And regardless of future events, the French will find some way to grab credit for peace.