You have to hand it to the French. They’re consistent.
Four of their soldiers were killed a week ago in Afghanistan. And now they are withdrawing their troops from the country a year early, and we apparently are OK with it. The State Department congratulated the French on not being “precipitous” about it, claiming this is all part of a “managed effort” to get out of Afghanistan.
But the reality is that the French, who decades ago withdrew their troops from NATO but still expected to be defended, who refused to back the United States in the 2003 Iraq War – even rhetorically – are fleeing in the face of danger. Sarkozy is making a politically popular move as he faces a tough reelection effort.
Of course, President Obama made the French retreat much easier by setting a 2014 deadline for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. If we’re leaving anyway, the French must be thinking, why not now? It will all end up the same catastrophe in the end.
Comes another headline today, also the direct result of Mr. Obama’s policies. “Emboldened Taliban Try to Sell a Softer Image,” writes the Wall Street Journal.
They’re pretending to be moderate, like all revolutionaries do until the seize power.
And why are they emboldened? Because we announced we’re going to leave instead of announcing we’re going to win.
Which is why the French were emboldened to act like the French.
Not only will we carry the burden in Afghanistan a little longer than France, but we’ll keep on hunting down terrorists for them. The French must be aware the evildoers could strike in Paris as easily as the could New York.
And we’ll keep the world’s shipping lanes open, so that oil can get to Paris and keep the cafés warm in winter.
And we’ll spend billions on foreign aid, so the world’s despondent masses will thrive a bit more and hate the West a bit less.
Someone, I can’t remember who, wondered a few years back why we always expect the French to fight with us. The French, as they have demonstrated time and time again, are good for many things, but not fighting.
They’re good for preparing dessert, for example. They make excellent coffee. But please, not war.