Wednesday, October 29, 2008

France as an enemy supporter

I’ve been reading Treachery, How America’s Friends and Foes are secretly arming our enemies, 2004, by Bill Gertz. Gertz begins with a description of Major Ewald, flying an A10 in the war against Saddam’s army being shot down by a French built Roland Missile. The French claimed the missile was delivered to Saddam before the U.N. imposed sanctions in 1991. The [American] ”Defense Department in February 2004 disputed that claim. The report concluded that ‘while Iraq had Roland missiles before Operation Desert Storm [the 1991 war], the serial number on the missile indicates that transfers occurred after 1991. . . Nor were missiles the only French-made war-fighting equipment the Americans discovered in the early weeks of the war. Captured Iraqi military trucks had French radios, and surrendering Iraqi officers were driving French-made pickup trucks. Americans captured numerous RPGs – rocket-propelled grenades – that had French-made night sights; many of these were dated 2002.”

Why were the French supplying Saddam military equipment at the same time his forces were firing on American and British aircraft that were overflying Iraq daily to keep Iraq from exacting revenge against the Kurds and Shiites who supported the UN forces during Desert Storm? Here in America we’ve deregulated a lot of things. Perhaps that’s the answer. France deregulated the sale of weapons and weapon manufacturers sold them to Saddam without the knowledge of the government or the people . . . Is that possible? Perhaps, but I doubt it.

Two other possibilities present themselves: 1) they sold arms to Saddam because they loved him, or 2) they gave arms to Saddam because they hated the Anglo-Americans. And since these options aren’t mutually exclusive, both could be true.

Another possibility is that the various manufacturers of the military equipment sold to Saddam could have been sold for cold-blooded-profit and no other reason. That possibility is problematic because the Iraq war was not over. A conditional truce was in effect stating that the war wouldn’t be resumed as long as Saddam behaved himself. Actually, his shooting at American and British planes every week violated the truce, but we weren’t anxious to resume the war so we turned the other cheek. Even so, for the French to collude with Saddam in his truce-breaking, which selling military equipment to him clearly was, seems rather unfriendly of them.

One thinks of the Bush Doctrine, the part where Bush said something to the effect that we are going to consider those who supported our enemy as guilty as the enemy himself. That strikes me as one of the more nonsensical things that he said. He and his staff hadn’t thought that one through – or else they had certain nations in mind and didn’t mean the French. The French had been and would continue to support our enemy and we weren’t going to do anything about it.

Despite the accusations of unilateralism (whatever that means) and Imperialism (which is nonsense) it is very hard to get America into a war. A very good case needs to be presented to the Congress and the American people before we are up for one. Getting us up to fight a war against enemy-supporter France would be an impossibility. I’ve run various scenarios through my mind and can’t think of a French provocation so severe that we would declare war against them. Besides, we’ve plenty of Leftists here in our own nation who supported Saddam. They claimed they were only opposing the war against him, but he could do nothing so horrible that they would want to remove him from power. Bush, they said, was horrible and should be impeached, but Saddam should be left alone – a squirrelly crew they were, and still are if the truth be known. They are all out there today trying to get Obama elected. Shoot, if the truth be known and they had the ability, our own Leftists would have sold Saddam Roland Missiles.


Lawrence Helm

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