First Posted: 1/15/2009
The only way for France to show more disdain for the United States than it has over the last several years would be for it declare war on us. But, not to worry, we are talking about France, which leads the world in appeasement.
France's latest act of passive aggression toward the United States has been to renege - so far at least - to lead the United Nations peacekeeping effort in southern Lebanon. On Aug. 11, the United Nations passed a resolution - insert your own joke here - that called for an international force to join 15,000 Lebanese troops in the southern part of the country as Israeli troops withdrew.
The peace deal was largely brokered by the United States as a way to stop the killing in Lebanon and Israel. It came after Secretary of State Condelezza Rice had assurances from the French government that it would lead the peacekeeping effort.
As of this writing, there are about 200 French peacekeepers in southern Lebanon. On Wednesday, European Union leaders met to discuss the situation, and while it was acknowledged that more troops are needed, there was no major breakthrough. A high-level meeting is scheduled today in France that will include President Jacques Chirac, so perhaps good news is forthcoming.
Meanwhile, a very fragile peace in southern Lebanon hangs in balance.
It is well-known why France did not help the United States or our allies in the war in Iraq, but here's a quick review: France joined Russia and Germany in arming Saddam Hussein and keeping him in power by enabling him to exploit the United Nations food-for-oil program; French leaders knew a war would bring their complicity to light.
But in this latest instance, there is no excuse for France's unwillingness to work toward the sustainable peace in the Mideast that the world so covets. Our so-called ally has not only demonstrated again that it cannot be trusted, but it continues to show a willingness to try to embarrass the United States with little regard to the potential consequences.