Jim Brown’s Weekly Column: Two Cheers for the French – Especially in Louisiana

Thursday, September 19th, 2013
Baton Rouge, Louisiana


As President Obama is bluntly finding out, it can be lonely out on a limb when the rest of the world fails to respond to a call for help. Despite the yeoman efforts of his administration, only a few other nations are even paying lip service to the President’s call for military help in response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons, which killed more than 1,400 Syrians, including hundreds of children, when it was unleashed in a Damascus suburb on August 21. Even our once staunchest alley, Great Britain, has been sidelined by its parliament who voted overwhelming to stay out of any military action. Only one other major power has agreed to stand side by side with the President and his call for military intervention if all else fails. France.

France? Are you kidding? Wasn’t it the French, under then-President Jacques Chirac, who strongly opposed invading Iraq? And if you go back to the 1960s, those of us who are a little older will remember French President Charles De Gaulle’s strong opposition to America entering Vietnam. Since we have little to show for the billions spent and the lives lost in both invasions, maybe the French opposition wasn’t all that bad an idea.

However, the French have received little appreciation or even a few good words from American military leaders. Who can forget General Norman Schwarzkopf’s comment that, “Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion.” And then there was General George Patton in World War II who said, “I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me.”

And boy, have we gotten mad at the lack of French support. In the congressional cafeteria at the nation’s capitol, they changed the menu from French fries to freedom fries. That really showed them. And for the record, I don’t remember reading of any politician advocating the probation of French kissing. Continue Reading……….

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