Tuesday, April 15, 2003

From Eric Tam:

Hey, Steven "Le Nuke" Den Beste, Michael Ledeen, William Safire, and all of you other whackjob righties who argued that the French and the Germans were in some sort of insane conspiratorial alliance with Saddam Hussein and/or fundamentalist Muslim groups to assault the United States, repeat after me:

Those French and German soldiers are still in Afghanistan.

That's right. Not once, during the entire UN imbroglio did either France or Germany utter a word about the contribution of its vitally needed troops from the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. This was the Bush Administration, that holy defender of muscular humanitarianism, who threatened to withdraw American participation from the Bosnia peacekeeping mission so as to get its way with the International Criminal Court. In other words, it held the peacekeeping mission hostage as a foreign policy bargaining chip.

Given this difference in behaviour, it's incredible to me that so many Americans could sincerely assert the humanity of the American power and the perfidity of the Europeans. Do they realize how important ISAF is to the thin line between Karzai's very fragile regime in Kabul and an Afghanistan that's completely at the mercy of the Taliban or a bunch of warlord thugs? Or that the U.S. continues to refuse to lend support for its expansion outside of Kabul?

The next time you hear someone mouthing off about Freedom Fries or some other such nonsense, remember Bill's mantra about our European friends. And say it after me again:

Those French and German soldiers are still in Afghanistan.
Not much more that needs to be said, except that the action in Afghanistan wasn't even under the U.N.- the French and Germans are there solely because they're supporting the Americans in that. It's certainly true that one of the reasons they're there is because they don't want the heat for leaving, but as Kleiman mentioned, that doesn't mean that they still couldn't, and that it doesn't matter that they're still there.

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