Beyond Rhetoric

If you’re curious about French participation in the war on terror, take a look at this Washington Post article, which chronicles Franco-American cooperation in apprehending members of al-Qaida. It’s interesting to read that despite the “freedom fries” rhetoric and ever-popular hatred of all things French, intelligence-community professionals from both nations work together, and quite amicably at that.

Here’s a snippet:

The rarely discussed Langley-Paris connection also belies the public portrayal of acrimony between the two countries that erupted over the invasion of Iraq. Within the Bush administration, the discord was amplified by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who has claimed the lead role in the administration’s “global war on terrorism” and has sought to give the military more of a part in it.

But even as Rumsfeld was criticizing France in early 2003 for not doing its share in fighting terrorism, his U.S. Special Operations Command was finalizing a secret arrangement to put 200 French special forces under U.S. command in Afghanistan. Beginning in July 2003, its commanders have worked side by side there with U.S. commanders and CIA and National Security Agency representatives.

I don’t exactly care for French foreign policy, which seems eternally aimed at being a thorn in America’s side, but it helps to remember that civilized governments are generally on the same side in the war on terror, but chiefly differ on the particulars of how to wage that war.

Pennywit has never watched a Jerry Lewis movie, and he writes at Pennywit.com.

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