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Tuesday, March 11, 2003


Further adventures in idiotarianism: Herr Professor Doktor Reynolds excerpts from a UPI wire report that the Portuguese are siding with the U.S. The report quotes Foreign Minister Antonio Martins da Cruz thus
"I think it would be NATO who would come to our rescue, in other words, it would be the U.S., no one else would defend us. For instance, during the 1996 mission in Bosnia, operations took place with the support of 20 satellites, of which only one was European," and the remainder belonged to the U.S.

"If we were attacked, is that what they would offer to defend us? How curious is this: in Bosnia, when we were called to send soldiers urgently to that region, the U.S. had C-17 and C-130 planes, and France leased ferry boats, which during the summer are employed in tourist services to Corsica.
The good doctor follows the quote with his customary smarm, saying simply that, "Reality asserts itself." Or at least his, ahem, privileged version of reality.

Let us go back not to the realities of post-Paris peace 1996, but to 1994, when aggressions in Bosnia were at their most egregious. What would GHR - a huge fan of U.S. unilateralism and a huge detractor of France for the French refusal to applaud U.S. unilateralism - have said at the time if he had read this January 28, 1994, Washington Post article detailing a then current U.S.-French rift:
Behind the statement and counter-statement, charge and countercharge that have filled the air for the past week, the two nations are by all accounts locked into their positions: France wants unequivocal U.S. action to break the Bosnia stalemate, and the United States is unwilling to take any new initiatives, either military or diplomatic.
Just three days earlier, the New York Times indicated the Americans had earlier supported air strikes to complement a scheme to arm Bosnian Muslims, but that after Bosnian gains on the battlefield, Washington had become "content to let the 21-month war drag on" and was refusing to deploy its own troops "until there is a workable peace settlement in place." (i.e., it was refusing to implement the necessary prerequisites for a peace settlement until a peace settlement was in place.)

By November 27, 1994, matters had deteriorated to such a degree that the Washington Post was writing of has "the most serious breach of trust between the United States and the European allies in almost four decades," with "allied governments...openly questioning the reliability of American security commitments in Europe." An Axis of One?

U.S. Marines were reported by CNN as departing for the Adriatic as a "precaution" in late May 1995. Their number was given as 2,000. The French had 3,800 troops on the ground in Bosnia at the time. In June the formation of a rapid deployment force was announced. Defense Secretary William Perry offered air support for the force but not troops to supplement its ranks. Under pressure from Republican House members Robert Livingston, Ben Gilman, and Harold Rogers, Slick Willie Clinton, honoring obligations in what the warbloggers call the Franco-German mode, "backed away from his secret agreement to help fund a $700 million rapid-reaction force to protect U.N. forces in Bosnia" (Washington Times: June 15, 1995).

This is an obviously incomplete and one-sided telling of the story. It's not the most remote of histories, so I'm sure even Reynolds' blog-addled brain can recall what I omit. I add the above only to note that back then France was deriding Anglo-American "spinelessness," and that that fraction of an analysis was at the time woefully unhelpful. Likewise are the sputterings of Glenn Harlan Reynolds and his illiterate ilk.

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