An alliance is not a boss-employee relationship. The US vocally opposed our colonial war in Algeria, with good reasons IMO, and we didn't wine that the alliance was being put in question...
Who said it was?
It's difficult to discuss these things with Europeans as a great many of you tend to be over sensitive to anything that might suggest America sees your country as a junior partner. In any case, I suspect there was a lot of whining going on back then. We just didn't have the internet and 24 hour news services to capture it. If you were of an age to appreciate what was going on I feel certain you opposed your government's actions, and as such you were unlikely to fault other nations for not supporting it. Clearly, not everyone in France was in opposition to that war.
Chirac is on record saying that the Iraq war would create "many Ben Ladens". And he was right.
I don't doubt that he did, my point was that I don't believe this was the only reason for opposition. If you do, that's your option. Unlike many who participate in this forum I think a certain degree of patriotism is a good thing. With or without the Iraq invasion the ranks of the jihadis would have grown. France didn't participate and yet the attack on Paris occurred. The staff of Charlie Hebdoe weren't part of an invading force and yet they are dead. Europeans are pachyderms compared to Islamists.
We're not that stupid, thank you.
Which is what I stated, but apparently you didn't read further then the bit that steamed you.
Any French response will be in self-defense, in response to an act of war, which the Iraq war wasn't. That makes a big difference.
Not to the Muslims that are killed as a result of French attacks. You seem to have the mistaken idea that I am somehow criticizing France for it's response to the attack. I'm not at all. They do intend to hit back on ISIS (a good move) and they do intend to ask their allies for assistance (as they should). However, despite all of the pompous hot air from Kerry of Vietnam, I'm afraid France is likely to be disappointed by the level of assistance it receives from my country and it won't be because of any hard feelings left over from Iraq. Obama, unlike many of the elitist white
progressives who support him, is not a particularly big fan of Europe. He doesn't seem to be able to forget or forgive Europe's colonial period and the very rough treatment of native populations that marked it. It probably has something to do with his father and step-father.
In any case if you think that French counter-attacks will somehow be exempt from the appeasing lot's calculus that retribution breeds terrorists simply because they are a just response, you're mistaken. First of all the Islamists and their supporters don't think they need to be punished. For them, the attack on Paris was itself just retribution. Secondly, the apolitical families and friends of apolitical Muslims who end up as French collateral damage (and there will be some of that) are not going to analyze their losses in terms of whether or not France was justified, they are going to view France as just another head on Western hydra that is at war with Islam and Muslims. If they were inclined to become terrorists such deaths will be all the impetus they need. Finally the entire premise of the reaction results in terrorists
theory is based on a belief that the West is guilty of original sin in this matter: colonialism. Everything that is done to it, by the peoples it exploited, thereafter is fundamentally deserved and we Westerners just need to shut up and take our medicine so all of the hate that has been festering since the Colonial Glory Days can dissipate. Each time we have the nerve to defend ourselves or retaliate (and let's face it, the desire and need for retaliation is a big factor in France's aggressive response) we piss off more Muslims and create more terrorists, or so the theory goes. Since the West began this mess, it's up to us to take the blows necessary to break the cycle.
Of course the theory doesn't seem to contemplate the reality that the Islamists will not be content with somehow evening the score. They're not looking for a catharsis of violence which might at some point come to an end when they perceive we have suffered enough and learned our lesson. They really do entertain fantasies of establishing a caliphate that is a good bit larger that its current size which approximates Britain's, and eventually converting the world to Islam; and by the sword if necessary. It's mad, of course, but then so is what they do to their hostages and prisoners. So is executing young people at a concert in Paris, one by one, and then blowing themselves up when their righteous activity is forced to come to an end by French police.
It's not atypical for people's principles to be malleable and dependent upon whether or not their ox is being gored. If an aggressive and violent reponse to Islamists is certain to give birth to new terrorists, who would otherwise not exist, and this is fundamentally a very bad thing which should take precedent over other considerations in determining foreign policy and national action,then it really doesn't matter whether anyone believes the aggressive violent response is morally justified. It will have the same bad result as a similar response that is based on some half-assed notion of machismo or economic gain. It's does create a potentially interesting debate, though, wherein one nation argues that while the terrorists they've created
were necessary evils that couldn't be helped, the ones the other nation created were superfluous and a waste. After all we can only afford to create so many terrorists at any given time and if the US filled the quota with it's stupid invasion of Iraq, that makes it tough for other nations to justly create their share.
I will reiterate my position so that it is clear. I feel horrible for what the people of Paris endured. Watching the coverage and hearing talking heads report that someone in the concert hall was tweeting " They are killing the world, one by one," brought back terrible memories from 9/11 and made me sick to my stomach.
I don't believe that France (and certainly not the slain Parisians and those from other towns and countries) deserved to be attacked or did anything to bring the attack down on itself. Whether or not Syrian immigrants allowed into your country were properly screened (if that is even possible) is something your government should determine before it allows any more in, but by seeding terrorists among suffering people given asylum, ISIS, with evil cynicism took advantage of the generosity and kindness of the French people. That the murderers had the audacity to cry "This is for Syria" as they gunned people down is beyond belief.
Your president's response to the attack has thus far been nearly perfect as far as I can tell and the attacks launched against ISIS by French fighter planes was perfectly justified. I don't think France needs to concern itself over whether or not its attacks will lead to the creation of new terrorists. That is not the paramount consideration at hand. Even assuming the counter-attacks can be cited as the reason 18 new terrorists joined the ranks of ISIS, in their absence the same 18 young men would have become jihadis, but instead of a French air attack, a Danish cartoon or American pastor burning the Koran would have been their justification.
France should request the assistance of its allies in striking back against ISIS, and its allies, especially the US, should do all they can in support (and they can do quite a lot more than what is currently being talked about.
I am not going to change nor apologize for my opinions concerning France's quality as an ally at certain times in our history, but I recognize it as a valuable one and since we are part of an alliance with your country, we need to honor it. The past squabbles are of no impact at this time.
I sincerely hope and actually believe that the threat of a follow-up attack is very minimal but I recall how here in the US we were frightened for weeks; expecting additional attacks.
I can't say with certainty, but I have a sense that like 9/11 this attacks with be a game changer for France and the French. It is a terrible way to induce an appreciation of the world for what it is and not what we wish it would be, but clarity as respects reality is a good thing. Not everyone in France will see it this way and once the initial shock begins to wear off you are probably in for a serious debate about the future path of France. It may even get ugly. The terrorists accomplished what they set out to do, They injected terror in the everyday lives of at least Paris and probably the whole nation. Like most nations France has experienced terrorist attacks in the past, but this one was different in terms of scale and the random nature of the death and maiming. People could and did argue about whether or not the Charlie Hebdoe staff unnecessarily invited their deaths but the same can't be said for the victims of this attack. No one who kept their heads down and showed anything but "respect" for Islam and its prophet was any safer than anyone else.
They have also given cause for a great deal of anger in Paris and the nation and some have opined this too was part of their plan; that they hope the people of France will now act with anger and resentment towards Muslim citizens and immigrants, thereby setting the stage for (what else?) the recruitment of new "home grown" terrorists and the potential for new and continuous violence . I'm sure they will be quite happy if this attack leads to turmoil between Muslim and non-Muslim in European cities, but before this attack occurred, they demonstrated to the world that they revel in death and destruction. They truly are an army of psychopaths, and for such monsters I think it was enough that they could display their barbaric power in a major European city and thereby instill fear and despair.
Finally, I wish nothing but healing and grace for the people of Paris and France and to the extent my voice will be heard here, it will be calling for my nation to fully support yours in whatever action it believes it must undertake. I feel certain I will not, by any means, be alone, but I don't think this administration will begin listening to the will of the American people now.