Jeff sends us a link to the Christian Science Monitor which had this video at the end of their article on how hoo-ah the French really are despite what is our general opinion of them. They should have put the video up front. It’s supposed to be the French Foreign Legion’s 2 Parachute Regiment on their jump into Mali on January 28th and it’s supposed to dispel the myth that the French are “cheese-eating surrender monkeys”;
Yes, I have wood. Watching someone besides me make a night combat jump does that.
But the French Foreign Legion aren’t French, CSM, it’s right there in the name – the only thing French about them is where they get their paychecks. I’m not taking anything away from the French. They are doing an admirable job in Mali, but they’re a professional military force and they’re facing a bunch of people whose only training was pulling triggers without hurting themselves. Well, at first.
The CSM thinks it’s laying to rest the popular contention that Mali will be France’s Afghanistan because of the recent swift victories in Africa. Well, they might remember that it only took us weeks to toss the Taliban out of Afghanistan, too. The tough part isn’t the strategic traditional battle against the jihadists using massed fires and maneuver, it’s when the insurgency strikes that we get bogged down and the loser is the guy who tries to fight an insurgency like its on a European battlefield instead of the fact that it’s being fought in a third world shithole using third world shithole rules.
As long as we’re learning about history, it’s also time to put to rest the foolish trope so popular in some American circles that France is a wimpy has-been power that doesn’t dare get its feet wet, even in good causes. This month, they’ve beat back jihadis in Mali, at least giving the country a chance to work out its own internal problems (which of course, it may well fumble again.)
Yeah, well, it’s that last part that’ll bog the West down in Africa and it’s foolish national pride that will do it. Well, that and trying to win on the cheap with that snooty European idea that somehow in war, we’re better than they are in the way we wage war. The first time some French soldier pees on a dead jihadist and it hits the front page of Le Monde, the war is lost.