What French “Presence”?

Squeezed January 8, 2006

OK, folks who are collecting criminal bloopers, here’s one for you.

A French national by the name of Bernard Planche was held for over a month by an Iraqi terrorist group. Now, of course, this in itself is a reprehensible act, no doubt. But their raison d’etre is rather dubious:

A group calling itself “Surveillance for Iraq” had threatened to kill him unless France ended its “illegitimate presence” in the country.

Zut, alors! French “presence”? That’s akin to complying with a request for ID when trying to stick up a bank. Obviously they’re not part of al-Qaeda; I don’t think even Osama bin Laden would want to be associated with people that dumb. France never was, is not now, and never will be, part of the coalition. I’m willing to bet that the French “presence” would cease to exist once Planche left the country. Of course, that’s no reason for this group to engage in kidnapping and threats to make it so.

The French government had been working to gain Planche’s release, and rightfully so, but the fact that he was released without a fight, and alive, makes me wonder. I bet someone finally realized, “Hey, Abdul, France has no presence in this country…we look stupid now. I think we’d better release the guy.”

OK, maybe the war on terrorism CAN be won after all.

One Response to “What French “Presence”?”

  1. eric Says:

    There is a French Embassy still in operation over there, but that is not what these guys wanted to end. You only need to be smarter than your enemies – and W does not really give them a high bar to measure up to.

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