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American troops through a French infantryman's eyes
americanthinker.com/ ^ | 11/21/08 | Thomas Lifson

Posted on 11/21/2008 11:13:02 AM PST by DogBarkTree

hockingly positive views of our forces in Afghanistan are revealed in this translation of a post by a French OMLT (Operational Mentoring Liaison Teams) infantryman working with our toops there. A couple of brief excerpts:

Heavily built, fed at the earliest age with Gatorade, proteins and creatine - they are all heads and shoulders taller than us and their muscles remind us of Rambo. Our frames are amusingly skinny to them - we are wimps, even the strongest of us - and because of that they often mistake us for Afghans. [....]

Each man knows he can count on the support of a whole people who provides them through the mail all that an American could miss in such a remote front-line location : books, chewing gums, razorblades, Gatorade, toothpaste etc. in such way that every man is aware of how much the American people backs him in his difficult mission. And that is a first shock to our preconceptions : the American soldier is no individualist. The team, the group, the combat team are the focus of all his attention.

And they are impressive warriors ! We have not come across bad ones, as strange at it may seem to you when you know how critical French people can be. Even if some of them are a bit on the heavy side, all of them provide us everyday with lessons in infantry know-how. Beyond the wearing of a combat kit that never seem to discomfort them (helmet strap, helmet, combat goggles, rifles etc.) the long hours of watch at the outpost never seem to annoy them in the slightest. On the one square meter wooden tower above the perimeter wall they stand the five consecutive hours in full battle rattle and night vision goggles on top, their sight unmoving in the directions of likely danger. No distractions, no pauses, they are like statues nights and days. At night, all movements are performed in the dark - only a handful of subdued red lights indicate the occasional presence of a soldier on the move. Same with the vehicles whose lights are covered - everything happens in pitch dark even filling the fuel tanks with the Japy pump.

The superb Jules Crittenden brought this to our attention. Read the whole thing here or here.

It is still popular, among conservatives in particular, to depict the French as implacable foes of everything American. Certainly the French left can be despicable, and nobody does snobbery better than the French. But I have been urging American conservatives to understand that we have many friends in France, that President Sarkozy is a worthy ally, and that we must remember the mutual aid that has characterized our relations from the American Revolution through two World Wars. The French are a highly accomplished nation, with some faults (who lacks them?) and many virtues.


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; anamericansoldier; frenchtroops; oef; usmilitary
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My respect for the French went up when they elected Sarkozy.
1 posted on 11/21/2008 11:13:05 AM PST by DogBarkTree
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To: DogBarkTree

Ditto


2 posted on 11/21/2008 11:16:00 AM PST by null and void (0bama is Gorbachev treating a dying system with the same poison that's killing it in the first place)
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To: DogBarkTree

Interesting read. Thanks for posting. Most of us know that not all the French think the same. Only American Democrats do that.


3 posted on 11/21/2008 11:19:31 AM PST by LiberConservative (Typical white guy)
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To: DogBarkTree
nobody does snobbery better than the French

as the French Ambassador once quipped "even the French dislike the French"

4 posted on 11/21/2008 11:20:17 AM PST by SFR
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To: DogBarkTree

Was the speaker Legion or French Regular Army?


5 posted on 11/21/2008 11:20:36 AM PST by SMARTY ("Stay together, pay the soldiers and forget everything else" Lucius Septimus Severus)
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To: DogBarkTree

You know the world is screwed up when France turns Conservative and the US turns Socialist.


6 posted on 11/21/2008 11:20:48 AM PST by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric cartman voice* 'I love you guys')
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To: null and void

Somebody give us a good link to the original article. It’s realy nice to read something good about our heroes. Where do we get such men?


7 posted on 11/21/2008 11:21:16 AM PST by WVNan
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To: bellas_sister

This is gorgeous.


8 posted on 11/21/2008 11:22:39 AM PST by Deb (Beat him, strip him and bring him to my tent!)
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To: DogBarkTree

Read the fully translated one and it very nice to read, almost mythical in the way it is written. Sort of the Spartan and the chicken type of tale. Kudos to that French soldier, and to all of them in Afghanistan.


9 posted on 11/21/2008 11:23:23 AM PST by aft_lizard (One animal actually eats its own brains to conserve energy, we call them liberals.)
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To: DogBarkTree
Each man knows he can count on the support of a whole people who provides them through the mail all that an American could miss in such a remote front-line location : books, chewing gums, razorblades, Gatorade, toothpaste etc. in such way that every man is aware of how much the American people backs him in his difficult mission.

That's right. We support our troops.
We take PRIDE in supporting our troops, not only with what they need, but also with what they WANT sometimes.

10 posted on 11/21/2008 11:24:46 AM PST by Just another Joe (Warning: FReeping can be addictive and helpful to your mental health)
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To: WVNan

http://www.julescrittenden.com/2008/11/20/french-soldier-recruited/


11 posted on 11/21/2008 11:27:15 AM PST by Red Badger (Never has a man risen so far, so fast and is expected to do so much, for so many, with so little...)
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To: WVNan
Someone should post it again so credit is properly given:

http://serendipity.ruwenzori.net/index.php/2008/09/21/american-troops-in-afghanistan-through-the-eyes-of-a-french-omlt-infantryman.

12 posted on 11/21/2008 11:27:34 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: DogBarkTree

Exactly-I would vote for Sarkozy over Obama 100 times out of 100. Other than the US and Spain, almost every country has lurched right.


13 posted on 11/21/2008 11:27:44 AM PST by MattinNJ (The time of mourning is over. Sanford/Palin in 2012 or Palin/Sanford)
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To: DogBarkTree

Spend some time in France and you will learn to love the average real French citizen.

They are polite, hospitable, and if you make a modicum of effort to speak their language most will insist on speaking English to you so that they can practice it.

My wife and I found nothing but friendly people there.


14 posted on 11/21/2008 11:29:22 AM PST by Jonathan
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To: DogBarkTree

bump


15 posted on 11/21/2008 11:29:46 AM PST by Skooz (Gabba Gabba we accept you we accept you one of us Gabba Gabba we accept you we accept you one of us)
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To: null and void
"from what we have been given to witness, the American soldier is a beautiful and worthy heir to those who liberated France and Europe."

What a wonderful and well deserved complement!

But, it saddens me a bit that it takes an outside observer to point this out, while so much of our own press is busy buggering themselves and spitting out untruths about Haditha, Gitmo, Sarah Palin's apparel, etc.

16 posted on 11/21/2008 11:30:23 AM PST by DonGrafico (Underwriting America's permanent underclass since 1975)
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To: DogBarkTree

I enjoyed that. Thanks!


17 posted on 11/21/2008 11:31:26 AM PST by JohnMac
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To: DogBarkTree; Atlantic Friend

France was redeemed when they rejected the EU Constitution. It’s unfortunate that the people are not being allowed to vote on the latest attempts to usurp their power.


18 posted on 11/21/2008 11:33:23 AM PST by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: DogBarkTree; Quix; SwinneySwitch

Excellent! Thanks for posting. Read the whole thing Quix. Very short, very powerful.


19 posted on 11/21/2008 11:33:27 AM PST by houeto
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To: DogBarkTree; Fred Nerks; Allegra
Someone should tatoo this story onto Obama's hide.

Chances are what the French are seeing now will be gone in 4 short years.

One prays not.

( Allegra Ping)

20 posted on 11/21/2008 11:36:19 AM PST by Candor7 (Fascism? All it takes is for good men to say nothing, ( member NRA)
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To: DogBarkTree
And combat ? If you have seen Rambo you have seen it all - always coming to the rescue when one of our teams gets in trouble, and always in the shortest delay. That is one of their tricks : they switch from T-shirt and sandals to combat ready in three minutes. Arriving in contact with the enemy, the way they fight is simple and disconcerting : they just charge ! They disembark and assault in stride, they bomb first and ask questions later - which cuts any pussyfooting short.
Gen. Patton would be proud.
21 posted on 11/21/2008 11:38:13 AM PST by AFreeBird
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To: DogBarkTree

Lafayette, we are still here.


22 posted on 11/21/2008 11:39:21 AM PST by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: DogBarkTree
"they are all heads and shoulders taller than us and their muscles remind us of Rambo."

Ooh la la!

23 posted on 11/21/2008 11:40:57 AM PST by Enterprise (No oil for Democrats!)
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To: aft_lizard

I agree.. it was a wonderful translation to read. Our troops fully deserve such grand recognition!


24 posted on 11/21/2008 11:51:06 AM PST by Crolis (Kill your television!)
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To: DogBarkTree

ping


25 posted on 11/21/2008 12:12:16 PM PST by Doogle (USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
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To: Jonathan

I’ve heard wonderful things about the French people outside of Paris. My wife and I hope visit the French countryside someday.


26 posted on 11/21/2008 12:17:41 PM PST by DogBarkTree (Sometimes you have to let it go in order to get a Grip.)
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To: DogBarkTree

Bookmark.


27 posted on 11/21/2008 12:31:24 PM PST by Sergio (If a tree fell on a mime in the forest, would he make a sound?)
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To: DogBarkTree
Well, God bless this Frenchman.

To hear the Brits tell it (at least one's I've heard), American soldiers are best at accidentally shooting & bombing themselves and their allies.

28 posted on 11/21/2008 1:23:18 PM PST by skeeter (Its Barry's fault)
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To: Jonathan

Clearly you were off the beaten path.

In the tourist towns there are either obsessively polite (because they want your money) or obnoxiously critical (because they think they’re superior).


29 posted on 11/21/2008 1:24:52 PM PST by tom h
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To: DogBarkTree

Sarkozy might be President but they are still French.

Question: how do know a French rifle?

Answer: never been fired and only dropped once.


30 posted on 11/21/2008 1:25:42 PM PST by tom h
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To: DogBarkTree

Wonder if the author met my son who is a Specialist serving with the First Infantry Division, 2-2 Infantry Regiment, in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

If you would like to say “Thank You” to Garrett I have posted his mailing address in Kandahar.

SPC Garrett D. Harriman
Charlie Co 2-2 Infantry
K.A.F.
APO AE 09355

Hooah!!

PresidentFelon


31 posted on 11/21/2008 1:28:15 PM PST by PresidentFelon
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To: tom h
Alot of the anti-Americanism is illogical & knee-jerk (just like here).

According to the ones I've met, once I was able to cut through the automatic bias they were as warm a people as I've met anywhere else.

32 posted on 11/21/2008 1:35:29 PM PST by skeeter (Its Barry's fault)
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To: Red Badger; 1rudeboy

Thank you both. I truly enjoyed reading this. We hear so much negative from our own press, it’s surreal sometimes to hear praise.


33 posted on 11/21/2008 2:17:48 PM PST by WVNan
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To: DogBarkTree

A French Soldier’s Tribute To The American Soldiers He Served Beside In Afghanistan at http://patdollard.com/2008/11/a-french-soldiers-tribute-to-the-american-soldiers-he-served-beside-in-afghanistan/


34 posted on 11/21/2008 3:14:26 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
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To: Candor7

This really needs to go out to somebody’s ping list....
No compliment is so moving as that which arrives from an unexpected quarter....


35 posted on 11/21/2008 3:43:09 PM PST by Uriah_lost (There is no balm in Gilead....)
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To: SMARTY

Doesn’t say, might be the L’OMLT de la Legion Etrangère - but they (the French) alsouse Para and Mountain troops (Troupes de Montagne or one of the three numbered Bataillon de Chasseurs Alpins )

I doubt the person quoted was Legion Etrangère - they tend to trash talk anybody NOT in the Legion.


36 posted on 11/21/2008 3:48:14 PM PST by ASOC
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To: DogBarkTree
I read the enire thing, and there is one funny part where he describes American breakfast food. He mentions creamed, peppered, salty, dried beef on salty dough balls. I had no idea what he meant, until someone pointed out it was biscuits and gravy !

Actually he liked the food a lot, even the MRE's.

37 posted on 11/21/2008 4:45:10 PM PST by Red Boots
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To: Uriah_lost; LucyT
This really needs to go out to somebody’s ping list.... No compliment is so moving as that which arrives from an unexpected quarter....>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I agree. In that cause I am pinging the greatest Pingster I know, LucyT

Maybe she will know of someone who operates a military Ping List.

38 posted on 11/21/2008 4:46:38 PM PST by Candor7 (Fascism? All it takes is for good men to say nothing, ( member NRA)
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To: Red Boots

That’s not called biscuits and gravy, it’s proper military name is $hit on a shingle, or just plain SOS!


39 posted on 11/21/2008 4:51:48 PM PST by Alas Babylon!
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To: DogBarkTree

Cool


40 posted on 11/21/2008 5:00:40 PM PST by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: DogBarkTree; neverdem; SoldierDad; Marine_Uncle; 1COUNTER-MORTER-68; PGalt; marron; LS; freema; ...

BTTT

All, this is a must read! It is amazing that the French Soldier is more appreciative of our Troops than about 50% of the country. You will truly enjoy this read. : )

God Bless each and everyone of our Troopers and their families.


41 posted on 11/21/2008 5:15:03 PM PST by Chgogal (Voting "Present" 130 times might be a sign of a smart politician. It is not a sign of a good leader.)
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To: Chgogal

Thanks for the ping.


42 posted on 11/21/2008 5:28:44 PM PST by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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To: LucyT; 91B; HiJinx; MJY1288; xzins; Calpernia; clintonh8r; TEXOKIE; windchime; freekitty; ...

Interesting


43 posted on 11/21/2008 5:30:28 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
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To: DogBarkTree
Certainly the French left can be despicable

The key is "left". They aren't any nicer when they are home-grown american left.

44 posted on 11/21/2008 6:03:28 PM PST by marron
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To: Chgogal

Thanks Chgogal for pinging me, so I went and followed the links and read the whole article and was humbled. Then I remember that I saved a brief French video of a unit in Aghanistan serving with an American unit. They too were very complimentary and developed a close camaraderie and also remarked how quick the US troops were to come to their aid if needed.

Then I recalled that there was a French unit that lost I believe 18 soldiers recently, a terrible loss. They fought like tigers too and God bless them all. We must honor our allies who stand by us.


45 posted on 11/21/2008 6:17:55 PM PST by brushcop (We remember SSG Harrison Brown, PVT Andrew Simmons B CO 2/69 3ID KIA Iraq OIF IV)
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To: brushcop
It seems that our French Ally lost nine Soldiers from their 8th PIR on August 19th. Prayers for all our Coalition Troopers and their families. You can find the information below. (We lost two of our finest today. My deepest condolences to the families and Godspeed to the ones we lost. We buried Jonnie Stiles today in Colorado. Prayers are sent his and his family's way.)

http://icasualties.org/oef/Afghanistan.aspx

For the French OMLT website you can go here:
http://omlt3-kdk3.over-blog.com/

To read an American Soldier's thoughts of his French Comrades you can find it here (interesting comment about French Int vs. our Int):
http://omlt3-kdk3.over-blog.com/article-23490741.html

To refresh one's high school French you can read the French Soldier's original’s comments as he posted them here:
http://omlt3-kdk3.over-blog.com/article-22935665.html

46 posted on 11/21/2008 6:55:11 PM PST by Chgogal (Voting "Present" 130 times might be a sign of a smart politician. It is not a sign of a good leader.)
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To: houeto

THAT IS A WONDERFUL READ.

THANKS BIG.

I’ve met a number of wonderful French folks.

I’ve also met quite a number of French folks who seemed to think that God had to consult THEM to keep the universe running. LOL.


47 posted on 11/21/2008 7:24:51 PM PST by Quix (LAWLESS LEADER QUOTES FM 1900: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2130557/posts?page=81#81)
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To: Chgogal

Yes. I read this article earlier on, as I have visited FR on and off this evening. Our men and women serve with honor.


48 posted on 11/21/2008 11:24:05 PM PST by Marine_Uncle (Duncan Hunter was our best choice.)
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To: SMARTY; DogBarkTree

> Was the speaker Legion or French Regular Army?

Interesting — I had the same question pop thru my mind. The French Foreign Legion is a very impressive elite force not to be trifled with and not to be dismissed lightly.


49 posted on 11/22/2008 12:54:14 AM PST by DieHard the Hunter (Is mise an ceann-cinnidh. Cha ghéill mi do dhuine. Fàg am bealach.)
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To: Chgogal

Really good. I sent this to my students in my “Technology & Culture of War” class.


50 posted on 11/22/2008 4:18:13 AM PST by LS ("Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually." (Hendrix))
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