Skip to comments.American troops through a French infantryman's eyes
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.
Interesting read. Thanks for posting. Most of us know that not all the French think the same. Only American Democrats do that.
as the French Ambassador once quipped "even the French dislike the French"
Was the speaker Legion or French Regular Army?
You know the world is screwed up when France turns Conservative and the US turns Socialist.
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?
This is gorgeous.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I enjoyed that. Thanks!
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.
Excellent! Thanks for posting. Read the whole thing Quix. Very short, very powerful.
Chances are what the French are seeing now will be gone in 4 short years.
One prays not.
( Allegra Ping)
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