Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Not so easy

  1. Nov 10, 2004 #1

    Hurkyl

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    In the past week, the French have wiped out the entire air force of an African nation and wounded hundreds of protesters. (several dead)


    There seem to be obvious parallels between this and the frequent criticisms of Israel vs the Palestinians, and the US vs Iraqis. Are the French acting as evil as people claim Israel and the US to be, or maybe people are holding the US and Israel to an impossibly high standard?
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2004
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 10, 2004 #2
    It is interesting that this came up, this is the first reference I saw about the French and the african nation of the Ivory Coast since I heard it originally on NPR. None of the major American news media corporations mentioned anything about it.
     
  4. Nov 10, 2004 #3

    GENIERE

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Wow! The French did that without help? Was there any collateral damage like dead innocent babies? Why would any nation wish to rid itself of the French, the moral leaders of the free world, the elite of the elite, the most equal of the equals... Woe is me. Woe is me.
     
  5. Nov 10, 2004 #4

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I find this description extremely misleading.

    The Ivoirian Air Force attacked a French military base - by any definition, an act of war - killing French peacekeepers and an American civilian. France retaliated by destroying most of the country's military aircraft. But did not harm any civilians in the process.

    Over the next 4 days, Government loyalists (sparked by State-owned radio and TV broadcasts which did nothing but fan anti-French rage) rioted all across Abidjan, destroying French homes and businesses. The UN warned the Ivory Coast govt to stop these broadcasts, but to no avail. Refering to these rioters as "protesters" is grossly insincere.

    French and UN peacekeepers are monitoring a cease-fire between the northern-based rebels and government forces in the Ivory Coast.
     
  6. Nov 10, 2004 #5

    GENIERE

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1100059902779&apage=1
    Initially at least, yesterday’s demonstration seemed peaceful, yet the tone was fiercely anti-French.

    The stream of demonstrators converged on the city’s high-rise business district.

    Some greeted a carload of Westerners with pro-American slogans. Others carried American flags and signs saying: "Please help us, Bush" and "France Bye Bye, In USA We Trust."
     
  7. Nov 10, 2004 #6
    *cough* Deja vous anyone?
     
  8. Nov 10, 2004 #7
    The French are not the aggressors here and it's time you conformist pigs started realising just because it's French doesn't mean its bad.
     
  9. Nov 10, 2004 #8

    selfAdjoint

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Hit your button? Shoe on the other foot?

    Maybe you should look into the decision process that led the US to attack Iraq. If you look past partisan rhetoric it was not unreasonable. Yes intelligence was misused, but beyond all the debates it was still thinkable that Saddam might have nuclear weapons.
     
  10. Nov 10, 2004 #9
    French were attacked and 8 of them were killed!French soldiers are part of UN forces, and they are not "evil" occupiers.
    There are no parralles whatsoever,don't post stupid **** OK!
     
  11. Nov 10, 2004 #10

    GENIERE

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    What kind of occupiers are they?
     
  12. Nov 10, 2004 #11
    They're not occupiers, they just had a military base or two, (the americans have 20x as many military bases in other countries)
     
  13. Nov 10, 2004 #12
    If it was at any time likely saddam had WMD the UN would have gave the go-ahead. It didn't. Assuming that he DID have WMD though:
    SO...DO...YOU (thus bringing up the implication that they wouldn't use them against the US as they would ultimatly destroy themselves - don't say saddam would do it because he didn't care about his own people, even if he was willing to lose half of iraqs population he didnt want to lose the whole frikkin country), the only threat that Iraq posed against america with WMD was that they would be able to prevent the US from invading them (which would be horrible, your right, you win)
     
  14. Nov 11, 2004 #13

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    How many bases, per capita, are required to be considered an "occupier"?
     
  15. Nov 11, 2004 #14
    If you want to define it that way then tell me how many nations the US is occupying?

    But I don't want to define it that way, I want to define it by how much they interfere with that nation, as opposed to merely having a military prescence.
     
  16. Nov 11, 2004 #15

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    In any case, I see a parallel (a double-standard) here as well. If the French want to have their little war, they're welcome to it - but when fighting a just war for your own self-interest, you shouldn't criticize others who do the same.

    But as people say about Iraq: there are other countries that also require military intervention. The US wants to fix other similar problems (Sudan). By only acting when their own interests are at stake, France proves the double-standard.
     
  17. Nov 11, 2004 #16

    Hurkyl

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I will admit to doing it intentionally. This sort of misleading reporting has been commonplace for, say, the Israeli-Palestinean conflict, at least on these forums. Since I expected those same people to side with the French here, I thought I might take this opportunity to demonstrate how ridiculous such one-sided reporting can be.

    For the record, I find the French response reasonable. There's nothing wrong with a retaliatory strike to impair the enemy's ability to continue fighting. (Compare with criticisms of Israel -- they aren't allowed to do anything to Palestineans, nevermind the terrorism!) And when a crowd of hostile citizens marches on military forces, of course people are going to get hurt (again, think Israel).


    And the French didn't just "have a base" there: the French presence was specifically to exert military control over the area. (to enforce a cease-fire)

    (Oh, another parallel -- Côte d'Ivoire was the most economically powerful West African nation... maybe the French were just after the cocoa!)
     
  18. Nov 11, 2004 #17

    vanesch

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    UN peacekeepers.
    What happens is that they are supposed to overview an agreement signed between the rebellion forces and president Bakbot (sp?). This agreement is backed up by the UN and the troops are there in order to avoid a civil war.
    The French troops are there with a UN mandate AND a mandate of a union of African nations to avoid clashes between the rebellion forces and the regular army ; but the president makes his followers believe that the French are on the rebellion side (just as some rebellion leaders say that the French are on the gouvernment side). They are also there to protect the white people who are more and more under racist attacks ; several western countries advise their citizens to leave the country.
    For no special reason, the French got bombed by the regular air force and 9 soldiers were killed (which consists of just a few airplanes and a few helicopters), so they replied by destroying all those planes (as far as I know, there weren't any casualties). Now the president says that he didn't give the order to bomb the French, but that's of course bull****: they wouldn't have acted without orders.
     
  19. Nov 11, 2004 #18

    vanesch

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I will agree with you that I "defended" much more the Palestinians here than the Israelis, but that is because in general, the Israelis are pictured as the "good" and the Palestinians as the "bad" guys. The Israelis have "military force and protect their people" and the Palestinians have "terrorists attacking civilian targets". I think they're on the same level, honestly. Have you read the contribution of a Palestinian here recently (Bilal) ?

    What I find shocking is that the US (lacking any other argument) invasion proponents now say that the fact that Saddam gave money to the widows and children of Palestian "terrorists" was a good reason to go and bomb his country. Don't you see that such stupid argument can then be used by all Arabs to attack Western targets because they give aid to Israel ?
    As I say, in this conflict both parties are equally guilty/right. Only, one party has an army a country and US support, the other one has terrorists, a territory and Arab support.
     
  20. Nov 11, 2004 #19

    plover

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Are the US and Israel are being compared to "an impossibly high standard", or are they criticized for keeping to low standards? For example, in the case of Israeli retaliation, such strikes would have a different meaning in the context of efforts that showed some respect toward the general Palestinian population, as opposed to building a wall along a path that divides Palestinians from their fields and appropriates territory that on the grounds that I'm aware of should be considered Palestinian. It seems unlikely that much of anyone argues that the Israelis shouldn't defend themselves, but in the context of the progressive ghettoization of the Palestinians, the border between justifiable defense and the enforcement of oppressive policies becomes blurred.
     
  21. Nov 11, 2004 #20

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Before the Iraq War, US and British planes (mostly F-16s with EA-6Bs) were enforcing the UN mandated no-fly zones. I'm not sure about the British policy, but in accordance with US DoD guidelines, every time a US aircraft was tracked by an Iraqi SAM, the F-16 pilot shot down the SAM. Every time a fighter was tracked by an Iraqi plane that violated the no-fly boundary, there is no question that this plane would get shot down. You didn't have to wait to be fired on first (as some here may have made it seem), and I agree that that would be plain stupid.

    The safety of the enforcers was essential, and nobody complained (and rightly so) that the US was destroying Iraqi mobile SAMs (which of course, take people to drive and operate) and Iraqi fighter aircraft. Nobody should.

    It is to this that I see the closest parallel, as far as the French situation is concerned...not the War against Iraq, which is completely different from a strategic, tactical, political and ideological point of view.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2004
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Not so easy
  1. So help me God (Replies: 70)

  2. War too easy? (Replies: 19)

Loading...