Thursday, June 03, 2004

Blog Bits

Jews Rounded Up at Roland Garros?

Amélie Mauresmo, the last French contender at the French Open was soundly defeated 6-4, 6-3 by the Russian Elena Dementieva, prompting the Belgian Website Tribal to comment that "French hopes [have been] crushed."

This may not be the only reason for dismay (and that's putting it mildly) at Roland Garros. The Jerusalem Post's Mike Lebowitz reports that "the revered home of the French Open near Paris is said to have been a holding facility for French Jews before they were moved eastward to the Nazi concentration camps."

French resistance appeals for D-Day recognition

The AFP reports that "veterans of the French resistance are still pushing for full recognition of their role in ensuring that D-Day and its aftermath were an overwhelming success."

However, says the AFP, according to British journalist and military historian Max Hastings, 'Neither the Germans nor SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters of Allied Expeditionary Forces) had ever taken the French resistance entirely seriously, regarding it as a nuisance force rather than as a central feature of Allied planning.'"

Raffarin Warns Mamère on Gay Weddings

According to a day's end roundup of news by the Associated Press, PM Raffarin warned Noël Mamère that he would incur "the sanctions provided for by the law" if he officiates an homosexual marriage in the town hall of Bègles (Gironde) on Saturday. This looks to get funny, very fast.

It'd be an awful shame if something were to happen to...

In the same news roundup, the AP also reports that Nicholas Sarkozy, who has announced his intentions to run for the premiership, has expressed his desire for the ruling UMP to "own up to" defeat, should it happen, in the European elections of June 13. "I am one of those who feel that one owns up to a failure, especially if one is leader," he said at a joint press conference with former prime minister Alain Juppé. Raffarin often calls himself "leader of the majority."

France to send more troops to Afghanistan

The AFP reports that France has announced it will send another 3,000 troops to Afghanistan starting next August, at which point general Henri Bentégeat will assume overall control of Nato's International Security Assistance Force, a considerable addition to 5,500 currently serving as part of the force.

General Bentégeat is also the man who has repeatedly claimed that either ISAF men or French troops have come close to catching to catching bin Laden.

Bentégeat's claims and the sudden increase in troop levels might lead one to speculate that either he or France hopes to catch bin Laden (and if the guy's actually alive, I'll eat my shoe) in order to reshape diplomatic relations with the US. How might they feel vindicated in having resisted our entreaties to make war in Iraq while catching the man who harmed us so grievously. Just a thought...

Let's also bear in mind that Bentégeat personally awarded a medal to Anatolii Kvashnin, architect of the Russian genocide in Chechnya.

Air France to Fly 100 US WWII Vets to France for Ceremonies

PR Newswire: Air France has a reserved a flight to-day to fly 100 American World War II veterans and their wives to France from DC so that they can participate in the D-Day commemorations in Paris and Normandy.

Prior to the flight, a reception will be held for the passengers at French Embassy in Washington. On board, there will be specially prepared meals, custom in-flight films about the D-Day landing. Passengers will receive custom-designed hats and certificates marking the flight. Once in France, they will receive the Legion of Honor from Defense minister Michèle Alliot-Marie and in Normandy they will receive the insignia of the Legion of Honor from president Chirac.

Air France is also extending the period for reduced fares for all other veterans. (Only $704 from LA!!)

Congressional Delegation to Travel to France

A group of "at least 20" US lawmakers will lay a wreath at the American cemetery in Cambridge before traveling to Sainte-Mère Eglise (visit that link!) to witness a reenactment of the air-drop that began the landings. On Sunday, they travel to the ceremony at Omaha Beach for the larger ceremonies with presidents Bush and Chirac.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A difficult dilemma for the French if they did catch OBL. They couldn't hand him over to the US because he'd face the death penalty and their own fifth column in the quartiers sensibles would be mightily pissed off if he was held in a French jail.

However, all this is merely science fiction. The French haven't yet managed to catch Mladic or Karadzic, who have been right under their noses for a decade.