France Needs a New Charles Martel

Stereotypes. Behind them there usually is some grain of truth, sometimes… For whatever fantastical reason, the French are known as a people who lay down their arms at the first sign of armed conflict or who are unwilling/incapable of sustaining a war effort.

Of course, anytime someone loses a war against México, what else can be said? (though of course without the French intervention in México, pan dulce (below) might not have become a Mexican staple and Hispanics might not have an ethnically indifferent celebration here in the U.S.)

Or anytime one of their footballers, Thierry Henry in the 2006 World Cup, acts like an opposing player (Spain’s Carles Puyol) shot him at close range in the face with a sawed-off, when in fact Puyol hardly grazed him?

That the French sent some troops to aid former British colonies gain their independence is strangely forgotten. Whatever the case, the French have this reputation for their shortcomings in the art of war.

Recently, there were 10 French soldiers who were killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan. The tragedy shocked that nation and even more so after the Taliban group responsible flaunted “trophies” from the dead soldiers (the fact that the Taliban’s reaction is indicative of the necessity to oppose their worldview is not even considered).

France stunned at photos of Taliban fighters with ‘trophies’ taken from 10 French soldiers killed in Afghanistan

At the end of the piece, there is a quote from one of the parents of the dead soldiers,

The magazine Le Nouvel Observateur ran yet another interview with the parents of one of the dead soldiers on Thursday. Mother Chantal Buil said she had written a letter to Sarkozy.

“Stop following the example of President Bush. His arrogance comes out of every pore. Let’s stay French. Let’s get our soldiers out of the quagmire,” she wrote in her letter.

While this mother has to deal with the agony of losing a child, her son’s sacrifice is noted and appreciated for he gave his life to oppose a worldview which ought to be opposed unless the people of the world want to live under this worldview (on this, the debate is healthy).

Charles “The Hammer” Martel, however, would disagree on her take on what it means to “stay French” (lets pretend he wasn’t born in Belgium).

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