French begging for troops to fight Islamists in Mali
Schadenfreude's a bitch, isn't it?
When Jacque Chirac was president, the French did everything they could to torpdeo our efforts in Iraq. They refused to send troops to fight Saddam and continuously opposed us in NATO councils.
Now, suddenly - France needs help in Mali. And no one is lifting a finger to help them.
"The French aren't alone, they are the trailblazers," he said, after European ministers approved a contingent of more than 200 military trainers for Mali. He added: "It is completely possible - but this is up to them - that others or the same European countries decide to offer not just logistical support, but also to make soldiers available."
The bravado of the sudden intervention last Friday, popular with many in France, appears to be turning to a hint of bitterness that allies have not backed them more, with high-profile figures and ordinary citizens complaining the Mali mission is "France alone."
That sentiment directed at allies is being expressed in France by people commenting on Twitter and by Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who told Britain's Channel 4 France is waiting for British help. "I beg you, don't leave the French alone," he said.
France, which now has 1,400 troops in Mali and is expecting to send 1,100 more, has already asked allies, including Canada, to extend and expand their military support.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday the United States will provide indirect assistance such as intelligence and transport help for France, and pre-deployment training and airlift for African troops.
Other African countries are willing to send troops but NATO has been reluctant to get involved in what might be another long term commitment. So the French will go it alone and hope that other African nations can bail them out of their ill-considered intervention.