French Commit Peace-Keeping Troops in Lebanon, Reserve the Right to Surrender
Paris, France-- In an announcement Thursday French President Jacque Chirac the country of France committed around 2,000 troops to take part in the UN Peace keeping mission to Southern Lebanon where efforts are under way to establish a lasting cease-fire arrangement.
"The French are a great choice in cease-fire situation. They are known for their disdain for discharging firearms in conflict situations," said Social Anthropologist John H. Crabtree.
The French troops will be in Lebanon under the mandate of the United Nations and will be part of a broader UN Peace-Keeping Force that UN Security Council Members hope will reach 15,000 total troops. Some commentators said the number of troops being sent by France was a symbolic gesture since 2,000 is the lowest number one can commit and still be able to talk about the thousands of French troops involved.
The United Nations has already drawn up their own rules of engagement which will dictate the responses available to UN troops in different contingencies and will set the ground rules for the use of force. Although the French would be under the same UN Mandate and rules of engagement, French Military Officials say they are reserving the right to surrender.
"There are many contingencies where we reserve the right to surrender, after all it is our right as Frenchmen!" said one General. "For example, what if we are attacked? Surrender! What if someone starts shooting? Surrender! What if we someone else who has a gun? Surrender! What if we get low on caviar? You got it, surrender!"
Some casual observers wonder why the French have volunteered for this UN mission if there is such a high chance of them surrendering. Analysts say there are several economic benefits that will come to the sagging French economy and will hopefully create new jobs for the growing segment of young unemployed French citizens.
Several sectors stand to benefit the most. For one, the Powder Blue Beret industry will have a boon of orders to outfit French troops in UN uniforms. Also, there is an expected boon in pent-up production capacity in the white flag industry, which is standing by to make enough flags for the entire force to surrender all at once, or to use personal white flags to surrender one by one.
Critics of French participation say that involving France could be a huge mistake. "The UN is not a very good student of History," said Professor of History Robert H Crabtree, who taught the UN as a freshman in Introduction to Modern World History (The UN got a C- in his class). "If they knew their history, they would know that France has not been a dominant military power since Napoleon’s time. They would also know how huge a failure the Treaty of Versailles ended up being. And they would know that the worst parts of the treaty were insisted upon by the French. If I were the UN I would never involve a country lacks both military prowess and a track record of lasting diplomatic peace solutions."
A spokesman for the UN said only, "it is easy to pass judgment from the ivory towers of academia when you have never set foot in the real world. Go back to the stacks in the library Old Man!"
The French involvement has drawn attention in unusual places. Some in Las Vegas are even setting odds for who the French will surrender to first, Israel or Lebanon. And though it not yet known which countries will fill the remaining Peace-Keeping needs, you can even bet on which fellow UN forces France might surrender to. Right now the line of France surrendering to Uganda pays 100,000 to 1.
Related link: French Military Victories
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