Across the Bay

Sunday, July 13, 2008

French Veterans Oppose Assad's Bastille Day Presence

Lest we forget who this regime is, and that it (along with its Iranian-Hezbollah allies) also has French blood on its blood-drenched hands:

A group of French veterans criticized today Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's presence at Bastille Day festivities, accusing Damascus of being behind an attack in Lebanon that claimed the lives of French soldiers.

The former combatants who served in a UN peace force in Lebanon said inviting Assad to watch the annual military parade on Monday dishonored the memory of 58 French soldiers who died in the 1983 bomb attack in Beirut.

“French soldiers should not file past the Syrian leader during the march down the Champs Elysees, said Jean-Luc Hemar,” head of the Association of veterans from Camp Idron in central France.

Commenting on the barracks attack, former Navy secretary John F. Lehman is on the record with the following:

President Ronald Reagan was demanding retaliation, and asked the U.S. Navy and the Joint Chiefs of Staff to draw up target lists, Lehman tells Insight. According to several participants, the Syrian government also had played a role in the plot and several named Syrian officers were suggested as potential targets, as was the Syrian defense ministry.

"It is my recollection that I had been briefed on who had done it and what the evidence was," Lehman says. "I was told the actual names of the Syrians and where they were. I was told about the evidence that the Iranian government was directly behind it. I was told that the people who had done it were trained in Baalbek and that many of them were back in Baalbek. I recall very clearly that there was no controversy who did it. I never heard any briefer or person in the corridor who said, 'Oh maybe we don't know who did it.'"

The French too had no doubts, pace the "senior French official" who's pathetically trying to wipe the egg off of Sarkozy's face:

Insight has learned that, within three weeks of the attack, enough intelligence had been gathered to determine exactly where and how to hit back, and a counterstrike package was briefed directly to the president. Planners say it included eight Tomahawk missiles launched from the battleship New Jersey against the Syrian defense ministry and other command targets in Syria. Carrier-based A6-A Intruders were assigned to bomb the Sheikh Abdallah barracks in Baalbek in a joint strike with the French, who had lost 58 marines when their own barracks, known as the "Drakkar," was bombed just minutes after the U.S. Marines. It also included selected "snatches" of Syrian officers based in Lebanon who had helped carry out the operation.