Despite what spin the Elysee Palace try to put on this gaffe, they only succeed in digging a bigger hole.....
The criticism is not just British. It came with force today from Jean-Michel Aphatie, a commentator who is feared in the political world. Sarkozy's attempt to stage an epic lone appearance with Obama was a huge mistake, Aphatie wrote on the internet. "It is impossible to honour the memory of the dead without associating the leaders of the countries which took part in the sacrifice...French diplomacy has landed itself in a glorious mess." "This episode illustrates an obsession of French leaders: forever measuring themselves against American power. We live in the illusion of a tête-à-tête with America..."
Sarko may be the leader of a European power, but he has a lot to learn about diplomacy.
Probably the last time that many Dunkirk veterans will be able to travel to Dunkirk to remember 70th annivesary of Operation Dynamo arises next year. I do hope that arrangements are being made for that and then Crete, Dieppe, St. Nazaire, Bruneval, Telemark, Tobruk and many, many more to be remembered. - (not to mention Singapore, Hong Kong etc.)
Many of the engagements I mention were in essence defeats for the 'allies', but they should still be remembered. We only seem to make a spectacle about victories. Many of our servicemen were never involed in a victory or indeed the final victory.
It is important for those actually involved who want to make one last visit to see where they fought and also their fallen comrades. Let the politicians make fools of themselves, lets face it although French politicians are good at making a spectacle of themselves, they are not alone.
Accept it that the French government struggle with the British involvement in WW2. According to many Frenchmen, we let them down at Dunkirk.
If we ensure that as many veterans get one last chance to visit their battelfields without the razzmataz of high profile, staged events that probably many of them would feel uncomfortable attending then I for one would be more than glad to contribute.
Let todays politicians play their sad games, ignore them, but lets not ignore the few who are left of the generation who fought not to allow those politicians to behave the way they do, but to look out for their mates and to safeguard their families.
Tory defence spokesman Gerald Howarth said: 'Given Britain's massive contribution to the liberation of Europe it is scandalous the British government has failed to secure a place for the Royal Family. It is an insult to the 83,000 British and Canadian troops who landed on D-Day --alongside 73,000 Americans - and the hundreds of thousands who followed. Falklands War veteran Simon Weston said: 'Mr Brown just seems to miss the point when it comes to the military, and anything to do with veterans seems to be a grudging afterthought.'
I read that Eisenhower wanted De Gaul assassinated even before the invasion, which would have been poetic justice as De Gaul was not above having his rivals bumped off,Churchill talked him out of it,which was one of Winston's worst mistakes.
No it was not. De Gaulle was, for France, as Churchill had been for England and Hitler for Germany and so on - for a specific period of time the only man who could lead their country towards some sort of national pride and economic solidity. Each man in his turn, one way or the other , was let down or destroyed by his own character faults. But then if you examine the pages of history I am sure you will find that all charismatic leaders, capable of rousing a people, self destruct in the end. It is obvious enough that it is to be hoped that these geniuses of history self destruct before they destroy too many people as a consequence of theit actions! Pace one and all! The great exception to this of course in the last century was Stalin who ruled through absolute fear and exterminated to such an extent as to make the Nazis appear rank amateurs. Perhaps it was the fear of failure and the machine gun emplacements behind them that drove the Russian soldiers on the Eastern front to literally smother the German lines, thereby ensuring German defeat in the east as the Americans ensured it in the west. Incidentally, Kaiser Wilhelm, the Kaiser from WW1 went to live in Holland after the Great War. The Dutch refused to extradite him to England in 1920 as a war criminal. He refused an offer of asylum from Churchill in 1940 and he died the next year under German occupied Holland.
You will forgive me please?- But is it not more lilely that they do not look too kindly on the constant verbage abuse to which they are subjected. Especially those under General Blanchard at Dunkirk who, astounded that Lord Gort wished to retreat with the British army, held the perimeters so that others could push off north bound. The Belguans had, of course, already surrendered by this time, but not, I think , because they did not know how to fight.
hmm not sure about that. Funny enough they had quite a good relation and Eisenhower respected de Gaulle as a soldier. De Gaulle was indeed difficult to deal with but Eisenhower knew how to handle this better than anyone else and that's why he was such a great Commander and President.
"I take away with me from Paris the warmth and strength of your friendship, which I appreciate now more than ever… and I have for you yourself a respect and an admiration that I feel for few other men.""I take away with me from Paris the warmth and strength of your friendship, which I appreciate now more than ever… and I have for you yourself a respect and an admiration that I feel for few other men." (Eisenhower, Paris, 1960)
Location: South of the North Pole, north of the South Pole...
Well, it's just an observation (yawn), but HM Queen Elizabeth II hasn't had very much to say about ongoing tribulations concerning Her MPs expenses neither - only I was awaiting her speech dissolving Parliament and calling for new elections...?!
So perhaps She's just been asleep the past few weeks (might also explain not replying RSVP to any 2009 (65th year) D-Day commemorations. Didn't hear her rise to the occasion of supporting the Gurkhas most recently either (or perhaps she's merely allowed Ms. Lumley the limekight for the present)...?!
Apparently the Queen no longer has the power to dissolve Parliament ,someone asked the self same question on the Telly a few days ago,the answer supprised me as well missus Queen can no longer sackem,wonder when that power was withdrawn,they certainly kept very quiet about it.