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UK and France to share aircraft carriers

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posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 10:37 AM

Originally posted by FredT
its nice to see the thread about the UK / French carriers went all of what 4 posts before someone bashed the US. Solid work guys

But of course. The US must not be criticised, and any criticism of it's government is seen as someone who has 'bashed' the US.

Especially in relation to a discussion on whether the UK's defence interests are best served integrated with a fellow EU nation, or elsewhere, like the US, and what are the drawbacks, and pros and cons.

Any criticism of the US on this subject in relation to whether the US would best serve the UK's defensive interests in a more integrated mutual defensive policy as opposed to France is to be frowned upon and to be seen as another incident as someone who has 'bashed' the US.

Thanks for the clarification.

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 11:29 PM
reply to post by Freeborn

Originally posted by Freeborn
We are an island people and have an island mentality, it's what drove us for centuries.
We have a distinctly different nature and approach to continental Europeans.

I believe being an islander is indeed a special situation. You have a different nature and approach not only because of being islanders but because of historical events that have shaped your people.

Continental Europe is not absolutely homogeneous. That you claim you have differences with continental Europeans is possibly an islander mindset.
Continental Europeans can see differences between themselves, I don't think they believe the British are "more" different than others. I don't think the Greeks think the British are more different from themselves than the Poles.

I quoted the text because it was a good summary of de Gaulle public statements accouting for the veto. It's factual.
The part about the resentment remains unexplained. It simply states it as obvious, commonly accepted, no explanations needed. At this point, a casual reader unfamiliar with the context should take it as an opinion. There is nothing factual here, it's an interpretation of one's motivations.
But I asked you before what you meant by resentful. There was a reason. I'll explain myself further down.

Originally posted by Freeborn
Quite clearly De Gaulle had a cetain amount of resentment towards the UK from the years spent here during the war.
Why one has to ask oneself?

And why was he suspcious of Anglo-American nuclear co-operation?
We were both allegedly his allies, had helped liberate France and were both in NATO in addition to being permanent members of the UN Security Council.
Why didn't he want the UK to have independant nuclear weapon capability?
Not his sense of French superiority rearing it's ugly head was it?

You are asking me questions, it's ok. But did you question yourself ? Did you think for one second there is some truth there ? Did you search it ? Of course not. You have accepted a possible consensual formatted answer, the French sense of superiority.

That's the point I am trying to raise from the beginning. I am not pointing at you. We are not thinking by ourselves, all of us, that includes me.

Please now try and understand another point of view. Not a better one, only a different one.
What would you think if... Britain was invaded, an alliance is preparing an offensive to liberate the island, the force will depart from France
The British leader, a general, is in Paris with allies. All the time he is in talks with the Alliance leaders, everyone knows there will be an offensive, the enemy expects it. The British leader had submitted plans for it years ago.
He has just been informed, the operation will take place in 2 days. There will be no British soldier fighting for the liberation of the Motherland, there are not in the plans. What are you friends doing ? Why are they trying to take what's left of your pride away ? Why are you left out ? Surely, the more, the better and the British are more ready than others for the sacrifice.

Please acknowledge a complex political situation. The legal French government was collaborating more or less with Germany, in their minds, trying to preserve France interests. De Gaulle has no legitimacy, he has stood out from the crowd and claims he is representing the French who have not laid down arms. He's gathering recognition and backing in France, he's spreading the message to those who can hear that there are French still fighting. He is not legitimate. That's all his fight during those years in London, to turn himself into the recognised political representation of France though technically illegal.
In the case of Italy or Japan, it's simple, they were enemies. In the case of Russia or the US, it's simple too, they are friends. How do you treat the French ? Some are friends, others have capitulated and it's unclear they lean towards the Allies or the Axis.
Churchill has supported de Gaulle and helped him gain recognition. Maybe partly because a somewhat still fighting France, even if dying, was better for Britain. It was better than a submitted one.
Before entering the war, being neutral, Roosevelt dealt with Vichy, the legal representation and continued after the US joined the war and kept priviledged relations with Vichy roughly until the end. The White House never wanted to recognise de Gaulle and Free France as the French political authority. I won't go deeper on this and will stick to the topic.

You said that Roosevelt was never going to get an American administration in France. Search for AMGOT, Allied Military Government for Occupied Territories. It was all very public and you certainly know how Germany, for one, was administred after the war. Plans for an AMGOT in France were public.

Where does it say de Gaulle didn't want you to have independant nuclear capability ? Do you see again the bias of your interpretation of the words ? Why didn't you search for Polaris and de Gaulle just to have a quick look ? You add independant which was not in the text. You were not totally independant from the US for the use of the Polaris rockets. That was one of many points of divergence.
McMillan was received in France by de Gaulle, he asked him to commit the british nuclear force to the defense of Europe, the same ever question really, do you want to be part of a european cooperation between states ? McMillan didn't answer. Next day, he was in Bahamas agreeing to the purchase of the Polaris rockets.
De Gaulle supported an independant UK with nukes and part of a European defense system.
I don't think de Gaulle was sensitive but it was like being given the finger, right ?

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 11:42 PM
reply to post by Freeborn

Originally posted by Freeborn
And it's obvious he's forging closer links to Germany well before the Mitterand - Kohl era.

You said in a previous post that De Gaulle consistently vetoed British entry into the EEC as he saw the UK a threat to the Franco-Germanic controlled behemoth it continues to be today.
It's an anachronic justification. There was nothing to label Franco-German behemoth before the Kohl-Mitterrand era. Sorry, you're mistaken.
He's forging closer links with Germany than before, that's obvious. But France and Germany were not cooperating well. Germany didn't veto UK membership. Franco-German relations were at a low in the late 60's, they had different visions for the future.

Originally posted by Freeborn
During The Normandy D-Day landings 530 Free French parachuted behind German lines in Brittany.
They were the only Free French to see active service.
Opinions differ as to why.
Some believe it was at De Gaulle's insistence as he wanted them held back for his entrance and parade through Paris.

It's a famous episode. Colonel Bourgoin, he was one-armed. They were part of the SAS under british command. Their mission was to keep the German troops busy in Brittany to prevent them being moved to Normandy.
I would like to know who have a different opinion. Serious question.

The French troops that entered Paris landed two months after D-Day.
You seem to think that the Allies rushed from Normandy to Paris in the blink of an eye. It was hard fought you know ?
I am not sure where was Colonel Bourgoin during Paris liberation, he was certainly still engaged in skirmishes in western France.

Originally posted by Freeborn
I have nothing but respect for all those who fought anywhere in WWII, regardless of nationality.

My point is that the French themselves could, and should, have done far more themselves to help gain the liberation of their country.

You are trying to be extremely offensive. Oh no ! I got it, that's tongue in cheek.
Seriously, if you pass by, what do you base this opinion on ? Hundreds of thousands died not trying hard enough ?

Originally posted by Freeborn
The extent, nature and number of French collaborators far exceeded those involved in Resistance activities and is still a source of national shame to the French today who generally refuse to discuss and even acknowledge it.

Where can I find the actual numbers and the listing please ? Can you give a rough estimation of the number of collaborators and resistants ?
That would make for an awesome discussion about human nature and survival under hostile conditions but it's way too complex to tackle in a few lines.
There were certainly more collaborators than the ones acknowledged and there were certainly fewer resistants than claimed. Of course, after the war, everyone was a resistant.
My perspective is that under Vichy, most people were not heroic but simply living their life. From time to time, by life hazard, one could have to face a situation where he had to choose and could have been brave enough to hide someone or coward enough to denounce someone. Most people were clueless and helpless.
Today, the French alive didn't go through that time. They are interested in iPods and Big Brother. You have outdated views coming straight from the 70s.
For long, it was a taboo subject, that's right. I won't say it's a popular topic today but you can talk about it, you risk an uninteresting discussion though.
What does it mean the French didn't acknowledge it ? You mean literally ?

Originally posted by Freeborn
The attitude changes as you get further inland and in some former Vichy controlled areas and other areas can be downright hostile.

Ok. This one is a prank. Did I win something ?

Originally posted by Freeborn
Churchill regarded relations with De Gaulle a constant battle and considered it one of his hardest challenges of the war.

After falling under Roosevelt's influence, he wanted to get rid of de Gaulle. The arrogant Frenchman didn't let him.

Originally posted by Freeborn
De Gaulle famously and fervently believed that 'France had no friends, only interests'.

Famously, yes. Fervently believed, that's your own unmotivated add.
The most common form of the quote is "No state has friends..."
Is it authentic anyway ? He allegedly said that in a discussion with Churchill.

Lord Palmerston said something similar, I had to look for the exact quote : “Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests.” I don't know if it's authentic either.
Could it be that de Gaulle had an admiration for English statesmen going as far as to cite one of them ?

I make a difference between brotherhood of arms or people friendship and states relations.

States are cynical. In each state, we are served a mush of interpretations we take for exact, they call it history. I am back to my point 1.
You know you've been sometimes lied to by your government. But in regards to international affairs, the official version is 100% truth. You and I will recite it like machines. In some way, we are programmed to do so. We will continue thinking our state has an impeccable behaviour in the Theater of Nations, other states suspiscious or critic of ours are evil-minded. Of course, domestically, we apply absolutely different standards and we heavily criticise our state.
We could have a better understanding if we'd listen to the others states and confront the versions but we won't believe anything they'd say because we have this ingrained in our heads they are distruthful.

We are here arguing (softly), you and your state vs. me and my state.
Does it make sense to you ? Can you see logical partners ?

It should be you and me vs. your state and my state. We should both question the acts of our states together.
Will we ever realise it ?

posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 05:23 AM
We should wait and see, what happens when they prodice the report for the Defence Review. As for the SUN Newspaper, I will take what they print in thier newspaper with a pinch off salt.

One does hope however, that they do not share our carriers with the french, nor anyone else. We are an Independant island of countries, and it should remain as such.

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