Here in my bedroom at Gamone, about two hours ago, I received this photo of Rafale jet fighters leaving the Charles-de-Gaulle in the eastern Mediterranean, bound for Mosul. Real-time news of the departure of the planes came from a France 2 reporter aboard the aircraft-carrier. Click here for the article. Amazed by the speed at which we can follow this first French strike against Daesh, I shall now await news of the return of the fighters. I sense that all is well...
TIMING : Here's the time at which the article reached my computer, transmitted by the franceinfo service :
A tweet on the subject wasn't published until an hour later.
Clearly, the news reached me well before Twitter picked it up.
The French aircraft-carrrier Charles-de-Gaulle is about to sail towards a major target: Daesh. Alongside its 1,900 marines, the giant vessel will house 24 Rafale jet fighters. And it will be accompanied by a German frigate and a US destroyer. Its task is to chase the Daesh enemy out of Mosul.
Sailors, we’re all convinced that you’re sailing towards success. Towards a big battle… followed by peace in Syria and Irak. Happy sailing.
As the festive season approaches, and lots of families in France are installing their Christmas trees and buying presents for their children and family friends (if they're wealthy enough to do so), I would like to convey a simple and sincere word of thanks (even though they don't necessarily read my Antipodes blog) to the men and woman who will be spending their days and nights aboard the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, preparing if not actually manning the aircraft full of bombs for Daech.
Once upon a time, the families of French military folk were constantly worried that their offspring might take dangerous risks and run into trouble in such-and-such a foreign country, far from home. These days, such operational service men and woman are often worried that their families back home might be faced with terrorists risks and troubles. And this kind of thinking enhances their military spirit.
The "we" is France, and that includes me. I'm proud of the performance of our soldiers, both in Libya and in the Ivory Coast, not to mention Afghanistan. The warfare in which French forces are currently engaged is perfectly real, but I hope it won't last for long.
I'm in no way a supporter of the president Nicolas Sarkozy, for countless negative reasons, and I hope that he'll be defeated by the Socialists in next year's presidential elections. But I'm prepared to acknowledge that Sarko has guided our nation rightly in the two operational theaters I've just mentioned: Libya and the Ivory Coast.
He's a bright and dynamic guy, with the necessary intelligence and know-how to lead France correctly in predicaments of the above-mentioned kind. But the nation needs another more-inspired individual to lead us to the planetary status that modern France merits. And my little finger tells me that the individual in question is waiting patiently in the wings… somewhere in the vicinity of Washington.