Different Pressures, Different Mores
This short article from Primo-Europe reveals that Jacques Chirac can uphold the notion of fighting back in self-defense when it serves his interests. FORPRONU and FINUL are the UN forces in Serbia and southern Lebanon respectively.
What's good for France is not necessarily good for Israel. At least, that is what the highest authority in our country seems to think.
If French soldiers are attacked, they have the right to strike back, blow for blow. That's exactly what happened in the Ivory Coast when uncontrollable elements fired on the French military.
The response was immediate and all air force planes of the Ivory Coast were destroyed on the ground.
A disproportionate response? Logically, one would think so.
Since we are talking logically, without meaning to upset the current occupant of Elysée Palace, it would not, perhaps, be useless to recall one of those hawkish reactions to which he alone has the secret.
It was May 29, 1995. The Serb terrorists - for that is indeed how the politicians and the media of the time designated the exterminating militias of Serbia - were firing on the soldiers of FORPRONU, the equivalent of the very effective FINUL at the Israeli-Lebanon border.
Jacques Chirac had just been elected President of the French Republic and had officially been in office for 6 days.
"We cannot leave our soldiers of FORPRONU standing like wooden posts and serving as targets for the Serb terrorists. We must resist. Strike back blow for blow. Make them respect us. Let us stop turning the other cheek, after every humiliation. If it's war, too bad, we have to fight." (1)
Primo-Europe may be wrong but it does not appear that, at the time, Chirac submitted his bellicose declaration to the good will of the United Nations.
Time has passed. Jacques Chirac has aged. War is no longer for him the ideal solution.
It should be added that, for the moment, Hezbollah has not fired on French territory.
Maybe that explains it.
(1) From La Tragédie du Président by Franz Olivier Giesbert, published by Flammarion, 2006, p.188