President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld may be upset that the French are not "assisting" us in this fight, but out here at the tip of the spear, there is nothing but jubilation at their absence. Last thing we need is to be carrying the French on our shoulders.
A cursory review of French military history reveals the following:
1 - Gallic Wars - Lost. In a war whose ending foreshadows the next 2,000 years of French history, France is conquered by of all things, an Italian.
2 - Hundred Years War - Mostly lost, saved at last by a female schizophrenic who inadvertently creates The First Rule of French Warfare: "French armies are victorious only when not led by a Frenchman."
3 - Italian Wars - Lost. France becomes the first and only country to ever lose two wars when fighting Italians.
4 - Wars of Religion - France goes 0-5-4 against the Huguenots.
5 - Thirty Years War - France is technically not a participant but still manages to get invaded. Claims a tie on the basis that eventually the other participants started ignoring her.
6 - War of Devolution - Tied. Frenchmen take to wearing red flowerpots as chapeaux.
7 - The Dutch War - Tied. Dutch farmers and tulip growers are tougher than they look.
8 - War of the Augsburg League/King William's War/French and Indian War - Lost, but claimed as a tie. Three ties in a row induces deluded Francophiles the world over to label the period as the height of French military power.
9 - War of the Spanish Succession - Lost. The War also gave the French their first taste of a Marlborough, which they have loved every since.
10 - American Revolution - In a move that will become quite familiar to future Americans, France claims a win even though the English colonists saw far more action. This is later known as "de Gaulle Syndrome", and leads to the Second Rule of French Warfare; " France only wins when America does most of the fighting."
11 - French Revolution - Won, primarily due the fact that the opponent was also French.
12 - The Napoleonic Wars - Lost. Temporary victories (remember the First Rule!) due to leadership of a Corsican, who ended up being no match for the Russian winter, Prussian grenadiers or a British footwear designer.
13 - The Franco-Prussian War - Lost. For the first, but certainly not the last time, Germany plays the role of drunk frat boy to France 's ugly girl home alone on a Saturday night.
14 - World War I - Invaded, humiliated and on the way to losing, France is saved by the United States. Winds up a tie for les francaise. Thousands of French women find out what it's like to not only sleep with a winner, but one who doesn't call her "Fraulein." Sadly, the American fascination with personal hygiene (a fascination totally foreign to French women) incites widespread use of condoms by American soldiers, thus precluding any improvement in the French bloodline.
15 - World War II - A decisive defeat even by French standards. Hitler and the German Youth spend Christmas time sleeping soundly through the winter, then arouse themselves to conquer France in six weeks. Hitler dances in front of the Eiffel Tower, while the French command staff retreats to Algeria to institute a crash language program to teach French privates how to say "I surrender" in German and French generals to say "We surrender" in German. Conquered French liberated by the United States and Britain just as they finish learning the Horst Wessel Song and some small portion of the German work ethic. De Gaulle of it all...
16 - First Vietnamese war (in Vietnamese circles, known as "the scrimmage", or "the exhibition game" where the varsity squad is kept on the sideline to see how the second string will play) - Lost. French soldiers, fresh off their four year occupation by the Germans, catch a terminal case of Dien Bien Flu.
17 - Algerian rebellion - Lost. First time an Arab army has beaten a Western army since the Crusades, and produces the first rule of modern Islamic warfare: "We can always beat the French." A nice phrase, but it lacks something in originality, since it is also the first rule of warfare for the Italians, Russians, Prussians, Germans, English, Dutch, Spanish, Vietnamese, Native Americans and capitalists.
18 - War on Terrorism - Lost. Incensed at not being included in the original "Axis of Evil," France refuses to participate. When it becomes clear that this is a "no-kidding war," Jacques Chirac looks at his cards and immediately surrenders to that old warhorse, Gerhard Schroeder. For good measure, he also surrenders to five million illegal immigrants from Algeria.
The moral of the story is - give thanks to God on high that the French are not helping us!