Michael Yon: More comes to light on the French Ambush

And the disinformation campaign goes on, all based on the so-called "NATO secret" report which has been already debunked several times. Yon is so persuaded that there is a conspiration to hide stuff that he goes on on his little crusade, spinning the same shit all along.

There is absolutely NOTHING new in that article. Errors are numerous, assumptions frequent (especially on the pictures when little heaps of dark stuff are conveniently supposed to be french equipment) as well as various attempts to show that the french are heavy handed and not very good at what they are doing while at the same time implying that the brits and the french are playing in the Taleban's hand when their respective generals say they think there is no military solution to the situation in A-stan.

For the real account of the ambush, read what the people who were there say, not the third hand account taken from the Taleban of somebody who can't even speak french language and who, from his own words, "has met more talebans than french soldiers".

The account of the ambush by the survivors:


Here is a french (and I dare say informed) view on this article:

Bolds and comments in italics are mine

"We met at an old fighting position. I was truly worried that we would be hit with a Hellfire missile or JDAM bomb. I’d seen plenty of these situations play out. Often the people on the ground have no idea they are targeted, then they die. I knew our guys, or the Brits, would not fire on unarmed people, unless one of those telephones belonged to an important enemy. But what if jets or helicopters from some other country, like France, spotted us? I had no idea how they might behave."

Of course, the French cannot be trusted; they have supplied CAS to the Coalition in A-stan since 2001 with Mirage 2000, Rafale, Super Etendard and Mirage F1-CR with no friendly fire incident to report since, but let's still imply we can't trust them.

"They told me that the body of the interpreter for the French had been left by the French troops. The interpreter’s family wanted the body returned so they and others collected the body, took it to Kabul and gave it to the French. (American military sources later confirmed to me that Afghans brought the body of the French interpreter, an Afghan, to French forces.)"

Nothing new; it was reported on french TV and his family was interviewed. At some point, because the interpreter had gone missing, it was even thought he could have betrayed the patrol; that was debunked by the patrols member.

"Abdul said that after about the first 24 hours of fighting, there was no water and the local kids were crying. He also said that after the French had been attacked, they drove their vehicles into Sper Kundy and parked between the houses for protection. Abdul clearly thought this was cowardly, hiding behind the families, and he said the French damaged walls and houses when the Taliban continued the attack. As the Malik, he came out to complain. Abdul said that a French soldier hit him in the back three times with his fist. I told him that he should have gone to the American commander if he had a problem, but Abdul said that my words were not like reality. (Actually, I know American and British soldiers. If they see kids crying they get upset, but if they see an angry man during a fight, there could be another reaction. I don’t know how the French soldiers are. I have had more contact with the Taliban than with French soldiers.)"

French and cowardly in the same sentence, just to make sure nobody forgets who we are talking about; Go to the Americam commander ? I suppose Yon can't even believe french troopps could be sent on operation without a US commander.The last sentence is obviously a gem which encapsulate the all article.

"Gear from French soldiers is leaning against the tree, and other gear is by the rocks behind the men. Prayer times vary. The date time stamp on this photo is 11 September 2009, at 05:47, though they just might not know what year it is".

Very conviently, the said gear is nothing but a black heap of stuff. It could be anything but in that case it has to be french gear.

"Foreground is a corroded mortar; leaning against the rocks is an old rifle and RPGs. Background, the man appears to be sleeping with his head on French body armor (the high resolution images allow zooming in), and there appears to be a French helmet on the rocks next to the tennis shoes. The AK-47 is affixed with the bayonet. Did this bayonet kill some of the French? (At least one French soldier was killed by a blade.) Did this man get the gear because he killed the owner? Did they strip the soldiers first so that the gear would not be bloodied?"

The helmet is french; the BA could be but it's hard to say from the picture. The rest is journalistic assumption of the most sensationalistic order.

"When I was up on that hill with Abdul and Mohamood, they never mentioned religion. They did not seem like terrorists to me. They came across as men with their own lives who wanted to be left alone. Yet I was unhappy with the thought that I might be in the presence of men who had something to do with the deaths of French soldiers. I originally obtained the 32 photos and videos on 26 September. At first, I refused to publish them or even show them to anyone. Then, after much thought and consultations, I decided to publish them, hoping I could do so with respect for the fallen soldiers. There is a great sadness in my heart about this war. A relative handful of terrorists can provoke more than three dozen countries to come to Afghanistan. The fire they started could consume the democracy of Pakistan. The French came to Afghanistan as our NATO allies – if they surrender, will the alliance hold?"

Aaaaahhhhhhh ! Now french and surrender together. back to 2003 ! Yon is unhappy about being "in the presence of men who had something to do with the deaths of French soldiers" but not sad enough to refrain from good ol' anti-french cliche; french have to surrender at some point. We finally got there.

Finally, the picture of a Taliban posing with a FAMAS and what is presented as a french uniform:

"There was speculation that the French soldiers were killed by the airstrikes. But it seems highly unlikely that the soldier who owned this uniform (and other uniforms in the videos) were killed by friendly-fire from NATO planes."

First of all, this is not a french uniform in CE camouflage but a US Woodland uniform as provided to the Afghan army. Second, the friendly fire accusations were printed by the Le Monde daily in Paris but the survivors from the ambush never said that, praising the A-10 pilots for their skills instead.

Final question: whose side is Yon on ?


Book Reviewer
Looks like a FAMAS leaning up against the tree to me....

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