March 14, 2007

You Lost Another One?

I owe the French an apology. Until now, I thought that France was the only nation capable of losing a war that they were not fighting.

According to YNET News, yet another senior Iranian officer has gone missing:

Three weeks ago the Iranian armed forces command in Teheran lost contact with a senior officer who had been serving in Iraq with the al-Quds unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, according to a senior Iranian official cited in the Wednesday edition of the London-based Arabic daily al-Sharq al-Awsat.

The Iranian source said that it is still unclear why contact with the officer, Colonel Amir Muhammad Shirazi, was lost. "It is possible that the American forces in Iraq arrested him along with a group of 13 Iranian military and intelligence officials," he said, adding that this is just one of the scenarios being investigated by Tehran.

Of course, this begs the question, "What was a senior Iranian al-Quds force commander doing in Iraq if he wasn't supporting the insurgency?" Don't expect the NY Times to dig too deeply into the existence of Colonel Amir Muhammad Shirazi, much less his disappearance.

The article also claims that another Iranian colonel was sentenced to death by an Iranian court for collaborating with American forces in the war Iran is not waging in Iraq, and that "dozens" of Iranian officers have also defected.

These allegations should be taken with a shaker of salt until they can be confirmed, but if these allegations are correct, Iran is hemorrhaging both intelligence and operatives at an alarming rate.

Update: This is too rich.

I picked up a link from's Blog Report, and now instead of discussing the disappearing Iranian officers that were the subject of the post, I have Salon's liberal readers attempting to defend the 20th Century accomplishments of the French military.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at March 14, 2007 11:23 AM

"You Lost Another One?" Is that a Red October reference?

Posted by: BohicaTwentyTwo at March 14, 2007 12:30 PM

You do recognize that insulting the French as a nation of cowards is pretty low considering that they lost 212,000 men fighting the Germans in WWII and 1,397,800 fighting them in WWI as our ally while our loses in these wars, especially cosidered in relation to population, were tiny--even if you don't count the significant civilian deaths, the French lost 3.5% of their people 1914-1918 and 1.3% 1939-1945. America has never had to suffer like that.

Before you make another dumb anti-French joke, please bear in mind how much of a price they paid fighting on our side.

Posted by: Jim Harrison at March 14, 2007 02:05 PM

You're claiming that in WWI and WWII the french lost hundreds of thousands fighting "on our side"? It would be more honest to say that we were fighting "on their side", seing how it was their very existance as a country that was at stake.

They weren't our ally, we were theirs.

Posted by: brando at March 14, 2007 02:14 PM


Like how the French were "fighting on our side" for our survival during the French and Indian War?

Like the saying goes, "if it weren't for the French, people like you would be speaking proper English".

Posted by: Robert at March 14, 2007 02:42 PM

I don't get this. WW1 we won, WW2 we won, Indochina we lost but we fought, Algeria we won but That @#$%%^ de Gaulle abandoned the Algerians anyway. The war on terror we are in process of winning (see French special forces in Afghanistan) so what is it ? Sorry but the memory of my 2 Verdun vet grampas and resistance fighter dad prompts me to ask...

Posted by: leFrancais at March 14, 2007 03:00 PM

Jim, I never said they were cowards, I just said they were militarily incompetent. If one word describes the French military experience of the 20th century better than "incompetent" that word would be "Chauchat." I'll let you Google that on your own.

By listing their casualties, all you have enumerated in their ability to stop bullets, and many of those casualties can certainly be attributed to incompetence in French military leadership and tactics, which was, you know, the point of my comment.

leFrancais, not to twist the screws too deep, but you "won" WWI because of the British and Americans coming to your aid. You lost in WWII in less than a month (May-June, 1940), and you "won" only after the British and Americans once again did the bulk of the fighting to retake France and conquer Germany. To beat Germany, we killed over 19,500 French soliders fighting for the enemy.

Funny how selective our memories are, when we want them too be...

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at March 14, 2007 03:17 PM

In spring 1940 Gal. Petain called the Brits to honor their commitment to the war by putting more aircrafts on the line as the air war was destroying the allied ground forces. The answer was a withdrawal of the RAF from France this was followed in July by the attack at harbor of the French fleet in North Africa, 1,297 French soldiers were killed by their "friend", with allies like these who needs enemies...

Posted by: leFrancais at March 14, 2007 03:29 PM

Jim, WW2 is not the same as the French and Indian War. You're about 200 years off. hahahaha. Jim = pwned.

Posted by: brando at March 14, 2007 04:46 PM

Gee...I thought this thread was about the General that Iran lost somewhere in Iraq.

Posted by: Specter at March 14, 2007 05:32 PM

He might be supporting the Shiite government/militia rather than the Sunni-led insurgency. That's of course if, unlike the President and his advisors, you care to acknowledge the difference.

Posted by: ray alexander at March 14, 2007 06:57 PM

You guys need to quit bashing the French. Napoléon Bonaparte was a helluva guy and a proven winner. Well except for that whole syphilis thing and Waterloo. But everybody has one or two quirks / missteps.

Viva la Francis!!!

Posted by: phin at March 15, 2007 08:07 AM

Some need a refresher course in history.

First, WWI. There would not have been a WWI if the French had not felt obligated to full fill there treaty with Russia despite the stupidity of the situation. Austria had done the same thing in the Balkins that we did some 80 years later. Russia responded by moblizing the troops and France then felt it necessary to do the same. If they had said stop at some point, then the war likely could have been avoided. But that is doubtfull as they really wanted to get back at the Germans for the Franco-Prussian war. When we entered the war, the French were beat. If not for a few Marine units, the whole thing would have been a German victory or at least a better result in the subsequent treaty discussions. As it was the French brought about WWII with their very stupid demands of the beaten Germany.

With WWII the French immediately roled over and died. If the English had not distroyed the fleet, then it would have been German. As it was the British begged the French to sail to GB but their honor would not allow it. Subsequent to the surrender they were an ally of Germany and actively fought against the US and Britian in North Africa. They did the minimal amount to free France after the invasion. They certainly went overboard in the treatment and cruelty to the Jews while "occupied".

So if any nation deserves derision, it is France.

Posted by: David Caskey at March 15, 2007 09:48 AM

For those not acquainted with the history of french warfare, a brief primer can be found here:

Concise French Military History

Posted by: ef at March 15, 2007 10:31 AM

Napoleon was Corsican, not French. He grew up speaking Italian. France's previous military hero was Joan of Arc, and she wound up burned at the stake. The only ultimately successful French military leader I can think of was Charles Martel, back in the 8th century when the Franks were still a (mostly) Germanic tribe. At some point, the Franks turned into the French, and a nation of fierce warriors became a nation of cheese-eating surrender monkeys.

I'm sure that somewhere in the bowels of the Pentagon staffers are working out plans to take out France's nuclear capabilities when, not if, it finally falls into Dar-al-Islam. Any hope I had that the French would regain their sense of self-preservation died after they surrendered to a bunch of juvenile delinquents throwing rocks and setting cars on fire.

As for the Iranians, I'm sure the more rational members of the Revolutionary Guards are realizing what any military historian could have told them: When a Western army and a non-Western army meet, the non-Western "soldiers" usually either surrender or die, unless they're fighting the French. Since the French are busy hiding from the Taliban in Afganistan, and surrendering to jihadis at home, it's American and British troops that the "nonexistent" Iranians in Iraq are dealing with.

Plus, the average jihadi doesn't have to worry about Saudi Arabia or Yemen being invaded because of his actions. Iran, on the other hand, would have been invaded instead of Iraq if Saddam hadn't kept poking the US in the eye for over ten years, and the Guards know it. The less insane members of the military (defined as those who don't think the Mahdi will come down from Heaven and save them at the last minute) are probably doing everything in their power to keep that from happening, even commiting treason if necessary.

Posted by: Eric at March 15, 2007 08:01 PM