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August 13, 2014

French Foreign Minister: When People Are Dying, It's Time to Come Back From Vacation

Via Twitchy, this quote from the WSJ:

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Tuesday asked his colleagues in the European Union to return from vacation to discuss providing military assistance to Kurds fighting Islamic extremists in Iraq.

"I already asked [EU foreign affairs head Catherine Ashton ] Mrs. Ashton to summon a council of foreign affairs, which includes all my colleagues, " so we can take a decision, Mr. Fabius said on Tuesday on radio station France Info. "I now repeat the request as an urgent matter. I know in Western countries this is vacation period but when people die, you must return from vacation."

He speaks there specifically of his EU colleagues -- but is this a shot too at Obama?

I'm pretty sure it was not so intended, but certainly his chiding can be extended in that direction.

He also speaks of the "silence" of his EU colleagues in the face of genocide -- and Obama, while having addressed it, was notably not particularly worked up about it (as the last post's quote from John Oliver suggests).

This French article reports more of his statement.

THE POLITICAL VIEW: The European diplomatic community is criticized for its silence. The French foreign minister presses it to act on the Iraqi matter.

[French Foreign Minister] Laurent Fabius sharpens his tone. While the ambassadors of the EU are meeting Tuesday at Brussels for an important meeting, the French foreign minister begged the European diplomatic community to take stock of the urgency of of the situation in Iraq. "We cannot remain without reaction while we see hundreds and thousands of people, children, women dying of starvation," said Laurent Fabius...

I believe that a number of members of the EU's diplomatic forces blew this meeting off, thus sparking his criticism.

Asked about his criticisms directed at the European diplomatic community, Laurent Fabius had not spared his European colleagues: "I know well that in the west it's a time of vacations but when there are people dying, I would say being slaughtered, it is time to return from vacation"....

That "being slaughtered" thing is a complete guess. He says something there that seems idiomatic.

Some radio reporter mentioned a European deputy from the Netherlands who basically said (per the reporter's claim) that he wasn't available for work during his vacation.

That bit makes me pretty certain Fabius didn't meant to call out Obama, who is always assuring us that he's totally plugged-in to the world situation in between drives. He's specifically reacting to Euro-deputies blowing off meetings to coordinate humanitarian aide during a period of actual genocide, because their Me-Time is so important.

He's specifically talking about specific EU delegates.

Still... kind of applies elsewhere, doesn't it?

Meanwhile, France sends arms to the Kurds.

From AP:

Calling the situation in Iraqi Kurdistan "catastrophic," France said Wednesday it would start supplying arms to the Kurdish forces fighting Sunni extremists from the Islamic State group.

Noah Rothman distinguishes between our own supplying of arms -- semi-covert, he calls it -- and France's, which is just open.

Why are we being cagey about this? What's the point?


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posted by Ace at 03:20 PM

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