French President Francois Hollande commemorated 9/11 by blaming the U.S. for France’s terrorism problem on Facebook.
Hollande prefaced his admonishment by parroting the now famous, “We Are All Americans Today,” headline from French newspaper Le Monde, dated September 12, 2001. Hollande then blamed the U.S. response to 9/11, particularly the 2003 invasion of Iraq, for fanning the flames of terrorism.
“Even though France, through (ex-President) Jacques Chirac, rightly refused to join the intervention which it even condemned, it has still been a victim of the consequences of the chaos it caused,” Hollande continued.
France may have opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq but it also aggressively supported the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya. France and Britain pursued a United Nations (U.N.) Security Council resolution supporting a no-fly zone in Libya, and heavily pressured President Obama to sign on to the plan.
“Never mind that there’s European impotence, but what about American power? What about Russian power? Russia is evolving, and the Americans haven’t yet defined their position,” France’s Foreign Minister said in 2011, while agitating for the U.S. to intervene in Libya.
Then-U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice reportedly called France’s U.S. Ambassador before the intervention and told him “you are not going to drag us into your shitty war.” Rice continued. “We’ll be obliged to follow and support you, and we don’t want to.” “France isn’t a U.S. subsidiary,” France’s Ambassador responded.
The NATO intervention in Libya spawned a civil war, a failed state, and the largest Islamic State affiliate outside of Iraq and Syria. When Libya collapsed, the former Libyan Army’s weapons spread into Mali, fueling an Islamist revolt against the Malian government in 2012.
France again deployed thousands of forces, struck the Islamist targets from the air, and maintains a special operations presence to battle one of al-Qaida’s most resilient affiliates. Experts generally agree that the Malian insurgency would be less likely if it were not for the Libyan intervention.
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