French 'lobster' alarms US troops: A seemingly innocuous codename chosen by French special forces in south-east Afghanistan caused alarm among US troops searching for Osama Bin Laden.
A newly arrived French commander picked “homard”, meaning lobster, as an alias, the newspaper Liberation reports.
He did not realise that it sounds like Omar, the first name of the Mullah who led the Taleban and is now on the run.
Concerned US intelligence services monitoring French communications raised the alarm and the codename was changed.
Of course, those of us in the know realized immediately that this fish story was just a cover to explain why the US spies on the perfidious French! And the great thing about the story is that Europeans immediately believe it!
What's even stranger is that the BBC buries the really interesting part of this story:
The incident, said to have happened in July 2003, marked the start of French special forces' involvement in operation Enduring Freedom, the US-led action to find the al-Qaeda leader.
The presence of more than 200 French troops in the area has only just been acknowledged by Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie.
So the French have been helping hunt Osama all the time the Republicans have been jumping up and down about them? Such great diplomacy on the part of the US!
NOTE: 'Homard' is no relation to the Medium Lobster
It’s worse than you think. Those cowardly, selfish terrorist-colldlers the French started sending special forces to Afghanistan within 4 weeks of September 11.
According to our own military’s CENTCOM and the usual newswires, the French have about 500 trrops in Kabul alone right now, plus an additional 80 or so who are training the Afghan security forces there. Then you have those 200 special forces troops (compared to 300 or so Brits) among those engaged in that manhunt in the eastern mountains, and surveillance and fighter planes (and the forces that go with them) stationed in Uzbekistan.
And yet Froggie’s, a cute little French restaurant in Pompano Beach, now only refers to itself as serving “world cuisine”. Other French-owned and French-themed businesses are plastered in as many American flags as Arab businesses were right after 9/11. And you have to love those pamphlets, flyers and open letters taking up entire pages of menus in which French-born business owners (and even Italians from the Bronx unlucky enough to own croissant shops) swear their patriotism and loyalty in these times of adversity.