Thingish Things

Unfinished Business

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Mar• 19•11

Plaque Outside Former La Belle Disco

A friend of mine, a former U.S. Army Reserve paratrooper, almost got himself arrested at Charles De Gaulle airport 25 years ago next month.  Well, not in the airport exactly, but on its tarmac.

He was en route to Moscow with a layover at DeGaulle where he refused to “de-plane” for an airplane cleaning.  His reason?  He would not have his passport “marred” with a French stamp.  (The gendarmes eventually gave up and the cleaning crew vacuumed around him.)

France had just denied the U.S. use of its airspace for bombing runs over Libya code named Operation El Dorado Canyon – Gaddafi had ordered the bombing of a Berlin discotheque filled with U.S. servicemen days earlier – resulting in U.S. pilots having to take a more dangerous and fuel-consuming route in and out of Libya.  A U.S. F111 went down as a result and two of our pilots died.

Twenty-five years later, the French are leading the strike against the exact same target – Gaddafi.

Le ironie.


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  1. Me says:

    Je n’ai pas su que vous parlez français!

  2. Oui, oui, mon petit chous. Le Google.

  3. Me says:

    Je préfère le traducteur de Babelfish

  4. […] came into the consciousness of most Americans in 1986 when he ordered the bombing of a Berlin disco packed with U.S. servicemen.  Two of our soldiers were killed. Next was the bombing of Pan Am […]

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