Earlier this week, British cemetries in Northern France were vandalised by persons objecting to the war in Iraq.
A UK newspaper carried this report:
The showpiece cenotaph at the graveyard in Northern France was smeared in red paint with the words: “Dig up your rubbish. It’s fouling our soil.”
Other slogans at the Etaples cemetery near Boulogne included “Death to the Yankees” and “Saddam Hussein will win and spill your blood.”
And the vandals wrote “Rosbeefs go home” — the French insult for Brits is roast-beefs. Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George Bush were also branded war criminals.
The graffiti was discovered by a shocked gardener and spotted by around 80 visitors. It was cleaned off the same day.
Roy Hemmington — spokesman for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission — said: “We are deeply offended. This is the strongest language and most vile graffiti I have witnessed at a war graves cemetery.
“The suggestion that the bodies of soldiers who died for France should be dug up is particularly foul.”
Most soldiers buried at the cemetery were defending France at the Somme and Ypres during World War I.
Another 122 are troops who died fighting the Nazis in World War II.
Among the dead are a winner of the Victoria Cross, 217 holders of the Military Medal and 69 holders of the Military Cross.
A number had been awarded France’s top military decoration, the Legion d’Honneur.
Roy added: “Almost every British regiment has war dead here. This insults just about the entire British Army.”
Anti-British feeling has been whipped up in France since President Jacques Chirac refused to let the UN back action against Iraq.
Last night Jim Kelleher, chief clerk to the Royal Fusiliers Association, said: “No sane person would do this. It is a disgrace. I have family buried in France and if I could get my hands on whoever did this I’d bury them too.”
Jeremy Lillies, of the Royal British Legion, added: “It is distressing.”
The Sun’s Military Adviser Major-General Perkins said: “It is despicable.”
Appalled local MP Jacques Lang said: “It is an attack on the memory of the British and American soldiers who contributed to the liberation of our soil.”
Police captain Thibault Martin added: “It is sick and cowardly.”
The shocking news comes as a new poll reveals that a third of the French want SADDAM to win the war.[Their Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin had to "sleep on it" overnight before he could answer affirmatively that "France" indeed wanted Coalition forces to prevail over Saddam.--J.T.]
A massive 78 per cent of 1,000 people in the poll by French newspaper Le Monde disapproved of the Allied action.
But 16 per cent “really wish for” a Coalition victory — while 37 per cent said they would prefer one.