Yesterday, a military blogger posted a photo of the coffins of six members of the Air Force who died trying to transport Afghani children to a U.S. hospital. The blogger wrote,
Six brave airmen died trying to make life better for children and their families who were brutalized under a tyrannical theocratic regime. Show me any other nation that does this as a matter of routine, 99% of the time without any press or media attention.
InstaPundit linked this and commented, with a sneer,
It ain't the French.
I guess something like this doesn’t count for InstaPundit:
July 6  [AP]: Two French peacekeepers were seriously injured when a mine exploded while they were trying to deactivate it. The two suffered injuries to their heads and hands and were evacuated to France a day later. The mine and ordinance clean-up operations near the Kabul airport has cleared more than 800 mines since April.
--Alex Vassar, “Current Casualties from the Operation Enduring Freedom,” 2002
And I guess this doesn't count as aid to people brutalized by tyrants:
French police serving as peacekeepers in Kosovo on Monday notified the families of 26 men missing from this town for five months that the men had been killed by Serbs and dumped in a mass grave and that four suspects have been arrested.
The case is the first time in Kosovo that foreigners have completed a war crimes investigation, working from the first reports of missing people to finding the graves and making arrests. Their speed demonstrates a greater commitment than was the case in the former Yugoslavia to catch those responsible for war crimes.
--St. Petersburg Times, 9/28/99
And I guess none of the following counts as evidence that dangerous peacekeeping and nation-building work is done regularly around the world by ordinary French service personnel:
Hundreds of U.S. Marines and French peacekeepers were killed in almost simultaneous terror truck bomb assaults on their headquarters in Beirut in 1983.
--National Review, 9/11/01
September 9, 1992... Heavy machine gun fire blasted a UN convoy arriving from Serbia late Tuesday, killing two French peacekeepers and wounding two others.
--testimony before the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, 1/25/93
The peace process in the Ivory Coast was in tatters yesterday after 30 rebel soldiers were killed and nine French peacekeepers wounded in the bloodiest clash of a four-month armed uprising.
--Daily Telegraph (U.K.), 1/8/03
And on the subject of hard, dangerous work being done “without any press or media attention”:
[Thomas] Friedman [of The New York Times] contrasts the very different responses of the French and the Americans to losses of recent years. The French press and public reacted rather calmly and matter-of-factly to the tragic loss of French peacekeepers to snipers in Bosnia; the story was buried in the back pages of the newspapers and did not create much of a political storm, thereby allowing that peacekeeping mission to continue. American experience has been quite different. Losses in Somalia and the celebration of the return of a downed American pilot after his escape from Bosnia highlight the different operating principles of the French and American publics, as well as of their presses and political establishments.
--Joel Rosenthal in Naval War College Review, 1997