Friday, March 19, 2004

French Follies, Number XLII in a Series (revised Sun. Mar. 21)

Bulletin from the front: French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin is a moral cretin. You remember de Villepin: the "dashing," "eloquent" diplomat who "speaks excellent English in that oh-so-sexy French accent." He's a poet and author, including a Napoleon biography that "laments the dream that was lost at Waterloo ('a defeat which gleams with the aura of victory')." He favors "dialogue, persuasion and negotiation," and used those skills on behalf of a France that supported at least 18 U.N. resolutions condemning Saddam Hussein's Iraq and threatening force to ensure compliance. France promised to support Bush's U.N. resolution--which was a lie. When Saddam didn't play nice, de Villepin said "just foolin'": "nothing justifies envisaging military action." Somehow, the snobby Frenchman hasn't yet rebuked America, Britain or Canada for military action beginning June 6, 1944 that liberated his country from the Nazis. Given de Villepin's sensitivity, perhaps we should apologize and de-liberate France.

Of course, none of de Villepin's blather prevented continuing French colonialism in Africa (which aids African elites, but not African people) or invading the Ivory Coast--without explaining why prior U.N. authorization was no longer a prerequisite. Moving beyond former colonies, de Villepin also welcomed Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe to Paris, abandoning a Europe-wide boycott of the racist murderer who destroyed Africa's second most prosperous nation. And like many on the left, de Villepin's "anti-war" policy morphed into "aiding those killing Americans" policy--the moment we liberated Iraq, he jetted to Syria to "discuss defence [sic] against U.S. accusations that Syria is helping fleeing Iraqi war criminals and . . . [that Syria was] providing support to anti-American forces in Iraq."

When terrorists toppled the Spanish government last Sunday, France and de Villepin were among the biggest winners. And de Villepin's so elated, he's discarded diplomacy. In an interview in Friday's Le Monde, the minister says what he really thinks:
Terrorism didn't exist in Iraq before. Today, it is one of the world's principal sources of world terrorism. . . It is a conviction I never ceased expressing.
Got that? As many as 290,000 Iraqis murdered and stacked in 270 mass graves--but that's not terrorism. Thousands of women raped while their husbands or fathers watched--and the men thereafter tortured and killed--a tea party, not terror. Indeed, prior to Iraqi liberation, Saddam's oldest son made rape a "hobby" (according to the son's press secretary!)--no terror there, says de Villepin. No, France wanted Iraqi oil. Last year's "anti-war" protesters were right: it's all about oil--for France, not the U.S. (More foreign policy "mirror imaging!" (see tpfp post 2:13 9:56pm.)) Small wonder de Villepin's attitude remains: "No killings, rape or torture. . . nothing to see here. . . move along. . . " (Same for Russia and Germany.)

Global Islamic terrorism, Iraqi or otherwise, wasn't a response to the liberation of Iraq. But contrary to ravings of Howard Dean, Ted Kennedy and other Dems, Iraq and radical Muslim terrorists are related. As Jonah Goldberg writes, "If there's no link between 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq, why did al Qaeda blow up those trains?"

Because it's the same enemy. Everyone knows the terrorists now murdering Iraqi civilians also are liable for 2996 dead in lower Manhattan, including one French citizen--but perhaps de Villepin assumes they perished from natural causes. An Algerian flying Air France to Paris on Christmas Eve 1994--de Villepin thinks the hole in his head was a stroke. American Leon Klinghoffer, wheelchair-bound on the cruise ship Achille Lauro--France's Foreign Minister assumes he was tossed overboard by an unexpected gust (at least until Klinghoffer's killer was caught in Iraq). The gaping gap in the hull of French-owned supertanker "Limburg" (killing a crew member)--de Villepin suggests below-deck sailors sought a sea breeze. 500 Israelis dispatched by Palestinians between 1994 and Iraq's liberation (most of them women and children and the elderly)--de Villepin supposes 500 heart attacks, many simultaneous. 202 revelers blasted to bits in a Bali disco--France blames the "electric slide." Eleven athletes and a policeman massacred in Munich at the 1972 Olympic games--the frogs suspect steroids. Perhaps de Villepin can team with O.J.--to find the real killer.

France always had trouble with truth. The nation still overlooks its record of Nazi collaboration, substituting the myth of the Resistance. As Adam Gopnik observed, the French routinely alter facts to fit theory--and theory alone endures. Only a dedicated ideologue could pretend the Palestinian and Al Qaeda murder-sprees began after Saddam. Indeed, as explained in tpfp post 3/13 5:42pm, Bin Laden began because of Russia (Afghanistan invasion, 1979) and Spain (re-taking the country from Moors, 1492). Iraq's just terrorism's latest excuse--and the French know it. Such official ignorance dishonors the innocent victims--including murdered Frenchmen.

Radical Islam's goal isn't slaughtering Americans, Israelis, the Trilateral Commission or CIA agents who terminated Kennedy. Or, rather, it isn't just them. Terrorists want the whole enchilada--to extinguish the civilized, enlightened West. Last time I checked, that included Europe. However tolerant we are, radical Islam won't return the favor. They believe the war between secular democracy and Islamic government is a zero sum game. So appeasement works like Pavlov's bell--it makes murderers hungry for more.

After the Limburg bombing, the Islamic Army of Aden mused, "We would have preferred to hit a US frigate, but no problem because they are all infidels." Not just Americans, not Jews, not Spaniards, Poles or even left-handed one-legged lesbian Lithuanians. Infidels. We're all infidels. Christians and agnostics. Buddhist monks and Voodoo witch doctors. Terrorists don't distinguish--so an ACLU card or San Francisco Chronicle subscription won't protect you. A "Kerry for President" bumper sticker won't bomb-proof an "infidel's" car. I grant them this--radical Muslims are equal opportunity murderers; they even kill other Muslims.

The dashing diplomat disregards it all. So to hell with France. Starting today, "Lafayette, you're on your own."

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