It is now disturbingly clear that French President Jacques Chirac's low opinion of America and American foreign policy is due not to any philosophical disagreement or even an inherent Gallic moodiness, but is essentially a gutless response to bullying and intimidation by his country's Muslim minority and their allies of the intellectual left.
Just last month the French president told the BBC that he was "not at all sure" the world has become safer after the removal of Saddam Hussein. No other European leader could possibly spout such gibberish and expect to be taken seriously. The world not safer after removing a fascist dictator responsible for an estimated 1.3 million Iraqi murders, a homicidal maniac who has kept the Middle East in a constant state of turmoil with his periodic invasions of Kuwait and Iran, to say nothing of the genocide in Kurdistan? What's the matter, Jacques, Saddam not bad enough for you?
The Iraq War has seen the annihilation of hundreds of thousands of armed Muslim fanatics, viscous psychopaths who will never again take up arms against Christian, Jewish and Muslim 'infidels.' Yet the French president and his European (and American) allies blame the Iraq War for an alleged growth spurt of Islamic fundamentalism, seemingly ignorant of the fact that radical Islam has been around as a serious political force since well before the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis. Nor does contemporary Islamic fanaticism require an American troop presence to thrive. The current record—number of anti—Semitic attacks by French and Belgian Muslims has nothing to do with the Iraq War, and everything to do with the Israeli—Palestinian Conflict. The murder of film director Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam, the kidnapping of French nationals over the headscarf ban, and the dozens of pre—war terrorist attacks world—wide also have nothing to do with Iraq, and everything to do with Islamic intolerance of religious freedom, free speech, and the spreading influence of Western Civilization in the Muslim world.
France, of course, has never truly gotten over losing its top spot in the world dominion sweepstakes. But following Napoleon's defeat that is exactly what happened. As world leader France was supplanted by Britain, and the British by the Americans. In the meantime, French armies were thrice pummeled into submission by die Deutsche Wehrmacht, and twice had to have their derrieres pulled from the fire by British and American GI's. After two centuries of humiliation the Frenchman has only his culture and cuisine to be proud of, and more and more often he finds even those delicacies usurped by American popular culture and the indecencies of fast food.
But there is a larger reason for Mr. Chirac's low opinion of Uncle Sam. France is home to Europe's greatest Muslim population, largely immigrants from her former African colonies in Algeria and Morocco. Mr. Chirac knows he must constantly appease the hearts and minds of his country's fundamentalist hotheads...or else. Europe's Muslim psychopaths have already shown a casual willingness to butcher anyone who dare insult their medieval faith and nomadic culture. This year alone, France has seen hundreds of anti—Semitic attacks——not waged by the historically Jew—hating French Catholic peasants, but by French Muslims——and to such an extent that thousands of Jews are fleeing to the Promised Land for their own safety. When the French government recently outlawed the hijab (traditional headscarf), there was an immediate roar of protest by local Muslims. But before the avenues and boulevards of Paris were turned into a second Beirut, Muslim terrorists saved the day by kidnapping two French female reporters. The resulting anti—Muslim backlash may have been all that prevented French Muslims from loosing unprecedented mayhem. Now, his eye cast warily north, Mr. Chirac sees that The Netherlands are undergoing their own anti—Muslim unrest following Mr. van Gogh's slaughter, while the warm glow of blazing mosques illuminates the low country skies.
No wonder Mr. Chirac fears his French Muslim constituency and is willing to utter any imbecility in order to appease them. It may be a cowardly way to lead a once—great nation, but it is understandable when dealing with a large minority of potential extremists who hold to an ancient nomadic faith that, unlike the other peoples of the Book, has not evolved, adapted, or been exposed to the glow of the Enlightenment.
Perhaps what the French need is a real leader, one who will lead not from fear, but from strength. One who will uphold France's great tradition as a birthplace of the Enlightenment, one who will not allow a minority of fundamentalist crackpots to censor, threaten, and destroy the rights of man. Today's France is but a shadow if not a mockery of the land of Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Diderot. And a misguided antipathy toward the US will not restore her to her former greatness.
Christopher Orlet's homepage is www.christopherorlet.blogspot.com