Liberty, Fraternity, and Bush Derangement Syndrome

Ed Lasky
Francois Furstenberg , professor of history at the University of Montreal, writes a screed in the New York Times opinion pages. Well, all columns in that section are screeds. However, this one just shows that the virus behind the Bush derangement Syndrome has spread to our neighbors to the north. Why bring up 9/11 and Bush's (and our nation's-including Democrats - response to 9/11) to the storming of the Bastille which sparked the French Revolution?
Robespierre — now firmly committed to the most militant brand of Jacobinism — condemned the “treacherous insinuations” cast by those who questioned “the excessive severity of measures prescribed by the public interest.” He warned his political opponents, “This severity is alarming only for the conspirators, only for the enemies of liberty.”

Such measures, then as now, were undertaken to protect the nation — indeed, to protect liberty itself. If the French Terror had a slogan, it was that attributed to the great orator Louis de Saint-Just:

“No liberty for the enemies of liberty.” Saint-Just’s pithy phrase (like President Bush’s variant, “We must not let foreign enemies use the forums of liberty to destroy liberty itself”) could serve as the very antithesis of the Western liberal tradition.

On this principle, the Terror demonized its political opponents, imprisoned suspected enemies without trial and eventually sent thousands to the guillotine. All of these actions emerged from the Jacobin worldview that the enemies of liberty deserved no rights.
Furstenberg seems to be indicting Bush for terrorism. Last I checked, I have not seen any guillotines or the imposition of capital punishment for political acts.
Francois Furstenberg , professor of history at the University of Montreal, writes a screed in the New York Times opinion pages. Well, all columns in that section are screeds. However, this one just shows that the virus behind the Bush derangement Syndrome has spread to our neighbors to the north. Why bring up 9/11 and Bush's (and our nation's-including Democrats - response to 9/11) to the storming of the Bastille which sparked the French Revolution?
Robespierre — now firmly committed to the most militant brand of Jacobinism — condemned the “treacherous insinuations” cast by those who questioned “the excessive severity of measures prescribed by the public interest.” He warned his political opponents, “This severity is alarming only for the conspirators, only for the enemies of liberty.”

Such measures, then as now, were undertaken to protect the nation — indeed, to protect liberty itself. If the French Terror had a slogan, it was that attributed to the great orator Louis de Saint-Just:

“No liberty for the enemies of liberty.” Saint-Just’s pithy phrase (like President Bush’s variant, “We must not let foreign enemies use the forums of liberty to destroy liberty itself”) could serve as the very antithesis of the Western liberal tradition.

On this principle, the Terror demonized its political opponents, imprisoned suspected enemies without trial and eventually sent thousands to the guillotine. All of these actions emerged from the Jacobin worldview that the enemies of liberty deserved no rights.
Furstenberg seems to be indicting Bush for terrorism. Last I checked, I have not seen any guillotines or the imposition of capital punishment for political acts.