Sunday, November 06, 2005

The End of France
As a Western Country?

From John Derbyshire at the NRO Corner:


An acquaintance of mine -- French, currently resident in North Africa -- sent a long post about the French riots to an email group I belong to. It is a fascinating post, but much too long to paste here.

I did think, though, that the following passage would interest NRO readers, so with his permission, I pass it on. It is from a passage headed: "Why an Intifada in France?"

It is among a long list of reasons given as answers to the question. "The Iraq war: as I had noticed very strongly in Tunisia a little more than 2 years ago, the opposition of France to intervention in Iraq has been perceived as a sign of weakness, and French are since considered as Dhimmis.

The change of attitude from Arabs against French has been dramatic: now I know problems of security in Tunisia, and even in the French planes to go and come from there, and in Nice (French Riviera) Airport!

This opposition, probably motivated by the money earned in Oil For Terror program and by threats from Saudi Arabia and Iran, has marked the end of France as a Western country (whatever one thinks about the Iraq war per se!)."

Let me be clear. I do not want France to end. It would be a disaster for Western Civization. It would be like cutting off one of our limbs.

To be sure, France is no longer the France of old, and has not been for a very long time. For years, France has instead been the doddering old aunt you're afraid to leave alone in her apartment for fear she will start a fire. Well, yes, and look what she has done.

But, obviously, this is no cause for celebration. I do not believe civilizations and cultures follow timelines of life and death, the way people do. People grow old and die. Civilizations, I believe, can grow old and decrepit, and then revive themselves, by returning to their values. Often, it takes a war to shock the culture into a remembrance of itself.

This is what has happened in America since 9/11. I pray that this is what will happen to France as a result of these riots. They need to know that their culture can be taken from them. It can all go away. No more cute little winding Rue's winding off the main Blvd. No more shop windows with the latest sophisticated fashions. No more sauces and subtle vintages.

If you are a praying person, I'd say pray for France. There's not much we Americans can do.

More than likely these riots will stop eventually. I predict that they will not burn out, but instead, they will suddenly and mysteriously just stop. Whether or not, the police ever begin to get real serious.