I don’t like publicly disagreeing with Michelle Malkin, but I find I have to. She wrote a scathing indictment of the French, and it’s not pretty. But I’m not quite ready to write them off.
After bailing them out of World War I, World War II, Viet Nam, and numerous other problems, a lot of people think the United States should just let the French fall apart to the Islamists. It’s a hell of a tempting notion, and I can’t refute a single point of Michelle’s. (Having spoken to her twice, briefly, on talk shows, I feel our relationship is such that I can address her by her first name.)
But I don’t. I think that it is crucial that we rescue France from its own folly yet again. And it has nothing to do with the French, but France itself.
First up, let’s remember that France is a nuclear nation. One of the most nuclear nations on earth. Should the Islamists gain the upper hand there, they’ll have ready access to scads of nuclear technology, nuclear reactors, and — perhaps — even some of France’s nuclear weapons.
Second, there’s the cultural element. (Here’s where I wish I was better at Photoshop.) Imagine the Eiffel Tower with a minaret on top. A burqua on the Mona Lisa, or Venus De Milo. That’s likely to happen should the world ever face a Gaulistan.
(I have my own vision of the flag of Gaulistan: a rectangle, bisected by a line running from top right to bottom left — the “bar sinister” of bastardy. The top left field would be the white of a flag of surrender; the bottom right yellow of cowardice. And smack dab in the middle, a big green crescent.)
Third, there’s geography. France is smack dab in the middle of western Europe. It has access to the English Channel, the North Sea, the Atlantic, and the Mediterranean. On land, it borders Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. To give the Islamists this foothold is like ignoring a fire in your neighbor’s apartment because the guy’s a jerk. The fire is far more of a threat than the jerk is, and it will not be confined to just his apartment for very long. And while it’s satisfying to see his stuff (and, perhaps, even him) go up in smoke, the result will be far worse than
Fourth, there’s the principle that in war, you don’t give the enemy any victories. The Islamists have made their goals crystal clear, and they include the conquest of France. As tempting it is to throw France to the wolves (especially in a historical context, when one considers the fate of nations that have defeated France — particularly Nazi Germany and Viet Nam), we should not simply indulge the French in their national vocation of surrendering.
You’ll note that there’s not a hint of sympathy or compassion for the French people among any of those reasons. That is deliberate. Quite frankly (no pun intended), the French neither want nor deserve such. But it is in our self interest, as defenders of Western civilization, to keep France from letting the French be hoisted by their own petard.
And if there’s a more quintessentially French reason for doing something than “our own self-interest, regardless of what you want,” I don’t know what it might be.
So, why save the French? Certainly not for their benefit. In fact, we need to do it in spite of them. Perhaps, even, to spite them. Because, in the end, it’s in our best interests. And to have them owe their freedom to us yet again will gall them no end. (Pun intended that time.)