I don’t have a Jones for the French, but as a people and as a country, they’re some tough hommes et femmes. The French have much to answer for, with respect to Algeria, Mali, Rwanda, and other parts of central and west Africa in which they were ruthless colonialists.
But, they’re on the right side of the moral line, now. This week, French commandos were in Mali, helping roust and capture Islamist militants who had taken over a hotel with 170 people in it. Not too long ago, when the same groups of militants seized the entire northern part of the country, the French went in and routed them, and gave control of the country back to the legitimate government.
The administration of Bill Clinton unambiguously shares responsibility for the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. Not only did the President and members of his Cabinet know about the genocide, they actively blocked attempts by the UN Security Council to intervene and stop it. Between 50% and 70% of the Tutsi population of Rwanda were hacked, shot, and burned to death, over a 3-month period, with full knowledge of the American government.
The French, whose role in that period remains controversial (Rwanda is a former French colony, the French gov’t publicly backed the Hutu-led government, and armed its military forces), nonetheless were the only western nation to actively intervene to stop the genocide. The only one.
The French told George Bush to kiss their derrières when he wanted their help invading Iraq, and were roundly condemned by many denizens of Gutlesswankistan. Their position in that instance (again) turned out to be the morally correct one. And now, even after the attacks in January, and last week, the French remain committed to taking in 30,000 refugees — three times the number being accepted by the Land of Weak-in-the-Knees. Again, making the morally correct choice.
Neither the French nor the Americans have more than a foot on the moral high ground. We’re all the beneficiaries of some nasty and immoral actions by both our ancestors, and by our present day governments.
But the French can claim one whole leg up on Americans, in refusing to be cowed by the terrorists at home. They aren’t running for the bomb shelters, turning away women and children at the borders, out of sweating fear. And, they can claim another leg up on Americans, abroad. French soldiers are on the ground, putting their lives at risk, to help other countries in the fight against terrorists.
Those who clamor against allowing any Syrians — men, boys, girls, women — into the country, should walk it back, and take a look at the French. Right now, your “freedom fries” are look downright limp. I’ll take mine French.