|Bloggage, rants, and occasional notes of despair|
Call this long gap an "extended hiatus". Whether the hiatus resumes will depend on how the job market treats me this year.
Black Jacques Chirac quite famously denounced the wearing of the hijab, the headscarf prescribed by Muslim tradition for women, in the schools. For his troubles in promoting secularism, he has been vilified by Muslims and loony leftists worldwide; Islamist terrorism may even have reached out their cruel hands to murder Frenchmen.
My nose bleeds for M. Chirac. He has tried to ride the tiger, and been thrown and mauled for his pains.When he made his speech, American tranzies (if the term is not an oxymoron) immediately turned on him. Yes, they hate Bush with a passion that passes all understanding. Yes, they hate American unilateralism in Iraq (as opposed to, say, French unilateralism in West Africa). But they, not Republican neo-cons, are the true proponents of "if you are not with us, you are against us". For Chirac to be insufficiently multicultural is a killing offense; and since they cannot physically kill him, they must kill him in what they think is the popular view; i.e., theirs.This is one more battle in the tranzie Kulturkampf. If Islamist terrorism strikes a hard blow at France, they will waffle on the moral responsibility for it, and counsel the French to remember why Muslims hate them so.The difference will be in the response. America is a nation of moral ideals; however lamentably short we have fallen in practice, however much Americans have paid lip service to those ideals instead of acting to implement them, they have remained with us, simultaneously a goal and a goad. However hypocritically, Bush invoked those ideals to justify, in part, the Third Gulf War; we would overthrowing a vile and vicious tyrant, he claimed, and bringing democracy to Iraq; at the worst, we would be doing well by doing good.France's only standard of conduct has been "France first; the rest nowhere". Their reach is shorter and their arm lighter than ours, but their strength will be used ruthlessly, without the introspection that has so often caused us to hesitate. Those Americans who, in the events leading up to the Third Gulf War, thought that Chirac and France stood for peace, diplomacy, and tolerance will find themselves cruelly deceived.Just possibly, one or two of them will realize that they deceived themselves.
John "Akatsukami" Braue Thursday, January 08, 2004