Wednesday, November 18, 2015


The French, contrary to the "white flag" jokes, have quite a reputation for hard-nosed intervention when their interests seem threatened, or when client allies are. Unfortunately this tends to be on a small scale. Daesh would require more manpower, more money, and more time. Will they have the tenacity to keep up the fight? And on top of that there's the homegrown jihad culture which supplied much of the manpower for this assault...

Does this image seem represent determination to resist the enemy?

I don't think so either. The USA has been very good at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory when the task takes too long, and what I see reported of the French attitudes suggests that they are very like us that way.

But I don't know for sure, because of selection bias in reporting. Paris isn't all of France, and I don't hear much from people who aren't of the cosmopolitan elite. One news story said a mosque had been attacked--the story deprecated the violence. For all I know the attack may have accurately targeted one of the enemy recruitment centers--or it may have been a relatively harmless group after all. I have a funny feeling that people living nearby might have a pretty good idea about the character of a mosque, developed from interactions with the people who go there. Unless, of course, there are no longer any non-Muhammadans living nearby.

I'd feel more sanguine about French future if I heard of more violence and not less. One can redirect inchoate anger into more disciplined action, but I don't know you can turn quietism and decadence into anything useful.

Is anybody going to start asking the big questions, like "What makes a nation" and "Are there incompatible cultures spoiler: yes, if so what do we do with each other in a single country?"

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