Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Tuesday, 2 November 2004

A useful counterblast on the role of France in countering terrorism

Despite what one might believe from reading some of the more lurid commentary (mainly emanating from the US) about the 'cowardly' French and their 'cheese-eating surrender monkey' ways - almost all of the most well-known right-of-centre US-based weblogs seem to talk about this often - the truth is rather different, and this article in EURSOC makes some useful points, specially coming as it does from a source which is often pretty critical of France.

Having lived in France itself for a number of years, and in various French-controlled or French-influenced territories for additional years, I have been well aware for years that the French can be pretty ruthless, and ruthlessly pragmatic, when furthering what they see as their own national interests. Quite apart from their pretty rigorous practical steps to counter terrorism domestically and the efforts of their (by repute) well-respected intelligence services to gather and share information, one has only to recall how they dealt with the fallout from the Rainbow Warrior sinking in New Zealand to realise that the Scottish Royal motto 'Nemo me impune lacessit' might apply with equal vigour to France. Sometimes the actions of French governments are pretty distasteful, but they always have the interests of France (as they see them) in mind - there are countless examples to choose from: the 'Vichy' regime, the processes of disengagement followed in Indo-China and later in Algeria, not to mention the petty (but drastic) actions in some former French West African territories.

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