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A Theory (What if there’s method to the Franco-German madness??
National Review ^
| March 10, 2003
| Michael Ledeen
Posted on 03/10/2003 6:18:35 AM PST by conservativecorner
Assume, for a moment, that the French and the Germans aren't thwarting us out of pique, but by design, long-term design. Then look at the world again, and see if there's evidence of such a design.
Like everyone else, the French and the Germans saw that the defeat of the Soviet Empire projected the United States into the rare, almost unique position of a global hyperpower, a country so strong in every measurable element that no other nation could possibly resist its will. The "new Europe" had been designed to carve out a limited autonomy for the old continent, a balance-point between the Americans and the Soviets. But once the Soviets were gone, and the Red Army melted down, the European Union was reduced to a combination theme park and free-trade zone. Some foolish American professors and doltish politicians might say and even believe that henceforth "power" would be defined in economic terms, and that military power would no longer count. But cynical Europeans know better.
They dreaded the establishment of an American empire, and they sought for a way to bring it down.
If you were the French president or the German chancellor, you might well have done the same.
How could it be done? No military operation could possibly defeat the United States, and no direct economic challenge could hope to succeed. That left politics and culture. And here there was a chance to turn America's vaunted openness at home and toleration abroad against the United States. So the French and the Germans struck a deal with radical Islam and with radical Arabs: You go after the United States, and we'll do everything we can to protect you, and we will do everything we can to weaken the Americans.
The Franco-German strategy was based on using Arab and Islamic extremism and terrorism as the weapon of choice, and the United Nations as the straitjacket for blocking a decisive response from the United States.
This required considerable skill, and total cynicism, both of which were in abundant supply in Paris and Berlin. Chancellor Shroeder gained reelection by warning of American warmongering, even though, as usual, America had been attacked first. And both Shroeder and Chirac went to great lengths to support Islamic institutions in their countries, even when as in the French case it was in open violation of the national constitution. French law stipulates a total separation of church and state, yet the French Government openly funds Islamic "study" centers, mosques, and welfare organizations. A couple of months ago, Chirac approved the creation of an Islamic political body, a mini-parliament, that would provide Muslims living in France with official stature and enhanced political clout. And both countries have permitted the Saudis to build thousands of radical Wahhabi mosques and schools, where the hatred of the infidels is instilled in generation after generation of young Sunnis. It is perhaps no accident that Chirac went to Algeria last week and promised a cheering crowd that he would not rest until America's grand design had been defeated.
Both countries have been totally deaf to suggestions that the West take stern measures against the tyrannical terrorist sponsors in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Saudi Arabia. Instead, they do everything in their power to undermine American-sponsored trade embargoes or more limited sanctions, and it is an open secret that they have been supplying Saddam with military technology through the corrupt ports of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid's little playground in Dubai, often through Iranian middlemen.
It sounds fanciful, to be sure. But the smartest people I know have been thoroughly astonished at recent French and German behavior. This theory may help understand what's going on. I now believe that I was wrong to forecast that the French would join the war against Iraq at the last minute, having gained every possible economic advantage in the meantime. I think Chirac will oppose us before, during, and after the war, because he has cast his lot with radical Islam and with the Arab extremists. He isn't doing it just for the money although I have no doubt that France is being richly rewarded for defending Saddam against the civilized countries of the world but for higher stakes. He's fighting to end the feared American domination before it takes stable shape.
If this is correct, we will have to pursue the war against terror far beyond the boundaries of the Middle East, into the heart of Western Europe. And there, as in the Middle East, our greatest weapons are political: the demonstrated desire for freedom of the peoples of the countries that oppose us.
Radio Free France, anyone?
Michael Ledeen, an NRO contributing editor, is most recently the author of The War Against the Terror Masters. Ledeen, Resident Scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute, can be reached through Benador Associates.
TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
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We did it twice, and we'll do it again.
To: Semper Paratus
If you really think about it, it is not a far fetched theory. I mean Germany is ruled by members of Baeder-Meinhof, etc and France is....well France. What other way do they have to try and minimize us?
posted on 03/10/2003 6:30:12 AM PST
by Ga Rob
("Consensus is the ABSENCE of Leadership" The Iron Lady)
An interesting, but tinfoil-laden, analysis. It's hard to believe that they would have this much hubris, or to give themselves and their own counties over to Islam. You'd have to believe that Chirac is a closet Islamist. Either way, though, they are playing a dangerous game.
posted on 03/10/2003 6:34:41 AM PST
A pretty wild hypothesis. Under any scenario, the French are nuts. I can't believe Chirac and Schroeder want to exercise this "power" they're looking for in a Muslim dominated Europe. Can their hatred for the US be that great???
posted on 03/10/2003 6:35:40 AM PST
Not only Radio Free France, but how about another regime change in France (like 1944)?
Clearly there is the undercurrent within Europe that Franco german cooperation should dominate the world. I am not certain that the decisions for policies that further this end is totally calculated rather it is more like an underlying theme. The vast majority of other nations supporting the USA in this including Poland, Hungary and the other former East bloc states makes total sense in the light they are using support of the USA to counterweight the local bullies of France and Germany who would view them as potential economic colonies.
posted on 03/10/2003 6:37:46 AM PST
(Stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown)
The hatred of millions of Americans for our country is as great.
posted on 03/10/2003 6:41:09 AM PST
It sounds fanciful, to be sure. But the smartest people I know have been thoroughly astonished at recent French and German behavior. This theory may help understand what's going on.
An intriguing theory, to be sure.
For a possible alternative explanation (not necessarily mutually exclusive), see post #23 in this FreeRepublic thread.
posted on 03/10/2003 6:41:16 AM PST
It is not as outrageous a theory when you recall that Chirac has a decades long friendship with Saddam and that France has been courting the Islamic world ever since the Arab Oil Boycott in the mid 1970s. There is a great deal of muslim immigration into Europe, especially France, and those countries are greatly dependent still on arab oil.
You look at the huge bias in favor of the Palestinians against Israel throughout Europe; you look at the tolerance of Islamic culture vs the villification of American and Israeli culture there; you look at the willful grandstanding France and Germany are doing now in the UN in favor of an Arab dictator; listen to Villepin's speech last week where he stated the Arab League and Muslim States support for their position (as if those organizations were somehow equivalent to NATO) and you see that there is something nefarious going on.
There has been speculation for years that the French and some other Europeans have "bought off" the Muslim terrorists just like Saudi Arabia has -- in return for no terrorism on their shores, they agree to support the radical Islamic agenda and thwart the US and its ally Israel in the Middle East.
Given the events of today and the last few weeks, how far-fetched does that really seem?
posted on 03/10/2003 6:45:49 AM PST
(the land of the free and the home of the brave)
Intellectuals should never try to figure out the motives of stupid people. There is no plan, a plan would require forethought, something which has always escaped the French. One can only surmise that the Germans caught stupid from their repeated exposure to it by spending too much time in the infected country.
Given the surging Moslem population in Europe, in thirty years the Moslem nation with the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons will be France.
Clearly there is the undercurrent within Europe that Franco german cooperation should dominate the world.
They tried that once before with Vichy France.
In the future the names "Chirac" and "Schroeder" may be reviled as much as "Petain" and "Quisling."
"It sounds fanciful, to be sure"
It sounds driven by pettiness and envy.......It sounds FRENCH!
You'd have to believe that Chirac is a closet Islamist.
Not really: simply an opportunist. At current birthrates and immigration policies, native Europeans will soon be overcome by Muslims. Colonial arrogance leads the political elite to believe they can control, even manipulate these hordes to their advantage.
It may not be as deliberate a strategy as Ledeen describes, but what matters is the result.
A large percent of europeans are perfectly content to have a government (any government will do) tell them what to do and how, when, and where to do it.
They get nice vacations, free medical, and their police carry automatic weapons.
They do not want to suffer the vagaries of democracy, the uncertainty of change, or the risks of action.
It's nice to know that your airplanes are subsidized, your farm goods are protected from new-world genetics, your politicians will cut a deal with any dictator with something to market, and even your language is protected by law.
Any wonder that they still fear what the Anglos are likely to do if left to their own devices?
posted on 03/10/2003 6:48:46 AM PST
I think the French and Germans have figured out a safe way to get people to divest their dollars and invest in Euros. I am not sure you need a more complicated explanation than that.
posted on 03/10/2003 6:50:09 AM PST
Let's ask the author. Mike, what do you think about the questions I raise here
posted on 03/10/2003 6:50:34 AM PST
Under any scenario, the French are nuts.
Yeah, nuts like a fox! Er, uh, I mean, nuts like a squirrel! ...never mind.
posted on 03/10/2003 6:54:35 AM PST
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