"It is the duty of France and Europe to show that the clash of civilizations is not inevitable. No one retains this wisdom, inherited from our history, as we, French and Europeans, do."
- French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, on the "U.S." war on terror
Really! Was that Paris, or some other wisdom-filled European city, that was aflame a few months ago from a little clash of civilizations of its own when disaffected Muslim youths rampaged for weeks?
It's also quite convenient to be sitting across the pond and categorizing events and threats in the United States: Villepin arrogantly decrees the United States isn't even at war with Islamofascists - preferring, instead, the meandering phrase "a determined fight based on vigilance at all times and effective cooperation with our partners." What? Does that make any more sense in French? Can you imagine Eisenhower saying that to occupied France?
Then again, France and the United States never have quite agreed on the attributes of self-defense. Except maybe when U.S. soldiers were liberating Paris.
It's also more than a little disconcerting that this down-the-nose review of American foreign policy comes from a country that was doing a pretty healthy business with a genocidal maniac in Saddam Hussein - no doubt washing the blood off the money at the French border.
If that's "wisdom," we'll have none of it, thank you very much.