52 thoughts on “France”

  1. Article 5
    The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

    Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security .

  2. Fernandez is my go to guy. France is now at bat. What happened next will make a huge difference, If Hollande flubs this, Marie Le Pen will be the next president,

  3. I think Marie Le Pen was already going to be the next president, and Hollande has already flubbed it.

    As did Sarkozy, Merkel, Bush, and many other Western leaders over the last many years.

    Too late now.

  4. If Hollande flubs this

    He already has. A real leader would have asked his security detail for a weapon, then led them into battle against the terrorists outside the stadium. Hollande is a coward, who cannot do what ordinary citizens on a train or plane have done. He is a manager, able to manage the decline of the French people and their parasitic state, nothing more.

  5. I imagine that the most relevant, the most informative facts with regard to the Paris killings are the number of Muslims and/or number of mosques per capita around the city. (Mr. Obama should re-evaluate the wisdom of importing these problems notwithstanding the desire to increase the number of Democratic dependents, or the desire to be an international do-gooder.)

    It’s true that the Koran informs these evil doers and true believers. I note that some earlier commenters believe that this means that the only way to win is to wipe out the Muslims. This is, of course, bloodthirsty and impractical. What is needed is simply for leaders to recognize and embrace the idea that these bad actors are Muslims following their creed and then condemn the instruction manual – the Koran.

    Islam is not “the religion of peace”. Churchill had it right and said something like it is the scourge of the world and, also, “in a man it is like rabies in a dog”. Pretty harsh but there it is.

  6. “Trouble at Gatwick this morning.”

    Yes, two “Frenchmen” with guns tried to board. They ran when blocked. Tony Blair’s hangover.

    We will be dealing with Obama’s hangover long after he has become UN chair and the US has left the UN.

  7. Ultimately, the French people are to blame for their situation from electing leaders oblivious to the threat, just like the American people are responsible for electing Obama, Pelosi, and Reid.

    I was just listening to a Vassar Clements song that rings true – “if you don’t want to feel the hoof, stay away from the back of the mule.”

  8. I just got blocked over at “Catholic and Enjoying It” because I wouldn’t forget that the proprietor, Mark Shea, recently spent a good chunk of electrons excoriating Catholics who said that terrorists among the refugees was a serious likelihood and that they were just like pro-choice Catholics, a bunch of hypocrites. Butter wouldn’t melt in that man’s mouth.

    Usefully, he advocated prayer as a response to the Paris attacks. Less usefully, stopped his commentary right there. He wasn’t much interested in apologies for his recent brickbats on the subject of the danger posed by mass immigration and unfiltered refugees. Since he makes a living as a professional apologist, it’s going to be interesting how he handles Pope Francis’ declaration that this strike was part of a piecemeal WW III but I won’t likely be commenting on the goings on anytime soon.

    The path forward to victory remains the same. It does not need genocide or the eradication of Islam per se. The Vatican is right in avoiding cornering Islam and giving them no way out.

    Michael Hiteshaw – the non-eradication path forward is to clearly define unacceptable behavior that the vast bulk of the world agrees is unacceptable. We have not done so to this date. Imams that issue court (sharia) decrees that call for private violence and do not exclude non-muslim jurisdictions have to be treated seriously as the violations of our sovereignty that they are. That mouse has got to stop roaring. Imams are unlikely to be hard to catch. Their job keeps them in the public eye. We do not go after them in an organized way because of the 1st amendment freedom of religion. Defining our targets specifically as ones abusively exercising their judicial office should allow the vast bulk of imams to continue their vocations as they aren’t actually a threat as are the vast bulk of muslims. The same vigilance towards our sovereignty should apply to any islamic executive power that claims jurisdiction over the USA, such as ISIS does.

  9. TMLutus, the problem is that islam does not separate religion from society, it’s rules are one and the same. And it’s a barbaric, backward, totalitarian ideology. By definition, once these people become a large minority or majority in a region it reverts to barbarism. You see a few bad apples, I see a backward, violent, oppressive death cult.

  10. Michael Hiteshaw – Here, you mistake me. I do not see “a few bad apples”. I see a fragile construct that cannot survive sustained contact with modernity without resorting to violence. I’m willing, down to the last muslim, to permit them their faith so long as they renounce violence. I see it as a suicide pact for them absent the sort of reformation that Egypt’s President Sisi advocated in his speech this January. Maybe they’ll survive. Maybe they won’t. But the violence has to stop and we have to stop treating them as if they are children and not responsible for their actions.

  11. To TMLutas – Unfortunately at this point the survival probability of Middle Eastern peoples appears generally to be greater than that of European peoples whose populations are currently in demographic collapse. The historical record across the world suggests that violence is often quite successful.

    Almost all populations living according to Western “modernity” appear to be heading to extinction based on current demographic trends. It is “modernity” which appears to a “fragile construct”.

  12. Jim – While you have a point about total fertility rate (TFR), it’s not that strong a point. Iran’s TFR is lower than France’s. Iran also has a higher child mortality rate than France. There are a lot of country pairs that would go the other way but it’s not entirely one sided.

  13. TMLutas – During nearly all of the more than 1300 years of conflict between the West and Islam the West had a strong numerical advantage. This is no longer the case. Now the West faces the real prospect of being overrun. Unfortunately Europeans appear oblivious to the current dangers.

  14. Jim – We are at a phase where population mass matters less than ever before. It still counts for something but the truth is that everybody’s population growth curves are dropping and so you have to do realistic estimates of the actual population balance going forward. Every alarmist estimate I’ve seen doesn’t bother to do the math right. They mostly just straight line projection things right into fantasy land. I’m interested in countering real threats, not fantasy ones.

  15. It does not need genocide or the eradication of Islam per se.

    True, but solutions do require reducing the numbers of Moslems to roughly equal to the number of Nazis, and to reducing the status of Islam to that of Nazism: a few fringe kooks. Emphasis on “few.”

  16. ErisGuy – Your program of mass slaughter would lead to a huge increase in the already massive refugee problem. Countires like Greece would be totally doomed by the refugee flow and the destabilization would spread deep into Europe. You’re basically bat-shit crazy.

    The sensible approach to the problem is for Europe to stop the migration of Moslems into Europe and begin deportig those already there back to where they came from. The Middle East is quite likely to be pretty unstable just left to itself. It is insane to deliberately destabilize it which is the current policy.

    A nation like Japan is heavily dependent on Middle Eastern oil but has managed to alomost completley insulate itself from turmoil in the Middle East. Of course Japan does not allow Moslem emigration into Japan. They also don’t attempt to increase Middle Eastern instability. The US like Japan is far from the Middle East and we should be able to insulate ourselves from the chaos in the Middle East just as completlely as Japan. Of course we should end all Moslem immigration into the US (and of course close the US-Mexican border). We should cease to involve ourselves in the black holes of Middle Eastern internal conflicts.

    It is harder for Europe to insulate itself from Middle Eastern chaos but so far they haven’t even tried. Also they have foolishly allowed a large number of Moslems to enter Europe. To save themselves Europeans must end Moslem emigration into Europe and begin sending the Moslems already there back to their lands of origin.

  17. Jim, you just have no imagination when it comes to slaughter. If the west sets out to really hurt islam, we’ll be killing millions of them and their entire religion will be at war with us. There will be no such thing as innocent or refugees. If you identify as muslim or come from muslim lands then you’re the enemy and you’ll be shot or imprisoned as a spy the moment you’re seen. Men, women, children. They will not be fleeing to the countries that are slaughtering them, that’s for sure.

    It would be as ridiculous as Germans fleeing to England in 1942. They wouldn’t come and we wouldn’t have them.

  18. You’re basically bat-shit crazy.

    Someone has to move the Overton window towards the sensible. Right now the only responses are pretense, blindness, and surrender, none of which are strategies for victory.

    The Mediterranean littoral was taken from the West by Moslem conquest. Constantinople was taken from the West by Moslem conquest. It is time for the Reconquista to liberate Western lands from their Moslem oppressors. To take back what is ours. I want to see the mosques in Constantinople become museums. It is time we treat dar al-Islam as Islam has treated Christendom: prey.

    No more “Brezhnev Doctrine*” for Islam.


    * once a land falls to communism, it is communism’s forever.

  19. Your program of mass slaughter

    No one has to die. Conversion is possible. If the residents of Morocco woke up tomorrow morning, became rational, abandoned Islam and adopted Catholicism, not one single person need die. But Islam would die.

  20. To ErisGuy – It is not Islam that fundamentaaly differentiates the population of Morocco from Europe. It is polynucleotides.

  21. To ErisGuy – After the initial Arab advances there was a partial reconquest. Gradually Southern France, Southern Italy, Sicily, Malta, Crete, Cyprus and slowly Spain were taken back (the Emirate of Granada being conquered by Castille in 1492). At the height of this pushback the Crusader states were established in the Levant. It is interesting to speculate how this process might have continued. But this reconquest was ended by first the Mongol onslaught and then the innvasions of various Turkic tribes.

    During the period of this reconquest the West had a strong numerical advantage but that is no longer the case. You are indulging in fantasy.

  22. To ErisGuy – I should have added that the Byzantines recovered a considerable amount of Anatolia. It is interesting to imagine what “might have been”. Certainly the essentially complete reconquest of the Mediterranean littoral is a fairly plausible “might have been”. Until the Mongols and then the Turkic tribes showed up.

  23. “reconquest of the Mediterranean littoral is a fairly plausible “might have been””

    The Crusaders were constantly trying to link up with Mongol tribes of the Persian Ilkhanate, many of whom converted to Nestorian Christianity.

    The one time a Crusader-Mongol Alliance worked was the Mongol campaigns of 1299–1300 when a combined Mongol and Cilician force invaded Syria and briefly took Jerusalem. The Franks, who had been driven out by the Egyptian Mamluks a decade before, staged a daring amphibious assault from Cyprus, but bad weather prevented them from linking up with the Ilkhans, who then became too distracted by the Golden Horde to their north.

    The logistics could never be worked out, but the plan was strategically sound. It still is.

  24. “If the residents of Morocco … became rational … and adopted Catholicism”. Make up your mind.

    Ha. Ha. OK: let the residents of Morocco adopt the ultimate in European rationality, the climax philosophy of the Enlightenment: atheistic, scientific socialism. We all know how that worked out.

  25. True, but a combined armored and infantry assault from the northeast along with an amphibious landing into Tartus would quickly cleave Syria in two. There’s a narrow, relatively easily traversed mountain pass near the Lebanese border where the forces would link up, fittingly near the crusader fortress. The key is to bypass the urban meat grinder in Aleppo, skirt the eastern flank of the current battles, and then take Homs. From there, with supply lines in place and reinforcements flowing back north and south of Homs, hostile forces can be pulverized up against the coastal mountains, just as Ghazan broke the Mamluks by taking their right flank.

  26. Militarily ISIS is not a huge problem, once you decide to actually do something about them.

    The halfwit son of your moderately smart ex president, GW Bush attacked Iraq and Islam. I’m pretty sure it was because he was Cheney’s puppet but I suspect it was also to prove something to his dad.

    This has produced blowback. It’s called ISIS right now but it will evolve. Massive stupidity produces massive pain. You have killed maybe a million innocent Iraqis and sowed some nasty seeds. You will reap them.

  27. PenGun:
    “I’m pretty sure it was because he was Cheney’s puppet but I suspect it was also to prove something to his dad.”

    Actually, the law and policy plainly show the casus belli for Operation Iraqi Freedom was Iraq’s material breach of the “governing standard of Iraqi compliance” (UNSCR 1441) in Saddam’s “final opportunity to comply” (UNSCR 1441) with the terms of the Gulf War ceasefire, especially the disarmament mandates of UNSCR 687, terrorism mandates of UNSCR 687, and humanitarian mandates of UNSCR 688. The law and policy, fact basis of OIF is explained here.

  28. The idea that the US President would go to war, irrespective of his own interests, because of some piffle from that nest of crooks, the UN, makes me shake my head in wonder. I do, however, find it plausible that he’d use the pretext of the UN piffle to go to war for whatever mysterious reason it was. Remember the Maine.

  29. Dearieme,

    There’s no “mysterious reason” for Operation Iraqi Freedom. The US-led enforcement of the UNSCR 660-series resolutions through OIF has an exceptionally developed law and policy trail in the UN Security Council, Congress, and the Office of the President. The explanation of the why of OIF is straightforward based on primary sources that are easily accessed on-line. If you prefer to review the sources of the mission directly rather than my cheat-sheet explanation, you’re welcome to my table of sources.

    The US-led enforcement of the UN mandates for Iraq was policy since 1990 and the law since 1991, not to mention headline news.

    Public Law 102-1, 12JAN91:

    The President is authorized … to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 …

    Public Law 107-243, 16OCT02:

    The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to … enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.

    President HW Bush, 16JAN91:

    This military action, taken in accord with United Nations resolutions … Our objectives are clear: … Iraq will eventually comply with all relevant United Nations resolutions

    President Clinton, 18DEC98:

    [At] my direction, U.S. military forces conducted missile and aircraft strikes in Iraq in response to Iraqi breaches of its obligations under resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. … [This action] is consistent with and has been taken in support of numerous U.N. Security Council resolutions, including Resolutions 678 and 687, which authorize U.N. Member States to use “all necessary means” to implement the Security Council resolutions and to restore peace and security in the region and establish the terms of the cease-fire mandated by the Council, including those related to the destruction of Iraq’s WMD programs.

    President Bush, 17MAR03:

    We have passed more than a dozen resolutions in the United Nations Security Council. … [The Iraqi regime] has uniformly defied Security Council resolutions demanding full disarmament. … Under Resolutions 678 and 687 — both still in effect — the United States and our allies are authorized to use force in ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction.

  30. Dearieme – The President can launch all of our nuclear weapons with a single command. Thankfully, our current president has vast experience as a Senator, er congressperson, er graduate student.

  31. Dearieme:
    “The idea that the US President would go to war, irrespective of his own interests, because of some piffle from that nest of crooks, the UN, makes me shake my head in wonder.”

    I assume you mean ‘US interests’ when you say “his own interests” of the US President, rather than his personal interests apart from his office. In fact, the decision for OIF was made with respect to the standing evaluation of US interests.

    President HW Bush, 03AUG90:

    This [Iraqi] action is in clear violation of the national sovereignty and independence of Kuwait and the Charter of the United Nations. It threatens the entire structure of peaceful relations among nations in this critical region. It constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.

    President Clinton, 16DEC98:

    I made it very clear at that time what unconditional cooperation meant, based on existing UN resolutions and Iraq’s own commitments. And along with Prime Minister Blair of Great Britain, I made it equally clear that if Saddam failed to cooperate fully, we would be prepared to act without delay, diplomacy or warning. … The international community gave Saddam one last chance to resume cooperation with the weapons inspectors. Saddam has failed to seize the chance. And so we had to act, and act now. … once more, the United States has proven that, although we are never eager to use force, when we must act in America’s vital interests, we will do so.

    President Clinton, 28JUL00:

    The crisis between the United States and Iraq that led to the declaration on August 2, 1990, of a national emergency has not been resolved. The Government of Iraq continues to engage in activities inimical to stability in the Middle East and hostile to United States interests in the region. Such Iraqi actions pose a continuing unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.

    Public Law 107-243, 16OCT02:

    Whereas the United States is determined to prosecute the war on terrorism and Iraq’s ongoing support for international terrorist groups combined with its development of weapons of mass destruction in direct violation of its obligations under the 1991 cease-fire and other United Nations Security Council resolutions make clear that it is in the national security interests of the United States and in furtherance of the war on terrorism that all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions be enforced, including through the use of force if necessary;

  32. “I assume you mean ‘US interests’ when you say “his own interests” of the US President”: are you entirely mad? Have you not seen that, for instance, much of JFK’s doings in office were entirely concerned with his own political interests; the interests of the USA were distinctly an afterthought. Do you really imagine that your politicians are demi-gods, routinely inclined to neglect their own interests? If so, why the needs for checks and balances?

    I find it farcical to suggest that W and Cheney did what they did because of anything emanating from the den of thieves that is the UN. I have a pretty low opinion of that pair, but not so low as to assume that about them.

  33. Dearieme,

    See the answers to “What were President Bush’s alternatives with Iraq?” and “Why did Bush leave the ‘containment’ (status quo)?”. Whether the situation, controlling law and policy, and determinative fact findings for the casus belli seem farcical doesn’t change that they’re the situation, controlling law and policy, and determinative fact findings.

    What did you think the US-Iraq conflict that had preoccupied President Bush and his two precedessors continually since “The crisis between the United States and Iraq that led to the declaration on August 2, 1990, of a national emergency” (Clinton) was about?

  34. Eric, I realise that in many ways the US is a despotism run by lawyers, but I can’t seriously believe that those two men, that particular VP & P, took the vaporings of the UN seriously. But they did honour custom by having a pretext for war. Remember the Maine! Or the pretext for the War of 1812. Or the pretexts – whatever they were – for all the US’s wars until WWII, when she at last had a valid reason to go to war.

  35. Cheney has been pretty much correct about everything since he has been in government. I was not a fan of Bush in 2000 and was pleased that he convinced Cheney to come in as VP at enormous cost to him. Cheney had no ambition to rule and was there as a technician who knew how things worked. Right up until Obama’s inauguration, I was hoping Cheney could convince Bush to take out the Iranian nuke program. We will regret that he didn’t.

  36. Hiding in plain sight, he is. “We” have been howling about it since it was first proposed, years ago already. I heard a die-hard supporter dissent recently, naming the thing what it is.

  37. Dearieme:
    “I can’t seriously believe that those two men, that particular VP & P, took the vaporings of the UN seriously.”

    Given your heightened, even exclusive focus on personal perspective, I’m surprised that you believe President HW Bush’s son and his Secretary of Defense (during the Gulf War no less) would be less than serious about enforcing the terms of the Gulf War ceasefire.

    Recall that the main author for the UN mandates of the Gulf War ceasefire was not the “nest of crooks” that was complicit in the Oil for Food scandal. Rather, the main author of the “governing standard of Iraqi compliance” (UNSCR 1441), especially UNSCRs 687 and 688, for the Gulf War ceasefire was the HW Bush administration.

    The legal enforcement framework for the “governing standard of Iraqi compliance” housed the prescribed measurement for assessing Iraq’s threat and compliance mechanism to rehabilitate Iraq from the threat evaluation for Iraq that Saddam earned in the Gulf War.

    In the particular case of Saddam’s intransigent defiance of the “governing standard of Iraqi compliance” through his “final opportunity to comply” (UNSCR 1441), the “vaporings of the UN” regarding “the threat Iraq’s non-compliance with Council resolutions and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles poses to international peace and security” (UNSCR 1441) concerned the substantive threat posed by Iraq.

    As long as Iraq remained noncompliant with the terms of the Gulf War ceasefire, especially UNSCRs 687 and 688, then the threat evaluation for Iraq remained at President Clinton’s update to Congress on 02AUG99:

    We are convinced that as long as Saddam Hussein remains in power, he will continue to threaten the well-being of his people, the peace of the region, and vital U.S. interests. … Iraq remains a serious threat to international peace and security. I remain determined to see Iraq fully comply with all of its obligations under Security Council resolutions. The United States looks forward to the day when Iraq rejoins the family of nations as a responsible and law-abiding member.

    As I touched on in my explanation of why Bush left the ‘containment’ (status quo), the 9/11 attacks raised the already dire evaluation of Iraq’s distinctive combined-WMD/terrorism threat, ie, “the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists, drug traffickers, or organized criminals, who travel the world among us unnoticed” (Clinton, 17FEB98).

    See Iraqi Perspectives Project researcher and author Jim Lacey’s article discussing the post-war fact findings of Iraq’s violation of the UNSCR 687 disarmament and terrorism mandates. Lacey concludes, “Given the evidence, it appears that we removed Saddam’s regime not a moment too soon.”

    Also see the answer to “Did Iraq failing its compliance test justify the regime change?”.

  38. Mike K:
    “Cheney has been pretty much correct about everything since he has been in government.”

    I didn’t vote for the Bush-Cheney ticket in 2000. Governor Bush and I didn’t see eye-to-eye on a number of issues, plus I’m ashamed that I bought into the some of the propaganda that he wasn’t personally up to the job. However, I voted for President Bush in 2004 based on his record as a war-time president (and Senator Kerry scared me with his bipolar positions).

    Because Bush’s case against Saddam was really Clinton’s case against Saddam, I believe a hypothetical President Gore would have also enforced Saddam’s “final opportunity to comply” (UNSCR 1441) in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. However, I also believe a hypothetical President Gore would have succumbed to the intense political pressure in the post-war that President Bush resisted.

    I’m not a presidential history nerd as I suspect you are (that’s a compliment), so you may be able to speak on this better than I can. While learning the actual law and policy, fact basis for Operation Iraqi Freedom, which also – as we discussed Grurray – shaped the fundamental approach to the peace operations, the more I’ve learned, the more that OIF appears to be an exemplary episode of presidential leadership. The presidential leadership for the COIN “Surge”, in particular, is a high water mark.

    Exemplary does not mean perfect, but the task, conditions, standard of the intractable Saddam problem in the wake of the 9/11 attacks was not one that would allow a president to be perfect. Perfection beyond small undertakings would be unusual in American (military) history, anyway.

    I assume Vice President Cheney supported President Bush’s navigation of a problem that posed extraordinarily difficult challenges with much uncertainty throughout on multiple fronts.

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