PARIS (Routers) August 25, 2004
Sixty years after Paris was seized by the “Allies,” and the beginning of the American occupation, France remains a failed nation, mired in political corruption and beset by vast pockets of Muslim extremism and anti-semitism, into which the gendarmerie fear to tread. The economy continues to struggle under economic policies driven by failed ideologies, and many of its best and brightest continue to flow out of the country, with only ex-dictators and their families, and hysterical movie stars willing to move there.
Sadly, history has born out the predictions of those who, in the spring of 1944, warned against invading. Many had pointed out what a poor prospect the region was for any kind of democracy, with its long history of belligerence and arrogance, and failed republics.
Noted WW II historian Robert Winthrop pointed out that the occupation got off on the wrong foot from the beginning, when the Americans freely allowed atrocities in the fall of Paris. “In the wake of all the violence and sex that the brutal ‘Allies’ condoned, it’s not surprising that the resentment lives on six decades later.”
The corruption of the French government is legendary, with its current president likely avoiding jail only because he’s president. The economy continues to limp along, with high unemployment rates, exacerbated by primitive socialistic policies.
The growing Islamic insurgency in the suburbs of the capital and other cities is particularly troubling, and even after six decades of training, it’s not clear that the native security forces are up to the job, with many of them refusing to even enter disputed areas.
“Nation building is clearly a failed policy, and we’ll have a much more effective foreign policy when we recognize that,” said one U.S. State Department official. “At some point one has to realize that there are some places that are simply hopeless, and all we can do is manage them as best we can.”
Regardless of the future, in the wake of all their current problems, it is little surprise that the French street views the sixtieth anniversary of the fall of their beautiful capital to western forces as a day of sadness, and hardly one to celebrate.
[Anniversary day update]
Not all have forgotten:
The day was charged with symbolism as France remembered its liberators, from American soldiers who backed a French division, clinching victory, to communist Resistance members in the vanguard of the underground fight.
And there’s this:
President Jacques Chirac, in an address at Paris City Hall, urged “vigilance” by younger generations in dealing with present-day manifestations of “this hate of the other, still at work, the most somber face of the human soul.”
The president was referring to racist-inspired acts plaguing today’s France, including anti-Semitic attacks.
Good for him.