It happened again. France has been attacked.
On Bastille Day, 14 July 2016, France’s National Day, Mohamed Lajouif Bouhlel, who was born in Tunisia, but emigrated to France, drove a rented 19-ton lorry through a crowd watching a fireworks innocent display along the Promenade des Anglais. His victims could not flee easily, so as the truck careened down its path, it killed l84 innocent individuals and wounded 102. Many of the wounded have been released from hospital, but others were critically injured. France has been attacked by terrorists associated with Isil. As for the Nice killer, who was shot by police, he was a Muslim who may (or may not) have been radicalized.
The Front National: nativism
A member of the Front National, a nativist party, stated that multiculturalism could not work in France. The French had to be among the French. I was reminded of the Brexit referendum which was interpreted by many as a vote that would allow Britain “to send them back.” Britons were best left among themselves.
Marine Le Pen went further. She used the word “war.” I doubt that she meant war as in World War II. She was probably referring to manners in which her party, the Front National would eradicate “the fundamentalist Islamic scourge (l’islamisme radical).”
War is a word one should avoid. George W Bush used it after the 9/11 attacks on the United States. Fighting terrorism was essential but invading Iraq was war. It is now believe that the 2000s wars in the Middle East were instigated by then British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The wars waged in the 2000s were renamed wars against terrorism, but they were wars. These wars do not seem to have done anyone any good.
Marine Le Pen
Marine Le Pen, the president of the Front National, stated the following:
La guerre contre le fléau du fondamentalisme islamiste n’a pas commencé, il est urgent maintenant de la déclarer. Nous l’engagerons vraiment en mettant en place une série de mesures que j’ai déjà détaillées et sur lesquelles j’aurai l’occasion de revenir, qui visent à s’attaquer à la source du phénomène.
[The war against the fundamentalist Islamic scourge has not begun. Declaring it is urgent. We will engage into war using measures I have already mentioned in details but to which I will have the opportunity to return. They aim at the source of this phenomenon.]
A la sidération et la compassion doivent désormais s’ajouter l’action, les nécessaires mesures de prévention et de répression, et la détermination la plus totale à éradiquer le fléau du fondamentalisme islamiste. C’est aujourd’hui la volonté profonde du peuple meurtri de France, je mettrai toute mon énergie à ce qu’elle soit entendue et les combats enfin menés.
[To shock and compassion, we must add action: measures to prevent and to repress, and the most total determination to eradicate the fundamentalist Islamic scourge. Today such is the profound will of the bruised people of France. I will devote my entire energy to ensuring that France is heard and the combats undertaken.]
Please click on the link below:
In Le Figaro provides the list of measures Marine Le Pen advocates: greater authority on the part of nations, the reinstatement of military service, the creation of a national guard to replace the current “Opération Sentinelle,” greater vigilance at borders, more weapons, the creation of a French agency fighting terrorism, the reinstatement of “renseignement [information] de proximité.”
Parmi les moyens évoqués, elle a plaidé pour l’affirmation de l’autorité de l’État, la restauration progressive du service militaire, la création d’une garde nationale pour «remplacer le dispositif sentinelle », l’augmentation des moyens militaires à 2% du PIB avec une évolution à 3%, le contrôle des frontières, la mise en place d’une agence française de lutte contre le terrorisme et le rétablissement du renseignement de proximité.
Madame Le Pen is suggesting reinforced security on the part of France. Safety measures are indeed necessary. France has been attacked three times. But Isil is not Islam and it has not been established that the killer was radicalized. France’s Front National “hailed” the Brexit results which it may have misinterpreted. Some leave voters were misled by the campaign of politicians who put into their service nativistic ideology and rhetoric. But the word nativism cannot be used to describe the majority of Britons, but members of the Front National advocate nativism.
But the problem is rooted elsewhere. Tunisia was a French colony. How can France send back those it colonized. As for the migrants, they are the homeless victims of Isil and autocratic leaders who are killing their own people. Syria’s Bashar al-Assad stands accused of genocide.
As I wrote in a recent post, we cannot roll back history, but there were and there are consequences to colonialism. There was a time when the sun never set on the British Empire and a time when the world spoke French.
I grieve for the families who have lost a husband, a wife, a sister, a brother, a child, or other relatives. And I grieve for their friends.
This post has been rewritten. As previously worded, it was a slight distortion of my own views. I apologize.
Love to everyone. ♥
Frederick Delius – Over the Hills and Far Away – YouTube
Sir Thomas Beecham conducts Royal Philharmonic Orchestra [EMI]
© Micheline Walker
18 July 2016