FRANCE, FRANCE, FRANCE….Not surprisingly, I got lots of mail about France and the war today. However, it’s only coincidence that I had several posts about France this weekend, and while I find their latest plan unworkable I certainly respect their right to oppose a war they don’t like. In fact, I think Matt Yglesias has a pretty good analogy:
The French are probably exactly where the Americans were in 1938 as Hitler threatened Czechoslovakia, in 1939 when he invaded Poland (and France fought to stop him), in 1940 when his armies overran France and most of Scandinavia, and all throughout 1941 when England stood alone ? namely, not interested in taking risks when it looks like someone else might solve the problem.
This is a worthwhile point. In the end, the United States did do the right thing in World War II, but it took an attack on our own soil to convince us. Saddam Hussein’s actions have obviously been way less offensive than Hitler’s circa 1940, so it’s perhaps not surprising that France is at least as ambivalent toward him as we were toward Hitler before Pearl Harbor.
Of course, the other point of view is that the world should have learned something from our reluctance to get involved in WWII. Maybe if we’d joined the Allies earlier the war would have been shorter and less bloody.