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The French, again

If Your Humble Blogger keeps on about the French, it'll be a running gag, right? Which every blog needs, right?

Well, Regis DeBray, a former adviser to Mitterrand, writes in French, translated by Jeffrey Mehlman, in this morning's New York Times (reg. required) that "In its principles of action, America is two or three centuries behind 'old Europe.'" He is, particularly, comparing the American plan to disarm Iraq with the Crusades. Further, he suggests that Europe is secular, and that fundamentalism is ebbing, and that the US is intent on giving the fundamentalists something to rally around.

I do think that people should be aware of the deep divide between secularists and fundamentalists. I am a secularist. I am also a believer, and a traditionalist in that belief. I do no think that my belief, or anyone's, forms a good basis for government.

I have been doing a trifle of reading in the Green Book of Muammar Al Qathafi; his arguments against secularism seem to me totally unanswerable. They are unanswerable in the sense that they derive from totally different principles than mine; I can't challenge his principles other than to say they don't appeal to me at all. I believe in liberty, in principle; Qathafi does not. Nor does Bin Laden. Plenty of people don't; it's possible, if I had not grown up in America, I would have started with different principles and kept them.

All this is beside the point, as is, at the moment, the divide between secularists and fundamentalists. It's important to keep that divide in mind, as a part of my perception of the universe, but it isn't the only thing to keep in mind. And it doesn't answer my main question, which is pretty simple: If the UN can't enforce a mandate on a matter of serious importance, in this case Iraq's capabilities for murdering millions of people through chemical, biological, or nuclear war, what future does it have?

Thank you,
-Vardibidian.

Comments

In its principles of action, America is two or three centuries behind 'old Europe.'

Yeah, well, at least we ratified a constitution...

I'm a little disappointed not to be reading your view on the French and Dutch votes. Is a comment on a 27-month-old entry the right place for requests?


hmm...

If the UN can't enforce a mandate on a matter of serious importance, in this case Iraq's capabilities for murdering millions of people through chemical, biological, or nuclear war, what future does it have?

looking back, the answer seems to be that the UN had successfully enforced the mandate, or am i misunderstanding the question.


The question then becomes: If the UN can't figure out that it has successfully enforced a mandate on a matter of serious importance, how much chaos and grief does that cause?

The Lancet has tried to answer that one.


It turns out that in addition to being wrong about the UN's enforcement ability, I was wrong that such a focus was the main question. It turns out that, as Mr. DeBray had said, the main question was, in fact, the distinction between secularists and fundamentalists. This note is a great example of that self-correcting nature of the blogosphere I keep reading about. Look! I was wrong! And in only the third week of the blog!
On the other hand, in the previous note I pointed out that it's hard to fit I support enforcement of the UN mandate, but the first step must be to win the support of the international community in the UN security council, and if President Bush can't do that, how can we expect him not to cock up the war and the reconstruction? on a sign. It turns out that John Kerry had the same problem...
Thanks,
-V.


There are exactly... fifty-seven card-carrying members of the Communist party in the Department of Defense at this time!

ketchup, or commies? difficult to see. the dark side clouds everything, and forgotten my reading glasses, i have. [yoda squints at paper.] read this for me you shall, young jedi.

you know i was just reading something about how the permanent members of the security council ought to give up their veto power and live on earth with the rest of humanity. i bet that's just below "clean the toilet with my face" on the bushies' master list of things to do.


ooh, ooh, me too!


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