The French government has also made untiring efforts to paint Saddam Hussein and his gang of brutal thugs as victims of imperialist aggression. Over the weekend, the Iraqi military allegedly murdered some American POWs and taped interrogations of several others, a few of whom were wounded at the time. Al-Jazeera, the Qatari television channel, broadcast the footage of the interrogations that was distributed by the Iraqi government. While the video made clear the brutality of the Iraqi regime, the French did not react with shock or horror at the prospect of American POWs being killed, wounded or forced to undergo severe humiliation in violation of the Geneva Convention. Instead, the Higher Audiovisual Council (CSA), the French broadcast watchdog, chastised Al-Jazeera head Michael Kik for putting the tape on television and revealing Iraqi war crimes.
Now, the French military has allegedly been expelled from a coalition base in Saudi Arabia for spying on the uncultured Americans. Can the French sink any lower?
The sad truth is that they can. Jacques Chirac's approval ratings are sky high; anything anti-American goes over like gangbusters with the French public. And that anti-American sentiment is likely to become more and more severe with the growth of the militant Muslim population in France. France currently has 5 million Muslims, totaling somewhere between 5 percent and 10 percent of its population. The highly polarized Muslim community has gained enormous prominence in France, especially because other ethnic groups are reproducing at relatively low rates while Muslims are having many children. At some point in the future, if demographic trends hold, France could become a majority Muslim state -- and a dangerous foe to the United States.
The French government has nuclear weapons. What will happen if an extremist Muslim government rises to power in France, with control of full-fledged nuclear weapons? This is a problem that cannot be solved in the short term, with people like Jacques Chirac in charge of foreign policy. But over the long term, France must be given some sort of economic incentive or disincentive to disarm, before it is too late. If France is willing to spy on United States forces in the Persian Gulf now, can we expect any better if the electoral majority in France is militantly Islamist?