Few of us expected anything from the French. From the Jacobins and the guillotine, to the Dreyfus trial, to the Vichy regime, to de Gaulle's withdrawal from anti-Communist NATO, France, with rare exceptions, has done little that is moral and nothing that is courageous. So the disdain that many Americans have long felt for France has merely been reinforced.
But I think that I speak in the name of many Americans in saying that we expected more of you. Because of what we did for you after World War II and during the Cold War. Because you, of all people, know that Americans are a decent people. And especially because of your experience with evil. How could you have produced a Hitler and not recognize another one just one generation later? How could you know firsthand about torture chambers and children's screams and not ache to end them in another country? How could you side with amoral France against your friend America?
There is, it would seem, only one answer. Nazism taught you nothing. Instead of learning that evil must be fought, you learned that fighting is evil.
But thanks for Bach.
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