March 17, 2004


Possibly emboldened by recent events -- only a theory! -- terrorists are now testing French resolve:

France had received threats of a possible attack by a radical Islamic group that warns the Government's law banning headscarves from public schools makes it an "enemy of Islam", judicial sources said.

The shadowy group identified itself as the "Servants of Allah the Powerful and Wise" in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin and sent to several newspapers, the Justice Ministry said in a statement.

"A heavy offensive will take place on the grounds of the allies of Satan and we are going to plunge France into terror and remorse," the letter stated, according to Le Parisien newspaper, which received a copy.

The letter, which threatened France and its overseas interests, was signed by "Commando Movsar Barayev", the ministry said, an apparent reference to the Chechen rebel of the same name and alleged leader of a deadly hostage-taking raid on a Moscow theatre in October.

Franceís overseas interests are currently in US custody. The article continues:

France's tough opposition to the war in Iraq was initially seen as having won Paris favour in the Muslim world, but that faded with France's plan to ban Islamic headscarves and other religious apparel in schools.

"With this headscarf law, you have participated in an unjust aggression," said the letter, which was written in French under an Arabic-language letterhead.

"You have decided on your own to put yourself on the list of Islam's worst enemies."

Welcome aboard, le mates! France canít say it wasnít warned. Not that any additional warning was required:

Intelligence sources say it would be surprising, given the nature of the loose international networks of al-Qaida supporters, if there were not some links between those suspected of being behind the Madrid bombings and individuals in Britain.

Some of those may be of Algerian background, former members of the Armed Islamic Group responsible for attacks on the Paris underground nine years ago.

Wake-up juice seems to be flowing through the rest of Europe, too. David Kaspar translates a piece from Germanyís left-wing Frankfurter Rundschau:

The strategy of the terror war speculates not without good reason on the moral impotence of western Europe. The announcement of designated Minister President Zapatero that he will pull Spanish troops out of Iraq can be celebrated by the assassins as a (wohlfeilen) victory. Even if one would like to view the pull-out as justified by international law, it amounts to a capitulation in the present context that enjoys wide popularity. Post-heroic societies have only very little with which they can fight terror. Their governments fear nothing more than the return home of dead soldiers. They are incapable of being offensive. In times of danger, they retreat within themselves. They can bear no losses, have no mission, indeed, not even a consciousness that they have something to defend. So they are easy to blackmail. A well-aimed bombing is enough to get them to retreat.

Doug Payton has more, and Instapundit has a whole bunch of Euro updates.

Posted by Tim Blair at March 17, 2004 10:31 PM

i love how this headscarf bit is touted as some specific anti-muslim agenda. iirc, wasn't it aimed at all religious symbols, i.e. crosses, stars of david, jim morrison t-shirts, etc?

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at March 17, 2004 at 10:46 PM

a (wohlfeilen) victory

wohlfeil = cheap, thus a cheap victory.

Posted by: peggy sue at March 17, 2004 at 11:01 PM

well, this will be all lost on the left.

But france wasn't in Iraq so this sort of threat does not count to them. ;)

Posted by: capt joe at March 17, 2004 at 11:32 PM

Be fair Tim. It's not just French school uniforms that have upset the buggers. They're also after a belated getsquare for the victory of Charles Martel over the Moors at Poitiers in 732.

(from BBC via Melanie Phillips)

Posted by: snoopy at March 17, 2004 at 11:33 PM

Yeah, but if we pull out of Iraq and give way on headscarves, maybe then they'll leave us Europeans alone. I mean, they're reasonable guys, right?

Posted by: wardytron at March 17, 2004 at 11:41 PM

eef ze wahnt mah beret ze weel 'av tu prah eet fruhm mah cold dehd feenguhs...

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at March 17, 2004 at 11:44 PM

I certainly wish Europe would wake up. The part that is currently asleep, not all of them are. But I don't really expect them to. Keeping one's eyes closed is so much more pleasant.

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at March 18, 2004 at 12:19 AM

Those Frankfurter Rundschau guys, what a bunch of weenies.

Sorry, it had to be said.

Posted by: S Whiplash at March 18, 2004 at 01:18 AM

Europe is dead,we should pull what is left of NATO and station it somewhere nearer our problem. I think Syria needs liberation and Iran's nuclear program needs destroying. The Kurds are beginning to fight in Syria, why not join them? ANd if we eliminate Iran's nukes, would that be the little push that population needs to get rid of their tyrants without our direct involvement?

Europe thinks we are the problem, why hold back on consideration of their concerns. We can then expose France and probably Germany and Russia for their under the table contracts with these two cesspools of countries and show once again that the only countries who are overtly concerned about oil, aren't in North America.

Posted by: JEM at March 18, 2004 at 01:35 AM

Alas, I don't the so-called intellectual left of France would come on board after a terrorist outrage in France. No doubt these idjits would merely blame the US and other zionists and continue on their merry way.

It is probable that if there were an attack on France the NF would be the main benefactor at the ballot box.

Posted by: Andrew Ian Dodge at March 18, 2004 at 01:59 AM

A heavy offensive will take place on the grounds of the allies of Satan

Who are they speaking of here? Germany?

Posted by: Wallace at March 18, 2004 at 02:25 AM

I love how opposition to the war in Iraq is given the same weight by these guys as a friggin' *headscarf ban*. I'd say that the "let's reason with them" option is DOA on this one. Unfortunately, so may quite a few Parisians be in the next few weeks.

Posted by: Sonetka at March 18, 2004 at 02:32 AM

What do you want to bet that as soon as a bomb goes off somewhere in France and is claimed by some al-Qaeda nutgroup, the ban on headscarves will be immediately lifted (but not the ban on yarmulkes, crucifixes, etc)?

Posted by: Rebecca at March 18, 2004 at 03:42 AM

"Post-heroic societies" Now thats a keeper.

Posted by: Grunter at March 18, 2004 at 03:50 AM

"They are incapable of being offensive".

I beg to differ.

Posted by: Ken J at March 18, 2004 at 04:34 AM

Jeeze one headscarf ban and you are an instant enemy of Islam!! Who would have thought?

Posted by: Rob at March 18, 2004 at 05:24 AM

Evidently not France.

Posted by: david at March 18, 2004 at 05:27 AM

Come on admit it. We're hoping for a bombing in France.

Not so France will wake up and get serious about terrorism, just so some French people will die. God help me, that's where I've gotten to. I now, truely and deeply, hate the fucking French.

Posted by: Amos at March 18, 2004 at 08:26 AM

Amos, I can only quote the great Samuel L. Jackson:

"Man, that is some fucked-up repugnant shit!"

Posted by: JPS at March 18, 2004 at 09:07 AM

Is this their next Waterloo? Another Dien Bien Phu? Will it be another WWI with their forces in high speed reverse, the Froggies will then be happy to see Australians Beucoup! Again.

The pricks will probably want access to NATO and US/UK electronic intelligence etc.

TIFI (Tell 'im Fuck 'im)

Posted by: Razor at March 18, 2004 at 10:54 AM

Man I am sick of this shit! We should just eradicate the whole fucked up, death worshiping, misogynistic culture and Nuke the whole Middle East and any other Islamowhako country that puts it's head up. Come on guys, they would do it to us!!! Does anyone think for a minute that if the shoe was on the other foot we would all still be here?? We would be radioactive dust in Allahs great plan for the world. Fuck it all and take the GLOVES OFF.

Posted by: Dog at March 18, 2004 at 11:23 AM

If I hate the French I'm not going to indulge in sophistry. No "Of course I condemn terrorism, BUT.." or "We all stand with the French in this hour of tragedy, HOWEVER..."

They are enemies of me and my people. They make common cause with Islamic terrorists they're too cowardly to join in open war against us. They rushed to their newspapers and broadsheets to read gloating stories about the deaths of American soldiers. They wished defeat for the coalition and fantasised about the brave Iraqi 'resistance' while it blew up aid workers, Shia celebrants and Iraqi police. They did business with Saddam, subverted the sanctions and tried to sell him the means to make nuclear weapons.

I'll shed no crocodile tears for a couple of hundred mangled French corpses dragged from twisted commuter trains. You may think my opinions repugnant, they may BE repugnant but I won't add the kind of revolting hypocrisy of the leftists to my crimes. I hate them and hate them honestly.

The French are enemies, I wish suffering and defeat on them. They'll get what they have coming. The viper they've nurtured is even now preparing to strike them. And when that day comes, and it's coming soon, it'll be our turn to cheer.

Posted by: Amos at March 18, 2004 at 11:32 AM

Someone throw Dog a bone, please. He needs occupation.

Amos: the little French toddlers and babies too? Frankly, I think the whole thing is sad. In a terrorist attack you can't count on just the people you hate getting it; people who might actually be on your side but who don't have the power to have their voices heard will get blown to bits too. All for nothing. This posturing of yours is what gets war-on-terrorist-supporters labelled "warmongering blowhards." Not that I care what peace nuggets think, but I would prefer not to give them any ammunition for their jibes; their whiny voices make my head hurt, for one thing.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at March 18, 2004 at 01:21 PM

Part of my family came from France. I still have relatives there.

I'm not happy with France's government or political posturing, but I am rather fond of Arles and I look forward to visiting there in the future.

By all means, call the French "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" in my presence, damn the French for letting thousands of their elderly and neglected citizens needlessly die from heat stroke and their terrible medical services that nearly killed my great grandmother. I'll join in on that chorus.

But France isn't our enemy any more than the ridiculously ignorant jerks who post at Democratic Underground are. They're just painfully and dangerously and stupidly wrong. Which may the nicest thing I can say about them, when all is said and done, but I don't wish them dead.

Posted by: Sortelli at March 18, 2004 at 02:03 PM

I think it will come as a profound shock to the French psyche to find some mass murdering tyrants they can't effectively collaborate with.

Posted by: gaz at March 18, 2004 at 05:28 PM

I was angry when I wrote that. I still don't know if I really mean it. But I've just about had it with the goddamn worthless french

Posted by: Amos at March 18, 2004 at 06:20 PM

You are clearly at the wrong blogmire, sortelli. All dissent must be crushed, remember?

Posted by: Miranda Divide at March 19, 2004 at 12:36 PM