The overwhelming tenor of this comment has been the standard liberal response to any problem, i.e. to ask where have “they” (i.e. the native people of France) gone wrong in not making sufficient allowances for Muslim differences from French culture and society.
By extension to Britain, whose own home grown atrocity (53 dead) ten years ago is remembered every day by the families of the victims, the comment (on the BBC Today programme 17th November for example) is that our policy of “multiculturalism” has been more successful in avoiding similar outrages than France’s policy of Muslim assimilation into French secular society.
Perhaps the most asinine comments so far have come from BBC personality Dan Snow in the Daily Telegraph of 17th November. Taking a slightly different tack from the calls for “solidarity”, Snow pronounced that “we” (I think he means the English) have always been France’s twin”. “We have fought to the last man for the other’s freedom.” “Yes, we have on occasion fought each other . . . ”
The truth of course is that France and England (later Britain) have been at war on and off more or less continuously since the hundred years’ war (1346-1415) right through to the Fashoda incident in 1898 which almost led to war. In the 20th century, France has been Britain’s most determined cultural and political rival (not least in European Union matters) even when France was entirely dependent on Britain’s (and America’s) goodwill to keep resistance alive during the German occupation. Inability, or unwillingness, to identify our actual enemies and competitors is a principal component of political liberalism, fully evident in the recent past in not identifying Al Qaeda and Islamic State as mortal enemies.
Information is the key to combatting terrorism: The Echelon System
None of this is to say that Britain shouldn’t help France, where we can, without compromising the integrity of our own intelligence systems and those of our allies. In combatting threats to our own security both at home and abroad, our single greatest asset is the 1969 UK-USA Security Agreement which is a signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection and computer analysis network, operated by the five English-speaking ABCANZ nations – America, Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand – referred to as Echelon and also known as the “Five Eyes”. On a case by case basis, and with the agreement of all its partners, information gained from Echelon is made available to our NATO allies. …[more»]