It’s too soon to tell whether or not the French have “fundamentally changed” in the wake of the attack on Paris by Islamic terrorists. Currently, the police and military are conducting an impressive number of raids and arrests. It appears the French are using emergency powers to move in on the worst individuals their security services had previously only been watching.
In the early stages, France has many easy targets, both domestically and in Syria, to focus on. Once they run out of bombing opportunities and have arrested/interrogated their most dangerous citizens/migrants, will the French fundamentally change their foreign policy, immigration standards and military stance?
Such change would require an intellectual shift and hardening among the French people.
We predicted that French pacifism would reassert itself, and the most popular responses to the attack so far have only confirmed this: An Eiffel Tower peace symbol; a pianist playing John Lennon’s “Imagine” at the massacre site; a little French boy told that flowers will defeat guns; and Earnest Hemmingway book sales skyrocketing.
Not exactly reassuring.
We predicted that Western elites would react more strongly to nationalist, anti-open borders rhetoric than to the actual terrorism that occurred and sadly Obama and Merkel didn’t disappoint us.
There’s a strategy at work here.
After 9/11, the citizen of the United States were primarily focused on their own survival for a few years and our domestic liberal elites were forced to temporarily retreat into the background. European elites stepped into the vacuum to push back against American nationalism until U.S. Democrats could regain their political footing.
Now that the French liberal elites are similarly on the defensive, it’s up to the German, British and American elites to buy them time to regroup.
After one week, the western world’s response to the Paris attacks has been both predictable and uninspiring.
UPDATE: Mark Steyn Agrees.