After reading this article, A French Revolution in Iraq?, I begin to understand how incredibly klutzy the French are.
France began its own path toward democracy by explicitly rejecting this [Anglo-American] view. Unlike the American Founding or England’s Glorious Revolution, the French experience exulted in humanistic ideals about man’s potential. The immediate result was the orgy of the guillotine, followed by a cynical regard for religious values and institutions. “We will strangle the last king,” cried the revolutionaries, “with the guts of the last priest.”
France is currently working on its fifth incarnation of a republic since the end of the Napoleonic era. We are still on our first. The Articles of Confederation don’t count because there was no revolution to bring about the Constitution. The Articles were not doing the job, and so were refined into the Constitution we follow today.
The French claim that we are the naive ones, but it is the French that are naive. They believe that they can stab us in the back and be friends again instantly. They believe that once the process of democracy in Iraq is started, it can stand and survive on its own. Both of these views are wrong on so many levels that it isn’t funny, it’s sad. To see a country that was once a superpower, now collapsing due to its own selfishness and indifference is disheartening.