France was one of the least ill-treated countries in Nazi occupied Europe for reasons that are mostly too shameful to recall. In August 1944, in my mother’s arms, I saw one of the first, large contingents of American troops enter Paris. Their presence put an end to the slow process of starvation of most French people. You can see in side by side photographs that my parents, then in their early thirties, looked older in 1943 than they looked in 1946. Before the liberation of Paris, malnutrition was written all over their faces. Keep in mind that slowly starving people was one of the least objectionable actions of the Nazis in Europe.
American soldiers, and behind them, American might, American willingness to get involved, though late, probably saved me from starvation. Today just as it was then, just as it was during the Cold War, American military power is the main guarantee of common decency in the world. I only deplore that it’s not used as often as it should be. After many years of unrelenting leftist propaganda, many otherwise intelligent Americans are vaguely embarrassed about the same American military power.
Immigrants like me and other who have some real experience of other countries, rarely share in this prejudice, I think. And, as I always say, it’s possible to make the argument that Finland, for example, is more virtuous than the US. Alas, alas, the Finns and their neighbors in Scandinavia are nowhere near to proposing to replace the US as guarantors of humanity ! On the other hand, Iran is about to volunteer (arguing that the frequency of stoning of adulterous women there a has been greatly exaggerated by Islamophobic media).
Speaking of Iran, this weekend, it seems the French alone saved the free world from a big mistake of accommodation with its cruel, expansionist, inhumane regime. Perhaps, Pres. Hollande very low ratings give him superior freedom of action. ( He has little to lose.) Yet, even lower ratings are not about to help Pres. Obama grow a backbone. Fortitude is not his problem anyway. He really thinks that there is something evil about America’s strength. And his Secretary of State often pretends to be French but he remains an unreconstructed peacenik whose sole recognized talent is in marrying rich women.
PS The media are full of references to an “epidemic” of military suicides. I suspect there is no such thing either in the active military or among the veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Will someone direct me to real data?