The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler


Posted on | January 11, 2015 | 23 Comments

Hundreds of thousands are rallying today in the streets of Paris in the wake of Wednesday’s Charlie Hebdo massacre:

Dignitaries and world leaders are expected to join hundreds of thousands of people in France on Sunday in what government officials are calling a “unity rally” in defiance of a terrorism spree that claimed 17 lives.
French officials announced “exceptional measures” to protect not only the throngs expected to gather near the Place de la Republique in central Paris, but also a veritable who’s who of foreign leaders that will test security forces of a nation rocked by days of terrorist violence. . . .
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has outlined extraordinary security measures to protect VIPs such as Britain’s David Cameron, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Spain’s Mariano Rajoy.
Other dignitaries expected to stand with French President François Hollande are Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Queen Rania, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Extremely heavy security measures are in place in Paris:

French law enforcement officers have been told to erase their social media presence and to carry their weapons at all times because terror sleeper cells have been activated over the last 24 hours in the country, a French police source who attended a briefing Saturday told CNN terror analyst Samuel Laurent.
Amedy Coulibaly, a suspect killed Friday during a deadly kosher market hostage siege, had made several phone calls about targeting police officers in France, according to the source.

Meanwhile, we learn Coulibably’s wife Hayat Boumediene — who had been suspected as an accomplice — had left Paris before her husband and Kouachi brothers made their attacks:

According to CNN, she left France on either January 1st of 2nd — days before the massacre at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Sources close to French security say she crossed the border into Spain and flown from Madrid to Istanbul, a common stopover for many potential jihadis, before attempting to cross the border into Syria by foot.

Interesting coincidence (which may not be a coincidence): A man named Lakhdar Boumediene was one of the so-called “Algerian Six” who were taken captive by U.S. forces in Bosnia in January 2002 after the 9/11 attacks and held at Guantanamo Bay. He was the lead plaintiff in the Boumediene v. Bush case. After his release from Guantanamo Bay in 2009, Lakhdar Boumediene lived in France.\

I’m not sure how common a surname “Boumediene” is among Algerians, but the coincidence of terror suspect Hayat Boumediene sharing a surname with a former terror suspect is quite suggestive.

UPDATE: Islamic terror is everywhere:

A German tabloid that reprinted cartoons from the French satirical paper Charlie Hebdo lampooning the Prophet Mohammed was targeted in firebombing Sunday, police said.
With security services on high alert after a killing spree in Paris by Islamic extremists, police in the northern German port city of Hamburg said no one was injured in the blaze at the headquarters of the regional daily Hamburger Morgenpost, which caused only slight damage.
“Rocks and then a burning object were thrown through the window,” a police spokesman told AFP.

UPDATE II: Ross Douthat on French decadence:

The France that endured a vicious terrorist attack last week is a France that has suffered, for decades and centuries, from anxieties about its own decline. And for good reason: Since the 18th century, when it bestrode Europe and seemed poised to dominate the globe, France has seen its relative power diminish, suffering defeats and humiliations at the hands of rival forces, from Britain’s navies to Germany’s jackboots to the invading might of American popular culture.
Now these longstanding anxieties have been thrown into relief by the murderous attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, an attack linked to all the various specters haunting contemporary France: fears of creeping Islamification and rising anti-Semitism, fears of the far right’s growing power and anti-Muslim backlash — and all of it bound up in a larger sense, amid economic stagnation, of betrayal at the hands of the Continent’s elite.
But notwithstanding these declinist fears, France isn’t actually irrelevant or spent. Instead, it’s arguably becoming more important, more central to the fate of Europe and the West.

If the fate of the West is in any way dependent on the French, then our civilization is doomed beyond all hope of redemption.






  1. trangbang68
    January 11th, 2015 @ 9:45 am

    Why she’s probably an anthropology student studying ancient Bedouin cultures in Syria. Just a coincidence her worthless cockroach husband went all Heinreich Himmler while she was on sabbatical. Hopefully there’s a bullet or missile or JDAM with her name on it.

  2. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    January 11th, 2015 @ 10:04 am

    So romantic, just like the Spanish Civil War…

  3. Adobe_Walls
    January 11th, 2015 @ 10:15 am

    Rallies, hashtags and mostly pompous asses making speeches on a stage are not going to cut it. When do they do they start making sweeps through the No Go areas?

  4. Jim R
    January 11th, 2015 @ 10:24 am

    Quite a list of foreigners going to stand with the French. Am I wrong, or did I not see an American name on the list?

    On the other hand, both Barry and Slow Joe would just embarrass us, so maybe it’s better for them to stay home. After all, no reason to interrupt golfing, vacation or groping the teenaged daughters of various senators over an episode of workplace violence. And heaven knows we don’t need Slow Joe lecturing the French police about double-barrel shotguns…

  5. Jim R
    January 11th, 2015 @ 10:29 am


    Perhaps I’m reaching, but it seems to me that this horror demonstrates the virtues of “broken window” policing: if the cops stay on top of the villains and wannabes like a blue blanket, the odds that something truly bad happening decrease. As it stands, the French ignored a problem that they could / should have nipped in the bud years ago. Too bad that common French citizens and their police and not the policy-makers had to pay the ultimate price for this error.

  6. Adobe_Walls
    January 11th, 2015 @ 10:53 am

    The underlying error dates back to the French revolution. For them fraternity meant citizenship for all inhabitants of any and all of her overseas possessions. For instance until Algeria became independent Arabs settling in ”France” were not immigrants but citizens moving from one part of France to another. No thought, let alone actions were taken to assimilate them, after all they were already Frenchmen. They were considered no more and perhaps less of threat than McDonalds or California wine.

  7. gothamette
    January 11th, 2015 @ 12:06 pm

    I don’t understand this at all. I’ve read that she fled on January 2. It’s very confusing.

  8. kilo6
    January 11th, 2015 @ 12:28 pm

    I have a different “Charlie” in mind for this je suis Charlie meme, Charles Martel

  9. Matt_SE
    January 11th, 2015 @ 12:56 pm

    The French can be vicious when provoked. See: pieds noirs, foreign legion, or early Vietnam. The problem is waking them from the somnambulance of socialism.
    The rallies in France are an exercise in ass-covering by the institutional left who provoked this crisis to begin with. They meet assassinations with marches and candle-light vigils: all temporary, pointless measures that serve to make the left feel good, and probably incite laughter in Islamists.
    All across Europe, the left is going to suffer reversals in the next elections. Good riddance, though I worry a bit about the lack of restraint on the European right.

  10. Fail Burton
    January 11th, 2015 @ 1:00 pm

    France is America in 25 years. There’ll be more calls for Halal extortions (read up on that) no bacon/ham sandwiches here and there, downtown streets cleared for noon prayers, more Christian symbols removed, more terror attacks, more threats to TV shows and movies. People just won’t accept this is a comprehensive ideology and the only “moderate” Muslim is a non-Muslim. I don’t see any “moderates” in Egypt taking to the streets and insisting Christians be made legally eligible for the office of President nor will we ever see such a thing. It took the racist English to end slavery in Egypt over considerable opposition. In France that will work in precisely the opposite direction as their Muslim population grows. Westerners simply will not accept Muslims are Muslims. They don’t turn into Jeffersonians via a plane ride.

  11. JeffS
    January 11th, 2015 @ 1:36 pm

    I’ll believe France is waking up when they unelect the socialists in charge of the place.

  12. Jim R
    January 11th, 2015 @ 2:29 pm

    Oh, perfect. He’s sending Holder. Maybe he can send Smilin’ Al and Calypso Louie to get the perfect triumvirate of race baiters and terrorist sympathizers.

  13. France and Terror : The Other McCain
    January 11th, 2015 @ 3:00 pm

    […] Reacting to Ross Douthat’s New York Times column about the plight of France, I deployed my usual caustic sarcasm: […]

  14. Jim R
    January 11th, 2015 @ 5:36 pm

    Where does freedom of religion / conscience end and allegiance to the State begin? Can the two coexist? I ask for opinions as I think it’s a question worth pondering. On one extreme we have the situation in parts of Europe (and even our country) where some other allegiance (such as religion) trumps allegiance to country, which leads inevitably bloodshed and revolution. On the other extreme, we’ve got nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, where a man was ideally to have no identity outside that as a servant of the State. Both are horrors.

    We’ve done well (perhaps unconsciously) in our country in allowing freedom of conscience while requiring people to feel themselves to be AMERICANS. How did we do it? Are we a model for other countries? How do we keep it alive?

  15. Matt_SE
    January 11th, 2015 @ 5:43 pm

    The problem for America isn’t resisting Muslims, it is in resisting their apologists. It won’t be the Muslims who disarm America, either in terms of guns or ideologically.

  16. ken_lov
    January 11th, 2015 @ 6:45 pm

    Arab Muslims in Algeria actually suffered considerably from discrimination while it was part of metropolitan France. The French also committed extensive atrocities against the locals during the long Algerian struggle for independence. France’s relations with the Islamic world have a lot deeper and more complex history than most pundits seem to understand.

  17. Adobe_Walls
    January 11th, 2015 @ 6:45 pm

    In a free country there shouldn’t be any conflict between religious beliefs and one’s self identification of, for example being an American. Conscientious objectors in war time aren’t repudiating their citizenship but rather a policy of their government. The exception to this would of course be when holding and acting on religious beliefs that infringes on the rights of others. For instance if la Raza started building pyramids and started cutting peoples hearts out on top of them. Or if some group of nutjobs started insisting that sharia law trumped our constitution and then acted in any way to implement that belief. And obviously the Molech worshiping left who infringe on our many rights including the right to life. But of course those examples are also antithetical to civilization as I’m sure we can all agree. After all an actual Godzilla running about wouldn’t be eligible for refugee status no matter what Sally Kohn say’s.

  18. Adobe_Walls
    January 11th, 2015 @ 6:49 pm

    Wow, I’m a pundit.

  19. ken_lov
    January 11th, 2015 @ 7:40 pm

    Sure, it’s the internet, we are all pundits now. Punditry has been truly democratised.

  20. Jim R
    January 11th, 2015 @ 8:39 pm

    The key phrase is, “In a free country.” Ours is becoming less free with each passing year.

  21. Bob Belvedere
    January 11th, 2015 @ 9:51 pm

    RELATED: Jean Raspail, author of The Camp Of The Saints revealed in 1985 the truth of who the enemy really was in the book [and it wasn’t Hindu’s]:

    At this juncture, the moment has arrived to explain why, in Camp of the Saints, it is human masses coming from the far-away Ganges rather than the shores of the Mediterranean that overwhelm the South of France. There are several reasons for this. One pertains to prudence on my part, and especially to my refusal to enter the false debate about racism and anti-racism in French daily life, as well as my revulsion at describing the racial tensions already discernible (but for the moment not fit for discussion) for fear of exacerbating them. To be sure, a mighty vanguard is already here, and expresses its intention to stay even as it refuses to assimilate; in twenty years they will make up thirty percent, strongly motivated foreigners, in the bosom of a people that once was French. It’s a sign, but it is only one sign. One could stop there. One could even engage in some skirmishes, all the while ignoring, or pretending to ignore that the real danger is not only here, that it is elsewhere, that it is yet to come, and that by its very size it will be of a different order. For I am convinced that at the global level things will unleash as at a billiard game, where the balls start moving one after the other following an initial shove, which can start up in this or that immense reservoir of misery and multitudes, such as the one over there, alongside the Ganges. It will probably not happen as I have described it, for the Camp of the Saints is only a parable, but in the end the result will not be any different, though perhaps in a form more diffused and therefore seemingly more tolerable. The Roman empire did not die any differently, though, it’s true, more slowly, whereas this time we can expect a more sudden conflagration. It is said that history does not repeat itself. That’s very foolish. The history of our planet is made up of successive voids and of the ruins that others have strewn about as they each had their turn, and that some have at times regenerated.

  22. Obama: Je Suis ne pas Juif, and Excuse Me for Noticing | Regular Right Guy
    January 12th, 2015 @ 4:04 pm


  23. Jake_Was_Here
    January 12th, 2015 @ 7:47 pm

    First they came for Charlie, and I said nothing… No, that’s the wrong way round. FIRST we said nothing, and THEN they came for Charlie.