There was a memorable instance of multiculturalism last week that The Scrapbook heartily commends to readers. Google for the touching video of the ceremony at the Elysée Palace in which the president of France, François Hollande, pins the Legion of Honor ribbons on Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler, and Alek Skarlatos—the three young Americans who risked their lives to disarm and subdue a terrorist gunman on the high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris—while giving each of them a very formal French bisou on both cheeks.
From their heroic actions, Glenn Reynolds drew the appropriate moral in a column for USAToday, “See Something? DO Something!”:
Bureaucracies have their place, but they don’t deal well with diffuse threats such as terrorism. By the time “first responders” get there, it’s usually too late. But there’s one group of “responders” who don’t have to go anywhere, and that’s the group already on the scene. In conventional analysis, and in the terrorists’ hopes, those people are called “victims.” But as the three Americans on that French train demonstrated, victimhood isn’t the only response.
And there’s more. The purpose of terror is to terrorize. But responding appropriately has the opposite effect. The response of British businessman Chris Norman, who helped subdue the attacker, illustrates this: “Norman said his first reaction was to hide,” The Fiscal Times reported. “But after he saw the Americans fighting the attacker, he said he went to help them.”
Concluded Reynolds: “Fear is contagious. But so is courage.”
Secretary of State John Kerry defended the Obama administration's decision to take the Iran deal to the United Nations before the U.S. Congress votes on it. Kerry made the remarks in an interview this morning on ABC News:
The ABC reporter, Jon Karl, asked, "But the bottom line, the UN is going to vote on this before Congress gets to vote on this?"
As he has for much of his post-presidency, Bill Clinton was on the road again in June, traveling to Europe at the end of the month for various conferences and other public appearances. After a few days in London, the president popped over to Paris for a day or two to shop at Hermès, a well-known luxury boutique. Such trips, however, do not come cheap. Hotel contracts for the president's Secret Service team for the Paris leg of the trip alone came to over $48,000.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange will not find a home in France. The French government has announced today it will not grant asylum to the fugitive.
"France has received the letter from Mr Assange. A closer examination shows that given the legal elements and the material situation of Mr. Assange, France can not act on its request. The situation of Mr Assange presents no immediate danger. He is also the subject of a European arrest warrant," the French government writes in a statement released by the Elysee Palace.
"Oh, you Jews! Allah has permitted us to kill your brothers on French soil and here on the soil of the Islamic State.” So says the speaker in an Islamic State video released in March, which allegedly shows a Palestinian Mossad agent being shot dead by a child executioner. Standing next to the boy and behind the kneeling detainee, the man, whose face is uncovered, speaks French with the cadence of the banlieues, France’s troubled urban slums that have proved fertile recruiting grounds for the Islamic State and other jihadist groups.
Another Sunday, another New York Times magazine, this one featuring a cover story about “Scott Walker and the dismantling of American unions.” Readers of the Old Grey Lady, a newspaper not without its virtues, are undoubtedly aware of its sympathy for down-trodden workers, especially if they belong to trade unions.
The new novel Les Événements (The Events), by the French author Jean Rolin, tells the tale of a France that has descended into a chaotic and multifaceted civil war involving jihadist, nationalist and Marxist militias, in various and fluctuating combinations, as well as remnants of the regular army.
Many supporters of an Iranian nuclear agreement believe that a deal could help to moderate, even democratize, Iranian society. Barack Obama’s constant allusions to the transformative potential of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action for U.S.-Iranian relations suggest that he believes an agreement, which would quickly release tens of billions of dollars to the Islamic Republic and reintegrate it into the global financial system, would improve the clerical regime’s behavior.
If anyone needs further evidence of why the news agencies often can’t be trusted to report accurately on Israel and the Palestinians, and why major news outlets such as the New York Times and the BBC should stop repeating agency copy without verifying it, here is an important example from this weekend.
Dieudonne, the alleged “comedian” whose performances have been banned across France on account of his anti-Semitism, may not have won any Oscars this week, but he was given another award recently. In Tehran earlier this month, Iran’s Holocaust-denying former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, gave Dieudonne a “lifetime achievement” award – also known as a Golden Quenelle Award.
The recent controversy over a Fox News segment on “no-go zones” in France, culminating in Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo’s threat to sue the American channel, was a surreal experience for French-speakers, connoisseurs of France, and, above all, the French themselves. For while the original remarks by Fox interviewee Nolan Peterson contained some fuzziness and error, the existence of such zones has been universally acknowledged in France for years: by members of all political parties, including Hidalgo’s own Socialists, and all media, including the leftist media.