An American observer comments on French politics.
Useful to note that 'fluctuat' describes a back-and-forth motion, connoting instability--an oddly weak image for a motto, though it also suggests a suppleness Parisians would no doubt claim. Some of that instability was on display in the Assembly yesterday, as LR deputies crudely displayed their real interest: partisan point-scoring. Meanwhile, there is nothing supple about Hollande's Bush-like insistence on calling this a 'war', dropping ineffectual bombs and demanding extraordinary powers--though the remarkable speed with which security officials are gathering clues and tracking suspects suggests what it really is: an urgent police matter. I do agree that something very large is afoot in the Middle East--two failed states, a third (Kurdistan) trying to be born, a 'caliphate' with no real future but demarcating a vacuum that will somehow be filled. Alas, Hollande's wooden rhetoric and Obama's diffidence feel equally unlikely to address the larger issue.
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