I’m glad Mark Kleiman wrote these two excellent rebuttals (here and here) of Amatai Etzioni’s view of France. Kleiman is right to say that when someone of Etzioni’s stature and intellect starts making “freedom fries” arguments, “some sort of limit has been reached, and it’s time to call the meeting to order.”
Kleiman also placed himself on my blogroll with these wise words in response to another silly post:
It’s not pacifism to have as one’s goal making war as irrelevant as possible. That’s a perfectly workable goal. War is already irrelevant to practical politics on the North American mainland.
If the European Union holds together, war will become similarly irrelevant to a similar-sized population. In a long view, whether Germany and France backed the US and the UK against Iraq is trivial compared to the overwhelming fact that Germany and France aren’t even thinking about fighting each other, or Britain; for the first time since the Dark Ages, Western Europe isn’t at war or preparing for war. The faster that zone of we’re-not-going-to-fight-one-another expands, the better.
I wish a few more people, particularly Robert Kagan, could grasp the historical significance of this monumental political achievement instead of seeing it as a source of ridicule.