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General News    H2'ed 7/15/16

Why France?

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Americans may be wondering why France appears to bear the brunt of terror attacks in Europe. The answer is that France has been the most heavily involved in colonialism, starting after Napoleon's forays into Egypt in the early nineteenth century. It was not until the late twentieth century that Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco won their independence, after long years of war. Not to mention France's 'presence' in East, West and Equatorial Africa, that in one form or another, has continued to this day ./

French Foreign Legion - Photo by David F Putnam
French Foreign Legion - Photo by David F Putnam
(Image by manhhai)
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In the 1960's, foreign attention was focused on France's desperate attempts to retain Vietnam, that ultimately brought a large Vietnamese diaspora. But its involvement in Africa is what explains the presence of large numbers of Muslims in the country. Add to that former President Sarkozy's decision to join the campaign against Libya's Ghaddafi, and the insistence of its current president, Hollande that "Assad must go" (from its former Syrian protectorate). and it should surprise no one that the country's vaunted 'rayonnement' has turned to disaster.

For decades, second generation Muslims living in low-income housing have felt that they are not fully accepted and not well prepared to compete in the modern job-market, while at the same time unable to feel at home in their countries of origin.

As Europe begins to re-examine the value of the Atlantic Alliance, the latest terrorist attack in France may remind it that although its struggle against terrorists is not over, Russia has been able to evolve relatively sophisticated policies toward its Muslim neighbors.

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Born in Phila, I spent most of my adolescent and adult years in Europe, resulting over time in several unique books, my latest being Russia's Americans.

CUBA: Diary of a Revolution, Inside the Cuban Revolution with Fidel, Raul, Che, and Celia Sanchez

Lunch with Fellini, Dinner with Fidel: An Illustrated Personal Journey from the Cold War to the Arab Spring


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