Were the idea true that the hostility Islam harbors against the West could be mollified with greater efforts on the part of the civilized to compensate for the “historical grievances” and “suffering” of Muslims at the hands of supposed Western “Imperialism”, France would be the one of the greatest beneficiaries of such leniency.
Almost every suggestion Muslim apologists have wished Western states adopt to appease the Arab Street has long been the consensus policy of France. Since Suez the French have been calling on Israel to concede ever more territory, with the most recent expression of this Arabist sentiment coming in their vote for the recent UN resolution; they have strenuously warned against moves to halt Iran’s nuclear program; and they famously joined with Germany and Russia to oppose the Iraq War in 2003. Only with the intervention in Libya did France join a policy that might have offended Arab opinion, but even this was done with humanitarian intentions of saving Muslim lives.
But a reward for their consistent Arabism is nowhere to be found; Arabism that the West’s anti-American Muslim apologists assured everyone would lead to Muslim goodwill.
Quite the opposite has occurred – France has become one of the prime targets of Islamic terrorism while its society, long suffering decades from cultural divisions between natives and unassimilable Muslim immigrants, boils steadily towards civil war.
The lesson for America to take from the failure of nation building in the Middle East is not to placate the often ludicrous expectations of the Islamic world but to ignore their concerns and impose Carthaginian terms on the Muslim people whenever the United States feels appropriate – whether those terms are imposed through a suitable proxy dictator or directly by armed force.