The savage attack is the latest of many in Paris, understandably sparking widespread fears of terrorism. But some Parisians desperately seek convenient explanations that will let them avoid the necessary conflict.
“Is it because we’ve joined forces and joined a coalition in Iraq and Syria against Islamic State?” one businessman asked on Paris television.
Ah, a perfectly French reaction. If only the country had been nicer to Islamic State, it wouldn’t have this problem. Right, and if only the French had been nicer to Herr Hitler, he would have left them alone.
Yet the habit of ducking a fight with evil is not limited to the French, with some Americans also infected. Appeasement here is expressed as fears that France’s unwashed masses might actually vote to do something about terrorism in Sunday’s presidential election.