- French journalist Éric Zemmour facetiously suggested that France should forget about bombing Raqqa and should instead bomb Molenbeek.
- Even the New York Times, of all places, ran an exposé about the ineffectiveness of Belgium’s anti-terror efforts, pointing up the chronic laxity, buck-passing, and turf-confusions that characterize every level of its government.
- Shut up. Zip it. It is a pathetic and cowardly way of responding to reality, but it is, alas, a widespread behavior pattern in Western Europe today – and, at least in certain milieux in poor little Belgium, it has been all but raised to a sacrament.
In the 15 years that followed the Napoleonic Wars, a messy series of events — international conferences, great-power land swaps, treaties, riots, military skirmishes, and, finally, a brief revolution — resulted in a redrawing of borders in the Low Countries and the establishment of a new country called Belgium. Even in the best of times, it was hardly a country, fatally divided into a French-speaking south and a Flemish-speaking north, whose residents had little sense of shared identity. If, when the European Union came along, the Belgians embraced the idea so ardently — and welcomed the transformation of their own capital into the capital of the EU — it was largely because they had far less of a sense of nationhood than their Western European neighbors, and felt, or hoped, that the EU would artificially supply something ineffable that their own history and culture had failed to give them.