He urged young people to get out and "move to Australia or New Zealand. That is the only option they have if they want to avoid the plagues that will turn the old continent uninhabitable."
Now, I don't know Broder's work at all, so I can't comment on his experiences or expertise. But I have major problems with websites that continually use headlines such as "The Rape of Europe". Somehow, that starts bells ringing, much like the sight of a Confederate flag in my rear-view mirror.
All I can say to Rod is that I agree that Europe faces major challenges over assimilation, and that we've been lax about Islamist extremists. No question about it. What I don't care for is the way that certain American conservatives - Rod isn't one of them - are so eager to forecast an imminent apocalypse. (Is all this supposed to be compensation for the fiasco in Baghdad? I wonder sometimes.) There's a big market for Euro-meltdown books but, as I've noted before, the doom-mongers have a habit of drawing the worst possible conclusions. Here's NRO's Stanley Kurtz again:
Islamic militias tear capital apart. Country may soon be divided....No, not Iraq. I’m talking about France. Europe continues its descent into...what shall we call it? Civil war? Intifada? Call it what you like, but take it deadly seriously.
And then there's Mark Steyn's prognosis:
It’s very hard to persuade the British just how fast things are moving. But I wouldn’t mind betting I’ll be sponsoring... my various relatives all over Europe for U.S. immigration before 2015, 2020 or so.
I don't pretend to be an authority on French politics, and I have no idea whether riots will break out again this autumn. But I recommend this Brookings discussion featuring Christopher Caldwell, who happens to be a regular contributor to the Weekly Standard, and so couldn't be dismissed as a soggy liberal. If you read his comments in the full transcript, it’s obvious that Caldwell isn’t starry-eyed about French society or the demographic question. But it seems to me he’s a long way from declaring martial law. Or, if you don't have the time to wade through all that, read the op-ed by Matthew Kaminski, Paris-based editor at that well-known pinko rag, the Wall Street Journal. Again, he points up the fractured nature of French society and of Europe. Yet he sees the nuances too.
The French approach to assimilation, with its insistence on strict secularism and its dirigiste firmness, does not make for an American-style melting pot. But it may well carve a better path to civil peace, over time, than could undertake a major economic reform. Remarkably little has been done, even in the year since the riots, to loosen up the restrictive labor codes that do so much to keep poor immigrants--not least poor Muslim immigrants--from finding work and integrating themselves into French life.
The local authorities also feel let down. Claude Dilain, the long-serving Socialist mayor of Clichy-sous-Bois, has struggled to improve conditions over the past year and he has even written a book on his pride in his town. He blames the state for failing to deliver promised funds. "People here feel that they are on the edge of the Republic," said last week. "After the emotion passed last year, the political debate shifted away from the banlieues.... All the conditions are there for it to blow up. If people feel nothing has changed, we cannot tell them that they are wrong.
The last point I'd make to Rod is that the jeering, Europe-is-for-wimps tone of the Mark Steyn school of journalism is about as irritating as the Americans-are-all-lardbutts drivel that comes from the other side of the divide. (Hurricane Katrina gave that phenomenon a new lease of life, you may recall). Rod writes eloquently about how the insufferable arrogance of the GOP machine has turned him off party politics. All I'd ask him to consider is how, just at this moment, things look to pro-American types like me who are listening in from a few thousand miles away. After all, even a hyper-power needs a few friends.