That was the perspective from which, in and through the person of a decorated veteran of the Algerian War, France opposed the greatest catastrophe since 1962 for what was originally Christendom on three continents, covering every inch of the Mediterranean’s shores. For what remained of that, 1962 was the greatest catastrophe since 1948 (itself the greatest since 1923), and 2003 seems set to have been the greatest until a similar intervention in Syria. That will doubtless also be resisted by la France éternelle, the conscious, literal rebirth of which will have tremendous consequences in, for example, the United Nations Security Council, where they can expect the support of Russia and will also deserve that of the United Kingdom and of the United States.
Never forget that talk of what would originally have been a Second Western Alliance, but against Islamic rather than Communist expansion, has been a commonplace of French political discourse ever since the 1950s. And never forget that Mitterrand gave a job to Poujade, in whom the Legitimist and Bonapartist traditions met, who had endorsed him and who did so again, just as Chirac and Giscard d’Estaing both endorsed Hollande. Well, against Sarkozy, of course they did.