Commentaries on the refugee crisis point fingers at two parties: the heartless east Europeans and the German chancellor who listens too closely to her heart. No one dares out the biggest offender: France, which bears a large share of responsibility for the ever-worsening crisis.
From the former rightist President Nicolas Sarkozy to his leftist successor François Hollande, there has been an astonishing continuity of policies that favor flight-promoting actions while fending off refugees.
Mr. Sarkozy bombed the empire of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi to smithereens without having the faintest idea about what should replace it. The hyperactive conservative provoked a mini-Iraq, allowing al-Qaeda and the Islamic State to funnel refugees to Europe as a commercial undertaking.
So far, his successor, Mr. Hollande, hasn’t tried to change much. At least he sent soldiers to Mali to limit the spread of terror from Libya in a southerly direction. Mr. Hollande would have been happy to bomb another dictator out of office, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, but now he wants to conduct air strikes in Syria against the Islamic State and is cozying up to Mr. Assad.
It’s an astounding change of course, since it is blindingly obvious by now that escalating a war in the air doesn’t create fewer refugees.
It may be vigorous in its military behavior, but the French government is reticent when it comes to accepting refugees. The trek undertaken by hundreds of thousands leads from Hungary through Austria and Germany all the way to Sweden. This spring, however, when migrants sought to open a new route from Italy to France, the country got rough, closing its border at Ventimiglia while police forced the refugees back to Italy.