06 October, 2004

Arnaud de Borchgrave writes about Jean Raspail's 1973 novel, The Camp of the Saints

Reliving fears from fiction

By Arnaud de Borchgrave

"One hundred boats bearing 1 million desperate uninvited immigrants set sail from the Ganges for the fabled coast of the French Riviera. They are totally destitute and have decided their only chance of survival is in a country with a conscience that traditionally welcomes refugees from the Third World. Their journey will take 50 days.

In France, the news is trumpeted with pride by the liberal media, churchmen and leftwing activists. Favorable media echoes are heard all over Europe. Political leaders and the armed forces fumble for common policies. Publicly, French authorities praise the intrepid voyagers. Privately, they exchange ideas on how to divert 1 million hungry souls to other shores.

Trendy French radio journalist Albert Dufort sees the makings of a historical redistribution of wealth between the First and Third Worlds. "We're all from the Ganges now," he proclaims. Schoolchildren write essays eulogizing latter-day "sans culottes." The theme is picked up and sweeps the Continent.

As the armada passes through the Straits of Gibraltar, panic sets in. French Riviera inhabitants begin fleeing north. The French president deploys armed forces along the coast. They are told to defend the country against the now imminent invasion of the poverty-stricken 1million from the Ganges. But their with ears glued to transistor radios, they heed Dufort's call not to oppose the landings. They desert en masse. Police open jail cells before shedding their uniforms and hotfooting it home to take care of their families."

Mr. Sharkey pointed out the fine novel, "The Camp of the Saints", to me about two years ago. You can purchase it here, or at any of your favorite book dealers, if they will get it for you...


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