Yes, it's fun to make sport of the hapless French, especially when loudmouths in their media resort to grotesque caricatures of Americans. But in all seriousness, the people who actually run things in France are a cut above the baboons that make up their "intellectual elite."
With the possible exceptions of the Belgians and the Dutch, the West Europeans have reacted as vigorously as the Americans, if not more so. The French and the British, both less agitated than Americans about civil liberties in times of stress, aggressively use temporary imprisonment as an investigative counterterrorist tool. France's famous counterterrorist judge Jean-Louis Bruguière could teach Attorney General John Ashcroft and the Federal Bureau of Investigation many things about using randomness in arrests and detention to sow anxiety amongst the enemy and give the (perhaps justified) impression of effective state power.
This from an excellent article in the Weekly Standard. Read the rest of it.