Monday, November 07, 2005

France folds?

It looked like France started strong – and then falls apart. That is about the only conclusion you can get to by reading what happened last night and the weekend dispatches. There is some "tough talk" but that is all it is, talk. The low-boil, low-death L’Intifada is still going and no sign that the society wants to defend itself.
Police reported 1,295 vehicle burnings and made 312 arrests as unrest in African and Arab communities spread to Strasbourg, Toulouse and Nantes.

On the 10th consecutive night of riots, the violence reached central Paris, with four cars torched on Place de la Republique and the 17th District.

Like the French army of the last century facing down the Wehrmacht – when the going got tough, the governing French elite folded.
"Violence is not a solution," said Sarkozy, accused earlier of stoking passions by calling troublemakers "scum."

"Once the crisis is over, everyone will have to understand there are a certain number of injustices in some neighborhoods."
They should listen to suggestion at the tail end of Michael's post. Their problem is the inbred nature of their governing elite. They all went to the same schools with the same attitude. There is little alternative paths to power. It would be as if the ruling part of the Republican Party was represented by David Gergen, and all the leaders of the Democrats and Republicans all went to UNC Berkely, and together they all went to grad school at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. UNC Chapel Hill would be considered a “radical right-wing” fringe university. The French are in a box because there is little diversity of thought by those they choose to let govern. There is a large body of French people who want action, but it ain't coming.

Sure we have our riots here, now and then. But by day two or three, the National Guard is on the streets. The people demand it. It's fun to laugh at stuff like this from LGF, but this is a serious problem that isn't going to get better by itself without a serious response from the sleeping French government.

Even the French leader with the most spine, Sarkozy, at this point is just making empty threats. Ask my kids, and empty threats just encourge worse behavior. A week and a half of rioting proves that.
France's interior minister has warned rioters of stiff jail sentences for arson after a ninth night of violence in African and Arab communities.

Nicolas Sarkozy said setting cars on fire could "cost dear in terms of sentences" after a night which saw nearly 900 vehicles damaged.

He said the government was "unanimous about standing firm" against violence.
Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy had warned of stiff jail sentences.
"We are trying to be firm and avoid any provocation," Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy...
Bla, bla, bla. Let your actions speak, or shut up. Some excelent must reads at Power Line, Captain's Quarters, No Pasaran, Austin Bay, and by Theodore Dalrymple.

Over at The Corner a few days ago, John Derbyshire (Derb to you and me) posted part of an email from a friend of his that is an uncomfortable read, but one that today seems right on target. I quote in whole.
An acquaintance of mine -- French, currently resident in North Africa -- sent a long post about the French riots to an email group I belong to. It is a fascinating post, but much too long to paste here. I did think, though, that the following passage would interest NRO readers, so with his permission, I pass it on.

It is from a passage headed: "Why an Intifada in France?" It is among a long list of reasons given as answers to the question.

"The Iraq war: as I had noticed very strongly in Tunisia a little more than 2 years ago, the opposition of France to intervention in Iraq has been perceived as a sign of weakness, and French are since considered as Dhimmis. The change of attitude from Arabs against French has been dramatic: now I know problems of security in Tunisia, and even in the French planes to go and come from there, and in Nice (French Riviera) Airport! This opposition, probably motivated by the money earned in Oil For Terror program and by threats from Saudi Arabia and Iran, has marked the end of France as a Western country (whatever one thinks about the Iraq war per se!)."

The pathetic thing here is that if you remember, all the proper talking heads and PC pundits were pulling the “this isn’t about religion; it is about jobs, it is about education, it is about a lack of midnight basketball…” (OK, I made up the basketball thing). But now, even the polite company admits….well….it is religious.
Sarkozy has courted Muslim opinion by urging a measure of positive discrimination and setting up a Council of Muslim Faith to represent France's 5 million-strong Muslim community.
Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin met eight key ministers and the head of the Paris mosque, Dalil Boubakeur.

After the meeting, Mr Boubakeur urged a change in tone from the government.

"What I want from the authorities, from Mr Nicolas Sarkozy, the prime minister and senior officials are words of peace," he said.
Speaking of Derb, if you haven’t clicked “Derb Radio” under my favorites – you have not lived a full life.

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