After looking down their noses with disdain and disgust at the US – most recently for going to war against Iraq and for the looting and lawlessness in the wake of Katrina – what the French are now experiencing should cause them to reevaluate both criticisms. First, their general support for Muslim causes around the world and for Saddam and the Palestinians in particular has earned them no sympathy whatsoever from the disaffected 2nd generation North African Muslim “youths” they have adopted. Second, the line between civilization and chaos is thin everywhere, not just here in Cowboyland. If Katrina unmasked ugly class differences and government ineptitude then so have these French riots.
I don’t feel smug. I hope this wakes up the French, and the rest of Old Europe, so they finally join in the defense of civilization rather than pretentiously prevaricating while it collapses around them.
Our mainstream media, in attempts to preserve the Left’s chimera of “universal cultural compatibility,” hardly write about all this. Nevertheless, for some years now West European city folk and police officers have been familiar with the reality that certain areas of major European cities are no-go areas, especially at night and certainly if you are white or wearing a uniform. Three years ago, a French friend who had his car stolen learned that the thieves had parked the car in a particular suburb. When he went to the police he was told that the police did not operate in that neighbourhood and consequently would not be able to retrieve his car. This is Western Europe in the early 21st century.
Nicolas Sarkozy became France’s most popular politician by promising to restore law and order in the whole of France, including in the areas abandoned by previous governments. Since Sarkozy became Interior Minister he has insisted on more police presence in Muslim neighbourhoods. This triggered last week’s riots in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, when policemen went in to investigate a robbery and two teenagers stupidly got themselves electrocuted while hiding from the police in an electricity sub station. Many French politicians now probably regret that the police had the audacity to investigate a robbery in Clichy.
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The riots in France have been going on for a week now. During the second night of street fighting in Clichy, police officers already warned that they are not up to the task Sarkozy has set them. “There’s a civil war underway,” one officer declared. “We can no longer withstand this situation on our own. My colleagues neither have the equipment nor the practical or theoretical training for street fighting.” If there is, indeed, a war going on, Sarkozy cannot win it with troops that are mere policemen and fire fighters. As Irwin Stelzer pointed out last July when discussing the British reaction to the London bombings: In a war, use the army, rather than police. The latter, however, is unlikely to happen. If the politicians bring in the army they are acknowledging what the policemen, the fire fighters and the ambulance drivers know but what the political and media establishment wants to hide from the people: that there is civil war brewing and that Europe is in for a long period of armed conflict. This is the last thing appeasing politicians want to do and so they have begun to criticise Sarkozy.
This story is a few days old. The violence has gone on for 10 nights now. All along Brussels Journal has made insightful posts on the subject, identifying the situation as a civil war days before the US press acknowledged anything was even happening. The spin from the mainstream media right now is that the rioters are primarily “youths” of North African descent enraged by the deplorable living conditions the famously stingy French social welfare system forces them to live in. The rioting continues only because a fascist cowboy (Sarkozy) was insufficiently diplomatic in handling the situation. The fact the rioters are Muslim and a millet system of whitey no-go zones has emerged in Europe would just confuse us. Chirac is lying low, maybe vacationing in Crawford. They’ve pushed the facist cowboy aside and “negotiations” have begun. It will be interesting to see how they explain the inevitable failure of this new strategy, which is just a desperate return to the old strategy of appeasement that was in place before Sarkozy’s attempt to reclaim the millet ghettos.