Friday, November 04, 2005

Paris suburbs burn on

More information has been coming in on the French riots, and it's sobering.

Take a look at this post by Shrinkwrapped on the culture wars and power struggles involved. It's based on
this column
from today's New York Post, written by Amir Taheri, who makes it clear that the evidence so far indicates multiple and complex reasons behind these riots: economic, cultural, and Islamic.

Here are some excerpts from Taheri:

Some are even calling for the areas where Muslims form a majority of the population to be reorganized on the basis of the "millet" system of the Ottoman Empire: Each religious community (millet) would enjoy the right to organize its social, cultural and educational life in accordance with its religious beliefs...

"All we demand is to be left alone," said Mouloud Dahmani, one of the local "emirs" engaged in negotiations to persuade the French to withdraw the police and allow a committee of sheiks, mostly from the Muslim Brotherhood, to negotiate an end to the hostilities.

President Jacques Chirac and Premier de Villepin are especially sore because they had believed that their opposition to the toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003 would give France a heroic image in the Muslim community.

That illusion has now been shattered and the Chirac administration, already passing through a deepening political crisis, appears to be clueless about how to cope with what the Parisian daily France Soir has called a "ticking time bomb."

It is now clear that a good portion of France's Muslims not only refuse to assimilate into "the superior French culture," but firmly believe that Islam offers the highest forms of life to which all mankind should aspire.

So what is the solution? One solution, offered by Gilles Kepel, an adviser to Chirac on Islamic affairs, is the creation of "a new Andalusia" in which Christians and Muslims would live side by side and cooperate to create a new cultural synthesis.

The problem with Kepel's vision, however, is that it does not address the important issue of political power. Who will rule this new Andalusia: Muslims or the largely secularist Frenchmen?


At 3:07 PM, November 04, 2005, Blogger Brad said...

There is no "solution" to this problem. As with all things in life the best they can do is come up with something that has more benefits than down-sides, and keep modifying it with time. I'm not too optimistic that either side has the desire or resources to accomplish anything but temporary calm, which usually leads to another storm. Certainly, ceding territory would lead to disaster.

At 3:21 PM, November 04, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

Have the French lost their reason? A two-state solution? Didn't they already submit to that once--you know--Occupied France and Vichy France.
Holy Voltaire! Either they end the "permanent nightmare of conflict" (Dalrymple), or it's the end of France as we know it and loved it and hated it and liberated it.
"We'll always have Paris," Bogart said to Bergman in "Casablanca."
Don't bet your Brie on it.

At 3:25 PM, November 04, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

President Jacques Chirac and Premier de Villepin are especially sore because they had believed that their opposition to the toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003 would give France a heroic image in the Muslim community.

Wow, seeing France stabbed in the back... what poetic justice, and what a great pleasure it is.

That illusion has now been shattered — and the Chirac administration, already passing through a deepening political crisis, appears to be clueless about how to cope with what the Parisian daily France Soir has called a "ticking time bomb."

I do believe the AMerican cowboys are going to sit this one out for once. Germans came up with a good word, schadenfreude.

At least, we won't be accused of butting into other people's businesses, where we don't belong. Schadenfreude is great, compared to that.

It's too bad the New York Post article is subscription based.

Amir Taheri seems to have a good perspective on these Islamic issues.

The French authorities could not allow a band of youths to expel the police from French territory. So they hit back — sending in Special Forces, known as the CRS, with armored cars and tough rules of engagement.

Within hours, the original cause of the incidents was forgotten and the issue jelled around a demand by the representatives of the rioters that the French police leave the "occupied territories."

You know, I'm beginning to think that the French complain so much about the United States and Israel in "occupied" territories simply for the fact that the French know that their occupied territories hate them with a fervor unimaginable to US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and all the other countries we have occupied.

Could this be termed psychological projection or displacement?

I predict that the French solution will be to sacrifice some people to appease the Islamic jihadists. But what do I know.

At 3:44 PM, November 04, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

I'm hard at work trying to compose a poem here. Ode to Burning Frogs is the title. Nifty title, if I say so myself, but I must try to be modest about it. I want to incorporate the character Quasimodo somehow, and Jean Paul Sartre as well, and George Patton. You may wonder what these three have in common, but I'm not about to distract myself with explanations and analogies, so suffer in silence and use your own imagination. Poetic input is welcome.

At 4:02 PM, November 04, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

- a thousand apologies for not taking the plight of our French allies seriously. Has anyone suggested bringing in a regiment of the Legion and instructing them to shoot rioters on sight and shoot to kill? I'm sure as we are speaking some of the orgnizers of the unhappy muslim kids are debating on whether or not to start arming. Hmmm - how far can they really push it do you suppose? why burn the car of an enemy when you can shoot him?

At 4:23 PM, November 04, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

France still has a foreign legion? Are they as good as the United States Marine Corps?

Assuming, that is, anything can be as good as the USMC.

At 4:47 PM, November 04, 2005, Blogger Alex said...

erasmus wrote:

"We'll always have Paris," Bogart said to Bergman in "Casablanca."
Don't bet your Brie on it.

Well now we'll always have Casablanca, at least, in Paris.

At 4:58 PM, November 04, 2005, Blogger Yaakov Kirschen said...

The French thought that by appeasing Islamic terror they'd be spare.

That's a riot!

Dry Bones
Israel's political comic strip since 1973

At 5:02 PM, November 04, 2005, Blogger neo-neocon said...

Wow, erasmus and alex, your comments have certainly outdone me in the wit--I mean in the bon mot--department. Touche, touche!

At 5:06 PM, November 04, 2005, Blogger neo-neocon said...

Yaakov--I published that last comment before I could include you.


At 5:42 PM, November 04, 2005, Blogger David said...

"Each religious community (millet) would enjoy the right to organize its social, cultural and educational life in accordance with its religious beliefs"...I bet that during the Ottoman days, the residents of the "millet" did not receive heavy government subsidies..or any government subsidies. Economically, they were on their own.

Also, if the "millet" behaved in a way the Ottoman rulers didn't like, I bet the leaders of that millet were beheaded (or worse).

Still want to go with the Ottoman plan, guys?...

At 6:47 PM, November 04, 2005, Anonymous Rcc11 said...

Paris is Fallujah West, hmmm, and no US Marines to deal with it..... Six weeks till surrender!

At 7:50 PM, November 04, 2005, Blogger camojack said...

Could somebody pass me the marshmallows?!

Was that cold hearted?

I still love your work.

At 8:23 PM, November 04, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

The comments section of this LGF article has a lot of good funny stuff about the French riots. As well as some relevant links hidden in the great morass.

There was one incident that they were talking about, where a 59 something year old woman who was disabled, got set on fire by the terroists. She was on a bus with other people, and some thug threw petrol over her. Then threw in a molotov cocktail.

The rest of the bus passengers were able to get off, but the woman was disabled in some way that prevented her from leaving. She acquired 3rd degree burns on 20% of her body IIRC.

I guess my advice to "go to America" is a little too late now. The going has gone very very bad now. And there are no Americans in France to help rescue disabled 59 year old women set on fire by thugs anymore.

We forget. The last presidential election, 20% of the French electorate voted for the fascist candidate.

We gonna have France turn into the next Hitlerdom perhaps? That was Mark Steyn in a radio conversation with Hugh.

MS: No, they can't. And essentially, you're dealing with communities that are totally isolated from the mainstream of French life. Where all kinds of practices that wouldn't be tolerated, that are not officially tolerated by French law, such as polygamy, for example. Polygamy is openly practiced in les Banlieux, as they call these suburbs, these Muslim quarters of Paris. I mean, we're talking about five miles from the Elysee Palace. Five miles from where Jacques Chirac sits. And you finally know, we kept hearing all this stuff ever since September 11th, you know, the Muslim street is going to explode in anger. Well, it finally did, and it was in Paris, not in the Middle East.

Something is burning baby. Number 1 Islamic enemy, France.

The irony of the world, is infinite.


At 9:05 PM, November 04, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

We may be sorry for all the Schadenfreude if the French turn to fascim or into an Islamic Republic. As they are, they can be irritating and snotty as hell. But what they might become could be much worse and harmful. Do we really want to land in Normandy again? {Or,Calais this time, mein Fuehrer?)
And, let's not forget Montaigne, Voltaire, Camus and Brigitte Bardot. And smelly cheeses.
Not all bad.

At 10:07 PM, November 04, 2005, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

We may be sorry for all the Schadenfreude if the French turn to fascim or into an Islamic Republic.

What are we supposed to do about it?

I'd opt for sending over a few military experts and also Rudy Giuliani to teach the French the basics of self-respect and self defense, but I doubt the French would want our help.

They could win local hearts and minds by focusing on the misery of the victims of these riots while punishing the 'militants', but they won't do that either. Socialists have lots of respect for 'rebels' who blow things up because they're all oppressed and stuff, but socialists have never had any sympathy for the victims of crime. I don't know why, they just don't.

The socialist French will probably cater to the militants, they'll alienate the Muslim victims of the riots, the government's weakness will inflame local white fascist groups and the place will be a mess - and there's not much we can do to stop it.

At 10:23 PM, November 04, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

I don't know about French self-respect, but self-defense? I think they still keep all those white flags they put out so speedily in 1941 in their closets.
But what will they do when their women are all covered up in Muslim-approved clothing? How will they be able to tell wife and mistress apart?
French bedroom farce? Not under the mullahs!

At 10:30 PM, November 04, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

No history buffs here? Remember Napolean's famous whiff of grapeshot?? You people can't appreciate honest poetry or righteous buckshot anymore. Jaded.
Ymarsakar, the Legion still exists, though they have been rather busy in the Ivory Coast - seems a bunch of ex-Legionaires turned mercenary ended up fighting against the Legion for a while. Man for man, Legionaires have about as much grit as US Marines I would say, but all comparisons end there given the logistics and technology in support of the Marines. As far as common soliders go and being able to endure pain and deprivation, the award would go to the North Korean army. They don't appreciate good poetry either by the way.

At 4:15 AM, November 05, 2005, Anonymous Amaze said...

Of course they can have their little millets. But then they also have to leave their French welfare checks, French health care, French education and other invaluable French services at the door. If they try to seriously arm themselves or try to conquer new territory I propose walls to be built around the new havens of superior culture.

The success of Al-Andalus depended for a large part on thinking and hard-working dhimmi, jews and christians. So when the host society lets the 'disenfranchised immigrants' fend for themselves they will be forced to get creative, inventive and enterprising - or get out. As there's no room for growing poppies in the suburbs I bet the millets would be empty in two years.

This of course is also the result of the multicultural philosophy. How can you think you can import people into your country, tell them you respect them so much they can 'keep their own culture' and then be amazed they demand to live by their own rules? Aren’t (different) rules part of a (multi)culture?

Muslims in a lot of suburbs in Europe have since long established their own parallel society in which polygamy, honour killing, forced veil wearing and gang rape of girls who 'don't behave' are custom. Riots aren’t new either. Until now they only were reported as ‘unrest’ or ‘peaceful demonstrations’ (that last one was a few years ago and was especially funny since I knew a shopkeeper who got a stone thrown through his window).

Of course under those circumstances they also don't want to be judged the rules of secular society or courts of law. I'm amazed we Europeans are amazed.

At 6:41 AM, November 05, 2005, Anonymous Paul said...

French appeasement will not satisfy the Islamofascists whose goal is to make the world the dar al Islam. Chirac backed the wrong horse !

At 7:46 AM, November 05, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

France does not need America's help they have the support of Progressive Lefists armed with empty platitides to save them from wreck and ruin.

Progressive Leftists are United for Genocidal Peace and Justice for Dictators for a reason, they abhor freedom and are doing everything possible to extinguish the shining light on the hill.

At 8:00 AM, November 05, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Do we really want to land in Normandy again? {Or,Calais this time, mein Fuehrer?)

France is getting bombed, we ain't gonna land any troops in to "liberate" Oil for Food kickbackers.

First on the list is their nuclear power generators, nuclear silos, and arms depots.

Can't have the terroists getting their hands on that, fascist or islamic.

The Europeans are going to be sorry, cause it's in their backyard... once again.

If they don't pay the US military for an intervention, or can't prove how the weapons in France are in danger of falling in the hands of radicals, they ain't even going to get bombed.

We'll just tell the Germans to work it out.

The whole point of going into the Middle East is that we knew this would happen in Europe, in one form or another. We aren't going to invade another democracy, ala Peloponessian war when Athens invaded Sicily.

First we hit the Middle East, clean that up. Acquire some sepoys in the form of Afghanistani and Iraqi troops. Then we can worry about what Europe is or is not.

In the meantime, we're counting on France, Germany, Russia, and Britain to be the pounching bag until we can redeploy forces from the Middle East.

Which won't happen for like 20 something years. Something along the lines of the Cold War redeployments, which seemed to be about 40 years in length.

Europe is on their own, for once in a life time.

Perhaps this will mature the teenagers in charge of European policy. When they are responsible for their own stuff, and can't be bailed out anymore... then like Victor Davis Hanson said, maybe they'll grow out of anti-Americanism. Or maybe they'll just die, shrugs, doesn't really matter.

The time when America holds everyone's hands in a happy circle dance, are pretty much over. Their attempts to demoralize Americans ala Frenchified Vietnam, ala anti-war protests, ala ANSWER, the UN, and etc have worked. America no longer has the strength to dominate the world through occupations anymore.

Which sucks for Europe, but that's what they worked for all these years. Iraq being just another anti-American fun campaign, that and the money of course.

I only hope this pushes Rumsfield and Co to hurry up the base closings in Germany, and move them to Poland or some other strategically located place that would benefit from Roman... I mean American currency.

It's time to get our military out of enemy territory, and start protecting the territory and economy of our real allies.

Ain't the 21st century such an interesting time, eh?

At 11:37 AM, November 05, 2005, Blogger Brad said...

This whole thing is extremely worrisome. Europe may have been less than supportive of the US in the recent past, but they are still "us." We need a strong and healthy Europe to tackle the miriad of problems that face the world. I suggest reading a piece by Pascal Bruckner (a Frenchman) from a few years ago in Dissent magazine, in which he discusses this situation (sorry I don't know how to short link stuff):
(I sent this to Neo via email once)

BTW I would be surprised if any serious criticisms of Russia come out of Western Europe in the near future.

At 9:59 PM, November 05, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MSM has made note of a disturbing trend to the ongoing violence... the auto body count is rising.

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