Thursday, November 03, 2005

What to say ...

... about the French inability to address the riots spreading through the suburbs of Paris and beyond. Having followed the now more than week long festival via Gateway Pundit (click and scroll for daily coverage through seven days now), Tim Blair, LGF ( has daily posts), and others, I'm still stuck.

I've spent the last few days mulling snide remarks like "How do you spell "curfew" in French?" or "You can probably get a good deal on a police weapon off the French Ebay (you know, the auction items reading 'Brand new. Never fired. Only dropped once.')"

But it's serious and not confined to France, as Meryl Yourish leads in her link to the Brussels Journal. And as Meryl reminds you with her post, there was a time when those with some foresight might have properly understood the implications and those without it could still have spotted the writing on the wall if they didn't, wilfully, keep their heads where the sun doesn't shine. And Meryl's post may cause you to remember the rather gleeful high spirited remonstrances by many of those farseeing leaders of Europe who suggested their way of diplomacy and statecraft was so much better than the US's, because, see, it has brought peace to the Continent.

Finally, it's particularly interesting that Prince Charles is here now with the intention of explaining the merits of the less confrontational approach. (See Perry de Havilland's well written repartee to Charlie's notion.) But a reason can always be found to accuse someone of being confrontational, and if it isn't two electrocuted boys, or Korans in toilets, or Iraqi liberation, or troops in KSA, there is always the Jews [insert something here] or some 14th century city lost in Spain. And that reason is always deemed sufficient to react with a vengence.

Back when Spain cut and ran from the Coalition, I understood. Please remember that the bombings there, near the eve of the elections clouds the fact that they were poised to change administrations anyway and that administration clearly espoused plan was to turn tail. That the bombings did not change their attitude was a bit surprising but, still, I understood. I toasted the courageous and insightful minority of Spaniards that advocated sticking with us inspite of it being easy to feel it is "not their problem."

The fact is that we all learn in different ways and rarely learn from history. We, ourselves, didn't "learn" until 9/11 just like we didn't "learn" until Pearl Harbor in spite of all the contrary evidence. The Brits and Aussies, standing shoulder to shoulder with us from the beginning is the exception, not the rule, and while the Brits have been pretty much on the same page with us vis-a-vis the foreign front, they had been pretty lackadaisical about addressing the threat on their home front until, the London bombings. The Aussies, for the most part, didn't need the rude awakening of Bali.

The French are getting their rude awakening now, though in a form that will still allow them to not make the connection to the foreign front and as long as they can prevent a terrorist attack, arrving blatantly from outside their borders, via police action, they will remain complacent about the threat.

Of course there is the argument that the rioting is unrelated to War on Terrorism. There is quite a bit of evidence to support that contention. Instapundit relays an e-mail explaining the is the widespread unemployment and later links to Ed Cone's post on the French attitude towards their minorities. That was somewhat surprising but even more surprising was this report by way of a "Guess Who" poll from F***France.com. When you let it settle in, though, I decidied it was not all that surprising considering he tells people to shut up all the time and thinks the American economic model is the communism of the 21st Century. This evidence almost makes me want to change my position on Sarkozy's assertion that they are thugs and scum. Almost.

So the tinder may actually be the conditions in which the French have crammed these people, the Brussels Journal indications it is something more widespread and initiating, aside. I guess the French don't like minorities -- African, Arab or Jew -- much, in addition to hating Americans.

But that kind of issue doesn't stoke the fire for 8 days and counting. There is more to this than just people wanting jobs. There are too many caught in the middle and too few wreaking the havoc. It must stop and stop quickly. The bigoted French elites should end their closed door emergency meetings and go out end the riots. Scum and thugs or not it's time to establish a curfew and a shoot on sight standard for violations. Then they can address the underlying problem.


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