Sunday, November 06, 2005

Burn, Bébé, Burn: Light Up The New Dark Ages

Robert Spencer has a good fisk of the MSM reactions to the rioting in Paris.
    France on FireWhy have the riots happened? From many accounts one would think that the riots have been caused by France’s failure to implement Marxism. “The unrest,” AP explained, “has highlighted the division between France’s big cities and their poor suburbs, with frustration simmering in the housing projects in areas marked by high unemployment, crime and poverty.” Another AP story declared flatly that the riots were over “poor conditions in Paris-area housing projects.”
Reuters agreed with AP’s attribution of all the unrest to economic injustice, and added in a suggestion of racism: “The unrest in the northern and eastern suburbs, heavily populated by North African and black African minorities, have been fuelled by frustration among youths in the area over their failure to get jobs and recognition in French society.” Deutsche Presse Agentur called the high-rise public housing in the Paris suburbs “a long-time flashpoint of unemployment, crime and other social problems.”
Bunkum. All of it. As Spencer notes, if it’s unemployment and poverty, where are the Catholic poor in all of this?

Not that any of the MSM are actually using the word “muslim.” That doesn’t fit the politically correct party line and there’s no way to cut it to make it fit. So “muslim youth” simply gets excised from the stories entirely. These reporters are morally and philosophically bankrupt and blind to the facts on the ground. Conveniently blind and deaf.

Meanwhile the EU’s policies are all coming home to roost. Of course, they’re settling on to burning nests, but still the prattle continues in the press, while the French government’s politically correct and morally superior decisions to allow immigrants to form non-assimilating enclaves has resulted in the ash pits that are the unintended consequences of their utopian policies.

Naturally, it is never mentioned in these odes to ethnic separation that it was really what the Europeans preferred. Otherwise, they’d have to deal with the hordes of unwashed and foreign colonials that they allowed in when they needed the cheap labor in their manufacturing sectors. Now that’s a shriveling factor in the economy and they’re stuck with third generation superfluous strangers. Strangers they really don’t want too close. That’s why enclaves like Clichy Sous Bois — large tracts of waste land on the way to the airport and safely out of the way of the tourist trade — have been encouraged to remain in place. To remind them they’re in France, the streets are given French names, as are the projects. The residents burn out businesses, gut the parking garages, trash the council housing, and the government just cleans it up. Cheaper than integrating their colonial inheritance, no?

Theodore Dalrymple’s essay, Barabarians at the Gates of Paris, was written more than two years ago. It could have been a description of things last week:
     An apartment in this publicly owned housing is also known as a logement, a lodging, which aptly conveys the social status and degree of political influence of those expected to rent them. The cités are thus social marginalization made concrete: bureaucratically planned from their windows to their roofs, with no history of their own or organic connection to anything that previously existed on their sites, they convey the impression that, in the event of serious trouble, they could be cut off from the rest of the world by switching off the trains and by blockading with a tank or two the highways that pass through them, (usually with a concrete wall on either side), from the rest of France to the better parts of Paris. I recalled the words of an Afrikaner in South Africa, who explained to me the principle according to which only a single road connected black townships to the white cities: once it was sealed off by an armored car, “the blacks can foul only their own nest.”
A kind of anti-society has grown up in them—a population that derives the meaning of its life from the hatred it bears for the other, “official,” society in France. This alienation, this gulf of mistrust—greater than any I have encountered anywhere else in the world, including in the black townships of South Africa during the apartheid years—is written on the faces of the young men, most of them permanently unemployed, who hang out in the pocked and potholed open spaces between their logements. When you approach to speak to them, their immobile faces betray not a flicker of recognition of your shared humanity; they make no gesture to smooth social intercourse. If you are not one of them, you are against them.
And what is the French solution to this time bomb, to this Arab Street smoldering at the peripheries of its cities? It is the Ostrich Option, or the Scarlett O’Hara Solution — i.e., “if we don’t look at this it will go away,” or, “I’ll think about it tomorrow.” And now, tomorrow is here… and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow:
     The state, while concerning itself with the details of their housing, their education, their medical care, and the payment of subsidies for them to do nothing, abrogates its responsibility completely in the one area in which the state’s responsibility is absolutely inalienable: law and order. In order to placate, or at least not to inflame, disaffected youth, the ministry of the interior has instructed the police to tread softly (that is to say, virtually not at all, except by occasional raiding parties when inaction is impossible) in the more than 800 zones sensibles—sensitive areas—that surround French cities and that are known collectively as la Zone.
Mark Steyn says he’s been predicting this since 9/11 but he didn’t think things would blow up in France until 2010. As he says, “silly” him. And in a way, it’s true. Things move much more quickly now, and with more intensity than we can take in. At this rate, human beings begin to numb out. Not that France hasn’t been creating this mess for two generations — heck, they started more two hundred years ago when they invaded, captured and colonized Algiers. It’s just that once the tipping point is reached, the human brain does not seem able to keep up with the cascade of events. There are biochemical-electrical limits to what our all-too-human brains can process in a given amount of time.

But Steyn, in his famously brilliant Steynian way, brings the history back even further than I. He posits the beginnings in 732 A.D. (editor’s note: you may use C.E. if you prefer; I am an A.D. kind of girl and this is not a university here):
The French have been here before, of course. Seven-thirty-two. Not 7:32 Paris time, which is when the nightly Citroen-torching begins, but 732 A.D. — as in one and a third millennia ago. By then, the Muslims had advanced a thousand miles north of Gibraltar to control Spain and southern France up to the banks of the Loire. In October 732, the Moorish general Abd al-Rahman and his Muslim army were not exactly at the gates of Paris, but they were within 200 miles, just south of the great Frankish shrine of St. Martin of Tours. Somewhere on the road between Poitiers and Tours, they met a Frankish force and, unlike other Christian armies in Europe, this one held its ground “like a wall . . . a firm glacial mass,” as the Chronicle of Isidore puts it. A week later, Abd al-Rahman was dead, the Muslims were heading south, and the French general, Charles, had earned himself the surname “Martel” — or “the Hammer.”
Only this time the enemy is within the walls. Or almost. Let’s see how long it takes for the French to get hard-nosed and blockade the cités which ring the real, the civilized cities in France. Ever since the French Revolution, it seems the French have only two responses: hand-wringing surrender or bloody guillotines for all. Nuanced, they’re not.

Let’s see what happens next. What will La Scarlette Chirac do when he has to get up tomorrow and actually think about it?


Anonymous said...

I found the Dalrymple article a few days ago and thought it was so good I posted the entire essay on my blog yesterday.

Today the impossible happened. I heard a CNN reporter say the 'M' word, when reporting on the rioting in France. She said it was mainly by Muslim immigrants from western Africa. I fainted and my husband had to revive me. How bad is the situation when the ever so pc CNN acknowledges it?

Wally Ballou said...

The only reason the riots have gone on as long as they have is that the authorities can't find anyone to surrender to.

The best explanation I've seen for the violence was provided by Al Reuters - Whoops, I mean Al Jazeera, who say it is all becuase of rude and insensitive talk by government ministers. 8 days before the actual rioting began, the interior minister was talking tough about gangs. What chocie did they have bu tto try to burn the country down after a provocation like that? (1300 cars burned Friday night)

The French Gummint, although continuing to talk tough about the violence in the streets, is at the same time frantically signalling that once it stops, all "injustices" will be ameliorated and it will be Christmas in the slums (oops, sorry, not Christmas)

dirty dingus said...

As a resident of France I've had a lot to say about the riots at my blog.

El Jefe Maximo said...

I've made my own comments about this...absolutely surreal that King Chirac XVI is talking about "dialogue" when his police are being shot at.

France is one of the most heavily policed countries on earth, with the powerful, paramilitary CRS, plus the Gendarmerie, plus the regular cops. They have an extensive secret police and intelligence infrastructure. They could end this business tout suite if the bosses weren't all lily-livered and doing their best Louis XVI imitations. Instead, the French politicans seem more interested in trashing Interior Minister Sarkozy -- the only one in the lot with any sense, than doing any work. No wonder it gets worse every day, instead of better.

Oscar in Kansas said...

The rioters may win this battle and lose the war. Every car torched and each night of conflict only strengthens the position of the National Front. Three years ago le Pen got 19% in the presidential election. Who thinks that his support has dropped since then? Not me.

The National Front is now calling for a state of emergency under a 1955 law last used by Mitterrand 20 years ago. I haven't seen any polling data as to how many French agree with this and that's probably on purpose. The French elites don't want to know so they aren't asking. I think it's an easy bet that 25% of voters are now sympathetic to the National Front position since the NF has been warning of this very thing for decades.

Each petrol bomb brings an NF or rightist electoral victory that much closer. When that happens the rioters will be in a much worse situation than they are today.

The real losers in all this are the French Jews. If the government gives in to the muslim rioters then the French Jews will have to endure more harrassment, abuse and violence. If the voters respond to the riots by electing the NF then the Jews will have to endure an anti-Semitic government. Neither picture is pretty. I hope many French Jews are seriously considering emigration.

Always On Watch said...

ABC-TV News just mentioned "poor Muslims" and just put the blame on race and poverty. Muslim isn't a race, of course.

Germany and Italy may be next--so says the news report I just listened to.

Obviously, Chirac doesn't know what to do. No surprise there. He and his ilk have befriended Muslim immigrants, and now the whole world sees the result.

Papa Ray said...

I believe immigration to the US is running around two million a year (legal).

Anyone want to take a bet that in 2006 it won't increase dramaticly?

I know if I lived in an area as unstable as some in the ol' countries, I would want to protect my family and get out.

Where better to go than to the land of ChimpBushHitler.

Papa Ray
West Texas

Dymphna said...

Good point, Wally. Like I said, wring their hands --Vichy, or invent the guillotine -- the Revolution.

Like any people who have a permanent grievance because they think the worlds owes them something for being special, the French are by turns toadies or tyrants...I loathe the French. Don't believe in boycotts, but the one on French wine gives me a special pleasure...particularly when I replace it with something from Australia.

El Jefe-- you should see the picture Muslimsonline chose to put up of Sarkozy. Reminds me of the ones the moonbats use for Bush.

Andrew S: "draconian" is exactly right. But draconian in a whimsical, hit-or-miss way, which Dalrymple so well describes.

T. the Wraith: the Jews in Britain are in dire straits, too. It's very risky to be a Jew in Europe right now...we're moving into 1939 in that respect.

Hah! The French can't leave France because nowhere else measures up...they are like Californians in that regard. So *they* won't be immigrating anywhere soon.

linearthinker said...

t the w and dymphna:
Your references to French Jews is the first specific references to their plight that I've seen in days. Does any one have current info on what's happening to Jewish communities and synagogues? One scenario might be opportunistic ravages by the skinheaded neonazis.

Oscar in Kansas said...

linearthinker - I read that a synagouge was sit fire on Friday but the report wasn't specific as the location or damages. Otherwise nothing. But the violence is so widespread who really knows what's going on?

Here's a great map of the "trouble spots" from the Times UK.

Deany Bocobo said...

I prefer to be optimistic. Maybe Paris is Europe's Pearl Harbor...

hank_F_M said...


Thanks for the Dalrymple article. For comparison to his points. When I was in France the joke in the exppat community was that the French Miranda equivalent was “you are entitled to medical treatment after interrogation”. But on the other hand I could walk the streets in the evening anywhere in Paris without worrying about my safety, actually the number of unescorted (non professional) females out doing shopping etc. would seem to indicate a pretty effective law enforcement environment.

How things have changed.

I think the post I made yesterday may have been a little optimistic. But I still think, that even if it is not Chriac that

After temporizing with multicultural lip service and mending fences with oil providers, the French Government will remember that in the ultimate extremity a government that will not shoot dissidents in the street will be replaced by one that does. The crack down will be brutal.

So much blood for putting a stupid ideology over the common sense God gave a rock.