October 29, 2006

We Found a French Extremist - Who Actually Likes l'Amérique

Hatched by Sachi

As I was skimming through a Japanese-language wire service, I found this distubing USA Today article about the continuing French intifada:

A group of marauding teenagers set fire to a bus Saturday in the southern French port city of Marseille, seriously wounding a passenger and leaving three others suffering from smoke inhalation, police said.

French police have braced for a surge of violence this weekend, a year after three weeks of riots swept through France's poor neighborhoods, where many immigrants and their French-born children live. Scattered violence was reported Friday, the one-year anniversary of the 2005 riots, and another attack was reported Saturday in Marseille....

In scattered violence from Friday night to Saturday morning, six police officers suffered minor injuries and 47 people were arrested, the Interior Minister said. Bands of youths torched two public buses, and in troubled neighborhoods around the country, youths set fire to a total of 277 vehicles, police said.

On an average night in France, up to 100 cars are torched. In a statement, the Interior Ministry described the anniversary night as "relatively calm." [Good grief! 100 cars a day -- if this were happening in Iraq, Democrats would call it a "civil war"]....

At the height of last year's rioting, about 1,400 cars were burned nationwide in a single night. The rioting was fueled by anger at France's failure to offer equal chances to many minorities -- especially Arabs and blacks -- and France's 5 million-strong Muslim population.

In the Japanese version of this article, the last part was missing, leaving it open whether the violent youths were Moslems or Catholic altar boys. While researching this story, I found another article: Youths set passenger bus alight in Paris from October 23rd.

Wait, Paris? Not Marseille? No; this was a completely separate incident. Two of the biggest cities in France have had near continuous Moslem riots for the last year, with scores of cars a day being torched. In the Paris attack, after the 30 "youths" who burnt the empy bus, they ambushed the arriving firefighters by stoning them:

A band of up to 30 youths forced passengers out of a bus in a southern Paris suburb in broad daylight, set it on fire and then stoned firefighters who came to the rescue, a police official said....

District police chief Jean-Francois Papineau called Sunday's bus attack "deliberate". [Gee, you think?] He said the vehicle was forced to stop at a road block at about 2 pm. Two youths then entered the back of the bus to clear out passengers before dousing it with petrol and setting it ablaze....

When firefighters arrived, the youths began stoning them, he said. No-one was injured. At least one person was arrested. The local prefecture said nearly 30 youths were involved in the incident.

Meanwhile, France's minister for social cohesion, Jean-Louis Borloo, called on citizens to act responsibly because "tensions are raw just as we're in the process of resolving the difficulties".

And if you believe that last...

Curiously, in this article as well, the ethnic background of the 30 "youths" is missing. However, we get a hint from this sentence:

The riots last year laid bare rampant discrimination in the housing projects surrounding France's big cities where numerous French of immigrant origin live, separated from mainstream life.

"French of immigrant origin" my eye. Everybody knows who they are; why can't the elite media just say it? Yes, Paris is burning, and young Moslem men are holding the match.

I heard elsewhere that ambushing police officers in these housing projects has become so commonplace that many policemen refuse to patrol the area, a fact confirmed by the article in the Age:

On Sunday, five people were placed under investigation for attempted murder in relation to an October 13 ambush in the town of Epinay-sur-Seine, north of Paris, in which police were lured to a housing project then attacked by about 30 youths. One officer hit by a rock required 30 stitches to the face.

Again with the ubiquitous, indescribable "youths." So what are the French to do? A French bloger, Sittingbull of Les Chroniqes de l'eXtreme-Centre -- "Chronicles of the eXtreme Center," I presume -- has an extreme suggestion in an extreme post aptly titled "Francifada":

Monsieur Chirac didn’t join the war in Iraq out of fear of his domestic Muslim population. And so, “unsurprisingly when faced with some unhappiness they [French jihadis] believe they can pressure the French state into submission.”

The way out for France is two-fold. Firstly to reform its welfare state and allow the Muslim dominated slums to integrate into French society. The second is to send a signal to the French Muslim community that France doesn’t buckle under threats, that it sees itself as part of the West, allied with America, Israel, and the Free World. On a domestic level, that means employing Mayor Giuliani-style “zero-tolerance” policing in the suburbs. On a national level, France would do well to send troops to fight the Islamists in Iraq and prove themselves to be true members in the coalition in the war on terror. As it is, France is learning the profound truth of which President Bush has begun speaking in respect of Iraq -- if we retreat, the enemy will follow us home.

To be honest, I've not had a very good opinion of the French for a while -- ever since they threw obstacles every which way we turned, before the Iraq war. In Japanese I often sarcastically call that country "Great France." If you know Japanese, you know how ridiculously ironical it sounds.

But it's not fair to condemn the whole country and people just because some French politicians are elitist snobs and arrogant jerks. Even in la belle France, we find "extreme centrists" like Sittingbull, who know what is at stake.

I hope the current situaton in France will not escalate into a full-scale national riot, like last year. And I also hope that the new French parliament will handle this Moslem problem head-on (or "grab the bull by the tail and look the facts in the face," as Dafydd says). Now that I know America has friends like this in France, I can actually hope for just that forceful response.

Of course, as President Bush said, "hoping" isn't a viable long-term strategy; but we'll see what happens.

Hatched by Sachi on this day, October 29, 2006, at the time of 10:11 PM

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Update:!No Pasaran! has a wall-to-wall coverage on this issue. The English language version of this article can be found here. 日本語版AFPの記事に目をとおしていたら、フランスのマルセイユで去年に続き今年も若者に... [Read More]

Tracked on October 30, 2006 8:39 AM


The following hissed in response by: Big D

The west is slowly, ever so slowly waking.

The above hissed in response by: Big D [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 30, 2006 9:53 AM

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