MSNBC says that
The unrest has laid bare discontent simmering in suburbs and among immigrant families who feel trapped by poverty, unemployment, and poor education.As opposed to life in their home countries, of course, which they fled to escape poverty, unemployment, poor education and starvation.
The New York Sun calls the troubles an "Intifada in France" and that the streets of Paris more closely resemble Ramallah than Gay Paree. Watching the Watts riots of 1992,
the consensus of French pundits is that something on the scale of the Los Angeles riots could not happen here, mainly because France is a more humane, less racist place with a much stronger commitment to social welfare programs.Uh huh. And France's president Mitterrand blamed the riots on,
the "conservative society" that Presidents Reagan and Bush had created and said France is different because it "is the country where the level of social protection is the highest in the world."Uh huh.
Thomas Lifson reports that the rioting has spread to Arhus, the second largest city in Denmark. A rioter there said, "The police has to stay away. This is our area. We decide what goes down here". The speaker was a Palestinian, born in a Lebanese refugee camp, who left Palestinian unemployment for Danish unemployment only with better sewage treatment.
Back to France, where the AFP reports that Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has been blamed for "fanning the flames" (unfortunate analogy, there) of the riots with his "hardline policies". Those hardline policies include statements guarenteed to chill the hearts of the rioters, such as vowing a
"war without mercy" on crime and rebellious youths in the suburbs.He also brought in more than 1000 highly trained riot police to observe the 8 consecutive nights of lawlessness.
referring to delinquents as "rabble", and
On Thursday, he claimed that recent rioting "was not spontaneous, it was perfectly organized -- we are looking into by whom and how."
French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin has weighed in with a vow before parliament that
authorities "will not give in" to the violence and would make restoring order their "absolute top priority".Wow! And,
"I will not allow organised gangs to make the law in the suburbs."Uh huh. And he added that
the violence was "unacceptable".Attaboy, show some spine!
French president Jacques Chirac, fresh from a ceremony memorializing a Nazi concentration camp built and maintained with French help on French soil where 25,000 people were murdered in horrific conditions at Natzweiler-Struthof, the only Nazi concentration camp built in France (how many were built in Britain, America, Australia?) where, even today, few French are aware that it ever existed,
called for calm, warning that an escalation would be "dangerous".By escalation I assume he meant any concerted effort on the part of French authoriies to actually, you know, try to stop the rioting and theft and destruction of other people's property.
And to give you an idea of the utter incompetency of French authorities, The Australian quotes a French police official saying,
Last night, people were firing live rounds from windows of apartments. They are like snipers ... I think they actually want to kill someone like a police officer or firefighter.Nooooo shit. And this report:
On Wednesday evening a gang of about 40 youths burst into the local shopping centre, next door to the police station, armed with baseball bats. They broke shopfront windows and hit sales assistants before making off with cash.I guess that the police must have all been observing the riots elsewhere.
The cake store, too? Tell me ain't so!
"I've lived here since 1966 and never seen anything like it. They burnt everything, the town hall, the Renault dealership, the car rental place, even the shop that makes those little cakes."While we await the inevitable surrender by the French government as well a plea for another Anglo-Saxon rescue, we'll ponder the "European lifestyle" so popular with Krugman and others who don't actually, you know, have to live there.
Finally, after all these years, Adolph gets an affirmative answer to his famous question, "Is Paris burning?"
Yes, Mein Furher, Paris is, indeed, burning.
TAGS: French riots, Paris riots, Is Paris burning?