Thursday, November 03, 2005

Wake-up call

It has been extensively reported that there have been riots going on in France for the past week:
The police are talking of "civil war". The French Government said yesterday that it would not give in. Dominique de Villepin, the Prime Minister, declared that restoring public order was an absolute priority. But few expect any let-up in the rioting that has turned the suburbs of Paris into a battleground for the past week, as gangs smash shops, set fire to cars and hurl petrol bombs.
Meryl Yourish notes that this trend was predicted years ago:
Three and a half years ago, Christopher Caldwell wrote an essay in the Weekly Standard about the dangers inherent in the suburbs of Paris, which are not quite suburbs. The essay was about French anti-Semitism, including the French "youths'" unremitting attacks on Jews. It is a case, as many people have pointed out, of the canary in the coal mine. The French insisted there was no problem, and so, of course, nothing much was done.
Another thing that is scarcely mentioned is that the problem extends across Europe, and as Paul Belien explains, beating back the threat is going to be very difficult in the current political climate:
As Irwin Stelzer pointed out last July when discussing the British reaction to the London bombings: In a war, use the army, rather than police. The latter, however, is unlikely to happen. If the politicians bring in the army they are acknowledging what the policemen, the fire fighters and the ambulance drivers know but what the political and media establishment wants to hide from the people: that there is civil war brewing and that Europe is in for a long period of armed conflict. This is the last thing appeasing politicians want to do and so they have begun to criticise Sarkozy.
The appeasers are found not only in the opposition parties but also within Sarkozy’s own party, where Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, who envies him his popularity, is eager to bring his rival down. Apart from political intra-party rivalry, however, there are two reasons why most politicians seem to be of the appeasing kind.
Do read the whole thing. On the other hand, Roger L. Simon has a rather more positive report from one of his readers who is staying in Paris.
Meanwhile a heartening pro-Israel rally is taking place tonight in Rome (with at least 10,000 people in attendance, according to Corriere della Sera). Melanie Phillips notes:
The one country conspicuous by the absence of any similar demonstration on its streets reaffirming the right of Israel to exist (and how appalling that this should be necessary at all) is of course Britain. Instead, two days after Ahmadinejad’s genocidal outburst thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of London -- to demand that Israel be wiped off the map.
As RealityGaps has observed, this was a pro-terrorism march.
I wonder whether the riots will bring some more Europeans to their senses, and make them realize that we are in fact at war - not just figuratively, it turns out - and that we need to take a firm stand before things spin out of control.

1 comment:

Splitting Cellos said...

Jews have been living in Paris for centuries... no problem... why are all these "minorities" now demanding so much from foreign soil? They need a good doze of American "pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps." Although I suspect that minorities here in America need the same. Here in the U.S. people used to live by virtues of hardwork and determination... but now it is like the one that complains the longer and the louder wins... why don't these people burn their own villages back home? Oh, wait... someone already did that.