TWO MUSLIMS YOUTHS DIE fleeing police and now France is on fire. The cinders from one blaze spread across the nation. Over three thousand vehicles have been set on fire. The scene sounds like Giuliani’s New York, New York shoot first Westworld with the worst parts of a Super Bowl celebration. Serious analysis of the situation ranges from the demographics of guest workers and and a French intolerance for Muslims going back to colonial days on one side and the beginning of the last Crusade on the other. [story]
Rioting broke out for the 11th consecutive night in France tonight, just hours after the French government met in special session to try to find a way to stem the increasingly violent disturbances that have now swept into the heart of Paris from suburbs with large Arab and African populations. . . . Mr. Chirac is under growing political and popular pressure to stop the rioting, which has spread to towns across France and resulted in at least 800 arrests, including of boys as young as 13.
WHAT IS CLEAR is that fires are burning all across France. What is less certain is when they will end, what continues to fuel them, and what they mean. The initial spark of the story, of two youths dying, has been lost in the great conflagration. More than a few commenters on the right have derided the term “youth” for those who act now setting fires. Protester against oppression, lawless hooligans, or the advancing army of Allah, subverting security in the suburbs of Paris one car fire at a time?
GRAND MANICHAEAN SCHEMES suit some, usually when they wear the white in the battle of light and darkness. Those who would wear the white both fear and must vanquish The Other. The Other is chaos come to rain ruin on the reigning home team. Those who see the world in black and white deny tones of gray, not to mention a population of many colors, even in Europe.
THE EUROPE OF NATION states is but a recent creation. The European Union is economic, not a time of campfire Kumbaya. Identity in France and the Continent is often a small minded, small town thing. Don’t trust the stranger from the next town over is not an oversimplification. The reality now is for the French, colonial chickens come home to roost.
RECOMMENDED ADDITIONAL READING WAKE UP, EUROPE [Mark Steyn/Chicago Sun Times] Today, a fearless Muslim advance has penetrated far deeper into Europe than Abd al-Rahman. They're in Brussels, where Belgian police officers are advised not to be seen drinking coffee in public during Ramadan, and in Malmo, where Swedish ambulance drivers will not go without police escort. It's way too late to rerun the Battle of Poitiers. In the no-go suburbs, even before these current riots, 9,000 police cars had been stoned by ''French youths'' since the beginning of the year; some three dozen cars are set alight even on a quiet night. ''There's a civil war under way in Clichy-sous-Bois at the moment,'' said Michel Thooris of the gendarmes' trade union Action Police CFTC. ''We can no longer withstand this situation on our own. My colleagues neither have the equipment nor the practical or theoretical training for street fighting.'
THE HERETIK HEARS the faint echoes of Paris 1968. Will it be a time of a street fighting man? Who will have sympathy for the devil? The Heretik apologizes for thinking these fires are more than a jumping jack flash in the pan. Something slouches toward Paris. What is the mark of the beast? Is there hysteria in the high flames and when will the heretics burn?
HERE COMES THE MUSLIM INTIFADA [Captain Ed] Violent riots in France have spread throughout the nation and now have crossed into Paris proper after remaining on the outskirts for ten days. The police have not yet shown any ability to contain the rioting, nor has the government come up with much of a strategy to oppose the escalation of the arson and protest. Last night's violence generated the most destruction yet, including a the loss of a police station to firebombers
THE HERETIK NOTES violence, reaction, and rhetoric all will rise along all fronts in the coming days until the French government deals with The Problem. Just what the problem is and how it is best solved will no doubt be a battle at the barricades down the block.
UPDATE [CNN] "The absolute priority is to reestablish security and public order," Chirac told the nation Sunday after emerging from an emergency meeting with top members of his Cabinet. . . . . "The law should have the final say, and the republic is determined to be stronger than those who want spread violence and fear. Those people will be apprehended, judged and punished." As he spoke, increased security efforts were already visible in the capital, where thousands more police were in the streets and helicopters hovered overhead. Chirac also said he also wants to address what some observers have blamed as the cause -- unemployment as high as 50 percent among the nation's poor immigrant youth and discrimination against them.
DARK VICTORY? [Blogoland] I'm struck by the unrestrainedglee emanating from rightybloggers over the rioting in France this past week. For instance, this is just one of many, but InstaPundit links to a blogger who bizarrely declares: "The current intifada in France has stripped the American Left of its second Utopia in a generation. The Left lost its earlier worldly utopia when the Soviet Union fell apart." Are they kidding? [via The Green Knight]
THE HERETIK DECLARES hail and hosannas, high times and the apocalypse must be upon us. Or not.
THE ETERNAL STRUGGLE [Tim F/Balloon Juice] In pundit circles these are fat times for people selling an eternal struggle between the enlightened West and Islamic darkness, a la LGF. That line seems to have some takers among the French themselves, or at least the not-very-popular French president Prime Minister Villepin, but I’d argue that taking that attitude is not just wrong but dangerously wrong. Let’s go back to Tim F’s First Law: In the context of a debate, calling another’s motivations ‘evil’ should be considered synonymous with, ‘I don’t understand and am too lazy to find out.’ Going by my law, people like Villepin who use simplistic pejoratives to describe their antagonists fail to understand them and, by failing to understand them, practically guarantee that they’ll lose. If a substantial minority of the French population decides that society and its laws offer them no hope of addressing their grievances, they will look elsewhere for a solution. That’s how short-term riots can descend into a neverending guerilla war, an Algeria fought within France itself. The key, in my view, is that these riots are happening not because the rioters are muslim, but because they’re French.
THE HERETIK SEES The Other is the person looking back at you in the mirror you don’t recognize yet. The Eternal Struggle lies within.