T Nation

France - Civil War Pending


#1

France looks to be edging closer to a civil war with its sizeable Arab and African populations.

Already it would appear that whole suburbs are no longer under the governments control.

Paris rioting enters second week

The unrest has been spreading

See the aftermath
More cars and shops have been set alight in Paris' suburbs, as youths rioted for an eighth consecutive night.
Most of the attacks again took place in the largely immigrant area of Seine-Saint-Denis, where about 1,300 police had been deployed.

The violence, which has engulfed a dozen towns around the capital in the past week, was triggered by the deaths of two teenagers of African origin.

Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin has pledged to restore order.

Map of main flashpoints
He was speaking in parliament, following criticism at the government's failure to end the violence.

Violence spreading

Thursday night's incidents occurred in several towns to the north-east and north-west of the capital, including Aulnay-sous-Bois.

As on previous nights, gangs of youths armed with bricks and sticks have been roaming the streets of housing estates.

Nicolas Sarkozy has come under fire for his handling of the unrest

At least 50 of cars and several warehouses were set ablaze, and there were attacks on a school and a bus.

Shots were also reportedly fired at riot police - it was not immediately known if there were any injuries.

On Thursday, the violence also spread beyond the Paris region for the first time, with reports of cars on fire in the central town of Dijon.

The unrest began after teenagers Bouna Traore, aged 15, and Zyed Benna, 17, were accidentally electrocuted at an electricity sub-station in Clichy-sous-Bois.

Local people say they were fleeing police - a claim the authorities deny.

A criminal investigation and an internal police inquiry have been opened.

'Troublemakers'

Mr de Villepin said restoring order was his "absolute priority".

In scenes of escalating unrest overnight on Wednesday, shots were fired at police and firefighters, while gangs besieged a police station, set fire to a car showroom and threw petrol bombs. At least 177 cars were also set alight.

Deaths that set off unrest
Send us your reaction
Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, who earlier met the dead teenagers' families, said the violence was "not spontaneous" but rather "well organised".

He said the government would not allow "troublemakers, a bunch of hoodlums, think they can do whatever they want".

On Thursday afternoon, Mr de Villepin held talks with Mr Sarkozy, other ministers, as well as MPs and mayors from affected towns.

The areas affected are poor, largely immigrant communities with high levels of unemployment.

Minister for Social Cohesion Jean-Louis Borloo said the government had to react "firmly", but added that France must also acknowledge its failure to deal with anger simmering in poor suburbs for decades.

Muslim leaders have urged politicians to show respect for immigrant communities.

Dalil Boubakeur, the head of the French Council for the Muslim Religion, said people in the suburbs "must be given the conditions to live with dignity as human beings", not in "disgraceful squats".

PARIS RIOTS

Clichy-sous-Bois: Two teenagers die in electricity sub-station on 27 October. Successive nights of rioting follow rumours they were fleeing by police. A number of people arrested or injured.
Aulnay-sous-Bois: A flashpoint after violence spread from Clichy. Shots fired at police and cars and shops set ablaze. Further trouble in eight nearby suburbs, with more shots fired at police.
Others: Police report incidents involving gangs of youths in town in the suburban departments of the Val-d'Oise, Seine-et-Marne and Yvelines. Reports of petrol bombs thrown at a police station in the Hauts-de-Seine.


#2

This is an awful situation.

Couple France's misfiring social-economic model with their inability to assimilate immigrants - particularly Muslim men - and it's going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better.

I read yesterday that the unemployment rate for men under 25 was around 23-25% in France.

In truth, I fear for France - I think the seeds of something terrible are being sown.


#3

I heard unemployment was upwards of 30% for the younger adulas, and 10% nationwide. Bad no matter how you slice it. I firmly believe that this is a direct result of the punitive tax rates they put on the "rich" which deters any entreprenurial ventures - which in turn strangles new job growth.

I figure that both sides will probably surrender. I mean...c'mon...It's France we're talking about.


#4

Riots are spreading. Perhaps coordinated? From Strategypage:

Europe is Burning

November 4, 2005:

The riots by Moslems in France continues, with young Moslems in the suburbs of Paris intent on driving the police out and establishing control of their own neighborhoods. At the same time, similar riots have been taking place in Denmark. In British Moslem migrants have been fighting police, and other (non-Moslem) migrants in the streets.

While France is seven percent Moslem, only two percent of Denmark?s population is. But Denmark, like the rest of Europe (which has about twenty million Moslems), suffers from the same problems as France. Many of the Moslem migrants, who began to appear in large numbers four decades ago, have not assimilated. Europe has long tolerated this, partly because of a belief in ?Multiculturalism? and partly because Europe does not have a tradition of assimilation. This is in stark contrast to the United States, where the ?melting pot,? while often operating more like a salad bowl, still results in far less ghettoization than is found in Europe. Another advantage America has is that, in many parts of the country, there are so many migrants that ?everyone is a minority.? In Europe, homogeneity is preferred, and those who do not conform, are simply tolerated (and sometimes not) as ?outsiders in residence.? That?s where the concept of ?ghetto? came from in the first place. The ghetto is quite common the world over, but much less so in America.

Normally, the outsiders are tolerated and everyone goes about their business. But today it is different. In the past, the outsiders were often foreign merchants, sailors or other visitors. They were not seen as a long term threat. But many of the current Moslem outsiders in Europe are poor, uneducated and into their religion. And they are in Europe permanently. Many of the Moslem migrants came from poor rural regions in the old country. They migrated for jobs, not to trade their cultural identity for a new one. The children, and grandchildren, of these migrants did not take full advantage of the educational opportunities in their new homelands. The locals were not very accepting either, and the migrants did not have a web of family and community contacts to help the kids get jobs. Unemployment is high. The European governments tried to paper this over with generous welfare and jobless benefits. But this just turned the government into the payroll department for the local branch of al Qaeda.

After September 11, 2001, when European intelligence agencies took a real close look at their Moslem populations, they were shocked at the percentage that approved of, or supported, Islamic terrorism. It was as high as ten percent in some countries. It was higher among the young, and often unemployed, Moslem males. The riots currently underway in France, Denmark and Britain are all an extension of that. No one has a solution to the problem, except to arrest the hard cases and try to make nice to everyone else. If that doesn?t work, the fires will spread.


#5

Heheh. You're probably right.

I think there are two reactions - the uber-nationalist response, a la the electoral victories of Le Pen some years ago, and the craven 'we won't defend our own culture and we will give you anything you want' approach. Two extremes, two solutions that are worse than the problem.

I'd love to think there is some middle ground but:

a. We are talking about France

and

b. Radicalism rarely has practical, moderate solutions.

It's not like France can give jobs to all these malcontents overnight, and more subsidies will just sink the state economy faster than it already is.

What is the solution? Can't unring this bell, France.


#6

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and speak for the anti-war/ABB gang. The trouble in France is ultimately the U.S.'s fault. We put an end to their OFF income stream. We pretty much did away with their Iraqi weapons contracts, and we won't let them help us rebuild Iraq.

It's all our fault - and as Americans we should all be ashamed right now.


#7

If confronted or threatened, the French will probably say something along the line of "Heil Hitler", or surrender or something similar (I'm joking. If I'm not joking, someone apart from the French will tell me).

Once again, this shows a country's inability to deal with its own policies. ALL countries should be aware of the effects that their policies (or in this case, their inability to cowboy the fuck up) have on the long range effects on the country.


#8

Many of the leftist posters on this board are proponents of many of Frances policies and often indicate the US should follow similar policies.

I would like to see the leftists view on this situation.


#9

I will admit to having only a very cursory understanding of the situation, so someone please tell me if this is wrong (and it very well might be). A friend of mine in London explained it as such: France allows immigrants from North African countries (who are mainly Muslims) to immigrate for reasons of political/religious/economic asylum . . . whatever.

They not only allow them to come to France, they actually offer them free -- FREE -- public housing, with utilities and all. Now this public housing is essentially projects; they're real shit-holes -- dirty, not well kept up, probably quite miserable to live in . . . but it's FREE. You're having problems in your home country, or the economy there sucks and you can't make ends meet, so you decide, VOLUNTARILY, to move to France, where they agree to take you in and give you a place to live. A FREE place to live. It might be shitty, but it's on France's generosity that you are existing. Then, you turn around and start to bitch and moan becasue the FREE shit that they gave you to live in, in the country that YOU voluntarily chose to come to because it's better than where you came from, won't offer you BETTER accomodations. So you riot.

Sounds pretty disgraceful to me.

Is this a fairly accurate summation? Someone who knows more than me, please chime in. Thanks.


#10

Edging toward a civil war? That might be jumping the gun just a bit. But between their basket-case economy and their huge, young Muslim population, France is headed for bad things. And their economic policies are directly responsible for this. As someone who's in the UK right now, I see young, successful French people over here all the time, because it's much easier for them to get good jobs, and they don't have to pay ridiculous taxes either. There'd probably be more of them in the U.S. too if it weren't for post-9/11 immigration tightening. So even as you're taking in tens of thousands (I'm guessing on the number) of young, radicalized Muslims every year, you're seeing some flight by your brightest and most ambitious. Great situation to be in.


#11

lol. good joke.


#12

From what I've read (I'm no expert), France's "welfare" system is largely responsible for this. There is little incentive to work when the government:

a) Gives you food.
b) Gives you a place to live.
c) Taxes the hell out of you when/if you DO work, because they:
d) see a, b


#13

Let's see:

-Self-appointed spokesperson for a group of people...Check!

-Self appointed expert on a situation...Check!

-Making a baseless analogy to illustrate viewpoint...Check!

Yes, you pretty much fit the definition of hypocrite with this post. You just did what you lambaste others for doing, thus proving that you subscibe to the "Do as I say, not as I do" philosophy.


#14

This is the direct result of the French importing millions upon millions of people who don't share their culture, their ethnicity, or their religion. Diversity breeds conflict.
Welcome to the multicultural utopia!


#15

You might want to grab a sense of humor before you come down here next time. It was supposed to be a joke. I'll give you a fair warning next time I am going to try my hand at sarcasm.

Hell even jsbrook got it - and he's 1FL. They aren't supposed to find anything funny except what the professor tells them to laugh at.


#16

Wow ALDurr, this post was so unintelligent I don't know how to respond. But here it goes:

  1. Rainjack doesn't actually think he's a spokeperson for the left. It's called satire.

  2. He never appointed himself an expert on anything.

  3. What 'baseless analogy' are you talking about?

  4. Ya, I know you don't even have a point 4 [whihch is too bad, you could have used one that makes sense.] But I "found all posts" for you and they were all on your stupid political viewpoints. Do you even bodybuild?


#17

Ah yes, once again Rainjack strikes with his undeniable wit and propensity to irritate, skirting the topic of the thread and turning it into a "me against the liberals thread". Good job, big guy, you are absolutely brilliant.


#18

haha. thanks, buddy.


#19

Please read my response to AL baby.

I swear - you liberals really need to get over your hard-on for me.


#20

mostly illegal immigrants, the guys that died were asked for their ID cards, and they ran.

What would happen in the US if you ran from a cop, who was just asking a routine question?