Low intensity warfare in France 0

The rioting in England that we wrote about yesterday (see our post Anarchy immediately below) is not being perpetrated by members of any one particular ethnic or religious group. The leftist anti-Semitic Guardian newspaper singled out just one “ethnicity” to put a name to, that of three or four Hasidic Jews who were watching the violence in Tottenham and, along with others, were “jeering at the police”.

The arsonists, vandals, and looters are said to be mostly young and male, and of mixed backgrounds. They are Children of the Welfare State, lacking none of the basic amenities of life except, in many cases, fathers. But they have daddy-the-state to support them. Daddy-the-state does not put every luxury their hearts desire within their reach, but a riot can.

There is nothing particularly British about their cushioned condition or their easy resort to violence. Their kind is to be found almost anywhere in Europe. At the drop of an entitlement they are likely to riot, as they do here and there from time to time, on one pretext or another or none at all.

In one European country, however, the violence is continual – and one religious group is responsible for it.      

It is the subject of an essay by Nidra Poller titled A French Intifada, published in the Winter 2011 issue of the Middle East Quarterly, a shocking account of the destructive and terrifying lawlessness that has become endemic in France.

Quoting from it doesn’t do it justice; it needs to be read in full. But here is part of what she writes:

A process described by some as the Islamization of Europe, by others as the failure of Europeans to integrate Muslim immigrants, has reached a breaking point in France. One of the most troubling manifestations of this discord is the development of a particular type of violence that is more than the sum of its parts. A sampling of this year’s news reports reads like a catalogue of stomping, stabbing, shooting, torching, and sacking; attacks on teachers, policemen, firemen, old ladies, and modest retirees; turf wars, tribal fights, murder over women, over attitude, over nothing; dead youths, murderous youths, bodies scattered across a national battlefield.

Is there a connection between the endless series of seemingly disparate criminal incidents and markers openly displayed in insurrectional riots and demonstrations — kaffiyeh face masks, Hezbollah flags, intifada slogans, Islamic chants? A general French tendency to withhold information and a deliberate decision to avoid ethnic and religious symbols leads to white noise coverage of criminality. Names, photos, and background information about perpetrators, suspects, and victims are usually suppressed, especially those that might create a negative image of Muslims.

Yet there is ample evidence that immigration has brought specifically Islamic antipathy to Jews, contempt for Western values, and other antisocial attitudes reinforced by religious zeal and aggravated by the clash between an authoritarian family structure and permissive French society. …

The French republic is in danger as the anti-Jewish thuggery has been extended to the general population, the “dirty Frenchies” and “filthy whities.”

The twisted logic and adulterated ethics devised to blame Israel for failing to bring peace on earth has come back to haunt the French. A compassionate discourse that excuses Palestinian atrocities against Israeli civilians as a reaction to “injustice” also excuses French domestic criminality as payback for colonization, discrimination, exclusion, unemployment, and police harassment. …   The “disproportionate reaction” accusation played like the ace of spades against Israel turns into a joker when riot police are portrayed as Robocops oppressing a “Palestinized” immigrant population. …

Palestinian terrorists are called “militants,” Gaza Flotilla jihadists are presented as “humanitarians,” and the young French criminals are “youths“. This deceivingly generic term used to mask the identity of local Maghrebi and African thugs is a paradoxical translation of the Arabic shabab. Indeed, it is not rare to read of a “36-year-old adult youth” involved in a rumble or suspected of murder. …

During the 2005 uprising, when rioting Muslim youths torched cars and public buildings in housing projects throughout the country and clashed with the security forces trying to restore law and order, Parisians believed they were safe inside invisible walls as fires burned on the other side of the ring road. “It’s just the banlieue [working class suburb],” they said. A second round of discourse about the urgent need to improve housing, infrastructure, transportation, and job opportunities circumscribed the problem. Before the year was out, flames were rising in the center of the city and the banlieue problems spread like wildfire.

Five years later … the discourse is similarly sterile. Newspapers string out a litany of violent incidents in a repetition of stock phrases and opaque vocabulary. Honey-voiced newscasters warble little tunes of tribal violence as if turf wars and fatal stabbings in retaliation for a look, an attitude, or a woman were all in a day’s work. Bucolic place names redolent with memories of Impressionist boating parties are now the sites of bloody murder. Fatal stabbings in schools named after resistance heroes are attributed to the influence of video games and a hunger for consumer products stimulated by capitalism. …

She lists examples of  “bloody murders”  as reported with insufficient information by the media.

What happened next? Were the circumstances elucidated? The perpetrators apprehended? Convicted? We may never know. Convinced that the identity of culprits is withheld for ideological reasons, readers do the detective work with telltale clues and exasperating similarities. Youths, knives, the banlieue? Twenty against one? Drug wars? Turf wars? Gang fights? The puzzled citizen situates each incident somewhere on a line traced from the intimidating rowdiness observed in public to mass revolts seen on television …

Delinquent immigrants are acquitted of responsibility for their antisocial behavior and self-destructive strategies. …  Housing projects are dilapidated by their own delinquent residents only to be displayed as proof of social injustice. …

No matter how much is done or given, it is never enough; no matter how wild the behavior, it is always explained away. Here, there, and everywhere, ethical boundaries are erased and logic surrenders to magical thinking. When mothers offer their children to die as shahids … the very horror of their vengeance is held as a measure of the degree of oppression they endure. In France, every form of brutality, including the murder of Ilan Halimi  a young French Jew kidnapped by a banlieue gang in January 2006 and tortured to death over a period of three weeks — is attributed to some form of “exclusion.”  … Lawyers for the defense organized press conferences and wrote op-eds to deny banlieue anti-Semitism and portray their clients as misguided underprivileged youths. …

No French outlet would touch the “Hamas on the Seine” report by photojournalist Jean-Paul Ney, published …  on May 31, 2010, describing enraged kaffiyeh-masked, pro-Palestinians chanting, “Zionist sellout media,” “Jews to the ovens,” “F–k France,” “Sarkozy the little Jew,” “Obama the Jew’s n —-r”,  repeatedly breaking police lines, determined to reach the Israeli embassy and vent their rage over the Gaza flotilla incident. Joined by anarchist “black-blocks,” the insurgents destroyed property, threw paving stones at the police, and wreaked havoc for several hours at the Champs Elysées Circle. Ney distinctly heard orders broadcast to the riot police: “Don’t try to stop them.” 

The 2005 riots were triggered by the death of two minors who sought refuge in an electrical substation, allegedly pursued by the police, allegedly for no good reason. In November 2007, several policemen were wounded by gunfire in a battle with some 200 youths in Villiers le Bel (Val d’Oise) after two youths without helmets sped down the street on a prohibited mini-cycle, crashed into a police car, and were killed. …  After a similar accident in Woippy, a banlieue of Metz, gendarmes were pelted with stones, fourteen vehicles including a bus were torched, telephone booths and a school were sacked. These are but a few of many incidents where youths in stolen cars or motorcycles, running away from the police, crash and kill themselves.

Yet, no matter how far-fetched the version of the “aggrieved” party, it always takes precedence over the official version in French media. Any police investigation is, by the media’s definition, suspect.  …

The media offered a brief tour when the police raided a housing project in the Parisian banlieue of Sevran (Seine Saint Denis) controlled by drug dealers. Graffiti arrows indicate “shops”; residents tell how they pass through checkpoints to access their buildings, and TV cameramen were lucky to escape with their footage. “Militants” responded to the raid with the now-familiar torching, sacking, and shooting at policemen. Government promises to enforce the law provoke an outcry from compassionate sociologists, left-wing magistrates and mayors, members of do-good associations who protest that “repression is not the solution.”Imposing undue restraint on the police has simply emboldened their adversaries. Over 5,000 were injured in the line of duty in 2009, and in January-February 2010, some 1,100. In recent incidents, police have been surrounded, pelted with paving stones, kicked, punched, hit on the head with hammers, humiliated, and treated like mugging victims, not agents of law enforcement. …

Contrary to expectations, the government did not slip away for the August vacation …  The president … announced a series of tough measures, and dared to link crime with immigration. Not all crime, not all immigrants. But he broke the taboo, simply by stating the obvious and followed with a promise of harsh measures for criminals who shoot at the police. Moreover, naturalized cop-killers will lose their citizenship. Tax officials will be sent into the projects to crack down on people living in luxury while on the dole. The drug market will be dismantled. Severe delinquency, polygamy, and female circumcision will also be grounds for withdrawal of nationality (this provision was subsequently withdrawn). …

The government’s straight talk has shaken France to the timbers. President Sarkozy was accused of cynically fishing for right-leaning-populist Front National voters, replaying the disgraceful Vichy past collaboration, separating the French-French from the foreign-French (akin to death-camp selections) …

Not a day goes by without a barrage of statements condemning the president. Former Socialist prime minister Michel Rocard — remembered for declaring in the early 1980s that “France cannot take in all the world’s misery” — stuck the Nazi label on President Sarkozy and accused him of fomenting civil war. Every opposition leader big or small took up the keyboard or microphone to vilify the president in the most emphatic terms. No Holocaust metaphor is left unturned. …  The rhetoric has come full circle: “immigrants” (meaning Arab-Muslim and sub-Saharan Africans) are today’s Jews when in fact the people who are now persecuting Jews belong to that lawless class loosely defined as “immigrants.”

The media are giving wall-to-wall coverage to the president’s most severe critics while limiting the defense of strict law enforcement to officials, giving the impression that the government stands alone — the 2 percent increase in approval ratings for the president and Prime Minister François Fillon notwithstanding. …

Hundreds of punk jihadists screaming “F–k France” can go amok but no one has the right to say they belong to a specific group or current. No one is even allowed to speculate on what they might have in common with other lawbreakers — unless one portrays them as hapless victims of injustice. …

Every law enforcement effort entails the danger of igniting a generalized insurrection on an overwhelming scale. It is easy to scold President Sarkozy as did The New York Times, parroting the French leftists, or on the other hand, to mock the president with a long list of unfulfilled law and order promises. But it would be wiser to ask why authorities in this western European nation with so much to lose keep mollifying antagonistic elements in the vain hope of avoiding a confrontation. 

How long can this go on? In France and all the Western European countries, anger is growing among the indigenous populations. Anywhere, everywhere, explosions of violence could become so sustained as to develop into civil wars. The continual conflict in France could already be described as “low intensity warfare”  - a sub-heading in Nidra Poller’s essay.

What might save the Europeans, paradoxically, is the economic collapse of their welfare states. If governments have no choice but to stop providing housing, health care, monetary hand-outs, their countries may no longer attract Muslim immigrants from the miserable Third World.

 

Post Script: This morning there are reports from England of residents turning out to protect their towns from advancing mobs of vandals, whole streets of shops being boarded up, and – particularly to be noted –  synagogues having to be protected by volunteers. The police continue to be defied with impunity.    

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