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Mon dieu!

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 4:34 pm
by Bill Glasheen
I am uncharacteristically speechless with this, mostly because I think it uncivil to say unkind things when others are living in fear and violence is rearing its ugly head. But you can't ignore this. And you can't say this has nothing to do with politics in the US, the UK, Israel, Iraq, Malasia, etc., etc.


But plenty will be said, and soon.

Posted 11/7/2005 7:32 AM Updated 11/7/2005 10:39 AM

More than 30 police hurt in France's worst riots yet

From wire reports

PARIS — A man who was beaten by an attacker while trying to extinguish a trash can fire during riots north of Paris has died of his injuries, becoming the first fatality since the urban unrest started 11 days ago, a police official said Monday.

A firefighter extinguishes a truck in
Cenon, France, one of 1,408 vehicles
torched this weekend.
By Bob Edme, AP

Youths overnight injured three dozen officers and burned more than 1,400 vehicles.

"The shockwave has spread from Paris to the provinces," said Michel Gaudin, director-general of the national police, at a Monday press conference in the capital.

The first reported death from the recent violence was a 61-year-old man reportedly beaten into a coma by a hooded youth in the Parisian suburb of Stains. The man, who had rushed out of his apartment building to put out the trash fire, died in the hospital, according to his widow, who called for the aggressor to be punished.

Sunday marked the 11th straight night of youths — predominantly from France's large Arab-Muslim minority — rampaging through suburban neighborhoods, burning vehicles, businesses and public buildings and attacking police with stones and other projectiles.

Police figures showed that 1,408 vehicles destroyed overnight — exceeding the previous day's record of 1,300 — and 395 people arrested. Almost 1,000 cars were targeted in towns and cities outside Paris, underscoring how the violence has spread from its original flashpoint.

Also, 36 policemen were injured overnight — the worst figure to date — amid signs that rioters were deliberately seeking out clashes with security forces.

Among the injured police, 10 were injured by youths firing fine-grain birdshot in a late night clash in the southern Paris suburb of Grigny, national police spokesman Patrick Hamon said. Two were hospitalized but their lives were not in danger. One was wounded in the neck and the other in the legs during what colleagues described as an ambush set by a gang of youths.


"Their aim is to get us. It is to kill policemen," an officer who witnessed the incident told Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy who visited their headquarters overnight.

It was the first time police were injured by weapons fire amid signs that rioters were deliberately seeking out clashes with police, officials said.

The unrest began in the low-income Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, after the deaths of two teenagers of Mauritanian and Tunisian origin. The youths were accidentally electrocuted as they hid from police in a power substation. They apparently thought they were being chased.

The growing violence is forcing France to confront long-simmering anger in its suburbs, where many Africans and their French-born children live on society's margins, struggling with high unemployment, racial discrimination and despair — fertile terrain for crime of all sorts as well as for Muslim extremists offering frustrated youths a way out.

The violence — sparked on October 27 by the accidental deaths of two teenagers in an electrical sub-station in a northern Paris suburb — has fanned across the country in a nightly ritual of copycat attacks by disaffected youths complaining of economic misery and social discrimination. (Related story: Parisian suburbs at mercy of gangs, system)

Few regions of the country have been spared, with riots Sunday night in the southern towns of Toulouse, Toulon and Draguignan, Strasbourg in the east and Nantes in the west.

Tourist centers such as the Loire valley town of Blois and Quimper in Brittany were also hit. Even the small village of Villedieu-du-Temple, about eight miles from the southern town of Montauban, saw six postal vehicles destroyed.

Among the targets of the rioters were churches, nursery and primary schools, town-halls and police stations as well as warehouses, car dealerships and a film-studio at Asnieres outside Paris. In the Normandy city of Rouen rioters used a car as a battering-ram against a police station.

Officials said more than 5,000 cars have been burned and more than 1,200 people arrested since the beginning of the trouble, which is the worst to hit France since the May student uprising in 1968.

The head of the union of French magistrates, Dominique Barella, told AFP that courts were becoming overwhelmed by the number of defendants sent before them because of the violence.

"It's impossible," Barella said. "We don't have the means in the prosecution offices to operate like emergency services."

Australia, Britain, Canada, Germany, Japan, Russia and the United States have all issued public advisories recommending that tourists in France exercise caution because of the violence.

Apparent copycat attacks may be spreading to other European cities, with five cars torched outside Brussels' main train station, police in the Belgian capital said.

French President Jacques Chirac intervened personally for the first time since the start of the unrest, summoning an inner cabinet meeting Sunday evening and declaring that "the absolute priority is the reestabishment of security and public order."

"The last word must belong to the law," Chirac said. "Those who want to sow violence or fear must be caught, judged and punished."

De Villepin

Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin promised reinforcements for police and said that fast-track justice procedures would be set up to cope with the growing number of arrests.

"We will not accept any lawless zone," he said.

Their remarks showed the government's determination to represent a united front, despite initial reservations over the hard line taken by Sarkozy, who has been heavily criticized by protesters and the political left for his uncompromising language.

A leading Muslim group — the Union of Islamic Organizations in France — issued a fatwa or formal instruction urging Muslims not to take part in acts of violence.

"It is strictly forbidden for any Muslim ... to take part in any action that strikes blindly at private or public property or that could threaten the lives of others," the union said in a statement.

The group — which espouses an interpretation of Islam close to the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood, widely viewed as a radical group — is the largest component of the French Council for the Muslim Religion, the official Islamic representative body in France which was set up by Sarkozy two years ago.

France has about 5 million Muslims, the largest Islamic population in Western Europe. Many of France's immigrant communities have not assimilated, leaving some youth angry and alienated.

"This is going to shake things up," said Jean-Luc Parodi, a pollster and political analyst. "Cars burning in Paris will act as a wake-up call to people who live there."

These districts have sporadically gone up in flames before, attracting public and political attention for a brief span, and then reverting to normal life out of most peoples' sight and mind.

The issue "will be terribly booby-trapped by the presidential race," Parodi warns, referring to the likelihood that de Villepin and Sarkozy will use it to jockey for position ahead of presidential elections in 2007.

Sarkozy, a blunt speaking, energetic man, has drawn fire even from cabinet colleagues for his threats to "Karcher-ize" the "scum" in the suburbs, referring to a well known brand of industrial high-pressure cleaner. But he has not backed down, promising in an opinion piece published in the daily Le Monde this weekend that "we will no longer tolerate 'no-go' zones where organized crime and mafia dealing reign."

According to opinion poll results released Sunday, 57% of French voters have a "very good" or "fairly good" impression of Sarkozy, even though they are almost equally divided over whether he has been effective in his fight against insecurity.

The interior minister has attracted wide media coverage of his nightly trips to the trouble zones, rallying police and fire department officers.

De Villepin on the other hand has remained in his office, holding almost continuous meetings with his cabinet, young people, local government officials from the violence-plagued districts, and Muslim religious leaders, as he seeks a solution to the crisis.

Australia, Germany and Japan on Monday joined Britain, Canada, Russia and the United States in issuing public advisories that recommended that tourists to France exercise caution because of the violence.
- USA Today

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 5:22 pm
by MikeK
France has about 5 million Muslims, the largest Islamic population in Western Europe. Many of France's immigrant communities have not assimilated, leaving some youth angry and alienated.
What do you do when someone won't jump into the melting pot but want the benefits of it?

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 5:36 pm
by -Metablade-
Bill Glasheen wrote:
"And you can't say this has nothing to do with politics in the US, the UK, Israel, Iraq, Malasia, etc., etc. "

I wonder if you could perhaps clarify;

I am not necessarily certain that I see the direct correlation of international politics and this particular issue.
From what I have read and understood, the issue *seems* to stem more from frustration of a few criminal instigators of the 5 million French Arab/Tunisian immigrants who appear to be feeling what they call "inequities and injustice" rather than a political issue liked to (Global Western Hatred/Terrorism? -I am admittedly reaching here.)
I am in no way whatsoever advocating or justifying violence of any kind. These actions are abhorrent and the perpetrators should be dealt with by any means necessary to restore law an order and punished to the full extent of the law.
It is my experience however, that I have been witness this type of issue before, in own back yard of Los Angeles.

My take on it is that these people are Muslims is incidental.
Unrest is unrest, the "mob mentality" knows no ethnicity.
What I would hate to see is a broad view of the issue whereas others in the international community would dismiss any underlying causes other than to say "Oh, well of course they are bent on destruction, they're Muslims!" (I am not at all saying that this is your point, I just wish to point out that perhaps a clarification *may* be required.)

P.s- I orginally wrote:
"I am not certain that I see the direct correlation of international politics and this issue."
I should add that UNLESS you mean that perhaps the discrimination that this minority feels is exaserbated by current Western world view on Muslims and Middle Easterns in general?

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 6:30 pm
by Bill Glasheen
Well, at least I've got you thinking...

For decades, the Israelis have had to deal with violence from very similar communities. Three or four terrorist organizations encouraged by Syria, Iran, and others have engaged in acts such as terrorist bombings in civilian areas, all in the name of minority, disenfranchised Palestinian rights. The world sits back and watches, and criticizes when the Israelis handle the situation badly.

In Iraq, groups fed explosives by Syria and to some extent by Iran are trying to shape political policy by murdering innocent Iraqis through massive explosions in public areas. It of course also is in the name of the minority, disenfranchised Sunni Muslims (mostly former Baathists). The world sits back and watches, and criticizes the US, the UK, and the new Iraqi army whenever bad things happen.

And what country has been the most vocal critic through this history? You guessed it - France.

And let us not forget Khomeini was in exhile in France, only to come back to Iran just when a group of Iranians stormed the US embassy and held international diplomats hostage for months. Only the election of Reagan scared the &^%$ out of them enough to send these diplomats home.

And let us not forget after the downing of a civilian plane over Lockerbee, Scotland by Lybian terrorists, that the French refused to allow US planes to fly over their country in their quest to exact a little payback. It's not the first time France made life difficult for us while we attempted to deal with terrorism.

Yes, it matters not that they are Muslim per se. It only matters that terrorism and lawlessness were quietly tolerated if not endorsed as a policy for political change, only to have it turn around and bite someone in the a$$ when they least expected.

My father used to have a saying about doing business. He would never let someone cheat for him, because he knew one day that this same individual one day might cheat him as well.
The growing violence is forcing France to confront long-simmering anger in its suburbs, where many Africans and their French-born children live on society's margins, struggling with high unemployment, racial discrimination and despair — fertile terrain for crime of all sorts as well as for Muslim extremists offering frustrated youths a way out.

What can you say? I don't want to gloat, because it is sociopathic to do so. But I will point out the obvious issues here.

Who are they to preach to us?

- Bill

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 9:15 pm
by -Metablade-
Well said.
Thank you for that clarity.
Indeed these issues are reaching the point of escalation (Has it been surpassed yet?) to where this affects us all with profound implications.

I'd like to think I can perceive above all of politics involved and boil it down to just two main issues:

If idyllic terrorism is bred by poverty, feeding off the hopelessness of the disenfranchised, then is this problem only going to get larger as the competition for global resources continues? (My own theory as the remediation and subsequent eradication of extremism is education.)

Focusing on the now, wherein lies the balance between coming down like a 20 ton tank on rioters, and taking hard-line stance against extremism, versus non-lethal methodology? Where does one draw the line?
We can just as easily say: "Kill 'em all, let God sort 'em out." But there would be dire consequences for that as well.

I am glad I'm not a politician. The finesse which seems to be required to handle these issues must require energy beyond what I can imagine, as evidence by the lack-luster solutions we have thus seen in terms of negation and prevention.

It appears to me at this juncture that while those involved in the lawbreaking at the root are simply uneducated, I wonder how much governments realize that the way they view their own attitudes towards certain factions of the populace may have contributed to the current dilemma? The U.S. certainly is not dis-included.

We would appear to all be vulnerable.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 6:05 pm
by Bill Glasheen
We are all indeed vulnerable. And the more we ignore it, the more likely it will bite us.

9/11 basically goes way back to the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. We supported the mujahadin. We supplied them with resources that ultimately helped them rid their country of the occupying Soviet army. Fine...we got the Commies. Then we abandoned them to their poverty and lack of social order.

Nature abhors a vacuum.

Next thing you know, a sociopath with billions in daddy's oil money sets up shop in the country, and funds a government to his liking. They in turn return the favor by allowing him to train people to kill more infidels. Then you have these madrasses donating their "educational services" to these impoverished, and filling the heads of the youth with hate.

It was only a matter of time...

We can talk all day about what was/is the right thing to do. But clearly doing nothing is not an option.

And as the song says, when you dance to the music...

- Bill

PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 7:01 pm
by Sochin
The growing violence is forcing France to confront long-simmering anger in its suburbs, where many Africans and their French-born children live on society's margins, struggling with high unemployment, racial discrimination and despair — fertile terrain for crime of all sorts as well as for Muslim extremists offering frustrated youths a way out.

Plese consider that there is an incredible disparity between the achievements of Hindu's and other natives of india and Pakistani's in the European countries and the North African Muslims. One group is very successful and integrated, the other group is not.

The French mistake lies in their liberal / socialist pov that the failure of the NA Muslims to integrate and find success is a state failure, a welfare failure, rather than a failure of the NA Muslim pov and culture. The success of other minorities is the proof. ... mbers.html

PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 7:54 pm
by -Metablade-
The world could use a shot 'O brianwashing.


Now, repeat after me:
"I will not kill in the name of "God" or "Allah", or "Baba the insane Goat molester" turned prophet, nor will I be content with people who tell me "God loves you", "Now go and slaughter for him!!" I will not beat my wife or "stone' her or "own" her or circumcise her or blame her when my buddies raped her, or kill her when she displeases me. Baths, personal hygiene, and deodorant are a *good* thing, If I live in a place where there is no food, or is highly inaccessible, or some Warlord Jackass keeps shooting up the place, I will not just say "Oh, it's the will of god, I will MOVE! Personal education and advancement of the human condition *good*.....Listening blindly to some smelly hypocritical colleagues murderous diatribe cloaked in the guise of supreme eternal love *bad*....
I want to join the global community. I realize that poverty ***** camel dung. I want to raise the status of my people above the level of meat-puppet. Goat herding is not a career choice! Life is precious, life is worth living for the sake of living, not because some unseen cloistered chunk of meteorite says I should go gut my neighbors child.
Wash rinse, repeat.
No, better WASH again..

I often wonder what would happen if instead of bombs and troops, America flung millions of copies of these:

PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 8:53 pm
by Bill Glasheen
Provocative article, Ted. I enjoyed reading it.

- Bill

PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 5:14 am
by AAAhmed46
Wow, my people embarass themselves again!!!!

I sense retaliation comeing.....

Even if for no other reason, then (and there are in fact other reasons), young Muslim males have a strong motive for maintaining an identity apart. And since people rarely like to admit low motives for their behavior, such as the wish to maintain a self-gratifying dominance, these young Muslims need a more elevated justification for their conduct toward women. They find it, of course, in a residual Islam: not the Islam of onerous duties, rituals, and prohibitions, which interferes so insistently in day-to-day life, but in an Islam of residual feeling, which allows them a sense of moral superiority to everything around them, including women, without in any way cramping their style.

Most intellegent political stuff i have read in a long time. in an anime forum i go to, i always argue with this guy. He says my religion is evil. And that that is why terrorism happens. I point out, that religion is used as an excuse for thier own ego's.
EDIT: The survey though of appeal of islamic converts being mostly men was based in france. In north america an britain, of those who convert, woman out number men 3to1. So there is a SLIGHT bias in this article. But it is good none the less.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2005 10:45 pm
by Bill Glasheen
I found these passages in a USA Today article to be revealing. It's consistent with my initial rant in this thread, but offers a more articulate view.

- Bill

For generations, the French have prided themselves on a colorblind society that welcomes all. But the two weeks of nightly violence have prompted painful national introspection and called into question France's self image as a model of race relations.


More than America, France expects immigrants, no matter their color or creed, to assimilate — to become French. America, which calls itself a melting pot, is really a soup; its immigrant groups have generally retained some of their original culture and affected their new homeland as much as they were affected by it.

Not so in France. In schools, the standard history curriculum begins with the words, "Nos ancêstres, les Gaulois" ("Our ancestors, the Gauls," the pre-national tribe) — no matter that many of the students' ancestors come from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.

"The attitude is that the people are French before they are anything else," says Nicolas de Boisgrollier, a Frenchman and visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution's Center on the United States and Europe.


"A sense of shame and surprise ... seems to be permeating" France, says Robin Niblett, director of the Europe program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. "All the things that used to be thrown in America's face have really brought home to folks (in Europe) the real cost of the lack of integration of immigrant populations."

Americans have a more serious concern — that the French neighborhoods producing arsonists and vandals may in the future breed terrorists. "Islamic radicalism isn't just something that is emerging in the refugee camps in Lebanon," says Niblett. "What the U.S. does need to be worried about ... is the extent to which some individuals might be radicalized by this small taste of violence."