Thursday, November 10, 2005

Wither the French Riot Coverage

Austin Bay notes that the next few days are critical. If the curfews and increased police presence results in a lessening of violence and criminal activity, then the French may have dodged the bullet. However, if the violence shifts its attention away from torched cars to businesses and other objects, then the French government will be in real serious trouble.
The next three to five days will be critical. If a “second wave” of violence occurs that’s a bad sign, one signaling political support for the rioters and solidifying organization. When will the Left wing commentariat start calling the rioters “the resistance?”
Meanwhile, Chirac says that he has to learn lessons from the riots (does he mean from the rioters?) Here's a quick lesson that should be picked up by most everyone in government. The best way to stop a riot in progress is to do so quickly and with decisive actions before the rioting spins out of control. Reports of violence appear to be decreasing as the police and law enforcement gain control over the situation. Map of the scenes of violence.

One has to wonder why it took so long for the French authorities to gain control over the situation. In the US, we'd be hearing for resignations from everyone from the President all the way down to the head of the agencies responsible for law enforcement. Will that happen in France? Will it even matter?

Now, there's one thing that doesn't quite make sense. We know that thousands of cars have been torched, but relatively few people have been arrested in connection with the violence. What does that say about French justice and law enforcement. These are rioters who got away with destroying property, committing various crimes, and have escaped justice. It is highly likely that they will do it again when given the opportunity.

As for those rioters who were in France illegally, they will be deported.

And just so we're clear, nearly 7,000 cars have been torched in the 2 weeks since the violence started. Chart of the car-nage. No Pasaran also notes that a civil demonstration tomorrow marking the 1st Anniversary of Arafat's death (aka, The air is somehow cleaner and more fit to breathe day) was denied by French authorities.

Steven Den Beste comments on how this riot may come to an end - it's a battle of attrition that the rioters cannot hope to win because the police can generally count on the military to support them if they get outnumbered. The problem has been the slow response of the police to deal with the rioting, which meant that the number of rioters was not reduced quickly enough to prevent the rioting from spreading. The Brussels Journal notes that the violence is still ongoing, though the media isn't reporting the rioting - though they have to admit that firefighters were called out on numerous occasions to put out car fires.
The authorities prefer not to speak about what is going on because they fear copycat actions from disgruntled “youths.” However, when the authorities cut off information, rumours (not all of them unfounded) will fill the news vacuum. Most of the “isolated incidents” in Brussels appear to be taking place in Sint-Gillis, where stones were thrown at police cars yesterday evening. Sint-Gillis is only a few kilometres from the European Parliament. As Elaib Harvey, our friend and roving correspondent in the European Parliament, wrote on his weblog: “Gloriously of course nothing is officially being talked about here in the Palace of Vanity. Nothing official, however the coffee bars are ablaze with rumour.” Yes, this is Europe in the year 2005.

Sister Toldjah is among a number of bloggers (including LGF) that notes the media is trying to portray the rioters as engaging in civil disobedience. Do we need to break out a dictionary to remind folks that Rosa Parks engaged in civil disobedience by refusing to give her seat up at the front of the bus and that blowing up cars is not civil disobedience under any circumstances. It's rioting, causing mayhem, and destruction of property. Those are criminal activities, not civil disobedience.

Westhawk makes a very important observation. Has anyone bothered to check on the weather reports for France lately? While the weather was pretty good over the first two weeks of rioting, the weather was expected to deteriorate:
Weather was fine for rioting on Monday night, although it promises to deteriorate into rain and near freezing temperatures in the days ahead. This could reduce rioting op-tempo.
In other words, the rioting may be slacking off not solely because of law enforcement or curfews, but because the weather sucks.

Hugh Hewitt is noting that French police are concerned that the rioters may seek to cause mayhem in more affluent areas away from the focus of the rioting thus far. Tel Chai Nation notes the anti-France bias at the BBC.

Cross linked to (cross links updated as necessary): Don Surber, Basil's Blog, Euphoric Reality, Freedom Folks, Political Teen, Real Teen, Stop the ACLU,
Stuck on Stupid, and TMH's Bacon Bits. Donegal Express finds some humor in the situation.

Demosophist links to a Max Boot op-ed on the riots in France that outlines failed experiment that is multiculturalism in France.
The flaw in this perspective is that it ought to be obvious to even the casual observer that the problem isn't that France has assimilated all of its colonial aspirants into the single "idea" of Gaulic Nationhood, but that it has utterly failed to do so. And the reason, as Boot points out, is also rather obvious: It's easier for an individual from an ethnic or religious minority to think of himself as American than French, because being American isn't a matter of ethnicity, while being French... is. The problem is one of identity.

No comments: