Robert Spencer has a good fisk of the MSM reactions to the rioting in Paris.
|Why have the riots happened? From many accounts one would think that the riots have been caused by France’s failure to implement Marxism. “The unrest,” AP explained, “has highlighted the division between France’s big cities and their poor suburbs, with frustration simmering in the housing projects in areas marked by high unemployment, crime and poverty.” Another AP story declared flatly that the riots were over “poor conditions in Paris-area housing projects.”|
|Reuters agreed with AP’s attribution of all the unrest to economic injustice, and added in a suggestion of racism: “The unrest in the northern and eastern suburbs, heavily populated by North African and black African minorities, have been fuelled by frustration among youths in the area over their failure to get jobs and recognition in French society.” Deutsche Presse Agentur called the high-rise public housing in the Paris suburbs “a long-time flashpoint of unemployment, crime and other social problems.”|
Bunkum. All of it. As Spencer notes, if it’s unemployment and poverty, where are the Catholic poor in all of this?
Not that any of the MSM are actually using the word “muslim.” That doesn’t fit the politically correct party line and there’s no way to cut it to make it fit. So “muslim youth” simply gets excised from the stories entirely. These reporters are morally and philosophically bankrupt and blind to the facts on the ground. Conveniently blind and deaf.
Meanwhile the EU’s policies are all coming home to roost. Of course, they’re settling on to burning nests, but still the prattle continues in the press, while the French government’s politically correct and morally superior decisions to allow immigrants to form non-assimilating enclaves has resulted in the ash pits that are the unintended consequences of their utopian policies.
Naturally, it is never mentioned in these odes to ethnic separation that it was really what the Europeans preferred. Otherwise, they’d have to deal with the hordes of unwashed and foreign colonials that they allowed in when they needed the cheap labor in their manufacturing sectors. Now that’s a shriveling factor in the economy and they’re stuck with third generation superfluous strangers. Strangers they really don’t want too close. That’s why enclaves like Clichy Sous Bois — large tracts of waste land on the way to the airport and safely out of the way of the tourist trade — have been encouraged to remain in place. To remind them they’re in France, the streets are given French names, as are the projects. The residents burn out businesses, gut the parking garages, trash the council housing, and the government just cleans it up. Cheaper than integrating their colonial inheritance, no?
Theodore Dalrymple’s essay, Barabarians at the Gates of Paris, was written more than two years ago. It could have been a description of things last week:
|An apartment in this publicly owned housing is also known as a logement, a lodging, which aptly conveys the social status and degree of political influence of those expected to rent them. The cités are thus social marginalization made concrete: bureaucratically planned from their windows to their roofs, with no history of their own or organic connection to anything that previously existed on their sites, they convey the impression that, in the event of serious trouble, they could be cut off from the rest of the world by switching off the trains and by blockading with a tank or two the highways that pass through them, (usually with a concrete wall on either side), from the rest of France to the better parts of Paris. I recalled the words of an Afrikaner in South Africa, who explained to me the principle according to which only a single road connected black townships to the white cities: once it was sealed off by an armored car, “the blacks can foul only their own nest.”|
|A kind of anti-society has grown up in them—a population that derives the meaning of its life from the hatred it bears for the other, “official,” society in France. This alienation, this gulf of mistrust—greater than any I have encountered anywhere else in the world, including in the black townships of South Africa during the apartheid years—is written on the faces of the young men, most of them permanently unemployed, who hang out in the pocked and potholed open spaces between their logements. When you approach to speak to them, their immobile faces betray not a flicker of recognition of your shared humanity; they make no gesture to smooth social intercourse. If you are not one of them, you are against them.|
And what is the French solution to this time bomb, to this Arab Street smoldering at the peripheries of its cities? It is the Ostrich Option, or the Scarlett O’Hara Solution — i.e., “if we don’t look at this it will go away,” or, “I’ll think about it tomorrow.” And now, tomorrow is here… and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow:
|The state, while concerning itself with the details of their housing, their education, their medical care, and the payment of subsidies for them to do nothing, abrogates its responsibility completely in the one area in which the state’s responsibility is absolutely inalienable: law and order. In order to placate, or at least not to inflame, disaffected youth, the ministry of the interior has instructed the police to tread softly (that is to say, virtually not at all, except by occasional raiding parties when inaction is impossible) in the more than 800 zones sensibles—sensitive areas—that surround French cities and that are known collectively as la Zone.|
Mark Steyn says he’s been predicting this since 9/11 but he didn’t think things would blow up in France until 2010. As he says, “silly” him. And in a way, it’s true. Things move much more quickly now, and with more intensity than we can take in. At this rate, human beings begin to numb out. Not that France hasn’t been creating this mess for two generations — heck, they started more two hundred years ago when they invaded, captured and colonized Algiers. It’s just that once the tipping point is reached, the human brain does not seem able to keep up with the cascade of events. There are biochemical-electrical limits to what our all-too-human brains can process in a given amount of time.
But Steyn, in his famously brilliant Steynian way, brings the history back even further than I. He posits the beginnings in 732 A.D. (editor’s note: you may use C.E. if you prefer; I am an A.D. kind of girl and this is not a university here):
|The French have been here before, of course. Seven-thirty-two. Not 7:32 Paris time, which is when the nightly Citroen-torching begins, but 732 A.D. — as in one and a third millennia ago. By then, the Muslims had advanced a thousand miles north of Gibraltar to control Spain and southern France up to the banks of the Loire. In October 732, the Moorish general Abd al-Rahman and his Muslim army were not exactly at the gates of Paris, but they were within 200 miles, just south of the great Frankish shrine of St. Martin of Tours. Somewhere on the road between Poitiers and Tours, they met a Frankish force and, unlike other Christian armies in Europe, this one held its ground “like a wall . . . a firm glacial mass,” as the Chronicle of Isidore puts it. A week later, Abd al-Rahman was dead, the Muslims were heading south, and the French general, Charles, had earned himself the surname “Martel” — or “the Hammer.”|
Only this time the enemy is within the walls. Or almost. Let’s see how long it takes for the French to get hard-nosed and blockade the cités which ring the real, the civilized cities in France. Ever since the French Revolution, it seems the French have only two responses: hand-wringing surrender or bloody guillotines for all. Nuanced, they’re not.
Let’s see what happens next. What will La Scarlette Chirac do when he has to get up tomorrow and actually think about it?