Monday, November 07, 2005

Where is De Gaulle when France needs him?

Since the Cap'n already contributed to the blogosphere's schadenfreude over the riots in France, I guess it's now my turn. I wanted to write something earlier, but I either was too busy or lost interest or other bloggers said it better (see Michelle Malkin's site).

I am not surprised that this is finally happening. Many people have talked about how the place was a time bomb waiting to explode. Back in the late 70's during my LDS Mission to France, there were places that the female missionaires were told to avoid for safety reasons. The male missionaries could go to these same places, but we tried to avoid them since you always ran into problems. I guess after 25+ years of simmering, they have decided to boil over. This graphic that I stumbled onto at "Boots and Sabers" shows where the rioting has spread to.

The interior minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, has publically stated that the rioters were "scum" and the areas should be industrially cleaned out (read: send in the riot police and crack heads), but "Black Jack" Chirac (French nickname "She-She") and prime minister Dominque de Villepin have decided to appease the rioters and throw money at the problem. It remains to be seen if this will cure the problem (highly doubtfull) and not return in later years (a distinct possibility).

From what I read on Yahoo! France, it looks like most of the "rioting" outside of major urban centers in the rest of France can be contributed to "copy cats" due to the propensity to burn garbage cans. I talked to my ex-father-in-law last night and he said that where he lives, close to Brive, there were only three cars burnt so at least there, this is true.

So, it looks like this France will opt for the less painfull "throw money at the problem and hope that it goes away" fix instead of the more painfull, but more efficient "go in with riot police/army and start cracking heads". Kind of like telling the dentist to give you a shot of novacaine to stop the pain of a toothache instead of just removing the tooth altogether. The only question will be just how long the band-aid will work before the riots start again. Too bad Charles De Gaulle isn't around. Back in 1961 (I think), to stop rioting supporting a free (or French) Algeria, De Gaulle deployed riot police to Algerian neighborhoods in Paris to enforce a curfew. The rioting was brutally put down with some rioters killed and many injured. She-She should take a page from his mentor's playbook and send in the riot police and army. Whethere there would be deaths, etc., is not certain, but one thing is for sure, there would be no more rioting problem.


At 11:16 PM, Blogger The Great El-ahrairah said...

I guess the curfews and other special measures didn't work last night. Well, Duh! Like I said, time to start cracking heads.


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