I’ve been surfing a lot this evening looking at various reactions and opinions on the current events in France.
There is a ton of it out there, and plenty of theories on what’s going on and why its’ happening.
First… on the Academic side… Global Guerrillas calls this another front in Open Source Warfare:
Here’s some more brainstorming on this important question: Will the violence continue? Probably, despite indications that it has subsided. The open source war is moving under its own momentum now (the participants in Paris are likely just dead tired and the collective thinking of the community was to rest). …. The only solution… will be the broad use of the military to restore order. …. The use of the military, when taken, will shut down the insurgency for now. However, the presence of troops in the banlieue will be a source of provocation that will continue to fuel future efforts.
I suspect that at some point during this future conflict, France will come to rely upon empowered, local Islamic militias to maintain order in the banlieue. However, the ceding of authority to those militias will be exactly the type of autonomy that this was about in the first place. France will have fragmented.
Next an account from an eyewitness (thus a French citizen).. translated to English here.
Why did the Minister of the Interrior make a point of saying that these events took place following an attempted theft? Doubtless, he wanted to play on the fantastic and disastrous idea that people have of the “suburbs,” an idea that he himself helps to spread. …. Throughout these events the agents of the State have acted as if they were in a civil war.
In an egalitarian society this would have been unthinkable. When the Minister of the Interior sets the example by lying, one sees no reason why his subordinates should not follow suit. So a police officer goes an the radio and says that no tear gas was used against the mosque, that in fact it was the demonstrators who used “pepper spray grenades”, and that this is what stung some peoples’ eyes. Just like his boss knew full well that there had been no theft, this cop was fully aware of what we all learnt later on, namely that they were in fact tear gas grenades from the police that were used.
They got to see the children running scared while their mothers, trying to protect them, were called “whores” and chased down the stairs by the Mr Sarkozy’s soldiers.
The CRS, the afore mentioned “Mr Sarkozy’s soldiers” are a truly frightening lot. I had the opportunity to see them once when I was in Courseilles-Sur-Mer on the day-before-DDay celebrations in 2003. They were there to guard the French Prime Minister from planned protests and other dignitaries. I have seen policemen with machine guns. I have seen soldiers in combat gear… But these CRS are what I would imagine Nazi SS troops to have looked like. They ride in black buses. They march with tall black boots. And when you lift your camera to take a picture (like I did) they simply wag their finger at you.
And finally… another perspective. A different one. And it’s in French this time, so I will attempt to translate. If you see any glaring errors in my translation please point them out. I will do my best to reflect the correct tone of the comments as I read them.
I’ll provide the French source… and then my translation:
Que le gouvernement de la France, les autorités les plus hautes seraient responsables de tout cela ? Et puis quoi encore ! ? Responsable de quoi ? Si des voyous meurent électrocutés, tant mieux ! On ne va pas se plaindre ! Il faut se plaindre qu’une femme handicapée ait été brûlée vive par des voyous, qu’un homme ait été tué en plein jour par un gang d’hyènes, plutôt !
That the government of France, that those at the highest level of authoriy could be responsible for all this? What then? Responsible for what? If some [derogatory slang for– “youths”?] die of electrocution, all the better! We won’t complain! We should instead be complaining that a disabled woman was burned alive by the youths, that a man was even killed in broad daylight by a gang of hyenas [obbvious African connotation here]!
Il y a des Français pauvres. Il y a des Catholiques, des Protestants, des Orthodoxes, des Juifs, des Musulmans pauvres en France. Est-ce qu’ils tuent tous des femmes handicapées en tentant de les brûler vives ? … Non. Ils souffrent en silence, ils tentent de survivre, ils tentent de travailler, ils tentent de vivre en personnes respectueuses de la loi civile comme de la loi religieuse, s’ils ont une religion.
There are poor French people. There are Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Jew and Musim poor in France. Do they kill disabled women by burning them alive? No, they suffer in silence, they try to survive, work and live as people respectfl of civil law, as they do under religious law, if they have a religion.
Alors comment définir ces nouveaux barbares qui haussent la tête un peu trop ces jours-ci ? Eh bien c’est très simple : ce ne sont ni des Français, ni des hommes religieux ou non, ni des citoyens éduqués ou non. Ce sont des animaux et il faut les traiter comme tels. Ils se sont rabaissés eux-mêmes au rang animal qu’on s’évertue à leur faire abandonner en vain. Ils préfèrent vendre de la drogue, constituer des gangs que de travailler ou que de tenter de travailler. Ils préfèrent brûler des voitures que d’aller en usine en fabriquer sur les chaînes de montage. Ils préfèrent tuer que d’aider les leurs à vivre. Ils n’ont pas de raison de se révolter : ils sont mauvais. Ils font le mal en connaissance de cause, d’une manière bestiale et grégaire. Ces nouveaux barbares défigurent les cités qu’ils habitent et y propagent le mal. Il faut les en extirper et nous en débarrasser une bonne fois pour toutes. Les autres habitants de ces cités pourront respirer tranquillement demain.
So how do we define these new barbarians that are rearing their heads a little too high these days? Well, it’s quite simple… they are neither French, nor men of religion, and no, their not educated citizens either. They are animals and they must be treated as such. They have lowered themselves to the status of animal… and its’ on us [???] to force them to abandon it in vain… They prefer dealing drugs, and mixing with gangs rather than workin or even thinking of working. They would rather burn cars than go to a factory to work on the assembly line. They prefer killing to helping their own to live. They have no reason to revote, they’re rotten. They have agretiously and brutally failed to undertand their cause. These new barbarians are disfiguring the cities in which they live and they breed violence. They must be eradicated and we must do it for the betterment of all [??]. The other inhabitants of these cities will be able to breathe easier tomorrow.
Ok, I think you get the idea.. and my brain hurts.
Plenty to think about there. Comments encouraged and welcomed. Whatever you think is the cause, or the cure, it seems that what is happening today in France may be only a sign of things to come if *something* does not change.