Tuesday, November 08, 2005

13th Night

I mean, what do you even say at this point? Just make sure you read the stuff I highlighted.
From AP:

PARIS - France declared a state of emergency Tuesday to quell the country's worst unrest since the student uprisings of 1968 that toppled a government, and the prime minister said the nation faced a "moment of truth" over its failure to integrate Arab and African immigrants and their children.

Rioters ignored the extraordinary security measures, which began Wednesday, as they looted and burned two superstores, set fire to a newspaper office and paralyzed France's second largest city's subway system with a gasoline bomb.

The measures, valid for 12 days, clear the way for curfews after nearly two weeks of rioting in neglected and impoverished neighborhoods with largely Muslim communities.

Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, tacitly acknowledging that France has failed to live up to its egalitarian ideals, reached out to the heavily immigrant suburbs where the rioting began. He said France must make a priority of working against the discrimination that feeds the frustration of youths made to feel that they do not belong in France.

"We must be lucid: The Republic is at a moment of truth," Villepin told parliament. "The effectiveness of our integration model is in question." He called the riots "a warning" and "an appeal."

Despite his conciliatory tone, Villepin said riot police faced "determined individuals, structured gangs, organized criminality," and that restoring order "will take time." Rioters have been using mobile phone text messages and the Internet to organize arson attacks, said police, who arrested two teenage bloggers accused of inciting other youths to riot.

Images of teenagers from immigrant families pelting riot police with stones and gasoline bombs — reminiscent of Palestinian youths attacking Israeli patrols — are resonating throughout the Arab world.

The Egyptian daily Al-Massaie referred to the riots as "the intefadeh of the poor." Arabic satellite networks have given lead coverage to the mayhem, with regular live reports.

Late Tuesday, rioters looted and set fire to a furniture and electronics store and an adjacent carpet store in Arras, in the northern Pas-de-Calais region and set fire to the Nice-Matin newspaper's office in Grasses, in the southeast the Alpes-Maritimes.

Nine buses were set ablaze at bus depot in Dole, in the eastern Jura region, and a bus exploded in Bassens, near the southwest city of Bordeaux after a gasoline bomb was thrown into it.

"France is wounded. It does not recognize itself in these devastated streets and neighborhoods, in this outburst of hatred and of violence that vandalizes and kills," Villepin said. "The return to order is the absolute priority."

The violence started Oct. 27 ... It has grown into a nationwide insurrection by disillusioned suburban youths, many of them French-born children of immigrants from France's former territories like Algeria.

The French system, said Jean-Christophe Lagarde, a lawmaker from Seine-Saint-Denis suburb of northeast Paris where the unrest started, is "running out of steam."

God, it's like watching a guy you never liked much, get the crap beat out of him. After a while, you just feel sorry for the guy, for the people who have to watch, for humanity itself.

It's sad. Just sad.

Villepin is saying their "integration model" is broken, but he has no idea why, and meanwhile the Muslim Jihadis just keep kicking him in the head. The French system is running out of steam.