The Spectacle Blog

Vive le What?

By on 11.7.05 | 5:37PM

Thanks to a friend in France (and, yes, even I have some) I can give you some examples of how the French papers are covering the riots with some aplomb.

Interior Minister Mr. Bean er, Sarkozy, writing in Le Monde today:

"The police presence in the suburbs is vital. The police are the republic's police. They keep order in the republic. If they don't do it, who will replace them? Mafias or fundamentalists... I am not confusing these vandals and the law-abiding majority of people who live in these suburbs and who only want to make a success out of their lives, and the French can count on the total determination of the government."

An editorial in Le Monde says:

"A country that regards itself as the birthplace of human rights and a model of social welfare has shown itself, in everyone's eyes, to be incapable of giving its young people the opportunities they deserve... If France/>/> wants to avoid another electoral catastrophe like the one in 2002, when Jean-Marie Le Pen reached the second round of the presidential elections, it is time for those who aspire to govern to stop grandstanding and apply themselves to the task of rebuilding part of society."

Le Figaro says:

"France/>/> is paying for its arrogance. In the eyes of the world, our famous model of social integration is going down the drain... Vengeance is a dish best served cold. America/>/> will never forget the criticisms of its society during the Iraq/>/> war and after the hurricane in Louisiana/>/>.

"But their criticism is not entirely unjustified. It underlines 40 years of political failure... Too often, ideology has trumped pragmatism in dealing with the problems of the suburbs. Plans to rebuild and renovate have not been followed up with money. In particular, it is misguided to think that tweaking around the edges would give pride and hope to the descendants of French immigrants, who have too often been soothed by speeches presenting them as victims rather than responsible citizens...

"Is Islam at the heart of the current violence? Not as far as one can tell. The solution seems to lie in reaffirming everyone's rights and responsibilities."

The problem is not going to be solved -- in France or anywhere else -- by more multiculturalism, sensitivity, or reaffirming rights other than the right to live in peace, and not in flames. And the riots continue.

Send to Kindle

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article