BMEWS
 
Death once had a near-Sarah Palin experience.

calendar   Friday - December 09, 2005

Fwench Humor

I have to admit, some times the Frogs surprise me. Some of them actually have a sense of humor and are probably quite decent people. I present as evidence The Dissident Frogman and Merde In France (No-Pasaran).

The latest evidence comes from the folks at Geo-Loc who provide us with the nice little “Foreign Spies” feed in the right sidebar. The service is hosted in Paris but they must be good guys (even though they charge me €20 per year and you have to speak Fwench to do business with them). I just renewed our service and received the invoice with this little paragraph at the bottom ....

This payment will appear on your bank statement as FROG PLANETE SAS and will be credited to FROG PLANETE SAS, 4 place Félix Eboué F-75583 Paris Cedex 12 RCS Paris B 419164983 TVA FR56419164983.

The emphasis above is purely mine to draw your attention to the fact that any bunch of cheese-eating-surrender-monkeys who can refer to their organization as ”FROG PLANET” can’t be all bad.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/09/2005 at 03:17 PM   
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calendar   Monday - December 05, 2005

Leaks In The Dike

Several things jumped out at me while reading the story below. First, the murderer of Theo van Gogh is finally coming to trial. Second, the court is being held in a damned “bunker” to protect the judges and lawyers. Third, the most these Islamic criminals can get is 15 years in jail.

Is all that enough to convince you that Europe is running scared from Islamic immigrants who murder and pillage as they destroy Western civilization on the continent? In my opinion, Europe is a lost cause. The Dutch may as well go ahead and order a large stock of white flags from France so they can surrender along with the frogs to the new Fascists.

Everywhere over there they are caving in to the Islamic criminals and hiding from the hungry hordes flooding in from the Middle East. It isn’t over yet for the Euro-Peons but the end is in sight unless somebody over there grows a pair real fast. Here’s a tip for Europe: it’s 1939 all over again, the Fascist murderers are already over-running Europe and appeasement is not the answer. Hello! Is anyone listening ... ?

imageimageDutch Put Terror Group On Trial
AMSTERDAM (BBC)

Fourteen men are standing trial in the Netherlands charged with belonging to a radical Islamist terror network. Among the accused is Mohammed Bouyeri (pictured at left), already jailed for life for the murder of film-maker Theo van Gogh last year. The trial, the first to come to court under new anti-terror legislation, is being seen as a test case.

The suspects are alleged to be members of the so-called Hofstad group, based in The Hague. Two are also charged with trying to kill police with a grenade. Another of the men is accused of weapons offences after being arrested in Amsterdam last year with a loaded gun.

A court ruled in November that 27-year-old Bouyeri could stand trial a second time despite being given a life sentence in July. He confessed to killing Van Gogh - a critic of radical Islam - out of religious conviction. Bouyeri is alleged to have played a key role in the Hofstad network, hosting meetings of the group in his Amsterdam home and spreading radical texts. Prosecutors are using new anti-terror laws, brought in last year, which introduced a charge of “membership of a criminal organisation with terrorist intent”.

If found guilty, the men face jail sentences of up to 15 years. The BBC’s Geraldine Coughlan in The Hague says the new legislation may help prosecutors, who have suffered setbacks in recent terror trials. There is now more scope for them to build terrorist, rather than criminal, charges and for the defence to challenge evidence from the intelligence services, our correspondent says.

The trial, which starts on Monday morning in a high-security court in Amsterdam known as “the bunker”, is expected to last at least two months. Dutch teenager Samir Azzouz was cleared earlier this year of plotting attacks on Amsterdam airport, government buildings and a nuclear reactor after a court ruled there was no direct evidence.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/05/2005 at 05:23 AM   
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calendar   Saturday - November 26, 2005

Fwench Cwime Fighters?

Yet another reason to nuke Fwance. We better hurry though because if “les racailles” discover that this is all they have to watch on Frog TV, they will burn the country down to the ground. Which might be a good thing. Who knows, Les Fwench might decide to make a TV series called “Les Ducs De Hazarde” next .... and that would be a crime against humanity ....

imageimageLes Flics Discover Their Gallic Soul in New Model of Starsky and Hutch
PARIS (LONDON TIMES)

STARSKY AND HUTCH are to be reborn as a pair of French cops called Madani and Duval in a Gallic version of the 1970s hit series. The show is being produced by the trendy M6 channel, which hopes to tap into the French love of American television while respecting its legal obligation to make 40 per cent of its programmes in France.

Work on a pilot episode will begin next week with Alexandre Brasseur, the French television actor, taking the part of Starsky, or Madani, as he will be known, the role originally played by Paul Michael Glaser. David Soul’s Hutch has been renamed Duval and will be played by Laurent Hennequin.

Half of the initial 22 episodes will be based on scripts from the original series, which was a success in France when it was broadcast on TF1 between 1978 and 1984. However, Duval and Madani will be more nouvel homme than their American counterparts, who are considered too macho for a contemporary French audience. The part of Captain Harold Dobey, Starsky and Hutch’s gruff boss, will be played by a woman, according to M6. Olivier Jamain, the director, is also looking for the right person for the role of Huggy Bear, whose name will be changed to César.

M Jamain has not yet chosen the car that will replace the red Ford Torino that featured in the 1970s series. With the French manufacturers largely absent from the high-performance vehicle market, the actors may have to settle for a Citroen 2CV, though Madani, otherwise known as Starsky, could have some trouble landing on its considerably smaller bonnet. In real life, French police officers tend to drive family saloons, such as the Renault Scénic and complain that they have difficulty catching crooks in fast German limousines.

M Jamain has already lined up Rémy Julienne, a famous French stuntman, to oversee the spectacular car chases that M6 says will be an integral part of the series. “We are always looking for lasting heroes,” a spokesman for the channel said. “There are no greater heroes than Starsky and Hutch. We are making our own version because everyone has seen the original. “It is also important that we meet our quota for French-made programmes, and this will obviously be included.”

French television is under fire for what critics say is a failure to maintain highbrow cultural traditions. But despite a continued belief in French cultural superiority in some quarters, viewers remain deeply attached to American shows: Dallas, Dynasty, Love Boat, Columbo and Charlie’s Angels are regularly repeated, while French series from the 1970s and 1980s have disappeared.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/26/2005 at 10:42 AM   
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calendar   Monday - November 21, 2005

Horrors!

I have only two words to describe the absolute horror of the following story .... FRENCH ... RAPPERS .....

NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!

imageimageFrench Rappers Provide Social Commentary
PARIS (AP)

The beat is infectious, the music sensual. But the words are acid, a rapped cry of wounded pride from the heart of France’s ghettos. “Whatever I do, in France’s mind I will always be just a kid from the projects,” raps Disiz La Peste on his new album. “I know that I fascinate people, because where I come from, succeeding is not easy, and I still bear the stigma of this environment, of my olive skin.”

Three weeks of riots, arson and attacks on police ripped the cover off problems that French hip-hop artists like Disiz have been rapping and raging about for years. Racism, despair, anger, drugs, crime, hostility against police—issues now thrust to the top of the national agenda by France’s worst civil unrest in four decades—have been grist for these urban social commentators for years.

In an interview, Disiz, whose real name is Serigne M’Baye, said it is too simplistic to say that French politicians now accused of having ignored the ghettos’ problems for decades need only to have listened to rap to learn that the lid was ready blow. Instead, everyone needs to examine themselves, their prejudices and their country, he says. That includes both youths from poor suburbs who are too quick to write off their own futures, telling themselves “there is no point in fighting,” and white French he says must ask themselves “Do we really accept immigrants who are French?”

imageimage“We speak in France of liberty, equality and fraternity. Liberty exists. No doubt there. Everyone can speak out. But equality and fraternity do not exist. We have to fight for them, but we have to fight together,” he told The Associated Press. Hip-hop crossed over to France from the United States in the 1980s. It quickly became a vehicle of expression for suburban youths, some of whom wove in musical and lyrical elements from their own North and West African backgrounds, and helped make France a vibrant center of hip-hop culture.

Like other French artists, rappers benefited from legislation that obliges radio stations to broadcast a certain proportion of French songs to ward off English-language dominance. As in the United States, French rappers appeal as much to white rich kids as they do to French-born children of immigrants. French pioneers included Supreme NTM (pictured at left and above). Their song “What are we waiting for” ("Qu’est-ce qu’on attend"), from the 1995 album “Paris bombed” ("Paris sous les bombes"), seems, in light of recent riots, like an early warning sign that was ignored.

“What are we waiting for to set everything aflame? What are we waiting for to no longer follow the rules of the game?” NTM rapped. “We have nothing to lose because we had nothing to start with. I wouldn’t sleep soundly if I were you. The bourgeoisie can quake, the scum are in town.”

- YO, Home-boy! Grab yo scum-bros and go read da rest! Word-up, Scum!


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/21/2005 at 12:49 PM   
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calendar   Monday - November 14, 2005

And The Beat Goes On

The Muslim rioters are still burning France down, albeit at a reduced pace. Chirac’s response is to keep the country in lockdown for another ninety days. Yep, that ought to keep a lid on this cauldron of boiling rage. Double, double, toil and trouble .. fire burn and cauldron bubble ..

imageimageFrance’s State of Emergency to Be Extended
November 14, 2005, 6:53 AM EST
PARIS (AP)

The French Cabinet approved a bill Monday to extend the country’s state of emergency for three months, while youths set schools ablaze and waged other scattered arson attacks across France. Though the unrest is abating, the bill, if approved by parliament as expected, would allow a 12-day state of emergency to be prolonged until mid-February if needed. The emergency measures empower regions to impose curfews on minors, conduct house searches and take other steps to prevent unrest.

“It is a measure of protection and precaution,” President Jacques Chirac said. Chirac stressed that the measure was “temporary” and that regional officials would use it “only where it is strictly necessary.” About 40 French towns, including France’s third-largest city, Lyon, have used the measure to put curfews for minors into effect.

Overnight, the number of car-torchings—a barometer of the unrest—dropped sharply, with youths setting fire to 284 vehicles, compared to 374 the previous night, police said Monday. There were no clashes between police and rioters. “The lull is confirmed,” national police spokesman Patrick Hamon said. A week ago, 1,400 cars were incinerated in a single night.

The 18 nights of arson attacks and riots—set off by the accidental electrocution deaths of two teens who thought police were chasing them—began in Paris’ poor suburbs, where many immigrants from North and West Africa live with their French-born children in high-rise housing projects. France’s worst unrest since the 1968 student-worker protests is forcing the country to confront decades of simmering anger over racial discrimination, crowded housing and unemployment.

In scattered attacks overnight Sunday-Monday, vandals in the southern city of Toulouse rammed a car into a primary school before setting the building on fire. In northern France, arsonists set fire to a sports center in the suburb of Faches-Thumesnil and a school in the town of Halluin, the North regional government said. A gas canister exploded inside a burning garbage can in the Alpine city of Grenoble, injuring two police officers, the national police said. Three officers were injured elsewhere.

From Sunday to Monday, 115 people were taken into custody, police said. Since the beginning of the unrest, 2,767 people have been arrested. Violence has decreased steadily since France declared a state of emergency Wednesday. The measure, unless extended, is set to end next Sunday. Government spokesman Jean-Francois Cope said the bill approved by the Cabinet on Monday would leave open the possibility of ending the emergency measures before three months are up, if order is restored.

Officials already are turning their attention to helping riot-hit towns recover: European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso proposed Sunday that the European Union give $58 million to France, and said it could make up to $1.17 billion available in longer-term support for suburban jobs and social cohesion. Later Monday, Chirac was to make a televised statement about the violence—his third public comment since the unrest began, the Elysee Palace said. His comments Monday to the Cabinet were reported to journalists by Cope, the spokesman.

Within the next few days, France is expected to start deporting foreigners implicated in the violence, a plan by law-and-order Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy that has raised concerns among human rights groups, and questions among other ministers. Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said he agreed that illegal immigrants could be sent home, but not foreigners with permission to live in France.

“A French person who carried out a crime or a misdemeanor in France cannot be treated in one way while a foreigner with papers in order is treated in another,” he told Europe-1 radio. “It’s not possible.”


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/14/2005 at 07:08 AM   
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calendar   Thursday - November 10, 2005

If It’s Thursday, Belgium Must Be Burning

Not satisfied to watch their cousins to the South burn, loot and riot their way across the media’s front pages, the MOOS-lim gangs in Belgium have started setting fire to Antwerp, Brussels and several smaller cities in what authorities are describing as “copy-cat” rampages. Denmark has already had problems too a few weeks ago. Fortunately the Danes cracked down hard. It will be interesting to see how far this recent asshat behavior spreads ...

Cars Set Ablaze In Belgium In New Copycat Attacks
BRUSSELS (Reuters)

Youths set fire to 15 vehicles across Belgium in a fourth night of attacks that authorities said looked like imitations of violence in France, leading to the far right to call for expulsion of the perpetrators. Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt told Reuters in Singapore the burning of cars in Belgian cities were “isolated incidents” and said they was not comparable to the riots in France, which he described as a “very serious, serious situation.”

The arson attacks late on Wednesday have not sparked worse violence across Belgium, which like France has big Muslim and African immigrant populations. “Burnt-out cars are rare in Belgium,” a spokesman for a government crisis center said on Thursday. “This seems to be an attempt to imitate what is happening in France.”

Ten cars were set ablaze in Brussels, with the others in Antwerp and the smaller towns of Lokeren, Mechelen and Ledeberg, the center said in a statement. There were a number of arrests. Brussels firefighters were called out 25 times to deal with attempted arson attacks, including three petrol bombs.

Belgium has a large immigrant population, many of Moroccan origin, with high unemployment among the young. But unlike France, it does not have a high concentration of immigrants in ghetto-like areas around major cities. The far-right Vlaams Belang party—which captured 25 percent of the vote during regional elections in the northern Flanders region last year—has called for the expulsion of the perpetrators should they turn out to be immigrants.

“(They) are no longer welcome in our country,” Filip Dewinter, a top party leader, said in a statement on his personal Web site. “In the case of foreigners, they need to be expelled. In the case of foreigners who hold the Belgian nationality, they need to be stripped of their nationality,” he said.

Belgian officials have tried to forestall violence by stepping up police patrols and increasing dialogue with migrant community leaders. Violence in French cities has decreased after the government revived emergency powers to curb two weeks of unrest. Verhofstadt, touring Asian cities to attract international investment to Belgium with corporate tax cuts, said there had been no European talks so far about the French unrest.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/10/2005 at 03:56 PM   
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Frogs Deport Rioters

Sacre bleu! We have discovered a Fwenchman with testicles! Will miracles never cease? Interior Minister Sarkozy decides to throw the buggers out. At last report, Jacques Chirac was exploring the possibility of a sex-change operation. However, no donors have been found who are willing to supply the French President with a full set of male equipment ....

imageimageFrance To Deport Foreign Rioters
(BBC)

Interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy (pictured at left) has ordered the expulsion of all foreigners convicted of taking part in the riots that have swept France for 13 nights. He told parliament 120 foreigners had been found guilty of involvement and would be deported without delay.

Police said overnight violence had fallen significantly - although trouble still flared in more than 100 towns. The government has declared a state of emergency in Paris and more than 30 other areas to help quell the unrest.

The northern city of Amiens was the first to impose an overnight curfew under the new powers, which came into force at midnight. The western towns of Rouen, Le Havre and Evreux and the French Riviera region have also said they will implement the measures.

However the Seine-Saint-Denis region north-east of Paris, where the trouble started almost two weeks ago, said it would not impose a curfew after violence diminished for a third night running.

Mr Sarkozy told MPs that non-French nationals - “not all of whom are here illegally” - had been convicted of taking part in the attacks. “I have asked the prefects to deport them from our national territory without delay, including those who have a residency visa,” he said.

- Read More About The Fwench Crackdown Here


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/10/2005 at 03:34 AM   
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calendar   Wednesday - November 09, 2005

Nero Redux

image

- Go Read “Arc de Multiculti” by Cox & Forkum


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/09/2005 at 07:25 AM   
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Hello, Europe!

I woke up early this morning around 3:00am and was surprised to see the “Foreign Spies” map glowing with dots from all over Europe. I’ve noticed over the last week or two that the number of European visitors has been steadily rising and is now at 16.3% of total readers or five times what the average number was only a month ago. We now have twice as many readers across the pond as we have in the Mountain Time Zone here in the US. I would like to welcome our new friends in what will soon be the Caliphate Of Europistan ...

image


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/09/2005 at 07:13 AM   
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Why They Are Burning Paris

The UK Guardian (Liberal rag of record in Britain) published today an article in which they interviewed several of the “downtrodden” Muslims in Fwance. Here are a few choice excerpts beginning with the reasons for the violence ....

“Because we hate, because we’re mad, because we’ve had it up to here,” said Rachid, parka hood up against the cold. “Look around you. This place is shit, it’s a dump. We have nothing here. There’s nothing for us.”

And who made it a dump, Rachid? Do you expect the Fwench government to come wipe your butt for you? Yes, you probably do.

The interior minister’s forces, of which there are some 9,500 on duty around the country, are loathed. “They harass you, they hassle you, they insult you the whole time, ID checks now, scooter checks next. They call you nigger names,” said Karim, 17. “I got caught the other week smoking on the train. OK, you shouldn’t smoke on the train. But we get to Aulnay station, there are six cops waiting for us, three cars. They did the whole body search, they had me with my hands on the roof of the car. One said: ‘Go back home, Arab. Screw your race’.”

Nope, no racism or Fwench arrogance there. Move along. So what is the bottom line for the rioters ...?

Does he feel French? “We hate France and France hates us,” he spat, refusing to give even his first name. “I don’t know what I am. Here’s not home; my gran’s in Algeria. But in any case France is just fucking with us. We’re like mad dogs, you know? We bite everything we see. Go back to Paris, man.”

Sylla summed it up. “We burn because it’s the only way to make ourselves heard, because it’s solidarity with the rest of the non-citizens in this country, with this whole underclass. Because it feels good to do something with your rage,” he said.

From where I sit, this will not end until there is a lot of bloodshed. Fwance has sown the wind. The harvest is merely coming ripe ...

Update: Fwance has invoked Emergency Powers Act to shutdown rioters.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/09/2005 at 05:59 AM   
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calendar   Tuesday - November 08, 2005

Deja Vu All Over Again

All I got to say is that I will personally kick the a** of the first dumb son of a b**ch who suggests we load up a boat and head for Normandy. Let ‘em dig themselves out of it this time ....

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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/08/2005 at 06:00 PM   
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Most Ridiculous Item Of The Day (so far)

ATTENTION: Les Fwenchies have decided the recent riots, pillaging and shooting by MOOS-lims is partly the fault of .... bloggers. It don’t get any crazier than that, folks! Les Gendarmes have arrested two Fwench bloggers who they say were “inciting” the riots. This is absolutley astounding. I never realized we bloggers had this much power. I’ll have to be real careful in the future or else one of you gentle readers might decide to burn down Detroit or Los Angeles because of some “inciteful” statement I made ....

Bloggers Who Urged Rioters Investigated
- PARIS (AP)

Paris prosecutors opened an inquiry Tuesday into two young bloggers who urged French youths to riot and revolt against the police, a judicial official said. The youths, a 16-year-old French teen and an 18-year-old with Ghanian nationality, were detained Monday in the Paris region, the official said.

They were to be placed under investigation, a step short of formal charges, for inciting harm to people and property over the Internet, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because French law bars the disclosure of information from ongoing investigations. The charge carries a risk of up to five years in prison and a $52,800 fine.

The blog, called “hardcore,” was run by the 18-year-old, and the younger teen posted comments on it, the official said. A 14-year-old was also questioned Monday in the southern city of Aix-en-Provence and was released.

In 12 days of unrest in France, bloggers have posted appeals for calm alongside insults targeting police, threats of more violence and warnings that the unrest will feed support for France’s anti- immigration extreme right.

One of the blogs was called “sarkodead” _ a reference to law-and-order Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, who inflamed passions when he called troublemakers “scum.” Both “sarkodead” and “hardcore” were hosted by Skyblog, a branch of the popular Skyrock radio station.

The blogs were taken off line this weekend, and the radio station cooperated with police by giving information to track down people who incited violence, judicial officials said.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/08/2005 at 03:40 PM   
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In The Ghetto

Life in the beautiful French Socialist ghetto. Who could ask for anything more? Free housing, government subsidies for food and clothing. Free public schools provided by the generous French state. I mean, this must be paradise on Earth for people fresh out of the sand dunes of Northern Africa, eh? So they don’t have jobs anymore because of a crashed socialist economy? What difference does that make? The government will support them. After all, it’s the evil Americans’ fault that the French (and Euro-Peon) economy sucks so badly. If only America would stop trying to be so (qu’est ce que c’est?) energetic and competitive. Perhaps if the Americans would just shut down 90% of their country’s productivity for , oh, about five hundred years, Les Fwenchies could catch up, n’est ce pas?

Skipper’s Disclaimer: Please take note of the AP reporter’s name before reading.

Immigrants Lament Decline of the Projects
by SCHEHEREZADE FARAMARZI
Associated Press Writer

- SAINT DENIS, Paris (AP)

The rows upon rows of towering concrete blocks have a dreary regularity: Most are exactly 17 stories high with six apartments to each floor. Today, these housing projects at the heart of rioting across France are rotting, the walls smeared with graffiti, weeds sprouting through cracks, windows protected by rusty metal bars.

But in their time, the subsidized low-cost apartments were a major step up for poor families—spacious, with central heating and bathrooms. “My first reaction was, ‘Wow, how modern and advanced!” recalls Sonia Imloul, 30, who moved into a high-rise as a child with her Algerian immigrant parents. “I was 7 when I saw a shower for the first time.” Imloul said that in the nearby bidonville, or slum, where she was born, the rats were so big that they chased the cats, and residents used a shared toilet and a municipal bath.

The family’s new three-bedroom home was in one of the building estates that sprouted up from the 1950s as temporary housing for immigrants from the former colonies in North and West Africa who were brought to France to work in factories. Now, those jobs have largely gone, but many immigrants and their children remain stuck in the suburbs and their dreary “HLM,” short for “habitation a loyer modere,” or low-rent housing. Initially, they were a “sign of progress,” said Angelina Peralva, a specialist on urban violence and sociology professor at the University of Toulouse.

Immigrants lived side by side with French professionals, including doctors and teachers starting their careers. But the French gradually left, creating a “big image” change for the suburbs, said Peralva. Now the buildings are showing their age. The government has dynamited many to build new ones, but the original structures that remain are often in dismal condition. The “cites,” as housing projects are called, are generally isolated from neighborhoods with shops and schools, and residents complain that police stay away, leaving the neighborhoods in the hands of drug dealers and criminals.

The decaying tower blocks on leafy boulevards have a threatening feel. Windows stare out from row after row. The housing projects that were once a source of pride for the new immigrants have become a source of anger and frustration for their children who live on society’s margins, struggling with high unemployment, racial discrimination and despair. Imloul, who works with troubled teens in Seine-Saint-Denis, the northeastern Paris suburb worst-hit by the unrest, said that while the parents who moved here were happy to be living in comfort compared to where they came from—“the children do not accept the conditions they are living in.”

Imloul said the “cites” are in urgent need of investment—most importantly better schools. “There are 15-year-old students here who cannot write,” she said. “The first words children learn are swear words.” She said youths are paying the price for a French law that requires students to go to their neighborhood schools. This means parents have no choice but to send their children to a school plagued by delinquents. “The law here is that of drugs,” says Imloul as she drives past a group of men smoking marijuana. “Before this was hidden. But now, it’s in the open. It’s become normal.”

Those who can are leaving the neighborhoods—including younger generation parents—to save their children from crime. Imloul, too, is determined to leave as soon as she can afford to find a place in a safe neighborhood in Paris proper. “I don’t want my son to grow up here,” she said. “In our neighborhoods, people only survive, they don’t live.”


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/08/2005 at 12:10 PM   
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calendar   Monday - November 07, 2005

French Intifada

This is without a doubt the best commentary on the current crisis in France you will ever get. It comes from the New York Post and was written by a gentleman named Amir Taheri who is editor of the French quarterly “Politique Internationale,” and a member of Benador Associates in Paris. I present it here in its entirety for your education and better understanding of how deeply troubling this mess is to all of us ....

WHY PARIS IS BURNING
November 4, 2005

As the night falls, the “troubles” start — and the pattern is always the same. Bands of youths in balaclavas start by setting fire to parked cars, break shop windows with baseball bats, wreck public telephones and ransack cinemas, libraries and schools. When the police arrive on the scene, the rioters attack them with stones, knives and baseball bats. The police respond by firing tear-gas grenades and, on occasions, blank shots in the air. Sometimes the youths fire back — with real bullets.

These scenes are not from the West Bank but from 20 French cities, mostly close to Paris, that have been plunged into a European version of the intifada that at the time of writing appears beyond control. The troubles first began in Clichy-sous-Bois, an underprivileged suburb east of Paris, a week ago. France’s bombastic interior minister, Nicholas Sarkozy, responded by sending over 400 heavily armed policemen to “impose the laws of the republic,” and promised to crush “the louts and hooligans” within the day. Within a few days, however, it had dawned on anyone who wanted to know that this was no “outburst by criminal elements” that could be handled with a mixture of braggadocio and batons.

By Monday, everyone in Paris was speaking of “an unprecedented crisis.” Both Sarkozy and his boss, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, had to cancel foreign trips to deal with the riots. How did it all start? The accepted account is that sometime last week, a group of young boys in Clichy engaged in one of their favorite sports: stealing parts of parked cars. Normally, nothing dramatic would have happened, as the police have not been present in that suburb for years. The problem came when one of the inhabitants, a female busybody, telephoned the police and reported the thieving spree taking place just opposite her building. The police were thus obliged to do something — which meant entering a city that, as noted, had been a no-go area for them.

Once the police arrived on the scene, the youths — who had been reigning over Clichy pretty unmolested for years — got really angry. A brief chase took place in the street, and two of the youths, who were not actually chased by the police, sought refuge in a cordoned-off area housing a power pylon. Both were electrocuted. Once news of their deaths was out, Clichy was all up in arms. With cries of “God is great,” bands of youths armed with whatever they could get hold of went on a rampage and forced the police to flee. The French authorities could not allow a band of youths to expel the police from French territory. So they hit back — sending in Special Forces, known as the CRS, with armored cars and tough rules of engagement.

Within hours, the original cause of the incidents was forgotten and the issue jelled around a demand by the representatives of the rioters that the French police leave the “occupied territories.” By midweek, the riots had spread to three of the provinces neighboring Paris, with a population of 5.5 million. But who lives in the affected areas? In Clichy itself, more than 80 percent of the inhabitants are Muslim immigrants or their children, mostly from Arab and black Africa. In other affected towns, the Muslim immigrant community accounts for 30 percent to 60 percent of the population. But these are not the only figures that matter. Average unemployment in the affected areas is estimated at around 30 percent and, when it comes to young would-be workers, reaches 60 percent.

In these suburban towns, built in the 1950s in imitation of the Soviet social housing of the Stalinist era, people live in crammed conditions, sometimes several generations in a tiny apartment, and see “real French life” only on television. The French used to flatter themselves for the success of their policy of assimilation, which was supposed to turn immigrants from any background into “proper Frenchmen” within a generation at most. That policy worked as long as immigrants came to France in drips and drops and thus could merge into a much larger mainstream. Assimilation, however, cannot work when in most schools in the affected areas, fewer than 20 percent of the pupils are native French speakers.

France has also lost another powerful mechanism for assimilation: the obligatory military service abolished in the 1990s. As the number of immigrants and their descendants increases in a particular locality, more and more of its native French inhabitants leave for “calmer places,” thus making assimilation still more difficult. In some areas, it is possible for an immigrant or his descendants to spend a whole life without ever encountering the need to speak French, let alone familiarize himself with any aspect of the famous French culture. The result is often alienation. And that, in turn, gives radical Islamists an opportunity to propagate their message of religious and cultural apartheid.

Some are even calling for the areas where Muslims form a majority of the population to be reorganized on the basis of the “millet” system of the Ottoman Empire: Each religious community (millet) would enjoy the right to organize its social, cultural and educational life in accordance with its religious beliefs. In parts of France, a de facto millet system is already in place. In these areas, all women are obliged to wear the standardized Islamist “hijab” while most men grow their beards to the length prescribed by the sheiks. The radicals have managed to chase away French shopkeepers selling alcohol and pork products, forced “places of sin,” such as dancing halls, cinemas and theaters, to close down, and seized control of much of the local administration.

A reporter who spent last weekend in Clichy and its neighboring towns of Bondy, Aulnay-sous-Bois and Bobigny heard a single overarching message: The French authorities should keep out. “All we demand is to be left alone,” said Mouloud Dahmani, one of the local “emirs” engaged in negotiations to persuade the French to withdraw the police and allow a committee of sheiks, mostly from the Muslim Brotherhood, to negotiate an end to the hostilities. President Jacques Chirac and Premier de Villepin are especially sore because they had believed that their opposition to the toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003 would give France a heroic image in the Muslim community.

That illusion has now been shattered — and the Chirac administration, already passing through a deepening political crisis, appears to be clueless about how to cope with what the Parisian daily France Soir has called a “ticking time bomb.” It is now clear that a good portion of France’s Muslims not only refuse to assimilate into “the superior French culture,” but firmly believe that Islam offers the highest forms of life to which all mankind should aspire. So what is the solution? One solution, offered by Gilles Kepel, an adviser to Chirac on Islamic affairs, is the creation of “a new Andalusia” in which Christians and Muslims would live side by side and cooperate to create a new cultural synthesis.

The problem with Kepel’s vision, however, is that it does not address the important issue of political power. Who will rule this new Andalusia: Muslims or the largely secularist Frenchmen? Suddenly, French politics has become worth watching again, even though for the wrong reasons.

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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/07/2005 at 06:44 PM   
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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