AS THE night falls, the "troubles" start — and the pattern is always the same.Really swell plan so far.
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.
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.That's good too.
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.
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."Here we go. What do you think the chances are that the oh-so-sensitive Frenchies will surrender? And I can't help having a little schadenfreude:
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.Payback's a bitch, fellas. Much more by following the link including the problem of an unassimilated minority that doesn't even speak the national language. Sound familiar?