Correct Policies to Correct Violence, French Official Says

Monday, November 07, 2005
An article by Molly Moore in The Washington Post tracks developments in the rioting in France. On the second page we read that

[v]iolence is now erupting in towns with little history of unrest,
underscoring the widespread dissatisfaction with the government's policies toward its poorest citizens.

"If we don't take the appropriate measures right away, things could get way out of proportion," said Stephane Ribou, a police spokesman in Rennes. Ribou said the city of 200,000 had one of the lowest delinquency rates in the country. On Saturday night, roving groups of young men set 18 cars and 40 garbage bins ablaze there, he said.

Of course I am being unfair here; I doubt whether the reporter or editor really intended to suggest that the "policies" in the first quoted paragraph are the same as the "appropriate measures" in the second. But it is natural to read the article that way.

[Speculation follows:]

To me the somewhat sloppy writing is a concrete manifestation of the general confusion as to how to interpret what is going on in France (and elsewhere), especially the degree to which Islam is a kind of background factor (if it is such a factor at all).

The article's lead paragraph tells us:

France's national police chief warned Monday that a "shock wave is spreading across the country" as rioting intensified in cities throughout France during an 11th night of violence. Officials from neighboring countries expressed concern that the unrest could leap across international borders

Why do officials from neighboring countries have this concern? Is there any common factor that might be shared by "youths" in, say, France and Germany that would prompt both groups to engage in this behavior, beyond a surfeit of testosterone?


terrye said...

Do not think about the elephant.

The harder they try to ignore the poroblem the more evident it becomes.

chuck said...

The harder they try to ignore the poroblem the more evident it becomes.

It helps that the elite and the reporters all seem to subscribe to the materialistic interpretation that poverty is the root of all. That misunderstanding will inhibit effective action to the point of no return. Another week of this and European politics will never be the same.

And, no. I don't really think Europe can be overrun at this time. So I am not worried about the consequences of defeat. If this was 2055 things might be different.