Sunday, November 06, 2005

Do You Hear the People Sing?

Belmont Club commenter Red River makes the interesting conjecture that rioting "youths" in Paris have confined their primary mode of attack to car burning as part of a deliberate brinkmanship. Car burning is spectacular, serious enough to get attention yet -- and this is the vital point -- not serious enough to provoke lethal force. By staying just shy of the threshold, the rioters can maximize their rate of propagation at minimum danger to themselves. Other commenters have noted how small groups of "youths", coordinated by cell phone, can gather to attack and disperse before a response can be mounted. A BBC article describes some of the cut and thrust.

Police reported 1,295 vehicle burnings and made 312 arrests as unrest in African and Arab communities spread to Strasbourg, Toulouse and Nantes. On the 10th consecutive night of riots, four cars were torched on Place de la Republique in central Paris along with others in the central 17th District. ... Police helicopters patrolled the skies over the capital, attempting to pursue and identify those responsible for the attacks. 

Using expensive rotary wing assets to chase car arsonists isn't an economical proposition, especially when you can't fire on the arsonists. The ability to torch cars in the Place de la Republique is a good gauge of the limits of police response time. All in all, the tactic of car burning provides definite advantages to the attacker and many disadvantages for the defender. The tactics of the "youths" may have evolved spontaneously, and probably did. Nevertheless, because form follows function, they bear an eerie resemblance to tactics employed by the Chechens against the Russian Army in Grozny, and may have been fertilized by ideas from that source. A Parameters article describes how the Chechens gave the Russians the run-around.

The principal Chechen city defense was ... to remain totally mobile and hard to find. ... Hit-and-run tactics made it difficult for the Russian force to locate pockets of resistance and impossible to bring their overwhelming firepower to bear against an enemy force. Russian firepower was diluted as a result and could be used only piecemeal. Chechen mobile detachments composed of one to several vehicles (usually civilian cars or jeeps) transported supplies, weapons, and personnel easily throughout the city. Chechens deployed in the vicinity of a school or hospital, fired a few rounds, and quickly left. ... they moved in groups as large as 200 at times, showing up in cars with guns blazing. The more typical Chechen combat group was a three- or four-man cell. Five of these cells were usually linked into a 15- to 20-man unit that fought together. 

Hit and run tactics against relatively slow responding forces are a good choice. Against faster responding forces they are less effective. (As an aside, insurgents in Iraq believed Grozny-stle tactics could defeat US forces in cities such as Fallujah, but suffered huge casualties due to the overhead surveillance capability of US forces, largely provided by UAVs, and its networked battle force.)


Although it may be coincidental, the remarkable uniformity in the rioter's rules of engagement and the rapid development of their tactics suggests they have a tacit consensus as to their strategic aims: to confine action to inherently political acts in exchange for political concessions. Amir Taheri believes he knows what those will be.

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. 


Update on the Rioters Tactics

From the Australian's correspondent in Paris:

Place de la Republique ...  became the latest symbolic stage ... torched four cars in the square. Car burnings ...  in the expensive 17th arrondissement. 
This is not a conventional urban riot where a large, angry mob confronts a wall of riot-shield wielding police. There are no pitched battles. 
... the thousands of police ... frustrated by the guerilla tactics of the firebombers who now rarely attack directly. ... sniper fire at police ... gangs ... move in small bands setting fire to cars, buses, shops and public buildings, then moving on quickly before firefighters or police arrive.


Blogger Meme chose said...

It sounds like an old joke, but the truth is that the French authorities are desperately seeking for the people they can surrender to.

11/06/2005 05:53:00 AM  
Blogger Fellow Peacekeeper said...

Can someone confirm that French law prohibits the use of lethal force to protect property?

French forces in Kosovo suffered from national ROE restrictions, and were thereby unable to defend Serb villages (Svinjare) and orthodox religious sites (St Sava church, Devic monastery) from Albanian rioters (also coincidentally using arson) during the riots in March 17-19th 2004. In that case, where the rioters had the nerve to use weapons, otherwise passive French forces responded with quick, aggresive and effective violence.

11/06/2005 05:56:00 AM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

It's not a joke. One of the real problems in dealing with fundamentalist Islam, as opposed to the old Soviet Politburo, is that it has no command and control structure. One of the things that made deterrence possible was the circumstance of a centralized Soviet leadership.

In the case of the French riots, the problem of who to negotiate with (because the French government is pushing for a political solution) is a real one. Assuming, arguendo, that you wanted to surrender, then who to?

11/06/2005 05:59:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

hey i posted that days ago!

11/06/2005 06:03:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

I just saw a report on FNC that 1295 autos had been flamed last night in France. Stunned, I tuned into the Belmont Club to see if anyone had seen the same thing.
As so frequently happens, Wrechard had anticipated my interest.
During the late 1960's I recall watching a environmental conference in which one "scientist" stood up and said that pollution was caused by people deliberately soiling the environment to protest against the War In Vietnam.
No doubt that some will call the incindinary actions by the IslamoFrench thugs a protest against the Car Culture promoted by the U.S., and a desperate attempt to stem the tide of Global Warming.

11/06/2005 06:13:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

re: command and control structure

Word of mouth. When you live in a small village gossip runs quickly.

re: the things that made deterrence possible

Islamists have "sacred" symbols they deeply revere. Should they feel these symbols are under threat as a result their actions, you will quickly see a change towards a more accommodating attitude and behavior.

11/06/2005 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Yeah mika, the French should flush a few Korans, that would scare 'em.

Soon you'll have porker calling for the French to bomb the "Rock" to quell the violence in Paris.

The Mohammedan Emirs will emerge in the coming days. Negotiations will ensue, micro city states will be the likely outcome in the ghettos. Greater autonomy and Government support for the selfstyled Emirs, even less economic opportunity for the "youth".
No justice for the victims of the violence, just some ointment for the burns.

11/06/2005 06:36:00 AM  
Blogger JoseyWales said...

Anyone know of ANY French bloggers on this?? Help and/or links appreciated.

Or are they busy sticking their heads in the sand, in solidarity with their government?

11/06/2005 06:42:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

C4 sayeth thusly:

But are letting the burnings and insurrection go on so as to give the Muslims plenty of rope to hang themselves. Perhaps a decision exists within the French government that Muslim labor is not needed when less criminally-inclined, less subversive alternatives exist in Latin America, India, Asia......and that they have decided Islam cannot assimilate and the riots are a good way of convincing the public of that fact.

Perhaps but it sounds being too clever by half.

After yesterday's blog, I followd up at ( on all of this. I did a little looking up on the millet system as used in the Ottoman empire and it too eventually broke down and resulted in gangs acting violently (both with official sanction and without).

On one level the millet system seems to be like federalism, but it really isn't. Federalism starts off with rules for everyone and those rules that are not made for everyone the subdivisions get to make (or not make) or deal with. The Millet system is a hodge-podge of areas following their own law separate from the common culture.

I wouldn't worry about a Buddhist millet but.....

11/06/2005 06:45:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Incremental advances by the Mohammedans, steady retreat by the Europeans.

In my youthful adventures in the Yucatan of Mexico I discovered that the "nobility" of Mexico went abroad to find their mates. The men to France and Spain, the women to Miami.

Mexico was remarkably Eurocentric, I thought at the time. It still is.
C4 is right, any number of Mexicans could emigrate to France, or anywhere else in Europe, and assimulate. The only disadvantage is that they cannot walk there.

11/06/2005 06:46:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Meme chose and Wretchard are right - there is no one person to negotiate with; there is no one group to surrender to.

The decentralized nature of this thing means that the French government must negotiate with ALL of them simultaneously, and use words they can all understand.

France must fight fire with fire. I say Chirac should burn a hundred Korans for every car, and make sure the TV stations cover it well so that every 'french youth' becomes aware of it at the same time. The incentive structure must be changed at a 'grassroots' level. France must also make clear that it can withstand a lot more escalation than 'muslim youths' can.

11/06/2005 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger Oscar in Kansas said...

That may all be true but the rioters are quite literally playing with fire and it is only a matter of time before their actions go over that line, if only by accident. How long until one of the high-rises goes down in flames? How many petrol bombs can they throw before a policeman is killed?

The "kids" may be playing brinksmanship with the police but without any kind of discipline or control how long before more sinister forces use the "kids" as cover to committ some act far more heinous than car-burning?

It is only luck that has allow these riots to continue for 10 nights without any serious loss of life. Each night the rioters are rolling the dice. Each night the odds increase for them to roll snake eyes. Then all bets are off. The police may be French but they are still police. Once one of their own is killed the time for brinksmanship will be over.

11/06/2005 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

"...the interesting conjecture that rioting "youths" in Paris have confined their primary mode of attack to car burning as part of a deliberate brinkmanship."

It may be worth pausing to note that in so doing these 'voyous' ('thugs') are demonstrating just how French they have really become. Anyone who has lived in France for any time has seen numerous instances of interest groups getting their way, inducing abject government capitulations, via carefully measured doses of rioting and property damage.

Truck drivers regularly hijack trucks and block major roads, farmers hijack imported agricultural products and dump them on the steps of the town hall, etc., etc. Just this summer in Provence they were piling up truckloads of imported Spanish tomatoes at the entrances of the discount supermarkets which had been selling them. None of this rated more than minor coverage in the local Nice paper, it's absolutely routine (nor was anyone apprehended, let alone prosecuted).

I'm sorry if these observations from inside the country appear to draw a rather confusing 'Alice in Wonderland' caricature of the rationally-run state the French would like to be seen running, but bizarre as it may seem this is how the French themselves traditionally behave.

The established view in many parts of French society, by no means only among Muslims or immigrants generally, a view which has been validated over and over again in practice, is that all of their politicians are so permanently and irretrievably corrupt, if you want a result the only way to get it is to take to the streets and start blocking traffic and smashing up property.

11/06/2005 07:23:00 AM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

"it has struck me that no demands have been made, no list of grievances from the perpetrators has been presented."

The 'traditional' way of agitating in France described above doesn't often involve presenting a coherent set of demands. This helps to preserve anonymity, and has been found over time to yield better results. The French state is usually left to work out the details of its own capitulation.

11/06/2005 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Would it be a PR victory for everyone to ignore the riots completely?
Would it be a PR victory to misrepresent the rioters as Franco versions of the "Crips & Bloods"?

An Insurgent, according to my Random House dictionary
1."A person who engages in armed resisitance to a government or to the execution of it's laws"
3. " rising in revolt; rebellioous."
Gas bombs are "Arms", sniping at police is resistance, large groups in the roaming the streets shooting and burning, both people and buildings is a form of revolt.

To not use the appropriate words keeps the debate away from reality.
I wonder if grrr1 believes that the Mohmmedans are engaged in a Global War or just independent acts of unrelated violence, world wide?
To deny that the Jihadists are engaged in Global War and that the assorted acts of violence are unrelated, that is the real Jihadist PR Victory

11/06/2005 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger Oscar in Kansas said...

Police found a gasoline bomb-making factory in a southern suburb of the city, with more than 100 bottles, gallons of fuel and hoods for hiding rioters' faces, a senior Justice Ministry official said Sunday.
AP News

11/06/2005 08:00:00 AM  
Blogger erp said...

They want autonomy, but then who will sign their welfare checks?

11/06/2005 08:04:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

You have to be kidding, coordination of the "arms", not in Paris. These rioters are just misdirected youth, they can't have the organization required to have a "a gasoline bomb-making factory".

Remember there is no coordination of the rioters, except by internet and cell phones. They cannot have factories, these riots are just a case of "Spontaneous Combustion",
de Villepin and Chirac are sure of it.

11/06/2005 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger JoseyWales said...

wretchard and thomas the wraith,

Am I missing something here? Why do the authorities have to wait for someone to get killed?

The law does not apply until someone gets killed?

Has the "softness" of Europe taken them to this new "legal" territory, where Orwellian French minister for the "promotion of equal opportunity", Azouz Begag, carries more weight than the Interior Minister Sarkozy?

11/06/2005 08:20:00 AM  
Blogger Chester said...


Your comparison with the battle of Second Fallujah is telling.

On the command and control side -- for the "rioters" -- we would all do well to examine the work, "The Advent of Netwar" by RAND researchers John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt. The entire text may be accessed for free at the RAND site:

I think what we witness in Paris and the rest of the area of operations of the Intifadah is exactly what Arquilla and Ronfedlt predict, much more than the insurgency in Fallujah was able to muster.

Also see, "Street Gangs: The New Urban Insurgency"

I suspect, as your post predicts, that this entire phenomenon we witness in France will get much worse before it gets better.

11/06/2005 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

"Struck me that the proper response from the authorities would be to respond by applying the proper amount of force necessary to preclude such a shameful deal, lethal if necessary... Judging by the past and present, however, this will not happen."

French society has always consisted, despite the democratic veneer, primarily of a matrix of privileges (an aristocratic concept) assigned to different groups. Whether immigrants will be determined to possess the privilege allowing them to riot to get want they want (which for instance farmers in certain areas visibly do possess) is precisely what is in play right now. The outcome is uncertain.

In a way the rioting is constructive, in the sense that the immigrants are negotiating the real artifacts of French life (their specific privileges or lack of them) as opposed to their legal 'rights' (which in practice in France are more apparent than real).

A lot will turn on whether they find a way to 'play the game by the local rules'. This usually has to involve stopping the rioting before they are (immediately afterwards) given what they want, which is critical to the French political elites' ability to save face. The French government is as I write trying to find someone on the other side it can explain this to.

One more irony: this means that the rioters' own continuing actions are by now probably the only obstacle to their getting everything they can think to ask for.

11/06/2005 08:25:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Smart people are using hyperbole to describe the conflict in France.

To the annoyance of both Francophiles and Leftist acolytes of the Fifth Republic, the actions in France at most still seem to be a battle of opportunity for the local disaffected. We do not know if it has been initiated, or is in the process of being assumed, by Islamist forces. It is a misuse of the word ‘war’ to ascribe it as such. Since the Global War on Terror has been ongoing for 20 - 40 years, and since the conflict is truly global, and since Europe has previously been a front in the conflict, we must watch for an opportunistic attempt to make France a Front or a Theater of the War. France is the Sickest Man in Europe - but she is by far not the only ill patient in the region. The problem for France is that the assumption by Islamists can occur quickly - and that the French have dithered in normal Leftist indecisiveness. Islamist forces can now capitalize on the power vacuum opening up in large swaths of France and Europe.

European appeasement in the GWOT may, in fact, lead to the war being fought here (as in Europe) rather than there (as in the Middle East). Europe may come to regret their inability to project force, but she may be saved by a stronger internal police than exists in America. The frightening thing about this rioting is that France's 'Fifth Republic' may fall in something as small as a regional battle. It may not take a theater campaign to collapse the surrender monkeys. That fact is as sad as it is frightening - and it harkens to a point behind Wretchard's point, that France fell to Nazism as well as to the German army.

If France falls, the pecking order will be Spain, then Italy, then Germany. To date, however, we have no proof that militant Islam has the ability to use this uprising. The Anglosphere may have destroyed this capability. Thus, America may once again save French bacon in a war between good and evil.

We shall soon see how organized militant Islam is...

We may soon see how militaristic the West is...

This is what President Bush strove to avoid...

11/06/2005 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger Pierre said...

The Millets will be unsatisfying to the Muslims since around the outside of the fence evidence will remain of the failure in Islam. The Millets will have to expand to an area that excludes all evidence of a better life. So where we stand now is the Second Battle of Tours, and laughing at the defenders of civilization might not be the wise course for those of us who imagine we are safe. The French again may be the key on which the fate of European civilization turns.

The French contrary to humorous popular opinion will not surrender. What will happen is the French will remember how to kill again and will remember how much they love their country. At that point the Muslims will be in deep trouble.

The comparison of Islam to the Cult of Jim Jones is an entertaing read. I had nothing to do with writing this but provide it simply for its entertainment value.

11/06/2005 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger DaveK said...

I, too, think this will get far worse before it gets better...

If the French government capitulates/appeases the immigrant rioters, it will appear to get better while the wound festers below the skin and becomes gangrenous. Then the result will be mass deportations, revocations of citizenship, and possibly a low-grade general civil war.

If they choose to excise the problem now by taking relatively severe actions, the problem will certainly worsen for the short term, but there would be good prospects of a non-catastrophic resolution.

I think one of the influence peddlers we have to watch is the French unions. Which side will they come down on? They tend to be far-left oriented, and could easily try to side with the immigrant "insurgents". On the other hand, I suspect the radical muslim youth constitute a very small portion of their membership, and they just might side with the government on this. Whatever... they are a powerful force in France (and the rest of Europe), and should be included in the equation.

Just my $.02

11/06/2005 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If the rioters are French citizens, which it seems they are, and they are being utilized to modify the Policies of the French Government by force, they are Insurgents.
There may also be tribal elements to their discontent, but they are not Border Bandits. They are not Foreign Fighters. Their tactics are direct from the early days of the Intafada, not caravan raids against the spice trade. I have not read of looting, just violence.

Obviously, it is not about oil.
It is also not spontaneous, not on day eleven.
The only real question is if it related to the Global Jihad, I think it is, until proven otherwise.
If it is not related to the Jihad it is not important, at all.

11/06/2005 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh said...

People on the right, i.e. people like me, sometimes seem to think that the French are by nature appeasers, but IMO, this urban unrest just isn't the same level of seriousness as the Wehrmacht in 1940. The rioters are acting from a fundamental position of weakness--for everything that has changed due to media coverage and disbersed communications, the death of the nation-state has been very much overblown. Even if the current government decides to appease, one day, the bill will come due, and the French state IMO will when the rubber hits the road preserve itself and crush this unrest in the same way it crushed it in Napoleon's day. The raw balance of power is too much in the hands of the organized state, and all the defeats of nation-states by insurgencies in the last 60 years have been in overseas theaters, whether it be Indochina, Algeria, or Aghanistan, as opposed to a nation-state's heartland. It'd obviously be better if the problem can be headed off at the pass right now with some mixed policy of greater vigor on the law-and-order front combined with a more workable model of assimilation, but if the French state dies, it won't be at the hands of these rioters.


11/06/2005 09:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We agree that the likely outcome of the riots in the medium term is the de facto establishment of enclaves which will gradually become Islamist controlled.

We are very surprised by how incompetent and unprepared the French government has been in responding to a problem they have surely considered for years. The alleged toughness of French internal security seems to be a myth.

Please see our post

Will France's fires scorch the Islamic world?

But, as our title suggests, Europe will have a backlash and a polarization in its politics. In the struggle against the Islamists, Europe will go from neutrality to armed belligerent. The Islamists will have to defend on another front.

There will be good news and bad news for U.S. foreign policy out of this. Europe, focusing on its internal security, will be not be able to help around the world, even where it might want to. On the other hand, it will no longer see the utility in opposing U.S. foreign policy.


11/06/2005 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...


Concur with folks getting a bit too excited about the impending doom of the Fifth Republic.

However, France is the Sick Man of Europe. It cannot assimilate new immigrants into a French society. Because France is soooooo multi-cultural it may be in fact non-cultural. As the sources you present imply - who is right...

The point of Wretchard's post and much of the discussion revolves around French citizens not being part of France. The question is: Who will fight for France. The fact that 'millets' formed imply that significant parts of France are not French. This isn't as pronounced in other European states. France's battle in the GWOT will not (hopefully) be against foreign fighters, but instead will be against its 'citizens'. France is Balkanized by 'tolerance' and 'multi-culturalism'.

By the way, the reaction of the French, Germans, and Spanish may not be as measured as that of America. If the Islamist do grab this brass ring they may initiate what President Bush deeply wanted to avoid - Total War...

11/06/2005 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

Soon you'll have porker calling for the French to bomb the "Rock" to quell the violence in Paris.

I call for the "rock" to be destroyed to enable islam to grow PAST it's cult of the rock mentality.

mark my words, as islam continues to murder it's way across the globe, some country will do it...

11/06/2005 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger sammy small said...

The millet system seems to be a precursor to the tribal society, well known in Afghanistan and other Mideast territories.

Its ironic that as the coalition pushes a more democratic system on Afghanistan to replace the tribal past, France is drifting towards it.

11/06/2005 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

I agree with vrwconspiracy. I do not have great hope that the French will wake up fully to the threat.

As to with whom the French should be negotiating, it has been noted that the islamofascists have no identified leaders, which assumes there could be negotiation if there were; bad assumption, that.

The French should be negotiating the price of their rescue (once they actually wake up) with the U.S. now. As noted, only the U.S. has the means to defeat these fascists. They got 3 big freebies last century (WWI, WWII and the Marshall Plan). I cannot think of a reason they should get a 4th in a 100 years.

11/06/2005 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger NY GOPer said...

Does France have "right to bear arms" laws? These riots most likely would not happen in the U.S.; since our citizens have the second amendment and will protect our property from gangs bent on distruction and anarchy I suspect that the average American would prevent much of the damage that is going on in Europe.

11/06/2005 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger al fin said...

Leftist multiculturalism breeds tribalism. Europe has chosen leftist multiculturalism, and thus tribalism. All the gains of western civilisation are being blithely discarded by the European left. Bloody tribalism is inevitable.

11/06/2005 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

As I have mentioned before, a frequent European criticism of Americans is that we lack a “Sense of History.” By this they do not mean a knowledge of history, but a sense of where we “fit” and how things are ‘done” by “us”.
Americans try to figure out handle a problem, inventing the best way as we go along.
This seems to infuriate Europeans, who, it appears, tend to fall back on concepts of national identity and on traditions associated with it.
When the Yom Kipper War started going badly for the Egyptians, with Israeli tanks across the Suez and the eastern SAM belt destroyed, they asked their Soviet advisors what to do next. The Soviets conferred and came up with a sure-fire answer:
“Retreat as far as you can and wait for winter.”
So, what will be the French reaction to the Muslim attacks, based on their sense of history, against attacks assaulting their very national identity?

11/06/2005 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

Perhaps this is too conspiratorial, but I think that it is very interesting that the French are suddenly having a very difficult time with their Muslim minority at the very time that France has been willing to take tough action against Syria and has been willing to show a little backbone with Iran (emphasis on little). Iran, is known for making other countries pay some price when they cross Iranian interests. Could all this this be stirred up by Iranian and Syrian intelligence (and other middle eastern regimes interested in maintaining the status quo)? If so, it is brilliant because it is not too violent, but is enough to keep the French government focused on its internal problems and hints to the French government that things could get much worse.

I would not be supprised to see the frnch government shortly make public statements calling for a reduction in the the pressure being put on Iran and Syria.

11/06/2005 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger BBridges said...

My initial reaction is that something like this would not have been pre-planned but then before 9-11, I scoffed at what I thought was a ridiculous plan of a few years back for some jihadists to blow up several planes simultaneously.

Radical Islam has had a lot of experience and has learned a lot about effective tactics over the years.

Even now I wonder if I am over reacting to this situation but then I find that nothing is beyond the possible anymore.

""youths" in Paris have confined their primary mode of attack to car burning as part of a deliberate brinkmanship. Car burning is spectacular, serious enough to get attention yet -- and this is the vital point -- not serious enough to provoke lethal force. By staying just shy of the threshold, the rioters can maximize their rate of propagation at minimum danger to themselves"

Here is my question, at what point is property and infrastructure damage enough to provoke lethal force? Surely there is a line that can be crossed, the number of cars or buildings that can be torched, where there is a legitimate call to use whatever force is necessary to stop a disintegration in public order isn't there?

11/06/2005 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger BBridges said...

My initial reaction is that something like this would not have been pre-planned but then before 9-11, I scoffed at what I thought was a ridiculous plan of a few years back for some jihadists to blow up several planes simultaneously. Radical Islam has had a lot of experience and has learned a lot about effective tactics over the years.

Even now I wonder if I am over reacting but then I find that nothing is beyond the possible anymore.

""youths" in Paris have confined their primary mode of attack to car burning as part of a deliberate brinkmanship. Car burning is spectacular, serious enough to get attention yet -- and this is the vital point -- not serious enough to provoke lethal force. By staying just shy of the threshold, the rioters can maximize their rate of propagation at minimum danger to themselves"

Here is my question, at what point is property and infrastructure damage enough to provoke lethal force? Surely there is a line that can be crossed, the number of cars that can be torched, where there is a legitimate call to use whatever force is necessary to stop a disintegration in public order isn't there?

11/06/2005 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger Huan said...

Ammar Al-Asfar, an official in charge of the CFCM's Muslim chaplains’ department, welcomed the Justice Ministry’s move to appoint a Muslim chaplain to address the religious needs of the Muslim prisoners.

“The French Muslims are pleased with efforts to appoint Muslim chaplains for Muslims in prisons, army, hospitals and elsewhere,” he told Wednesday, May 4.

He, however, expressed reservations at the way followed by the French Justice Ministry to pick up the Muslim chaplain.

“We were surprised with the ‘emergency’ request put forward by the French ministry and naming the Muslim chaplain in advance,” he said.

“The CFCM has been working on the issue of the Muslim chaplains for Muslim prisoners, who make up 70% of prisoners in the French jails,” he stressed.

Last year, a French study revealed that Muslims make up between 50-70% of prisoners in the French jails.

The French Justice Ministry has been keen to appoint a Muslim chaplain for Muslims prisoners in an effort to combat what it terms the “Salafi” religious stream in the French prisons, IOL learnt from sources at the CFCM.

May 05

11/06/2005 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

You disappoint me. You seem to suffer from the same malaise others accuse the French of suffering. Your self imposed limits are born out from misguided perception. Misguided perception cleverly imposed through distorted reality constructs manufactured by Leftist/Islamist propaganda kingpins and their propaganda organs.

Think for a sec. What's the worst that could happen, if say for example, we were to go after Islamic structures of power be they, military, economic, emotional/religious, or whatever. What can they do? The answer, they can do nothing.

11/06/2005 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

until the west understand that islam could care less about life of either their own or others and that what they care about are islamic symbols and pride...

thus destroying islamic SYMBOLS hurts them MORE than 100,000,000 million islamic deaths...

let's save them the genocide, nuke a rock...

11/06/2005 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

ny goper: My thoughts exactly. Nanchee has mentioned this as well.
In fact, in the southeast U.S., much of the midwest and a good portion of the southwest, as well as scattered sections elsewhere, taking care of such riots with one's personal weapondry would be close to being defined as "recreation."
Don't send the Marines to help France.
If you send anyone, send the rednecks.

11/06/2005 02:04:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

P.S., in regards to the statement by Olivier Roy "It's a game of cowboys and Indians," I assume that everyone has heard the joke that ends with:
"Well, we ain't played comboys and Muslims yet."

11/06/2005 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...


Going by history they will attack the Brits.

11/06/2005 03:38:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Pork Rinds for Allah says:
until the west understand that islam could care less about life of either their own or others and that what they care about are islamic symbols and pride...

This is right. The Islamomilitants are not afraid of death they are afraid of being buried with a pig, they are afraid of a Koran being desecrated, etc.

This is why that Koran flushing story was not so bad as one would think. The leftist reaction was nutty as usual but the story itself was not (upon reflection) as big a problem as one supposes. If one is going to utilize the idea that the Islamofascists are only afraid of the Korn being desecrated or similar, then Koran desecrations have to be publicized.

Hehe. They put out videos of beheadings we put out news articles of Koran desecration. Their intention is to strike fear into our hearts, the publishers of the Koran desecration stories have what as their motivation?

11/06/2005 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Peter UK,

So sorry I was not specific enough (I'm distraught, the Pack is on their way to a 1-7 record). What I meant to say was the FRENCH would turn around and attack the UK along the lines of Vichy France.

Mea Culpa

11/06/2005 04:00:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

One last comment.

A buddy went to France and reported back to me with the stereotype, and I mentioned they seem to be more hospitable if one speaks French. He snorted and retorted the French are then rude in French.

None-the-less, us and our distant fifth cousins twice removed against complete strangers.

11/06/2005 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Just what are the centers of Mohammedan power will you attack in France? A Mosque or two? Burn their buildings?
Mohammedan power grows from their people, not the buildings or infrastructure. Perhaps, as Porker suggests the "Rock" could be a target, but France will not attack KSA to solve it's domestic turmoil, even if it should.

The French could decapitate the Mohammedan society in France. Kill the "Emirs" instead of negotiating with them, but I doubt if they will, this round.

You seem to miss the point, or I do. These rioters are now operating, as W's update says, in platoon size elements. They are not "rioting" in the historical sense. They ARE engaged in asymetrical warfare.
They are French citizens, they are in open revolt, the do show disregard for the Law, they are rebellious.
They are Insurgents. By definition.
That they are, most likely encouraged and aggitated by Mohammedan Imams and possibly Iranian or Syrian agents is not beyond belief. That they are semi trained by those Imams or agents in their millets is of secondary importance.
The primary point of our original discussion was, I thought, your objection to calling them Insurgents, which is, again by definition, what they are.
Calling them by other names does not change their character.
In Iraq it took months for the Administration to call the Opfor, there, Insurgents, which is what most of them were, the entire time.
The truth of the matter is the "rioters" are not immigrants, they were born and bred in France. France, as it exists, has failed them. They are attempting to reshape the country, even if, as individuals, they do not realize it.

11/06/2005 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

While I believe it's true that no white gun owners went into Watts or Detroit, in the 60's, to shoot rioting blacks, it is also true that Korean Americans defended their S. Cal. buildings in the '90s & '00s with weapons. This is a documented truth. Defensive tactics by armed citizens had an effect.
It is also true that there would be no car burnings on my block, here in Phoenix, no matter the race or ethnic / religious background of the rioters. We have a tremedously low crime rate in my area, every household here is assumed to be armed, most are.
An armed society is a polite society, here in the modern wild west.

11/06/2005 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Chirac vows arrests and trials in riots:

The rioting erupted Oct. 27 after two teenagers of north African descent were accidentally electrocuted as they hid in a power substation, apparently believing police were chasing them. Anger was then fanned anew days ago when a tear gas bomb exploded in a mosque in Clichy-sous-Bois - the northern suburb where the youths died.

Government officials have held a series of meetings with Muslim religious leaders, local officials and youths from poor suburbs to try to calm the violence.

Chirac Vows Arrests

11/06/2005 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Desert Rat,

You are correct. One of the things government is supposed to do (at least our Western style of government) is to protect our life, limb, and property. As long as people are able to share a common understanding of what constitutes life, liberty, and property then all is well. European governments have been able to hold their end of the bargain fairly well, until now.

We here in the USA have a different experience. We have a instinctive distrust of our government and do not cede all of our rights to self protection.

Now substantial numbers of people in France are having their cars destroyed. I can not imagine replacing a car in France is cheap (even if buying a cheap French car), and I have a hard time understanding why there is not more outrage about it (actually, I can, is it being reported accurately?)

I live in an area where the people have a very good common understanding of what is in bound and out of bounds. Unfortunately, we were burgled once (a fair amount of middle eastern gold was taken, much to the dismayment of The Empress). None-the-less, my guns are up north to defend the cabin from ruffed grouse, and whitetail deer.

C4, the reason the mobs in France resort to torching cars is because they are defenseless, Wretchard's update shows the mobs can work in small and quick units. If they had to wonder if Car owner X would greet them with a .30-06 semi-automatic or pump (even a .30-30 would suffice) then there would be less of that crap. If the police and govt can not defend you then the job falls onto yourself.

11/06/2005 05:31:00 PM  
Blogger Oscar in Kansas said...

From the NYT:
'Rioters fired shotguns at police in a working-class suburb of Paris Sunday, wounding 10 officers as the country's fast-spreading urban unrest escalated dangerously ... "This is just the beginning," said Moussa Diallo, 22. ... "It's not going to end until there are two policeman dead." ... It seemed only luck that by Sunday night, no one had been killed."
The National Front is calling for a state of emergency to be declared under a law last used by Mitterrand 20 years ago. Given that 19% of the French voters supported le Pen in the last election years ago I think it's a safe bet that at least that many support the NF today.

The real losers from these events will be the French Jews. If either the Islamists of the rightist are strenghtened from these riots the atmosphere in France will increasingly anti-Semitic.

11/06/2005 06:07:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Does anybody remember:

Where Ayatollah Khamenei (version I) resided prior to the Iranian revolution?

Yup, France...

I was travelling in Europe in 1987 when France was attacked by militant Islamic terrorists. They tried to stop all travel at the borders...

In the 1970's Europe was in the midst of a direct Islamic/Leftist insurgency.

Soon we will call this the second GWOT.

11/06/2005 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...


Tim Blair points out a Reuters AlertNet story on the same.

In December of 1992 after the Adohya Mosque was ransacked by Hindus in India, there were riots in the UAE. The police went into the industrial part of town (Al-Ain, the industrial part was referred to as Al-Sanaya) to put a stop to the riots and the rioters shot back (surprsie!). Most of the rioters were Batanis (aka Pashtuns) who had gunsmitthing skills. Hence they had guns.

Yet another example of the lawless ignoring the laws and having guns hence gaining advantage over the law abiding.

11/06/2005 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

The fishy things about this are:

1. The deliberate fire bombing.
2. The duration of it.
3. The apparent coordination.

What is the dollar damage to the French Economy?

Think about it - a Muslim led group finds a unique way to use small teams to damage and paralyze a Western Nation using novel means of destruction.

11/06/2005 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

the radical

You wrote (about the MSM):

They really should omit all references to Islam if they were to be consistent. Funny thing is, they can't...

I tried to make this point in a post about an article from an excellent NYT reporter early this morning.

Jamie Irons

11/06/2005 06:47:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

I lived in Pasadena during the LA "Rodney King" Riots.

The riots spread to the suburbs. The police in the suburbs shot anyone who broke into anything.

The local big box retailer put a ring of shopping carts around the front of the store and stationed employees with shotguns on the roof.

Ashes from the fires fell like radioactive fallout on my street in little flakes and the sky stank like a crematory.

I felt very naked - having just left the Army and moved to LA to go to school - I'd sold my .45 that I used to carry in Texas. I had no weapon.

If this happened in Texas, by the third night, we'd organize roadblocks and checkpoints. Anyone caught with any firebombs would have the shit beaten out of them for starters. I imagine some would get doused and set on fire. Anyone caught torching something would be shot. No jury anywhere would convict. Any DA who tried to indict would be thrown out of office.

11/06/2005 06:51:00 PM  
Blogger Basspastor said...

Off Topic Question:

AP says: "...Sunni parties, having narrowly failed to veto the document in last month's referendum,..."

Is yet another example of pathetic AP reporting? Or did the referendum pass by a narrow margin? I figured Belmont Cluber's would know. All I know is that the referrendum passed, I have not as of yet read a breakdown of the vote.

Thanks BP

11/06/2005 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Has anyone heard of anything said by Le Pen about any of this?

Things here sound very UKish prior to WWII. What I mean is we had Winston warning everyone about Hitler and few people would listen, it sounds like very similar to the case of Mr. Sarkozy. Lets hope Mr. Sarkozy wins the fight ahead.

11/06/2005 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...


Well at least MY car is not torched.

It is quite obvious the police can not be everywhere at once, so then part of our responsibility is not too be victims. Part of that is common sense don't go into areas known for the production of victims. Part of it is defending yourself.

Truth of the matter is concealed carry opponents have claimed time after time that the latest state to approve concealed carry would turn into the OK Corral. Fact is none have, in fact at worst crime rates remain steady if not fall after concealed carry is passed.

11/06/2005 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

desert rat writes: Mohammedan power grows from their people, not the buildings or infrastructure.

That's a mistaken assessment. Mohammedian power grows from lands they ransack, thus forcing non muslim out. All you need do is reverse that equation.

11/06/2005 07:49:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

Yes, I agree with Red River: The fishy things about this are:

1. The deliberate fire bombing.
2. The duration of it.
3. The apparent coordination.

What is the dollar damage to the French Economy?

Think about it - a Muslim led group finds a unique way to use small teams to damage and paralyze a Western Nation using novel means of destruction

This is logical.

And I agree with Cruiser, c, and others. There could be state/AQ sponsorship fanning the flames.

c observes: I agree with Cruiser and others that the Syrian and Iranian connections are extremely plausible, given the timing of recent diplomacy and tough talk by Chirac on Syria and Ahmadinejad's fanatical ravings...

Rat, ny goper and RWE's point on citizen gun ownership is spot on. I was attending a college in LA during the Riots. During the Riots every guy I knew carried a gun to class (discretely). The second day of the riots most gun stores were sold out of 9 mm and 45. apc ammo much to my displeasure (although that was quickly remedied by Fedex and other delivery services). Within a day private security personnel in Korea town were openly bearing arms on roof tops. At the end of the 5 day period it was reported that about 50,000 hand guns were sold (there was a 5 day waiting period at that time). The riots soon died down.

As for the rules on French citizens owning guns, I am not expert yet, I have read on various sites that you must go through a long application process (background checks and so on) and belong to a sporting/hunting club, have proof of some level of fire arms training, and keep records of your on going affiliation with said sporting/hunting club. The guns have to of a certain type (shot gun or rifle with low capacity magazines and so on). Some people say the French can buy a 22 caliber rifle (22 long rim cartridge) with little hassle (now others suggest buying replicas of black powder pistols of yesteryear for self protection - I don't know the details of antique gun ownership). Maybe an expert on the subject could fill us in the details of gun ownership in France.

Meme chose seem to have a good grip on French society: ...Anyone who has lived in France for any time has seen numerous instances of interest groups getting their way, inducing abject government capitulations, via carefully measured doses of rioting and property damage.

My question: Exactly, who's cars are getting BBQ'd? It's it the Islamic Thugs cars? Is it elite French citizen's cars? Is there an insurance angle to burning cars that makes them good targets? I would assume most cars would be insured. But, I also assume, that some people in France may lash out when their new car gets torched. Or maybe, all the cars in France are insured and said victims of burned cars will get a check.

If these cars are insured which insurance company would have the greatest liability? And, if it's a public company please provide the ticker symbol.

11/06/2005 07:55:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...


We are at war with militant Islam… However, our conflict does bleed into other terrorist conflicts. I think it is clear that most, if not all, terrorist organizations have taken dramatic physical and financial hits – hits they will probably not survive if we keep the pressure on.

What I am stating is that America was late to the war. Israel and Europe were early combatants. Europe had a long vacation from conflict after Marxism/Communism drew its last breath. It took militant Islam years to recover from the loss of their key sponsor state. The only enemy militant Islam could reach in the interim - and simultaneously generate unacceptable casualties - was Israel.

Militant Islam is, however, back in the swing of things. On the other hand, until we have demonstrable proof of Islamofascist coordination we have to view these uprisings as local conflicts. The scary thing is that these riots could easily be assimilated into the anti-West jihad if they are not tamped down - and if the jihadi leadership can reach out and touch these ‘youths’. These people hate France and they hate the West. These second and third generation French ‘immigrants’ are not French, will not be permitted to be French, and do not want to be French. They are balkanized populations.

This is the vast difference between America and Europe.

Time will tell.

11/06/2005 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger Basspastor said...

Since, ya'll were of no quick help. I googled and blogger Secular Blasphemy confirms that it was rejected in two and narrowly passed in Nineva Province.

AP has it right, even though to note such is irrelevent.

11/06/2005 08:17:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

While not all armed folks in the world are polite, there is a MAD deterent effect when everyone may be.
It is true that not all people are deterred by the idea of reciprical force, but many are.
I wondered what part of New Delhi you had visited, where everyone was well armed, then realized you were speaking of America's Indig population. The Plains Indians engaged in almost perpetual warfare, but often would count coup rather than killing their opponents. It was a honor tactic that put the Indians at a disadvantage when they met US cavalry.
Much like the Palistinians, the American Indigs were not as well armed as the immigrants that came to their lands, and lost them.
Makes me wonder when we will compensate our Indigs for your home, as the land was taken from them without compensation, hundreds of tears ago. Just think of the interest due.
There is a difference as between paramilitary and criminal forces being armed and beligerent and an armed citizenry defending it's self.
Of course there are other factors involved in folk being polite, other than fear of retaliation. But it helps.

How all this relates to France being unable to cope with their new Intafada, I am not quite sure.

11/06/2005 08:17:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/06/2005 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff Medcalf said...

I commented on my blog Caerdroia, so I will avoid excessive commentary here. I would like to note, though, that any path the French take other than a strong crackdown on the rioters, followed by ending the "millet" practices that have been growing in France, is likely to lead to a bad outcome in the long term, and in many cases in the short term.

It's not an insurrection yet, but it's heading that way. And only Sarkozy seems to have any clue of how to stop it. And no one's listening to him.

11/06/2005 08:42:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Sarcasm Alert:

I think I am rather ecstatic that we don't have France as an active ally.

She is even more conflicted than the Libs in America.

Can anyone make a decision in France?

Are they scared of Libs screeching in the years to come that perfect decisions were not made from imperfect and partial information?

France will dither as it burns…

The Libs will screech about that as well…

Oh well…

11/06/2005 08:42:00 PM  
Blogger amortiser said...

It depends on what you mean by close. The interim government set the bar incredibly high for the passing of the constitutional referendum. The referendum was passed by 15 of the 18 provinces and the overall vote in favour was about 78%.

If 3 provinces defeated the proposal by more than 75% of the vote then the referendum would have failed. Two provinces were lost by that margin(both Sunni) and the third (again Sunni) was lost by 55% - still 20% short of the 75% required.

To say it was narrowly passed is nonsense. By any measure the referendum was adopted overwhelmingly but the MSM will still happily trumpet that it was a close run thing.

11/06/2005 09:52:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

War is not a rational thing, really.
The Mohammedans are winning the Global War, their areas if operation are expanding, incrementally. They ARE quite rational, you just can't see it, in part to your faith in our Arms.

You, like many Americans, cannot foresee US really being defeated by these Jihadists. This makes their efforts "irrational". They see it differently, they have a "roadmap" to success and they are on the trail to Victory, their god assures it.

11/07/2005 05:31:00 AM  
Blogger geoffgo said...


I don't think we were discussing MAD herein. Gun-owning citizens defending themselves assures individual destruction of the rioters; thereby reducing the numbers of those considering rioting considerably.

11/07/2005 06:05:00 AM  
Blogger moderationist said...

IMO the fact that there are no fatalities, and the uniformity of the attacks speaks volumes.

11/07/2005 06:39:00 AM  
Blogger NY GOPer said...


Two things, first my take on gun ownership is in the narrower sense, with an individual owning a gun they can stop a rioter from burning ones car. I was not insinuating that one individual is going to stop a jihad.

Secondly, I did recently read on another blog site that on Sept. 11 in upstate New York that a large Muslim compound was surrounded by local citizens. The message was don't try anything or we will stop you. It was not the FBI, or state police but the citizenry who knew the compund was there and knew that they are the first line of defense.

11/07/2005 08:05:00 PM  

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