Article copySarkozy won the presidential seat in large part as a result of the Tough on Crime, Strong on Security comedy he pulled off when he started his campaign unofficially and very early on (around 2005), managing to bring back under his umbrella the largest part of Le Pen's National Front electorate, and seriously disabling said far-right party in the process. It's been the (winning) strategy of a panicked French political class, left to right, after the sudden rise of outsider Le Pen during the previous presidential election that saw him pitted against Chirac.
The rest was just for the show.
Anybody with half an interest for the pathetic doings and wrongdoings of the French political caste(1) will remember then Minister of the Interior(2) Sarkozy's chest-beating promise hurled back at a Paris suburb resident upset with the Summer 2005(3) state of affairs in the occupied Banlieue strip to "clean it all up with a Kärcher", a best-selling German high-pressure hosing appliance, among other well-known tough-talk by the future President of La République.(4)
As always with Sarkozy, this genuine incarnation of the "All style, no substance" motto often attributed to the French at large(5), the cleaning spree never came, and rather than Police forces with high pressure washers, the streets were first flooded with taxpayer funded entertainment centers and sport complexes quickly trashed by the "disaffected youth", lavish subsidies to various acteurs sociaux, leftist NGOs and Islamic associations on the false premises and promises that they would fix things over there, before they had, as it becomes obvious today, to be once again cauterized by torching at the hand of the aforementioned youth, a politically correct shortcut for "Young French Muslims of Mostly Arab and African descent".
As predicted by those of us who manage to keep their eyes wide open(6), this was bound to happen again, considering that:
- Chirac and his government (Sarkozy included) had left the suburban French Jihad Youth and their Elder Imam Hierarchy rule the battleground as they started and ended the stepped-up hostilities of November 2005 on their own terms — a shocking evidence of defeat and failure of the French state, in every strategical and political meaning of the word.
- No more than it managed to quench the insurgents, the French state never managed to reoccupy the lost territory and regain, even partially, the authority it lost in November 2005. While a low-intensity guerilla had been raging in the banlieues for the last 15 to 20 years, with cars burned as well as police and firefighters ambushed practically every night since the late 1990s(7), the November 2005 riots that lit up streets not just around Paris but all over France at the (quickly unreported) cries of "Allah'u ackbar" marked a serious step in the covered French Intifada that called for a strong, immediate and uncompromising answer from the state... Or else.
As this answer never came, the current situation, that sparked last Sunday for the same ludicrous pretext, was expected anytime since November 2005, by anybody lucid or honest enough to face the prospect. And of course this time it's worse if not in scale, at least in intensity as the emboldened "youths" found little serious resistance from SuperSarko's Republican Guard:
Police unions worry about the level of violence recorded these past two days. "Tonight, we reached a new level of violence. We're getting close to a disaster by asserting the use of firearms against the Police forces" said Unsa, [Police officers union -- DF]. For Synergie [another Police union -- DF] the police was "confronted with scenes of urban guerilla" during the clashes. "A new line was crossed with the use against them of weapons, including shotguns."
It can, and will get worse. They didn't bring out the AK-47 from the projects' cellars yet. Police unions again:
An alarming situation, according to the officers on the field. "We've crossed a new level in urban violence explosion" says Patrice Ribeiro "Now, it must be called insurrection". David Barbas, of the SNOP, [Again, Police union -- DF] speaks of "urban guerilla". "Our colleagues in the field are stunned, they're facing super organized youths, very mobile and prepared for anything. It's a very hot situation, they [the officers in the field -- DF] really have the feeling that they're out to kill cops".
Emphasis on super organized, very mobile and prepared, mine. Anybody wants to take a guess as to how those so-called poor, disaffected wretched of the Earth managed to get organized? Hint: it starts with an "I", and ends with "slam".
"The riots started much faster and with more savagery than in 2005" confirms Synergie "the youths were ready, and only waiting for a pretext to break and loot everything."
No shit, Sherlock. Hate to say "told you so", but you know, told you so.
What's changing as well compared to 2005, is the level of young delinquents armed. On the 82 policemen wounded in Villiers-le-Bel Monday night, nearly half of them were by buckshot. "Delinquents in these suburbs increasingly use weapons. At first, it was to commit their exactions, then to fight with other gangs. Now they're using them against police forces."
There have been reports of far worse weapons than shotguns in les banlieues, namely assault rifles and bazookas used by those pesky "gangs of delinquents" in armored car robberies, known to be a quick and easy way to finance Jihad. Consider yourself lucky that those who have them are not settled on a full scale insurrection yet, and that you only have to face kids with BB guns for now.
SNOP intends to ask the Ministry of Interior to quickly provide riot-control gear, including rubber bullet weapons, for an appropriate counter-offensive.
Brilliant. They're picking at you with shotguns, you answer with rubber bullets. Way to go Inspector Clouseau. If that doesn't work, you can still have a go at them with feather dusters and colorful language(8).
Talking about French officials who really need to get a clue, I'm happy to report that French Prime Minister François Fillon still has not found any, but will certainly work on getting one now that he figured out all by himself, that "those who shot at the policemen are criminals".
Boy, am I glad the French state steals a sizeable part of my income for this guy's paycheck.
Sarkozy, from China, pulled a Chirac by asking "everybody to calm down". Hey, your kung-fu style no good.
He's back, and I expect a Sarkozy Surge anytime now. Possibly more racket of the law abiding citizen, as his great feat during the Fall 2005 France Jihad Tour was to announce and implement a dramatic augmentation of the number of speed cameras. We shall see.
I hear many of my fellow French men (and read it in some of the comments on the articles linked here) asking for the army to be sent in the suburbs. The French do indeed have a long history and a great tradition of sending the French army against the French people — some malicious Anglo-Saxon minds would jest that it's only when they fight themselves that the French stand a chance of victory in any armed struggle(9) — however, I find rather unlikely that the French state will send the army when it asks its police force to "remain in their vehicule in order not to provoke [the youths'] anger".
And then of course, that's assuming that France still has an army anyway.