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November 3, 2005
Muslims Try To Outdo Von Choltitz

As the Nazis started falling back in France, Hitler devised an insane plan to burn Paris to the ground before any possible withdrawal. He put General von Choltitz in charge of the city, who stalled Hitler for as long as possible before surrendering the city intact to invading Free French forces. The German general could have easily destroyed major parts of historical Paris, and nearly sacrificed both his life and those of his family in keeping the City of Light intact.

What von Choltitz preserved, Paris' own Muslim population appears intent on destroying now. For a full week, night has brought riots and destruction to the City of Light, while the French government seems paralyzed and unsure about how to stop it. It started when French police investigated a robbery in an area known to law enforcement as a "no-go" area, one in which even police dare not intrude on Islamist territory:

President Jacques Chirac warned yesterday of a "dangerous situation" and the prime minister, Dominique de Villepin, called an emergency cabinet meeting after a wave of serious urban unrest spread to more than a dozen towns and housing estates around Paris.

"The law must be firmly applied in a spirit of dialogue and respect," Mr Chirac told ministers. "An absence of dialogue and an escalation of disrespect will lead to a dangerous situation. There cannot be no-go areas in the republic." ...

The unrest was triggered by last Thursday's accidental death in Clichy-sous-Bois, five miles from Aulnay, of two African teenagers who were electrocuted while hiding in a power substation from what they believed, apparently wrongly, was police pursuit.

The riots typify French reaction to Islamism, and spring from a European approach to the Islamic wave of migration into Europe. After WWII, the French built so-called "sink estates" for the workers they encouraged to emigrate to help rebuild the nation, as did Germany. Most of these workers came from Turkey and colonies in North Africa. Instead of planning for their integration into society, however, the French allowed these communities to grow and fester in economic and social isolation. After two generations, the sink estates have proven to be nothing more than preplanned ghettoes, and the workers have no future except as second-class citizens of the nations they helped rebuild from devastation.

Even absent radical Islamism, the French should have foreseen the disaster that has presently come upon them, and had a plan to handle it. After 9/11, the French should have responded proactively to counter the push for French Muslims to join efforts with al-Qaeda and other kinds of terrorist groups. Whether through fatalism or Gallic arrogance, the French has refused to acknowledge the danger -- and now the economic frustration has joined with the religious lunacy of Islamofascism to turn parts of one of the capitals of the West into little more than Fallujah-sur-Seine.

The police have long avoided patrols in these areas, preferring to leave the Muslims there to their own devices -- and they have understood the message: France will not fight for her own territory. Even responsible Muslims have no choice under those circumstances to work within the power structure that arises in these ghettoes, thanks to French surrender. The result has not been rioting, as understood by the press, but rather a series of running battles between France's belated response to the violence and proto-terrorists using the same hit-and-run field tactics seen by Coalition forces in Fallujah and other cities in Iraq. The only weapons they lack are explosives for IEDs, and so the fatality rate has stayed low -- at least thus far.

The French still dither when they should act instead, sending the message even more clearly that they will not act in their own defense. The Muslim Uprising will soon become an al-Qaeda rallying point; not an intifada, as some have surmised, but an actual military front in AQ's war on the West. They intend to turn the sink estates into holy land and ensure that their bloody rule cannot be dislodged. If the French do not act quickly, they may soon find out what happens when fascists without the humanity of a von Choltitz will do to their beloved Paris once they have enough power.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 3, 2005 5:20 AM

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