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Thread: French urban rioting (catch all)

  1. #1
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default French urban rioting (catch all)

    Moderator's Note

    Thread title was 'France's internal 'small war' (merged thread) and now 2nd May 2013 changed to French urban rioting (catch all), as distinct from political violence, terrorism etc. There are several threads on France / French matters: a catch all (including CT), the military and specific events. (ends).


    Reuters: French Youths Turn to Web, Cellphones to Plan Riots. Excerpt follows:

    "France's government is policing cyberspace as well as rundown suburbs in the battle to end two weeks of rioting."

    "Young rioters are using blog messages to incite violence and cellphones to organize attacks in guerrilla-like tactics they have copied from anti-globalisation protesters, security experts say..."
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-22-2017 at 09:43 AM. Reason: Add Mod's Note

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    Default Muslim rioters in France?

    "Much of the world's attention over these two weeks has been on the role played by Islam. France is home to some 5m-6m Muslims, one-third of the total in the European Union and almost one-tenth of the country's population. Some French Muslims have been radicalised by such recent events as the September 11th terrorist attacks, the Iraq war (even though France opposed it) and the ban on wearing the Muslim headscarf in state schools (which was imposed in early 2004). Yet the French government has tried harder than many to integrate its Muslims, to create institutions to represent them, to work closely with imams and mosques, and to keep a wary eye on Islamic extremists. In any case, despite claims that the riots are France's intifada, they have not taken on a religious tinge. The rioters have not been the more devout Muslims; indeed, they include many non-Muslims." - The Economist, 10 Nov 05.

    I see this issue being raised repeatedly in the Op-Ed pieces from the news links section of this site. Above is yet another quote on the issue from a well written magazine. This one, as do some others, directly refutes much of the reporting and opinionating in other sources by claiming that the rioting is NOT religiously motivated or based. So what's the opinion of the prestigious and august readership of this board? Religiously motivated or not? Is there an opportunity for Islamists to hijack the situation if it is not originally of their creation? If so, what could they accomplish? I dont see the Islamic Republic of France emerging from all this.
    "The Infantry’s primary role is close combat, which may occur in any type of mission, in any theater, or environment. Characterized by extreme violence and physiological shock, close combat is callous and unforgiving. Its dimensions are measured in minutes and meters, and its consequences are final." - Paragraph 1-1, FM 3-21.8: Infantry Rifle PLT and SQD.

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  3. #3
    DDilegge
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    Default Good Question...

    ...and a complicated one to answer. I am still sorting through the news, op-eds and other research material in order to gain a better understanding. It seems people of many political ideologies can most certainly highjack this event - from neglect and bias towards minorities to Islam is the root cause of today's evil empire to the Islamists who might very well jump on the bandwagon of something they did not directly instigate but may have indirectly influenced.

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    Default Dangerous enabler

    The article states that the anti-globalists used internet technology in the same way to coordinate many of their activities in Seattle and Genoa, and I'm sure elsewhere, so this isn’t entirely new, but I still don’t think we have grasped the potential of this dangerous enabler to facilitate global and regional mass resistance movements.

    While still a novice, I’m reading and reflecting as time permits on complexity theory and networks. This is one area I think Tom and I disagree on, because I think the riots in France are a harbinger of worse to come for Western Europe. What may have been a series of isolated riots in due largely to economic disparity, is now potentially the seed of a semi-radical Muslim movement throughout Western Europe.

    I want to clarify that statement, first I don’t like the use of semi-radical (it is simply expedient), but I don’t think the riots are due to Islamists, but for the most part frustrated main stream Muslims who can’t (or won’t) integrate into their country’s culture and economy. This isolation and economic disparity will obviously create a breeding ground for an insurgency over time, whether the insurgency is in the form of voting blocks, passive action, or violent activities. Currently we have a series of riots that I believe the French will eventually suppress. The riots while disruptive are not the greatest danger, it is the new network, new mass movement, of frustrated European Muslims. I’m sure leaders have emerged over the last few days, and informal groups, that could easily become formal resistance groups. These leaders will likely be approached by Islamists, and they will become increasing sophisticated and globally linked (think globally, act locally).

    Furthermore this problem is not confined to France, as there is potential for this to spread to like minded folks and groups in Germany, Italy, Netherlands, and Spain to name a few. I think the seeds of a new insurgency have been planted and in time these riots will be seen as the genesis of the movement.

    Why we struggle with our intelligence bureaucracy with grossly over classified documents, and stove piped organizations, which prohibit us from seeing the larger picture in a timely manner, the insurgents are moving at the speed of the internet. Who is inside who’s decision cycle?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore
    The article states that the anti-globalists used internet technology in the same way to coordinate many of their activities in Seattle and Genoa, and I'm sure elsewhere, so this isn’t entirely new, but I still don’t think we have grasped the potential of this dangerous enabler to facilitate global and regional mass resistance movements.

    While still a novice, I’m reading and reflecting as time permits on complexity theory and networks. This is one area I think Tom and I disagree on, because I think the riots in France are a harbinger of worse to come for Western Europe. What may have been a series of isolated riots in due largely to economic disparity, is now potentially the seed of a semi-radical Muslim movement throughout Western Europe.
    With the focus on the "Muslim" factor, what hasn't been discussed very much in the news is the significance of the role that youth street gangs have played in the violence. A large factor in the rolling anarchic violence has been competition between gangs to cause more violence than their peers in order to get their turf on television. Most of those arrested so far have been teenagers and petty criminals - not Muslim radicals and bearded fanatics.

    To elaborate on the economic point, in the overall immigrant community, unemployment reaches 40%. Violence within this community has been simmering under the surface for a very long time, with frequent short outbreaks - never really seriously dealt with - until this final massive failure of the French state.

    Also, the burning cars that make such good video are not anything new in France - in the first seven months of this year, before the riots, over 21,000 cars were burned in the country. As bad as the situation really is, sensationalism in reporting still takes precedence over context.

    However, as Bill states, the situation could still prove to be fertile ground for future Jihadists. I believe that most who are - or will be - moving in that direction will not need to be "recruited" so to speak - they will self-refer, using the internet or known acquaintances to make contact. Then there is the danger of spontaneous formation of terror cells among elements of the rioters - fueled by info and terrorist lessons learned readily available online. This is one aspect of "threat migration" that is unique to the information age.

    I've posted this before, but the situation in France makes for excellent context in which to look it over again. I'm speaking of Dr. Sprtzak’s Indicators for Radical Groups at Risk for Terrorism. You'll notice that almost all of them fit in some manner the immigrant groups that we are currently focusing on in France. There are a couple that are currently developing, and the one regarding external influence and manipulation - well, that's the one that has us all concerned right now.
    • The intensity of delegimitization
    • Moral inhibitions and non-violence taboos
    • Previous experience with violence
    • Rational assessment of risks vs opportunities
    • Organizational, financial, and political resources
    • Sense of imminent threat
    • Intergroup competition
    • Age of activists
    • External influence and manipulation
    • Sense of humiliation and need for revenge
    • Presence of violent leaders
    The French government needs to quickly start sorting out, not simply an end to the violence, but an effective long-term solution to the serious social problem it is facing. If it doesn't do this effectively, then it will be facing a internal violence problem of much greater significance.

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore

    While still a novice, I’m reading and reflecting as time permits on complexity theory and networks.
    Networks and Netwars:
    The Future of Terror, Crime, and Militancy

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    Default The other France

    This wa sin yesterday's (27 November) Seattle Times, but the copyright says WaPo. Couldn't find it on the WaPo web site, though...
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...yfrance27.html
    The other France
    By Keith Richburg
    The Washington Post
    WASHINGTON — More than a year ago, when I was assembling a Web site about my experiences as a foreign correspondent, I posted the following entry: "Europe still has not come to grips with the fact that its societies are changing," I wrote. "Europe is becoming more multiracial and multicultural. But black and Asian faces are still underrepresented, on television, in corporate board rooms, and in the halls of national assemblies. It is a contradiction European countries will soon have to address, to avoid the kind of social upheaval America experienced in the 1960s."
    As I watched the teeming Paris suburbs, the banlieues, in flames — and France's neighbors began to fear that the riots could spread to African and Arab communities elsewhere in Europe — those words have sounded surprisingly prescient. But you didn't need clairvoyance to tell that the Paris banlieues were ripe for that kind of social explosion. All you really had to do was open your eyes.
    What I find intrigiuing about it is that Keith Richberg is an African American journalist who grew up in Detroit around the time I did--and he looks at France's current troubles--and possibly the rest of Europe's troubles to come--- through that lens.
    Perhaps I noticed it more than many — this unnatural state of affairs — because I was seeing Paris, and France, through my own prism as a black American reporter covering a country that has always prided itself on being the world's birthplace of human rights and the home of liberté and égalité. And I noticed because many French friends and acquaintances would use the presence of a black American to bemoan the residual racism in the United States, while extolling the virtues of their own model of integration through assimilation — the so-called "republican model." It is a model unique in Europe, and when racial problems did flare, in the Netherlands or in Spain, the French would take comfort in the conviction that they allowed no such diversions: Integration, they maintained, was a success.

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    Interestingly enough, RAND published a paper comparing the assimilation of immigrants in France and America back in July '04. Due to recent events, they've put it back on their homepage:

    Assimilating Immigrants: Why America Can and France Cannot
    The large-scale immigration of Mexicans and other Latin Americans into the United States has stimulated a debate on America’s ability to assimilate them. A parallel debate in Europe, particularly France, concerns the ability of that continent and that nation to assimilate the similar ingress of Muslims from North Africa and elsewhere. This occasional paper uses the history of mass immigrations into the United States to examine the two current streams and the two debates. It concludes that today’s Mexican inflow differs little from past mass immigrations into the United States by the Irish, the Jews, and the Italians and that assimilation should be as successful as in the past. France, however, while it has successfully assimilated a wide variety of individuals, has had no previous mass immigrations, and its current direction is likely to lead to increasing problems. The paper suggests a steady as she goes course for the United States, and some policy changes that may help France cope.

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    The Jamestown Foundation's Terrorism Monitor, 16 Aug 07:

    An Inside Look at France's Mosque Surveillance Program
    France's counter-terrorism strategy is to disrupt terrorist networks before they are able to engage in violent action. Thus far, the strategy has worked since the last terrorist attack on French territory dates back to 1996. In the past few years, despite increased threats emanating from al-Qaeda and the Algerian Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (recently renamed Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb), French intelligence services have successfully thwarted a number of plots and disrupted several cells recruiting French volunteers to fight in Iraq. Since radical mosques have played a critical role in the radicalization process of terrorists in the past, the Renseignements Généraux (RG), the French internal intelligence service, have been monitoring mosques, their clerics and their sermons since the mid-1990s. This article explores the current process of monitoring mosque sermons and assesses the program's strengths and weaknesses....

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    Default Paris is Burning, Yet Again ~

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21978411/

    "The violence was more intense than during three weeks of rioting in 2005, said the official, Patrice Ribeiro. Police were shot at and are facing "genuine urban guerillas with conventional weapons and hunting weapons.
    Dozens of officers injured in Paris-area rioting
    .............
    At least 77 police injured during intense rioting by ‘genuine urban guerillas’
    ..............
    Library set afire
    Among the buildings targeted by the youths was a library, which was set afire.
    .............
    In Sunday's violence, eight people were arrested and 20 police officers were injured -- including the town's police chief, who was beaten in the face when he tried to negotiate with the rioters, police said. One firefighter also was injured. "

    Not the Chief! Where is Napolean's famous whiff of grapeshot when needed most?

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Default

    French hysteria in overdrive yet again.

    I love how these urban 'rebellions' almost never result in any serious injuries or fatalities. Methinks the French have forgotten what a real riot looks like - it looks like this.

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    that's in the Bronx, ain't it? Probably taken after a Knicks loss and with that, I'll give an old fashioned Bronx cheer for the French - drop a few of them rioters with molotovs in their hands and the burning would stop pretty fast

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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    The problems are directly related to social discipline. Take this photo from the April riots in Estonia, where the photographer asks "For those who still don't understand the difference between Chillin' and Hangin' out...well, those face down are chillin' and the others...
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Just Breed

    The problem is the European selfishness that results in low birth rates forcing them to import labor. The solution is for them to breed so that they do not have to import labor. If they do not do this, they need to genuinely try assimilation. . .a dirty word to many of their elitists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by goesh View Post
    that's in the Bronx, ain't it? Probably taken after a Knicks loss and with that, I'll give an old fashioned Bronx cheer for the French - drop a few of them rioters with molotovs in their hands and the burning would stop pretty fast
    1992, Los Angeles.

    As for the "just breed" comment, one should realize that most of these rioters are the children of immigrants from the 1950s-1960s. The only reason they are called "immigrants" at all when they were mostly born in France is because they are nonwhite.

    "Assimilation" would require combating things like this. The French appear to prefer crying wolf over vandalism.
    Last edited by tequila; 11-28-2007 at 09:23 AM.

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    Default Socialist phlegm

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21978411/

    "Sarkozy labels Paris-area riots as ‘unacceptable’"

    "Police speak of no-go zones where they and firefighters fear to patrol."

    Now that's unacceptable, Sarkozy - weeping Jesus! what a neutered leader.

    " Despite decades of problems and heavy state investments to improve housing and create jobs, the depressed projects that ring Paris are a world apart from the tourist attractions of the French capital."

    I guess that makes the poor youth who shoot at cops and injure them and burn buildings and cars the real victims here.

    In the dark ages, phlegm was considered a body humor, one of 4, that caused sluggishness and apathy. Let's keep our fingers crossed that the shooters can be identified and put in therapy and given more Welfare. What else can the French do?

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default A hot summer for France?

    Returning to the serious side for a moment.

    Rioting reported in Grenoble:
    Rioters in France have torched cars and opened fire on police offers during an overnight confrontation in the southeastern French city of Grenoble.
    Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...-shooting.html
    davidbfpo

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    If you had to live in some Parisian hellhole like the 112th arrondisement, you'd be burning cars too.

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    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    "These high-rise neighborhoods, built in the 1950s and 1960s to house a growing population of industrial workers and immigrants, have become near-ghettos where unemployment is high, public services are poor, and resentment boils.

    During the 2005 riots, some 300 buildings and 10,000 cars were burned, while 130 police and rioters were hurt.

    Since then, unrest has flared often after residents have run ins with the police.

    Police and government officials have a lingering fear that the poor suburbs could explode again because the underlying causes – high unemployment, few opportunities, drug trafficking and a sense of exclusion from society – have changed little"

    From the article, underlines are my own. It sounds to me like significant segments of the populace perceive their lot to be one where they have little hope to effect change though legitimate means; where they feel they are treated with disrespect as a matter of status; they cannot receive justice under the law; and likely feel that the government does not represent them or their interests (ie, lacks legitimacy as in regard to them). This is the witch's brew from which most insurgency comes.

    No amount of increased policing (enforcing the rule of law) or increased governmental handouts will likely quell this, and can likely make it worse. The time for COIN is long before these things exceed the capacity of the civil authorities. The government of France must recognize the need to change, and then adjust how it engages and supports these elements of the populace; much as the US Government had to do with the African American populace in the 60s, if they want to avoid sliding deeper into the conditions from which full-blown insurgency can erupt.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-18-2010 at 05:41 PM. Reason: Insert quotes
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