November 6, 2005

Chirac playing his Stay-Out-of-Jail card

The ideological aspect of the war within the French government over dealing with the Muslim riots is interesting: Sarkozy has a dual right-left strategy, involving both a police crackdown and instituting affirmative action for Muslims. Villepin (and Chirac behind him) wants to stay with the neoconnish traditional approach where ethnicity isn't supposed to matter, but is talking up "compassion."

But, as is common in these post-Cold War days, ideology is mostly a facade. A French friend, whose English is less than perfect (but infinitely better than my French) writes:

The situation in French political circles is quite peculiar: the favorite for next presidential elections, Sarkozy, is an enemy of the current President Chirac, who fears that when in power Sarkozy will send him to jail. So Chirac is trying to "kill" him (that's the term used by politicians, they consider themselves as "killers"), and for this is launching Dominique de Villepin in the media. Villepin has made his political career under Chirac, and so is probably implicated in all scandals that could affect Chirac (ex: Oil For Terror): he is a secure ally.

The opposition between both is exaggerated by media on any affair, and for these riots, they are positioning themselves on opposite points. While Sarkozy uses strong words and speak about Republican Law, Villepin is trying to give an image of himself as compassionate, and is willing to give advantages to Muslims.

But actually, these are no more than words.

This seems to be a growing trend of national leaders needing to manipulate their succession to keep from going to jail themselves. This has been standard practice in Mexico for decades, and it's how Putin ended up running Russia. Perhaps it's a good sign that politicians are at least more worried about going to jail these days. But it doesn't feel like a good sign.

A reader writes:

Anyway, a new intellectual consensus will likely emerge on both sides of Atlantic which will recommend the following:

1) Obviously there hasn't been enough multi-culturalism. To increase understanding of Muslims, France needs to import even more of them!

2) There needs to be more welfare, more equality, because that's what rioting youths are angry about!

3) The rioting youths weren't Muslims. Don't you know Islam is a religion of peace?

The Wall Street Journal editorializes that the solution, surprisingly enough, is to cut wages. And the WSJ editors conclude:

"The U.S. experience shows that all immigrants, regardless of race or creed, ultimately respond to the same incentives to embrace their new home. The Muslims of Europe are unlikely to be different."

You see, if the Muslim of Europe were different, that would be a bad thing, and only bad people think bad things might be true.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

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