Existing Users: Because of an update to the forum software you will need to reset your password. Please use the "Forgot?" link on the sign in form to do so. If that doesn't work, send me an email at feedback@forzaminardi.com and I'll sort you out!

Paris IS Burning

The Krauts did not have the balls to do it but our over zealous extremist buds seem to have no problem lighting the place off.

They keep talking about curfews but they can't even seem to get that right.

A nation of shopkeepers if you ask me.



  • I'm getting tired of watching riots, I say give the cops use of any force they deem acceptable, bust some heads if neccesary, or deport any one caught during the riots.

    Now of course getting down to the root cause of why these immigrants are rioting and rectifying the problem would be a better solution, but seeing as the French have failed at this, they at least need to stop the mass destruction of property.

    Was watching the riots in Argentina, a bunch of morons burning shops, etc. I think the cops should have been more forceful in protecting so many peoples livlihoods in the financially troubled nation.

  • What's happening in Paris is just the beginnig.
    May be a historical moment: the invasion Muslims are making of Europe and North America starts showing the fists, because they are now so many they can do this. The passive invasion with annexed multiplication starts to move into an active attitude.
    And if we do not manage to stop them there will be more, more and more in the future.

    The situation is very worrying, I live in a Muslim country and I know them. They have no the least intention to integrate themselves, and in 25-30 years they might start to try to impose their obscurantism to us in our countries.

    I can't understand how most of our politicians seems not to be understanding this.
  • I'm not against muslims but they do belong in their own countries unless they are really intelligent or specialise in jobs which are vacant in other countries.
  • What about the white British people that have converted to moslem??? where do they belong?
  • i'd say this has very little to do with religion, just a bunch of unemployed teens looking for a riot. similar stuff happened in south central LA in the early 90s
  • i'd say this has very little to do with religion
    Jeez - I must have imagined a piece of footage where a "disenfranchised youth" was ranting on and on about it being a jihad.
  • let's not start this again.

    there are white people who are agressive as much as there are black.

    there are catholics who can be evil as much as there can be muslims.

    i agree with forzaminardi...

  • always nice to press things like that into a topical drawer such as "muslims are baaaaad".

    maybe some of those educationally subnormal, unemployed teens think themselves it is a jihad (probably not even knowing what the word actually means) but the fact is, they wouldn't be wasting their time on a "jihad" if they had a nice job a loft conversion and a pension scheme.

    the suburbs of paris are a place without jobs, in some areas they don't even have a job centre. pretty much like compton in the early 90s. back then it meant bye bye Bush Sr. now it's bye bye Chiraq.

    I can't remember Bush Sr. getting in there with an iron fist, all he did was drive (well I guess he was driven) his armoured limo through the boulevards of south central at high speed without stopping. what a twat.

    I can't believe you guys fail to see the parallels between the two cases. back then it was the "killing" of Rodney King, now it is those two French kids who had a volontary electrocution.

    Unfortunately the corollary of this uprising will be that French people will get even more racist.

    no i'm not a socialist.
  • Only time will tell but my money is backing the "There is more to this than just a bunch of hopped up kids/mob mentality yadda yadda" theory.

    My recommendation to JC - send in the Legion. Fixed bayonets.
  • I think we're going through a point in religious history whereby the Muslims are 'crusading' - much the same as Christians did in the early centuries. Unfortunately, Christianity went through such a phase at a time when travel was by foot or horse, weapons were not as advanced, etc. Fast forward to 2005, and we look to be in quite a bit of shit!
  • *applause for RJ*
  • Dito

    (nice to see that there is some civilisation left in the old world ;))
  • Civilsation has to be the key.

    I do believe that the world is better educated then ever before although, the increasing billions of uneducated need to be given opportunities to learn.

    While some leaders (too many in fact of the current crop) are increasing the divide between the rich and the poor, there is a majority of people who want neither Islamic extremism nor ultra rightism.

    Many would support "conservative" views if that represented fair, civilised living for the world community.

    However, when that is characterised by people who want to proclaim a right to be above international law and conventions, who consistently represent their opponents as evil, and themselves as virtue, even when they themselves emply the most dastardly of weapons.

    Note how the "enemy" is always represented as maniacal fanatics who wreak carnage on innocent bystanders, while the "forces of democracy" simply attack enemy stations with "bombs". There is little difference between daisy-cutter bombs, mines and phosphorus weapons and the devices employed by insurgents. They all inflict terrible injury and civilian toll.

    Leaders need to unequivocally condemn and step away from torture, which history has shown only leads to torturers becoming more and more depraved monsters, and submit themselves to civilised standards and controls.

    The world will support decent leaders who offer a fair alternative to extremism. If they don't, we will have the future we deserve.

    If anyone wants to debate torture, please feel free to do so, but don't start with half baked ideas like Cheney's or Bush's.

    Be prepared to show that it works in a civilised world. Don't give that stupid argument about a ticking nuclear bomb that anti-torture laws would prevent interrogators from roughing up a prime suspect. In that case, no-one is interested in the laws that may be used against them in coming weeks or months. We don't need public proclamatiosn of the right to do whatever it takes, .... we need commitment to civilised instruments like the Geneva Convention.

    Fighting extremists without building consensus among the majority will perpetuate war or possible ultimate destruction.

    The changing of emphasis to building a fair world with recalcitrants subjected to fair and open justice might just work.

    [Edited on 10/11/2005 by Dr_Spin]
  • Thats all fine and good Doc but here is an update.

    The riots have been going on for over 2 weeks now and the French have not surrendered - I think that is a new modern record.

    However, if things continue to get worse there is talk of asking the Germans to come back.
  • Well said Doc.
  • Hey - mine was pretty funy too!
  • That you are 'funy' is well known bij all of us.... ;)

    And there is more hope:

    the French can't surrender in Iraq !!
  • Well I can't accept spontaneous civil agression that goes on like this one has. As far as the similarity to the LA riots is concerned, sure it's fairly obvious that social and economic disenfranchisement is at the core. Don't try to tell me that it isn't being exploited, and its longeivity extended by those with a destabilising agenda though, for goodness sake.

    Now try this: In recent times a lot of folks from countries in South Eastern Europe, The Middle East, and the Asian Sub-Continent, a great number of whom are Moslem by faith, have moved to Western Countries. Presumably, they do this to establish what they will believe from their outside looking in, to be a better life for themselves and their families. All quite laudable. Now do these folks take a look around and say to themselves, "well if I'm gonna have what they have, I better start learning some lessons"? No, of course not. They establish enclaves and try to recreate the atmosphere of where they come from. Then, then they get crook that things haven't magically improved for them. As Manlio said elswhere, they will never assimillate; to which I would add, because they are so effing stupid.

    Anyone who thinks that a collision is not comming between Islam and everybody else is suffering from Neville Chamberlain syndrome.

    Personally, I can't stand any religions, but religion aint really the issue here. It is Islam as a way of life exclusive to and intolerant with any other way of life, and the recently (and tragically, falsely) enhanced confidence of Islamics that will cause a violent social adjustment.

    As usual nothing will done until after a lot of serious killing has taken place.
  • Anyone who thinks that a collision is not comming between Islam and everybody else is suffering from Neville Chamberlain syndrome.
    I would have said Quizling myself....
    As usual nothing will done until after a lot of serious killing has taken place.
    I'm starting to like you Lease.
  • I agree, Lease.

    And it will take a lot of killing.

    But while the killing is going on there has to be an attractive alternative (I hesitate to use the word "light" as that term is usually hijacked by the religious).

    This current war is different from WW1 or WW2 where the vanquished leader surrenders and the conquerer takes over.

    Why? Why? because your fighting lots of cells, which are born and evolve out of perceived injustice.

    That's why making your "justice" much more universally appealing than the "justice" of the various insurgent cells and their host communities' is so essential.

    As the US has so tragically shown, you only need a few cases of bad actions and bad attitudes to fall from grace and be seen in the same mould as the enemy.

    I don't agree with everything McCain says, but he's absolutely right on his campaign to restore integrity in interrogations, and provide the standard necessary for US forces to succeed.

    Forget the "intelligence" from the tortured. It is worthless to start with and coming from torturers becomes dangerous misinformation.

    And putting fear of capture into insurgents (if that is even possible) can only increase the risk of suicide bombers, not lessen it.

  • Wow, I think I may be agreeing with Dr. Spin Lease and Emmett all ont he same thread
  • It's a first for Minardi fans! :)

    Are we getting old, or is it unity in the face of adversity?

    Anyway, it's Friday night here shortly an I have to decide which pub to go to for a beer. Invitations to both the M Bar and G Spot.

    Decisions, decisions! So much opportunity, so little time.

  • And now Al Qaeda attacked Jordania with the reason that the Jordans are friends with the western enemy !!!!
    They are getting crazier by the day !!!:spank::rolleyes:
  • The US still hasn't settled the torture issue!

    This is a key reason why the War on Terror continues to go badly, from bad to wose in fact.

    I am sorry to harp on this, but it is affecting OUR world, and the world just needs to tell Bush and Co that they're wrong and have to change or get out.

    Fox News isn't my favourite source, but today they printed an article on views of war vets, that's worth reading.

    Make up your own minds:

    War Vets Group Calls For Ban on Torture
    Saturday, November 12, 2005
    By Greg Simmons

    WASHINGTON — As the political battle over how to interrogate terror suspects grows, a Washington-based advocacy group of former military members used the Veterans Day holiday to call on the Bush administration to further probe reports of detainee abuses during the War on Terror.

    "We're not talking about frat party hijinks here. We're talking about torture, and in some cases, we're talking about murder," Veterans For Common Sense Executive Director Charles Sheehan-Miles said during a press conference Friday.
    "These aren't acts that are being carried out by Saddam Hussein's regime. These aren't acts that are being carried out by Cuba or the KGB. ... These are acts that are being carried out in the name of the United States of America. ... Torture puts our own troops at risk," said Sheehan-Miles, who is also a Gulf War veteran.

    Sheehan-Miles said his group — which has publicly opposed some American tactics used in the War on Terror, including President Bush's policy of preemptive action — is seeking an independent panel, similar to the Sept. 11 commission probing intelligence failures surrounding the 2001 attacks, that would investigate abuses by U.S. forces in interrogating detainees and clear the name of United States.

    Bush has consistently said the use of torture or cruel and inhumane treatment goes against U.S. policy.

    "We are gathering information about where the terrorists may be hiding. We are trying to disrupt their plots and plans. Anything we do to that effort, to that end, in this effort, any activity we conduct is within the law," Bush said earlier this week. "We do not torture."

    The veterans who spoke Friday decried a lack of U.S. actions after abuses have been uncovered at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, as well as reports of others in Afghanistan.

    Some of the former military officers and enlisted members said they personally had witnessed an increase in violence due directly to the reports of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, where military police photographed their abuse of prisoners and sexual humiliation.

    The veterans said that after many missteps, and as word began to filter through Iraq about Abu Ghraib, intelligence sources quickly began drying up as violence spiked.
    Dave DeBatto, a former Army intelligence officer, said he participated in thousands of interrogations that did not use torture, and they were still productive.

    "We never tortured anybody. We never laid hands on anybody. In fact, that's the cardinal rule in interrogation," DeBatto said.

    From March through June 2003, DeBatto said, "We got a lot of intelligence," including one of the 55 "playing cards" — a listing of the most-wanted Iraqis — as well as weapons caches and secret police hideouts.

    But in mid-June, he said intelligence-gathering activities changed, and the Iraqi people changed, too.
    "People didn't want to do it. I mean they were already afraid of being marked as a traitor and being assassinated by talking to us. Now they had to be afraid of us," DeBatto said.
    Frank Ford, who said he was a counterintelligence officer in Iraq, said he saw a sharp decrease in the ability to gather intelligence after a U.S. airstrike hit a wedding in 2004. Before the bombing, he said his group was receiving more than 100 walk-in sources a day. Afterward, it soon trickled to zero and attacks against his group escalated.

    Garrett Repenhagen, who was a sniper in Operation Iraqi Freedom, said when U.S. forces first marched on Baghdad, there was a willingness by Iraqis to surrender, but he watched that erode and blamed it on mistreatment by American forces.

    Repenhagen said his group fired on an Iraqi force that soon dwindled to one Iraqi fighter, who refused to give up and continued firing. The U.S. forces had to kill that fighter.
    "They would rather die than end up in Abu Ghraib," Repenhagen said. "It strikes fear into the Iraqi people."
    Veterans for Common Sense also supports a new proposal that would ban cruel or inhumane treatment of detainees.
    Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has reinvigorated the battle against tough interrogation tactics used in military investigations with an amendment that would ban cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment of any prisoner in U.S. custody, including military prisoners, enemy combatants and those under control of the CIA. McCain was tortured while a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

    McCain's bill also would require all Defense Department officials to follow the Army Field Manual. McCain says the amendment is necessary to protect the country's image as well as soldiers fighting overseas.

    The Bush administration opposes McCain's amendment because it believes the language will hamper interrogators' abilities to glean potentially important national security information from terror suspects. Bush has threatened a veto over the bill.

    The Pentagon also released a directive on interrogation this week banning torture and the use of dogs to intimidate witnesses. Defense Department officials said the directive is a restatement of standing policies.

    McCain's bill has gained traction, first being added to the defense appropriations bill in October by a 90-9 vote, and then to the defense authorization bill this month.
    "What we're doing now is killing us, literally, and our image around the world," McCain told FOX News in an interview this week. "The American — the people of this world think that we sanction torture. We can't do it. It ought to be against the law."

    When asked if the president should have an exemption in the measure that allows the use coercive techniques when it's of the utmost importance to America's national security, McCain argued that that would lead to misuse of the provision.
    "The fact is that if we carve out an exemption, we knows what happens to exemptions throughout history. That exemption will be used with abandon," the senator said, adding that Congress will override any White House attempt to include such a carve-out. "Torture does not work, and that's another aspect of this. It doesn't work."
    Sec. 2340. Definitions
    As used in this chapter--
    (1) ``torture'' means an act committed by a person acting under
    the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or
    mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to
    lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical
    (2) ``severe mental pain or suffering'' means the prolonged
    mental harm caused by or resulting from--
    (A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of
    severe physical pain or suffering;
    (B) the administration or application, or threatened
    administration or application, of mind-altering substances or
    other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or
    the personality;
    (C) the threat of imminent death; or
    (D) the threat that another person will imminently be
    subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the
    administration or application of mind-altering substances or
    other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or
    personality; and
    (3) ``United States'' includes all areas under the jurisdiction
    of the United States ...
    (see: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=browse_usc&docid=Cite:+18USC2340)
    Sec. 2340A. Torture
    (a) Offense.--Whoever outside the United States commits or attempts
    to commit torture shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more
    than 20 years, or both, and if death results to any person from conduct
    prohibited by this subsection, shall be punished by death or imprisoned
    for any term of years or for life.
    (b) Jurisdiction.--There is jurisdiction over the activity
    prohibited in subsection (a) if--
    (1) the alleged offender is a national of the United States; or
    (2) the alleged offender is present in the United States,
    irrespective of the nationality of the victim or alleged offender.
    (c) Conspiracy.--A person who conspires to commit an offense under
    this section shall be subject to the same penalties (other than the
    penalty of death) as the penalties prescribed for the offense, the
    commission of which was the object of the conspiracy.
    (see: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=browse_usc&docid=Cite:+18USC
  • The Parisian provocateur

    Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy fueled the riots by insulting France's impoverished youth. Is he also their best hope for change?

    By Ullrich Fichtner

    Nov. 15, 2005 | On Oct. 27, at 6:12 p.m., when two boys named Ziad Benna and Bouna Traoré were electrocuted in a power substation as they were fleeing from the police in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, Nicolas Sarkozy, 50, was being driven through the immaculate rolling hills of Lorraine.

    He had been on the road since early that morning, and by evening his motorcade of slate-gray limousines was winding its way through one of the year's last summerlike days. Sarkozy had toured a factory near Metz and given a speech at a cultural center in Freyming-Merlebach -- both part of his grand plan to become France's president.

    As the French interior minister made his way through the eastern French countryside, there was little indication that violent riots would soon erupt throughout France. This despite the fact that Sarkozy had been quoted in Le Monde only two days earlier as saying that 9,000 police vehicles -- an average of 20 to 40 a night -- had been torched in France since January. The death of an 11-year-old boy caught in the crossfire between warring suburban drug gangs had been on the public's mind for weeks, especially after Sarkozy's insensitive remark, meant for the mourning father of the child, that many of the suburbs needed "to be cleaned up with a pressure washer."

    Sarkozy was driven to Pont-à-Mousson. The small town's largest auditorium had been reserved for his appearance -- a thousand-seat facility on the edge of an industrial area and adjacent to discount supermarkets Aldi and Intermarché. The region's dignitaries had assembled on the stage to welcome the honored guest from Paris, some even wearing ceremonial garb complete with sashes in the colors of the French flag.

    The event was being sponsored by the UMP, France's conservative ruling party, which had been established three years ago as a platform for the reelection of French President Jacques Chirac. It has, though, since strayed from its original mission. Within a year, Sarkozy became chairman and grabbed control of the party -- or "movement" as the party itself would have it -- and with his charisma has already managed to recruit 60,000 new members since January. His entrance into the auditorium was nothing short of triumphant.

    At approximately 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 27 -- just as Sarkozy was giving his speech in faraway Lorraine -- the first car was being set on fire in Clichy-sous-Bois, 350 kilometers away in Paris. The fire began near a concrete housing project called Chêne-Pointu -- and a process began that would soon yield television images depicting street scenes in the country's most impoverished suburbs that could just as easily have transpired in places like Baghdad, Lagos or Port-au-Prince. In his speech, Sarkozy spoke informally and effusively about the values of the French republic. He had no idea how soon these values would be called into question.

    "It cannot be, my friends, that the grandchildren of the first generation of immigrants are not as well-integrated as their grandparents," Sarkozy told his audience. "We must bring an end to the division of our country, we must put an end to this talk about real and inauthentic Frenchmen, and we must wake up after 30 years of failed policies. Today, anyone who wants to be French is a Frenchman, no matter how long he has been in the country, and no matter where he came from."

    The speech was classic Sarkozy. Indeed, he delivers any one of endless variations on the same speech whenever he appears. He seems to have memorized about a dozen passages, each on a different topic, and has become adept at configuring and reconfiguring these passages to suit his needs and his audiences, constructing a platform that defies all labels.

    There are passages in Sarkozy's speeches that could easily have been uttered by a communist, passages in which he demands what he calls a "rupture" and an open, just society, one in which 10 percent of households are no longer permitted to enjoy 40 percent of the country's wealth.

    And when he gets agitated over the barriers faced by the children of blue-collar workers and immigrants, over their lack of access to the "social elevator," over their being forced to do their homework in stairwells because their parents' apartments are too small to accommodate a desk, he sounds like a left-leaning socialist.

    But then, when justifying his brutal deportation policies -- when he asks why it should be a human rights violation to deport a Senegalese to Senegal, when he urges the police to engage in merciless repression, when he ridicules social work as pointless -- he can sound as if he were speaking to a meeting of the ultra-right-wing National Front led by Jean-Marie Le Pen.

    In short, when Sarkozy speaks, it's difficult to tell whether he is politically to the left or the right. This lack of political identification makes each new paragraph in his speeches sound like fresh, fascinating politics, like an adventure and an outrageous yearning for democratic debate.

    Anyone who hears Sarkozy speak for the first time is overwhelmed by his talent as a speaker, and those who hear him for the 10th time still want to hear the latest rhetorical trick up his sleeve. Sarkozy's most impressive trick is that the moment he leaves the stage, he seems to have provided the perfect answer for every significant question. But, somehow, all the significant questions remain unanswered.

    By the 11th day of the riots, when the violence had reached a climax and when the government had not yet declared a state of emergency, youth were on the rampage in 300 cities and towns, and well over a thousand vehicles were going up in flames on a nightly basis. The rioters were demolishing nursery schools, city halls, fire stations, schools, post offices and social agencies, beating passing motorcyclists with sticks and hurling hammers and rocks and Molotov cocktails at anything in uniform.

    And all the while they were chanting slogans, voicing their hatred for Sarkozy. His rhetoric, far from calming the situation, only inflamed their rage, rage directed at Sarkozy's "pressure washing" remark, at the logic behind his idea of scouring the suburbs, and at his ill-chosen use of the word "scum," shortly before the riots broke out, to describe the "voyous," the petty criminals, rogues and hoodlums of the impoverished suburbs, an insult he repeated on prime-time television as recently as last Thursday evening.

    Sarkozy has been surfing his way through the nights of the riots like a character in a fairy tale. Long before a tired and clueless Chirac addressed the issue, and long before Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin began reading carefully prepared statements from small pieces of paper, Sarkozy had made a point of keeping a high profile from the very beginning, appearing at every flashpoint, every battlefield.

    He has been rushing through the country by helicopter, a small man in an open-collared shirt, his shoulders too wide for his short body, his face a reflection of the seriousness of the situation. He finds encouraging words for police officers and firemen, and comforting words for victims of the violence. His supporters adore him for his hands-on approach, for his simple, clear words, and for his addresses to a France "that gets up early in the morning and works hard," a France he is intent on convincing "that the government is standing watch," that the republic will prevail, even over a crisis of this magnitude.

    But the French republic is more unsettled than it has been in a long time. France's great crisis comes at a time when its presidential system is weakened, an old, sick man is at the helm, and the system's frailties are painfully obvious. The country is paying the price for eternally treating politics as an elegant game of intrigue, as a series of scuffles among groups and subgroups losing themselves in one stratagem after the next, clamoring for the favor of a king they now call president.

    When the Germans speak of being weary of politics, they generally have no idea of the dramatic extent to which this phenomenon has ballooned in France. Hardly a week goes by without the announcement of new programs for immediate implementation, without new talk about major reform projects, without new promises of social reform. The riots of the past weeks alone have revealed the shortcomings of almost 30 years of celebrated urban development and social projects.

    Ever since the late 1970s, when it became clear that the vast impersonal housing projects on the outskirts of France's major cities were becoming breeding grounds of dissatisfaction, governments of every political stripe have promised solutions, presented action plans and formed commissions. The laws and papers on this issue are legion, and French politicians have showered the suburbs with construction projects, social workers and varying levels of police supervision. The situation, though, hasn't changed a bit.

    Describing the situation itself is easy enough: In the vast majority of cases, someone with a name like Mustafa or Samir will not attend good schools in France, will not receive reasonable job training and, in the end, will remain unemployed. He will grow up in a crowded, low-income apartment building, and even as a child he will become intimately acquainted with every conceivable human ill. As an adult, he will have trouble finding an apartment, he will constantly be asked for identification papers by brusque police officers, and he will experience humiliation over and over -- despite his French papers and despite his pride in being a French citizen.

    France must face the awful question of whether its society, despite the grand ideals behind the blue, white and red colors of its flag, has fallen prey to a day-to-day, matter-of-fact racism. The country's principled national motto, "Liberté, égalité, fraternité" ("Freedom, equality and brotherhood"), is suddenly being undermined by other, more disreputable -- and long ignored -- voices. Le Pen's success on the right wing, it seems, was not merely an accident, but rather a serious political message delivered by a large chunk of the electorate.

    It is only against this background that Nicolas Sarkozy makes sense. And it is only against this background that it becomes clear why Sarkozy, with his angry breaches of taboos, is so popular and why he hasn't become a political has-been long ago. When journalists asked him, during his trip through Lorraine whether he was concerned about a gain in support from the right wing, he coolly responded, "Do you question the readers of your paper about their views?"

    Sarkozy does not shy away from difficult questions, nor is he afraid to voice the complaints of the silent majority. To the dismay of the directionless Socialists, Sarkozy acts as both cabinet minister and opposition leader, at times even taking an aggressive stance against his own supporters. He says that his party does not stand behind the administration but is pushing it forward. Sarkozy is a political animal -- and a beast of prey at that.

    That the rioters in France's suburbs are portraying Sarkozy as the devil incarnate is indicative of his love-hate relationship with the French public. It's as if the youth who vilify also want to show him their vulnerabilities. Indeed, Sarkozy -- as becomes evident from talking to ghetto residents -- is the only politician who enjoys even a modicum of respect in France's lost neighborhoods.

    It's as if the Mustafas and Samirs and Bazoubas felt insulted and betrayed by one of their own. As if the interior minister -- himself a well-practiced hooligan, though armed with words instead of stones -- had buried their last hopes with his offensive rhetoric. Sarkozy, said one social worker, is "the only one who even dares set foot in the suburbs these days. The young people like that. But what they don't like is the fact that he, like everyone else, considers them scum and riffraff."

    Sarkozy can only be described using sharp contradictions. During these weeks of unrest, he has played the dual roles of threat and savior. He is, it seems obvious, partly responsible for the outbreak of the riots and for their virulence. By the same token, however, he must be viewed as the only true glimmer of hope, as someone who takes the deep-rooted causes of the crisis seriously and intends to deal with them head-on.

    Sarkozy has been politically ambitious from the start and may well have his sights set on the French presidency. He became a city councilman at 22, a mayor at 28, and cabinet minister at 38. He once said only person can stop him: "Myself."

    But that was long before France's Black November. And it's still too early to say how he will be able to change France -- or whether France will even need Sarkozy anymore. His father was an immigrant from Hungary and his mother the daughter of a Greek physician. But the most challenging segment of his life may lie ahead. Perhaps he will become France's next president in 2007, at 52. Or perhaps he will be just another failed immigrant son.

    Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan.

    - - - - - - - - - - - -

    This article has been provided by Der Spiegel through a special arrangement with Salon. For more from Europe's most-read newsmagazine, please visit Spiegel Online at http://www.spiegel.de/international or subscribe to the daily newsletter.
  • Bernie, I take it your point is that there are laws in the US which define torure as a crime.

    I know that most Americans and most lawyers know and appreciate the reasons why.

    What is not so clear is why the White House is so out of step and apparently unaware of the cost to American endeavours.

  • Anything else we can blame Pres Bush for?
  • Global warming!

    Bird Flu! and

    Premature ejaculation! Sorry viges...

  • I understand that the Frogs are up to 9000 cars torched.

    Pres Bush's fault.
Sign In or Register to comment.