It was very odd to read this entire post. Ralf Goergens used an analogy to describe the present situation in France but in doing so gave the unintended impression, at least to me, that the French rioters have a quasi-legitimate reason to be violent. I don't think that's true.
I also disagree with his conclusion. Showing weakness in the face of public criminal activity is in no way a sensible policy. Ask yourself this: what disincentive did the rioters have to stop their carnage in the first, let's say, seven days? As far as I can see: none. Also, would you rather arrest / shoot and likely kill a rioter or let him burn a synagogue, a school, a fire truck, or multiple cars?
The openly violent areas were simply lawless. Only recently did the French make arrests. Had they been tough from the start, the rioters-in-waiting would have been discouraged. Now the ugly truth is out. The French can't deter large sections of their population. To fight a colony is one thing but to fight your own "countrymen" is civil war.
Update 08:50 PM ET
France holds talks.
Villepin, who cancelled a visit to Canada to tackle the violence, met residents from troubled neighborhoods late on Friday as part of efforts to start a dialogue. He is to publish an action plan for 750 tough districts by the end of the month.
I am sure the rioters are shaking with fear.
No Pasaran provides translation:
French president Jacques Chirac, whose silence astonished certain deputies in his own party received an offer of "aide" from Libyan leader Mouammar Kadhafi, according to Jana, the official Libyan news agency.
How bad could the Libyan "leader" be?
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.