Paris Burns Again

Let's Roast Frankfurters

November 7, 2005

Paris burns, crackling and popping as merrily as a Yule log when England was still Merrie and still English. Moslems prance about setting things alight, cars incinerate briskly, and the police suck their thumbs. Diversity. Oh yes. And more to come.

Time and again these days, national governments let in all sorts of people who belong somewhere else. Pretty soon the country has so many that the government comes to fear them. At that point the problem passes beyond easy solution. So politicians paper over everything, and make concessions to buy a year’s peace. The newcomers breed and increase. By and by the remaining possibilities are acquiescence or civil war.

Which latter, boys and girls, isn’t impossible.

The assiduously courted invasion usually rests on a curious idealism that I find hard to credit in adults. The notion is that we are all just people, brothers under the skin, that all we need is love and understanding, black and white together, kum bah ya; only a few reactionary forces need to be stilled to bring about universal bliss. This happy thought doesn’t surprise me among students in high school. Politicians aren’t.

Has no one noticed that diversity doesn’t work? Putting together peoples with little in common begs for trouble, usually with success. It is the chief source of the world’s bloodshed and enmity.

Look around you. Start with Canada, where the Brits and French detest each other. Drop down to the USA, where black, white, and brown wait uneasily for no one is sure what; the lid is held on by Washington, which acts as a sort of federal Tito. There are Hindus and Moslems in India, Tamils and Sinhalese in Sri Lanka, blacks and whites in South Africa, Moslems and Buddhists in Thailand, Turks and Germans in Germany, Vietnamese and Montagnards in Vietnam, Moslems and animists in the Sudan, Jews and Moslems in Israel, Cambodians and Vietnamese in Cambodia, Protestants and Catholics in Ireland, Indians and Mexicans in Chiapas, Basques and Spaniards in Spain, Indians and Fijians in Fiji.

But what have facts to do with foreign relations? It is much more entertaining to base policy on adolescent theories and see what happens.

When the anticipated melding fails and riots ensue, the response is to try to buy, or legislate, the impossible. Invariably the cry arises that the government hasn’t done enough for the indigent arrivals. We must spend more money on welfare, on schools, on special programs to raise the unraisable and mix the immiscible. It is our fault really. We need to change our outmoded attitudes, require classes on ethnic sensitivity, celebrate the culture of the new incompatibles. We will have National Islamic History Week, and children will make mosques from construction paper. That will fix everything.

Instead the problem gets worse. The majority population becomes angrier, but has no recourse. The government is against them. The immigrants can loot and burn, and nothing is likely to happen to them: Punishing their misbehavior would engender more violence, which the government wants to avoid at any cost. If the citizenry defend themselves, as for example by shooting arsonists, the government will put them in prison. Citizens have much to lose; the malefactors do not.

A spring is thus wound.

Moslems in particular are poison. A failed civilization, Islam sends its unsuccessful, thus double failures, to Europe. They gravitate to slums because they can do nothing else. Cohesive, angry, ineffectual, with no loyalty to their new home, they neither flourish nor assimilate. Resentment grows among them. And so the cities burn.

Which is interesting. In the United States, the hostility of Islam is often attributed to American support of Israel. Beyond doubt, there is truth in this. It does not explain the riots in Paris, the papered-over violence in other European countries, the Islamic terrorism in Russia and in southern Thailand, the anti-Christian fighting in East Timor, or the terror in Kashmir. Moslems are trouble.

Immigration is not prima facie a bad idea. It depends on who you let in. Some immigrants can assimilate. If for example the United States allows the entry of moderate numbers of reasonably educated Chinese, nothing untoward will happen. The Chinese share such crucial European traits as studiousness and respect for law. In fact they are superior to the white population in both respects. Consequently they arouse little hostility and not a little admiration. They may congregate for a generation or so in Chinatown, but the term designates a place where a lot of Chinese live, not a hostile ghetto.

Other immigrants cannot assimilate. Most especially practitioners of Islam cannot prosper in Europe. Watch.

Incomprehensibly, permitting their entry has been a deliberate decision. Europe could have kept these swarming newcomers out by simply not letting them in. No visa, no work permit, instant deportation. It didn’t. Now France and Holland are on the edge. Amsterdam could be the next Paris. England, once a delightful land of safety and civility, becomes in parts a North African slum. I have no sympathy. They made the choice. But why did they do it?

For that matter, if Washington wanted to end the illegal immigration of Latinos, it could do so in a paragraph: Establish a fine of five thousand dollars a day for employing illegals or renting them accommodations, half of it to go to the person turning the offender in; require proof of citizenship for welfare in any form, or use of the schools; allow police to demand a green card at their discretion; put the army along the border with orders to shoot. It won’t happen, of course. I don’t care, but let’s not be surprised at the consequences.

What the French need to do, but won’t, is to send the army into the Islamic slums, round up the whole lot, and put them ashore on the beaches of North Africa with a box lunch and a coupon for three free Dunkin Donuts. It isn’t a pretty answer. It’s a lot prettier than what seems to be coming down the pike.

Ah, but there is the little matter that the enlisted ranks of the French army are heavily Moslem. Again, the more you let in, the less you can do about them. For France, I’d guess that the war is over, though the fighting just begins.

People and governments by nature temporize, avert their eyes from forthcoming catastrophe, eschew the needful but unpleasant, and do not readily believe that the status quo can abruptly change. But it can, and does, and is. Meanwhile absurd intellectuals write pointless articles in glossy magazines. Soon it will be too late for civilized answers.

Then what? That is the question.