After 11 plus days, the French government sent in the Gendarmerie (Military Police) and enforced curfews…and thus, the riots appear to be abating. Sending in the military-police and curfew – as I mentioned at GlobalGuerillas – was something the French Government should have done during day 2 or 3.
The rivalry between Interior Minister Sarkozy and PM De Villepan could have led the government to delay action to make Sarkozy look bad. Or simply, the French government feared that such measures would escalate the issue. Either way, the real issue (and it always has been the issue) has been the consequences of the riots.
[the] street violence is partly a lark, because the kids know the cops are not going to use lethal force, and anyone who gets caught will, at worst, do maybe a year in the slammer (for burning cars looting stores). The drug gangs encourage the violence as a way to intimidate the cops. When the violence dies down, the gang bosses can threaten the local cops with a revival, if the cops do not back off (when it comes to the drug trade).
There are some Islamic radicals running around in all this, but they are a minority. The Moslem kids like to talk about respect and payback, but very few see this as a religious war. It’s become a sport, with various groups competing to cause the most destruction. Text messaging, Internet bulletin boards and email made it possible for the rioters to stay in touch and compare notes. The media coverage also encouraged the violence, giving the kids some positive (for them) feedback.
But now, nearly two weeks of street violence have thoroughly embarrassed the government so much that curfews and more arrests have taken some of the joy out of these Autumn antics. But it’s not jihad, and never has been. (Emphasis Mine)
I think I have empathized points similar to StrategyPage’s in my postings. The real question is will the Paris Riots give haste to the raise of the Muslim Street? Will it push France to concede more power to the Islamic Councils at these banlieue. Or will it simply fade from memory?
Update from CounterTerrorism Blog:
Most of the rioters and especially the gang leaders are for now secular and very materialistic, but they will most probably join the rank of jihadis within three to five years if nothing is done.
The usual scenario goes like this: either the rioters end up in jail and are easily converted right there to Radical Islam or an imam from the banlieue convinces them to join the Jihad. At first, family, friends and cops find the transformation almost miraculous. From a drug trafficker, alcohol-drinking, girl-chasing individual, the thug becomes religious, even reserved, adopts a quieter lifestyle and no longer gets in trouble with the police. But this is a transfer of violence: instead of burning cars, the youngster focuses his hatred on the West and becomes a jihadi.
It is no coincidence that scores of French citizens are in Iraq fighting coalition troops (at least half a dozen Frenchmen have died in this fashion).
Again, what will happen is partly up to the French Government…