Skip to comments.PARIS RIOTS (AN E-MAIL FROM A FRIEND)
Posted on 11/06/2005 9:49:36 AM PST by rock58seg
This is an E-mail I recieved today from a friend who has lived in europe quite some time now. He is probably the last of what I would call a true Independent, although most of the time he leans Conservative. He is very credible to me, and has even appeared on various European political shows as a pro U.S. pundit.
This is what he replied when I asked permission to put his article here. (Incidentally he know's me as Tex)
Its a good idea to keep my name out of it. They do have international phone directories with addresses these days. It should be passed on as something I sent you personally, as a friend (i.e. it was not written with public consumption in mind just in case your conservative chat lines do have a wide audience).
Id be interested in how you preface it, i.e. your own view (I suspect we are not that far off on the immigration problem at least something conservatives seem to find more common ground on these days since the neo-con schism.)
I lived in Aulnay sous Bois north of Paris in 1971, with a group of young people from the US, Europe and (one) Japan. Stayed there for a few months after returning from Germany to start work at CBS News, while looking for an apartment in Paris itself. There were lots of Africans (mostly north, but some sub-Saharans) already in the area then, a few of whom once mugged the American girl from our commune as she was walking home from the metro after work, about this time of year coincidentally. Others from our house had occasionally been harassed. This was only a few years after my old neighborhood in Brooklyn went belly up, and rioting in US cities had become commonplace. My warning to the French then (and subsequently to German friends years later when I went to work at RFE in Munich where the so-called Gastarbeiter program was in full bloom) was that they were setting themselves up for the same kind of problems we were having if they didnt get their immigration under control.
When I returned to live in Europe (specifically, Austria) in 1991, I saw just how much major sections of cities I once lived in like Paris and Frankfurt had been turned into ghettos by 3rd world immigrants just like at home. Vienna wasnt so bad, but a right-wing populist politician named Joerg Haider was making tremendous inroads by warning against Austrias complacent immigration policy. In order to combat Haiders growing popularity, the 2 main political parties started tightening up a bit on immigration, while at the same time bemoaning his crude, direct speech. Not long after I returned from Africa, Haiders party became the 2nd most popular in Austria, and formed a coalition government with the main center-right Christian democrats. Upon which demonstrations broke out here and all over Europe, and Chirac and his Belgian counterpart led a movement to isolate Austria diplomatically, a movement which the US government gladly jumped on board. Hungarian immigrant Congressman Tom Lantos Israels self-proclaimed voice in the US congress and the man who would (will) be chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee should the Dems again become the majority, called for a boycott against Austria.
One of Haiders more colorful remarks was that Austria didnt turn back two Turkish invasions of Christian Europe in order to later turn the country over to the Turks through incompetent immigration policies. Ariel Muzicant, the new head of Austrias main Jewish lobbying organization, unlike his mature, discreet, effective and well-liked predecessor, had already embarked on a very public, media savvy campaign to warn that Haiders anti-immigration rhetoric augured a return to Nazi-like conditions here (Haider had previously been bending over backwards to convince Jews he was their friend, despite his softball treatment of some right-wing veteran organizations). The US embassy duly broke off contact with that part of the coalition government. Muzicant on several occasions followed the new US ambassador on her periodic trips to the States, making sure Jewish groups would keep up the pressure against the new Austrian government, a pressure Muzicant felt the Ambassador might be trying to loosen through her direct talks in Washington. Because Haider who with his potential coalition partners realized how untenable his position was internationally allowed his charming, moderate female deputy (Susanne Riess-Passer) to take the vice-chancellor position that he would normally get as party leader, and because the center right coalition government quickly showed itself to be extraordinarily moderate, reasonable, and more market-oriented, Haiders deputy Riess-Passer eventually got something of the red carpet treatment in Washington (it helped that she was also in favor of buying a bunch of US made fighter jets). Haider remained ostracized, started getting more radical instead of less, and eventually became outspokenly anti-US government, helping turn more of the right as well as the left against us. Haiders party itself then broke up into radical (extreme anti-immigration) and moderate elements, with Riess-Passer and others resigning. The more moderates nevertheless held out, but the right-wing party itself was very weakened, and now the center-right, moderate, main stream party pretty much controls the government.
But: the government seems to have learned a lesson or two from events elsewhere in Europe and adamantly opposed Turkeys membership in the EU. This has outraged the Bush Administration, which openly lobbies for Turkish membership that Austrians fear will lead to an even greater flood of Islamic immigrants here, immigrants from the most backward areas of Asian Anatolia. Austria is again on the US shit-list (how dare they not welcome the chance to enhance the countrys wonderful multi-cultural mosaic!). As if we dont have enough enemies, little Austria is tow telling the US to shove it to mind its own g.d. business. I forgot to mention that the US Embassy established a new position here a few years ago (after earlier having decided that - with the cold war over - we could easily merge and reduce the size of the political-economic section). The new US embassy position: a diversity officer. Yes, that old missionary wing of our foreign policy establishment deemed we need an American official here to enlighten Austrians on the joys of ethnic and religious diversity. Well, what the hell, there is so little else to do with all that tax money we have.
So Tex, your Uncle Busy Body school of foreign policy has still been very much in the ascendancy under your guru president. If he has his way, Vienna will go the way of Paris, London, Amsterdam etc. in this regard (the way major areas of US cites went long ago but thats OK for you I suppose; youre a country boy at heart and dont like cities per se). Youre all worked up about Islam but have been crusading for our dim-wit President who has become addicted to meddling abroad, just like those ex-imperial powers of Europe who paved the way for massive immigration from their old colonies and the creation of ghettos such as in my old Aulnay sous Bois. Yes, those north Africans are doing the work that the European natives wont do (the 50% who are not unemployed at least), so the economic argument goes, or went (familiar?), an argument that ignores the fact that countries that dont rely on cheap 3rd World labor, like Japan, are much more apt to develop robots and other technology to do the routine work. That plus a decent wage for shit jobs can have an amazing impact on solving the labor shortage problem that ostensibly has provided an additional justification for 3rd world immigration on top of the perceived obligations stemming from an imperial past. It will be interesting to see how many more Iraqis the US will eventually have to provide refuge for as a result of our continued obligation to them stemming from intrusive attempts to save their country.
The barbarians, my friend, are inside the gates, not at the gates, something I noticed a long time ago at home as well. I dont mean to equate immigrants with barbarians but they have a fairly high percentage among them who dont bring out the best among our own home-grown barbarians. Neither our Republicans nor Democrats are likely to do anything effective about the problem. Nor will Chirac or a French socialist if one eventually replaces him. The local moderate, anti-socialist government in Vienna has pretty much learned to ignore (quite a change) the intrusive platitudes from Washington policymakers. The latest Paris mess has helped shore up its resistance to the airy-fairy politically correct immigration grandstanding of the American and European political class. Margit and I still go to sleep summer nights with our door wide open to the terrace and roof (easily reachable by a potential intruder). And without a gun in the house! The already low crime rate has been declining even further. But the immigration door is far from secure, and the pressure to deal with immigration issues the way the Bushes and Chiracs of our political classes have dealt with them continues. And guys like you still think the answer is for American soldiers to prance around the world armed with incantations and bullets that will turn these medieval societies into thriving democratic economic miracles where the emigration urge will subside. Good luck!
Very good read.
Great post. However, democratizing most of the Middle East before having to nuke the remaining parts...is the only answer.
The Muslims in the west can be turned into conservative allies like many were in the Cold War...but only if the right in Europe and the USA can remove their mouths from the teat of the liberal breast.
I'm sick to death of hearing Euros bash and mock Bush. Don't blame Europe's problems on our "dim-wit president" (been watching too many Michael Moore films?). If you don't want us meddling in Austria's affairs, don't meddle in ours.
Do the French now regret choosing Chirac over Jean-Marie Le Pen?
Sorry old friend, but, he's a U.S. citizen. he votes. he's entitled to his view.
I regretted their choosing him long ago. What the French think, God only knows.
Also Please remember this is a post of an e-mail, from a friend, that I put here for a little unfiltered insight.
Does he have an answer other than bending over and grabbing his ankles? If he's a National Fronter, why doesn't he spit it out.
The only good rioter is a dead rioter.
What am I missing?
Of course he's entitled to his view. But it betrays him as a small-minded fool. No doubt that "dim-witted president" of ours is much wiser than him.
He no longer understands, if he ever did, what being an American conservative is about.
If this is Europe's idea of pro-US punditry, there's little wonder so many of them despise us.
Part of the US's problem with Haider is that he was vocally anti-US during his campaign, blaming half of everything on America and GWB Schroder-style
I understood that. And, I thank you (and your friend) for doing so. Hope for more.
My overall impression is this guy is calling for stagnation. No one coming in and no trade going out. Too bad it won't work. The Utopian idea of isolating ourselves sounds quite nice actually.