Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I don't know of anyone who thinks the French authorities are handling the riots well -- here, by the way, is the editorial page of The New York Times taking Chirac, de Villepin, and the rest to task -- but aren't the right-wingers who are braying the loudest about France's clueless, utterly inadequate response to the unrest the same people who've defended the Bush administration's clueless, utterly inadequate response to the Iraqi insurgency?

The only difference, as far as I can see, is that the riots will almost certainly stop by the end of the month, or at least the end of the year (or decade). That's more than I'd be willing to predict about the Iraqi insurgency.

And when I read that France has rejected affirmative action, bans headscarves and other displays of Muslim identity, collects no statistics based on ethnicity, and, because of a lack of affirmative action, has a nearly all-white police force that's regarded by France's unemployed minority youths as abusive, all I can say is: right-wingers are criticizing this? Isn't the right always demanding that America become more like this?

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