"The law must be applied firmly and in a spirit of dialogue and respect," Chirac said at a Cabinet meeting. "The absence of dialogue and an escalation of a lack of respect will lead to a dangerous situation."
Oh yeah, I'm sure those thugs, who have taken over 9 towns already, really respect you, Jacques.
The rioting, which spread Tuesday night to at least nine Paris-region towns, has exposed rifts in Chirac's government, with Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy — a potential 2007 presidential candidate — being criticized for his tough talk and police tactics....
That Chirac intervened personally was a measure of the crisis. He acknowledged the "profound frustrations" of troubled neighborhoods but said violence was not the answer and that efforts must be stepped up to combat it....
Sarkozy — blamed by many for fanning the violence with his "zero-tolerance" approach to suburban crime — defended his approach and vowed to restore calm. He recently called rioters "scum" and vowed to "clean out" troubled suburbs.
This Sarkozy guy is probably the only hope that the French have to fight back against the Islamist hoardes that threaten the cities. Naturally, the French hate him for having the slightest bit of backbone. Chirac's appeal to the thugs is ridiculous, a craven position fueled by weakness and cowardice. There is one way to deal with the rioters: tear-gas and deport all of them. End of problem. Of course, they won't do that, and as the Muslim rioters realize that they will grow more brazen. France is screwed.
Prior post in this series: The Fall of France.