It is tempting to point at the French with scorn and derision over their present unfortunate....ah....um.....circumstances.
There may even be those who would take satisfaction in seeing the entire country go up in flames ("It'll serve them right!").
I don't agree.
It is in the best interests of the United States and the entire Free World for France to resolve the current unrest both quickly and decisively.
The Chirac government will surely collapse under the burden of the riots just as Charles de Gaulle's final government eventually fell (in 1969) under the burden of the student riots in Paris the previous year. Under normal conditions this would give the French a way to calmly choose a new direction for the future. Under the present conditions, however, it will not be easy for the French to choose either wisely or with a clear sense of what they would like a new government to do.
An uncertain and unstable France will only encourage those who may already be exploiting these riots for their own, global purposes.
Riots akin to those in France have already broken out in Denmark. It is not too difficult to imagine similar outbreaks in the Netherlands, Belgium, German, Scandinavia (particularly Sweden) and the United Kingdom.
Such rioting will keep the vast network of European security agencies (including police, military and intelligence) busy for a long, long time.
This distraction will provide a wonderful cover for global terrorism as it seeks opportunities to strike their own brand of destruction and death in the region.
The destabalization of Europe will mean that, once again, it will be up to the United States to bear the burden of the international war on terrorism alone.