In an attempt to put that embarrassing letter to Salon.com behind me (seriously, I need to work on my web presence) I responded to this here.
He blames the riots in France on socialism. I'm not sure if he knows whether or not the French government is not in fact socialist, not even in name. In fairness, I suspect that he might not have written the title of the piece, which is the only place in which he states (rather than implies) that Chirac is a socialist. I didn't write the title of my piece either, which was a mistake on my part, because it does a very bad job of explaining my point.
I wish I'd known about Timothy Smith's bookbefore I wrote it. Smith's point is that as much assistance as the French government gives, it's not redistributive in an egalitarian way. So while the middle class gets great pensions, the banlieux get the CRS. More on this later.