Saturday, November 05, 2005

French Riots Continue, But Anti-Bush Riots Take Top Billing

The riots in France continue for yet another night (that's nine if you're keeping track). The French government can't quite figure out what to do to stop the riots from spreading. They're still too worried about offending the sensibilities of the rioters to actually stop the rioters from continuing their rampage through the French countryside.

Here's a clue. Break out all the riot police you have and use them. In force. In all those neighborhoods that you never wanted to enter because you thought that it would be insensitive. And once you send the police in, keep a constant presence there because one of the reasons the riots were able to gain strength was because there wasn't any police to nip the torching of cars in the bud.

So, you would think that the French rioting would be the top story? Nope. It's the usual anti-American rioting that accompanies any major economic summit. This gets top story billing, precisely because it can be tied to President Bush's presence, but the French riots, which are going on nine straight nights, are still not quite getting the kind of coverage that they should. And the kicker is that the security set up for the Summit of the Americas knew that this kind of thing would happen, and have acted accordingly:
Protesters set a bank on fire and threw objects at police in the streets of the Argentine city hosting the Summit of the Americas. Small bands of demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails, set bonfires in the streets and burned American flags. Police responded with tear gas to disperse the demonstrators, who did not breach the security cordon set up around the summit venue.
Those small bands of rioters in Argentina are the usual anarchists who go around from economic summit to economic summit trying to disrupt the proceedings. Some are Che Guevera supporters (hey, he committed mass murder, but who cares? he's a great t-shirt image!), but many are communists and socialists who have not a single clue about economics, nor do they care.

Now, the New York Times finally realizes that the riots are ongoing - both in France and in Argentina. And the French riots finally make it above the fold!. However, it's still below the anti-Bush riots in Argentina. Go figure.

Powerline also notes that the usual suspects are involved in the Argentine rioting. And they have pictures. So does Michelle Malkin.

Others blogging the anti-America riots in Argentina: Publius Pundit who notes that it's professional protestors who had flown in to do the protesting and rioting in Argentina, and that this is their 'job'. It has nothing to do with protesting the issues or actually seeking to improve the lives of the poor. Gateway Pundit has more.

Big Lizards is covering the riots and wonders about the shifting nature of the riots. He notes:
We assume a riot either is or is not an uprising; Dualism. But in fact, it changes constantly, because it is a dynamic hydra that has not one head or a dozen heads but thousands and thousands. The rioters do not seem to have been militant Islamists at the beginning; the violence arose spontaneously from grief, anger, Gallic gall, and seething resentment. But as I noted in a previous post, events are simply events with no inherent significance; it is we hairless apes who invest observation with consequence; we spin a thread, then another, then we weave the threads together into the big tapestry of meaning.

I don't mean to get all hippie-dippy on you. A Molotov Cocktail is thrown into a building; that is a fact, it is measurable: we know what gasoline is, we know what a bottle looks like, we can tell when something is on fire. But is it jihad? An angry assault upon the cops because the thrower's brother was arrested? Or maybe insurance fraud? Even if it started out as the latter, how difficult would it be for others, victims or the rioters themselves, to inspire an act of simple arson with the organized and exciting rationalization of Holy War -- even ex post facto?

There's your real danger: that what begins as a race riot can metamorphose, inside its coccoon of post-hoc justification and organization, into jihad. The search for meaning is universal; but French Socialism-Lite has stripped France of such meaning. France isn't France anymore; it's a cog in the United States of Europe European Economic CommunityEuropean Union. The entire continent is sans frontières, and humans need frontiers -- boundaries, walls, fences, divisions between this nation and the other.
Also wondering about the dual nature of the rioting is the International Herald Tribune.

UPDATE (links added as necessary):
Linked to open posts at: Basil's Blog, bRight and Early, Cao's blog, Jo's Cafe, Mudville Gazette, My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, Stop the ACLU, The Political Teen, TMH Bacon Bits, and Wizbang.

Weapons of Mass Destruction is also following the situation in France and wonders if things are getting worse. They are. And stopping the riots might be the easy part. Definitely not good news.

The New York Post editorial page has some further thoughts on the rioting, including the economic problems that are a part of the problem, but not the proximate cause of the situation. High unemployment (10%) may be one reason for the rioting, but the failure to assimilate is the bigger problem. It is a combination of native-born French refusing to accept any immigrant as a Frenchman, as well as the Muslim population coming to France that doesn't want to assimilate. Taken together, it's a situation ripe for a crisis - one that has finally arrived in spades.

The Weekly Standard quotes police union officials saying that the government needs to call out the troops because the police are ill eqipped to handle the rioting. The article also notes how the violence is spreading and that this situation isn't some freak and random occurrence. We should have seen it coming.

Linked to Two Babes and a Brain.

Austin Bay busts out a history and geography lesson.

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