Here’s the news story, fresh off today’s Washington Post website:
“PARIS, Nov. 7 — France’s national police chief warned Monday that a ‘shock wave is spreading across the country’ as rioting intensified in cities throughout France during an eleventh night of violence. Officials from neighboring countries expressed concern that the unrest could leap across international borders.
“Gangs of young men burned 1,408 cars and trucks in dozens of cities across France, national police chief Michel Gaudin said at a news conference Monday.
“Ten riot police were hit with fine-grain birdshot fired by youths during a confrontation Sunday night in the southern Paris suburb of Grigny, national police spokesman Patrick Hamon said. Eight of the police officers suffered minor injuries and two were hospitalized with wounds not considered life-threatening.”
And here’s what the French government plans to do about it:
“French government officials said they would announce a plan Monday for combating the violence and its root causes of high unemployment, poverty and discrimination in the poor communities where the violence is concentrated.”
Uh-huh. How about that far more likely “root cause,” radical Islam? Couldn’t that be the reason why “neighboring countries” in Europe with large Muslim populations are expressing “concern”? But noooo, our Media Elite continue to describe the rioters, not as homegrown terrorists but as “young men, or, even more laughably, as “French youths?” Mark Steyn has something to say about that:
“‘French youths,’ huh? You mean Pierre and Jacques and Marcel and Alphonse? Granted that most of the ‘youths’ are technically citizens of the French Republic, it doesn’t take much time in les banlieus of Paris to discover that the rioters do not think of their primary identity as ‘French’: They’re young men from North Africa growing ever more estranged from the broader community with each passing year and wedded ever more intensely to an assertive Muslim identity more implacable than anything you’re likely to find in the Middle East. After four somnolent years, it turns out finally that there really is an explosive ‘Arab street,’ but it’s in Clichy-sous-Bois.
“The notion that Texas neocon arrogance was responsible for frosting up trans-Atlantic relations was always preposterous, even for someone as complacent and blinkered as John Kerry. If you had millions of seething unassimilated Muslim youths in lawless suburbs ringing every major city, would you be so eager to send your troops into an Arab country fighting alongside the Americans? For half a decade, French Arabs have been carrying on a low-level intifada against synagogues, kosher butchers, Jewish schools, etc. The concern of the political class has been to prevent the spread of these attacks to targets of more, ah, general interest. They seem to have lost that battle. Unlike America’s Europhiles, France’s Arab street correctly identified Chirac’s opposition to the Iraq war for what it was: a sign of weakness.”
Here’s the sentence in the Post’s story that caught the biggest share of my attention:
“And Justice Ministry officials said they discovered a crude bomb-making workshop in a dilapidated building in Evry, south of Paris, that contained 100 empty bottles and gallons of fuel, according to the Associated Press.”
Does that sound to you as though though the riots represent a spontaneous reaction to “high unemployment, poverty and discrimination”? Just asking.