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November 6, 2005
Crossing The Von Choltitz Line

Violent riots in France have spread throughout the nation and now have crossed into Paris proper after remaining on the outskirts for ten days. The police have not yet shown any ability to contain the rioting, nor has the government come up with much of a strategy to oppose the escalation of the arson and protest. Last night's violence generated the most destruction yet, including a the loss of a police station to firebombers:

Saturday night's rioting was the most destructive so far as 1,300 vehicles were set alight and 349 people arrested, despite an enhanced police presence.

So far more than 800 people have been arrested and 3,500 vehicles torched, mainly in the working-class, high-immigration outer suburbs of Paris where unemployment is as high as 20 percent.

Cars were burned out in the historic centre of Paris for the first time on Saturday night. In the normally quiet Normandy town of Evreux, a shopping mall, 50 vehicles, a post office and two schools went up in flames.

The London Telegraph reports that police have found a bomb-making factory on the southern end of Paris, with enough gasoline to make scores of Molotov cocktails and plenty of hoods for hiding rioters' faces, showing that the rioting -- at least at this point -- has some organization to it. The police now believe that the entire uprising has central control via the Internet and cell phones. However, even the Telegraph waits until the penultimate paragraph to inform its readers that the suspected organizers of the riots are comprised of Islamist militants and drug dealers ... quite a different picture than what the media has painted for the last week, of a spontaneous protest based solely on economics.

The New York Times still completely avoids the "M" and "I" words in its report on the escalation of the uprising in France, but the Washington Post appears to have finally conceded the point in its coverage:

While French politicians say the violence now circling and even entering the capital of France and spreading to towns across the country is the work of organized criminal gangs, the residents of Le Blanc-Mesnil know better. Many of the rioters grew up playing soccer on Rezzoug's field. They are the children of baggage handlers at nearby Charles de Gaulle International Airport and cleaners at the local schools.

"It's not a political revolution or a Muslim revolution," said Rezzoug. "There's a lot of rage. Through this burning, they're saying, 'I exist, I'm here.' "

Such a dramatic demand for recognition underscores the chasm between the fastest growing segment of France's population and the staid political hierarchy that has been inept at responding to societal shifts. The youths rampaging through France's poorest neighborhoods are the French-born children of African and Arab immigrants, the most neglected of the country's citizens. A large percentage are members of the Muslim community that accounts for about 10 percent of France's 60 million people.

One of Rezzoug's "kids" -- the countless youths who use the sports facilities he oversees -- is a husky, French-born 18-year-old whose parents moved here from Ivory Coast. At 3 p.m. on Saturday, he'd just awakened and ventured back onto the streets after a night of setting cars ablaze.

"We want to change the government," he said, a black baseball cap pulled low over large, chocolate-brown eyes and an ebony face. "There's no way of getting their attention. The only way to communicate is by burning."

Rezzoug wants people to believe that Islam has nothing to do with the riots, but the Post gets closer to the truth in pointing out what has been obvious since the start of the violence. Muslims comprise the largest component of the rioters by far, the riots started in Muslim communities, and they began after the deaths of two Muslim youths who may or may not have been chased by police before they accidentally electrocuted themselves while climbing into an electrical substation. It doesn't take a math major to add two and two, although for the better part of ten days, it has appeared that attending j-school made that kind of arithmetic almost impossible.

Molly Moore gets even more detail for the Post in her latest report. (Moore so far has made herself into the must-read reporter on the French riots.) Cars have not been the only targets in this civil uprising. In just one suburb, the riots have destroyed a gymnasium and a youth center. Across France, the damage has begun to get spectacular and worrisome, and shows no sign yet of abating. Even for a nation that feels as though it has to have some kind of violent social uprising once a generation just to remain relevant, this spell of insanity seems like something different.

Is this the beginning of the war for Eurabia? So far, the purported Islamist leaders of the uprising have kept a low profile, but if this violence proves successful, they will have no hesitation in loudly demanding their spoils of victory: autonomy of authority in the sink estates, a recognition of sharia law in the Muslim enclaves of France, and the creation of de facto proto-states where Islamist lunacy can breed and produce even more Eurabian terrorists. Until the French get serious about protecting themselves and their national interest -- and that means meeting violence with a swift and crushing response, not handwringing and dithering -- the Islamists will grow more and more emboldened by the lack of French will to fight for their own land.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 6, 2005 10:12 AM

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» France, Riots, and the Media from Weapons of Mass Destruction
I am starting a new posts on this because the prior two are getting a bit too long and cluttered. The earlier posts can be found here and here. Tom Heneghan from Reuters reports that the French government is struggling [Read More]

Tracked on November 6, 2005 12:01 PM

» Warring for Eurabia from iHillary Blog
From Captain's Quarters, Crossing The Von Choltitz Line, November 06, 2005: Is this the beginning of the war for Eurabia? So far, the purported Islamist leaders of the uprising have kept a low profile, but if this violence proves successful, they ... [Read More]

Tracked on November 6, 2005 4:28 PM

» THE INFERNO from The Heretik
TWO MUSLIMS YOUTHS DIE fleeing police and now France is on fire. The cinders from one blaze spread across the nation. Over three thousand vehicles have been set on fire. The scene sounds like Giuliani’s New York, New York [Read More]

Tracked on November 6, 2005 8:03 PM

» France folds? from CDR Salamander
It looked like France started strong and then falls apart. That is about the only conclusion you can get to by reading what happened last night and the weekend dispatches. There is some "tough talk" but that is all it is, talk. The low-boil, low-de... [Read More]

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