Monday, November 07, 2005

Paris Burning.

POLITICS: Paris: The Beirut of Europe: "They say Beirut is the Paris of the Middle East. Does that mean Paris is the Beirut of Europe? Or is that an insult to Beirut?

Paris has been on fire for 11 days. The violence is out of control and it has spread to 300 towns. Some are calling this the French Intifada.

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 11th 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.


In one of the most extreme episodes of violence Saturday night, youths in Evreux, a city in northwestern France, assaulted police and set fire to a strip mall, two schools, a post office and 53 cars.

'Rioters attacked us with baseball bats,' Philippe Jofres, a deputy fire chief, told France-2 television. 'We were attacked with pickaxes. It was war.'

In Corbeil-Essonnes, a suburb south of Paris, a car rammed into a McDonald's restaurant, setting it ablaze and burning it to the ground. 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.

Throughout the Paris suburbs, arsonists hit gymnasiums, schools and other symbols of the government.

Meanwhile, Beirut is peaceful and calm. And Beirut has and has had a lot more political problems than Paris.

The Lebanese people threw off the yoke of Syrian occupation, oppression, and de facto annexation while committing no violence. The supposedly ‘Western’ model of civil disobedience and protest worked beautifully even in the Middle East against a vicious military dictatorship.

The disgruntled of Paris, on the other hand, are inviting a brutal crackdown from a state infinitely less oppressive that the Syrian Baath regime. While some parts of the Middle East import liberal ‘Western’ political ideas into their culture, some parts of Europe import pathologies from the illiberal places in the Middle East and North Africa. Ah, the ironies of globalization.

It is slightly bizarre watching Europe explode from the tranquility of Beirut. But I'm getting used to it.

(Written by: Michael_J_Totten)


(Via SuicideGirls: News Wire.)

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