UPDATE: 10 November 2005 from Clonmel, County Tipperary, Ireland: My original report was wrong to suggest that DEBKAfile offers a balanced perspective. As readers point out below, I failed to cite blogs from LeMonde, Liberation, Skyblog and others that would have offered the facts that appeared to be glossed over in reports viewed by me in Ireland. I've revised this posting to correct the initial errors but I need to revisit the story after trawling blog sources in French. That's tough going for me since I don't know the language.
PARIS, THE SHORT FORM of Baghdad-on-the-Seine, currently epitomises the Burning Cars Intifada. This new intifada has tossed a country into the flames. The national television station France 3 follows a typically French track--they often don't announce the number of burnt-out cars. For the record, more than 9000 police cars have been stoned since January 2005. You cannot depend on English language reporters to explain the simmering behind the current tensions. You have to look at sources like
DEBKAfile LeMonde blogs for the straight story.
Much of the rioting in France
has been planned or might be characterised as pent-up hooliganism. That knowledge has led to The US State Department is recommending against traveling to France. These riots are not sparked by teens being murdered or Mohammed being insulted. They have resulted from religious zealotry, leveraged by criminals trying to convert whole swaths of the city into their strongholds. As those living in troubled areas throughout Ireland know, But a lot of the mayhem is often self-organising. It's good enough to burn something, to contribute to the moment by venting your rebellious side.
For unemployed youths, it's quite satisfying to fill a glass bottle with petrol, add a rag for a fuse, break a car window and toss the lighted cocktail inside. It burns quickly and may even blow up. When you are raised in rage, you need an occasional way to vent yourself.
What? You never felt the urge to go burn something?