On Sunday night alone, authorities said, more than 1,400 vehicles were burned in 274 towns across the country; the destruction stretched into the heart of Paris, where 35 vehicles were destroyed, and touched almost every major city in France.
Mark Steyn calls it the first shot in the Eurabian War in his Sun-Times column today.
Why was Europe, but France in particular, so adamant in refusing to support the US in Iraq? Part of it certainly is the desire to see the United States brought low. The other:
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.
What are the French going to do? Well apparently the Cabinet is split and it appears that Chirac may be coming down on the side of the appeasers to stunt the political growth of the law-and-order Interior Minister and potential Atlanticist Nicolas Sarkozy. Steyn has this to say for appeasement:
If burning the 'burbs gets you more ''respect'' from Chirac, they'll burn 'em again, and again.
As I argued here, the Europeans should be a lot more concerned about Islamofascist terror than the U.S. because they can't retreat into a Fortress America if it all goes pear-shaped. There will be great temptation to appease and stop the 'pain', however if the rioting escalates and a high profile target is hit the likelihood of a crushing government response rises dramatically. As much as this space dislikes the French, I for one am hoping they make a stand rather than taking a big first step of going quietly into the Islamist night.
This is a Mark Steyn classic. Read it all.