And "rage" in the sense of spontaneous anger is a very slapdash characterisation of what, after two weeks, is looking like a rather shrewd and disciplined campaign. This business of car burning, for example. In Iraq, the "insurgents" quickly got the hang of setting some second-hand Nissan alight at just the right moment so that its plume of smoke could be conveniently filmed from the press hotel balcony in time for NBC's Today show and Good Morning, America. For a while, every time you switched on the television in America, there'd be some doom'n'gloom anchor yakking away in front of a live scene of a blazing Honda Civic... What the Aussie pundit Tim Blair calls the nightly Paris car-B-Q looks great on television, but without being sufficiently murderous to provoke the state into forcefully putting down the insurgency.
I didn't know that bit about selective torching in Iraq.
...As to the "French" "youth", a reader in Antibes cautions me against characterising the disaffected as "Islamist". "Look at the pictures of the youths," he advises. "They look like LA gangsters, not beturbaned prophet-monkeys."
Leaving aside what I'm told are more than a few cries of "Allahu Akhbar!" on the streets, my correspondent is correct. But that's the point. The first country formally to embrace "multiculturalism" - to the extent of giving it a cabinet post - was Canada, where it was sold as a form of benign cultural cross-pollination: the best of all worlds. But just as often it gives us the worst of all worlds. More than three years ago, I wrote about the "tournante" or "take your turn" - the gang rape that's become an adolescent rite of passage in the Muslim quarters of French cities - and similar phenomena throughout the West: "Multiculturalism means that the worst attributes of Muslim culture - the subjugation of women - combine with the worst attributes of Western culture - licence and self-gratification. Tattooed, pierced Pakistani skinhead gangs swaggering down the streets of northern England areas are as much a product of multiculturalism as the turban-wearing Sikh Mountie in the vice-regal escort." Islamofascism itself is what it says: a fusion of Islamic identity with old-school European totalitarianism. But, whether in turbans or gangsta threads, just as Communism was in its day, so Islam is today's ideology of choice for the world's disaffected.
He ends with a dire prediction:
Some of us believe this is an early skirmish in the Eurabian civil war. If the insurgents emerge emboldened, what next? In five years' time, there will be even more of them, and even less resolve on the part of the French state. That, in turn, is likely to accelerate the demographic decline. Europe could face a continent-wide version of the "white flight" phenomenon seen in crime-ridden American cities during the 1970s, as Danes and Dutch scram to America, Australia or anywhere else that will have them.
As to where Britain falls in this grim scenario, I noticed a few months ago that Telegraph readers had started closing their gloomier missives to me with the words, "Fortunately I won't live to see it" - a sign-off now so routine in my mailbag I assumed it was the British version of "Have a nice day". But that's a false consolation. As France this past fortnight reminds us, the changes in Europe are happening far faster than most people thought. That's the problem: unless you're planning on croaking imminently, you will live to see it.