A Lull in France?
Posted by Peter W. Schramm
The 17th night is being praised as "better". Only 374 cars were burned (compared to 502 the night before). Over 200 people were arrested. The riots had spread to Lyon, Frances second largest city. The riots continue in Belgium, but police play it down: only 60 cars have been torched. Victor Davis Hanson, travelling through Europe, has some opinions on Europes decline.
8:22 AM / November 13, 2005
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Ahh. If only they would report on Afghanistan and Iraq with the same degree of...ummm..."objectivity"...(sarcasm off)
The battles would have been over on day 30!
Look at the bright side - it is good for auto sales.
I was waiting for someone to bring up the broken glass fallacy so I could plug Bastiat, but since Mr Wallis didnt argue that what is good for auto sales is good for the economy as a whole, I dont have a clear point. In any case the french should have read Bastiat a long time ago...
I have a feeling the rioters are not calming down, but rather that they are running out of cars to burn. The marginal costs of burning cars must be increasing because France only has so many cars (the supply is decreasing) and because people are taking steps to protect their cars. All the low cost cars to burn (in terms of protection) have already been burned. If this thing dies out it will not be because the rioters are appeased, rather it will be because rioting is more costly than the joy or whatever other benefit it brings them. At that stage they will find some other lower cost way to express their discontent.
NLTs schadenfreude over this is really pathetic, despite Knippenbergs referral to the Applebaum schadenfreude-INDULGING op-ed. We keep getting the tallies on cars being burned and people arrested, and the next line is something about how France is about to crumble right down to, or past, its very foundations. Havent heard much here about the death toll in France, though. Are you all disappointed that its been so low (have even ten people been killed yet?)? Meanwhile in Iraq, PERHAPS fewer cars are getting blown up, but those vehicles often contain, or are right next to, Iraqi civilians or American troops. And aside from the cars and the car bombings (as distinct from torchings), THOUSANDS of civilians (and no, Im not counting insurgents or using the controversial study that places the civlian toll at 100,000 - conservative estimates of the civilian toll are now in the thousands) have died. But here at NLT FantasyLand, Iraq is right on the brink of becoming a model democracy; Iraqs problems -primarily triggered by our invasion which was based on bogus WMDs claims- are nothing that cant be cleaned up in short order, but France, oh boy, France has REAL problems!!
Hey Chris than why dont you move to FRance if you think its so great.