I should have said “France” rather than “Paris” is burning in the title to the previous post. The “rioting” is spreading all over France. I put “rioting” in quotes because this is a lot less spontaneous than a riot. This is not a riot, or a series of “copy cat” riots.
What is happening in France is nothing less than an “instant war” by a “smart swarm” of networked arsonists who are conducting a loosely coordinated nation-wide intifada:
“They are very mobile, in cars or scooters. … It is quite hard to combat” he said. “Most are young, very young, we have even seen young minors.” There appeared to be no coordination between separate groups in different areas, Hamon said. But within gangs, he added, youths are communicating by cell phones or e-mails. “They organize themselves, arrange meetings, some prepare the Molotov cocktails.”
This is much, much worse than I thought it was. It is a massive outbreak of 4th Generation Warfare, in the middle of an advanced, Western country.
Update: Wretchard takes a similar view. He notes that the French have in a sense replicated the Ottoman millet system, where religious minorities lived in delimited areas. Wretchard speculates that the French government thought it could cordon off the Muslim housing projects, and try to calm things down by drawing on imams who are willing to collaborate with the French government. But, this 21st Century politico-police Maginot Line didn’t hold. Like the original one, it was outflanked:
The millet system meant that potentially hostile foci were were already pre-deployed outside the cordon, often in cities outside Paris. And the Internet of course ensured that command and control could be exercised at a distance by command cells despite any number of deployed riot police
The French leadership is now grasping for a “Plan B”.
Faster, please, gentlemen. It will be bad for all of us if you don’t get a grip on this thing. Soon.
No schadenfreude, no jeering at the French for all their many faults. This is too serious for that.
Update: This post (via Instapundit) looks at the rioters’ technique as examples of “Flash Mobs” and “Netwar”. Much more knowledgeable discussion than my musings, I must humbly add.