Saturday, November 05, 2005

What do you want to do tonight, Brain?

"The same thing we do every night, Pinky: Try to burn down the world!"

One of the most disturbing things about the French riots over the last week and a half -- above and beyond how disturbing it is to see any kind of rioting -- is how organized and protracted they are. Short-term, spontaneous outbursts are one thing, but riots that take daytime off only to resume every time the sun sets are quite another. Based on news reports, it seems a lot of troubled young people are rioting not because they want to try to make a political point but simply because they see a chance to destroy things.

If they hope to prevent a recurrence of the violence, French officials need to restore order soon and begin to address the entrenched racial tensions that provided the riots' initial spark.

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