Monday, November 21, 2005
Careful with this one... there's so much spin that you'll end up dizzy.
The violence that swept predominantly Muslim communities in some 300 cities and towns in France for three weeks has abated and "we are back to normal," French Ambassador Jean-David Levitte said Monday.
"Normal," here could either mean that they're back to ignoring these folks ('oppressing would imply that they get enough attention for that, even'), or simply that the Great Renault Roast of 2005 has died down to glowing embers.
"It was not about the role of Islam in France," he said. "We never saw any link, direct or indirect," the French diplomat said. "Religion played no role."
No role, of course, other than being the one thing the agitated masses had in common.
"Levitte also suggested 'the word 'riot' is a bit too strong' to describe the disturbances and that while thousands of automobiles were destroyed and scores of police officers injured, there were only a handful of fatalities, in contrast to the 1992 Los Angeles riots that left 55 people dead and $1 billion in property damage.
Ah, there it is. It's not a riot unless a sufficient number of people are killed (maiming doesn't count!). And it takes place in the United States. Sure, we would call it that, since we use the American Heritage Dictionary:
1. A wild or turbulent disturbance created by a large number of people.
Yep... clearly a gross misuse of that particular term. Finally, an example of irresponsible media. Tsk, tsk. No word from Monsieur L'Ambassadeur on what this should be called yet.
Getting back to the article...
The French have invoked those riots in the past, by way of criticizing U.S. policies. In 1992, then President Francois Mitterrand suggested that France would avoid such strife because of its generous social programs."
Not difficult to find a record of that particular bit of snottery.
BACK IN 1992, when cars were burning in Los Angeles, not Paris, French President Francois Mitterrand thought he knew why. It was, he explained, because of the "absence of social legislation and protection" in a "conservative and economically capitalist" country.
One thing they fail to realize, in France, is that protecting one group in society from another group in the same society isn't quite what people have in mind when looking for "social protection."
Almost have to give them credit, though, for skillfully adopting the "things weren't as bad as you took them to be" approach. Talk about revisionist history. This history isn't even in the past yet, and it's been revised...more like 'revisionist current events.'posted by Max Power | 2:19 PM