An interesting entry in Hugh Hewitt points out that the Paris riots may be the a case of the Romanticism of the 1968 student riots coming back to haunt French society. 1968 in France has the same generational, mythic power that 1970, the First Quarter Storm, has for an older generation of Filipinos. The article Hewitt links to argues,
The French are obsessed with the heady memories and legacy of 1968. French “68ers” are now in the generation in power, just as the election of President Clinton brought the VietNam generation to power in America. The “68wes” dominate French society from the boardroom to the National Assembly. Their ideological stripes may dif- fer today, but their experience was common. They run the Government, the corporations, the labor unions; they run the universities and faculties, the culture factories and the media outlets. Philippe Thouvenin, a young documentary filmmaker, can’t get enough of it. “I think it’s something for us to think about-this was the last time when young French people felt idealistic. It was our last Utopia,” said Thouvenin, who was born in 1965.
And now that Muslims are manning the barricades, the generation of 1968 is divided on what to do. Some Americans, like Horse’s Mouth, can’t resist sniffing that this is a kind of comeuppance for the French, after they said that the Los Angeles riots in the 1990s could never happen in France. At the same time, Belmont Club’s entry on the strategies being used by rioters suddenly reminds me of my column on the tactics used by anarchists in Washington and Seattle when they rioted: small gangs, no direct confrontations, in a word, guerrilla mob violence, (Via Real Clear Politics, op-ed galore: Mark Steyn says Europe has war on its hands; David Warren says it’s the French Intefada and that there have actually been preparations going on for such an uprising).
(And what is “Ãƒâ€¡a Ira”? It’s the title of the most popular song of the French Revolution).
In the punditocracy, my column today is A democratic endeavor, which seeks to why I support the Citizen’s Congress for Truth and Accountability in prince, and am not particularly bothered by the heavy Communist participation in it; the Inquirer editorial has called upon media to circle the wagons because of a marauding President; Fr. Joaquin Bernas weighs in on the question of terrorism; so does Billy Esposo
The Daily Tribune has been having a ball focusing on Fidel Ramos and the intramurals within the administration in three Sunday reports, here (FVR supposedly being ready to “jump ship”) and here (a gleeful report on FVR being ticked off at the Palace), and here (the President’s insistence on keeping power); and two reports today, here (lurid warnings of the President’s safety not being guaranteed in case of a coup) and Alejandro Lichauco suggesting the military could simply withdraw support instead of mouting a coup: the Tribune’s stories always have nuggets of intrepid reportage. Jose C. Sison has a good summary of the legal questions involved in the rape case against American soldiers: he says its a lopsided agreement. Jojo Robles believes Filipino officials are behaving like American lackeys. Fel Maragay weighs in on Ramos and the Palace’s antipathy towards him. Carmen Guerrero Nakpil compares Arroyo to Quezon.
The blogosphere, of course, begins with views on the temporary restraining order against the PCIJ: Punzi explains the requirements for a TRO; Bangus Supremacy calls the case a SLAPP; Abe Margallo suggests blogging is “an ancient liberty in a time warp”:
When blogging takes the form of free expression so exercised in the realm of deliberative democracy (which I believe was the function taken on by Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism during the run-up to the Arroyo impeachment vote), it occupies the highest rung in the hierarchy of democratic and constitutional values involving as it does the sharing of sovereign authority. This so-called public liberty ordinarily trumps negative liberty for the simple reason that the individual is less than the community.
Jove Francisco comments on the wrong one-armed bandit being caught; Philippine Commentary weighs in with an even stronger view, that the whole thing would be funny if it weren’t so pathetic. Incidentally, Philippine Commentary responds to my pointing to Gen. Zinni’s question, “how do you fight a tactic?” by looking at Zinni’s complete message (and yes, DJB that was exactly the same speech I heard, albeit in a different venue). Philippine Commentary argues,
We should strive to understand the problem of terrorism without the flippant dismissiveness of Leftists who are only envious they are no longer the baddest boyz on the block except perhaps here in the home of the longest running communist insurgency in history. They are not the baddest boyz anymore because even Filipino communists have not yet devolved to the stage of suicide bombing, and they have no God to send their martyrs to…
I don’t think it can be overemphasized that the enemy is intent on either literal destruction of the West and its allies (in which case it gets a global theocracy or caliphate for a prize; or self-immolation and martyrdom, in which case the brave jihadi gets Paradise and an eternity of heavenly sex. It’s this twisted version of Pascal’s Wager that is well-spring of that wave of suicidal human bombardiers General Zinni refers to.
Hillblogger looks into the case of American servicemen accused of rape.
Ricky Carandang has an interesting entry on how creativity is being regimented, with great success, in Singapore. Read the comments, they’re equally interesting. Speaking of “benevolent dictatorships,” as one of Carandang’s readers puts it (wrongly, I think: there is no such thing as a benevolent dictatorship anywhere, at any time), New Economist links to a provocative article that begins tackling “the nightmare of a Chinese century.”
In the wake of Bush’s attempt to challenge Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro, the views of The New Nationalist makes for relevant reading: he examines why free trade advocates aren’t convincing people that their policies are worth it or even work. The Arab News has a Guardian piece pointing out how the American view’s discredited.