Another mysterious phenomenon whose mysteriousness liberals must ponder deeply

(UPDATE, Aug 26: a reader points out that the car burners, whose identity is so mysterious to the New York Times, may be leftists and eco-terrorists, not Muslims.)

Today the New York Times reports:

BERLIN—At night all over the city, cars are burning on the streets of the German capital.

The federal police have been called in to help. Helicopters with infrared cameras can be heard buzzing overhead, and citizens are talking about forming watch groups. About 90 cars have been set on fire in the past two weeks alone.

The title of the article is:

Germany’s Capital Burns Bright, and Without Explanation

But as Roland D., who sent the article, puts it: “I’m not ‘perplexed’ about who’s burning cars in Berlin, and why.”

Indeed, the article contains coy little hints showing that the burnings are not so mysterious after all:

Of particular concern is the possibility that the arson attacks, which are also a problem in Hamburg, could signify the stirrings of a militant domestic movement, just as the Red Army Faction made its presence known in 1968 with two department store fires in Frankfurt.

But the Times writer, Nicholas Kulish, doesn’t say what sort of “militant domestic movement” this might be. Of course he means Muslims, but the words “Muslim” and “Islam” do not appear in the article.

- end of initial entry -

August 26

Richard W. writes:

There is some belief that this is the work of eco-terrorists who hate cars and leftists who hate wealth, not the usual Islamic brats. Of course much of the MSM is even more unwilling to admit that leftists/greens are terrorists than to admit that Muslims are, so it’s not surprising that the New York Times can’t figure out why it’s happening.

Other, less ideological news outlets seem to have less of a problem connecting the dots.

The WSJ writes:

Setting cars on fire has become a popular form of class protest and petty crime in recent years in Berlin, triggered in part by tensions over fast-rising rents and other forms of gentrification in this relatively poor city compared with other major German cities. But the latest spate—including some 70 cars torched over the past week—marks a sharp surge in the arson attacks. While previous car burnings were largely confined to Berlin’s up-and-coming working class neighborhoods, such as Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain, the latest spate has rapidly spread to its more affluent western districts.

Bloomberg writes:

Mercedes Targeted as Luxury Cars Burned in German Globalization Protests

The rise in Berlin car burnings coincides with widespread lawlessness that erupted last week across England. More than 1,500 people were arrested as rioters looted shops, attacked bystanders and burnt autos. In Berlin, far-left extremists are specifically targeting German luxury cars, symbols of the country’s wealth and export prowess, police said.

“The arsonists want to hit what they say are ‘Fat Cats,’” Berlin police spokesman Michael Gassen said. A special unit is investigating the fires as political crimes after the police received letters claiming responsibility that derided globalization, gentrification and rising rents, he said.

Roland D. writes:

With regard to your update and Richard W.’s comment, the NYTimes report didn’t include the information that luxury cars were being specifically targeted, hence the Muslim assumption.

LA replies:

Ahh, thanks for pointing that out.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 25, 2011 07:14 AM | Send

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