Friday, November 4

DON'T RIOT FOR ME, ARGENTINA!

I've been watching "live" cable-television coverage of the street rioting in Mar Del Plata, Argentina, where the fourth Summit of the Americas is being held this week with President Bush and Secretary of State Condi Rice in atttendance.

One has to wonder how photo-journalists and news crews can work their way through the streets and amidst the roving bands of thugs, recording the setting of bonfires, the tossing of Molotov cocktails, the breaking of glass storefronts, and the general mayhem and misconduct, but riot police stand off at a distance, allowing the unruly crowd of lawbreakers (please, let's not call them "demonstrators") to carry out their acts of defiance.

I keep hearing that this riot is happening blocks from the meetings and that security for the representatives of 34 nations in attendance is not threatened, but then I do not see police doing anything, at least at this juncture, to quell the riot and make arrests.

And the president thinks Washington D.C. is inhospitable. My goodness!

FOLLOW-UP: The Washington Post reports (registration required) that the antecedent of the rioting was a huge rally of some 40,000 protesters held at a nearby stadium and with the crowd manipulated by the key speaker -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.