Sunday, November 14, 2004

# Posted 2:31 AM by Ariel David Adesnik  

WINNING HEARTS & MINDS, A LA FRANCAISE: Dateline Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire --
Chanting, "We want the French!" a crowd of armed and angry young men swept past La Planta, a club owned by an Ivorian. They started to attack the nearby Byblos restaurant, then stopped when the owner pleaded, "No, no! I'm Lebanese!"

But when it came to Club Le Saint Germain, the mob showed no restraint. The elegant eatery had not only a French owner but also a predominantly French clientele, including soldiers from the nearby military base.

Last Saturday night, witnesses said, men armed with wood planks, iron rail spikes and a lust for revenge battered down the club's steel doors. They yanked bars from the windows and bashed a gaping hole through the concrete wall.

As the owner and a friend watched from an adjacent roof, the mob stole everything that could be taken and destroyed what remained, witnesses said. The posh establishment was reduced to little more than a dirt-streaked shell.
If the French get chased out out of Cote D'Ivoire, maybe they can stop off in Iraq on the way home to share their expert advice about nation-building.
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