France extends state of emergency after Nice attack

French President Francois Hollande announced that he will extend the state of emergency for another three months in light of the Nice attack—just hours after saying he would lift it. Both Hollande's earlier Paris announcement that he would lift the emergency provisions and the Nice attack came amid official Bastille Day celebrations. Speaking to a crowd on the Champs-Elysées, Hollande said that the state of emergency—in place since November's Paris attacks— would not extend beyond July 26: "We can't prolong the state of emergency forever. That would make no sense, it would mean that we were no longer a republic with laws which can apply in all circumstances." The state of emergency was extended three times by parliament—most recently in an effort to to ensure security through the Euro-2016 soccer match.

In the Nice attack, a truck charged into throngs along the Mediterranean city's seaside Promenade des Anglais following a fireworks display. The driver then got out of the vehicle and fired on the crowd before being brought down by police. Firearms, explosives, and grenades were found inside the truck. The death toll currently stands at 80. The attack appears so far to be the work of a lone assailant, but ISIS has issued a call for its followers in France to carry out such assualts with vehicles. (Mediaite, France24, Reuters)

'Road rage' factor in Nice attack?

Reports now indicate there were no explosives in the truck, that the firearms found were "replicas" except for one pistol, and that all the victims were slain by the vehicle. The perpetrator, born in Tunisia, is said to have been arrested in a "road rage" incident in March, in which struck a fellow motorist with a "wooden pallet." He was on no terrorist watch lists either i France or Tunisia, and friends and neighbors are interviewed denying he had jihadist ties. (Reuters, MEE)

So now we will be treated to the endless debate about whether the perp was a "terrorist" or just an angry lone nut—a question which is pathologically politicized, and denies the possibility of the hybrid phenomenon: that is, an angry lone nut inspired by jihadism (whether in ideology or merely in method). And, of course, the critical factor of car culture will be overlooked in mainstream discourse.

You can talk about jihadism. As in the 2014 Isa Vista massacre, you can talk about "mental illness." But you can't analyze the case with a realistic sense of how different factors can work together—and you can't talk about car cutlure.