Algeria: Not My Fault

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December 4, 2009: The recent football (soccer) playoffs between Egypt and Algeria were turned into a series of nationalistic riots by the Egyptian government (which did not turn the police on the anti-Algerian rioters, and had the government controlled mass media stir up the rioters.) This was all about Arab politics. Egypt still considers itself the "senior" or "leading" Arab nation, but most other Arab nations see this as arrogant and just plain wrong. Egypt is accused of being delusional and a sellout (for making peace with Israel). There is also the blame shifting over the Palestinian mess. When Israel declared its independence in 1948, the Arab states, led by Egypt, rejected the UN partition plan, and told the Palestinians that the combined might of the Arab armies would crush the Jews and put the Palestinians in charge of what is now Israel. That didn't happen, and three more wars, and Arab defeats, ended in Egypt making peace with Israel and trying to negotiate a peace deal between the Palestinians and Israelis. This has not worked either, and Arab nations like to blame Egypt for the failure. Naturally, the Egyptians resent this, along with their poverty (because of no oil and a corrupt government) and dismal future (the poverty and corruption again.) The failure of Arab states to deal with their economic, cultural, corruption and political problems led to the formation of al Qaeda, and other Islamic terrorist organizations. But it's rare for an Arab state, or its inhabitants, to accept blame for any of these problems. Someone else, sometimes another Arab state, is always at fault.

One bright spot for the Algerian government is the continued decline of the remaining Islamic terrorists in the country. Several hundred active terrorists are still out there, but they are having increasing difficulty organizing and carrying out attacks. Thus the continued decline in Islamic terrorist violence. But there are still plenty of Algerians angry at the "old revolutionaries" (the families that led the 1950s war against the French colonial government) who have run the country, and exploited it for their own benefit, since the French left in the early 1960s.

Another aspect of the Arabs wallowing in victimhood, is the Algerian led effort to pass a UN resolution declaring it illegal (or, at the very least, in defiance of the UN) to commit blasphemy against Islam. What exactly this blasphemy would consist of is vague, and the Arabs want it that way. The effort is all about getting the rest of the world to feel guilty about how screwed up the Arab world is, and to offer reparations (financial, political, and so on) to make amends. Some in the West are willing to go along with this, but most are not. All other non-Moslem nations are even less willing to accommodate the Arabs.   

December 3, 2009: The government increased the minimum wage 25 percent, to deal with the constant inflation (which is currently running at the rate of 5.7 percent a year). Government corruption and incompetence has ruined the economy, leaving most young Algerians with very poor employment prospects. The unemployed, or underemployed, young are prone to violence because of the poor treatment they get from their government.

November 30, 2009: In the south, Mauritanian troops have begun searching an area near the Mali and Algerian border, where suspected Islamic terrorists (or bandits) are believed to be holding three kidnapped Spanish aid workers.

November 29, 2009: An Algerian man, Ahmed Belbacha, held as a terrorist by the United States for seven years on terrorism charges, refused to return to Algeria when recently released. That was because the Algerian government had a strong case against him, and tried him in absentia, convicted him and sentenced him to 20 years in prison. Political activists in the U.S. have persuaded the government and courts to release hundreds of terrorist suspects held in Guantanamo Bay. In addition, other nations have been persuaded to take released terrorists who refuse to return to their home countries (on the grounds that they would not receive the same treatment, by the judicial system, as they would in the United States.) For the last two years, the U.S. has been seeking other nations to take most of the 17 Algerians held at Guantanamo, who refuse to go to Algeria for fear of prosecution.

November 21, 2009: Two Algerian men held as terrorists by the United States for seven years on terrorism charges, and were returned to Algeria, were acquitted of the terrorism charges and released by an Algerian court. The two men admitted to involvement in the illegal drug trade, and that's why they had gone from Germany to Afghanistan in late 2001.

 

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