Algeria: The Slaughter of the Good and Bad Utterly Predictable
by Robert Fisk
The Algerian army, we were told by the usual suspects this afternoon - on
French television as well as in America - "are not soft on terrorists" and
had "expertise" in "fighting terrorism". Too true - but only half the truth.
Because they are not "soft" on hostages either. They are as ruthless with
captives as they are with captors.
The slaughter of the good and the bad at the In Amenas gas plant yesterday
was thus utterly predictable, because the Algerian military - the real
rulers of the nation - were "blooded" in a civil war which taught them to
care as little about the innocent as they did about the guilty. . . .
["In the long term, France has interests in securing resources in the Sahel
- particularly oil and uranium, which the French energy company Areva has
been extracting for decades in neighboring Niger," said Sold.--Rachel Baig, "The interests behind France's intervention in Mali,"
washingtonpost.com, January 16, 2013]
[Another Algerian jihadist group just attacked an important state gas
installation in revenge for France's assault on Mali.--Eric
Margolis, "On To Timbuktu
II," ericmargolis.com, January 18, 2013]
[As the bloody siege of the part BP-operated In Amenas gas plant in Algeria
came to an end, the British prime minister claimed, like George Bush and
Blair before him, that the country faced an "existential" and "global
threat" to "our interests and way of life". . . .
[Thus, the first 100 US military "advisers" are being sent to Niger,
Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Togo and Ghana - the six member-nations of
the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that will compose an
African army tasked (by the United Nations) to reconquer (invade?) the parts
of Mali under the Islamist sway of AQIM, its splinter group MUJAO and the
Ansar ed-Dine militia. This African mini-army, of course, is paid for by the
Students of the Vietnam War will be the first to note that sending
"advisers" was the first step of the subsequent quagmire. . . .
But the Oscar for Best Hypocritical Scenario certainly goes to the current
French-Anglo-American concern about Mali being the new al-Qaeda playground,
when the major playgrounds are actually NATO-supported northern Syria (as
far as the Turkish border), north Lebanon and most parts of Libya.
. . . political science professor Ahmed Adimi described the intervention as
an attempt to "undermine Algeria" and a "step in a plan for the installation
of foreign forces in the Sahel region".--Pepe Escobar, "War on
terror forever," atimes.com, January 23, 2013]
[Belmokhtar has spoken of the struggle against disbelief - in other words,
us, the West - the importance of Islamic law and the Islamic project in
northern Mali. He is too canny a man not to have realised that Mali's
torment springs from the decades-long northern Tuareg-Berber-Arabophone
refusal to be governed by a black administration in the south, but he was
drawn - like Bin Laden in Afghanistan - into a land where centralised power
was weak or non-existent. While human rights groups recorded ferocious
Islamist punishments - executions, amputations, the oppression of women; the
list is familiar - he spoke of a sharia which fed the poor, created justice
between Muslims, and equal rights.--Robert Fisk, "Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the new face of al-Qa'ida,"
independent.co.uk, January 24, 2013]
[Belmokhtar was known as a "man of honor," one of the western-financed
jihadists who went to battle the Soviets and their communist allies in
Afghanistan in the 1980's and 90's. He returned to his native Algeria, minus
an eye lost in combat, and, with his fellow "Afghani," sought to overthrow
Algeria's western-backed military regime, a major oil and gas supplier to
France.--Eric Margolis, "Oh No! Not
Another Osama!," lewrockwell.com, January 26, 2013]