Sunday, September 03, 2006

[algeria] the western veil of silence

I’ve been accused of writing slanted articles about Muslims but of never attacking the Jews. I think if you look at the comments section of you’ll see ample evidence of digs at the Jews. In case that’s not enough, I invite you to send me researched material on Jewish atrocities and I’ll gladly run it.

More than once I’ve looked at the actions of the Irgun, the Lehi/Stern gang, Lord Moyne, Martin and Paice, to name but a few.

I’m not Jewish, I hold no candle for the Jews and I’m as critical as anyone has a right to be. On the other hand, articles such as the following from Gary Brecher are interesting, if only because no one else seems to be addressing this issue. There is a wall of silence from Nizhni Novgorod to New York.

Why? Brecher’s article offers one explanation. Warning – though it is written in a jaunty, readable style, the content is fairly unpalatable if you have a queasy tummy:

Some wars make it onto the TV news, and some don't. It's got nothing to do with how bloody or big they are. There are lots of pathetic little "wars" that get more press than they deserve.

Like Northern Ireland. In 25 years of fighting, you know how many people got killed? 3,100. That works out to 125 people per year. That's not as much as a three-day weekend in Detroit.

But just look at how much press those few Irish killings got. Every time a little bomb went off or one of the local drunks got popped on St. Patrick's Day it was all over the news.

So by now everybody thinks Northern Ireland is this big, bad "trouble spot" when the truth is you'd probably have to jump in front of a bus to get hurt there. Going into a Fresno 7-ll after midnight is about a thousand times more dangerous.

Then there are the big, bloody wars that never get on TV at all. Like Algeria. When was the last time you saw a live report from Algeria on the news? 100,000 people got killed there in the last ten years. Maybe more, up to 170,000. Nobody's sure.

And the killings were really sick too: slit throats, people burnt alive, mass rapes and various farm tools used in nasty ways. Real Khmer Rouge stuff, killing people with hoes to save bullets and make it as slow and bloody as possible.

You'd think the TV news types would like that. But they never show anything from Algeria. I've been wondering why that is, and I've come up with three reasons.

First, it's too real. Too dangerous. You could see how scared TV reporters were during the Gulf War, even though everybody with any sense knew Saddam's crappy army couldn't beat an egg, let alone America.

So these CNN stars love going on location to places like Northern Ireland, where they can wear bulletproof vests and look brave without any real chance they'll get hurt.

But they won't go anywhere near Algeria, because the war there is for real. The Algerian Islamic crazies kill every journalist they catch. Allah doesn't like reporters. Wolf Blitzer's not going to risk his overpaid hide in a place like that.

Second, the people getting killed in Algeria are Arabs. And the fact is nobody likes Arabs. Yeah, Dubya has to go around saying we love Arabs to death but that's just politicians talking.

Nobody really cares when they hear another few Palestinians got blasted in some West-Bank hellhole. And they care even less when it's Arabs in Algeria.

The funny thing is a lot of Algerians aren't Arabs at all. They're Berbers who have their own languge and don't like Arabs either. The Islamic throat-slitters hate the Berbers because Berbers like to drink wine and make music and generally have a good time.

The Berbers actually sound like pretty decent people who just picked the wrong place to live, like the Kurds. They might've been OK if they hadn't been overrun by Arabs force-feeding their religion down their throats.

When you think about it, a lot of pretty interesting countries got swamped by the Arabs. Take the Egyptians, who had the coolest gods of anybody - the one with the jackal's head, the sun-god, the sacred crocodiles.

Or the Persians - when you read about the Greeks' best battles like Marathon and Salamis, they're always against the Persians. The Persian army was like this giant zoo of tribal fighters under the Shah marching around on horses and camels, with every weapon in the world from slingers to heavy cavalry.

Then the Arabs come screaming in out of the desert smashing up the statues of the gods, burning and outlawing everything they can think of, and what have the Egyptians and the Persians and the Berbers got now?

No music, no statues, no booze, women not allowed out on the street. What a waste. Sounds a lot like my life, in fact. No wonder it gets me depressed.

The third reason nobody hears about Algeria is that there's no moral to the story, and news types can't handle a story with no angle.

Algeria is just a bloody mess with no good guys, no happy ending, no "lessons" for anybody, and so many different bad guys that it makes no sense to outsiders.

So Algeria is having a war nobody wants to know about. It's like that old hippie saying, "What if they held a war and nobody came?" Except it's more like "What if they held ten years of non-stop massacres and nobody cared?"

Since nobody cares, nobody writes about it. So it's hard getting any decent info on Algeria, especially in English. The good stuff seems to be in French, and I'm proud to say I don't speak a word of that poodle-talk. Finding out about Algeria was tougher than any other war I've done, but I've got it taped now.

First thing to keep in mind is that Algeria's always been a bloody place, even before it was "Algeria." Piracy was the main business on the North African coast. That's where we get that line about "the shores of Tripoli" in the Marine Corps hymn.

Tripoli is in Libya, and it was the sort of place you had to send the Marines into from time to time to rescue merchant ships that had got a little too close to the North African coast and been captured for ransom. Violence is normal in Algeria.

Algeria also has a weird geography that makes it easier to understand why they like to fight so much. It's a huge country but nine-tenths of it is useless Sahara sand. Everybody lives on the Mediterranean coast or in the mountains near the coast.

That means there's not really much land. And the birthrate is incredible. When Algeria kicked out the French in 1962, there were about ten million people. Now there are thirty million. Three quarters of the population is under 25. Too many kids plus Islam equals a lot of dumb boys who want to be jihadis.

Just think about it: a country where the whole "silent majority" is high-school age. I don't know about you, but for me high school was the closest thing to Hell on earth.

A whole country of high-school kids is bad enough, but Islamic high-school kids - it's like that novel Lord of the Flies only with a bigger weapons budget.

So all the kids want to be Jihadis, but the old men running the country have other ideas. They're anti-religious old Commies, and they had their own war, a Commie-led war for independence from the French, 1954-1962.

The poor sad French were trying to hang onto a little scrap of their Empire, and Algeria was their last stand. It was one of the few colonies they managed to settle in big numbers. There were a couple of million French colonists living in Algeria, and the French put everything they had into holding on to it.

If you ever run into a Frenchman who was born between 1930 and 1940, ask him if he was in Algeria. If he says no, he's probably lying.

The war was a bloody mess, maybe a million dead altogether, mostly Algerians. That's typical for guerrilla warfare: you expect to kill about ten natives for every soldier you lose. And even that doesn't mean you're going to stamp out the revolt.

We killed maybe 12 Vietnamese for every G.I. who died, and we still lost. Same with Algeria: the French killed a whole lot of Algerians, but the Algerians just wanted it more than the French did.

So they kept on coming, and the war ended with the French running for the docks. A million French settlers scrambled onto the boats just as the FLN, the Algerian revolutionary commies, marched into Algiers.

The FLN did the usual thing for Commie "National Liberation" movements: tortured all the "collaborators" to death, voted themselves into power for life and started up a good secret police. And that was about all.

Algeria went into a socialist coma, the kind where there are lots of big posters and revolutionary slogans, but you can't buy a decent pair of shoes. The only thing that kept the place running was money from the oil and natural gas down in the Sahara.

There was enough coming in from that to keep the ex-revolutionaries in caviar and Cadillacs, with enough left over to keep the rest of the population from actually starving.

But by 1990, things were bad. Oil revenues were down, and Commies everywhere were in full retreat. The Algerian generals were getting nervous. The kids were into Islam, not Marx.

Western pressure led to elections in 1991. The Islamists were leading and would've won. But the generals decided to cancel the elections. That's when it turned into all-out war between the Islamists and the Army.

The biggest Islamic guerrilla force was the AIS, connected to the FIS, the Islamic party that would've won the elections. But AIS looked like squeamish moderates compared to the GIA, another Islamic militia that does its killing south of Algiers.

The GIA get my vote for the sickest, craziest, bloodiest guerrilla group since the Khmer Rouge went out of business. They're the ones who do the massacres that make Algeria the place you'd least like to spend your honeymoon.

Just killing isn't enough for these guys. Killing is for wimps. The GIA started coming up with new touches to keep the game interesting: burning people alive, bayoneting babies, raping and killing children in front of their parents. All in the name of God, you understand.

It got so bad that your ordinary run-of-the-mill Islamic lunatic in the street was getting sick of it. The GIA leadership started arguing about whether they might have been a little OTT.

They settled the argument in their usual way: by killing each other. The Army was helping out too by killing any GIA leader it could find. What you ended up with was a bunch of little gangs of Islamic fanatics instead of one big group.

But the Algerian Army never really tried to wipe out the GIA. They shot a few of the leaders, but there are a lot of reports about GIA crazies going into villages right next to Army bases, killing and raping for hours, then strolling out with no reaction from the Army.

Supposedly Army helicopters even hovered over one of the worst massacres, where 800 villagers had their throats slashed, without sending troops or doing anything to help. It takes a long time to kill 800 people with nothing but knives. Plenty long enough to send troops-if you want to.

One theory is that the Army brass wanted to let the GIA make Islamic extremism look so sick that the voters would never go for it again. If that was the idea, it's worked, because the latest polls show Algerians turning against the Islamists.

But there are other rumors that some of the Islamic loonies were actually Army men in disguise, killing off villagers to settle private scores.

But even if there are some secret motives, you can't say the Algerian massacres are just the result of a few "bad apples" or part of some conspiracy theory. There are too many people doing the killings for that. Let's face up to a couple of depressing facts here:

First: Islam DOES glorify violence. When groups like the GIA say they're doing Allah's will by killing people who ain't following the right path, they've got the Qu’ran on their side.

The Qu’ran is absolutely in favor of violence against everybody who's not already a Muslim. Anybody who tells you different is a liar. Speaking as a recovered Pentecostal, I'd say all religions are crap-but Islam is way, way the sickest and most violent of all.

Dubya goes around sucking up to the Saudis with this crap about Islam being "a religion of peace." Islam is NOT a religion of peace and never has been. Face facts, damn it!

Second: the GIA is not just a few loonies. It'd be nice to believe that, but it's just not true. The GIA has at least 15,000 soldiers. You can't feed and supply that many men without cooperation from the civilian population.

The news people like to tell you the GIA terrorizes the poor villagers, but that's bull. The GIA is recruited from those very villagers, supported by them, fed and sheltered and hidden by them. If the GIA is sick, it's because a whole lot of Algerians like it that way.

The war got even sicker as it went on. My personal favorite for coolest group of crazies is this GIA splinter group I read about - the Disciples of Satan.

Sounds like a biker gang, but these guys make the Hell's Angels look like a book club. They started out as GIA fighters, but they got so messed up by what they'd seen and done that they decided there must not be a God at all.

They turned into Islamic Satanists and went around trying to find newer and sicker ways to kill people as a way of making Satan happy. So they were doing the same sick stuff as ever, but in Satan's name instead of Allah's.

Not everybody approved of the GIA. The Islamists who weren't completely out of their tiny minds started trying to isolate the GIA.

Some formed a new group called the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (you gotta love that name!) which tried to be "good" guerrillas, sticking to military targets and not killing civilians unnecessarily.

Meanwhile the AIS, the first and biggest Islamic guerrilla group, made a deal with the government in 1999. They got amnesty and agreed to help hunt down the crazies in the GIA.

It looked like things were looking up for Algeria-for a while. But lately it all seems to be melting down. The GIA is still around.

The Salafists are hunkered down in the mountains waiting to meet the Army head-on. And the Berbers are getting sick of having their favorite musicians blown away for the crime of singing. (Apparently Allah hates singers.)

The poor Berbers. They're really the only people you can sympathize with in the whole sick country. It's like they're the only sane person in a family full of Chainsaw Massacre types. So they're the freaks, because they want to drink wine and sing and take it easy.

They're the "evil" un-Islamic ones, because they're not as crazy as the Algerian Arabs. The sad thing is, they'll probably never be able to kill as well as the Islamists.

You can't act as crazy as a really crazy person, no matter how hard you try. And the Berbers are just too sane for Algeria. They'll be stomped every time.

So whoever said that the meek are going to inherit the earth was dead wrong. If you want an "angle" or a "moral" from Algeria, here's an honest one: the psychos are going to inherit everything.