Who said the war is global? Our Maghreb friends.
(Page 2 of 3)
Folks voted, did they not? Democracy is going to the ballot box and stuffing it, is it not? Dropping your vote in it and hoping others will do the same. So why was it a sham? Simultaneously, folks were voting a few countries to the south, in Senegal, for a new president. Or to keep the incumbent. Mr. Wade, his name. Tall, handsome, a bit old but still going strong. Typical proud and arrogant Wolof, a Mr. Know-it-all. I expected Madame Secretary to have something to say about that, but she was mum. Of course it could be that Mr. Wade rather circumvented the constitution, which has a term-limit clause.
Bit of a problem, these term limit clauses. Mr. Tyrrell himself, once against them, more lately has supported them. His motive is that the rule helps throw the rascals out. But as Mister Dooley might have said, what do you want to do, trade one set for another? Personally I am opposed to term limits, as were the Founders — I believe the matter was discussed at the Philadelphia Convention, but check with Professor Rabkin or that other big-brain man (and ex-Navy officer) Professor Codevilla, because what do I know.
The other forget-about-term-limits man is, of course, Mr. Bloomberg, mayor of the city where our Secretary was Senator — no I am off again, I mean of course President Bouteflika, Mrs. Clinton’s host in Algiers, at least for a few hours over the weekend. He was supposed to have hit the term-limit ceiling a couple years ago but he went ahead and urged his friends in the city council, excuse me the legislature, to amend the law, which they did.
Now here is a man the Berbers do not like. They said so in their letter: ” The Algerian president is an old man who betrayed the constitution by getting himself elected to a third five-year term in 2009.” Whoa, harsh, harsh! Why such hard words for the old pro?
The reason is this. The Kabyles would like to have self-determination. Mrs. Clinton was not, so far as we know, referring to what they have in mind. She meant the world’s peoples should be in charge of their own affairs, just like the voters of New York. She meant the people of Syria. She meant the people who made the Arab Spring. But what of the people who never got a chance to say what they wanted by way of self-determination?
“We know [the Anavad writes to the Secretary of State] the world that was de-colonized some 50 years ago is still rife with cruel dictators.”
The Kabyles, it must be remembered, were, individually and as a tribal group, in the front lines of the fight against colonialism, French colonialism in this case. They feel they were betrayed by what they refer to as the Arabo-Islamist-Baathist regime that beat them up in a short, violent war that erupted after the French pulled out. The Kabyles feel they were largely responsible for winning that war. But they put aside their own feelings in favor of Arab-Berber solidarity against the French. So they were disappointed when the Arabs turned on them and set up a Arabo-Islamist-Baathist regime. This regime, they say, repressed the Kabyles, subverted the national revolution’s democratic aspirations, set up a one-party dictatorship backed by the army, repressed liberty, imposed proto-Islamist laws, and, because the revolution makes strange partners, turned to the Soviets for help (and models.)
This is a lot of hooey, their opponents reply. The Algerian government is headed by a Berber from Kabylie, Mr. Ahmed Ouyahia. Kabyles are at every level of Algerian society. These Anavad folks are nothing but troublemakers — malcontents.
“These tyrants,” the letter to Mrs. C. continues, “are falling like flies. We applaud your efforts to support the peoples who fight for their freedom, for peace, for human rights.”
It is awfully nice of them to say such nice things about us. Admit it is white of them. Particularly when the American ambassador to Algeria, Henry Ensher, cannot find even a few words for them. Of course, protocol oblige and all that. He is our man in Algiers, not our man in Tizi-Ouzou, their main city.
“We are not proud of those who govern the country, against the people’s will, and who supported the fallen dictators. Too, they support the Syrian butcher.”
Ambassador Ensher prefers not to argue about this, knowing as a good diplomat must that Algerian foreign policy — like our own — must deal with the world as it is, not as it ought to be. Judiciously, he notes that an economically strong North Africa, with cooperation between the Tunisians and Algerians and Moroccans, is in the American interest, particularly as it will enhance security cooperation. The U.S.-Algeria balance of trade is about 50-50, according to an Algerian business acquaintance who prefers to be called “Oscar.” That is in billions, with our imports mainly coming from Algeria’s energy sector.
The Anavad warns Mrs. C. that the Algiers regime is a rogue:
The Algerian regime lies; the U.S. knows it cannot trust leaders who are allied to the Iranians and dream of having their own nuclear weapon. It supports AQMI [al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb] which operates in the Sahel [southern Sahara], as well as the Malian dictatorship against the Tuareg people that is fighting for its existence.
This is not going to please anyone in the State Department, which does not consider Mali to be run by a dictatorship and which is highly skeptical of any suggestion that the Tuareg are, as implied here, fighting for survival. And it certainly does not want to be told that AQMI is supported by our Algerian partners-against-terrorism. And many in Algeria are outraged by such an accusation.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online