In Nezzar’s own words

Those who have not should check out the bits of Khaled Nezzar’s memoirs on Ech-Chourouk‘s website. They are there for obvious reasons, I think, and are worth perusing and parsing (some of this may come here eventually): they speak volumes about the former Algerian junta leader’s self-perception and world view generally (Nezzar carries a classically Algerian manner of revealing much about himself (often negative things one would not want others to know about) in the process of self-aggrandizement). For all that one may think of him, he has a way of playing the press (as he did last year in the newspaper war with Chadli and Anissa Boumediene) that is almost Bismarck-esque, though with less mastery, for he bogs down in minutia and hyperbole. One should be mistaken in believing that this to say anything other than his penchant for controlling his image in the Algerian media is similar to the German Chancellor, though he may have looked to that direction in career. Some Algerians would look to other Germans for a better analogy more broadly.

[As to why EchChourouk has serialized Nezzar’s memoirs, note its more general coverage such as this article on its English page about a “sly war” among Moroccans in France aimed at undermining Algerians within the Muslim community there. We may say it tends towards certain perspectives to be found with a certain set of Algerians with certain views of Morocco and the Algerian army (as well as religious life), to be vague and to challenge readers to investigate more deeply.]


4 thoughts on “In Nezzar’s own words

  1. These excerpts all seemt to be about Algeria’s (rather limited) participation in the 1967 and 1973 Arab-Israeli wars, but since the memoirs have been around for some time, I think a little googling could dig up more Algeria-centered sections elsewhere. Here, for example, is a chapter dealing with the deadlock of 1991, on Algeria Watch.

  2. Thanks for the additional link, alle. I think these are interesting because they fit so well into his recent activities, namely trying to take a firm grip over his reputation and legacy –which is quite negative — by appealing to his revolutionary and militant credentials (which are often questioned). By putting out these ‘great moments in Nezzaritude’ he is continuing what he has done for many years through his memoirs and other media, flooding the media with his finer points. Especially after the way he was treated in the Algerian press last year (and more generally since the libel case in France several years ago). I think putting these out is very telling about the way he sees himself: he is conscious of the fact that he is perceived quite negatively as a result of his conduct from the late 1980’s onwards and wants to make the rest of his record (as he would have it presented) clearly available to the people, so as to compete with other narratives that are popular. Of course the important and telling chapters to which you link are more relevant to the current situation in Algeria now and previously than was Nezzar’s activity during the Arab-Israeli Wars, but this is what he would like us to see: a soldier in the Arab cause, countering narratives that cast him as a Francophile subversive or otherwise contra Arabism or Islam. It shows us where his head is at. He is after all aging under a regime with a political climate that works against his previous domination.

  3. Interestingly, the weekly edition of El Khabar recently had an interview by a former official of the organization of children of shuhada (martyrs of the revolution) in which he launched a violent diatribe against the infamous
    “party of France” (Hizb Franca, assumed to be a sort of trojan horse for the neo-colonial policies of France). Nothing new for anyone familiar with Algerian politics, but the timing (shortly after the elections) seems strange. I’m told the paper issue did not last long on th stands.

    The article (in Arabic)

    For a pdf version:

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