The following is a dissent on the recent post dealing with Algeria and Libya (“A first take). It was sent by “Nadia” — an Algerian in the diaspora. It is reproduced here, unedited, with permission. Other dissents are welcome, and will be posted with the respondent’s permission, please send them to the email listed on the blog’s “about page”.
It’s the sentence “The Algerian position on Libya appears to have come from a general misreading of the international scene on the uprising and the intervention” that got me writing. It is a fact that the pouvoir is made of skilled and inspired strategists. Whatever else they are, they do not set out on the course of foreign or internal policy in a haphazard manner. And they have hit their target successfully time and again over the last 50 years, not forgetting several years of practice during the independence war. Whatever seems murky, confusing, incomprehensible or simply moronic to us, is no doubt born out of a well-formed tactic to serve the interests of the junta, internationally and nationally. I do not for one moment believe that they are ‘misreading’ the situation. Besides, the Bouteflika government has (dare I say always) enjoyed western and US support. These friendly foreign relations and the leeway they allow were woven before Bouteflika taking presidency, as I am certain you know better than I. I don’t see that the pouvoir is taking its current stance on Libya without knowing that it can do so without jeopardising its relations with DC, nor the UAE. Notwithstanding the fact that DC (or Paris) can turn around and pull their support at no notice. Once again, the junta is no doubt well aware of the fleeting nature of these friendships.One country that hasn’t been mentioned so far is China. They have major vested interests in Algeria’s remaining stable (although a few blown up roads and buildings can only be good for business). I haven’t seen the chinese factor or stance explored anywhere, do you have any thoughts on that? Or perhaps you think it is not relevant?As for me, I can’t help viewing Algiers’ decisions re the TNC, starting from the denigrating of NATO’s intervention, as the unfolding of the exact scenario they would like to see enacted by a neigbour should they suffer the same fate as the Gadhafi clan, should Algerians rise up armed en masse, and should an Algerian rebel group declare itself legitimate and all but sovereign. It is as if their consciousness is incapable of accepting such a scenario, finding and drawing out an escape route out of what they must see as a possible development of the situation in Algeria.More concretly and perhaps more importantly it is not a message (accepting that a people can overthrow its oligarchy – wrong word for the foremer Libya regime I know, more of a family mafia) that they want Algerians to envisage as at all possible. And to kill two birds with one stone, a common enemy to hate is always a fantastic opportunity for national unity, and it is currently doing wonders to their self serving cause. Algerians are siding with the junta (they are blood relations after all) now that Algeria the country is being insulted and attacked by the international community. What better way to get national support during Ramadan and upon Eid of all times in the year than to give refuge to, not Gadhafi, but women and children (the criminal sons being a side dish). Algerians will defend the governement because they are being angled in this position, and when the next Hydra head grows in 2012 in replacement of the current all-but-dead one, there will be a lot less resentment as to their continuing life-span (and perhaps there will even be support and relief as was the case for Bouteflika, depending of course on how this develops over the forthcoming months because the generals will milk this for sure, as well milking the re-birth of the terrorist spectre.) What an opportunity to prolong the junta’s life this NTC sword crossing turns out to be.