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"ALGERIA IS IN CRISIS"

June 22, 2001

MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 6/19: "The Battle of Algiers" left North Africa biggest country terribly bloodied and traumatized. This time it was French imperialism and the French military that did the dirty horrifying deeds.

Then a decade ago, to block the popular choice of the electorate, a military coup grabbed power in Algeria; of course with considerable help and encouragement from the CIA, the French, and Arab regimes fearing the same could happen in their countries. Plus of course such militarism and repression are all part of the West's enhanced crusade to keep the regimes of the region in "client" status, which increasingly means suppressing the popular uprising now code-named "Islamic resurgence" by friends, "Islamic fundamentalism" by enemies.

A terrible reign of gruesome torture and fierce bloodletting has resulted from that military coup 10 years ago now. Over a hundred thousand Algerians have been killed. At the moment there's no end in sight. And indeed it has all lead to "Algeria in Crisis".

BERBER PROTESTS SHAKE ALGERIA'S MILITARY ELITE

PRESIDENT STALLS AS RIOTS SPREAD THROUGHOUT COUNTRY

[The Guardian - Wednesday June 20, 2001]: Algeria's military rulers are facing an unprecedented challenge after two months of protests against police brutality and poverty in the Berber-dominated Kabylia region culminated last week in the largest demonstrations in Algiers since independence.

Rioting spread last weekend beyond the main Kabylia towns of Tizi Ouzou and Bejaia to the southern town of Biskra and to Annaba and Khenchela in the east. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has proved unwilling or unable to assert his authority, remaining uncharacteristically silent.

Demonstrations have been banned as the government braces for protests in the Kabylia next Monday to mark the third anniversary of the murder of a Berber nationalist singer, Lounes Matoub, attributed to Islamic groups. A second mass demonstration is planned in Algiers for July 5.

The protests were sparked by the shooting in police custody of a Berber youth on April 18th, and by mounting resentment over the strong-arm tactics of the special police forces. The demonstrations have been led by urban youths alienated by rising unemployment, mounting poverty and a chronic housing shortage.

At least 60 people have died in two months of protests that culminated in last Thursday's riots in central Algiers, in which four people were killed and more than 1,000 were injured in clashes after several hundred thousand Berbers converged on the capital.

They demanded the withdrawal of paramilitary gendarmes from the Kabylia, swift action on Berber poverty and official recognition for their language, Tamazigh.

Algeria's 6m Berbers are concentrated in the Sahara and Kabylia regions, but the Kabylia is no poorer than other parts of the country. Last year saw rioting in the western city of Sidi Bel Abbes in protest at local government corruption, and there are fears of similar unrest in cities such as Constantine, Setif and the western port city of Oran.

Fearing a repeat of the 1988 nationwide protests which destabilised the FLN govern ment which had ruled the country since independence, the authorities have sought to divide and rule. Officials have attacked the latest protests as a Berber nationalist revolt influenced by outsiders, knowing that many Algerian Arabs suspect that France is behind the Berber national demands.

The protesters accused the police of encouraging Arab youths from the impoverished Belcourt district of Algiers to attack last week's march, and claim that the gendarmes deploy minimum force against protests outside the Kabylia.

With strong liberal and secular political traditions, the Berber community has been torn between resenting the Arab-dominated military elite and opposing the Islamic rebels in the civil war in which 100,000 people have died.

However, the Islamist warlord Hassan Hattab has launched a poster campaign in Tizi Ouzou urging the protesters to join the renegade GSPC (Salasi Group Preaching and Combat), raising the new, if unlikely, spectre of an alliance between the Islamic and Berber movements.

ALGERIAN PRESIDENT CLAMPS DOWN ON RIOTS, REFUSES TO STEP DOWN
ALGIERS, June 19 (AFP) - Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika declared Tuesday he would hold on to power, despite ongoing riots against his regime that have killed more than 50 people in the past two months.

A defiant speech by Bouteflika to a rally in southern Algeria came after his government announced measures that would open the way for troops to move against demonstrators, and press reports said more violent protests had claimed another seven lives.

It also notably came after an ethnic Berber-led anti-government march by almost a million people last week in Algiers, which turned riotous and bloody, and which presented the biggest challenge yet to Bouteflika's leadership.

"I am not a captain who abandons a sinking ship -- I am here, I am staying, in line with the will of the people who elected me," Bouteflika told the rally in Tamanrasset.

He admitted "Algeria is in crisis," but said he was willing to start talks to find a peaceful solution.

"Reforms and change must be undertaken calmly. I will not accept a revolution against public property and the people," he said.

Bouteflika's government late Monday announced it was banning all protests in the capital "until further notice" -- a move that enables soldiers to be used to put down further riots.

The violence in the capital last week claimed at least four lives and left 946 injured, according to official figures, and followed two months of serious unrest in the Kabylie region to the east.

Meanwhile, Tuesday's press said seven people were killed, including two paramilitary policemen, in disturbances in Kabylie.

These deaths brought to 87 the unofficial tally of people killed in the past two months. Official figures put the toll at 56 people killed and 2,300 injured. The riots were triggered April 18 when a Berber youth was shot dead in police custody on April 18.

Veteran opposition leader Hocine Ait Ahmed on Tuesday urged UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to go to Algeria and called on the world body to send an international team to probe the unrest.

Earlier, he handed a list of 130 names of people, mainly youths, declared missing since the Algiers riots, to a top aide to UN Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson.

Ait Ahmed heads the Socialist Forces Front (FFS), which is strong in Kabylie.

Apart from the former ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) and the now outlawed Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), it was the only party to win parliamentary seats in December 1991.

The second round of that general election was called off by the military the following month when it became clear that the fundamentalist FIS would sweep the polls. This move triggered a guerrilla war that has since claimed some 100,000 lives.

Proposals for a political transition addressed by Ait Ahmed last month to Bouteflika -- and the generals in charge of the army and the political police, Mohamed Lamari and Tewfik Mediene -- drew scorn in Algiers.

Officials have also rejected calls for international intervention.

The government action drew a mixed response Tuesday from the powerful General Union of Algerian Workers (UGTA) confederation. In a statement, UGTA General Secretary Abdelmadjid Sidi Said expressed a commitment to "defend the country, the republic, freedoms and the democratic ideal" and warned against all "protests in the shape of violence, destruction of public and private property and looting".

However, the UGTA, which opposes privatisations undertaken by the government for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), also said the unrest was "the inevitable outcome of a series of thoughtless economic and social policies, which are fundamentally unjust and blindly wreck all the workers have gained."


June 2001


Magazine






TURKEY HEADING TOWARD "SOCIAL EXPLOSION"...i.e., "REVOLUTION"
(June 30, 2001)
In geostrategic and military terms, the unnamed U.S.-Israel-Turkish military alliance that emerged full-blown during the last decade -- of course with the Turks using the "peace process" as the excuse for such close relations between Turkey and Israel -- was one of the most important developments.

WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTIONS EMERGING
(June 29, 2001)
In a sense there is an arms race under way at this time of a different kind -- a race for whether weapons of mass destruction will be used in a serious and ongoing way should a new war break out first in the Subcontinent over Kashmir or in the Middle East over Palestine.

LABOR AND LIKUD MORE ALIKE THAN DIFFERENT - MER FLASHBACK
(June 29, 2001)
Long before what was to happen with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (remember him?), MER was informing who he really was and what to really expect. Same with regard to Shimon Peres. Expect the same cutting-edge information and analysis in the months ahead.

Washington Scene: THE HISTORICAL MOMENT
(June 27, 2001)
The Middle East region totters now between further repression and oppression, terrorism and war. The outcome in the short term is indeterminate of course. But the winds and directions are clear; however much camaflouged by the politicians and the usually gullible mass media.

THREATCON DELTA ORDERED TODAY
(June 22, 2001)
One day they will probably get Osama bin-Laden, former confident of King Fahd in Saudi Arabia, former CIA asset against the once mighty Soviet Empire, now arch nemesis of the American Empire.

"ALGERIA IS IN CRISIS"
(June 22, 2001)
"The Battle of Algiers" left North Africa biggest country terribly bloodied and traumatized. This time it was French imperialism and the French military that did the dirty horrifying deeds.

EGYPT ARMING WHILE REGIME IS SHAKING
(June 21, 2001)
Arab States, including Egypt, are arming at a growing pace. Even combined they are still no match to defeat Israel. But their detterence capabilities are growing, they might be able to seriously bloody Israel in years ahead...

ARAFAT'S FLUNKIES
(June 20, 2001)
There are many reasons the Palestinian people are suffering so terribly, worse by the year in fact, and are now endangered by the possibility of a second "nakba" (disaster).

"THE SECOND HALF OF 1948"
(June 20, 2001)
Official declarations and many reports in the Israeli media indicate that the Israeli military and political leadership are aiming, eventually, at a total destruction of the Palestinian authority, and, with it, the process of Oslo, which is now dominantly considered by them a 'historical mistake'.

TELEGRAPHING WHAT I S TO COME
(June 19, 2001)
Arafat had two roles he had been assigned. That's why none other than former "terrorist" Arafat was the most frequent visitor to the White House during the years 1993 through 2000.

SHARON'S LONG MARCH: NEXT TO WASHINGTON THEN TO THE ATTACK
(June 19, 2001)
Ariel Sharon is proving what others before him, including Generals Patton and MacArthur of American legend, learned about modern warfare. There's a heavy messure of political theatrics and personal legend involved in making war, more so now than ever in this age of instant TV and the Intenet.

SHARON Coming To US Again To Coordinate War Plans
(June 19, 2001)
Sharon is coming to the States again next week. Only a firm "absolutely not" from the Americans is likely now to prevent much further brutal subjugation of the Palestinians; quite possibly the exiling again of Yasser Arafat.

SON OF IMPORTANT ISRAELI FAMILY REFUSES OCCUPATION MILITARY SERVICE
(June 17, 2001)
Coordinated non-violent but serious civil disobedience -- there in the Middle East, in Europe, and in the United States -- that is what today's situation desperately calls out for.

ARIEL SHARON - WAR CRIMINAL?
(June 15, 2001)
Years ago the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kurt Waldheim, was brought before a mock international court through a joint effort of Home Box Office (HBO) in the USA and a major British TV network. The question before the court was whether Kurt Waldheim was possibly guilty of war crimes ...

PREPARING FOR DESTRUCTION
(June 15, 2001)
"If a cease-fire does indeed take hold, then all the better... If Arafat rejects the document or professes to accept it, but does not fulfill his part of the bargain, Israel will win more points in the court of world opinion and a more conducive political backdrop will be created for a military response to Palestinian violence."

ALGERIANS FIRE INTO DEMONSTRATING CROWDS TODAY
(June 14, 2001)
The Berbers in Algeria, the brutal civil war in Sudan, the Palestinians in the once Holy Land, the Kurds in Iraq and Turkey, the ongoing Kashmir crisis -- all conflicts exploding throughout the greater Middle East region today in 2001, all conflicts the legacy of Western colonial policies of yesteryear and American imperial policies of today.

MARCH TO WAR CONTINUES: ISRAEL WARNS IRAN AGAIN
(June 14, 2001)
There are major historical and military reasons why Ehud Barak and Bill Clinton (representing of course huge constituencies who at the time pushed them to pursue the policies they did) pressed Yasser Arafat so hard to sign an agreement at Camp David.

THE SO-CALLED "AGREEMENT"
(June 13, 2001)
There is no real "agreement". There is a dictate. Yasser Arafat is in no position anymore to do much other than what his American handlers tell him to do; a day of reckoning he brought on himself by so many mistakes and so much corruption over such a long time.

Another Muslim Rep Foolishly Plays To The Cameras On Behalf of the Regimes
(June 13, 2001)
A week ago outside the State Department one of the latest Muslim organization reps to grab for the cameras -- Khalid Turaani -- declared in loud tones how the time had finally come for "civil disobedience" and how he and the other leaders of the assembled Muslim "client organizations" were going to get arrested in a peaceful protest ...

HASHEMITE KINGDOM CLOSES BORDERS TO PALESTINIANS
(June 13, 2001)
The Hashemite Regime has always, right from the start, been in deep collusion with the Israelis and since World War II with the CIA. This latest step to close off Jordan to Palestinians -- to essentially put a seal on the jar which now contains the Palestinians ...

CIA TELLS ARAFAT WHAT HE HAS TO DO AND WHAT IT WILL DO FOR HIM
(June 12, 2001)
When the Director of the CIA is himself involved so extensively, goes on site half way around the world for a lengthy stay, and the situation is so critical he has to publicly acknowledge his role ...

CLOVIS MAKSOUD DID IT TWENTY YEARS AGO, APPEARING WITH SHIMON PERES
(June 11, 2001)
Those who know Raghida Dergham know what she is, and its certainly not a truly independent journalist. She's been an opportunist for a very long time, and she's used her sexuality to climb the ladder with backing from one influential Arab diplomat or royal along the way for a long time now.

CALAMITY AHEAD
(June 10, 2001)
"A whole nation is now huddled around one tribal bonfire to lament its bitter fate, mourn its dead and ignore the dead of the other side. As usual, it views itself as the victim, turns the enemy into Satan and waits, inactive and bravely unthinking, for the calamity that is about to befall it and for which it is in no small measure to blame."

WAR POSSIBLE WARNS TOP SAUDI
(June 10, 2001)
Normally one of the last places one would turn for truthfulness, integrity, and information would be the Saudi royal family. Currently headed by a former playboy who drank, gambled, and womanized his life away in Beirut and London -- before assuming the throne -- it is the Saudi "royal family which epitomizes the "client regime" realities that have so fractured, weakened, and prostrated the whole region once known as "the Arab world."

CHRISTIAN LEADERS: WRONG TIME, WRONG ADVICE, WRONG REASONS
(June 8, 2001)
"Be assured of our prayers for you and the President and all others in the Administration as you seek to forge a fair and just policy for the two peoples and three faiths who share a common religious heritage in the land we hold as holy."

THE CRUEL REGIMES OF ARABDOM
(June 7, 2001)
There are huge cultural gulfs between East and West, old world and new world. And of course the West is extraordinarily dominant these days not only it terms of financial and military might, but also in terms of cultural influence and "moral" standards.

SHARON'S RISE
(June 7, 2001)
"In reality the Zionist and Hashemite leaderships continue to plot how to control and repress the Palestinians in ever more crafty and ever more duplicitous ways."

ARAFAT 4 YEARS AGO - MER FLASHBACK
(June 6, 2001)
Last year MER first carried information about the increasingly close CIA, Shinbet, and Mossad connections with Yasser Arafat's "Palestinian Authority".

MUSLIM ORGS EMBARRASS THEMSELVES AT STATE DEPT
(June 5, 2001)
With much press fanfare (they just love to play to the cameras) leaders of half a dozen Muslim American groups held a press conference gathering across from the State Department today.

DESPITE THE LULL, WAR CLOUDS LOOM
(June 4, 2001)
Despite the lull, there are many ominous signs of impending major attacks against the occupied Palestinians about to take place; and there is a real possibility of regional war.

EGYPTIANS THREATEN WAR!
(June 4, 2001)
When the American Secretary of State cancels long-planned foreign travel and publicly warns of the "abyss" from which "there may no return" you can bet the situation behind-the-scenes is far more dangerous and explosive than is publicly realized.

SHARON'S HAWKS PLAN FOR WAR
(June 3, 2001)
Peter Beaumont, foreign affairs editor, reports on Israel's growing mood for full-scale hostilities in the aftermath of 17 deaths in a nightclub suicide bomb attack

24-HOURS AND COUNTING
(June 2, 2001)
"Americans should not travel to Gaza at the present time and those who live there should depart to a safer location when they can do so." U.S. Embassy, Israel

HATED RAJOUB GETS READY
(June 2, 2001)
With the days of Yasser Arafat maybe coming to an end one way or another, with Feisal Husseini passed from the scene, with the other Palestinian tough guys bottled up in Gaza, the frontrunner strong man to "control" the Palestinian people throughout the West Bank and Jerusalem appears to be Jibril Rajoub.

ARAFAT'S LEGACY
(June 2, 2001)
Yasser Arafat was hired, courted, and well-paid to control his own people and lead them, however much they tried to resist, to the Apartheid-style arrangement the Israelis always had in mind with the so-called "Oslo Peace Process".

ISRAELIS PLANNING BLITZKRIEG?
(June 1, 2001)
For a long time now we have been desperately warning about what the true Israeli intentions are. We have also been warning that the Palestinians are not at all prepared for these eventualities, neither with the terrible leadership provided by the "Palestinian Authority" nor for the world-wide information and public relations battle that accompanies all major developments in our world these days.




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