Random highlights from the Algerian media - because English speakers need to follow Algeria news too

Thursday, July 20, 2006

God help Lebanon

(I tried to publish this last week - so some links may be outdated - but for some reason it didn't show up. An extra link confirming the obvious: RND, FLN, PT, MSP unite in expressing their solidarity with Lebanon and Palestine.)

Do I even need to provide links? Israel is bombing civilian targets all over Lebanon, and all Algeria is currently watching photos of wounded children, fleeing refugees, and nice cities looking rather like Algiers being bombed - oh, and Bush and Blair effectively encouraging all this. A particularly dumb (and Israeli-sourced) meme circulating among the wingnuts online is that the Arab world is fed up with Hizbollah. For the record, I'm just back from Algeria, and everyone I met there is rooting for them. As far as most people I met are concerned, kidnapping an Israeli soldier (quite apart from the fact that numerous Lebanese prisoners were already in Israeli jails) was entirely justified by the Israeli attacks on Gaza... and even if it weren't, it still wouldn't even begin to justify what the Israelis are doing now. The Saudis' attacks on Hezbollah were seen as reflecting very badly, not on Hezbollah, but on the Saudi monarchy, whose shameless indifference to others' suffering was revealed. Hezbollah's counter-attacks were greeted with sceptical support (as in: hope they work, but wouldn't count on it.) From rather better informed bloggers, I gather it's much the same elsewhere. I rather suspect these events will take some of the edge of the anti-Shiism that has been becoming more prominent in the Arab world lately.


At 1:10 PM, Blogger KNL said...

Wow, glad to see you're still writing! Where in Algeria were you? I will be going next year, hopefully (I am saving the money now), does the economy appear as bad as it is said to be, or is it better from what you could tell, or the same? I've heard a lot of things from different people.

As far as the murder campaign goes, I don't think I am going to support Hezb Allah as such (I don't believe in their tactics or their rhetoric, I think it is not encouraging prosperity in Lebanon, because it lends to unneeded conflicts), but I am certainly not supporting Israel's response. I think both Hezb Allah's moves and Israel retalliation have been totally out of line. It is time for Western countries to stand up to Israel and show where they stand on Arab development: Will you let Israel destroy one of (if not the) most democratic Arab country and everything it has worked to build these past few years, or will you let them make it death and rubble indiscriminantly? That's what this comes down to as far as I am concerned. I think the Western response shows that the US, UK, etc are not serious about democracy and development at all. As soon as an Arab country gets on its feet they let it be leveled. It is shameful. There is no excuse for Israel's response.

Godwilling somebody will stop this soon.

BTW, you know that the majority leader of Lebanon's parliament went to Algeria a few days ago to ask Boutef for help in getting a ceasefire/settlement. I hope Algeria can help.


At 4:58 PM, Blogger Lameen Souag said...

I was mostly in my hometown. The economy? I dunno... it looked about the same as last year to me - that is, way better than the 1990s, but not that great by global standards. I would have to say now is a really good time to be in the construction industry - everyone's building... Hope you make it over - how long has it been since you were last in Algeria?

At 9:18 PM, Blogger KNL said...

Going on tree years.

At 9:18 PM, Blogger KNL said...

Three years!


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