Sunday, February 3, 2013

France Has Forgotten the Battle of Algiers, Africa Never Will: “Ordinary Victories” by Manu Larcenet

The following is Part 2 of: “The future of Africa looks bleak, here is why” (Introduction, Part 1, Part 3).

One of the most amazing aspects of the African resource wars is that within their own countries, most western powers have been able to stifle opposition for their participation. An incredible achievement considering the state of their economies and the number of wars that they have been involved in in the last two decades (2011–present, 2003–2010, 1990–2002).

Let’s take France as an example since it appears to have the backing of its citizens in taking the lead role in the recent wars which are set to determine the future of Africa.
“French companies must go on the offensive and fight the growing influence of rival China for a stake in Africa's increasingly competitive markets, France's Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said on Saturday…

“‘It's evident that China is more and more present in Africa...(French) companies that have the means must go on the offensive. They must be more present on the ground. They have to fight,’ Moscovici told journalists during a trip to Ivory Coast…

“‘Africa is booming. Sub-Saharan Africa will have the second highest regional growth after Asia in 2012 with a rate of 5.5 percent,’ he said. ‘The new phenomenon is that African growth has the potential to stimulate growth in France. We want to be present there.’”

French Intervention in Mali Violates UN Resolution; Root of Crisis Marginalization of the North



To have a full appreciation for the magnitude of the folly of France’s decision to attempt a “total reconquest of Mali” under the supervision of the United States by getting involved in what David Cameron has predicted to be a multi-decade conflict, all we need to do is recap a little history and extrapolate to the present.
“‘It will require a response that is about years, even decades, rather than months, and it requires a response that is patient, that is painstaking, that is tough but also intelligent, but above all has an absolutely iron resolve; and that is what we will deliver over these coming years,’ [David Cameron] said.”

Colonialism in 10 Minutes: The Scramble For Africa
(excerpt from the film Uganda Rising)



During the colonial period, France’s domain in Africa was spread across the continent, numbering 20 regions at its peak, and its most important colony was Algeria, which it ruled with an iron fist from 1830 to 1962.
Long-term French colonization of Africa began in earnest in 1830 with the French invasion of Algeria. The long duration of French occupation, its intense violence, and the large numbers of European colonial settlers made Algeria—in law, in political cultural, and in administrative fact— an entirely unique case in the French colonial world. Indeed, an administrative decree in 1878 ended the status of Algeria as a colony, ostensibly integrating it as part of metropolitan France. This decree merely served to reinforce the two-tiered political system that accorded rights to European settlers while denying them to Algerians, and Algeria largely remained, in fact if not in law, a colony.”

click to enlarge - Source

The Algerian War of Independence against France lasted from approximately 1954 to 1962. Politically, socially and militarily, this was a multi-layered conflict for the French, one that ultimately led to both Algeria’s independence after 132 years of French colonization, and eventually, the collapse of the French Fourth Republic in 1958.”
“This is where the story of political Islamism in North Africa begins: In the historical flashpoint that was the Battle of Algiers, one sees the spark of ideological opposition and the beginning of armed insurgency against the West.”
What took place in Algeria is brilliantly depicted by the following 1966 movie, ”The Battle of Algiers”. It is a cinematic masterpiece and “the only film in Oscar history to be a nominee in two separate non-consecutive years”.

Battle of Algiers trailer
(full movie is available on YouTube)



As for what the effects of this insurgency were on the French psyche, I believe the following 7-pages posted below from “Ordinary Victories” by Manu Larcenet depict an accurate account.
“Pretending that one can dissociate torture from war or abjection from massacre is the lie of the powerful”: ’Ordinary Victories’ by Manu Larcenet
The pages deal with the consequences of atrocities committed for lies. Ignore the period referenced if you wish, project to the date of your choice, and adjust the scale of the atrocities accordingly.

The story so far:
    Marco’s father has recently committed suicide. While going through his belongings, Marco has found a war photo. He has tracked down the person in the photo and now seeks answers. (click images to enlarge)

page 1

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page 7


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