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Sic Semper Tyrannis

Sunday, April 01, 2007

A little historical perspective is always interesting.

From OpinionJournal on Thursday (emphasis added):

The armed insurrection against French rule in Algeria began in November 1954. The insurgent force, the National Liberation Front (FLN), was a direct prototype of today's al Qaeda and the insurgent forces in Iraq. Its leaders were motivated less by nationalism than by virulent anti-Western (and, not incidentally, anti-Jewish) ideologies. Their goal was not military victory, which they knew was impossible in the face of French conventional force. Instead, they set out to provoke reprisals against Muslims by Algeria's whites in order to trigger an all-out civil war. To this end they employed terror bombings, torture and the savage murder of Muslim moderates and Algeria's professional class. "One corpse in a suit," an FLN leader was quoted as saying, "is worth 20 in uniform." All the while, the main audience they were trying to reach and influence was not in Algeria; it was in France itself. As the American counterinsurgency expert Bruce Hoffman has written, the Algerian rebels "were counting on the fatigue and disenchantment of the French to help turn the tide if the war lasted long enough."
Unlike today's American Democrats, the French didn't cut and run. Instead, they changed tactics and began to win.

That's right. The French.


...while the French military had been concentrating on fighting the insurgency in the streets and mountains in Algeria, an intellectual and cultural insurgency at home, led by the French left and the media, had been scoring its own succession of victories.
Really interesting. Read the whole thing.