Sunday, January 28, 2007

Fifty Years Ago

I just turned fifty, so I thought I'd post a bit of history that interested me (since I am now officially history, myself!). So here goes...

Fifty years ago, a Muslim terrorist organization waged a campaign against the imperialist Western nation that had ruled the country for some hundred years. The campaign had lasted for four years and was insanely brutal. The terrorists used bombs and the killing of innocents as their primary weapon. They claimed they were the true patriots of the country and were against the foreign occupiers. They were largely financed by other countries who had specific global political reasons for their support. The terrorists wanted an Islamist state and the Western "occupiers" wanted peace and stability. Clearly, the people of this country were better off with the foreign occupiers who had brought modern medicine and economic prosperity to the country which was poor beyond Western understanding.

The ruling imperialists fought this war against the terrorists with great vigor. In 1957, they had 400,000 troops in the country waging war against the extremists. The cost in 1957 dollars was $4 million a day. More than 55,000 military and civilian lives had been claimed in the conflict. Much like the present Muslim terrorist conflicts, the primary victims of the Muslim extremists were fellow Muslims. Even in the home country of the colonialists, the bulk of the victims of terrorist attacks were Muslims.

The country was a Third World outpost for the colonial power, rich in oil and strategically placed for military purposes. News reports of the time used the word, "terrorist" to describe the rebels who fought against the colonial power. Bombings and the massacres of civilians who aided the colonialists or refused to fight them were common. In one such incident, all of the male members of a village were slaughtered, for their loyalty to the colonial power. Three hundred boys and men were killed and mutilated. Only one survivor was found, who related how the rebels had gunned down the male civilians with a complete absence of mercy.

Fifty years later, we are seeing this macabre dance played out again and again. When will it stop? In 1957, the imperialist "occupiers" were the French. The Arab terrorists were located in Algeria. Today, Algeria has been free of the colonialists for over forty years. The socialist government has been largely military-ruled for the entire time of their independence. Algeria would have been a modern, secular democracy, had the French won the war against the terrorists. That was not to be, however, and the result has been disastrous. It remains poor, violent and war-torn.

I don't know about you, but not even considering the would-be Millenialist Bomber, Ahmed Ressam's Algerian citizenship, this doesn't make me optimistic for the future of Iraq or any other Middle Eastern country.

10 comments:

Hankmeister said...

As long as free nations are described as terrorists while the real terrorists are described as freedom fighters, we will continue seeing these countries living in poverty. There needs to be a united effort among free nations to deal with these thugocracies and terrorist rat holes whole cloth, but a fatted and complacent people aren't willing to pay the price thus kicking the festering problem on down the road and thereby putting our own posterity in even greater jeopardy.

BTW Beerme, what's your commercial beer of the month?

Beerme said...

My commercial beer of month-perhaps year-is Bell's HopSlam! It is an Imperial IPA, BIG on hop aroma and flavor, and high in alcohol. This is Kalamazoo Brewing Company's newest beer. Their website indicates their beer is not offered in Illinois but it is offered in all surrounding states.
See here for a description and here for the availability map.

Upon This Rock said...

Hey there Beerme. I always enjoy your comments over at Scrappleface. If you've got a minute please check out my blog. I think you might find it interesting.

camojack said...

I'm less than a year behind you; my next birthday is the 50th one.

Maggie said...

Whew! I'm glad you are not any older.

Hawkeye® said...

Hah! Got you beat. Comin' up on 55 this March and I will qualify to start receiving a pension from my former employer (Gosh, that makes me feel old).

Ahh yes! Kalamazoo. I was just there a couple of weeks ago. I wish I had known about this Bell's HopSlam! I coulda even tried some, maybe.

Anywho... God bless you my friend, and Happy Brewing!

(:D) Regards...

Hawkeye® said...

P.S.--
Good article. I'm not too optimistic about the Middle East either. But I don't think we can just give up and walk away. I mean, for God's sakes! We've only been there 3+ years. Saddam Hussein was dictator there for what... 35 years?? It takes time for people to learn about democracy and start thinking for themselves... Sheesh!

Beerme said...

Sorry to have been so long in replying to your posts, all, but I been busy...

Upon this Rock,
Thanks for the invite. I checked it out and agree with your assertions on Communism but am not in tune with your religious beliefs. Sorry.

camojack,
Well that makes someone who's younger than me! Hey, it's only a number. I cherish all my years because they're filled with experience!

Maggie,
Me, too!

Hawkeye®,
Well, congratulations on the pension! I can start drawing mine in two years and nine months, not that I'm counting or anything...

And of course, the info in this post does not mean to suggest that we cut and run. It does mean to question the hubris of going in, however. We must finish the job if possible. Unfortunately our media and our politicians probably will not allow it.

California said...

Happy Birthday, BeerMe! Our Christmas stout was ravishingly good--I thought about you as I drank it, I kid you not. Sadly, we gave all of it away except for one lousy pint--but we enjoyed that. Gotta start the next batch pronto.

We too love Asian spices--hubby grows lemongrass and basil and lime for our Thai food cravings. I buy curry spices in bulk and toast and grind my own--like beermaking--you are so right--it's addictive. Simple pleasures of life.

Beerme said...

Thanks for visiting, California (or is it Kah-lee-forn-ee-ya, now?)!
Do you make curry pastes from scratch? If so, that's awesome. It must be nice to be able to get the ingredients. I live in an area of Michigan that has very few available options for many of the essentials of Asian cooking. Still I manage pretty well and I make trips to Detroit and get some of the items I can't get here, in bulk.