Wednesday, April 11, 2007

So, are we going to attack Algeria now?

Front paged at Booman Tribune and My Left Wing

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Remember back in 2004 when Bush finally remembered who attacked us on 9/11?

"We have been chasing down Al Qaeda ever since they attacked us ... and we're still pursuing them and we'll continue pursuing them as long as I'm the president of the United States," he said.

Too bad that all those plans for changing the central front in the War Of on Terror from Iraq to Iran need more than just a “find/replace” of the “Q” to an “N”. Now they have to go and change the entire word to Algeria, since al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for 2 bombings that killed more than 20 people.

We also know where al Qaeda isn’t planning attacks as well as where al Qaeda IS planning attacks from. So, who is our bestest buddy (the al Qaeda “harboring” Pakistan) and who is public enemy number one (Shiite and al Qaeda foe Iran)?

Or maybe I have it wrong. The Sunnis – those who make up al Qaeda, those who are the “insurgents” in Iraq who are getting cash for weapons from wealthy individuals in Saudi Arabia while the government turns its head “were” the enemy. But now, al Sadr and his Shiite army are now calling for attacks on our troops again. This, just on the heels of the geniuses on the right were crowing about how successful the escalation has been in putting them down.

And now, Algeria—I bet Bush didn’t memorize that leader’s name when he crammed for his 2000 presidential run. Ahhhhh, but silly me, Bush is way smarter than I give him credit for. He at least knows (when someone tells him) where to focus in his giant ongoing real time game of Risk™. Remember a couple of months back when a major initiative to expand the US Army into Africa was announced? Well, it just so happens that the original base was supposed to be in, yup, Algeria.

The U.S. would have wanted to place the base in Algeria but the government of that country vehemently refused and the U.S. is now scouting for another country, especially one with access to the sea.

Mohamed Bedjaoui, the Algerian Foreign Affairs Minister was yesterday reported in the People's Daily Online as having strongly questioned the motive behind the military venture.

"He questioned why no one had ever proposed for any anti-terror co-operation with Algeria in the 1990s when terrorist violence went rampant and wrought havoc?"

A smart guy, that Mr. Bedjaoui. But doesn’t he know better than to not let King George the Lesser get what he wants? Shouldn’t they have been thankful to the US (just like those ungrateful Iraqis) for what happened in 2003 with the release of the then-captured tourists who were held hostage in Algeria?
Although the United States had vague suspicions that the Sahel region of Africa might become a possible terrorist haven following its dislodgment of the Taliban from Afghanistan, the gear change was triggered by the hostage-taking of 32 tourists in the Algerian Sahara. The United States attributed their capture in March 2003 to Algeria's Islamist "terrorist" organization, the Groupe Salafiste pour la Prédication et le Combat (GSPC). The presumed mastermind of the plot was the GSPC's second-in-command, who goes by many aliases, including El Para after his stint as a parachutist in the Algerian army.

The GSPC held the hostages in two groups approximately 300 kilometers apart in the Algerian Sahara. An Algerian army assault liberated one of the groups. The captors took the other group to northern Mali and finally released the hostages following the alleged ransom payment of five million Euros. The hostage-taking confirmed U.S. suspicions. Even before the hostages were released, the Bush administration was branding the Sahara as a terror zone and El Para as a top al-Qaida operative and "bin Laden's man in the Sahel."

The U.S. spin on these events was all very dramatic. And it was all largely untrue.

I guess El Para was just another of those number 2 men in al Qaeda (yes, it is The Onion but you know that it is true….

So now what? Based on the “we will hunt them down and kill them wherever they are” chest thumping, well, we would have already invaded a dozen or so countries, including the UK and Pakistan.

Who knows – maybe it will be just the right diversion. And the right war at the right place at the right time and with the right enemy.

Oops, scratch that. Aw hell, he’ll probably bomb them anyway...

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