Algérie : lettre ouverte au général de corps d’armée Mohamed « Tewfik » Médiène, Rab Dzayer
par Hocine Malti, 16 février 2013
(Note: In English. This is the original open letter written in French by Hocine Malti, author of Histoire Secrete du petrole algerien. Sent to me by the author, it is addressed to Mohamed “Tewfik” Mediene, head of the Algerian security apparatus Le Departement du Renseignement et de la Securite. It regards an investigation of corruption of Algerian officies, a result of Italian-Sonatrach business deals. It accuses Mediene of being willing to sacrifice some middle management types in Sonatrach, the Algerian oil and natural gas company, in order to protect those who have made the main financial killings on such deals, including Mediene himself. As such, it is, to put it bluntly, a courageous letter. Time permitting, I intend to translate and comment upon it in full in the not so distant future.)
Cette fois-ci, ce n’est pas à vos collaborateurs enquêteurs que je m’adresse, mais à vous, patron depuis septembre 1990 du tout puissant DRS (Département du renseignement et de la sécurité), Rab Dzayer, le « Dieu de l’Algérie ». N’est-ce pas ainsi que vous vous êtes présenté un jour de 1999, dans les circonstances que vous savez ? Selon l’adage populaire, « mieux vaut s’adresser au Bon Dieu qu’à ses saints » ; ce que je fais aujourd’hui. Vu que vous êtes en mesure de décider et d’imposer ce que bon vous semble à toute l’Algérie, à tous ses hommes et ses femmes et notamment à toutes ses autorités civiles, militaires, politiques et juridiques, je suis convaincu que vous accorderez des réponses et une suite positives aux questions et requêtes que je m’en vais vous présenter.
Nous venons d’apprendre que, le 10 février 2013, le parquet d’Alger a décidé de lancer une nouvelle enquête sur les affaires de corruption au sein de l’entreprise nationale des hydrocarbures, un dossier qu’il a intitulé « Sonatrach 2 ». Afin de donner l’impression qu’ils étaient à l’écoute de l’opinion publique et ne pas reconnaître qu’ils se sont en réalité trouvés à la traine de leurs collègues italiens, les magistrats algériens ont indiqué dans leur communiqué officiel qu’ils avaient déclenché cette enquête suite aux informations rapportées par la presse nationale. Laquelle n’a fait que reprendre, comme vous le savez, les décisions du parquet de Milan telles que diffusées par les médias italiens. Mais la vérité, nous Algériens, la connaissons : nos magistrats étaient en fait dans l’attente d’instructions de votre part afin d’agir ou d’ignorer la tempête médiatique de ces derniers jours. S’ils ont déclenché cette nouvelle enquête c’est que vous, Rab Dzayer, avez donné votre feu vert. Read more…
1. Four shots heard round Tunisia.
`They’ have taken to the streets again in protest, in their tens of thousands, – maybe more – this time to protest a political assassination and the general state into which the country has fallen. Once again their anger has overcome their fear. Their sense of decency and dignity, that which has propelled them to the streets before, drives them on.
The euphoria that marked the success of the Tunisian revolt, triggering the region-wide Arab Spring has long dissipated. In its place, sharper and meaner domestic struggles over the direction of the country’s future have surfaced. Two years after a united populace essentially expelled dictator Zine Ben Ali, his power-hungry wife, Leila Trabelsi and their families from the country, Tunisia is today a divided country, divided along religious and class lines.
Tensions came to a head last week.
Two years after a united populace essentially expelled dictator, Zine Ben Ali, his power-hungry wife, Leila Trabelsi and their families from the country, Tunisia is today a divided country, divided along religious and class lines.
On the morning of Wednesday, February 6, 2013, Choki Belaid, a leader of a small coalition of leftist/progressive groups, was assassinated in front of his Tunis home by a professional hit squad of three masked men who put four bullets into his head and chest. While condemning the assassination in rather strong terms, at the same time, probably fearing the possibility of a more independent minded alternative, the U.S. State Department expressed their continued support for the current government. Read more…
This four part series is a shorter, stripped down version of an 8 part video (vhs) series that lasts eight hours, done in the late 1980s by Basil Davidson. Here it is boiled down to about an hour. Still, it is excellent.
Antiwar.com – Scott Horton’s Radio Show. February 5, 2013. (this show goes for about a half hour)
Africa: Rivers of Gold (from the Basil Davidson Series – Africa: Birth of a Continent). It is about Malian history
Note: Part One of the Series
“There are two kinds of history – the official kind, full of lies, which is taught in schools – history ad usum delphini; and there is secret history – in which we learn the real causes of events – a shameful chronicle”
- Balzac. Les Illusions Perdues
1. Mali: New Front of the War On Terrorism
No doubt the attack on the In-Ameras oil and gas facility in the Algerian Sahara is related to the events in Mali, where France has just landed troops in an effort to dislarge the Islamic militants who have taken over Mali’s northern regions. What are the pretexts, the deeper logic of the French Malian intervention? One would think that people wouldn’t fall for it yet again: `We’re just sending the troops to protect innocent lives and support democracy’ – humanitarian interventionalism. Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya.
Now add Mali to the list.
But once again, it works like a charm, long enough at least to get French troops on the ground in Mali from whence it will difficult to extract them for some time. It helps to have a weak UN Security Council resolution a la Libya which doesn’t condone sending troops but is vague enough to give a thin veil of legitimacy – the suggestion of international law at work – to cover war crimes. Combine that with some wacko Salafist radicals, a vital element in the mix, who destroy Sufi shrines and rough up women, forcing them, veiled, back in the kitchen without music on the radio and the combustible mix is complete. Read more…
Part Two of the series
“The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men Gang aft agley.” (The best laid plans of mice and men go often awry)
from Robert Burns “To A Mouse On Turning Her Up in her Nest With A Plow. November, 1785″
One of the largest hostage seizures ever ended with the death of 80 people, many of them foreign workers at Algeria’s natural gas complex at In-Ameras, located nearly 1000 miles from the capitol, Algiers, and less than 70 miles from the Libyan border deep in the Sahara. In the end it was both a human and political fiasco, the regional implications of which are still evolving.
It was supposed to be an impressive show of force, `a message’ of how efficiently the Algerian government could deal with terrorism within its own borders. If Algeria was unwilling to engage militarily in Mali, Algiers would at least show how well it could manage terrorist threats within its boundaries, especially where it counts – its petro-chemical sector. The world’s oil and gas sector could rest easy. Algerian oil and gas is safe from terrorism.
Had it worked out according to plan, Algerian special forces of its fourth military district that includes large slices of the Sahara, would have saved the day. The message to the world in general, but to the United States and France in particular, would have been, should have been: Algeria can handle domestic terrorism; there is no need for Algeria to get embroiled in Mali by sending troops that would be coordinating with the French and American militaries.
But in ways to be discussed in later sections of the series, something went a-foul, the whole thing backfired terribly, and continues to. Read more…
Tunisia: Two years On; The Crisis Deepens…
The signs are everywhere `Place Janvier 14’, `Ave. Janvier 14’ etc. More often than not they replaced `Place Ben Ali’ and did so within hours after the announcement that his rule had ended.
On January 14, 2011 – a mere two years ago – Tunisian President Zine Ben Ali, his wife Leila Trabelsi and other family members boarded a jet plane that, after being refused landing rights in Paris and Rome, eventually landed in Saudi Arabia. The Ben Ali’s only found refuge in conservative Saudi Arabia, that over the years has housed an odd assortment of other political detritus, deposed corrupt and repressive overthrown African leaders from Idi Amin toMengistu Haili Mariam.
Considerable debate continues as to the nature of Ben Ali’s flight, and perhaps more importantly, where the two extended family clans squirreled away some $17 billion – we’ll never know the exact sum – of the country’s wealth to Swiss, Finnish, Austria, Channel Islands, the UAE and Canadian banks. Some speculate that Ben Ali planned only to accompany is family to safety and to return to Tunis that night. Others suggest he knew he would never return and that he was lucky to escape with his life and a hefty bank account. Read more…