Fighting Islamic terror – who knows best?

One of the leading nuclear powers has a great deal of experience in fighting Islamic terrorists and occupying Arab lands. Indeed, as a young man, the country’s leader served as a soldier fighting a bloody military campaign against terrorists in an occupied Muslim land.

Does the paragraph above describe Israel? Well, yes. But (and I’d forgotten this) it also describes France. This National Journal article points out that France’s 1960s occupation of (and withdrawal from) Algeria is the closest analogy we’ve got with the US occupation of Iraq. And the lessons it taught the French might well explain France’s attitude to the Iraq war.

I’m not convinced the two are entirely comparable – after all, France occupied Algeria with the aim of making it French, whereas the US merely intends to make Iraq an Iraqi democracy. However, it’s certainly a more convincing explanation for the French stance on Iraq than “they’re evil crooks who like selling arms to bad people”.

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3 thoughts on “Fighting Islamic terror – who knows best?

  1. Definitely an astute article.

    "France occupied Algeria with the aim of making it French, whereas the US merely intends to make Iraq an Iraqi democracy."


    I agree with you to an extent: Algeria was made a constitutional part of France, whereas the US envisions, in theory, an independent Iraq.

    But – and I’m acutely aware that this is a very stereotypical leftie response – the US at the very least intends to make Iraq’s economy look quite American, as evidenced by the way they have illegally and undemocratically sold off Iraq’s state-owned businesses, at prices which are almost certainly much lower than they would be were Iraq not recovering from a war.

  2. Sorry. "A capitalist Iraqi democracy" would’ve been more accurate.

    And quite right too. Nationalisation is the direct cause of dictatorship in places like Iraq. When all the resources are in the private sector, dodgy tyrants can never gain or keep power.

    Just ask Fulgencio Batista.

  3. France had a million Frenchmen living in Algeria who could not stay there.

    By comparison the US deciding how to pull out is a very easy decision.

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