Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – Gillo Pontecorvo’s 1966 movie ‘The Battle of Algiers’ was an award winning film based on the Algerian War (1954-1962) between the Algerian independence movement called the National Liberation Front (FLN) who launched a Guerilla War against French occupation. Algeria eventually won its independence on July 5th, 1962. Algerian nationals were treated as second-class citizens who were discriminated and humiliated by French nationals in their own country. The film takes place during a rebellion against French colonial rule in Algeria between 1954 and 1957. The opening scene of the film portrayed an Algerian national who was just tortured by the “Paras” or French paratroopers in order to obtain information on a suspected individual who was one of the leaders of the resistance named Ali la Pointe. The FLN targeted French nationals, Algerian nationals who collaborated with French authorities and the military and police with numerous assassinations and bombings. French troops used lynching, torture and murder to intimidate FLN insurgents and their supporters. The film shows how a resistance can take place from a population that can initiate an armed resurrection against colonial rule. In the movie, French police bombed a building in retaliation for the mass shootings of police and military personnel. The bombing took place by the home of an elderly Algerian Man (who was innocent and at the wrong place at the wrong time) accused of murdering a French policeman. The bomb killed scores of people including women and children. The FLN responded with similar bomb attacks in the French sector where the targets were bars, restaurants, race-tracks and an Air France office. Many French civilians were killed by the bombings. It allowed the French military to assume control over all areas of Algeria especially the Casbah, where attacks were taking place.
‘The Battle of Algiers’ is similar to the situation in Mali and Algeria where French Special Forces with Western backing intervened with the Malian military in northern part of Mali on January 11th in town of Diabaly and Konna, two small towns North of Mopti, which was overtaken by Islamist rebels linked to Al-Qaeda on the orders of French President Francois Hollande to protect Mali’s government along with French and Malian citizens. The fighting has caused thousands to flee to neighboring countries of the Western African region namely Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Niger, Togo and Algeria. On January 16th, a hostage crisis took place in Algeria concerning a natural Gas Complex in the Sahara Desert. Hollande said it was linked to the Islamist rebels of Mali which caused the lives of more than 23 hostages and the 32 Islamist militants by the Algerian military forces in a botched raid on the complex. This action undertaken by western-Backed Al-Qaeda gives France “Carte Blanc” to operate in North Africa with military action to combat terrorism. France is in West Africa because it has abundant resources. The French government does not care about democracy or terrorism in Africa since they have been pillaging many African nations since the 17th century. So why they does France care about Mali’s security situation concerning Al-Qaeda? France is under Washington’s orders to use its military power to occupy Northern Africa. France also has economic interests within the region that includes natural resources, one of them being gold. France also has economic problems with rising unemployment and the possibility to have austerity measures imposed on their citizens in the near future by the European Union.
Whether terrorist attacks are used as a weapon for the purpose of resisting foreign occupation or carried out by the government such as the Reichstag Fire in 1933 committed by the Nazi regime to blame the Communists, Western governments can use military action to fight terrorism. The consequence of the military use of force against civilian populations results in retaliatory attacks against their occupiers. In a scene from ‘The Battle of Algiers’ one of the leaders of the FLN was asked questions on their Guerilla war tactics during a press conference after he was apprehended by French forces:
Journalist: “Mr. Ben M’Hidi … Don’t you think it is a bit cowardly to use your women’s baskets and handbags to carry explosive devices that kill so many innocent people?”
Ben M’Hidi: “And doesn’t it seem to you even more cowardly to drop napalm bombs on unarmed villages, so that there are a thousand times more innocent victims? Of course, if we had your airplanes it would be a lot easier for us. Give us your bombers, and you can have our baskets”
A people’s rebellion against foreign occupation is always seen as terrorism or as a crime against humanity according to Western media. Armed resistance against foreign occupation was recognized by United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/3246 (XXIX) on November 29th, 1974:
3. Reaffirms the legitimacy of the peoples’ struggle for liberation form colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation by all available means, including armed struggle;
7. Strongly condemns all Governments which do not recognize the right to self-determination and independence of peoples under colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation, notably the peoples of Africa and the Palestinian people;
Ben M’Hidi’s statement was correct considering that France used Napalm bombs in Vietnam against an anti-French Resistance called the Viet Minh during the First Indochina War. It is known as the Anti-French Resistance War in Vietnam which took place between December 19, 1946 and August 1st, 1954. It resulted in the deaths of over 90,000 French and 200,000-500,000 Viet Minh and between 125,000-300,000 civilians. The FLN was the resistance against French colonial rule which has happened in many countries throughout the world including Vietnam who experienced foreign occupation by France for more than 60 years.
In March 1954 the National Liberation Front (Front de Libération Nationale, FLN) was created by Algerian exiles in Egypt to counter French occupational forces in Algeria. On November 1 the FLN launched coordinated attacks on public buildings, military installations, police stations and communications facilities.
By 1956, the FLN had an estimated 40,000 members who turned to guerrilla warfare against a superior military force that had more advanced weapons with hit-and-run tactics. FLN targeted Europeans, Muslims who were considered collaborators, military and police personnel with methods of terrorism that involved bombings, targeted assassinations and kidnapping. That same year, France committed more 400,000 troops to the Algerian crisis and responded with Counterterrorism measures such as torture, threatened FLN family members and used undercover agents to penetrate the FLN to spread false allegations and rumors to divide and conquer the organization. They also recruited and trained Muslim irregulars, known as the Harkis to use guerrilla tactics with shotguns to counter the FLN. France even used Napalm on both FLN members and civilians. It was similar to Israel’s use of White Phosphorus shells on the Palestinians during the 2008 Gaza War.
As the war continued false flag operations were conducted through the Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire (DST) or the Directorate of Territorial Surveillance. They were part of the French National Police. False flag operations are when governments are involved in “covert operations” or carefully planned and executed operations that are secret and that is concealed from the public so that the operation would seem as if they were carried out by other groups or individuals rather than the government themselves who committed the act in the first place. Journalists Roger Faligot and Pascal Krop published DST: Police Secrete in 1999 and explained that DST was an intelligence agency that focused on counterespionage and counterterrorism tactics that was responsible for the creation of the Organization of the French Algerian Resistance (ORAF). ORAF was a group that was financed and trained by the DST to commit false flag terror attacks with the “aim of quashing any hopes of political compromise”. ORAF targeted members of the FLN and committed numerous terrorist attacks on civilians which blamed the FLN in many cases. France wanted to keep Algeria as a colony, but the majority of the population resisted foreign occupation. The war caused 1.5 million casualties according to the FLN and French officials declared more than 350,000 casualties of war. The Algerian War was complex. It claimed the lives of many French and Algerian civilians that included women and children, the police and military personnel. All parties were responsible for the atrocities including the French Paramilitary and the Police, Harki, the Organization of the French Algerian Resistance (ORAF) and the FLN.
However, regarding the situation of Mali and Algeria, terror attacks can spread to Europe. In a US News & World Report article titled “The French Intervention in Mali Is Necessary, But Risky” stated that “Military operations in northern Mali are likely to radicalize the population, spark a race war, and spread the conflict to neighboring countries. They also are unlikely to yield a long-term solution.” This is exactly what the French government wants, an excuse to re-occupy Mali and Algeria as colonial possessions. The Mali intervention is necessary for corporate interests, not for the interests of the Malian people. The radicalization of the Mali population is possible and can cause a blowback to France in the form of a terrorist attack. This would allow France to clamp down on its own citizens because more protests are expected in the coming months since the French economy is in decline due to the European debt crisis. When there is a terrorist problem, the French government would offer the solution to protect its citizenry. When Imperial powers unleash their militaries on the local population to combat terrorism, organizations such as the ‘Ansar Dine’ were most likely used to commit the terror attacks. They are linked to an Islamic organization affiliated with Al-Qaeda known as the Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) created by the West during the Soviet-Afghan War when they were called the “Mujahideen”. Members of ‘Ansar Dine’ come from Mali, Algeria and Nigeria. When Western powers use military force to fight terrorist organizations, the population gets caught in the crossfire, many innocents are killed causing a radicalization of the population to retaliate. They create hatred among the people who would eventually become the resistance against the occupation. This becomes an opportunity for the west.
But the situation in Mali and Algeria is created by the west to re-conquer territories that was once controlled by the same forces since the 17th Century that are intervening in the North-African region today. ‘The Battle of Algiers’ serves as a reminder that there are legitimate resistance fighters against foreign occupation as there are terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda created by the West to commit terrorist acts as a pretext for invasion to supposedly “protect” French and Malian civilians and it’s government, but that is far from the truth. Its about Mali’s resources.
‘The Battle of Algiers’ is a movie, but it should also serve as a history lesson on how governments use the excuse of terrorism to their advantage. The point is that France, who is backed by the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) would use any means necessary to re-occupy Mali and Algeria in order to exploit their resources for French, American and British corporations. France is under the Anglo-American establishment and it has been ordered to invade North-Africa regardless of the consequences. Terrorism whether used by legitimate resistance movements against foreign occupation or by the government to blame their enemies can justify their actions. They can use their military and police to occupy a country, exploit the resources and take away the people’s rights. France is allied with the United States and Great Britain in the War on Terror. Western powers want to re-take Africa, Latin America, the Middle-east and Asia so that they can dominate the world. It does not end with Mali and Algeria, so expect more wars in the coming years. Imperialism is a cancer on our planet that enforces colonialism and commits false flag terrorism to justify their military occupation. Either way, they both lead to war. France and its Western allies will find a way to occupy North-Africa and that is unfortunate.