I mentioned in a previous post how the Algerian regime managed to create a perfect history around the Algerian revolution as a whole and for many of the freedom fighters and martyrs as individuals. It is for example amazing that we have two historical versions on Ali Tounsi who was a great moudjahid in one and the worst harki in the other.
Today we are witnessing a different phenomenon with many men criticizing some of the Algerian revolution’s figures. It has been an ongoing trend for some time now but Said Saadi‘s recent book triggered a new storm which, I think, won’t stop any soon.
I haven’t read Saadi’s book, but what I gathered from the Algerian newspapers is that he “used” some archive materials he got from France to prove that colonel Amirouche (and Si Lhaoues, but he doesn’t really care as he was not Kabyle) was killed by the French with the help (or instigation) of both Boussouf and Boumediene. He also, again according to the newspapers, wrote that Krim Belkacem was not involved in the murder of Abane. A Kabyle cannot kill another Kabyle, duh!
Saadi chose to publish his book while Kabylia commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Berber spring, and apparently aimed with his book at gaining (or regaining) some support among the Kabyles. He could as always count on Noureddine Ait-Hamouda as his moral caution. In their fight, the RCD, the FFS, the 3rouche and the MAK don’t hesitate to use any tool to get an advantage over the others, even though the FFS tries to show itself as a national party and not a regional one.
And many people now are retaliating and a snowball effect is ongoing.
We have first the historical and political figures who are responding to Saadi. The first one being Ali Kafi who declared that it was Amirouche himself who chose the itinerary to Tunis, against Kafi’s advice. As if this wasn’t enough, he decided to add some bits he witnessed on how Abane (the Kabyle) was scolding Amirouche for running away from a battle (he said Abane told Amirouche “curse those who gave you the officer rank”). This of course breaks the myth of the courageous Lion of the Djurdjura, and adds up to Belaid Abdessalam famous opinion that Amirouche hated knowledgeable and intellectual people and killed them during “La Bleuite” episode. Kafi adds some other facts on Krim’s involvement in Abane’s assassination. This last point pushed Krim’s daughter to respond and attack Kafi.
On the other hand, Boumediene’s family decided to sue Saadi (who is criticized by most of the Algerian politicians) for defamation; and the former members of the MALG are apparently preparing a proper response.
Then we have the Algerian newspapers which, like the politicians, are fighting against each other for a bigger audience. El Watan keeps interviewing Saadi and Ennahar counter-attacks by mentioning that Ali Kafi was still living in a state residence (while insisting on the fact that great Bouteflika’s using his own house). El Fadjr didn’t find a better way than criticize Amirouche for the “mistakes he made” during “La Bleuite” episode, and the newspaper’s director (Hadda Hezam) launched a violent attack yesterday against Anis Rahmani, the director of Ennahar, who, according to her, is a harki’s son who faked a terrorist threat in order to be given a place in a state residence where he enjoys practising fornication!
The newspapers’ battle is just another episode after the one between El Watan and Echourouk, the various attacks Echourouk launched against the francophone newspapers, Elkhabar attacking Echourouk during the Algeria/Egypt crisis, and El Fadjr whose editorialist (Saad Bouokba) keeps lecturing everyone on how journalism should be (implying that his competitors are useless). I must say that I agree with Bouokba and I believe the Algerian newspapers’ level is the worst ever. I wonder how these “journalists” dare complain and make claims when they have so little to do with journalism and respect no ethics, and how they brag about their independence when they’re puppets in the hands of the powerful. I sometimes even miss the good old 80s period when it was a fact for everyone that the press was controlled, and I only bought the newspapers for their crossword games.
The political parties on their side play this game because it’s our revolution that is used to legitimate the Algerian regime. And anyone who would want to get to power needs to find a link with the revolution (the French apology tune is but one of these links).
This is all idle talk if you ask me, but I am worried to see so many Algerians following this masquerade and getting into the game. It for sure is not a good sign on our society’s health.