Against Everyone


More than 20 years ago, when what was later called the black decade started, many Algerians chose to side with those who decided to use violence against the Pouvoir, or the state if you wish. These Algerians didn’t take an active role, I mean they didn’t join those who became the terrorists, but they were glad the Pouvoir was targeted through what they thought were its agents (army, police, gendarmerie, press, etc.), and they thought the victims deserved their fate as they defended the Pouvoir elhaggar. Some of these terrorists’ supporters didn’t even share their “champions”‘ ideology and could have been among their victims but they hated the Pouvoir so much that they were ready to give a hand to the devil in order to suppress it. They chose a side.

Considering the unfortunate events in Syria, I am amazed by how easily people decide which side they support. I am not talking of those who live survive in Syria, I am not even talking of Syrians living abroad. I believe these two groups are the ones concerned by what is happening in their country and, perhaps, they ought to choose a side and they do not do it that easily. I am talking of the people in the street or on the internet.

I have very little knowledge on the matter and I am kind of disconnected from what is happenig in the Arab World (- Algeria of course). I do however take the below for facts:

  • Al Assad’s regime is an ugly dictatorship and the Syrians deserve better.
  • The aim of the different opposition movements in Syria is to hold power, and toppling Al Assad’s regime is just a necessary step towards their goal.
  • Both sides are making civilian victims and it is not the opposition angels against the evil regime.
  • Media propaganda goes both ways; as much as I “laugh” when I watch Syrian TV, I do “laugh” when I hear on Al Jazeera that the Syrian army killed N civilians according to “activists”.
  • The future looks bleak and is highly uncertain regardless of who’ll get the power.
  • There won’t be a military victory with a winner and a loser.
  • Qatar, Saudi kharabia, Iran, Turkey, NATO, Russia, Israel and other foreign players chose sides for their own interests.

And what do we see? Some people only consider the first fact and decide to side with the opposition(s). Others consider the latter and in an anti-imperialism stance they side with Al Assad. It’s like a famous Iraqi blogger who wrote against the occupation of her country by the US and found herself praising Saddam and his epoch.

Some people aware of this risk decide to reject a side instead of choosing one. So in my second example above, the person would write and argue against the imperialists and their tools (Syrian opposition) and completely ignore the Syrian regime, thus not supporting it.

I am well aware that my opinion does have no impact on how things will evolve in Syria and I could choose either sides or just not care at all, but the truth is we live in a small world which is being re-shaped by all these events which, therefore, concern us all.
The thing is, with the facts mentioned above, I am unable to choose a side and I would rather reject them all. I would actually love to choose the Syrian people’s side but who knows what they want… Perhaps the population also rejects them all?

In Algeria, some people sided with the Pouvoir and some others, a majority in my opinion, rejected both the Pouvoir and the terrorists and only wished to live in peace. When the people take such a stance, the consequence is that one rejected side is favoured over the other rejected one, and the population loses.

6 thoughts on “Against Everyone

  1. I am not sure I agree with this: “many Algerians chose to side with those who decided to use violence against the Pouvoir”. You kind of contradict this statement here: ” some people sided with the Pouvoir and some others, a majority in my opinion, rejected both the Pouvoir and the terrorists and only wished to live in peace”.

    The second statement is what I think is close to reality.
    Re Syria: I spoke to some Syrians and they seem to think that AlAssad has to go “coute que coute”. No compromise there! The same old story opposition with no clue, hungry for power, people divided into sects and sub-sects, all fighting for what?
    I cannot grasp why Arab countries have to go through this, it really is beyond me.

    • Pandora,
      By many I didn’t mean to say they were a majority of Algerians but there is no denying that they were in big numbers. And this doesn’t contradict my second statement. Obviously it’s my own perception and you may not share it.

      As to Syria, again I believe there’s a concensus among a majority of the population to see Al Assad out. I have doubts on the “at any cost”. Easier said for those abroad (even Syrians) IMHO.

      I cannot grasp why Arab countries have to go through this, it really is beyond me.

      Indeed. And what I understand even less is why these rulers do not make moves towards change in order to avoid the risk of bloodshed, especially those who tab jnanhoum (thinking here of the Algerian political landscape and the masquerade of legislative elections, new government and upcoming local elections).

      On the other hand I would love to see the gulf monarchies shaken at some point. Or are they democracies and nobody told me?!

  2. “A house divided against itself cannot stand” Abraham Lincoln.

    Confusion is what you get when you try to reason on which side is right in a hellish civil war.
    You said that you would like to support the people’s side, and there lies the
    dilemma, because in a civil war your rarely have a white and black for who is write and wrong, that’s when your have fellow citizens killing each other for the causes they believe in.
    As it was in Algeria it is in Syria there are those who favoured the status quo and those who do not, for reasons rooted in sectarianism, greed and ignorance and on each side there are plain people who truly believe in their causes and willing to give up their lives for.

    In a perfect world such disputes should be resolved through ballot casting, with a guarding constitution, but when your got meat heads, lacking a rudimentary understanding of human nature and for some reason don’t have any respect for the dignity of a human being on either sides, things could easily slide to an armed conflict.

    What is more tragic than a civil war regardless of who was right or wrong, is an aftermath that looks the same as before hell broke loose, and that is sadly is the case for Algeria, it feels like we didn’t honor the lives of the those who died, we don’t remember them in public nor did we memorialize them, you can’t walk into a book store and pick up a serious book on the events. We have forgotten them!!

    For this reason, my wish for the Syrians is however the end of this war will be, that they would honor the sacrifices of their brothers and sisters for whatever causes they fought and died for, and that in the end things would be different, not perfect, but at least you would be sure enough that if you go out and protest, you wouldn’t expect a thug to shoot you because you’re speaking up.

    And finally I wish you never said in the previous comment that you would love to see some troubles in some countries. We all know that kings are a joke, but they’ve got plenty of money, and they are taking care of their people to some degree, making them satisfied and happy to some extent, still they’ve problems of their own and their societies are changing. However I share your dismay that when a King whose representation questionable, came out and start lecturing you on democracy and freedom, because his pockets are full and his ego has spilled outside the borders of his isle kingdom, .they can’t get more hypocrite.

    We can’t help but ask the lord to help Syrians and assuage the anguish of their bereavement, and to reflect, be humble and learn the wisdom of it, so may we do some good for our own.

    • Anzio_express,

      I agree on most of what you said. There are however a couple points which raise question:
      – Calling the events a civil war, whether in Algeria or in Syria, is not something everybody agrees on. If one defines a civil war as a war between the citizen (civilians) of the same country, it wouldn’t be that straight-forward to use it on what happened in Algeria (I don’t have a clear picture on Syria to have an opinion). Let’s say it is semantics and is not important here.

      – Although I agree that things look the same after the black decade, I feel this doesn’t apply to the societal level. Today (akhinas and oukhtinas) are either laughed at, isolated or feared in Algeria. Even when these had nothing to do with the 90s. And I bet the latter have similar opinions on other “categories”. There is a divide in our society which is sharper than what we had before the 90s. Nobody trusts anyone any more, and the “brothers” and “sisters” you used in your comment doesn’t hold any longer in my opinion.
      So when you say we should honour the lives of those who died “for whatever causes they fought and died for”, I have a feeling this won’t be possible, not today anyway.

      PS: My comment on the Gulf monarchies is not a wish to see the people there kill and get killed. It’s more a wish to see the regimes deal more with some of their domestic issues.

  3. People prefer the side and the explanation that reinforce what they already believe is the truth. Facts have little to do with opinions and this is all the more true when they are far from facts.

    What is not doubtful is that we are living the end of the good old arab regimes. Such changes never happen peacefully and it is more violent in arab countries that were on the soviet side during the cold war because of the nature of that regimes.

    • Soviet side or front du refus ya si QatKhal🙂
      It’s a shame that, while they see their friends die and get killed, these rulers still believe they can oppose the trend. With the human cost of such a belief…

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