While commenter Lilith and Trent put ‘paid’ to modern Islam in the comments to the post criticizing Henley’s Grand Scheme below, it’s important to note that there are signs of hope.
In today’s L.A. Times, Walter Russell Mead has a column on Algeria.
It’s important to note that it was in Algeria that the roots of modern anticolonial theory took hold – Fanon wrote from his experience as a psychiatrist in Algeria. The film ‘Battle of Algiers’ brought the brutal reality of counterinsurgency home to us, and the French policy toward the Arab world was shaped in Algeria.
And now, some good things are happening there.
Algeria just completed the freest election in the history of the Arab world, it has lots of oil and gas, it wants to work closely with the United States against fanatical terror — and, as a special added bonus, it still doesn’t like France.
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has played a leading role in the reforms that are changing the country. First elected in a 1999 contest widely regarded as rigged, Bouteflika has lifted controls on the press and on the opposition. He was reelected earlier this month. A brash and independent press criticizes the president daily — and as long as it remains free, Algeria’s institutions will continue to gain international respect.
Reality is complex, and a very smart (and rich) fellow once told me that he’d made most of his money on the simple assumption that things are seldom as bad or good as people think.
Advice well worth taking.