Over the past week or so, I have had recourse to critique the American mainstream, elite press for not doing justice to the situation in the Sahel on behalf of their readers. Over the past few days, the Algerian angle of the evolving situation has come to the fore, and here the MSM has done even worse. To judge by what has gone into print, some of our journalists have failed to understand what the Algerian leadership is thinking and why. The reason for that failure seems clear enough: A horrendous and protracted civil war wracked Algeria from about 1992 to 1999 (2002 by some measures), a war that continues to haunt the Algerian leadership and to influence deeply how it behaves; yet in the first three-day’s worth of coverage of the In Amenas gas-plant hostage ordeal, this civil war was never even mentioned. This is a little like trying to explain the astrophysics of an eclipse without ever mentioning the moon.
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