It was an Islamist raid on a natural gas plant in Algeria which started on Wednesday, with many foreign workers being taken hostage, and possibly one American dead so far. Information is still hard to come by:
‘Algeria’s state news service says about 60 foreign hostages remain unaccounted for in the standoff with Islamist militants now entering its third day.
The report also says special forces have resumed negotiations after an assault Thursday at the natural gas facility in the Sahara in eastern Algeria’
Some people hid, some have been killed. Obviously, many foreign nationals were working there. The militants have reportedly demanded release of the blind sheik, Omar Abdel-Rahman, the Egyptian leader of a militant Islamist group currently being held in prison in North Carolina for his involvement in the the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Truly a peace-loving man.
So far, our media is not specially focused on the rise and resurgence of such Islamist movements, and Islamism more generally, and how to deal with them as best we can. It hasn’t focused on how such movements in Mali and Mauritania are related to Libya (Obama’s war), nor the dark days likely ahead of Egypt with a Brotherhood led government and what our policy challenges will be regarding Egypt and its neighbors. This is where much of Islam is right now, and we need to respond. It feels like we’re flying half-blind guided by realpolitik under a set of liberal internationalist principles and Obama’s leadership.
I suspect we’ll be hearing more talk about supporting the Algerian army, not jumping to conclusions, and supporting our allies. There’ll be talk of still trying to criminally investigate Benghazi and “working towards peace through international channels” while mingling amongst a crowd of governments trying to figure out where its citizens and interests are.
As a friend asks?: Is the end game really peace, or is it to bend U.S. interests and policy to a set of universalist, more human rights centered, Western Left ideals? If so, how’s that working out?
Update: Still unclear how many dead. It appears to be over, with many casualties.\]
Another: From the AP:
In a bloody finale, Algerian special forces stormed a natural gas complex in the Sahara desert on Saturday to end a standoff with Islamist extremists that left at least 19 hostages and 29 militants dead. Dozens of foreign workers remain unaccounted for, leading to fears the death toll could rise.
Maybe the Kurds are going to rely on Turkey for some stability and are less likely to form independent Kurdistan-From Foreign Affairs: ‘Revenge Of The Kurds‘.
Longer odds, lots of risk: Adam Garfinkle At The American Interest’s Via Media: “The Rise Of Independent Kurdistan?”
Is Bernhard Henri-Levy actually influencing U.S. policy decisions..neo-neo-colonialism? From New York Magazine: ‘European Superhero Quashes Libyan Dictator’…Bernhard Henri-Levy At The Daily Beast: ‘A Moral Tipping Point’…Charlie Rose Episode On Libya Featuring Bernhard Henri-Levy, Les Gelb And Others…