Terrorists in the Maghreb

One important consideration, probably among many, that the editors of the NYTimes overlook when they decide to publish stories/timelines etc. about say Al Qaeda and terrorism in the Maghreb, such as in this article taken from today’s edition, is the following: By doing so they are giving huge (because the Times is huge) media attention to a terrorist movement that perhaps in the total North African picture, let alone the total scheme of things, doesn’t merit that spotlight.

Readers learn little or nothing about North Africa, and the life for the millions who live there and whose lives are not touched by the few hundred terrorists, but instead they see the entire Maghreb as fertile breeding ground for Al Qaeda suicide bombers whose reach now extends to France and to all of Europe.

But then, isn’t that the nature of our media? We know little about our own country, and our own country’s strengths, in spite of what will be this week’s 4th of July celebrations, and we know much than we want to know about Britney Spears.

Now all this is not to say that terrible things are not happening in the Maghreb, and in particular in Algeria. We may probably expect to see more of the following:

Bodies lined up for identification in the village of Rais on August 29, 1997, after at least 98 people were killed in a predawn raid by hooded men.

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