Tuesday, April 07, 2009

You reap what you sow - Film: Battle of Algiers

In the last couple of days, I watched Battle of Algiers La Battaglia di Algeri (1966) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058946/ and all the extra material included in the Criterion edition of this classic film shot in 1966. I really wish Pres. Obama had seen it too, because his remarks about our goals and methods in Afghanistan seem fundamentally flawed to me.

What I take away from hours of film, biography, history, interviews, etc., is that you reap what you sow. If you use terrorism and force, you end up with chaos, which is the situation facing Algeria now. The French used force and torture, and won the battle of Algers, but lost the war. and the colony. The Algerians won their independence, but rather than a peaceful democracy, they are now fighting off religious fundamentalists.

We need to think more carefully about where to involve ourselves in the world, and how we do it. Because one reaps what one sows, in politics as in life.

It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds. - Sam Adams