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  #1  
Old 6 Aug 2009
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The Dark Sahara - author interview

An interesting interview with British Anthropologist Jeremy Keenan author of “The Dark Sahara: America’s War on Terror in Africa” that some of you might find interesting....

British Anthropologist Jeremy Keenan on "The Dark Sahara: America's War on Terror in Africa"

"Keenan is a professor of social anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and has spent over four decades working in and writing about this region. He traces AFRICOM and the US military concern over al-Qaeda’s presence in Africa back to the February 2003 kidnapping of thirty-two European tourists in Algeria’s Sahara desert. The hostage taking was widely blamed on Islamic militants thought to be affiliated with al-Qaeda, but Professor Keenan argues that the Bush administration and the Algerian government were the ones to blame.

His latest book is called The Dark Sahara: America’s War on Terror in Africa. Its sequel is called The Dying Sahara, will be released next year. "
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Old 7 Aug 2009
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Could some of you with longer experience with the Sahara pls explain this Keenan fellow. I am about to buy his book "Sahara man" which is described as a standard work on tuaregs (or, from one introduction "the Tuareg, the fearsome indigo-veiled nomadic warlords of the Central Sahara with whom he had lived as a young anthropologist during the 1960s." yikes).

Keenan speculates wildly and assumes the part of spokesman for Africa and he does give the impression of someone who's lost it.

"Just because I don't have any evidence doesn't mean there is no involvement".
Not the words you want to hear from a scholar.

Some of you have been in Sahara for decades and probably know of him and perhaps read his works. What is your take? Has the long time spent in the desert made him paranoid and delusional?
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Old 7 Aug 2009
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Hello Priffe,
Quote:
Has the long time spent in the desert made him paranoid and delusional?
yes indeed, that's it!!!

For long time Keenan was well accepted by the algerien authorities and had best connections. After 2003 he is persona non grada in Algeria. Nobody knows exactly why. From that moment on he is running amok against Algeria and the so called "Al Qaeda". I never would by a book from him.

Regards

Ulrich
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Old 7 Aug 2009
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I had never heard of him when I watched the interview (I check out democracynow.org most days as they tend to have some excellent interviews) so watched it with an open mind and a few raised eyebrows along the way.

What I heard him say was, to paraphrase, 'all my contacts built up over decades tell me this' for the older claims, and 'we suspect based on our combined knowledge that it is this, but have no proof so far' for the newer claims.

I'd imagine the book details the evidence/interviews.

Media interviews are usually only 5-15 mins longs and cover a wide range of subjects so you can't expect every fact to be backed up on the spot, you need to do your own research I guess, with his book for a start.

After all, none of your comments/character assasination are backed up with any facts! ;-)

"Nobody knows exactly why" - It seems obvious that interviews and books like these haven't helped!

All gristle to the mill!
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Old 8 Aug 2009
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By the way;

Quote:
The Dark Sahara
if someone is interested - PN

Kind regards

Ulrich
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Old 9 Aug 2009
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"The kidnappings were being manipulated by the Algerian secret services working with the Americans".
"One group was released under a rather theatrically staged attack, sort of a false attack by the military".
!The whole thing was...,,being managed from Algiers"
"Algeria wanting to go to bed with America".

So what he is saying is that the Americans created the AQIM as a pretext to establish a military presence in the Sahara. That it was conceived and managed by the Algerians.

I say bring out even a trace of evidence.
There are already enough conspiration theorists in the Sahara and in the arab world.
He reminds me of Robert Fisk on a smaller scale.
But maybe the facts are in the book? Until then, it is a fantasy akin to the 9/11 conspiracy fanatics.

Last edited by priffe; 9 Aug 2009 at 11:37.
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Old 9 Aug 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by priffe View Post
So what he is saying is that the Americans created the AQIM as a pretext to establish a military presence in the Sahara. That it was conceived and managed by the Algerians.

I say bring out even a trace of evidence.
There are already enough conspiration theorists in the Sahara and in the arab world.
I have ordered the book so will let you know what he documents in it. Perhaps worth listening to it and remembering that the UK governments complicity in torture is currently being exposed (slowly) and this was during the Dubya years when anything went in order pacify Gog and Magog as Chirac has just documented:

"Now out of office, Chirac (apparently?) recounts that the American leader appealed to their “common faith” (Christianity) and told him: “Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East…. The biblical prophecies are being fulfilled…. This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins.” in the case of the Iraq invasions. So who knows......
Council for Secular Humanism

What else gives his claims some possible plausibility is that is certainly plenty of precedent for this kind of behavior - all documented from official sources such as William Blum, once of the US State Department, in his books 'Killing Hope' (see Chapter 24. France/Algeria - 1960s: L'état, c'est la CIA) and 'Rogue State' or in the case of the UK, Mark Curtis:

Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II: Amazon.co.uk: William Blum: Books
Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower: Amazon.co.uk: William Blum: Books
The Web of Deceit: Britain's Real Role in the World: Amazon.co.uk: Mark Curtis: Books

I'll let you know what is in it when I get a chance to read the book....

(Seems this thread has more to do with drinking than the Sahara! Book discussions clearly not welcome ;-))

Last edited by roamingyak.org; 9 Aug 2009 at 22:35.
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Old 11 Aug 2009
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evidence... piff

There's not too much evidence at hand, but loads of really fishy "coincidences".
To start with: who was the leader of the famous algeria kidnappers & the start of Al Kaida myth in the Sahara? His nickname is El Parra. An ex-bodyguard of the algerian president. The whole kindnapping was a soapy scam. In late 2003 I travelled from Reggane to Kidal with two of the 5 guys who "negotiated" the release of the hostages. Hahaha. The "fight" with the hostage takers in Chad in which all of them were killed by the chadian army which on the other hand didn't have any casualties. Hahaha. It was a missile, US made and owned, I claim without evidence, just using logic.
I have no proof, but since the hostage taking situation in algeria with El Parra and other parrots the americans have been consistently transplanting the Al Kaida myth into subsaharan Africa. Mali, Niger, Mauritania. It's a comedy. And a really sad one.

The attitude of the self-proclaimed civilised West is probably best described by the cancellation of the results of the first democratic elections in Algeria in 1991. Remember? Evidence, what evidence?

PS
what's wrong with R. Fisk? Ideological reservations?
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