Sunday, March 18, 2012

When Is a War Not a War

When it is the "events".  A paragraph from Dirk Beauregarde's post on the 50th anniversary of the Algerian War:
We never hear much about the Algerian war in Britan. We never seem to talk much about it in France. Even 50 years on, the war is still very much a taboo subject. Until 1999, the conflict in Algeria wasn’t even called a « war » - politicians would officially refer to the eight years of bloody conflict as « The évents ». It took a parliamentary commission and a new law for the « military opérations in Algeria » (as they were referred to at the time) to be officially qualified as a « War ». The change in terminology was not born from an act of conscience – it was all because there was no money for Algerian war vétérans and war widows – you can’t be a war vétéran or a war widow if the war wasn’t called a war. For years there was a national outcry as widow and vétérans went without pensions or compensation. So i twas on 18th October 1999 in the new Service Pensions Law that the « évents » in Algeria became officially became the « Algerian War ». Wrapping it all up in an obscure pensions act – that illustrâtes the French attitude to the War in Algeria. [Spelling corrected]

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