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 [F] New York Times on the Web Forums  / Science  /

    Missile Defense

Technology has always found its greatest consumer in a nation's war and defense efforts. Since the last attempts at a "Star Wars" defense system, has technology changed considerably enough to make the latest Missile Defense initiatives more successful? Can such an application of science be successful? Is a militarized space inevitable, necessary or impossible?

Read Debates, a new Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published every Thursday.

Earliest Messages Previous Messages Recent Messages Outline (16827 previous messages)

lchic - 01:04am Nov 8, 2003 EST (# 16828 of 16832)
ultimately TRUTH outs : TRUTH has to be morally forcing : build on TRUTH it's a strong foundation

MORAL RESPONSIBILITY (war) - Minister sued


Former French minister sued for crimes against humanity PRINT FRIENDLY EMAIL STORY The World Today - Friday, 7 November , 2003 12:32:06 Reporter: Hamish Robertson DAVID HARDAKER: Staying with questions of tyranny and democracy, France's rather murky record in its former colony of Algeria is once again coming under scrutiny. More than 40 years after the French Government granted independence to Algeria, a member of that government is now being sued over the deaths of thousands of Algerians.

Pierre Messmer was the Armed Forces Minister in President Charles de Gaulle's Administration of 1962 and is one of the few members of that government still alive today. He's now being sued by representatives of pro-French Muslim Algerians – thousands of whom were killed after allegedly being abandoned by the French authorities.

Hamish Robertson reports.

HAMISH ROBERTSON: If the allegations are true, they would place the French Government of the early 1960's in the same moral category as the Yugoslav regime of Slobodan Milosevic.

It's claimed that France allowed 100,000 pro-French Muslim Algerians to be massacred – rather than let them be resettled – because President Charles de Gaulle believed there were already too many Arabs in France.

According to the author Georges Marc-Benamou, President de Gaulle described the pro-French Algerians, also known as the Harkis, as "a rabble that should be disposed of as quickly as possible".

Pierre Messmer, who was France's Defence Minister at the time, is now being accused of implementing this alleged decision by General de Gaulle to abandon the Harkis to their fate.

The legal action, which is being taken by a group of Harkis and their descendants, accuses Pierre Messmer of complicity in crimes against humanity, by carrying out ethnic cleansing.

The lawsuit has triggered a furious row, with de Gaulle's supporters insisting the President wasn't a racist, and the Evian independence agreement had guaranteed there were would be no reprisals.

They also point out that large numbers of French settlers were also massacred after independence, when the Evian accords were effectively torn up by the new Algerian Government.

This interpretation is supported by French political analyst Dominic Moisi.

DOMINIC MOISI: Well, there's a new book, which has just come out in France called, A French LieUn Mensonge Français, describing in the most negative terms, the behaviour of General de Gaulle and of his close advisers.

I think there is a lot of exaggeration there. De Gaulle was clearly not a racist and de Gaulle clearly didn't deliberately left these people to die. But we are forced to look back at our past in a way that is, of course, not a very flattering one.

HAMISH ROBERTSON: But whether or not those allegations are exaggerated, the that fact they're being made at all more than four decades after France withdrew from North Africa, underlines the extent to which the French are still haunted by the legacy of their former colony of Algeria.

DOMINIC MOISI: We're still haunted by it. We never fully came to terms with it, because we never clearly dealt with it openly, unlike the Americans after Vietnam, we tried to keep that in a rather grey environment, and we are being punished for that. So, the allegations are extreme but the reality is a climate of self-doubt.

HAMISH ROBERTSON: For many French people – especially those over the age of 40 – the emotional scars caused by the loss of Algeria have still not completely healed. But there are also around two million Muslims of Algerian origin now living in France, many of whom are young, unemployed and marginalised from mainstream French society.

So what kind of impact will this case have on race relations in France, which are already brittle?

DOMINIC MOISI: Well, it's not going to help and it's not making the integration of t

lchic - 01:46am Nov 8, 2003 EST (# 16829 of 16832)
ultimately TRUTH outs : TRUTH has to be morally forcing : build on TRUTH it's a strong foundation

from ABC Australia 'The World Today' ... the implication being that folks ARE responsible for irresponsible decision making.

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 [F] New York Times on the Web Forums  / Science  / Missile Defense