Thursday, April 3, 2014
"A Pillar of the Regime and among the Younger Ministers of His Generation." The quote in the title is not a recent one, but refers to the Boumedienne era in the 1960s.
The tendency of Arab leaders to cling to power even when they are physically impaired (and Bouteflika is far from the exception here). Bouteflika is much younger than some incumbent Arab leaders, but his stroke has clearly impaired him.
Charles de Gaulle once famously remarked that "La vieillesse est un naufrage": "Old age is a shipwreck." He was referring to Marshal Pétain, and blaming the fall of France on the onetime hero's age (84 in 1940) for the surrender. Ironically, by the 1960s some of de Gaulle's critics, though he was only in his 70s, would quote the same lines about de Gaulle.
Ironically, though, there is probably no other candidate that the Algerian establishment could agree to unite behind.