ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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From 50 Years Ago: The Battle of the Colons.

Editorial from Volume XII, No's 4, 5 and 6, January 23, 1960.

This week’s dangerous crisis in Algeria is, in more senses than one, of President de Gaulle’s own making. Not only is he the author of the conditions and circumstances which have led to the Paris-Colon showdown that seems to be in the offing, he is also responsible for de-liberately pushing the crisis into the open and rushing it into an almost immediate showdown. Whatever may be thought and said about the General’s role in the earlier drama, even his confirmed critics will find themselves admiring him for his latest deci-sion, and, indeed, wishing him success. When in May 1958 the colonel-colon combina-tion in Algiers caused General de Gaulle to be placed into power in France, the authors of the ill-disguised coup had counted, no doubt, on the reasonable probability that the king would remain a plaything of the king-makers. The belief was widely shared, not only outside Algiers but also outside Paris. True that the edi-fice of Gaullism rose, to a large extent, on the ruins to which the Fourth Republic had reduced itself; but to an equal extent it was also the construction of M Soustelle and General Massu and the hysterical French settlers in Algiers. All of them had resurrected Gaullism in the expec-tation, and in fact with the design, of what is now called “Frenchifying” Algeria.

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