It's a charming old term, Maghreb. I think I heard the word years ago, but I could have dreamed it. It has a cerain old-fashioned charm, like the term Levant, it rings of the racism of an older, more genteel era. I associate it with people like Kipling and William Jennings Bryan, from a time when words like darkie and native were used when refering to local savages whose gentle obeisance was manifest in a loyalty to their colonial overlords that would over time erupt in shocking betrayal...the locals not keeping in their place...the blacks getting restless...
But I digress. 'Scuse me.
The Secretary of Defense was over theah and is reported to have remarked how hard it is for al-Qaida to work theah.
Before arriving in Tunisia on Saturday, Mr Rumsfeld said he did not believe the Maghreb was a likely place for al-Qaeda to take root because extremism was not tolerated by the governments of Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria.Not at all like, say, New Jersey or the American midlands where the soil is more invitingly fertile for extremists.
Thanks to The Lounsbury, gentle reader, whose smooth and reasonable assessment of the moment is worth a moment of your time.