Algeria: A Crash of Glass

In predawn darkness last Saturday morning, truckloads of Algerian troops pulled up before President Ahmed ben Bella's white-walled hillside Villa Joly, overlooking the Mediterranean. The soldiers quickly pushed aside police bodyguards, hurried through the garden to the glass-paneled front door. There was a rough exchange in guttural Arabic, the sound of breaking glass, and a light snapped on in the President's upstairs bedroom. Ben Bella woke up to discover he was deposed and under arrest.

General Cleanup. Only two days before in Oran, he had delivered a speech in which he confidently...

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