Talk:Algerian Six

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 Definition The "Algerian Six" were six Bosnian citizens, originally from Algeria, who were sent to the Guantanamo Bay detention camp [d] [e]
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I was the sole author of this version. So no "from wikipedia" disclaimer is necessary.
George Swan 09:05, 21 November 2007

This looks like a good informative article to me, without any problems of neutrality. --Martin Baldwin-Edwards 12:52, 21 November 2007 (CST)

While the article itself seems reasonable, I have a neutrality problem with the article title. Let me note that I try, when writing, to avoid "public relations" names for things. Unless the context of a military quote necessitates it, I avoid "Operation Iraqi Freedom" and use "2003 invasion of Iraq". I find "Algerian Six", without authoritative sourcing of the term, to sound like a propagandistic phrasing from the opposite side from the Bush Administration's jargon.
(an aside to Martin) Part of this may be a U.S. idiom, but when I lived through the protests of the sixties and the seventies, a usual left-radical (as opposed to different right-radical) term was the "Foo Some-Number". I hear echoes of a chant, "Free the Chicago Seven". For the record, I interviewed most of those seven people in October 1967, and I only use the term "Chicago Seven" when context necessitates it. Otherwise, I refer to David Dellinger, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, etc.
My suggestion would be to rename the article something that doesn't sound either out of a chant or a Bush Administration press release. If some authoritative and neutral source named this group the "Algerian Six", I believe that needs to be cited. Howard C. Berkowitz 21:24, 20 June 2008 (CDT)
I don't know anything about the Algerian Six, but the "Chicago Seven" was certainly a widely used phrase, and it is *still* used. You would be wrong *not* to use it as the title of an article about them. WP, for instance, has an article:
You may not agree with that, but I think you are swimming against the stream if you wouldn't call a CZ article about them by that.... Hayford Peirce 22:36, 20 June 2008 (CDT)
I'm a very good swimmer. It would be perfectly appropriate to link "Chicago Seven" to "Protests at 1968 Democratic Convention", with a short Chicago Seven article. In October 1967, as a member of a news pool covering the largest antiwar demonstration at the Pentagon, I interviewed most of them, and we had no problem using their actual names, or roles with the "New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam". The latter was directly relevant to the demonstrations at hand; "Chicago Seven" was not.Howard C. Berkowitz 09:56, 21 June 2008 (CDT)
Here are some sources that use the phrase.
  • German Troops Allegedly Posed as Journalists for Interview, Deutshe Welle, December 22 2006. Retrieved on 2008-06-20. “She told the Germans the very same thing that she had told other reporters: that her husband had been arrested on suspicion of being a member of the so-called Algerian Six, a cell allegedly affiliated with al Qaeda, but had been released after a campaign by Amnesty International and a ruling from the highest court in Bosnia which cited lack of evidence.”

Using is not equivalent to defining. Using in a headline, over which the reporter rarely has any control, is not authoritative to me. I also tend to discount anything prefaced by "so-called" or "so-named", which usually shows lack of objectivity. Howard C. Berkowitz 09:56, 21 June 2008 (CDT)
  • There are words and phrases I don't use, because I think they convey bias. I prefer to refer to the individuals held in Guantanamo as "captives", not "detainees", because I see "detainees" as a term picked to imply greater legitimacy than their conditions merits. It is possible that the US Justice system mya rule that their detention was unsjustified, which would make them, essentially, kidnap victims. No one used the term "detainee" to refer to prisoners prior to 9-11. Now it is used all the time, all over the world. I don't want to contribute to that. Quixotic, perhaps.
  • But I don't see the term "Algerian six" as conveying bias.
  • When I refer to their nationality I explicitly refer to them as Bosnians. They did, after all, become Bosnian citizens.
  • It would be possible to create an article entitled Bosnian captives in Guantanamo. There are other men in Guantananmo who the USA says are Bosnian citizens. It is an interesting story actually. A half dozen or so other men had their designation as "enemy combatants" justified because they were on a list of foreigner fighters in the civil war that lead to Bosnian independence from Yugoslavia, who became Bosnian citizen.
  • For what it is worth, this designation is a violation of the Geneva Conventions. According to the Geneva Conventions definition, veterans, who are not engaged in combat in the current conflict, are not combatants. They are civilians.
  • Several of these men responded to this allegation. Some were aid workers, who had worked in, or near, Bosnia, when it was a conflict zone, and had worked in or near Afghanistan, when it was a conflict zone. They acknowledged becoming Bosnian citizens. Several said that becoming a Bosnian citizen made it easier to marry Bosnian women they had falled in love with. Most of them could not explain how they came to be listed on the list of foreign fighters, when they weren't even in Bosnia during the civil war.
  • One guy could explain. And I suspect the explanation he offered could have applied to all the other men. The newly independent Bosnia was grateful to the foreigners who had come to fight for its independence. And as a gesture of gratitude it waived the normal citizenship application fee for foreigners who fought on behalf of Bosnian independence. What this one captive testified was that corrupt Bosnian citizenship clerks, when processing the citizenship applications of men of military age from Arabic countries, who were not claiming to have been foreign volunteers, listed them as foreign fighters, and quietly pocketed their citizenship application fee, and with the citizen normally none the wiser.
"Detainee" was not, I agree, a term used in international situations, but it was and is quite common in civilian law enforcement. The term refers to people that are being held but not charged -- they could simply be waiting in a holding cell (arrested but not charged), material witnesses, people sleeping off a drunk, etc.
Unfortunately, the mixture of sound-bite politicians and their slavering pack of electronic journalists have politicized quite a number of terms. "Insurgency" has been a term of military art for decades, yet I keep running into people that believe it is a Bush Administration term for opposition in Iraq. Yes, there is an insurgency in Iraq, but the term is not unique. Howard C. Berkowitz 11:48, 21 June 2008 (CDT)
Bosnians in captivity is, to me, neutral. The Placename-Number designation always sounds like something intended to be chanted or used in sloganeering. Howard C. Berkowitz 11:48, 21 June 2008 (CDT)