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While researching other matters, I came across a 1954 article about an atrocity in French-occupied Morocco. It was a "teaching moment" for me, and it provides this week's theme.
    It was the morning of Islam's greatest feast day, Aid el Kebir. On that day, by sacrificing a ram, the faithful learn whether the year to come is to be peaceful and prosperous — or disastrous.
    – Time Magazine, Aug. 23, 1954
[An endnote tells that the ram is sacrificed "in memory of Abraham, who sacrificed a sheep in place of his son Ishmael. ancestor of all Arabs." Interesting. The western bible tells that Abraham's sacrifice was in lieu of his son Isaac, ancestor of the Jews.]
    A more significant omen for Morocco's future took place in the city of Port Lyautey. There 8,000 to 10,000 resentful Arabs, led by single-minded nationalists, had gone on a rampage in the medina (native quarter) the week before. They killed seven Europeans, including a woman and her daughter, whose stomachs they slit open with knives. The women's bodies were dragged through the streets of the medina.
medina (pronounced meDEE – the old quarter of a North African town
[from Arabic, meaning ‘town’]
 
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ratissage – a search or raid by the (French) police or military (esp. one in French northern Africa). [Freq. characterized as a particularly violent or feared type of operation.]
    The French last week retaliated with a brutal show of force known as ratissage, literally a "raking-in."
We'll learn more about this ratissage in the next few days.

It is horrific.
 
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    The French last week retaliated with a brutal show of force known as ratissage, literally a "raking-in." The French cut off the medina with three cordons of troops, through which no Arab could escape.
Three cordons. Triple strength. They were adamant that none should escape the retaliation.

cordon – a line or circle of police, soldiers, or guards forming a barrier
(verb: cordon off – to prevent access to or from, by means of a cordon)

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    The French cut off the medina with three cordons of troops, through which no Arab could escape. Inside the medina were detachments of Foreign Legionnaires, colonial infantry with tanks, barefoot Berber goumiers, whose hatred of the Arabs is legendary, and French police from whose wrists swung weighted truncheons. Police men, working with maps, split the medina into half a dozen sectors. Then the legionnaires, working systematically, began breaking down the doors of every house.

    Once a door was smashed, in went the goumiers and drove out every male, except small boys. Women cried out in terror, – and were beaten back with clubs or gun butts.
goum – a group of North African tribesmen, esp. a contingent as soldiers in French service
goumier – such a soldier

truncheon – a short thick stick or club, carried as a weapon
[Old French tronchon ‘stump’, from Latin truncus ‘trunk’]
 
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    Legionnaires drove the Arab men and herded them under the muzzle of a Patton tank. A dozen policemen formed a gauntlet, six on either side. One by one, the Arabs were thrust forward, each with his hands on his head.

    "Entrez done, Monsieur," said a reserve police colonel. "The session is about to begin." He smiled broadly, then hit a middle-aged Arab with his right fist, below the belt. As the Arab went down, the colonel kneed him in the groin. The Arab tried to get up; another cop caught him across the jaw with a club. Down went the Arab and the next cop kicked him, twice. He got up again and ran into the arms of still another policeman, who poked him into a sitting position with the muzzle of a carbine.

    Altogether, more than 20,000 Arabs were routed out of their homes to run the gauntlet that day.

    The gauntlet was only a beginning.
gauntlet – a punishment/torture where the victim is forced to run between two lines of men (the gauntlet) who beat him with sticks
(also,an onslaught from all sides; or, a severe trial; an ordeal)
[from Swedish gata ‘lane’ + lopp ‘course’]

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pasha – a title for military and civil officers, esp. in Turkey and northern Africa

    The gauntlet was only a beginning.

    After they had run it, some seriously beaten, each man was placed in a long line. The line shuffled past a 6-ft. pasha. A gesture, a slight shove from the pasha, and an Arab was pushed into one of two groups: those who were suspected of having participated in the past week's rioting and those who were charged with nothing. Before the day was done, 6,000 men had been herded into the suspect group.

    They were loaded into cement trucks and hauled off to jail. As they went, their womenfolk came, screaming and crying "Allah." The police fired into the air to force the women back and to keep the prisoners' heads down in the trucks.

    The cops were not too careful about keeping their fire high.
 
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