Needs closer scrutiny. Can it be just about religion or Al Qa’ida?
9 questions about the Mali conflict
Who started it, and what’s it all about?
CBC News Posted: Jan 14, 2013 9:57 PM ET
Second, the overthrow of the Malian government was enabled by US-trained-and-armed soldiers who defected. From the NYT: “commanders of this nation’s elite army units, the fruit of years of careful American training, defected when they were needed most — taking troops, guns, trucks and their newfound skills to the enemy in the heat of battle, according to senior Malian military officials.” And then: “an American-trained officer overthrew Mali’s elected government, setting the stage for more than half of the country to fall into the hands of Islamic extremists.”
Third, western bombing of Muslims in yet another country will obviously provoke even more anti-western sentiment, the fuel of terrorism. Already, as the Guardian reports, French fighter jets in Mali have killed “at least 11 civilians including three children”. France’s long history of colonialization in Mali only exacerbates the inevitable anger.
Fourth, for all the self-flattering rhetoric that western democracies love to apply to themselves, it is extraordinary how these wars are waged without any pretense of democratic process. Writing about the participation of the British government in the military assault on Mali, Jones notes that “it is disturbing – to say the least – how Cameron has led Britain into Mali’s conflict without even a pretence at consultation.” Identically, the Washington Post this morning reports that President Obama has acknowledged after the fact that US fighter jets entered Somali air space as part of the French operation there; the Post called that “a rare public acknowledgment of American combat operations in the Horn of Africa” and described the anti-democratic secrecy that typically surrounds US war actions in the region:
“The US military has based a growing number of armed Predator drones as well as F-15 fighter jets at Camp Lemonnier, which has grown into a key installation for secret counterterrorism operations in Somalia and Yemen. The defense official declined to identify the aircraft used in the rescue attempt but said they were fighter jets, not drones. . .
Finally, the propaganda used to justify all of this is depressingly common yet wildly effective. Any western government that wants to bomb Muslims simply slaps the label of “terrorists” on them, and any real debate or critical assessment instantly ends before it can even begin. “The president is totally determined that we must eradicate these terrorists who threaten the security of Mali, our own country and Europe,” proclaimed French defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
- Glenn Greenwald: The Bombing Of Mali Highlights All the Lessons Of Western Intervention (consciouslifenews.com)
- France triples number of troops into Mali in preparation for land assault (standard.co.uk)
- Mali: French invaders flee. Mujahideen liberate Koulikoro and are 60 km from the capital Bamako (alhittin.com)
- French lead all-night bombing campaign in Diabaly, Mali (washingtontimes.com)
- Over 100 dead in French strikes and fighting in Mali (sgt-jim.blogspot.com)
- Why Mali is not the next Afghanistan (thestar.com)
- France sends 750 troops to Mali – China Daily (europe.chinadaily.com.cn)