Mali

The French have lost a fifth soldier in Mali hunting down the violent jihadists who almost took over the country a very few months ago.

Of course, I believe they are acting for the common good of peaceful people everywhere because the other civilized countries won’t life a finger.

I am wondering at the thundering silence of the usual commentators.

About Jacques Delacroix

I write short stories, current events comments, and sociopolitical essays, mostly in English, some in French. There are other people with the same first name and same last name on the Internet. I am the one who put up on Amazon in 2014: "I Used to Be French: an Immature Autobiography" and also: "Les pumas de grande-banlieue." To my knowledge, I am the only Jacques Delacroix with American and English scholarly publications. In a previous life, I was a teacher and a scholar in Organizational Theory and in the Sociology of Economic Development. (Go ahead, Google me!) I live in the People’s Green Socialist Republic of Santa Cruz, California.
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9 Responses to Mali

  1. Terry Amburgey says:

    I take it that you don’t consider Chad a civilized country.

    • Terry: I consider Chad a semi-civilized country where the rule of law and judicial process is somewhat better than in most places in Africa, a low standard. The country benefited from intervention by the former colonial power, France, some years ago after a long period of dictatorship. More recently, it benefited by US training of its army, a modest expenditure bringing disproportionate returns, as we now see.

      For several years, the Chad Republic has been largely a French franchise. I wish the French had done more there, not less.

      Perhaps, Chad slipped my mind when I wrote the few lines about Mali because of its franchise status. There are other African countries involved on a small military scale. That’s good, not surprising, the way it should be.

      I was imply curious about the lack of comments, from both wishy-washy liberals who faint at the sight of a firearm and from closeted pacifists libertarians

      All the same, you are half right in your comment. (Happens all the time!)

  2. The events in Mali were actually fairly predictable. The people who argued that bombing Libya was a bad idea said such a policy would have destabilizing tendencies throughout the Sahel region.

    And the civil war in Mali has nothing to do with “violent jihadists” and everything to do with state failure and secessionist aspirations. Which is exactly what you’d expect in a post-colonial state that has no clear national cohesion and was patched together by well-meaning White Men attempting to stop the slave trade.

    I wrote a short essay on this: Mali: Just Let it Collapse, Duh!. Part 2 can be found here.

    Just out of curiosity: do you think the French efforts to stave off the inevitable (the collapse of Mali as a state) are a good thing? Why?

    • Brandon: Strange the way you mix common knowledge ( fromt the 19th century) with invention.

      Mali was cobblesd together the same way most post-colonial states were: with little attention to pre-colonial social structures, groups, tribes, etc.

      The Tuareg of the north have been in rebellion in one form or another against the ruling south for thirty years. However, the last time they tried they were soon sent to the sideline by a collection of gangster-jihadists.

      It was not Tuareg rebels that blew up the holy men’s tombs in Timbuctu. No one had shown any interest in doing this and in gathering the anger of the populace but ____ (fill in blank.) No one ever cut thieves’ hands in that region until ______ took over. (Fill in blank.)

      The availability of stocks of arms left over after the destruction on Gahdafi’s regime probably determined the timing of the _____take-over of the northern half that weak state.

      I don’t care much about any state at all. I think secessionist should almost always have their way. There is even less reason to care about Mali as a state than there is reason to care about most other states.

      The reason the French government has given repeatedly for its armed intervention in Mali, I think, is a legitimate reason and it’s the true reason it did it:

      A whole _______ state a few hours from Europe is just too dangerous to be allowed.

      I note with interest that none of the governments of the surrounding states protested the French intervention. Several actively of symbolically helped along.

      Of course, if you don’t believe there are any ______ at all, none of this makes sense and you have to make up imaginary explanations.

      Here is a general rule that’s useful in many situations: When you hear galloping hooves in the night, first think “horses,” not zebras”

      • Dr J writes:

        The reason the French government has given repeatedly for its armed intervention in Mali, I think, is a legitimate reason and it’s the true reason it did it:

        A whole _______ state a few hours from Europe is just too dangerous to be allowed.

        Way too many assumptions in this statement for me to take the Society of Orange-Colored Unicorn Horns seriously. Is this the same French government that believed (believed) Saddam Hussein had WMDs?

        And, of course, the fact that the dictatorships surrounding Mali (a legacy of benevolent French rule?) supported French intervention strengthens your argument immensely.

        The Tuareg of the north have been in rebellion in one form or another against the ruling south for thirty years. However, the last time they tried they were soon sent to the sideline by a collection of gangster-jihadists.

        Another whopper! I have never read of this power struggle before. The Tuaregs were pushed to the sideline and replaced by “gangster jihadists”? And, is it also true that you believed Iraqis would welcome American troops as liberators in Baghdad? Admit it: you believed it, didn’t you? Didn’t yooooou?! *in sing-song voice*

        Could it be possible that Tuareg aspirations for a homeland of their own found new strength in the anti-imperialist doctrines of Islamist movements in the north? Is it possible that instead of being pushed aside, the secessionists simply adopted the anti-imperialist creed of Islamism for their cause, much in the same way that Christianity was adopted by terrorists in Northern Ireland? Or is that too simple for your Trotskyist tastes?

      • Brandon: You are ill informed. It’s hard to believe you don’t realize by how much. Do you have secret sources of info?
        ( FYI I read the WSJ every day and Le Figaro, and I watch French news also every day. The action in Mali was undertaken by a socialist government I don’t like in any other way. I am not tempted to twist its declarations in any way that would make it look good. I am not tempted to twist anything. I call them as I see them.)

        When you ask if it’s the same government that did what it did in 2001, I am not even completely sure you are jesting.

      • Well of course I’m ill-informed. How could I not be?

        When Obama became president, did the entire American intelligence apparatus get replaced by card-carrying Democrats?

        While you answer this simple question, perhaps you could also answer the other simple question I previously asked you:

        The Tuaregs were pushed to the sideline and replaced by “gangster jihadists”? […] Could it be possible that Tuareg aspirations for a homeland of their own found new strength in the anti-imperialist doctrines of Islamist movements in the north? Is it possible that instead of being pushed aside, the secessionists simply adopted the anti-imperialist creed of Islamism for their cause, much in the same way that Christianity was adopted by terrorists in Northern Ireland? Or is that too simple for your Trotskyist tastes?

      • Christianity was not adopted by terrorists in Northern Ireland.

        I was never a Trotskyist. Those I have known were intelligent and brave people, on the whole.

  3. Terry Amburgey says:

    “Here is a general rule that’s useful in many situations: When you hear galloping hooves in the night, first think “horses,” not zebras”

    A rule that is much more useful in California than Africa.

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