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January 16, 2013

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Neo

"That's the problem with government — government is anonymous and so no one is accountable. The reason you want somebody to be accountable is that you don't want someone to make that decision again."

Jim Miller

Tom - I think you are missing something important. France is intervening after a "disaster" that is partly the result of Obama administration policies.

It's humiliating to admit that the French are trying to clean up a mess that is -- partly -- caused by our president, but we should face facts, however unpleasant.

matt

We're off on the Road to Bamako
This transport is tough on the spine
We'll off lots of Tuaregs
And kill lots of bad eggs
Oh joy it will be so divine!

The new French Army marching song....

Clarice

Thanks, Jim, confirms my cynical view that Obama's meddling in North Africa must be a diabolical plot to get the Islamic nations so busy killing each other off so that they'll leave us alone.

NK

Completely erroneous analyis: HRH Barry I WON'T bail out the French in Mali. the French are opposing Salafist AQ in Mali-- the only consistency in Barry I's decisions is to aid salafist political power worldwide. Examples-- 1. Barry helps Islamists get rid of secular commie Khadafy, 2. Barry pushes out secular Mubarack for salafist MB in Egypt; 3. Barry aids Salafist opponents of secular/Baathist dictator in Syria, 4. Barry effectively promotes Salafist Hamas over the secular PLO as Palestinian leaders; 5. Barry gives free reign to Salafist led Turkey to become a regional and Eurasian power-- Bring back the Eursasian Calaphite! More examples but you get the point. The one exception?-- drone war in Pakistan -- hey those Salafists are trying to show up Barry I-- his narcissim and self-love trump ideology for Barry I. So Barry I will insure the salafists prevail in Mali-- remember that Eurasian Caliphate!

Ignatz Ratzkiwatzki

Obama and Hollande in The Road to Mali?

Except nobody's laughing.

jimmyk

my cynical view that Obama's meddling in North Africa must be a diabolical plot to get the Islamic nations so busy killing each other off so that they'll leave us alone.

I think you give Obama far too much credit. My presumption would always be that he wants to harm America's interests and benefit radicals, whether Islamist or Socialist/Communist.

NK

CaptH-- thanks for the link. seeing the cult of personality play out is disgusting. I know matty I. is stupid in the extreme, but this is more liberal mental illness than low IQ.

NK

jimmyK@11:45-- completely agree. The record proves that.

Neo

It's humiliating to admit that the French are trying to clean up a mess that is -- partly -- caused by our president ...

On a fundamental basis, you are correct, but our Pres**ent was asked by the French and Italians to help make that mess.

His inability to look beyond the immediate crisis, to see the bigger picture, ultimately only let it unfold, when he could have possibly found something better, if he hadn't been "leading from behind."

The problem with "leading from behind" is that you always get it up the a$$.

Captain Hate

My presumption would always be that he wants to harm America's interests and benefit radicals, whether Islamist or Socialist/Communist.

Yes that's my default position on everything he does which is work related.

NK, it should be interesting if Matty gets any pushback on that.

narciso

What is this now, Ishtar 111, the officer that started this rebellion, was US trained, much in the same way that Quaddafi and Idi Amin, had British training,

Tom Maguire
Tom - I think you are missing something important.

I am - caffeine. Last night my (off-line) tirade about Mali led with our collapsed training effort, but this morning... nothing.

This New Year resolution about cutting back on coffee is killing me.

Anyway, I updated a bit, thanks.

narciso

One of the problems, is the Tuaregs like Sanogo, are not anywhere near the majority faction in Mali, 'but that's not important right now'

narciso

The map really shows how screwed up the situation is over there;

http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/01/15/mali-dien-bien-phu-all-over-again/

Peter

This New Year resolution about cutting back on coffee is killing me.

Me too. I am going through hell. But I am sleeping better at night.

James D.

CH, that Yglesias link makes me more angry than I can properly express. He can f*k off and die in a fire, along with the rest of his hateful, destructive Journolist pals.

The entire point of lving in a democracy where we are all citizens, is that no one's children are "more important" in the eyes of the law than anybody else's.

matt

The interior of the Sahara has always been a hotbed of insurgency. The Tuareg want no masters but their own. They extend from Chad and Niger to Mali and Mauretania and Nigeria and Libya and Algeria and maybe into the Sudan as well. It is a huge area and it is mainly sand and these people are sort of like the sand people in Star Wars; uniquely adapted.

This could be the first thermal imaging war. Once they are pushed out of the towns and villages they will be out in the desert where the thermal contrast, especially in winter will be very high. Pow! In summer, not so much.

Any way you look at it though, it's a shittier war than the last one. Libya was a dump, and it gets dumpier as you go further inland. Can't wait for the movie, though. Sort of a Gunga Din/French Foreign Legion epic.

narciso

This is the larger issue, matt, as Robert Kaplan is kind a little tired to point out, geography and demography, are a potent combination.

Ignatz Ratzkiwatzki

The problem with dumps like Mali is that while strategically, by themselves, they are of no value, like the guy I met in the chemo room a few months ago, cancer that starts in a useless place like your appendix is just as life threatening as one that starts in your lungs or brain; if it spreads you're dead.

Rick Ballard

I would expect the French to be rather unrestrained in their delivery of kinetic humanitarian aid during the mop up of the BP/TOTAL/ENI coup in Libya. They've been effective in the elimination of Mahometan savages in the past and are only surpassed by the Belgian genocidaires in the brutality of means used for suppression. The R2P oil interests in Libya by stabilizing the hinterlands through extermination will be fulfilled.

BOzo was never more than a rook in this match. Mali doesn't really add much to the carrion stench of failure of the Obama Arab Spring.

NK

"...stench of failure of the Obama Arab Spring." what failure? the Salafists are now in control... WINNING!... as far as Barry I is concerned.

Melinda Romanoff

TM-

You have mail.

Jane on Ipad

Jim Miller,

I've been reading your blog lately and really like it.

daddy

Just to reprint from The BBC earlier this week:

Guys With Guns in Pick-up Trucks?

Mali:

An unnamed Elysee Palace official quoted by AFP said on Sunday that French armed forces had been surprised by the fighting quality of the Islamist militants they were up against.

"What has really struck us is how up-to-date their equipment is, and the way they've been trained to use it," the official said.

"At the start, we thought they would be just a load of guys with guns driving about in their pick-ups, but the reality is that they are well-trained, well-equipped, and well-armed.

"From Libya they have got hold of a lot of up-to-date, sophisticated equipment which is much more robust and effective than we could have imagined."

Jim Miller

Jane - Thanks.

It's probably the only political blog has links to six Mt. Rainier webcams, and two Mt. St. Helens webcams, but I like to think it has other attractions, too.

Watch Phone in India

One of the issues, is the Tuaregs like Sanogo, are not anywhere near most faction in Mali, 'but that's not essential right now.

narciso

This link gives some detail, about the coup leader, that lead to the circumstances we find ourselves now in, and some subsequent details, in the LUN

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