Have any of you heard of the situation in Mali? (locked)

18 posts

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Ummmmmmm,

Good to know I guess?

 
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Well, I really would like to know about what happened there 7 months ago.

I’m french, and since on every media they’re always talking about this war, i’d like to know who we are protecting.

Thanks.

 
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Yet another shambolic African nation descends into chaos and civil war. So what’s new?

My question to you, Terence, is this. Putting aside the fact that you know people out there, is there any reason why I should care about Mali any more than any other country in the same predicament?

 
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Why the Mali more than another african country where the chaos reigns ?

 
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Yes, but Mali isn’t the only (african) country where terrorism is spreading, where there is a big amount of French citizens.

 
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Originally posted by Terence22205:
Originally posted by Dacister:

Why the Mali more than another african country where the chaos reigns ?

I thought I had explained so up there but….

tl;dr:

1. Stop the spread of terrorism

2. Protect 8000+ French citizens

3. Have a large{r} presence in African nations.

Most probably french will be stuck there as americans are in afghanistan.

 
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Originally posted by jbos123:

Ummmmmmm,

Good to know I guess?

Originally posted by beauval:

Yet another shambolic African nation descends into chaos and civil war. So what’s new?

My question to you, Terence, is this. Putting aside the fact that you know people out there, is there any reason why I should care about Mali any more than any other country in the same predicament?

Stereotypically ignorant American responses right here. Nearly all the threads in this forum are American-oriented; if there is one that isn’t, it’ll be criticised for merely existing as a thread. If you are uninterested in this thread, don’t post. It’s that easy. This is a big reason why I occasionally dislike this forum.

This thread is not merely about the situation in Mali; it’s about Islamism, it’s about the spread of terrorism to African nations. It’s a shame that Islamic forces are rising in Mali, and I’m glad France is doing something to try and prevent it. Unlike America intervening in nations with rising Islamic terrorism, France is only there to kill the terrorists and near to no “collateral damage” (i.e., killing hundreds of thousands of civilians) will occur. So, good luck to France and the Malian non-Islamist forces.

How long is it expected for this situation to last? A couple of months?

 
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Originally posted by Terence22205:
Originally posted by Dacister:

Why the Mali more than another african country where the chaos reigns ?

I thought I had explained so up there but….

tl;dr:

1. Stop the spread of terrorism

2. Protect 8000+ French citizens

3. Have a large{r} presence in African nations.

(Sorry for the delay, I’ve been out to dinner.)

1. Mali is not the only potential exporter of terrorism either in Africa or the Islamic world at large.

2. If the purpose of the French incursion was solely to protect and/or evacuate its own citizens, then I would hesitate to criticise it. But we both know that this is an unlikely scenario.

3. What kind of presence are you advocating? Diplomatic, economic, military, or something else? Please don’t tell me that you are a neo-imperialist intent on imposing the benefits of western democracy on to countries which neither want it nor in many cases even understand it. That would make me very disappointed with you.

I was really hoping for a bit more from you as to why Mali should be treated as a special case. While I am very much in favour of opening up trade and economic ties with Africa, politicaly I am non-interventionist. If a majority in Mali want an Islamic state, then it’s really none of our business, however distasteful we may find it. We can’t respond with military force every time we witness an atrocity in someone else’s country.

Jaume, I have to ask you why you found my question to be stereotypical, ignorant, and worst of all American. That bit really hurt. I thought I had been around here long enough for even a resident of New Zealand to realise that I am not from the USA. Obviously you’re not an habitual reader of my posts :(

Islamism is not synonymous either with islamic extremism or terrorism, and should not be blamed for every problem the Islamic world finds itself saddled with. It is to be found in some form throughout the Islamic world, even in modernised and westward-looking countries like Turkey. Prime Minister Recep Erdogan is both very religious and (allegedly) very corrupt, a pretty typical mix for the region, but his brand of Islamism has nothing to do with the export of terrorism to the west.

 
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It’s nearly 3.00 am, and I had a drink or three earlier, so just a quick one for now.

Since around 90% of Malians are muslims, and since muslims tend to be true believers (as opposed to us nominally christian godless heathens in Europe), then it’s a fair assumption that a large chunk of Malians actually would like some form of recognition for Islam in their country’s government. The term “islamic State” does not have to indicate a Taliban style basket case.

Now I do take on board your comments about the people being happier now that the French have arrived, and I do realise that the nutters are out of their cage in the north, but I’m really interested in finding out whether you think western intervention is a good idea here, or whether the French about to open up another can of worms in a region which, to put it bluntly, just isn’t our problem.

 
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Then, if the situation is that horrible, why only France is sending military forces down there ?

 
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Originally posted by Dacister:

Then, if the situation is that horrible, why only France is sending military forces down there ?

France has been the first to react as Mali was until recently a French colony and still has strong ties to France and many French citizens. Most countries cannot afford a war right now unless they are strongly tied to the country they are defending, Spain, Italy and others certainly couldn’t, no idea about Germany, UK still don’t want the war we currently have so starting another right now would not be in the government’s best interest (unless it was for the Falklands)

 
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Germany’s considered the “best” european country.

But well, indeed, there isn’t the fact that Mali is an old french colony.

 
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Very interesting. Thank you for the back and froth Beuval and Terence.

I for the record, think I we differ in political philosophy. I believe certain virtues ( rights? ) trump political relativism and feel justification in protecting the ‘good’ against the merely many.

So here are my questions. What is the set of circumstances that you think led to this terrorist/military group being large and armed well enough to be a real menace? What means do you think allowed for their culture/ideology to develop?

Do you feel a sweeping military action that (assumedly) kills most of the enemy would also end the circumstances that birthed them and their rise to power? Or would the stage merely be set for the same event to repeat itself?

 
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alignments are messed up.

Group A thinks they are the good guys by destroying Group B who are evil
and
Group B thinks they are the good guys by destroying Group A who are evil

neutral alignment are the people that dont harm others and help advance the world and enjoy life. this is the only good alignment and the aloghnment of 99% of the youth luckily.

rather fight to remove discomfort instead of being a radicalist good guy and forcing YOUR view on other. everyone would get along and we would have world peace.

 
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What is the set of circumstances that you think led to this terrorist/military group being large and armed well enough to be a real menace? What means do you think allowed for their culture/ideology to develop?

Putting politics to one side, I see the root of the problem as being the Touaregs, traditionally desert nomads, failing to come to terms with the reality that there is little room for their way of life in a modern world. They are slowly but surely being squeezed out. We see a similar problem on a much smaller scale in Europe, where the Gypsies are widely regarded as being little more than a nuisance, trying to hang on to an outmoded way of life which does not sit comfortably with rapidly increasing urbanisation. It is not confined to Mali. There is strong competition for the small amount of arable land around the edges of the Sahara. The Touareg still attempt to practice slavery, which makes them the enemy of other groups living in the same area.

Some groups of Touareg want self-determination, which is a tough one considering that their nomadic range covers several countries in the region. Some groups want land, others want to inflict sharia law on all those around them. Like most conflicts, it’s complicated.

Do you feel a sweeping military action that (assumedly) kills most of the enemy would also end the circumstances that birthed them and their rise to power? Or would the stage merely be set for the same event to repeat itself?

While a crushing and bloody defeat for the Touareg would solve the problem in the short term, it would leave burning resentment among the survivors, and there’s more than enough of that to go round already. To my mind, the governments in that region need to help the Touareg to settle down and do something useful, and that’s easier said than done. It would mean the death of a culture, but when that culture clashes with progress and the well-being of everyone else, I see it as inevitable. Countless cultures have been lost in human history; one more disappearing is not important in the great scheme of things.

 
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Originally posted by beauval:

It’s nearly 3.00 am, and I had a drink or three earlier, so just a quick one for now.

Since around 90% of Malians are muslims, and since muslims tend to be true believers (as opposed to us nominally christian godless heathens in Europe), then it’s a fair assumption that a large chunk of Malians actually would like some form of recognition for Islam in their country’s government. The term “islamic State” does not have to indicate a Taliban style basket case.

Now I do take on board your comments about the people being happier now that the French have arrived, and I do realise that the nutters are out of their cage in the north, but I’m really interested in finding out whether you think western intervention is a good idea here, or whether the French about to open up another can of worms in a region which, to put it bluntly, just isn’t our problem.

i don’t think that’s true. Westerners are less “true believers” in general than uhm…third worlders. but i don’t think you can really make that devide between Christians and Muslims. Chirstians in Africa are also “true believers”, while Turkey is a Secular Muslim nation of not “true believers”.

also secularism has always been big in the islamic world, along with fundamentalism. in fact, the supposed, eternal Sunni vs Shiite struggle has probably more to do with that than simply how many "i"s in a row they think looks good. so yes, it could be that a lot of Muslims there would not want a Muslim state, because typically they don’t. none of the Muslim states are very popular among their own population after all.

 
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so yes, it could be that a lot of Muslims there would not want a Muslim state, because typically they don’t. none of the Muslim states are very popular among their own population after all.

Because most are autocratic states who merely feign public islam – see Egypt since forever. I would point out that there has never been an islamic state that was actually democratic; Turkey doesn’t count in this regard.

But that argument only holds weight if I seriously believed Mali was the place where something like democratic islamism could happen, and I don’t. The French, despite their claims otherwise, were brutal colonizers who forced French culture down their subject’s throats for years, creating much resentment everywhere they ruled. Their current campaign against Islam internally (the business with the veil ban) stems from much the same belief: one culture for one people. With that kind of background, the sort of islamism that arises in Mali can only be the crazy sort.

All that being said, I kinda have to agree with beauval – it’s one mess among many, and we can’t intervene in all or even most so we have to pick our battles carefully. Afghanistan is a pretty good sign of what happens when you don’t send enough troops in – a decade of fighting and what’ve we gained? It’s gotta be all or nothing and Mali just doesn’t rate high enough for the military option; the French can deal with it, and if they can’t? Diplomacy and sanctions will have to do.