Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 19, 2013

Is Mali The Real Target?

What country is the actual target of the French intervention in Mali? There isn't much to win in that country. While their might be some oil and Uranium somewhere in the ground nothing is yet developed. Next door though there is much more to win like fully developed gas and oil fields.

The people in Algeria seem to think it is their country that is the target and they are fuming that their government allowed French overflights. This press review quotes several opinions, written befor the current hostage crisis, that express these concerns. One Laid Seraghni opines:

The author argues that the intervention will ‘affect and destablise all the countries in the Sahel region, including Algeria, whose borders are so great that the state can not counter the infiltration of terrorist groups’. ‘According to him,’ Le Temps writes, ‘this intervention ‘would force Algeria to consider the military option to protect its borders and the Algerian population in the region of Kidal (Mali). The Algerian army will face the rebels of Ansar Eddine, AQIM and MUJAO’. Additionally, the intervention will leave Algeria ‘surrounded by the French army operating Libya, Ivory Coast, Niger, Mauritania, Chad and Mali’. The article argues that Algeria is being ‘targeted by France,’ using Seraghni’s piece as backup: ‘Since colonization, Algeria has always claimed its independence and sovereignty. The Algerian revolution of 1957, derailed the plan to create an independent Tuareg state controlled by the colonial power. Algeria refuses to admit French bases on its territory, whose primary mission is to monitor and pressure the Algerian state’. Seraghni argues that ‘Anyone who follows relations between Algeria and France knows that it is not Mali which raises the attention of French power, but Algeria.’ The author accuses French elites of having ‘never forgiven the independence of Algeria, which paved the way for the decolonization of Africa’ concluding by reminding readers to recall ‘the phrase of Charles de Gaulle who declared that ‘France has no friends, she has only interests.’
Political science professor Ahmed Adimi has similar concerns and this theory:
It was France that was behind the creation of the movement for the Azawad and I speak of course of the political organization and not of the people of Azawad who have rights as a community. The French knew that their intervention in Libya would lead to a return of the pro-Qaddafi military Tuareg to Mali. They also planned the release of Libyan arms stockpiles across the Sahel band. The project is to transform the region into a new Afghanistan, the result of long term planning.’
I admit that I have still much to learn about the extremely complicate relations (a long and recommended read) between governments, security forces, smugglers, jihadis and the various tribal and ethnic  populations in the dirt poor area. But there are indeed some signs that outer forces, mostly the U.S. and the French, have - sometimes competing - designs for the wider area of which the rather rich Algeria is a part.

The Pentagon is pushing for more war and is sending troops to "train" those African countries that are supposed to invade Mali. As South America and other regions can tell U.S. trained troops often turn out to be especially brutal and often independent of civilian control. Some of the Malian troops the U.S. trained ended up changing sides. One officer, trained in the U.S. on at least four occasions, overthrew his government.

Algeria has been very reluctant, despite several high visits from Secretary of State Clinton, to cooperate and to take up any role in the fight.

The hostage takers that attacked an oil installation in Algeria came from Libya, not from Mali. Could they, just like the Libyan gangs in Syria who were supported by 25 CIA officers in Benghazi, be operating on some special outside support and advice? Maybe in the hope that Algeria would cry uncle and scream for outside help?

If so it did not work out as planned. The Algerians, as usual, took on the issue themselves and made clear that negotiations with the hostage takers were out of question. They solved the situation by force.

The U.S. and others are miffed about that:

Algeria’s unilateral decision to attack kidnappers at a natural gas plant — while shunning outside help, imposing a virtual information blackout and disregarding international pleas for caution — has dampened hopes that it might cooperate militarily in Mali, U.S. officials said. The crisis has strained ties between Algiers and Washington and increased doubts about whether Algeria can be relied upon to work regionally to dismantle al-Qaeda’s franchise in North Africa.
Isn't the same said about Pakistan? Doesn't that sounds like a threat?

I would not be surprised when, within a few month, we see France and the U.S. cheer leading those who are now Al-Qaeda in Mali as freedom fighters against a "brutal Algerian regime."

Posted by b on January 19, 2013 at 11:19 AM | Permalink

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Nice work, "b".

Another thing Algeria has done that is very naughty in Israeli-American eyes is support the government of Syria. One doesn't stand up to the mafia and not expect their business to be fire bombed and relatives kidnapped and murdered.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 19, 2013 12:20:21 PM | 1

Well this guy here https://twitter.com/ramielobeidi, who should know as he was in NTC Benghazi intelligence, maintains that the Algerian gas field attack was launched in complicity with Libyan militias covered by the Libyan Ministry of Defense (who presumably also killed Ambassador Stevens) Actually I think Hillary Clinton was saying that the "consolate" attack was linked to AQIM.

So either the US does now the same as France seems to have done - reverse its Qatar/"moderate" Muslim Brotherhood strategy that somehow includes hard line Salafis or things will get difficult within NATO as I cannot see France taking on Algeria. They still remember the last time.

US/Qatar/Qaradawi is calling for "negotiations" in Mali.

This here by the way is the music video :-)) Voices United for Mali - Peace

Its good. Stuff Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

This here is Touareg


Posted by: somebody | Jan 19, 2013 12:41:09 PM | 2

as a frenchie, pardon me not to buy that hypothesis. Not that I trust french governments more than any others ^^ , but as millions of frenchies and as all political staff, I perfectly remember the 1995 bombings in France and know full well this was a reminder from algerian rulers (using GIA puppets/idiots) to mind our own business. I strongly doubt anyone in charge would take such a huge risk to re-ignite bombing campaigns in France.

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vague_d'attentats_commis_en_France_en_1995

Posted by: rototo | Jan 19, 2013 12:45:10 PM | 3

"I would not be surprised when, within a few month, we see France and the U.S. cheer leading those who are now Al-Qaeda in Mali as freedom fighters against a "brutal Algerian regime.""

No need to wait even that long.

http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/the-ugly-truth-about-algeria-7146

AQIM and Algerian Intelligence are in cahoots, you see. Just like Saddam was in cahoots with Osama.

Posted by: rkka | Jan 19, 2013 12:47:31 PM | 4

This notion of Algeria as the real target is becoming quite popular on the left now. But if Algiers is the real target, somebody ought to tell the Algerian government, which is fully cooperating with France's war in Mali.

Far more realistic is the understanding (alluded to by 'Rototo' above)that Algerian has long gone along with the manufacture (and then subsequent repression of) radical Islam in the Sahara. British anthropologist Jeremy Keenan has worked for decades on the region, and his recent work has blown the lid on the real agenda in the Sahara, whilst simultaneously bringing Algeria's 1990s Dirty War tactics to light and providing an important link to Rumsfeld's "Preemptive" P20G operations. The author argues that Rumsfeld's model was first ‘test run’ precisely in the Algerian Sahara. This is an essential piece of the whole jigsaw:

http://www.newint.org/features/2012/12/01/us-terrorism-sahara/

Posted by: David Montoute | Jan 19, 2013 1:17:48 PM | 5

addendum in english :
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/sep/08/france.comment

Posted by: rototo | Jan 19, 2013 1:23:52 PM | 6

The hostage taking at the gas plant Algeria must have been planned for ...at least 6 weeks?

One can see it as a spill over of the Lybia affair. Sure. Yes. But as a response to F intervention in Mali? Even if they said so themselves?

While afaik the demands of the Algerian hostage takers appeared confused (meaning only I haven’t read anything consistent or sensible on the matter) on the face of it, it is an attack on a multi-national, partly foreign-run, extractive biz that doesn’t benefit Algerians much.

To veer off for a mo, Tunisia, for ex. - out of the news at present - while having experienced its Arab Spring and being an example of at least *not failure* is struggling, as the economy limps along and degrades, though the present Gov. tries to implement initiatives that will reduce unemployment, improve education, etc.. 50% or so of biz activity in Tunisia is foreign owned or foreign run (often in ‘partnerships’) and removing the Ben Ali clan does not affect that.

Economic activity in T is extractive, exploitative, run by ppl who have no interest in Tunisians on the ground, they can and do leave if displeased (from press only) leaving the minor exchanges (some food, services, oblig, gov funding like teachers, etc.) to the ppl who actually live there.

Yet, Tunisia has no *interesting* reserves of natural resources of any kind.

The Amenas gas complex in Algeria is run by BP, Statoil (Norway), Sonatrach (Algeria), with logistic support or participation by JGC (Japan), in one of those complex investment-profit sharing deals that the standard for these global corps. (maybe others as well.)

BP on Algeria, brief, from them:

http://www.bp.com/sectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9015384&contentId=7028023

What I am getting at here is that Gvmts. have been subsumed by global Corp. and Financial Interests. Not flash news by any means, but ‘national interest’ doesn’t do the job.

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 19, 2013 1:36:52 PM | 7

@David Montoute - yes I am aware of Jeremy Keenan allegations. Unfortunately they are mere speculations based on reports from defectors from Algeria. Yes Algeria fought a dirty war and sometimes made false flag attacks and had sources within the Islamist GIS. But there seems to be no proof that AQIM as refounded in 2006 is under Algerian control. The group that took the hostages certainly wasn't. The Algerian secret service would not have its group attack an oil installation. Much too expensive ...

The recommended report I linked above goes in a bit of detail on the various shady connections.

---

The Nigerians who have been ordered by the French to fight in Mali are not even there and already in trouble: Two Killed, Four Injured In Bomb Attacks On Mali-bound Nigerian Troops At Okene

About 190 Nigerian troops were ambushed a few kilometers from Okene in Kogi state today. The attack took place around 6: 05 AM Nigerian time as militants cut through the convoy of Mali-bound Nigerian army peacekeepers traveling in three luxurious buses via Kaduna too Bamako, Mali. The militants decimated the convoy with the aid of IEDs planted on the highway and began firing on the troops afterwards.

The soldiers were under escort at the time and the military escorts alter returned fire, but the assailants who were parked on both sides of the highway escaped the scene after two soldiers had been killed and several others injured.

Posted by: b | Jan 19, 2013 1:37:18 PM | 8

5

"This notion of Algeria as the real target is becoming quite popular on the left now."

(Oh dear, those commies are at it again. Bring back J. Edgar Hoover and Joseph McCarthy and give 'em what for.)

Followed by a link with a "factual report" that not only serves to sell a book, it subtly shifts blame for the regional terrorism from Israel-America/Europe to Algeria:

"I have warned on numerous occasions in the past decade that the way in which terrorism was being fabricated and orchestrated in the Sahara-Sahel by the Algerian DRS, with the knowledge of the US and other Western powers, would inevitably result in a catastrophic outcome, quite possibly in the form of region-wide conflagration."

This kind of propaganda uses a back door approach to weasel in the establishment line. In this example, it uses known info and fictitious material to spin a story that would appeal to those who are well aware of Israeli-American machinations behind "Al Qaida" terrorism that would paint a future or present target of Israel-America as guilty party, too. IE: Algeria are "bad guys" because it is they who create terrorism. The American involvement is posited as secondary, rather than primary. Since the intended audience is well aware of CIA involvement with terrorism, the propaganda links Algeria to this network in order to paint them as equally guilty. This makes Algeria appear less worthy of defense when Israel-America decides to attack. This approach was used extensively to paint leaders to be ousted, like Qaddafi, as "evil" in preparation or support of regime change ops.

These manipulations also usually include similar admonishments to "the left" for supporting said "evil dictators". It's often a dead give away that disguised establishment propaganda will follow.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 19, 2013 2:07:15 PM | 9

7) yep the attack on the gas plant would be an attack on Algeria, not by Algeria and as I understand the US is miffed because the Algerians did not ask for help. So maybe it was intended to get a foot into the door. However, France went it alone this time, not with USUK like in Libya or Syria. I wonder why.

The Touareg and Azawad have made it into Le Monde now

Si vous laissez s'introduire dans l'Azawad l'armée malienne, je peux vous garantir que la première victime sera un berger touareg ou arabe plutôt qu'un djihadiste", s'alarme Moussa Ag Assarid. "Les populations civiles sont menacées, c'est un génocide qui se prépare et la France dira qu'elle ne savait pas, comme au Rwanda !"

Translation: If you let the Malian army enter Azawad the first victim will be a Touareg or arab sheperd and not a jihadist, warns Moussa Ag Assarid. The civil population is threatened, there is a genocide in the making and France will say it did not know just like in Rwanda.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 19, 2013 2:14:18 PM | 10

@10 '...France went it alone this time, not with USUK like in Libya or Syria. I wonder why.'

France sure would like some help from West African countries.

Posted by: dh | Jan 19, 2013 2:30:50 PM | 11

10

"However, France went it alone this time, not with USUK like in Libya or Syria."

France isn't alone. They have officially announced logistical and other support from the USA, UK, Germany and Canada. France may be being used to "lead the way" because of their previous presence in the region. They likely know it, and the people, better than the rest of the criminal gang. And using France as the poster child takes the heat off Israel-America, and their Africom, who are having severe worldwide troubles image wise due to their wars and use of terrorist fronts.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 19, 2013 2:32:49 PM | 12

11) you mean leading from behind? That seems to have failed.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 19, 2013 2:47:44 PM | 13

@8 re the attack on Nigerian troops in Okene. I'm not sure it's connected to Mali.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21103322

Posted by: dh | Jan 19, 2013 2:48:11 PM | 14

Le Qatar arme des islamistes, dit le représentant libyen à l'ONU

The Libyan UN representative accuses Qatar of arming and funding Islamists in Libya.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 19, 2013 3:23:22 PM | 15

Qatar seems to be displeased by France. Angry Arab links to a heavy anti-colonialist attack on French colonial policies by Tariq Ramadan.
Information on Tariq Ramadan here
Tariq Ramandan racheté par le Qatar

Posted by: somebody | Jan 19, 2013 3:39:35 PM | 16

So now it begins - French army fighting with Malian army involved in atrocities

L'ONG de défense des droits de l'homme Human Rights Watch a annoncé samedi être en possession d'informations crédibles sur de graves exactions, dont des meurtres, commises par les forces de sécurité maliennes à l'encontre de civils dans la localité de Niono, dans le centre du pays.

"Nous invitons instamment les autorités maliennes, tout comme les soldats et les autorités françaises et ouest-africaines, à faire le maximum pour garantir la protection de tous les civils", a fait savoir l'ONG, dont le siège est à New York, dans un communiqué.
D'après HRW, les Touareg et les Arabes, deux communautés assimilées aux insurgés qui contrôlent aujourd'hui les deux-tiers du Mali, sont tout particulièrement visés.

It will go down from here.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 19, 2013 5:00:48 PM | 17

From the memory hole

France accused in Ruanda genocide

Posted by: somebody | Jan 19, 2013 5:05:09 PM | 18

Slightly OT comment.

I'm just astonished at how this war machine just marches on. It's one country after another, completely unheeded, unchecked, bringing death and destruction to every innocent person living there.

And people still argue we're the good guys?
b ... much respect and love this gentle sunday, thanks for the constant attention you draw to what is really happening to people around the world.

Posted by: david | Jan 20, 2013 3:17:02 AM | 19

According to the Algerian press, the transport/delivery firm providing supplies to the BP gas station and logistics to other BP sites has been owned by the family (brother) of Abu Zaid who is known as a major AQIM leader for three years.

la firme britannique BP employait, à travers un contractant local, une société de transport de marchandises qui appartient à la famille Ghediri qui n’est autre que celle du frère de… Abou Zeïd, le chef d’Aqmi au Sud, de son vrai nom Ghediri Abdelhamid. Bouchneb y a fait recruter des membres de sa famille ; et la société a prospéré grâce aux contrats avec BP. Cette société basée sous une Sarl légalement enregistrée à Ouargla écumait avec sa flotte de camions, au moins une trentaine de semi-remorques, le site d’In Amenas depuis au moins 3 ans mais assurait également le transport logistique entre les bases de vie de BP et leurs sites à Illizi ou In Salah.

Think that through in its implications.

This here is the Council on Foreign Relations recommending non-action on Al Queida in Maghreb.

The United States has pledged logistical support, including the sharing of intelligence, and is considering sending a small detachment of unarmed drones. As of July 2012, the Pentagon had fewer than 5,000 personnel, including civilians, on the entire African continent.

I am beginning to think the Touaregs might have a chance.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 20, 2013 4:03:14 AM | 20

Nationals of 7 countries among Algeria hostage-takers

http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_01_20/Nationals-of-7-countries-among-Algeria-hostage-takers/

"The militants who seized hostages at the In Amenas gas facility in southeast Algeria included nationals of seven countries – Tunisia, Egypt, Mali, Algeria, Canada, Nigeria and Mauritania. The group was trained in Nigeria.

It crossed into Algeria through Libya with the aim of seizing a large number of foreign hostages and transferring them to Mali in an attempt to force France to stop its military intervention in that African country.

On Wednesday, a group of gunmen raided the In Amenas complex taking hundreds of people hostage, including 107 foreigners.

At least 23 hostages were killed during a rescue operation launched by Algerian troops. All of the 32 terrorists were neutralized."

Consider the above with the info in the first article in #20 about BP's (and probably MI6's) knowledge of their business connections with AQIM.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 20, 2013 5:14:33 AM | 22

Was Mali the true target the answer is yes. The United States and France know they are in serious trouble and had requested Germany to "delay" the shipment of physical Gold back to Germany for a period of 7 years, while they search for a way out of their mess. Rather than go after the Rothschild scoundrels that have stolen all the Gold, they instead came up with a new evil scheme... Invade Mali, which is Gold rich, and begin large scale extraction of any remaining Malian gold ore to cover their shipments to Germany. It has been estimated that it would take 7 years of gold extraction from Mali to cover the amount Germany is demanding, thus the requested 7 year "delay" to fill Germany's demands...

Posted by: hans | Jan 20, 2013 5:17:45 AM | 23

#22 a) the Algerians must have known the business connections, too, and must have considered them safe.

b) the intention was to transfer the hostages to Libya that is closer than Mali.

c) the attack was on Algeria and on Western/international companies. It will be very difficult for them to do business in the Sahel from now on.

My guess is someone managed to switch Algerian agents in AQIM, or managed to split off independent groups with the relevant contacts.

There is also this Reuter's article

The surprises about the Mali conflict have not been limited to the militants' behavior on the battlefield, diplomats say.

Before the Islamists launched their offensive earlier this month and threatened to take Bamako, Algerian intelligence had concluded that elements of Ansar Dine would be open to negotiations and would not fight alongside AQIM and others.

That assessment proved incorrect.

"It was believed that there were links between Ansar Dine elements and elements of Algerian intelligence," a diplomat told Reuters. "But those links appear to have vanished."

Algeria's U.N. mission did not respond to a request for comment.


Posted by: somebody | Jan 20, 2013 5:30:26 AM | 24

Something else is interesting:

Syria's foreign minister gave a list of countries involved in the agression against Syria

Al-Moallem said that Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, led by the United States, are supporting, funding and arming terrorists in Syria, and that they work in the framework of an international plan against Syria with political, economic and military aspects.

"We have no delusions that these countries will cease supporting terrorism, but if the violence doesn't stop, this doesn't mean that comprehensive national dialogue will not be held," al-Moallem added.

France is not on that list of main actors.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 20, 2013 6:11:41 AM | 25

There was also this
French fury as Sarkozy intervenes on Syria

Hollande might have done a foreign policy shift.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 20, 2013 6:14:49 AM | 26

24

"a) the Algerians must have known the business connections, too, and must have considered them safe."

The article you posted does claim the Algerians knew, and even had arrested Ghediri several times and informed BP he was suspected of terrorist connections, but that BP kept their contract with him. The article also state MI6 had to know of these terrorist connections. I wouldn't call that "considering them safe". See:

"Les terroristes qui ont investi le complexe gazier savaient pratiquement tout du dispositif sécuritaire et logistique de la base. Ils ont intercepté le bus des expatriés à l’heure même où il démarrait vers l’aéroport. Ils ont tenté de suite d’empêcher les travailleurs de couper les pompes de gaz qui alimentent les turbines. Ils ont, dès les premières secondes, détruit les interrupteurs électriques. Toute cette connaissance n’aurait jamais été possible sans des “guides” connaissant la base de l’intérieur.
Pourtant, de nombreux employés étaient soupçonnés de faire partie d’un réseau de soutien au terrorisme et le frère d’Abou Zeïd a, maintes fois, été interpellé pour enquête. Mais à chaque fois, malgré les avertissements algériens, la compagnie britannique, mise au courant des faits, n’a pas résilié le contrat avec la société du frère du chef d’Aqmi au Sud. Pis, les spécialistes du HSE (Hygiène sécurité et environnement) de BP, qui viennent régulièrement de Londres “cheker” la sécurité des sites BP en Algérie, sans aucune interférence ni de Sonatrach ou de Statoil, leurs partenaires sur ce gisement, ne semblent pas avoir découvert cette faille sécuritaire.
Et quand on constate les interrogations légitimes de ceux qui se demandent comment cela a-t-il pu arriver ou les réactions intempestives du Premier Ministre britannique, David Cameron, on se demande si les services de renseignements britanniques du MI-6, qui n’étaient pas dans l’ignorance d’une telle anomalie, ou la direction générale de BP l’ont tenu informé que, sur leur principal site en Algérie, des individus suspects travaillaient pour… eux."

It was that info that I think should be considered with the info that the terrorists who took those hostages in Algeria were from several different countries, including Canada. I suspect an MI6 connection to these terrorists. And if MI6 is playing them, that means CIA and Mossad at least knew of the op, and probably had a role in it, as well.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 20, 2013 6:17:36 AM | 27

25 bodies discovered inside Algerian siege gas plant - Algerian TV

http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_01_20/Death-toll-in-Algeria-will-go-up-minister/

"I am afraid unfortunately to say that the death toll will go up," Minister of Communication Mohamed Said was quoted as saying by the official APS news agency, adding that a final death toll would be released in the coming hours."

Posted by: вот так | Jan 20, 2013 6:44:48 AM | 28

Villepin comes to Hollande's rescue - arguing convincingly against war in Mali

Let's see. Maybe France will make it.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 20, 2013 7:06:15 AM | 29

heh, Villepin.

Marine Le Pen (FN, far right) has been strangled with indignation marshalling her arguments against - not new for her, for Lybia and Afgh. was the same.

Villepin supported intervention in Lybia - for peace, democracy, and so on. In 2003, in tune with Chirac, he was against invading Iraq. He is now in the opposition, that is all.

Like the US, F now has its Party A and Party B wars. Domestic quarrels while the killing proceeds.

Laurent Louis, a Belgian deputy, spoke forcibly in parliament against Belgian support for intervention in Mali. Vid. In french.

http://counterpsyops.com/2013/01/19/le-depute-independant-belge-laurent-louis-soppose-a-la-guerre-au-mali/

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 20, 2013 12:07:09 PM | 30

An AlJazeerah piece from December with some interesting vignettes out of North Mali.

Mali: The 'gentle' face of al-Qaeda - An exclusive report from inside northern Mali.

Posted by: b | Jan 20, 2013 2:01:59 PM | 31

Mali - chronic of a programmed recolonisation - in French

calling France a "pyromaniac firefighter" and an African proverb
"it is better the goats keep fighting among themselves than a hyena is called as mediator ..."

It seems that while all this "benevolent" intervention happens the situation of Malians is exacerbated by sanctions (pretext they have no "democratic" government) their assets frozen, borders closed and development aid suspended

and there is this analysis

translation: France hopes to gain from the future secular and democratic republic of Azawad what they could not get from Malian President Amadou Toumani Touré: the very economically and militarily strategic base of Tessalit, the prevention of emigration and a strong fight against Al Qaeda au Maghreb (AQMI). More or less indifferent to the fate of the people of Mali Western public opinion was incited after having learnt of the part of Ançar dine and AQMI in this recolonisation of Mali.

My take of the situation in Azawad is that France is fighting for influence there against Qatar.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 20, 2013 2:25:24 PM | 32

‘Al-Qaeda threat used by NATO as smoke screen for re-colonization of Northern Africa’

http://rt.com/news/mali-intervention-france-assistance-365/

"...RT: Do you think that’s why we they are ignoring of the rise of Al-Qaeda in Syria?

NC: Absolutely! Because, of course, one of the biggest myths in international relations is that western powers are impeccably opposed Al-Qaeda for the last 20-30 years. They are not. They will use the Al-Qaeda threat in some circumstances to invade certain countries like Afghanistan. But elsewhere they would actually back Al-Qaeda militants to topple secular regimes, like in Syria and Libya. It’s going to a Frankenshtein’s monster, and of course it all dates back to Afghanistan in the 1980s. And Al-Qaeda and radical Islamic groups were used by the West to help topple the Red Army. And that’s all part of the policy..."

Short, but informative interview of the Africa resource grab. Neil Clark believes Britain's role there will be expanded, as well as that of NATO, and that the west is using Al Qaida to further their expansion aims.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 20, 2013 4:33:32 PM | 33

33) I think that is just a way of rationalizing what is a very stupid move by France.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 20, 2013 5:09:52 PM | 34

I'm surprised that no-one has said it, but effectively Algeria is an oil state. In the sense that the Algerian government depends upon the oil and gas revenues which come from the fields of the south. All those revenues go direct to the government, and it is up to them to distribute them. As in all cases, most is retained in the accounts of the elite, and a little given for public development.

That is certainly the reason that the Algerian army delivered a merciless attack upon the rebels. The revenues of the Algerian elite have to be preserved.

Posted by: alexno | Jan 20, 2013 5:30:51 PM | 35

somebody - 34

"I think that is just a way of rationalizing what is a very stupid move by France."

I cant help but notice that is a "pov" which conveniently lets the guilty parties off the hook, since all their work planning, invading, destabilising, resource grabs, supporting terrorist "armies" and the whole reason for building up Africom is just because France is being "stupid".

Posted by: вот так | Jan 20, 2013 5:51:52 PM | 36

American Exceptionalism and the US role of world hegemon means never saying "no" to intervention anywhere, and Africa is the new "somewhere." You start making exceptions and you lose face. Then it follows that if you're not with us you're against us, and everything falls into place, into the natural order of things. The military guys work out the details, which is why the US has combatant commands covering the world. Too open that way? Then go CIA and/or special forces.

Right now the pen-men in the media are pushing that Mali is the new threat to US security.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 20, 2013 6:34:09 PM | 37

36) Africom has got nothing to do with Francafrique. It is competition.

France is using high tech equipment to bomb 4x4s. There are no military targets in Mali.

Whoever France is fighting will withdraw as long as France's military is there. They will be back when they leave. Or attack French interests all over the region.

I wonder how you can identify "guilty" parties in tribal wars where outside powers are used in order to get the upper hand.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 20, 2013 7:00:28 PM | 38

somebody - 38

"Africom has got nothing to do with Francafrique. It is competition."

Africom has everything to do with the French invasion of Mali and no it's not a competition, it's joint operations with each nation given a role to play.

"I wonder how you can identify "guilty" parties in tribal wars where outside powers are used in order to get the upper hand."

Yes, the "tribal parties" are taking advantage of those "dumb" Europeans, just like they did back in 19th century. Lured those Europeans so the Europeans would knock off their tribal rivals for them...

You really think anybody here is gullible enough to by such foolishness?

Posted by: вот так | Jan 20, 2013 7:33:41 PM | 39

ALGIERS, Algeria, Sep 09, 2011 — General Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), made his second visit to Algeria September 7-8, 2011, where he attended an international conference for partnership, security, and development. The conference was hosted by national representatives of the Combined Operational Joint Military Staff Committee -- Algeria, Mali, Niger, and Mauritania -- and attended by delegations from more than 14 North American, European, and Asian nations.

Exercise Flintlock is an annual regional exercise among African, Western, and U.S. counterterrorism forces, which has taken place since 2006. Past participants include Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Canada, Tunisia, Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States.

WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct 12, 2012 — Say "Africa" to most Americans and they think of "the Dark Continent" – a land beset by problems and disasters, far enough away that anything that happens there cannot possibly affect America. And they would be wrong, said Amanda J. Dory, deputy assistant secretary of defense for African affairs.

SOUDA BAY, Crete, May 22, 2012 — Service members from Algeria, Greece, Morocco, Turkey and the U.S. teamed up aboard the guided-missile frigate USS Simpson (FFG 56) to conduct a mass casualty drill in support of Exercise Phoenix Express 2012 (PE12) in Souda Bay, Crete, May 18, 2012.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 20, 2013 7:39:55 PM | 40

Reducing the conflict in the region of Mali to one of "tribal rivalry" and French ego/stupidity is an oft used obfuscation tactic used to keep people focused on the marionettes so they won't notice the strings attached, nor the hands above in the shadows working the strings.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 20, 2013 7:44:18 PM | 41

Here it comes.

Boston Herald, Jan 20
U.S. policy makes mess of Mali

With pro-al-Qaeda Islamist militants running amok in northwest Africa in places like Mali and Algeria, seizing territory and taking hostages, it’s far from clear that Team Obama has the foggiest idea of what to do.

That’s not going to cut it.

It’s not like this is a new problem. Unleashed by the conflict in Libya, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and its allies defeated the Malian army in northern Mali almost a year ago, putting the territory under Sharia law.

AQIM, along with militant groups such as Ansar Dine and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa, not only came to control an area the size of Texas, but recently began pressing toward the Malian capital, Bamako. . . .

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 20, 2013 7:45:33 PM | 42

Canada evacuates Mali embassy staff

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/01/20/284679/canada-evacuates-mali-embassy-staff/

There are several very predictable things these countries do when they are planning more aggression and war crimes against another country. Embassy evacuation/staff reduction/closing is one of them.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 20, 2013 8:27:01 PM | 43

US AFRICOM Operation Underway in Mali. “Keeping China out of Africa”.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-africom-underway-with-mali-keeping-china-out-of-africa/5319694

"As we predicted this past week, the theatrical upheaval in Mali was merely a nudging exercise to move forward the stated objectives laid down in US AFRICOM policy.

With no debate or questioning in foreign policy circles, and with Obama’s coronation and ceremonial pop concert in Washington DC keeping American eyes and ears glued to the corporate media punditry, NATO allies, led by the US, are carefully carving out a comprehensive military footprint in Africa in order to further evict Chinese influence from the continent.

A convenient excuse in the short-term will be to ‘stop the spread of Islamic extremist, but as history has witnessed, this is merely a superficial justification for a comprehensive military and economic colonization of the region over the next two decades. Ironic that it would be America’s first ‘black’ President who would reside over the takeover of Africa. Expect more US bases to come in the near future, as well as more violent civil wars popping up regularly in the region."

The original video report (played smoother):

'World Police' Intervention in Mali is Part of US AFRICOM Operations

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=rhtoLc6hnT4

Posted by: вот так | Jan 20, 2013 8:57:21 PM | 44

There's no “Keeping China out of Africa” and Africa will side with peaceful China over a warmongering West.

ChinaDaily, Jan 18

As the main engine of global economic growth in the 21st century, China is making its presence felt throughout the world. Africa is no exception. China is Africa's largest trading partner, with bilateral trade surging from $10 billion in 2000 to $200 billion in 2012.

There are those who say that China, apart from the flourishing trade ties it enjoys with the continent, has already displaced European, US and Japanese diplomatic and financial soft power in many sub-Saharan African countries, as part of its global outreach campaign to promote its language, culture, values and diplomacy.

In addition to establishing 29 Confucius Institutes and classrooms in 22 African countries, China has focused on increasing its media presence on the continent. It is using media in Africa as a testing ground to compete with other transnational media companies.

The speed and scale of this Chinese media expansion is especially noticeable at a time when many Western media houses struggle to survive. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said there is a new battlefront: the growing "crowded field of state-financed satellite television news". Citing the emergence of international broadcasters Al Jazeera, Russia Today and CCTV's global English-language broadcast, Clinton told the Senate's foreign relations committee in March 2012 that the US is "engaged in an information war".

"We are losing that war," she said.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 20, 2013 9:57:48 PM | 45

"...part of its global outreach campaign to promote its language, culture, values and diplomacy."

Sounds like the same old same old, but this time with Dragons and Luck!

Posted by: ruralito | Jan 20, 2013 11:34:37 PM | 46

41) Sorry, what you are doing is making subjects to objects. People do not have to be and never are puppets with strings attached.
Saying it is the puppeteers who have the power refuses to recognize the potential of people to act independently. It is shoddy analysis also as it is obvious the "puppeteers" control nothing but any of their acts has a backlash and unintended consequences. France is no longer the lonely colonizer sharing the continent with Britain.
Africans can chose. So should France manage to secure the area for business at high costs for themselves, the Chinese might reap the benefit. As they did in Iraq. Just look at Niger where France is supposed to be the "colonialist":
The Nigerien president went to France and Britain right, but afterwards he went to China:
President Hu holds talks with Niger president
If African rulers cannot make the most of this situation then it is because of their own dysfunction. Yes, there are all kinds of reason for this dysfunction and part of it is colonialism. There is no way to colonize a continent this large though nowadays, so Africans do have a chance to overcome that. Latin America is making it, Africa can too.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 21, 2013 2:17:17 AM | 47

Quattara in Cote d'ivoire is France's guy, right? France intervened for him?
This here is Quattara in China.

France just does not have the competitive industrial production to be able to make use of Africa's raw materials. Neither have they any real investment power. Investment power is with multinationals, Saudi Arabia, Qatar or China.

All France is doing is spending on something they do not need.

Germany is much more competitive just buying their stuff on the world markets.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 21, 2013 2:46:23 AM | 48

This here is a very good brief history of what is going on in Mali - A disaster 50 years in the making

By the time Qadhafi’s regime in Libya fell, northern Mali had been home to Jihadi elements that left Algeria a decade earlier after being thoroughly defeated in the civil war. By 2002, remnants of Algeria’s GIA found sanctuary behind the borders away from their nemesis the Algeria’s army. They were also attracted by the allure of making easy money by partnering in the flourishing Saharan smuggling commerce. Drugs, tobacco, weapons and stolen cars provided a lucrative alternative to war.

Jihadis made new and strange bedfellows in that period. Mali, Algeria, Mauritania and Senegal army officers started to skim off the new source of wealth. Getting a cut from the smuggling revenues in exchange for looking the other way was the the policy for almost a decade. Jihadis venture capitalism extended to an even more lucrative business: kidnapping western hostages all over the Sahara yielded over 90 Million Euros over a decade. Unlike the conspiracy theorists and snake oil merchants claim, things are a tad more complex in reality, and at times, even more unflattering to our world’s big powers.

Time and again, European nations chose to negotiate, and pay ransom money. Germany, Italy, Spain, France cut deals with hostage takers not thinking much of it. After all, Europe’s politicians thought the savages were deep in the Sahara and did not pose much of a threat beyond their forsaken deserts. Or at best, let the Malians deal with them. Complacency was Europe’s strategy.

Slowly but surely, the region became a Jihadi Eldorado. The modus operandi was very simple: why get killed trying to create an Islamist emirate in “apostate-ruled” neighboring countries when you can build your own sanctuary AND have the West pay for it? Even better, now that you are flush with cash, blend into the local communities. Those whom you cannot buy, you marry. To Azawadis the offering was: Bamako cannot build you a water well? Here’s a cash wad of Euros, go build it yourself.

Once the nexus was set up, there was no going back. The joint Franco-Mauritanian operations of 2010 and 2011 were just grandiose hostage release operations. By then, the United States had been pursuing its own classical approach of throwing money at problems it cannot deal with. Development programs were set up in Mali to reward the democratic progress. Military assistance in the form of training for the Malian military was ongoing. The US even tried very hard to get the neighboring countries to start a meaningful cooperation.

Algerians were miffed by the suggestion that they should be told what to do about their own security. Morocco was scheming and trying to make itself relevant in a problem it has nothing to do with just to score points over Algeria. Burkina Faso and Mauritania were fighting their own covert wars by proxy. Mali’s government was doing nothing meaningful about the Jihadis in Azawad. Instead it was locked in a war of words with Mauritania’s General Aziz who seemed intent on humiliating then President Amadou Toumni Touré for daring to oppose his coup of 2008.

When it was not busy blogging from Germany on its Maghrebia news website, America’s Africa Command (Africom) in charge of the Sahel region, was in earnest trying to make sense of this maze of interests, pushing for a regional command to deal with the lawless mess that Azawad was slowly progressing.. All things considered, these efforts’ ultimate outcome is not encouraging because yet again their premise is profoundly flawed: no country around Mali, or in West Africa has the muscle, nor the will to engage in an open war which in essence is a nation-building exercise.

All of these schemes and plans became moot by the time Ansar Dine’s columns pushed south from its Azawadi sanctuary. The skeleton of an untested idea became a doctrinal principle in France’s Operation Serval: we will stop the Jihadis, but the Africans will have to go north and defeat the enemy– said France. The notion that an ECOWAS force will spearhead the fight with the backing of the African Union, and the necessary paperwork from the UN Security Council is a recipe for disaster. Rotten and corrupt militaries, commanded by equally corrupt leaders cannot be a credible partner once the shooting starts. This line of thinking owes a lot more to post-colonial discourses than it does to the practical matter of drying out the northern Malian jihadi swamp.

The other principle complicating matters is Africa’s biggest taboo. Today, no one is willing to recognize that Mali, like many most of Africa, is an artificial construct. Just like the Middle East’s levant, countries were created without much thought of whether they made sense for those destined to live in them. Ethnic groups with competing cultures were condemned to live in them. Maybe they will end up making sense in the future, but just as in Mali, that will cost a lot of blood and treasure.

The whole article is worth reading.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 21, 2013 3:10:51 AM | 49

France imposes media blackout on Mali war

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/01/21/284689/france-slams-media-blackout-on-mali-war/

"On January 11, France launched the war under the pretext of halting the advance of fighters in Mali. However, as Paris has stepped up its ground offensive and aerial strikes in Mali few images of the conflict have come out of the African country.
French networks TF1 and France Televisions have also sent several teams to Bamako, but a media blackout on images of the clashes has confined all journalists to the city.

This comes as French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has said the number of French troops on the ground in the West African country could top the initially-planned number of 2,500...."

There are already reports of war crimes surfacing in Mali, with the usual media obfuscation, disinformation and confused reporting. I wonder if the French will start killing troublesome journalists (the ones actually doing their job) like the Israelis and Americans are so fond of doing?

I also wonder if this imposed info blackout is intended to hide who the French military targets.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 21, 2013 3:47:12 AM | 50

Atrocity reports such as this:

Report: Mali Army Torturing, Executing Civilians
'If We Don't Have an Identity Card, They Kill Us'

"Residents of central Mali towns are reporting that they have been targeted by the Malian military on the basis of their ethnicity and region of origin as suspected rebels, and that the military often disappears members of the Fulani ethnic group for torture in detention or extra-judicial executions.

“If we look like Fulani and don’t have an identity card, they kill us,” noted one Malian, whose cousin has been detained by the Malian military at a checkpoint for not having an ID and reportedly has since been executed. He added that many people in smaller villages never got an ID card in the first place.

A new report from Amnesty International noted widespread abuse by the Malian army, including extrajudicial killings and indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas in the ongoing civil war.

Mali’s Justice Minister Malick Coulibaly shrugged off the concerns, saying that “no army in the world is perfect,” and citing torture and extrajudicial killings by the US military as proof that all militaries behave that way."

Sounds like they are "doing business" the well honed Israeli-American way. Oh, I forgot, it was an Israeli-American sponsored coup last March that put the present military regime in control of Mali. Of course they will be "doing business" the Israeli-American way. And the lucky French get to be participating patsies...um, I mean partners.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 21, 2013 4:01:21 AM | 51

Forgot article link:

http://news.antiwar.com/2013/01/20/report-mali-army-torturing-executing-civilians/

Posted by: вот так | Jan 21, 2013 4:02:07 AM | 52

2 Canadians among Islamists slain in Algeria siege

http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_01_21/2-Canadians-among-Islamists-slain-in-Algeria-siege/

Posted by: вот так | Jan 21, 2013 4:51:14 AM | 53

Short, but informative interview of the Africa resource grab. Neil Clark believes Britain's role there will be expanded, as well as that of NATO, and that the west is using Al Qaida to further their expansion aims.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 20, 2013 4:33:32 PM | 33

that western politicians, put into power by electoral systems, are using alqaeda is a no brainer...are their publics aware of this? no, or if they are are too fragmented to act

Posted by: brian | Jan 21, 2013 7:46:44 AM | 54

Mali's incompetent army is not in US good graces.

AFP

"I was sorely disappointed that a military with whom we had a training relationship participated in the military overthrow of an elected government. I mean, there is no way to characterize that other than wholly unacceptable," General Carter Ham, head of US Africa Command, said last month at Brown University.

But the Mali Army, according to its flack, is on the offensive.

Bloomberg

Mali’s army took back control of Diabaly from insurgents who occupied the town, the second recaptured since the start of French strikes on the West African nation 10 days ago.

Malian soldiers entered the town “with the support of French troops” today, army spokesman Colonel Diarran Kone, said by phone from the capital, Bamako. Diabaly is 400 kilometers (250 miles) from the city, and was the southern-most point held by militants.


Diabaly, a town of 35,000, is beyond the previous rebel-occupied area in Mali as seen on this map

But has Diabaly actually back in Mali control? The rebels have melted into the populace, and perhaps the telephonic report from Bamako was a bit overstated. The French "will wait to see what happens in the days to come."

CSMonitor

French forces indicated that the situation in Diabaly might still be tenuous. "In theory, there are few or no rebels there, but that needs to be confirmed, so we will wait to see what happens in the days to come over there," Lt. Col. "Frederic," a French Foreign Legion spokesman in Mali, told the Associated Press. His family name was not given in accordance with standard procedure.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 21, 2013 9:00:04 AM | 55

cutting the Syrian Kurds loose may have saved the Assadies's bacon, it seems however i still don't get why the real target is supposedly, algeria? the only people that would benefit would be the Islamists who won the election in the early nineties and were then turfed out by the military but given western support for the Military, they wouldn't look favourably on allying themselves to the west, given that there would be plenty of armed radicals lurking out in the hinterland.

Posted by: heath | Jan 21, 2013 9:34:54 AM | 56

56, I think going for Algeria would have been the logical continuation of supporting Islamists in Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria in the name of a "Saudi Arabia, Qatar Sunni" strategy. Obviously it does not work like that as Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt are very diverse countries and Libyan and Syrian mainstream Islam is very different from Wahhabi ideology. Even more so in Mali. But some think tanks were applying this template and a lot of funding obviously came from Qatar and Saudi Arabia. So the main reason for this madness presumably is the amount of money spent to support it.
I think there has been a recent policy shift away from these mindless wars. However France seems to have made this policy shift and got itself stuck in a war with soldiers on the ground. It is utmost stupidity as now the EU has to prepare for the very real human desaster caused by this intervention.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 21, 2013 10:28:28 AM | 57

French express confirms Malian army is on a killing spree in "liberated" town
Same as amnesty and human rights watch.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 21, 2013 10:37:42 AM | 58

Nuland, State Jan 18, 2013

You all did ask me yesterday about the scope of the ACOTA training that we’re doing for ECOWAS forces. Let me share a little bit more information there. We have deployed a hundred-ish, about a hundred trainers, to Africa. They’re traveling to Niger, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Togo, and Ghana to discuss training and equipping and deployment needs of those countries in the interest of getting them ready to go into Mali.

ACOTA
The African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program, formerly the African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI), is a United States program to train military trainers and equip African national militaries to conduct peace support operations and humanitarian relief.

ECOWAS
The Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) is a regional group of sixteen countries, founded in 1975. ECOWAS is finalizing plans to send as many as 3,300 troops into Mali, under a United Nations-backed intervention plan. The announced troop commitments from African countries are:
Nigeria: 900 troops
Burkina Faso: 500
Niger: 500
Senegal: 500
Togo: 500
Benin: 300
Guinea: 144
Ghana: 120
Chad: unspecified

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 21, 2013 10:58:55 AM | 59

59 :-)) I don't know if you have heard, but part of US trained Mali army personnel putsched and part defected to the uprising, so that the French now are fighting against rebels trained by the US and in other news politicians are still trying to find out where to get funding for the promised ECOWAS troops.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 21, 2013 11:59:17 AM | 60

@somebody - #60
Ooooo - that's interesting. Thanks.
spiegel

The Malian army didn't stand a chance against Ansar Dine. It is in terrible condition, both technically and in terms of troop morale, despite a long-standing US effort to train the Malian military to fight al-Qaida. Secret cables from US embassies, published on the whistleblower website Wikileaks, indicate the low esteem in which American diplomats have held the Malian army in recent years. The force lacks basic reinforcements, most of its vehicles are broken down, training is miserable and morale has hit rock bottom. Mali has no air force at all.

American specialists did train four crack units, totaling 600 men, to fight the terrorists. But it backfired: Three of the elite units have defected en masse to the rebel Tuareg. Most of the commanders, after all, are Tuaregs.


There's a little problem with Algeria, also.
WashPost, Jan 18, 2013
LONDON — The hostage crisis in Algeria has upended the Obama administration’s strategy for coordinating an international military campaign against al-Qaeda fighters in North Africa, leaving U.S., European and African leaders even more at odds over how to tackle the problem. . .

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 21, 2013 12:25:25 PM | 61

France24 - Has Qatar interests in Mali?

Posted by: somebody | Jan 21, 2013 12:29:32 PM | 62

From the piece posted in #49

"When it was not busy blogging from Germany on its Maghrebia news website, America’s Africa Command (Africom) in charge of the Sahel region, was in earnest trying to make sense of this maze of interests, pushing for a regional command to deal with the lawless mess that Azawad was slowly progressing.. All things considered, these efforts’ ultimate outcome is not encouraging because yet again their premise is profoundly flawed: no country around Mali, or in West Africa has the muscle, nor the will to engage in an open war which in essence is a nation-building exercise."

This is a variation of the establishment propaganda theme that America is well meaning, but inept or ineffective. It's the standard establishment line about the American attack on Vietnam. Positing that Africom was set up in Africa to help Africa is as dishonest as claiming Israel-America invade Iraq to help the Iraqi people. It's not only dishonest, it's plainly ludicrous.

"Unlike the conspiracy theorists and snake oil merchants claim, things are a tad more complex in reality"

More standard establishment propaganda BS. "I'm right, y'all are conspiracy nuts" is also a common theme in establishment propaganda. It's used as a way to prevent open discussion and limit it to the narrow frame of the propaganda theme. When one sees that theme in a piece, it's certain that what will follow will be a variation of the establishment propaganda. Pointing out western interests in the countries they attack is not only relevant, it's important to understand why they are constantly doing this. IE:

Could al-Qaeda serve as a pretext for Western involvement in North Africa?

http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_01_21/Could-al-Qaeda-serve-as-a-pretext-for-Western-involvement-in-North-Africa/

"However, a third consideration remains. Some might describe it as a conspiracy theory, but I am not sure that would be an accurate description. In pursuing the policy of dominating crucial areas of the world, Americans are now paying close attention to Africa and have even created a special African command. In this context I am afraid the second option of the Western countries and military is to use these events in an effort to recapture African territories which are rich with oil and other natural resources. And in this sense, some countries are prime targets for the West. So the idea is not at all a conspiracy theory, but perhaps more like a viable strategy, contrived in the headquarters of some former colonial powers."

Posted by: вот так | Jan 21, 2013 12:49:18 PM | 63

Mali is complicated.

On March 22, 2012 a military junta overthrew the government of Amadou Toumani Touré.

On 6 April, the junta agreed with Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) negotiators that they would step down from power in return for the end of sanctions, giving power to a transitional government led by parliament speaker Dioncounda Traoré. But the junta is still widely thought to have maintained overall control.

On Dec 20, 2012 the UNSC adopted Resolution 2085:

--Emphasizing that the situation and entrenchment of terrorist groups and criminal networks in the north of Mali continue to pose a serious and urgent threat
--Condemning strongly the continued interference of members of the Malian Defence and Security Forces in the work of the Transitional authorities of Mali
--urging the transitional authorities to finalize a transitional roadmap through broad-based and inclusive political dialogue
--Decides to authorize the deployment of an African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) for an initial period of one year

So currently France is supporting the Mali military which has been condemned by the UNSC for interfering in the "government" of Mali.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 21, 2013 1:03:26 PM | 64

From the piece posted in #49

"When it was not busy blogging from Germany on its Maghrebia news website, America’s Africa Command (Africom) in charge of the Sahel region, was in earnest trying to make sense of this maze of interests, pushing for a regional command to deal with the lawless mess that Azawad was slowly progressing.. All things considered, these efforts’ ultimate outcome is not encouraging because yet again their premise is profoundly flawed: no country around Mali, or in West Africa has the muscle, nor the will to engage in an open war which in essence is a nation-building exercise."

This is a variation of the establishment propaganda theme that America is well meaning, but inept or ineffective. It's the standard establishment line about the American attack on Vietnam. Positing that Africom was set up in Africa to help Africa is as dishonest as claiming Israel-America invade Iraq to help the Iraqi people. It's not only dishonest, it's plainly ludicrous.

"Unlike the conspiracy theorists and snake oil merchants claim, things are a tad more complex in reality"

More standard establishment propaganda BS. "I'm right, y'all are conspiracy nuts" is also a common theme in establishment propaganda. It's used as a way to prevent open discussion and limit it to the narrow frame of the propaganda theme. When one sees that theme in a piece, it's certain that what will follow will be a variation of the establishment propaganda. Pointing out western interests in the countries they attack is not only relevant, it's important to understand why they are constantly doing this. IE:

Could al-Qaeda serve as a pretext for Western involvement in North Africa?

http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_01_21/Could-al-Qaeda-serve-as-a-pretext-for-Western-involvement-in-North-Africa/

"However, a third consideration remains. Some might describe it as a conspiracy theory, but I am not sure that would be an accurate description. In pursuing the policy of dominating crucial areas of the world, Americans are now paying close attention to Africa and have even created a special African command. In this context I am afraid the second option of the Western countries and military is to use these events in an effort to recapture African territories which are rich with oil and other natural resources. And in this sense, some countries are prime targets for the West. So the idea is not at all a conspiracy theory, but perhaps more like a viable strategy, contrived in the headquarters of some former colonial powers."

Posted by: вот так | Jan 21, 2013 1:11:00 PM | 65

Remember this accident?

Three U.S. Special Operations Soldiers Die in Mali

http://sofrep.com/6208/three-u-s-special-operations-soldiers-die-in-mali/#ixzz2IdQyuhyE

"Last Friday (April 20th), driving through the streets of Bamako, the capital of Mali, a vehicle with six people was involved in an accident. All six in the vehicle were killed in what is reported to be a “single-car accident”. Officials in Washington have released information that three of the individuals were U.S. soldiers; two assigned to SOCOM and the third assigned to INSCOM (U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command). What stands out about this report to me specifically is the fact that INSCOM (located Fort Belvoir, MD) is also used as the cover organization for personnel assigned to the Intelligence Support Activity."

The 3 other people killed were prostitutes from Morocco. In Libya, U.S. special forces operated with the terrorists (yes Al Qaida) to overthrow that government. They are doing the same right now in Syria. The 3 killed are probably just the tip of the iceberg on secret American involvement in the region (like Gene Hassenfus - remember him), keeping the terror and the drugs paying for it flowing.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 21, 2013 1:18:13 PM | 66

Sorry about the double posting above. I got interrupted and had not realised I had posted that comment.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 21, 2013 1:20:12 PM | 67

US fingerprints all over Mali conflict: Draitser

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/01/17/284046/us-fingerprints-all-over-mali-conflict/

"Press TV: Eric Draitser, perhaps you can connect the dots for us here looking at a few weeks back when the US announced that it is going to send troops to Africa, 35 countries I believe is what they said. Specifically Libya, Sudan and Algeria and Niger; and according to them, to prepare for any advances from al-Qaeda-linked groups.

So here we have now France in terms of what is going on. How do you see all of this tying in together in terms of what plans there may be in the works?

So the question would be, ‘why was the US military already present in Mali before a coup that was carried out by a US-trained military officer?’

So the United States’ fingerprints are allover this entire conflict in Mali and to take it one step further it is part of the broader agenda of creating chaos, destabilizing nations in the region, thereby legitimizing the expansion of AFRICOM.

AFRICOM, which has existed to this point in a quasi-advisory capacity, wants to become an active military force and the only way that they can do that is by destroying sovereign governments and it should also be noted that the Toure government was not exactly a sovereign government. This was a government that had bent to the will of the United States and the French many times in the past and that is why it enjoyed the support of Washington and Paris.

As soon as they destabilize that country, they create an opportunity for themselves to come in, to exploit the resources, to create a terrorist haven and thereby legitimize further military expansion in the [African] continent.

And just sort of a clarifier comment that was made earlier by one of the guests; it is not the Tuareg rebels themselves who are actually engaged in this fight with the French. The Tuaregs had a national liberation movement that was essentially usurped from them by AQIM, by the Jihadis; many of whom infiltrated into the country from Algeria and elsewhere.

So we have a multitude of groups who are working, to some degree, in concert, though really independent of each other while the imperial powers come in to execute their will in the West Africa and that is the broader perspective..."

The video that was excerpted from is at the link.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 21, 2013 1:27:08 PM | 68

64) yep France jumped into this situation - from December

Key U.N. powers said today that Mali's military's
arrest and ouster of the country's transitional leader, Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra, would not deter the U.N. Security Council from forging ahead with plans to intervene in Mali to confront Islamists militants in the north of the country. But it did little to paper over differences between the United States and France on how to get the job done.

Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, offered a decidedly uncharitable assessment of a French- and African-backed plan to retake control of northern Mali from a coalition of Islamist militants linked to al Qaeda. "It's crap" the U.S. envoy told a gathering of U.N.-based officials, according to one of
the officials. Rice's office declined to comment.

The American envoy's assessment reflected deep misgivings that the Malian army, supported by a Nigerian-led coalition of 3,300 troops from 15 Western African countries has the manpower or the skills required to contend with a battle-tested insurgency with experience fighting in the Sahel's unforgiving desert. Rice's candor also deals a setback to a long, drawn-out effort by France and West African countries to secure U.N. Security Council mandate for a regional intervention force in Mali.

The United States is not alone in having misgivings. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recently issued a report that argued against an immediate military intervention in Mali, saying the international community should devote its attention to stitching
together a political agreement among Mali's squabbling groups, setting force aside as a "last resort" Herve Ladsous, the head of the U.N.'s peacekeeping department and one of the U.N.'s few advocates of military intervention, said recently that even if the intervention plan is approved it would take until September or October, 2013, for the international force to be deployed.
We should not forget that in any military intervention, even when successful, tens of thousands more people are likely to become displaced both inside the country and across borders," U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres
told the Security Council on Monday. "Newly arriving refugees in the neighboring countries are increasingly citing the prospect of military intervention as one of the reasons that pushed them to flee.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 21, 2013 1:39:18 PM | 69

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb: Who’s Who? Who is Behind the Terrorists? [hint: the usual suspects]

http://www.globalresearch.ca/al-qaeda-in-the-islamic-maghreb-whos-whos-who-is-behind-the-terrorists/5319754

"Mokhtar Belmokhtar, mastermind behind the terrorist attack by the Islamist al-Mulathameen (Masked) Brigade on the In Amenas Gas complex is one of the founding members of AQIM.

He was trained and recruited by the CIA in Afghanistan. Belmokhtar was a North African volunteers, an “Afghan Arab” enlisted at age 19 as a Mujahideen to fight within the ranks of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, at a time when the CIA and its Pakistani affiliate –the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI)– were actively supporting the jihadists in both recruitment and training.

Mokhtar Belmokhtar fought in the Afghan “civil war”.
He returned to Algeria in 1993 and joined the GSPC.
Belmokhtar’s history and involvement in Afghanistan suggests that he was a US sponsored “intelligence asset”.

The Role of America’s Allies, Saudi Arabia and Qatar

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) from the outset in 2007 had established a close relationship to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), whose leaders had also been trained and recruited in Afghanistan bu the CIA. The LIFG is supported covertly by the CIA and Britain’s MI6.

The LIFG was directly supported by NATO during the 2011 war on Libya, “providing weapons, training, special forces and even aircraft to support them in the overthrow of Libya’s government.” (Tony Cartalucci, The Geopolitical Reordering of Africa: US Covert Support to Al Qaeda in Northern Mali, France “Comes to the Rescue”, Global Research, January 2013)

. British SAS Special Forces had been brought into Libya prior to onset of the insurrection, acting as mlitary advisers to the LIFG.

More recently, reports confirm that AQIM has received weapons from the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). LIFG mercenaries have integrated AQIM brigades. According to commander Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who coordinated the In Amenas kidnapping operation:

“We have been one of the main beneficiaries of the revolutions in the Arab world. As for our benefiting from the (Libyan) weapons, this is a natural thing in these kinds of circumstances.” http://www.hanford.gov/c.cfm/oci/ci_terrorist.cfm?dossier=174

The BP In Amenas plant is located directly on the Libyan border. One suspects that there was a contingent of Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) combatants involved in the operation.

AQIM also has ties to the Al Nusra Front in Syria which is supported covertly by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb is indelibly tied into a Western intelligence agenda. It is described as ” one of the region’s wealthiest, best-armed militant groups”, financed covertly by Saudi Arabia and Qatar...."

Posted by: вот так | Jan 21, 2013 1:43:51 PM | 70

France has bombed Timbuktu in northern Mali -- video here.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 21, 2013 4:25:23 PM | 71

#71, it won't get more exciting than that, there is nothing to bomb.

This here is what it is about - A disaster 50 years in the making

Posted by: somebody | Jan 21, 2013 4:45:29 PM | 72

Information on the link between the French offensive in Mali and the Algeria hostage crisis.

InnerCityPress

UNITED NATIONS, January 19 -- When the UN Security Council's Resolution 2085 on Mali was negotiated last month, safeguards were proposed and agreed too, steps that had to be taken BEFORE military action began.

As Inner City Press reported at the time, Operative Paragraph 11 was called "the Algerian element" by one of its African sources on the Council -- an acknowledgment that a military offensive in Mali without following such steps could destabilize neighboring Algeria.

But when France began bombing Konna in Mali on January 11, none of the safeguards had been followed. Instead, what followed was a large scale and now deadly hostage taking in Algeria [Jan 16].


UN Security Council's Resolution 2085
11. Emphasizes that the military planning will need to be further refined before the commencement of the offensive operation and requests that the Secretary-General, in close coordination with Mali, ECOWAS, the African Union, the neighbouring countries of Mali, other countries in the region and all other interested bilateral partners and international organizations, continue to support the planning and the preparations for the deployment of AFISMA, regularly inform the Council of the progress of the process, and requests that the Secretary-General also confirm in advance the Council’s satisfaction with the planned military offensive operation;

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 21, 2013 4:48:59 PM | 73

yep, just that the preparations for the attack on Algeria also started last December.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 21, 2013 5:23:34 PM | 74

Algerian Hostage Takers’ Arms Came From Libyan Govt
Arms Provided by GCC to Libya Turn Up in Amenas

http://news.antiwar.com/2013/01/20/algerian-hostage-takers-arms-came-from-libyan-govt/

"With Algerian authorities still combing through the aftermath of last week’s hostage siege at the Amenas gas plant, which led to the deaths of scores of foreign hostages, a surprising fact about the hostage takers’ armaments has been revealed.

According to officials, the arms came from Libya. And by and large not the looted arsenal of the former Gadhafi regime, whose armaments have left the entire region awash in weapons, but rather the modern gear provided by GCC member nations to the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) and associated rebel groups, who have since been installed by NATO as the government of Libya.

The attackers fought their way onto the heavily guarded site wielding the same AK104 weapons that were the gun of choice for the Libyan rebels, and even wearing the yellow flak jackets provided to the NTC by the Qatari government.

The Libyan Civil War and the subsequent free-for-all of arms looting has driven many conflicts in the region, and the rebels in Mali are by and large armed with looted Gadhafi regime weapons. This is the first time weapons provided to the NTC have turned up in a foreign conflict however."

How nice of those Israeli-Americans to provide those terrorists with brand new shiny weaponry. Since Israel-America are so thoughtful helpful to their charges, perhaps they also provided them with intelligence data so their little enterprise wouldn't get derailed by the Algerians stumbling on to them too early?

It's already been reported that the terrorists had maps and detailed info about the layout of the site, as well as maps, which greatly aided their assault on it.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 21, 2013 7:46:34 PM | 75

Now that Cameron has announced that the war on Africa (oops, the bringing of freedom and democracy to Mali) will take decades to kill all the "right" people:

Britain to send about 500 troops to Mali to assist France

http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_01_22/Britain-to-send-about-500-troops-to-Mali-to-assist-France/

Just training. But of course.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 21, 2013 7:57:59 PM | 76

‘Used as human shields’: Survivors of Algeria hostage crisis recall brutality and terror

http://rt.com/news/algeria-hostages-recall-crisis-419/

"...At least one of the militants responsible for the kidnapping was supposedly a French national, but Paris could not verify the claim, France24 reported. If true, the allegation would reinforce earlier reports by some of the surviving hostages, who claimed to have heard militants speaking French and English, in addition to Arabic.

Some of the hostages also said that the militants were able to easily navigate the facility, and knew its internal procedures and the room numbers of the foreign workers. "They had accomplices on the inside," Riad said.

Earlier, the militants said the attack on the plant had been planned for two months, Mauritania's ANI news agency reported."

The attack was not a response to the French invasion of Mali, as claimed. It already long in the works.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 21, 2013 8:12:01 PM | 77

76) not according to the Guardian

In the short term, Britain is only going to send a handful of people to the EU military training mission in Algeria's neighbour, Mali, but Cameron wants to see a new intensity of international co-operation to prevent states such as Mali descending into the chaos of Somalia.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 21, 2013 8:19:53 PM | 78

@ вот так #75
Algerian Hostage Takers’ Arms Came From Libyan Govt
Another bogus antiwar.com charge w/o evidence that arms came "From Libyan Govt"

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 21, 2013 8:22:17 PM | 79

Telegraph
David Cameron has vowed that there will be “no British troops on the ground”

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 21, 2013 8:26:35 PM | 80

@вот так #77
The attack was not a response to the French invasion of Mali, as claimed. It already long in the works.
The attack was also "long in the works" with pre-positioned military gear, so that's no argument.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 21, 2013 8:29:59 PM | 81

The New York Times is touting the usual wild claim that air bombardment is (1) accurate and (2) effective. Several studies have shown that this is historically false.

NewYorkTimes
French Airstrikes Push Back Islamists and Regain Towns in Central Mali

SEGOU, Mali — Malian and French troops appeared to recapture two important central Malian towns on Monday, pushing back an advance by Islamist militants who have overrun the country’s northern half.

French soldiers in armored vehicles rolled through the town of Diabaly, about 275 miles from the capital, Bamako, to cheers from residents, who flew French and Malian flags to welcome them.

“I want to thank the French people,” said Mamadou Traoré, a Diabaly resident. He said French airstrikes had chased away the militants without harming any civilians, a claim echoed by other residents.

“None of us were touched,” Mr. Traoré said. “It was incredible.”


Incredible is correct. --from Google, some amusement: Mamadou Traoré (born 1 May 1990 in Metz) is a French professional footballer of Guinean and Senegalese origin who plays for Sud Nivernais Imphy Decize.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 21, 2013 8:57:55 PM | 82

Don Bacon - 79

"Another bogus antiwar.com charge w/o evidence that arms came "From Libyan Govt"

The article is sourced to the Algerian government. I guess since they are not the American government or the zionist msm, what they say about what they found there is not worthy evidence worth reporting on. People can read and decide for themselves, but then that's not what you people want, is it. Full spectrum dominance.

somebody - 72

"This here is what it is about - A disaster 50 years in the making"

That's the 2nd time you've spammed that same pro-American commentary on this thread, that I've noticed. How many other times have you spammed it on the site?"

You two patriots make a great team, BTW.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 21, 2013 9:04:31 PM | 83

The Big Dog in North Africa isn't impressed.

ABCNews
Egypt's Morsi Opposes French Intervention in Mali

Egypt's Islamist president on Monday stated his opposition to France's military intervention in Mali, saying its actions there would create a "new conflict hotspot" that separates the Arab north from its African neighbors to the south.

Addressing the opening session of an Arab economic summit in Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Morsi also declared his support for Algeria against threats to its security — a reference to the takeover by Islamic militants of a gas complex last week in that nation's remote southeast. Thirty-eight hostages and 29 militants died in the attack.

The Masked Brigade, the group that claims to have masterminded the takeover, has warned of more such attacks against any country backing France's involvement in Mali. French forces there are trying to help stop an advance by Islamic extremists.


That would be UK and US, for starters.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 21, 2013 9:07:52 PM | 84

@вот так #83
The article is sourced to the Algerian government. I guess since they are not the American government or the zionist msm, what they say about what they found there is not worthy evidence worth reporting on. People can read and decide for themselves, but then that's not what you people want, is it. Full spectrum dominance.

It's sourced to an anonymous "security source" who said the arms came from Libya, not from "From Libyan Govt"

And who are "you people," вот так? Are you seeing shadows again? Where does your bigotry lie?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 21, 2013 9:14:04 PM | 85

Don Bacon - 85

"Where does your bigotry lie?"

Smearing now. Good work, patriot.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 21, 2013 9:24:39 PM | 86

Who are "you people," вот так? Answer the question, if you can.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 21, 2013 9:43:46 PM | 87

Perhaps Don Bacon should have looked the Telegraph site over before going off the deep end about Antiwar - he did post an article from the Telegraph right afterwards (#79,80):

Algeria hostage crisis: Most weapons used in attack came from Libya

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/algeria/9814510/Algeria-hostage-crisis-Most-weapons-used-in-attack-came-from-Libya.html

Most of the weapons used by al Qaeda-linked militants to storm a gas facility in southeastern Algeria came from Libya, the Daily Telegraph has learned.

Many of the Islamist terrorists shot their way into the In Amenas compound on Thursday using the AK104 model of Kalashnikov, which was typically used by Libyan rebels in the war against Muammar Gaddafi.

They brought F5 rockets that also surfaced in the Libyan war, said the security source.

The Islamists wore the same type of outfits that Qatar provided to Libyan National Transitional Council rebels by Qatar – yellow flak jackets with brown patches, known as "chocolate chip" camouflage. The garments are copies of ones worn by Americans in the Gulf war.

The terrorists also employed 60mm gun-mortars used by France and Libyan rebels.

Other non-Libyan arms used in the Algerian terror attack included German and Chinese-made Kalashnikovs, classic rocket-propelled grenades and Russian offensive and defensive grenades.

The Algerian army had two missile-carrying Mi24 Super-Hind helicopters, armoured cars, and Russian-made T90 tanks.

For the assault on the gas facility itself, special forces used incapacitating gas, infrared cameras, heat-seeking cameras and "optical devices to be able to see under doors and through walls".

Perhaps the Telegraph and Antiwar are running a scam together...

Posted by: вот так | Jan 21, 2013 9:51:28 PM | 88

Don Bacon - 87

"Who are "you people," вот так? Answer the question, if you can."

On top of the smearing, we got the inquisition now. Very impressive. Who do you want "you people" to be, patriot? Maybe you could have some of your compatriots kidnap me off to your Guantanamo Bay Country Club and waterboard the exact answer you need to hear for your twisted agenda to work?

Posted by: вот так | Jan 21, 2013 9:59:36 PM | 89

So, an incident takes place in a part of Algeria that has been exporting gas to Europe for some fifty years. The first such incident. Through the worst years of the 'Black Decade' when hundreds of thousands of Algerians died in a bloody civil war, on through the various upsurges of violence waged by the GPSC and its 'borrowed the Al-Qaeda t-shirt' offspring, the gas continued to get through, on time, at agreed prices. Now we are being treated to some Chicken Little howls of alarm from a few Western pundits anxious to pile on their perspectives of doom and gloom...... Chillax people, one raid in a region awash with weapons (courtesy of the 'liberators' of Libya and all the people who've coughed up ransoms to various terrorist groups to enable them to purchase brand new rocketry and rifles etc), that was snuffed out in 4 days (thus preventing the destruction of an asset that plays its part in meeting one third of Europe's gas demand) is not such a big deal when viewed in perspective. Of course the 'collateral damage' as they say in the West is lamentable, but the death toll probably wasn't helped by 24/7 Western media coverage helpfully informing the eavesdropping kidnappers how some workers were hiding under beds, in cupboards, in storerooms etc (that must have helped with the rooting out of any others at the same game, wouldn't you think?). As for the whining of Cameron and others that they 'should have been informed in advance of Algerian military action' - I don't recall many Western leaders advising Arab nations of their plans to destabilise/overthrow their Arab governments of choice, and what was that business in Abbotabad that took place without a telephone chat with the Pakistanis? Algeria's energy sector is unscathed, and after the squawking dies down it'll be business as usual. Algeria doesn't need foreign intervention or assistance, nor does it need any lectures from chinless wonders in Westminster or any other European parliament.

Posted by: Sense of proportion | Jan 21, 2013 10:09:31 PM | 90

Bloggers are asking uncomfortable questions...

The US Was Operating In Mali Months Prior To French Incursion: Meet The "Intelligence and Security Command"

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-01-20/us-was-operating-mali-months-prior-french-incursion-meet-intelligence-and-security-c

"...Hookers or not, what is obvious is that the US did have a largely secretive presence in Mali, which may or may not have led to ongoing social destabilization, which ultimately provided none other than the US with the ultimate cover to engage in whatever "anti-terrorist" operations it so chose. The name of the cover?

France."

Posted by: вот так | Jan 21, 2013 10:14:00 PM | 91

I'm taking a vacation from this swill.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 21, 2013 10:18:23 PM | 92

Netanyahu Speaks With French President Hollande, Compares Mali to Local Terrorism

http://www.algemeiner.com/2013/01/17/netanyahu-speaks-with-french-president-hollande-compares-mali-to-local-terrorism/

"Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on the phone with French President Francois Hollande Thursday and expressed his support for the French state and its ongoing military operation in Mali. Netanyahu voiced his regret at the loss of life among the French forces, and compared the threat faced by France, with the terror threats that Israel faces daily."

Well, all righty then.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 21, 2013 10:22:17 PM | 93

The Algerians are saying: “A Canadian was among the militants. He was co-ordinating the attack.” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/terror-in-north-africa-are-westerners-pulling-the-strings-8460832.html

Posted by: Mike Shahbaz | Jan 21, 2013 10:37:18 PM | 94

Engdahl: Pentagon's Hand Behind French Intervention in Mali

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7qDjKdZKRiI

"But, interestingly enough, I think behind the French intervention is the very strong hand of the US Pentagon which has been preparing this partitioning of Mali, which it is now looming to be, between northern Mali, where al-Qaeda and other terrorists are supposedly the cause for French military intervention, andsouthern Mali, which is a more agricultural region. Because in northern Mali recently there have been huge finds of oil discovered, so that leads one to think that it's very convenient that these armed rebels spill over the border from Libya last year and just at the same time a US-trained military captain creates a coup d'état in the Southern capital of Mali and installs a dictatorial regime against one of Africa's few democratically elected presidents.

FWE: The other European countries are loath to get involved in an Afghan-type ground situation with their troops. The Germans are providing humanitarian aid and some special forces training so far, but, frankly, I think al-Qaeda in northern Maghreb is a very suspicious operation and the timing of its activities coming over the border suggests that perhaps some NATO countries might be helping the al-Qaeda group to get military weapons and create the casus belli that justifies NATO intervention. I think we're seeing a very cynical game being played out here in Mali and it's a very dangerous one when Africa is suddenly becoming a continent that's been discovered by China, by the US and Europe and the rest of the world as the next place where untold wealth and resources can be captured."

Posted by: вот так | Jan 21, 2013 10:37:22 PM | 95

The Tragedy-Cum-Farce in Algeria

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/01/18/the-tragedy-cum-farce-in-algeria/

"...A quarter of a millennium before the creation of the United States, Sunni Ali, made Gao (today in Mali) the capital of the Songhay Empire. It is currently enduring airstrikes from French Rafale planes using ordnance that costs unimaginable multiples of the average wage in Uranium-rich Mali. Ali was succeeded by Askia Muhammad the Great and the 16th-century Moroccan explorer Leo Africanus said of Africa’s Songhay Empire that “more profit [was] made from the book trade than from any other line of business.” NATO leaders could do worse than read a few books before they sacrifice everything for access to Uranium to proliferate nuclear weapons of mass destruction. And while they’re about it, they can stop funding “Al Qaeda”.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 21, 2013 10:47:50 PM | 96

94, there are very real tensions between ethnicities in the Sahara region and there used to be and probably still is a very profitable slave trade.There defnitively is human traffic.

People are very poor and available business models are scarce except criminal, corrupt, mercenary or religious schemes. As long as this does not change the problems in the area won't change.

France went on a fools errand they cannot win and were warned about. So presumably all this is about is parading their Rafale jets

They will create a mess and leave.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 22, 2013 2:10:24 AM | 97

there'r lots of disinfo going around.
one of the current meme is that the *unrest* in mali is a *blow
back* from the libya *debacle*, an *unintended consequence*
[sic] so now fukus have another aq hotspot on their hand, mali,
to deal with [sic].

matter of fact, if u believe the likes of clintons , panettas ,
nulands etc, fukus has been reluctantly *dragged into* conflicts in
south china sea to east china sea, the korean peninsula, the
*arab spring* , libya, syria, mali, yemen etc etc, screaming n
kicking all the way. hehehe
then i have a bridge.....

Posted by: denk | Jan 22, 2013 4:25:53 AM | 98

denk - 97

I know, the poor things always get dragged into these tribal squabbles against their will, but they just can't help it. And they cant help getting filthy rich off the results, either.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 22, 2013 5:13:11 AM | 99

98, the local elites are decisive in this. you do not have to let this happen to your country.

Brazil denies terrorists are operating in its borders

Several countries in Latin America resist anti-terror laws because they still hold fresh memories of state dictatorships that killed or spirited away thousands of political opponents in the 1970s and 80s.

"These are places that had civil wars ... where the country ripped itself to pieces trying to fight terrorist organizations," said Princeton law professor Kim Lane Scheppele, who studies the global war on terror. "Once they got out of it and managed to put in place a democratic system, they said 'never again.'"

Countries such as Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina only recently adopted weakened versions of anti-terror laws focused on money laundering, to avoid being blacklisted by the world's financial system. Just one suspect in Argentina has been prosecuted under these laws to date.

In Brazil, President Dilma Rousseff was herself arrested and tortured for her militancy against the military dictatorship from 1964 and 1985; former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was arrested by the same regime, and Fernando Henrique Cardoso, the president before him, was exiled for his activism.

The lack of political will to go hard on terrorism is frustrating to American officials, as is suggested in cables released by WikiLeaks. For example, Brazil does not consider Hezbollah, Hamas or the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia as terrorist organizations.

"The Government of Brazil remains highly sensitive to public claims suggesting that terrorist or extremist organizations have a presence or are undertaking activities in Brazil," said one cable sent in 2008 by former Ambassador Clifford Sobel.

A U.S. official at the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia declined to talk on the record.


Posted by: somebody | Jan 22, 2013 5:44:31 AM | 100

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