France Begins Intervention in Mali

Yesterday Malian President Dioncounda Traoré asked the French to help halt the advance of Al Qaeda-linked militants who have taken over the north of Mali. Since requesting French assistance the Malian army has been pushed back from at least one engagement by the militants, who are moving south. French President François Hollande said that he was prepared to assist, but only within a U.N. framework. The U.N. Security Council called for a “swift deployment” of troops to the region. 

The deployment was swift. Only a matter of hours after the U.N. Security Council called for troops to be deployed it was reported that French troops (whose status remains unclear) are in Mali and that planes from the French air force are assisting Malian forces.

Hollande justified the quickly developing intervention, saying that it was allowed under international law and had been agreed to with Traoré.

It is too early to tell how effective French support will be in halting the militants’ advance south. Part of the difficulty will be identifying the enemy. An article appearing in The Guardian featured a statement from a local journalist that summarized some of the potential difficulties:

On Thursday rebels captured the town of Konna, less than 40 miles from the strategic city and army base of Mopti. The situation in Konna is described as complicated, with army personnel still in the town but rebels now in control.

"There are Islamists controlling Konna, but they are integrated into the population, it is very difficult for the army to fight them," said Boubakar Hamadoun, editor of the Bamako-based newspaper Mali Demain, who has reporters based in the north. "It is a very complicated situation."

Perhaps more worrying that the nature of the conflict is that Hollande has not set a deadline for the intervention, saying that, “This operation will last as long as is necessary."

The French government is intervening in Mali because there is concern that Mali could become an Al Qaeda stronghold from which terrorist attacks on Europe could be launched. However, as at least one French official has pointed out, the intervention could lead to terrorist attacks on French soil.

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  • Pro Libertate||

    What in heaven's name brought you to Mali?

    My health. I came to Mali for the waters.

    The waters? What waters? We're in the desert.

    I was misinformed.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Timbuktu and Hollande too!

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Good luck with that, France.

  • Paul.||

    You know who else began an intervention in North Africa?

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    The Romans?

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    The Phoenicians?

  • Restoras||

    Il Duce?

  • WTF||

    Obama?

  • ||

    Man, intervention (imperialism under another name) sure is popular under left-wing anti-imperialist leaders. And not a peep from...anyone.

    Integrity sure is a bitch.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Dogged consistency is the hobgoblin of the politically inexpedient.

  • ||

    Don't be tediously predictable, Hugh.

  • ||

    Alas, he knows but no other way, Epi. Though I have it on good authority he's working on being tiresomely predictable.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Someday I aspire to be soporifically predictable.

  • ||

    Oh, Hugh, thanks for the missive, and I will be replying this weekend.-)

  • Hugh Akston||

    Glad you got it, Doc. Just remember: RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.

  • Randian||

    Just be advised that there is a hyperlogical annoying twat over there who will argue to the death that happy hour "in the bar area only" is an offense to Ayn Rand and her Chosen People.

  • ||

    Thanks, TAO. I will bear that in mind, as you are good people and wouldn't lead me astray.-)

  • Randian||

    In case I wasn't clear I was talking about myself :P

  • ||

    Worry not, TAO, I already picked up on your brie laden sarcasm, as you can be both good people and an insufferable, pedantic twat, as these two concepts are not mutually exclusive.

    And I can break your logic...

  • Ace Sullivan||

    I for one will only be eating *Freedom* Fries with my McRib in protest.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Part of the difficulty will be identifying the enemy.

    Obama never seemed to have that problem in Afghanistan/Pakistan/Iraq/Libya. I wonder what his secret is.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Drones. Lots of drones.

  • Invisible Finger||

    His secret is "not giving a shit".

    There is something to be said for an "indiscriminate bombing" strategy - if the bombed innocent don't like it they can rat out the terrorists. Only problem is, even if the innocent knew what the fuck was going on, there's no one to rat TO and they'd likely just put themselves in greater danger.

    One would think a community activist in Chicago's Roseland community would be well aware of the stupidity of such a strategy. But Barack "I'm A Piece Of Living Feces" Obama was only a "community activist from afar"; the Roseland neighborhood is far too scary for someone of his academic pedigree to, you know, actually live in.

  • SugarFree||

    Good thing blowback doesn't exist.

  • ||

    Blowback 2: Interventionist Boogaloo

  • Delroy||

    I think you meant to say:

    Blowback Part Deux

  • sarcasmic||

    Since there is no intent to cause blowback, any terrorist attacks in France by AQ Mali will be purely coincidental.

  • SugarFree||

    Or there were already thousands and thousands of AQ Mali that will only do something after France attacks, cleverly laying in wait by pretending to be people that didn't have much of a problem with France until they saw their friends and family being slaughtered for the abstract policy goal of a hostile foreign power.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Do the French have drones?

  • SugarFree||

    Yes, but they call them le drones.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Le abeille?

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

  • Pro Libertate||

    WTF?--"faux bourdon » en anglais." Perhaps I'm no master of English, but faux bourdon sounds like something other than English.

  • ||

    Wrong, Saccharine Man (see what I did there?). They will be called "Royale Cheese". And dip their pommes frittes in mayo. Artisinal mayo, to be precise.

  • Hugh Akston||

    What do they call a cruise missile in France?

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    un missile de croisière
  • SugarFree||

    La moutarde de malheur!

  • Hugh Akston||

    Wrong, idiot. The correct answer is "I don't know, I didn't go into the Navy."

  • Pro Libertate||

    Croissant!

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Has France surrendered yet?

  • Rasilio||

    Damn you, beat me to it by 3 minutes

  • A Serious Man||

    You know the last time they fought a desert war in North Africa it didn't go so well.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    You know who else beat the French in a desert war in North Africa?

  • ||

    Everybody?

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Humphrey Bogart?

  • Pro Libertate||

    No, no, Major Strasser, who someone shot, was a German. Rick allied himself with a French guy.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    The Algerians?

  • LTC(ret) John||

    The US? (Operation Torch)

  • Brett L||

    The Egyptians? (Technically, I think it was the Pasha)

  • Hugh Akston||

    Girl Scout Troop #1121?

  • Restoras||

    Ouch!

    Lemme guess...the Frogs ran away at the sight of their mass-produced, overly-sweet fundraising treats?

  • Tim||

    Episiarch's mom?

  • robc||

    Charles Martel did well against the moslems.

  • sarcasmic||

    Maybe they'll have an opportunity to invent a word for 'victory'!

  • Paul.||

    Has France surrendered yet?

    Oui!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Honi soit qui Mali pense.

  • NeonCat||

    +1 North African garter

  • Ronny Paulino||

    How long until Barry O joins the fray? I'm guessing in 3...2...1...

  • ||

    France has a long history of treating West Africans with integrity and respect. There is no chance of this humanitarian intervention going horribly wrong.

  • ||

    NEEDZ MOAR ROQUEFORT!

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    You mean to tell me that their civilising mission was not a success?

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Hey - the "Railroad of Bones" was in Central Africa mon ami, not North or West Africa!

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I'm not completely certain, but do I detect the slightest whiff of sarcasm in your commentary?

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    You have quite the refined sense of smell if you can detect anything through Warty's essence.

  • ||

    It's actually not that bad once you get used to it, Archduchy. Like squats improve DAT ASS!, Warty is a bona fide workout for one's olfactory organs.

  • A Serious Man||

    Caption contest: "M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E, Mickey Mouse (Mickey Mouse) Mickey (Mickey Mouse), forever let us hold our banner high, high, high"

  • sarcasmic||

    "J-O-C, K-E-Y, S-T-R-A-P, jockey strap"
    "Holds 'em up!"
    "Jockey strap"
    "Keeps 'em up!"
    "Forever let them hold are balls up high, high, high!"

  • LTC(ret) John||

    You belonged to a very strange kid's club, sarc.

  • ||

    For no reason, here is some Malian music.

  • ||

    OT Wartman. Being a basically resident libertarian Horde lurker, I know you like you some metal. I have a recommendation for you. Try killwhitneydead. Good stuff, plus all the movie quotes take it from "ggod stuff" to delightful.

  • SugarFree||

    I hope they don't destroy the nation's industrial capacity. I've always liked Maliwan guns.

  • $park¥||

    Tediore is the superior arms supplier.

  • SugarFree||

    I agree, but Maliwan is certainly better than Jakobs or Hyperion.

  • $park¥||

    True.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    If they send the Foreign Legion, they won't have any trouble determining who the enemy is...anyone who looks at them funny. Or not.

    Almost got into a rumble with them on the Parwan-Kabul provincial border in early 2005. They don't like anyone.

  • Brett L||

    You don't join the Foreign Legion because you were a happy, well adjusted citizen.

  • Drake||

    The nice part (for the French), you don't have to worry about French Mommies crying on the news if Legionnaires are killed in a senseless mission.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Someday, they'll be making movies which will be generally known as "Maliwood" films.

  • ||

    Will they more or less blatantly tacky than "Bollywood" films?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Depends on how bad this war gets. If it's really bad, they'll go for dark, artsy films.

    If not, then it'll out tack Bollywood.

  • ||

    Zero Dark Mali? With bells and tassles?

  • Jerry on the road||

    Djmali unchained.

  • Tim||

    Is George Clooney involved? He's all over Sudan.

  • Pro Libertate||

    No, it's going to be all Herzog and Herzog acolytes. If the war is bad.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I would watch a two hour documentary about the monumental stupidity of chickens.

  • Tim||

    First thing the Mali Lobby needs is a celebrity spokesman. I'm thinking Morgan Freeman- is he available?

  • Pro Libertate||

    The enormity of their flat brain, the enormity of their stupidity, is just overwhelming. You have to do yourself a favor. When you are out in the countryside and you see chicken, try to look a chicken in the eye with great intensity. And the intensity of stupidity that is looking back at you is just amazing. By the way, it is very easy to hypnotize a chicken. They are very prone to hypnosis. And in one or two films, I’ve actually shown that.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    In other news, Belgium has decided to embark on a peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

  • Tim||

    That son of a bitch Van Owen blew off Roland's head.

  • SIV||

    Good thing we never bail out France's military failures.

  • Cytotoxic||

    This is great news. Somebody needed to clear out that nest before it got any bigger and I'm glad it's not America. Have fun doing the shitwork dear rest-of-the-world.

  • Rasilio||

    Yes but the last time France decided to civilize a shithole it was this little country in south east asia. Odds are we end up coming in to clean up their mess here as well, and with similar results to boot.

  • T||

    No, Indochina was the second time they tried. They kept their first attempt, and the more spectacular failure, in Algeria all to themselves.

  • Tim||

    The Sandpeople are easily startled but they will soon be back and in greater numbers.

  • A Serious Man||

    Only Imperial stormtroopers are that precise.

  • Hugh Akston||

    These are not the drones you're looking for.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    les drones

  • A Serious Man||

    Don't be so confident in this political terror you have constructed. The power to invade a third world country is insignificant compared to the power of the Force.

  • ||

    Your sad devotion to that ancient political philosophy hasn't conjured up those missing wheels of cheese.

  • Tim||

    The France will be with you always.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    we'll always have Paris?

  • T||

    If this leads to another clusterfuck like Algeria, I'm going to go make some popcorn. The Legion is what, 1 for 1 in Africa last century?

  • Liberty||

    To be fair, the French won in Algeria.The government simply gave the colony up.

  • Tim||

    What is it?

    BEN: Your fathers Egg-whisk. This is the weapon of a French man. Not
    as clumsy or as random as a spatula.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Bamako the Malian capital. You'll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You must learn the ways of the Fromage, if you're to come with me to the République du Mali.

  • A Serious Man||

    You mean you've never heard of Le Faucon Millenaire? She's the ship that made the Algiers run in less than 12 parsecs.

  • ||

    But I was going to Toshi stationer to pick up some des convertisseurs de puissance!!!

  • A Serious Man||

    You can read existentialist and socialist literature with your friends later.

  • Liberty||

    The French are going to war in Africa, but we have to pay for the defense of Europe. Idiocy. I mean Mali? They are so far from civilization. I guess it is a "redistribution of wealth, let's go over to Africa and give them our money and men.

  • Tim||

    McCain: You must learn the ways of the Force if you're to come with me to Africa.

    OBAMA: (laughing) Africa? I'm not going to Africa. I've got to go
    home. It's late, I'm in for it as it is.

    McCAIN: I need your help, Barrack. France needs your help. I'm getting too old for this sort of thing.

    OBAMA: I can't get involved! I've got work to do! It's not that I like
    Al Queada. I hate it! But there's nothing I can do about it right
    now. It's such a long way from here.

    McCAIN: That's The New York Times talking.

    OBAMA: (sighing) Oh, God, the Press. How am I ever going to explain
    this?

  • A Serious Man||

    You know, if that scene ends with the New York Times building burned and the charred skeletons of its contributors strewn about the ground, that would be good.

  • Restoras||

    You know, their sparkling new HQ is right around the corner from my office. If this happens I'll record it and put it on youtube for all the laugh, and enjoy.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You know, someone should mash up Star Wars and Apocalypse Now, with Darth Vader as Kurtz, Ben Kenobi as Willard, Luke as Clean, Han Solo as the Chief, Princess Leia as Lance, C3PO as Chef, and R2-D2 as the little dog they find.

    Oh, and Tarkin as the Photojournalist.

  • Randian||

    Apocalypse Now was boring enough as it is, thanks very much.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Leave this place.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Stormtroopers don't surf!

  • Pro Libertate||

    Tatooine. . .shit. I'm still only on Tatooine.

  • ||

    I LOVE THE SMELL OF BURNT JAWAS IN THE MORNING!

  • A Serious Man||

    You smell that? Blasters. I love the smell of blasters in the morning. You know one time we had a planet bombed from orbit for 12 hours, and after it was all over I went down there and we didn't find one stinkin' body. That smell, you know that firery smell the whole planet smelled like...victory.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    There's mines over there, there's mines over there, and watch out those goddamn Ewoks bite, I'll tell ya.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Hey, man, you don't talk to the Sith Lord. You listen to him. The man's enlarged my mind. He's a poet Jedi in the classic sense. I mean sometimes he'll. . .uh. . .well, you'll say "hello" to him, right? And he'll just walk right by you. He won't even notice you. And suddenly he'll Force choke you, and he'll throw you in a corner, and he'll say, "Do you know that 'if' is the middle word in life? If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you". . . . I mean I'm, no, I can't. . . . I'm a little man, I'm a little man, he's, he's a great man! I should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across floors of silent seas.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Vader: Did they say why, Obi Wan, why they want to terminate my command?
    Kenobi: I was sent on a classified mission, sir.
    Vader: It's no longer classified, is it? Did they tell you?
    Kenobi: They told me that you had gone totally insane, and that your methods were unsound.
    Vader: Are my methods unsound?
    Kenobi: I don't see any method at all, sir.
    Vader: I expected someone like you. What did you expect? Are you an assassin?
    Kenobi: I'm a Jedi.
    Vader: You're neither. You're an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks, to collect a bill.

  • A Serious Man||

    Hey man, you don't talk to Lord Vader, you listen to him, the man's enlarged my man, he's a poet-warrior in the classic sense.

  • ||

    I feel redundancy in The Fromage...

  • A Serious Man||

    C'est un piège!

  • Pro Libertate||

    Feel the Fromage flowing, like a nice fondue.

  • A Serious Man||

    No fondue is worth this!

  • Pro Libertate||

    I worry that my son might not understand what I've tried to be. And if I were to be killed, Obi-Wan, I would want someone to go to my home, give my son my light saber, and tell my son everything. Everything I did, everything you saw, because there's nothing that I detest more than the stench of lies. And if you understand me, Obi-Wan, you will do this for me.

  • Tim||

    INTERIOR: DARTH VADER'S WINGMAN -- COCKPIT.

    Vader's wingman searches around him trying to locate the
    unknown attacker.

    INTERIOR: MILLENNIUM FALCON -- COCKPIT.

    Bill CLinton with pants down and Monica kneeling between his legs under the control panel

    BILL CLINTON: (yelling) Yahoo!
    EXTERIOR: DEATH STAR TRENCH.

    Vader's wingman panics at the sight of the oncoming pirate
    starship and veers radically to one side, colliding with
    Vader's TIE fighter in the process. Vader's wingman crashes
    into the side wall of the trench and explodes. Vader's damaged
    ship spins out of the trench with a damaged wing.

  • $park¥||

    No. Fry not. Fondue. Or fondue not. There is no fry.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Nice.

  • Restoras||

    Awesome thread. Just awesome.

  • Translucent Chum||

  • GILMORE||

    The french LOVE a good fight!...

    ...versus totally impoverished, francophone, barely-armed minorities, in countries where they can prop up dictators who help them rape the country's resources over the next generation.

  • Lyle||

    How could an intervention lead to terrorist attacks? That makes no sense whatsoever.

  • Lyle||

    You mean to tell me, Matthew Feeney, that France shouldn't save Timbuktu because AQ may attack them in France?

    Seriously are you this fucking stupid Matthew Feeney?

  • Invisible Finger||

    I think the proper term is "Maliintervention". Much like "maliinvestment."

  • waaminn||

    Some kinda crazy stuff going on there dude.

    www.DotAnon.tk

  • Robert||

    I just Googled Mali, and observed that there is nothing in the north of it. What would you need to "take over" the north of Mali? Somebody with a flashlight and a can opener?

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