MALI AND TERRORISM January 16, 2013Posted by wmmbb in Africa, Peace, Terrorism Issues.
So what is going on in Mali? The UN Security Council has authorized the French military intervention in its former colony.
Unsurprisingly, the Americans have started flying missile-armed drones over another sovereign territory of an Islamic nation. Australia does not have an independent voice on the Security Council but rather the pathetic unhinged and unreflective endorsement of Western Imperialism.
Nick O’Malley reports in The Sydney Morning Herald:
The unfolding crisis in Mali is Australia’s first great test as a member of the United Nations Security Council, said the Australian ambassador to the UN, Gary Quinlan, after an emergency meeting called by France.
Mr Quinlan said Australia, along with the rest of the council, supported the French bombing of rebel training bases and other targets in Mali on Friday.
He said a surprise advance by militant Islamists had put the very existence of the nation and future stability of west Africa at risk.
”Al-Qaeda and associated extremist groups have taken over an area the size of France and they want it as a safe haven to operate right across a massive band of Africa,” he said.
The French act was to ensure the remaining Mali military was not routed and to protect an airfield that will be crucial to later operations to retake the north.
Australia has supported calls to fast-track the African-led International Support Mission, though it is unknown how fast the force can deploy.
The US as well as some European Union nations have already pledged logistical support, while the Foreign Affairs Minister, Bob Carr, has said Australia would offer material support if it could help speed up the mission.
Senator Carr on Wednesday warned that Mali ran the risk of becoming a terrorist haven like Afghanistan.
He also said Australia would consider providing some assistance to an African stabilisation force, although a decision was still some time away.
”In the meantime the great issue that confronts us here is the advance of Islamist rebels on the south of Mali, which would threaten a situation akin to that of Afghanistan,” Senator Carr told ABC TV, adding that terrorist training camps would threaten the band of nations south of the Sahara.
Senator Carr said Australian support was about helping West African nations once the French action had achieved its purpose in providing stability and security.
So Bob Carr propounds that “Mali runs the risk of becoming a terrorist haven like Afghanistan”. Do these people have clue, or is just another genuflection in the direction of the Imperial masters of the World?
Since Afghanistan was mentioned, perhaps Eric Margolis might be as well placed to express an opinion as anyone. Northern Mali was captured nine months ago. Eric Margolis is interviewed on Russia Today:
Professor Jeremy Keenan of the London University, School of Oriental and African Studies argues both the Algerians and the Americans have had a hand in fostering terrorism in the region. His article, How Washington Helped Foster the Islamic Uprising in Mali appears in the New Internationalist magazine.
There is more detail in the article, but this extract sets the drift:
My first book on the Global War On Terror in the Sahara, The Dark Sahara (Pluto 2009), described and explained the development of this extraordinary relationship. It revealed why it was that the Bush administration and the regime in Algiers both needed a ‘little more terrorism’ in the region. The Algerians wanted more terrorism to legitimize their need for more high-tech and up-to-date weaponry. The Bush administration, meanwhile, saw the development of such terrorism as providing the justification for launching a new Saharan front in the Global War On Terror. Such a ‘second front’ would legitimize America’s increased militarization of Africa so as better to secure the continent’s natural resources, notably oil. This, in turn, was soon to lead to the creation in 2008 of a new US combat command for Africa – AFRICOM.
The first US-Algerian ‘false flag’ terrorist operation in the Sahara-Sahel was undertaken in 2003 when a group led by an ‘infiltrated’ DRS agent, Amari Saifi (aka Abderrazak Lamari and ‘El Para’), took 32 European tourists hostage in the Algerian Sahara. The Bush administration immediately branded El Para as ‘Osama bin Laden’s man in the Sahara’.
Jeremy Keenan was interviewed by Scott Horton for his radio program.
At this point, it seems, that Australia has promised material support for the French invasion. When situation are misrepresented and when the recourse to violence as the sole method of settling conflict, references to Dag Hammarskjold aside, the vectors and structure of the developing situation are not understood, the outcome is likely to bad to the people involved. The egos of the imperialists does not allow them to admit errors, and anyway the costs don’t matter because what is at stake is stealing resources. Bob Carr in that knowing way of his, is oblivious – among others it seems.
- Adam Elliot-Cooper, Blood for Uranium: France’s Mali Intervention has little to do with Islamic Terrorism (Ceasefire)
- Barry Lando, France’s Tragic Path in Mali (CounterPunch) – I like this reference because it goes to the question of cluelessness, and by people one would normally expect to know better, since they have had considerable experience. Barry Lando writes:
[To thwart terrorism and extremism] . . . U.S. and its allies to combat Islamic terrorism in the region, the United States would train African troops to deal with the threat themselves.
To that end, for five years U.S. Special Forces trained Malian troops in a host of vital combat and counterterrorism skills. The outcome was considered by the Pentagon to be exemplary
But all that collapsed as the result of another unintended consequence– of the French-led intervention in Libya. After the fall of Khadhaffi, droves of battle-hardened, well-armed Islamic fighters and Tuareg tribesmen, who had been fighting in Libya, swarmed into Northern Mali.
Joined by other more radical Islamist forces, some linked to Al Qaeda, they had no trouble defeating the Malian army.
Why? Because of the defection to the rebels of several key Malian officers, who had been trained by the Americans. Turns out that those officers, who were supposed to battle the rebels, were ethnic Tuaregs, the same nomads who were part of the rebellion.
According to the Times, The Tuareg commanders of three of the four Malian units in the north, at the height of the battle, decided to join the insurrection, taking weapons, valuable equipment and their American training with them. They were followed by about 1600 additional army defectors, demolishing the government’s hope of resisting the rebel attack.
- The Interests Behind France’s Intervention in Mali (Deutsche Wella)
- Andy Morgan, Mali’s Rebels Hold the Advantage in a Ground War on Desert Plains (The Guardian)
- Angelique Chrisafis, Algeria Hostage Crisis Sparks Fears of Escalation Across Region (The Guardian)
- How the French got to airstrikes in Mali: A briefing from Bamako (csmonitor.com)
- Mali: the scramble for Africa (morningstaronline.co.uk)
- France sends 750 troops to Mali – China Daily (europe.chinadaily.com.cn)
- Al-Qaeda Promises Terror Attacks in Europe Following French Invasion of Mali (dprogram.net)
- Mali: French invaders flee. Mujahideen liberate Koulikoro and are 60 km from the capital Bamako (alhittin.com)
- French set for Mali ground combat (bbc.co.uk)
- Merkel: Mali ‘terrorism’ also a threat for Europe (dailystar.com.lb)
- Desert drama: Islamists take hostages in Algeria (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
On RT expert Patrick Hennison is interviewed following the killing of hostages by Algeria: