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French intervention in Mali: From al-Qaeda and the Islamists’ perspective

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01/17/2013 05:04 PM
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French intervention in Mali: From al-Qaeda and the Islamists’ perspective
Sixteen years after the late-Osama bin Laden declared war on the United States, we are being treated in Mali to a rare and explicit glimpse of how deep the arrogance and incompetence of Western leaders are when it comes to the religious war al-Qaeda and its allies are waging on the West.

With al-Qaeda and like-minded Islamist fighters on a roll in Africa and the Middle East — an aggressiveness mainly motivated by U.S. and Western interventionism in the Islamic world — the French come up with the same old answer to the Islamist problem: more Western intervention. In mid-January, French President Hollande took the world by surprise and announced that France will respond positively to a request for help from its “Malian bothers” and deploy troops and other military assets to clear northern Mali of the mujahedin. Thundering martial vigor as if Napoleon reborn, Hollande than announced that France may send as many as 2,500 troops to assist the singularly incompetent and corrupt Malian government and military win the inevitable victory over the evil Islamists.

2,500 troops. Really? Do you think that Mr. Hollande or anyone in Paris knows that Mali is twice the size of France? Or that Mali does not control its borders and so additional mujahedin will flow in to support the already multi-national, Mali-based Islamist forces from all points of the compass? And even if each French soldier is a superman, are French leaders arrogant enough think that 2,500 of their troops and 10,000 or so African troops of dubious quality can do in Mali what 100,000-plus U.S. and NATO troops failed to do in Afghanistan? And, finally, do they recall that France has not won a major battle when fighting alone in almost two centuries?

And what was the response of France’s Western allies to President Hollande’s ill-considered and neocolonial-in-appearance adventure? Were they wise enough to stay clear and not make France’s intervention anymore of a unifying force among Mali’s disparate Islamist groups than it is already? Nope, they checked their brains at the door, got in line, and said “me too.”

[link to non-intervention.com]