France enters Mali civil war

Seen something interesting in the news or on the intertubes? Discuss it here.

Moderators: Zamfir, Hawknc, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
Zamfir
I built a novelty castle, the irony was lost on some.
Posts: 7604
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:43 pm UTC
Location: Nederland

France enters Mali civil war

Postby Zamfir » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:48 am UTC

http://www.france24.com/en/20130111-france-hollande-prepared-intervene-mali-islamists-un-military-au

France has send troops and jets to Mali, where Islamic rebels where on the way to the capital. The UN had called for an intervention, but people had expected something like action by Mali's neighbours with French support, not a full-sized French intervention. especially as Hollande was plannning to reduce the French presence in the region.

User avatar
sardia
Posts: 6813
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:39 am UTC

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby sardia » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:06 am UTC

From the early news reports, US attempts at containing the situation was a disaster. First the unit they trained defected, which gave the enemy valuable and rare (in Mali) military equipment, then the coup crippled the government further, and then Libyan arms flowed from the end of the Libyan uprising, which meant the rebels outgunned the military even more. Ugh, it shows that the US is doing a really bad job at protecting our interests lately, and the uncertainties of analyzing and gathering intelligence.

Are the French just buying time for negotiations in the international community or do they have a plan to resolve this?

Also, it's good to see someone post some international news, I was getting tired of all the domestic issues.

Derek
Posts: 2181
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:15 am UTC

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby Derek » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:27 am UTC

sardia wrote:valuable and rare (in Mali) military equipment,

These are contradictory. Rare equipment means no spare parts, the wrong ammo, and no one knows how to operate it. What they will want is more of what they already have, not a handful of things that are incompatible with all their other equipment.

User avatar
sardia
Posts: 6813
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:39 am UTC

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby sardia » Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:04 am UTC

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/14/world ... world&_r=0
"But as insurgents swept through the desert last year, commanders of this nation’s elite army units, the fruit of years of careful American training, defected when they were needed most — taking troops, guns, trucks and their newfound skills to the enemy in the heat of battle, according to senior Malian military officials. "

Elite troopers are valuable, rare, yet useful in Mali, are they not? The weapons and transports that a military unit brings with it to the enemy are weapons and transports that the government can no longer count on. Which is why I brought up how devastating it is to lose a military unit to defection, not to mention the implications that they were US trained.
Just because I said the equipment was rare and valuable doesn't mean they are too complicated to use. A troop transport and military trucks lasts as long as they can find fuel, longer if you can find spare engine parts. Mali isn't a developed country, being able to transport your troops is important. Having proper training is important. Don't denigrate the importance of defection just because you didn't notice the difference between western armed forces vs developing armed forces.

User avatar
Ormurinn
Posts: 1033
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:42 pm UTC
Location: Suth Eoferwicscire

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby Ormurinn » Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:21 am UTC

The U.K's got involved too, two C-17's have been dispatched to bus the frogs about. I'm in two minds about this.
Last edited by Ormurinn on Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:55 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
"Progress" - Technological advances masking societal decay.

User avatar
Alder
Posts: 738
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 11:20 am UTC
Location: Scotland

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby Alder » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:04 am UTC

Ormurinn wrote:frogs

Frogs? Really? I say, old bean, what is this, 1932? What a bally rum show.
Plasma Man wrote:I might have to get rid of some of my breadbins.

Kulantan wrote:I feel a great disturbance in the Fora, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and then kinda trailed off to a grumble.

User avatar
Zamfir
I built a novelty castle, the irony was lost on some.
Posts: 7604
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:43 pm UTC
Location: Nederland

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby Zamfir » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:14 am UTC

I was rather amused by the differences in European and. American reporting. European newspapers focussed on the French actions and interests in the region, Francophonie policies, their nearby bases, past interventions, which leaders they support, their uranium mines in Niger. Hardly anything about the US. The US news is the exact opposite, full of past American actions with the current French action dropping in as a deus ex machina.

Mali politics and history doesn't seem to be anyone's reporting strength, though. Google-fu, mostly

Edit: the mechanism might be that European media assign this to their 'France' experts, while American media assign it to their 'war on terror' experts. With very few having 'Mali' or even 'west Africa' experts

User avatar
CorruptUser
Posts: 10548
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:30 pm UTC

To be fair, to most Americans, the news from Africa is cookie-cutter. "Today in the African country of (Nigeria/Uganda/Umfalozi), 200 people were killed by (Hunger/Sectarian Violence/Rabid Elephants/SuperAIDS/Bono). The UN has declared this to be a disaster area. President (Zuma/Taylor/Koni) has requested (3/10/500) billion dollars in foreign aid. (U2/Madonna/Kesha) plan to have a (bake sale/benefit concert/adoption)."

Come on, lets have some good news in Africa for once.

User avatar
Aikanaro
Posts: 1801
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:43 pm UTC
Location: Saint Louis, MO

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby Aikanaro » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:24 pm UTC

Spoiler:
Alder wrote:
Ormurinn wrote:frogs

Frogs? Really? I say, old bean, what is this, 1932? What a bally rum show.

Reminded me of an old graphic novel I saw bits of, Maus, about the holocaust. Jews were mice, Nazis were cats, Brits (I think) were fish, because of their strong navy, French were frogs (I forget where the connection originated), and Americans were dogs (because dogs chase cats). Though nowadays, I think more would classify Americans as pigs, sadly. Also, I will give you an internet if you spend a month using British 1932 dandy vernacular.
Dear xkcd,

On behalf of my religion, I'm sorry so many of us do dumb shit. Please forgive us.

Love, Aikanaro.

User avatar
CorruptUser
Posts: 10548
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:49 pm UTC

Aikanaro wrote:
Spoiler:
Alder wrote:
Ormurinn wrote:frogs

Frogs? Really? I say, old bean, what is this, 1932? What a bally rum show.

Reminded me of an old graphic novel I saw bits of, Maus, about the holocaust. Jews were mice, Nazis were cats, Brits (I think) were fish, because of their strong navy, French were frogs (I forget where the connection originated), and Americans were dogs (because dogs chase cats). Though nowadays, I think more would classify Americans as pigs, sadly. Also, I will give you an internet if you spend a month using British 1932 dandy vernacular.


Spoiler:
Swedes were deer and Polish were pigs.

But IRL, frogs were the nickname for the French for quite some time. In their own media, they were represented by a cock. No that is not a joke. Russia refers to itself as a bear, the US as an eagle, China as a tiger, and so on, but the French as a chicken.

User avatar
Ormurinn
Posts: 1033
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:42 pm UTC
Location: Suth Eoferwicscire

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby Ormurinn » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:28 pm UTC

Looks like the french are encountering stiff resistance.
"Progress" - Technological advances masking societal decay.

nitePhyyre
Posts: 1280
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:31 am UTC

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby nitePhyyre » Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:38 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:To be fair, to most Americans, the news from Africa is cookie-cutter. "Today in the African country of (Nigeria/Uganda/Umfalozi), 200 people were killed by (Hunger/Sectarian Violence/Rabid Elephants/SuperAIDS/Bono). The UN has declared this to be a disaster area. President (Zuma/Taylor/Koni) has requested (3/10/500) billion dollars in foreign aid. (U2/Madonna/Kesha) plan to have a (bake sale/benefit concert/adoption)."

Come on, lets have some good news in Africa for once.

Yai! The 'horrible human suffering' edition of mad libs!
sourmìlk wrote:Monopolies are not when a single company controls the market for a single product.

You don't become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard you become great in the process.

Tyndmyr
Posts: 11443
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:08 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:I was rather amused by the differences in European and. American reporting. European newspapers focussed on the French actions and interests in the region, Francophonie policies, their nearby bases, past interventions, which leaders they support, their uranium mines in Niger. Hardly anything about the US. The US news is the exact opposite, full of past American actions with the current French action dropping in as a deus ex machina.

Mali politics and history doesn't seem to be anyone's reporting strength, though. Google-fu, mostly

Edit: the mechanism might be that European media assign this to their 'France' experts, while American media assign it to their 'war on terror' experts. With very few having 'Mali' or even 'west Africa' experts


To most americans, "Africa" is that funny country where the poor starving people live, some of them waving AKs over their heads. They'd be lucky to have anything like a single "africa" expert on staff, if that. The news reports some terrible tragedy there in a perfunctory fashion, people send a bit of money to some starving kids there, and we all go on with our day.

Anything approaching nuance is not really bothered with. Kind of a shame, really.

User avatar
sardia
Posts: 6813
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:39 am UTC

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby sardia » Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:18 am UTC

The only interests that the US has there is that some islamists share part of a name with a terrorist group we don't like. The French still have citizens who live in Mali, which makes it much more urgent to solve the crisis. And that's on top of the insularness of US foreign policy due to overstretching in the past. An administration with a solid economy and government behind it would be more willing to aggressively solve problems. I'd prefer we swap out guns and focus more on people. This doesn't mean we pass out flowers to everyone, but it does mean we focus on human intelligence, heavy pressure on human rights and equality. I should stop rambling.

User avatar
Zamfir
I built a novelty castle, the irony was lost on some.
Posts: 7604
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:43 pm UTC
Location: Nederland

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby Zamfir » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:55 am UTC

Hmm, I didn't want to write an 'American news sux' piece, even if it perhaps reads that way. It's just that after seeing the same events in a somewhat different 'war on terror' angle, i realized how much looking at it as 'French relations with former colonies' is also just a viewpoint.

And these views have in common that they picture faraway places as playgrounds for western policy, more than as relevant in themselves. I guess that's understandable and even unavoidable. Just something to keep in mind.

I am actually less concerned with Africa as bad news show. Most places are, that's just the news. As far as I know, Connecticut is a place where everyone has a machine gun and hedge funds gamble away your pension. The Albania of North America, really. I have heard from other sources that it's actually a nice and somewhat boring place to live, but that won't make the news.

User avatar
sardia
Posts: 6813
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:39 am UTC

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby sardia » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:32 am UTC

It's not exactly the same, if a European hears the Connecticut shooting, that's a sad story, but if an American hears an Africa tragedy, that's foreign policy. Of course, since our foreign policy isn't well followed, for most people, it amounts to the same thing, a sad story.

Are people characterizing it as French colonialism/imperialism 2.0?

User avatar
Zamfir
I built a novelty castle, the irony was lost on some.
Posts: 7604
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:43 pm UTC
Location: Nederland

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby Zamfir » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:03 pm UTC

Well, that's the question. France's policy in French-speaking should be familiar to Americans. There's a long tradition of picking friendly strongmen, and support them with money, weapons, the occasional military intervention. In return for a France-friendly policy, military bases, preferential treatment for French companies, you know how it goes. When they lose power they retired to Paris, like Latin American dictators go to Miami.

Not sure if it is useful to call it colonialism, but it's surely meddling, it's locally impopular, and apparently Hollande used to be a vocal opponent. So is this action just a return to tradition, or is it an exception, a particularly beneficial intervention?

User avatar
lutzj
Posts: 898
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:20 am UTC
Location: Ontario

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby lutzj » Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:59 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Not sure if it is useful to call it colonialism, but it's surely meddling, it's locally impopular, and apparently Hollande used to be a vocal opponent. So is this action just a return to tradition, or is it an exception, a particularly beneficial intervention?


Either way it probably comes as a welcome distraction from Hollande's domestic problems.
addams wrote:I'm not a bot.
That is what a bot would type.

User avatar
CorruptUser
Posts: 10548
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:01 pm UTC

You mean the French are just as shitty as the US when it comes to foreign policy? Or the British? Or possibly Russia and China? And that the worlds' problems aren't the fault of just one country?

Derek
Posts: 2181
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:15 am UTC

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby Derek » Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:37 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:You mean the French are just as shitty as the US when it comes to foreign policy? Or the British? Or possibly Russia and China? And that the worlds' problems aren't the fault of just one country?

Inconceivable!

User avatar
Wnderer
Posts: 640
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:10 pm UTC

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby Wnderer » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:41 pm UTC

What planet are you people on? Are you against this intervention? This is a UN peacekeeping mission to restore stability and put an end to some really bad stuff.

Here is the CNN story.
http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/15/world/afr ... ?hpt=hp_t3

With bit at the end.
The U.N. Security Council authorized a one-year military peacekeeping mission in the country in December. Members of ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States, pledged thousands of troops, and the Security Council has urged other nations to contribute forces as well.

A French colony until 1960, Mali had military rulers for decades until its first democratic elections in 1992. It remained stable politically until March, when a group of soldiers toppled the government, saying it had not provided adequate support for them to fight ethnic Tuareg rebels in the country's largely desert north.

Tuareg rebels, who'd sought independence for decades, took advantage of the power vacuum and seized swaths of land. A power struggle then erupted in the north between the Tuaregs and local al Qaeda-linked radicals, who wound up in control of a large area as the Tuaregs retreated.

The United Nations says amputations, floggings and public executions -- like the July stoning of a couple who had reportedly had an affair -- have become common in areas controlled by radical Islamists. They applied a strict interpretation of Sharia law in banning music, smoking, drinking and watching sports on television, and damaged Timbuktu's historic tombs and shrines.


User avatar
Ormurinn
Posts: 1033
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:42 pm UTC
Location: Suth Eoferwicscire

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby Ormurinn » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:11 pm UTC

Wnderer wrote:What planet are you people on? Are you against this intervention? This is a UN peacekeeping mission to restore stability and put an end to some really bad stuff.

Here is the CNN story.
http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/15/world/afr ... ?hpt=hp_t3

With bit at the end.
The U.N. Security Council authorized a one-year military peacekeeping mission in the country in December. Members of ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States, pledged thousands of troops, and the Security Council has urged other nations to contribute forces as well.

A French colony until 1960, Mali had military rulers for decades until its first democratic elections in 1992. It remained stable politically until March, when a group of soldiers toppled the government, saying it had not provided adequate support for them to fight ethnic Tuareg rebels in the country's largely desert north.

Tuareg rebels, who'd sought independence for decades, took advantage of the power vacuum and seized swaths of land. A power struggle then erupted in the north between the Tuaregs and local al Qaeda-linked radicals, who wound up in control of a large area as the Tuaregs retreated.

The United Nations says amputations, floggings and public executions -- like the July stoning of a couple who had reportedly had an affair -- have become common in areas controlled by radical Islamists. They applied a strict interpretation of Sharia law in banning music, smoking, drinking and watching sports on television, and damaged Timbuktu's historic tombs and shrines.



I'm not against the intervention per se, just war-weary.

I'm tired of seeing the flower of European and American youth dying for the "white man's burden" across the world. Let them sort their own damn problems out.
"Progress" - Technological advances masking societal decay.

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7368
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:18 pm UTC

Ormurinn wrote:I'm not against the intervention per se, just war-weary.

I'm tired of seeing the flower of European and American youth dying for the "white man's burden" across the world. Let them sort their own damn problems out.
Would you feel better if the flower of European and American youth were dying for the sake of white men?

I'm war-weary too--but my reasons are simple: I'm tired of seeing people die. Period.

Роберт
Posts: 4285
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 1:56 am UTC

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby Роберт » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:23 pm UTC

Ormurinn wrote:
Wnderer wrote:What planet are you people on? Are you against this intervention? This is a UN peacekeeping mission to restore stability and put an end to some really bad stuff.

Here is the CNN story.
http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/15/world/afr ... ?hpt=hp_t3

With bit at the end.
The U.N. Security Council authorized a one-year military peacekeeping mission in the country in December. Members of ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States, pledged thousands of troops, and the Security Council has urged other nations to contribute forces as well.

A French colony until 1960, Mali had military rulers for decades until its first democratic elections in 1992. It remained stable politically until March, when a group of soldiers toppled the government, saying it had not provided adequate support for them to fight ethnic Tuareg rebels in the country's largely desert north.

Tuareg rebels, who'd sought independence for decades, took advantage of the power vacuum and seized swaths of land. A power struggle then erupted in the north between the Tuaregs and local al Qaeda-linked radicals, who wound up in control of a large area as the Tuaregs retreated.

The United Nations says amputations, floggings and public executions -- like the July stoning of a couple who had reportedly had an affair -- have become common in areas controlled by radical Islamists. They applied a strict interpretation of Sharia law in banning music, smoking, drinking and watching sports on television, and damaged Timbuktu's historic tombs and shrines.



I'm not against the intervention per se, just war-weary.

I'm tired of seeing the flower of European and American youth dying for the "white man's burden" across the world. Let them sort their own damn problems out.

Racist much?
The Great Hippo wrote:[T]he way we treat suspected terrorists genuinely terrifies me.

User avatar
CorruptUser
Posts: 10548
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:55 pm UTC

Spoiler:
Роберт wrote:Racist much?


You expected anything else from Orm?

Heisenberg
Posts: 3789
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 8:48 pm UTC
Location: Uncertain

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:59 pm UTC

Ormurinn wrote:I'm tired of seeing the flower of European and American youth dying for the "white man's burden" across the world. Let them sort their own damn problems out.

I know, right. It's like when those English starved to death because the Vikings took all of their food. It's not like it's the Vikings' fault that Odin made them the strongest. I mean just because Europeans massacred Africa's people and stole all of their resources doesn't mean they should have any responsibility for the conflicts caused by the lack of resources. Right? :roll:

Роберт
Posts: 4285
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 1:56 am UTC

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby Роберт » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:20 pm UTC

Spoiler:
CorruptUser wrote:
Роберт wrote:Racist much?


You expected anything else from Orm?

You'd think he'd have learned to be a little more subtle with it by now, as poetic as that was.
The Great Hippo wrote:[T]he way we treat suspected terrorists genuinely terrifies me.

User avatar
sardia
Posts: 6813
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:39 am UTC

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby sardia » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:54 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:You mean the French are just as shitty as the US when it comes to foreign policy? Or the British? Or possibly Russia and China? And that the worlds' problems aren't the fault of just one country?

I believe the answer you're looking for is proportionality. The US foreign policy affects more countries than the foreign policy of other countries. Don't worry though, China is fast catching up. They'll be supporting dozens of dictators soon enough, then they'll be just like us.

As for "white man's burden vs we should stop people from dying", intervening is dicey, even with the best of intentions. Remember Somalia? Those people loved us, for a while...
The only examples of "good" interventions are things nobody wants to try anymore. The interventions with the best results are pretty gruesome in their execution. 1. Carpet bomb the country into the ground, civilian and infrastructure alike. 2. Invade and occupy for the next 50 years. 3. ...??? 4. Profit.
If it wasn't obvious, the examples are Germany, Japan, and S. Korea.

Now, these countries are all homogeneous, and have special circumstances. Personally, I think the EU is just Germany's 3rd/4th or w/e revival as a global powerhouse, but there is a pattern. It involves massive restructuring of the target country followed by occupation lasting decades with trillions pumped into their economy.

What people are expecting today is the same results of WWII, but with none of the price. Instead of 90+ divisions of men, we get a brigade of French soldiers and some promises to pay African troops. On top of that, if any white guys die for a few years, suddenly, nobody wants to intervene anymore. That's why I think it's disingenuous to insult those who are hesitant at intervening. Take Iraq War 2, and ignore the WMD thing, how well did that intervention go? It's in the pocket of Iran now, and sectarian violence is on the upswing. And that's after that decade of bloody civil war and counter-insurgency.

User avatar
Ormurinn
Posts: 1033
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:42 pm UTC
Location: Suth Eoferwicscire

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby Ormurinn » Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:26 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
Ormurinn wrote:I'm not against the intervention per se, just war-weary.

I'm tired of seeing the flower of European and American youth dying for the "white man's burden" across the world. Let them sort their own damn problems out.
Would you feel better if the flower of European and American youth were dying for the sake of white men?

I'm war-weary too--but my reasons are simple: I'm tired of seeing people die. Period.


No, I wouldn't feel any less angry about European and american soldiers dying for white men in foreign interventions in countries that pose no threat to their homelands. What makes me angry is these neocolonialist adventures being dressed up as "Humanitarian" - I'm sick of being told that British soldiers need to be shot at by the Taliban so that Afghan girls can go to school when it's 1. A lie and 2. Crappy reasoning anyway.

The west doesn't have a responsibility to go around the world white-knighting, and it has an obligation not to when we fuck it up so badly.

Роберт wrote:Racist much?


CorruptUser wrote:You expected anything else from Orm?


I used the term "white man's burden" as an indictment, I thought the scare quotes would make that obvious. The quote is from Kipling's famous critique of Empire by the same name, where the term itself is used sarcastically.

Since it was obviously clear, let me state for the record that I don't consider "white" (a pretty useless set really) people to be superior to any other group on the planet by any objective criteria.

I don't think invading a state due to guilt tripping over previous actions a couple of centuries ago, phony "humanitarian" reasons, or good old fashioned resource acquisition (dressed up with the other two) is a good idea. I think furthermore that it's a betrayal of the armed forces - whether those servicemen and women are white or black (as the most decorated soldier in the British army is)

Heisenberg wrote:
Ormurinn wrote:I'm tired of seeing the flower of European and American youth dying for the "white man's burden" across the world. Let them sort their own damn problems out.

I know, right. It's like when those English starved to death because the Vikings took all of their food. It's not like it's the Vikings' fault that Odin made them the strongest. I mean just because Europeans massacred Africa's people and stole all of their resources doesn't mean they should have any responsibility for the conflicts caused by the lack of resources. Right? :roll:


Yeah, that's a good idea, lets right all the wrongs caused to every other group by every other group ever! After all, "The sins of the father pass onto the sun even unto the third generation" right? How far back are we going? Are we going to oblige Italy to pay reparations to Europe and north Africa? How about we have Mongolia indebted to the whole of Asia? We can kick all of the Indo-Europeans out of Europe and India, and return that land to the Basques and the Dravidians!

We in the west do not have an obligation to send our soldiers to die because a century or more ago our ancestors did nasty things to their ancestors. Hell, a lot of places were much nicer to live in when they were colonies. Rhodesia used to be the breadbasket of Africa.

-----

Southern "legitimate" Mali is being painted as the good guys in all the media I've been able to find on this subject, but with the way wars in Africa (most wars historically really) go there are likely atrocities on both sides. What's to say we're even supporting the more "humane" side? Look at our history in Bosnia, Rwanda and Congo. We have an uncanny knack for supporting the Bastards.

Also, why shouldn't the Tuareg have a homeland? if they truly are the majority in the north, and want their own state, why shouldn't they have it?
"Progress" - Technological advances masking societal decay.

User avatar
CorruptUser
Posts: 10548
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:28 am UTC

sardia wrote:The only examples of "good" interventions are things nobody wants to try anymore. The interventions with the best results are pretty gruesome in their execution. 1. Carpet bomb the country into the ground, civilian and infrastructure alike. 2. Invade and occupy for the next 50 years. 3. ...??? 4. Profit.



We didn't carpet-bomb S Korea though. Japan did that a few years prior, kidnapping millions of people to enslave/rape. It doesn't get much attention, but 1/6 of the deaths in Hiroshima were Korean.

Step 3 is mainly export/import lots and lots stuff, especially cultural things. It turns out that most of the world loves American movies, food, television, music, etc. We import so much from Germany, Korea and Japan that they'd be idiots to even boycott the US, even if they could convince their population to agree to it.

Ormurinn wrote:<apologetic BS>


Orm, you have stated time and again that you believe in racial segregation. It is not possible to be non-racist and advocate policies based on race. And yes, reverse discrimination is racism. No, you are not non-racist for opposing it.

User avatar
sardia
Posts: 6813
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:39 am UTC

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby sardia » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:49 am UTC

Ormurinn, if it makes you feel better, there are other reasons that countries intervene in other countries. Not everything countries do involve bleeding heart liberals and white man's burden or w/e liberal ideology that you're against.
Spoiler:
Zamfir wrote:Hmm, I didn't want to write an 'American news sux' piece, even if it perhaps reads that way. It's just that after seeing the same events in a somewhat different 'war on terror' angle, i realized how much looking at it as 'French relations with former colonies' is also just a viewpoint.

And these views have in common that they picture faraway places as playgrounds for western policy, more than as relevant in themselves. I guess that's understandable and even unavoidable. Just something to keep in mind.

I am actually less concerned with Africa as bad news show. Most places are, that's just the news. As far as I know, Connecticut is a place where everyone has a machine gun and hedge funds gamble away your pension. The Albania of North America, really. I have heard from other sources that it's actually a nice and somewhat boring place to live, but that won't make the news.

Those shoes you're wearing? Child labor and destruction of the environment in order to save you a few pennies. The cars that drove to work? They require cheap fuel guaranteed by US backing of authoritarian governments so long as oil remains plentiful and cheap. The computer you're posting on? Came from strip mines that would spark outcry if they were near the developed world. Islamic rebels causing turmoil in Africa? They'll create a safe haven for illicit drugs, arms, and terrorism to flow freely; this has direct national security issues for the entire western world. Mali's conflict stems directly from another african country that's been touched by Western influence. It doesn't matter if you stick your head in the sand, it still affects you. Now if you don't want anything to do with it, that's fine. Keep your mouth shut and go enjoy your life. There are others who will watch over it for you.

User avatar
Ormurinn
Posts: 1033
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:42 pm UTC
Location: Suth Eoferwicscire

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby Ormurinn » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:59 am UTC

sardia wrote:Ormurinn, if it makes you feel better, there are other reasons that countries intervene in other countries. Not everything countries do involve bleeding heart liberals and white man's burden or w/e liberal ideology that you're against.

Those shoes you're wearing? Child labor and destruction of the environment in order to save you a few pennies. The cars that drove to work? They require cheap fuel guaranteed by US backing of authoritarian governments so long as oil remains plentiful and cheap. The computer you're posting on? Came from strip mines that would spark outcry if they were near the developed world. Islamic rebels causing turmoil in Africa? They'll create a safe haven for illicit drugs, arms, and terrorism to flow freely; this has direct national security issues for the entire western world. Mali's conflict stems directly from another african country that's been touched by Western influence. It doesn't matter if you stick your head in the sand, it still affects you. Now if you don't want anything to do with it, that's fine. Keep your mouth shut and go enjoy your life. There are others who will watch over it for you.


I'm well aware of everything you posted. I'm fine with interventions that are honest about why they're being done. What I'm specifically pissed off about is the way that so many invasions get justified with bogus humanitarian reasons - often complete with the notion that we should be making the nations we're occupying more "western" in some way.

I don't think interventionism happens *due* to white-man's-burdenism or because western politicians really think they owe ex-colonies a favour. I do see people who cheerlead these kinds of invasions because of thes sentiments.

I'm simply not convinced there's going to be a benefit to the average french citizen from french armed forces operating in Mali. I'm not even convinced the french intervention won't have precisely the opposite effect to the one they want it to have.

I'd argue foreign interventionism is a more conservative than liberal ideology really, for american values of the words.
"Progress" - Technological advances masking societal decay.

User avatar
sardia
Posts: 6813
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:39 am UTC

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby sardia » Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:33 am UTC

The reason foreign policy is so contradictory is that government are composed of factions. If I see a land in turmoil, I'll want to invade to seize a logistical route. If you see a land in turmoil, and feel bad for their plight and injustice. Guess what, we're invading. Except now it looks like the ones who wanted justice are just seizing a logistical route.

It depends on what era you're talking about. In the cowboy days of the cold war, and Bush it was all about conservative intervention to secure US interests. It's not like foreign interventions are only under Republican presidents, it's that they have different goals and means. If airstrikes can stop the Bosnia Kroatien(I can't remember which) conflict, was that a conservative intervention or a liberal one?

Btw, those poor Taureg rebels, they defect to the Islamics hoping for help setting up their own country, only to be pushed aside and forced under harsh extremist Islamic rule.

User avatar
CorruptUser
Posts: 10548
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:42 am UTC

sardia wrote:The reason foreign policy is so contradictory is that government are composed of factions.


I think it's more that foreign policy is dictated by pragmatism rather than naive idealism.

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7368
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:01 am UTC

Ormurinn wrote:No, I wouldn't feel any less angry about European and american soldiers dying for white men in foreign interventions in countries that pose no threat to their homelands. What makes me angry is these neocolonialist adventures being dressed up as "Humanitarian" - I'm sick of being told that British soldiers need to be shot at by the Taliban so that Afghan girls can go to school when it's 1. A lie and 2. Crappy reasoning anyway.
Are you also sick of British soldiers shooting at Afghan people? And of Afghan girls not being able to go to school?

Because I am. And while I agree that using our soldiers might be a terrible thing--that it is a terrible thing for our soldiers to be shot at--I'm concerned when it seems like it's the only thing people think is terrible. Or that it is the 'most terrible' thing.

Rather, I see a great deal of terribleness--coming from everywhere. Sometimes, it's more than I can adequately get a handle on. It's like the whole world's gone mad.
Ormurinn wrote:Yeah, that's a good idea, lets right all the wrongs caused to every other group by every other group ever! After all, "The sins of the father pass onto the sun even unto the third generation" right? How far back are we going? Are we going to oblige Italy to pay reparations to Europe and north Africa? How about we have Mongolia indebted to the whole of Asia? We can kick all of the Indo-Europeans out of Europe and India, and return that land to the Basques and the Dravidians!
Right; it's unreasonable to right every wrong in the past. But is it unreasonable to right any wrong in the past? Particularly wrongs that are still 'relevant'? If I steal all of your stuff, and you try to get it back, am I allowed to say 'That was in the past, stop dwelling on it, look to the future'?

Obviously the past is relevant for as long as the past is relevant; we should do our best to right wrongs where we can--and if we can.
CorruptUser wrote:I think it's more that foreign policy is dictated by pragmatism rather than naive idealism.
It's been a mixture of both for a very long time. At least as far as the US is concerned.

US foreign policy is often fucking insane. And--more than occasionally--legitimately terrifying.

User avatar
Ormurinn
Posts: 1033
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:42 pm UTC
Location: Suth Eoferwicscire

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby Ormurinn » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:15 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
Ormurinn wrote:No, I wouldn't feel any less angry about European and american soldiers dying for white men in foreign interventions in countries that pose no threat to their homelands. What makes me angry is these neocolonialist adventures being dressed up as "Humanitarian" - I'm sick of being told that British soldiers need to be shot at by the Taliban so that Afghan girls can go to school when it's 1. A lie and 2. Crappy reasoning anyway.
Are you also sick of British soldiers shooting at Afghan people? And of Afghan girls not being able to go to school?

Because I am. And while I agree that using our soldiers might be a terrible thing--that it is a terrible thing for our soldiers to be shot at--I'm concerned when it seems like it's the only thing people think is terrible. Or that it is the 'most terrible' thing.

Rather, I see a great deal of terribleness--coming from everywhere. Sometimes, it's more than I can adequately get a handle on. It's like the whole world's gone mad.


I am sick of afghans being killed too, and I'd much rather have afghan girls going to school.

I do see sending our soldiers off on foreign adventures as more terrible than afghan girls lacking schooling. It's a betrayal of the military covenant, and actually hinders more than it helps. I don't know how accurate it's portrayal is, but I remember being surprised reading "A thousand splendid suns" by how developed Afghanistan was pre-taliban. The taliban started as an American foreign intervention, things got worse when the Russians intervened, and then really went to shit when they left, but by the looks of it got even worse when the west intervened again. It seems like intervention doesn't work

The Great Hippo wrote:
Right; it's unreasonable to right every wrong in the past. But is it unreasonable to right any wrong in the past? Particularly wrongs that are still 'relevant'? If I steal all of your stuff, and you try to get it back, am I allowed to say 'That was in the past, stop dwelling on it, look to the future'?

Obviously the past is relevant for as long as the past is relevant; we should do our best to right wrongs where we can--and if we can.[/quote]

If my great great grandfather stole some of your great great grandfather's stuff but gave him other stuff of lesser value and slapped him around a bit, I think it's unfair or there to be an expectation on me to help you out with your life, particularly if the problems you're currently having are only tangentially related to my great great grandfather's actions.
"Progress" - Technological advances masking societal decay.

User avatar
yurell
Posts: 2924
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 2:19 am UTC
Location: Australia!

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby yurell » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:24 am UTC

Surely nation states possess a continuity of identity that families do not, though? I mean, the Parliament of the UK is still the same body as it was a century ago, while you and your ancestors not-so-much.
cemper93 wrote:Dude, I just presented an elaborate multiple fraction in Comic Sans. Who are you to question me?


Pronouns: Feminine pronouns please!

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7368
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:25 am UTC

Ormurinn wrote:I am sick of afghans being killed too, and I'd much rather have afghan girls going to school.

I do see sending our soldiers off on foreign adventures as more terrible than afghan girls lacking schooling. It's a betrayal of the military covenant, and actually hinders more than it helps. I don't know how accurate it's portrayal is, but I remember being surprised reading "A thousand splendid suns" by how developed Afghanistan was pre-taliban. The taliban started as an American foreign intervention, things got worse when the Russians intervened, and then really went to shit when they left, but by the looks of it got even worse when the west intervened again. It seems like intervention doesn't work
I agree that if history has taught us anything, it's that modern military intervention rarely works.
Ormurinn wrote:If my great great grandfather stole some of your great great grandfather's stuff but gave him other stuff of lesser value and slapped him around a bit, I think it's unfair or there to be an expectation on me to help you out with your life, particularly if the problems you're currently having are only tangentially related to my great great grandfather's actions.
Why are you talking about your great great grandfather as if this connection between you and him is relevant? Does the government go back into your geneology to determine if your great great grandfather was the perpetrator of a wrong, then tax you based on that wrong? Or, rather, do they tax everyone--including those who's ancestors who have been victim of some wrong!--and then use that money to appropriately attempt to redress wrongs which may still have relevance today?
yurell wrote:Surely nation states possess a continuity of identity that families do not, though? I mean, the Parliament of the UK is still the same body as it was a century ago, while you and your ancestors not-so-much.
That, too--governments have a persistence that people don't. And I think it's important that governments keep their word and treat people justly--and when they don't, I think it's important that governments somehow redress those wrongs, even if those wrongs are old.

Tyndmyr
Posts: 11443
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:51 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
sardia wrote:The reason foreign policy is so contradictory is that government are composed of factions.


I think it's more that foreign policy is dictated by pragmatism rather than naive idealism.


I wish I could be confident of that. I think it's a giant mess of all sorts of motivations, information, misinformation, ideals, pragmatism, and god only knows what else.

yurell wrote:Surely nation states possess a continuity of identity that families do not, though? I mean, the Parliament of the UK is still the same body as it was a century ago, while you and your ancestors not-so-much.


For certain definitions of continuity. The sort in which all the parts are changed out, yet the thing remains supposedly the same.

The same can be said for say, a family name. Extended families cycle through people, but it's entirely possible that the basic structure could remain pretty much the same for over a hundred years. Pretty likely, even.

User avatar
sardia
Posts: 6813
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:39 am UTC

Re: France enters Mali civil war

Postby sardia » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:55 am UTC

Actually, it's been a mixed bag. Japan, Germany, S. Korea are the better ones. For a modern intervention, Serbia/Kroatia intervention or the first Kuwaiti war. All good stuff, though I've been hearing some of the darker stuff that's coming out now that General Norman died. Don't get isolationist about it just because we've had some setbacks. It be like abandoning medicine because you messed up and let a kid die on the table. Unless you're counting the last 10 years as modern.


Return to “News & Articles”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 20 guests