Tuesday, 15 January 2013
In Mali, Now France Looks Like A Model To Be Followed

France is not about to squander trillions wasted winning unwinnable Muslim hearts and minds. No nonsense, but concentration on limiting the power of th, or billions, or even millions, on attempting to win local hearts and minds among Muslims. Those Muslims who have seen what other Muslims, the most fanatical ones, do, will be grateful for being rescued from their threatened domination; that gratitude, even if short-lived (and it may not be so short-lived) is enough. The war right now in Mali is against those who take Islam most to heart to damage both those Muslims who do not take Islam quite so much to heart (which does not make those more "moderate" -- comical word, at this point -- Muslims our friends, but merely, for the moment, makes them less obviously dangerous to Infidel interests) are being helped by France. But more important, France is stabilizing the situation for itself, and for the West, and for the rest of the world's on-Muslims. And doing it without all the nonsense and squandering of the clumsy and expensive and incoherent American efforts -- two fiascos-- in Iraq and Afghanistan. French policy is like that of the Israelis in dealing with their enemies in Gaza and elsewhere; Attack, but do not stay, do not occupy. And above all, don't lavish money on the locals. And in France's case, make sure they are grateful, and that their gratitude is shown, and the fear of the locals for the "real" Muslims is to be encouraged.  I've seen on French television  the picutres from Bamako of the tricolore being waved, and with unfeigned enthusiasm.

After bombing in Afghanistan in the fall of 2001, and reducing Al Qaeda to practically nothing, and terrifying the Taliban, the Americans should have pulled out, with promises to return, via drones and bombers and all kinds of missiles, whenever they felt like it. And in Iraq, once it was clear that there were no weapons of mass destruction -- that became clear, at the latest, at the very beginning of February 2004 -- the Americans should have promptly pulled out, and having destroyed the Sunni regime, have watched as the Shi'a took power, refused to share it, and the Sunnis refused to acquiesce. For that is what has now happened, inevitably, and would simply have happened earlier, and without more than a decade of a quite unnecessary and wasteful American presence, or as some might call it "occupation," of permanantly-benighted Iraq, riven with sectarian and ethnic conflict that we should do nothing to discourage, as we should do nothing to discourage similar conflictrs throughout the Camp of Islam.

Republican leader says Obama must back France in fight against al-Qaida 'cancer' in Africa

Joe Penney / Reuters

A leading Republican called Tuesday for President Barack Obama to support France’s military intervention against the “cancer” of al-Qaida-linked militants in North Africa.

Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement that he welcomed France’s decision to send troops and warplanes “to combat this serious security threat” in Mali.

“The vast area of northern Mali gives these al Qaeda-linked militants space to operate, and the weapons flowing out of Libya makes them deadly. This cancer could not go unaddressed,” he said in the statement.

"This isn't avant garde for the French. They have shown leadership in working with Ivory Coast and other African governments to improve security.  Paris understands the high stakes,” he added. "I expect the Obama Administration to honor appropriate requests for intelligence and logistics support from France.”

Royce stressed that “we should have our ally's back" when dealing with the “shared threat.”

France has sent about 500 troops to Mali and is sending about 1,000 more along with armored vehicles.

They are taking on at least three Islamic militant groups, including al-Qaida in the Islamic Magreb, U.S. national security officials told NBC News Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The sources added that they were being helped by U.S. military and intelligence operations and that the U.S. would also provide transport and refueling capability for the operation. U.S. drones and spy satellites were also being used.

Panetta: No U.S. 'boots on ground'
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Tuesday at a press conference in Portugal that "there is no consideration of putting any American boots on the ground at this time" in Mali, The Associated Press reported.

He added that al-Qaida affiliates in Mali did not currently pose a threat to the United States but stressed "ultimately that remains their objective."

On Monday, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters that “we share the French goal of denying terrorists a safe haven.” [what about Muslims, any number of whom can begin to take, or already do take, Islam to heart and share the goals, if prudently not the methods, of Al Qaeda -- should they not be denied the "safe havens" of living among us, where they pose a permanent menace, a security threat as well as a source of societal disarray and discord?]

In a statement released by the U.K.’s Foreign Office, political directors of the G8 group of leading nations said they had discussed the situation in Mali at a meeting in London Tuesday and “expressed grave concern.”

“They noted that it is essential to halt the offensive by terrorist groups towards southern Mali, to prevent the collapse of the Malian state, and to accelerate the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions in all their dimensions: political, security and humanitarian,” the statement said.

Posted on 01/15/2013 1:18 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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