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View Diary: Reports: Timbuktu Manuscripts Threatened By Mali Insurgents; Some Saved (221 comments)

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  •  The manuscripts would still exist... (0+ / 0-)

    if the French hadn't intervened, continuing to carry the white man's burden.

    •  no, they wouldn't. Dozens of tombs were (16+ / 0-)

      destroyed prior to French intervention.  If these wackos were left to over-run and control Timbuktu, the library would probably have been pretty high on their agenda of cultural devastation.

      The French are correct to intervene here.  If this movement can be stopped fairly early, maybe we won't have the same level of utter chaos we see in Afghanistan, etc.

      •  Maybe (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        But instability in Mali is largely blowback from NATO's destruction of Libya, which France started.

        Sorry, but I can't help being suspicious when former colonial powers reinvade their former colonies.

        •  how much do you actually know about mali? (31+ / 0-)

          Because those of us who do know that this is WAY more complicated than that.  Please don't fall into the trap of lazily fitting events into a pre-existing narrative.  Mali is not Iraq.  France did not "invade".  They were asked to assist in throwing out the actual invaders, the Al Qaeda militants who have been terrorizing the population.  Had they not stepped in when they did, it's likely the entire country would have fallen.  That may not mean anything to most in the West.  After all, African lives are cheap.  But to those of us who have family and loved ones there, believe me.  It matters.  

          •  And if I may say (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KenBee, angry marmot, mali muso, bevenro

            Iraq was - and is - more complicated too.  (I'm writing this from Iraq)  The US had one goal, each internal political movement or ethnic group within the country had others. Just yesterday I had a conversation with a Sunni lawyer from Baghdad who said his entire community was in mourning because President Obama was re-elected.  The community that fought the US the hardest now fears US disengagement, especially in the wake of Shia'-dominated security forces killing several people in Falluja earlier this week.  The Sunnis, or at least a big part of the Sunni middle class, fear that Obama is done with Iraq, and will leave them to the tender mercies of the Maliki government!  

            I tried to explain to him that their choices at this point are being ignored by the Democrats, or being actively harmed by the Republicans.

            But with respect to Mali, it's fairly ridiculous to apply a standard cookie-cutter imperialism critique to French involvement in the current situation.  I hope that there is a way to separate some of the Tuareg's legitimate complaints from the Islamists - defeat the Islamists as totally as possible, and then start working on ways to help Tuareg preserve autonomy and their culture and livelihoods.  That's going to be difficult because the truth is. climate change is probably going to doom them to integration into mainstream Malian society.

            “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

            by ivorybill on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 11:26:07 PM PST

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            •  and so sad they chose to side with the (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ivorybill, DocGonzo, mali muso

              ...whatever we are calling them..part of the deal with the devil of being Ghaddafi's mercs.

              The  Tuaregs are interesting people with a real grievance, and they are going to pay a very high price before this is thru.

              This machine kills Fascists.

              by KenBee on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 12:09:19 AM PST

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              •  Absolutely (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                KenBee, DocGonzo, bevenro

                And I hope there is a lot of diplomatic pressure from the US and EU on both the Malian and Libyan governments to address this whole mess by strengthening, rather than weakening Tuareg rights.  This should be an obvious strategy: give the Tuareg whatever the want in order to split them from the fundamentalist idiots.  The Tuareg historically don't share much culturally with those Wahhabi nutcases anyway.

                Sadly, both the Libyans and Malians are likely to really persecute the Tuareg.  It's the worst thing about this conflict.

                “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

                by ivorybill on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 01:11:53 AM PST

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                •  yes, many scores to settle, but it will cost them (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  the Tuaregs kept a lot of fancy Libyan gear and training, they are not going to go down easy, it needs intervention by Africans as was scheduled for later this year iirc, the French arrived sooner.

                  This machine kills Fascists.

                  by KenBee on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 01:37:09 AM PST

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                •  already happening (0+ / 0-)


                  As a consequence of these violences, Tuareg and Arabs are paying a hefty price. A form of ethnic cleansing is taking place at Gao. It will be difficult work for the village in total to reverse this tendency, under the leadership of "sages" of each community which have called for clemency.
        •  France didn't start the destruction of Libya--they (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mali muso, grannyboots, crose, chmood

          only spearheaded NATO's involvement.  Libya was gone well before the French started the bombing raids.  Eastern Libya was largely lost to Qaddafi prior to NATO (possible that Benghazi would have been taken in a bloodbath, but I don't think Qaddafi would have retained a unified Libya in any form at that point)

          I mean--there's been no outside military involvement in Egypt or Syria (maybe some funding and some limited weaponry, but that's it), but Islamist groups have been ascendant.  Instability breeds this sort of thing.

        •  not true at all (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mali muso

          read this entire blog going back over a year.

          [insert pithy sig line here]

          by terrypinder on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:39:53 AM PST

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    •  Have a source for this fact-free assertion? (3+ / 0-)

      I doubt it.

      "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

      by auron renouille on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:36:15 PM PST

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