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

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  •  um...these guys left alone cut people's limbs (4+ / 0-)

    off and stone them to death.

    I don't think that military intervention is generally a good solution (at times it may be).  But don't blame their insanity entirely on us--they do have free will.

    These arguments that it's OUR fault that they kill everybody really don't hold any water.

    •  What times would that be? n/t (0+ / 0-)
      •  oh, things like WWII? (1+ / 0-)
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        I would have supported it in Rwanda and certain other humanitarian crises as well.

        If there is an opportunity to stop a humanitarian cataclysm, sometimes military intervention is justified.

        •  It's also very selective. (0+ / 0-)

          World War II was an extraordinary situation. You can't compare situations like Mali to that. They don't compare.

           Humanitarianism is also conveniently selective. The same people who wanted heads to roll in Libya didn't give two shits about Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, or Tunisia when shit was going down in those countries.

           France has vested interest in Mali, which is the 8th largest gold producer in the world and they're a former French colony. If humanitarianism were a legitimate concern, France would have been a lot more proactive about that libary.

           If you're going to call for military solutions, I hope that you'll be among the first to volunteer for your cause.

          •  I was just teaching a student about Dr. Seuss' (1+ / 0-)
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            pro-interventionist political cartoons during WWII--

            we didn't respond to the humanitarian aspect at all--really--We were pretty close to sitting the whole  thing out.

            Humanitarian interest often coincides with political interest (as it did in WWII).  That doesn't mean that the human element shouldn't be considered.  They're not mutually exclusive--many people here don't seem to realize that.

            •  I'm not saying it shouldn't be considered. (0+ / 0-)

              I'm just pointing out that it normally isn't considered by the intervening countries in the first place nor is war the best medium for genuine humanitarianism. Sometimes war is inevitable, but situations like burning of a library or destruction of a statue, as horrible as those are, don't warrant a military intervention.

               Unless a country requests it, like what Mali did, or if it's something on the scale of World War II like you mention, there's no reason to act as the world's babysitter or global cop.

               I mean look at Afghanistan. Proponents of that war are always touting the minimal or non-existent humanitarianism as an excuse to continue it. It's a sad day when even that nation's leading feminist group, RAWA, denounces the foreign intervention there. They see that the United States and its NATO allies always had ulterior motives for occupying their nation.

               Wars in general rarely involve real humanitarianism. Power projection, resources and geopolitics will always be the prime movers of war.

              •  oh I wasn't advocating intervention in response (0+ / 0-)

                to destruction of cultural icons..

                and yeah (with respect to your next comment), sure, you'll often see countries 'overstay their welcome' or exploit intervention for their own means.  Sometimes it even works--I mean--we decimated Japan and practically rebuilt the country in our own pro-democratic interests--luckily it worked out in the end and Japan remains a thriving state.

                I do think that if there is a fledgling insurrectionist movement that threatens to overtake an otherwise comparatively stable country, there may be some merit in early intervention.  I'm not versed enough in the recent history of Mali to really comment further on this particular case, though..

                •  That's not up to us. (0+ / 0-)

                  If another country is facing civil war, that is their responsibility unless they request intervention. Neither our country nor any other can decide the fate of an individual nation.

                   Japan was also a unique example. It's a homogenous developed nation that had democratic precedents prior to World War II. The occupation wasn't entirely "pro-democratic" either, as even to this day the United States backs the conservative Liberal Democratic Party, which has gone out of its way to stifle multi-party democracy in Japan. I used to live there, I would know.

                   I think maybe you've watched too many World War II documentaries and have a romanticist view of military intervention and war, especially when it's done by the United States.

                   If you insist on launching wars of aggression against other countries in the name of power projection, then like I said before I hope you enlist and do some of the fighting yourself, otherwise you're just another armchair soldier who treats war like a fantasy sport.

                  •  er...did Mali NOT request French intervention? (1+ / 0-)
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                    From what I understand, they did....

                    I have absolutely zero 'romanticist view of military intervention and war', thank you--

                    none.  I'm not as knee-jerk anti-imperialist as some people I occasionally see who come into discussions with pre-defined narratives (this usually happens in the Syria diaries--although the person who elicits them is extremely pro-interventionist and biased, so he draws them out)

                    I  think you're misinterpreting my comments.

                  •  and who is insisting on 'launching wars of (0+ / 0-)

                    aggression in the name of power projection'?

                    you seem to have a lot of pre-conceived notions about where I"m coming from that are flat out wrong...

            •  Also I know you mean well. (1+ / 0-)
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              Don't get me wrong, I hate when shit like this happens. I can't stand groups like the Taliban or Mali Islamists either. At the same time I don't think the United States or the West in general need to intervene in every other nation's civil war or national crisis.

               If they request it or if it's something extreme like Rwanda, then okay. By now I would think Americans would have learned from past wars, but I guess they haven't.

               In the short term, it's good that France is helping Mali get rid of those extremists, but in the long term France will take advantage of this intervention as an excuse to meddle in Mali's internal affairs, much like what the United States is trying to do to Afghanistan. Anything else that goes on in Mali is none of France's (or the West's) business.

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