Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, in Mali (in Algeria)

France has now gone into Mali, or rather over it (edit: no, I was right the first time), Nigeria is preparing to send troops, ECOWAS cannot be far behind, and the US is making noises.  While I cautiously admit that in this case, a solution is likely to be at least partly military, the intervention does raise a few points. (An abbreviation guide and links to other resources are at the end.) 1. It’s quite evident that some countries – particularly France, but also the US – are using the Mali crisis as an excuse to do something in the absence of clear and uncontroversial steps … Continue reading Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, in Mali (in Algeria)

A (deeply unlikely) solution for Mali

Because I am not currently, and, if humanity is to survive, never will be, in a position of power and authority over others, perhaps I don’t understand the impulse for total domination and destruction which accompanies those lofty offices of state whose occupiers so frequently empower their enemies by attempting to thoroughly eliminate them.  This is an even more inane tactic considering that most modern enemies tend not to be concentrated in one easily-located area and try to keep their structures of power fluid and opaque (unless they’re other nations, of course).  One of the things which has made the … Continue reading A (deeply unlikely) solution for Mali

In which Nauru and Tuvalu are the most moral nations in the world

[17:30 This post has been edited slightly since a number of errors of fact and thought were pointed out to me.] Ever since the coup in Mali a few weeks ago I’ve been waiting for my thoughts to crystallise into something coherent that I could post.  As it is, things have changed a little and now I suddenly have far too much to say. The initial Communist President of Mali, Modibo Keïta, was overthrown in 1968 by a military coup headed by Moussa Traoré.  Traoré then stayed in charge, consolidating power around himself while the economy collapsed in slow motion.  … Continue reading In which Nauru and Tuvalu are the most moral nations in the world