Tuareg Independence, not Al Quada Terrorists, is the the Real Target of the French and West
Justin Raimondo’s analysis and debunking of what is really going on in Mali has it right, I believe: it is not about expunging Al Queda or terrorist affiliates, but rather about reasserting French imperialism at a time when the French government needs a way to distract its people from economic woes.
“News accounts refer to the rebels as “Islamists,” an easy label to affix to groups very few know anything about. The reality, however, is quite different: the rebels are Tuaregs of Northwest Africa, a nomadic group whose historic homeland crosses the boundaries of Mali, Algeria, Libya, Niger, and Burkina Faso. They are herders and smugglers, whose caravans once provided the only source of commercial contact between the empires of central Africa and the Arab lands to the north. Their fight for independence precedes the existence of Al Qaeda by a hundred and fifty years. In the Great Scramble for European colonies that began at the end of the 19th century, French colonialists invaded, seized the land, and subjected the locals to a program of forced “assimilation” into “French civilization.” The Tuaregs have been fighting to regain their independence ever since. Today, however, that struggle has been reinterpreted as yet another example of “Islamic terrorism.” This is outright false. The Tuareg independence movement is led by the National. Movement for the Liberation of Awazad (MNLA), a secular organization that only wants autonomy for the Tuareg areas of Mali. There are active Islamists in Mali, affiliated with Ansar Dine, which has no known affiliation with Al Qaeda in the Mahgreb other than the fact that Ansar Dine’s leader, Ag Ghaly, is a cousin of AQIM commander Hamada Ag Hamada. “It is true that Ansar Dine have the black flags, but they are not Al Qaeda,” said MNLA spokesman Ag Assarid. “They want stability on the streets,” which the “government” of Mali is unable to provide, and “they are against Al Qaeda too.” North African specialist Salma Belaala concurs: “We can’t make a systematic link between the AQIM and Tuareg. It’s completely false.”
As Raimondo shows, the government of Mali is deeply corrupt:
“As for the “government” of Mali – after a series of Tuareg victories in the north, the military overthrew the elected government and declared martial law. The army complained that not enough attention was being paid to crushing the Tuareg insurgency, and last month they seized the presidential palace, the state television station, and arrested key members of the legitimate government, although the President, Amadou Toure, escaped. This is the “government” the French, with aid from the US and Britain, are fighting to preserve.”
And what’s missing from all prior analyses is a major reason for the French incursion:
“Mali is Africa’s third largest producer of gold, and the recent discovery of vast unexploited sources of oil on traditional Tuareg stomping grounds should give us some idea of the commercial motives behind the French incursion.”
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