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Sun Jan 13, 2013, 11:25 AM

France Surprised By Mali Islamists' Fighting Strength

Source: BBC

France has expressed surprise at the fighting strength of Islamists in Mali, as Paris widened its bombing of militant targets.

A presidential official in Paris said the militants were "well-trained" and "well-armed", the AFP news agency says.

The Islamists had acquired up-to-date and sophisticated weaponry after the Libya conflict, the official added.

France said the rebels had significant" casualties, as it reportedly began bombing the eastern town of Gao.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21002918

16 replies, 2439 views

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply France Surprised By Mali Islamists' Fighting Strength (Original post)
Purveyor Jan 2013 OP
pasto76 Jan 2013 #1
redgreenandblue Jan 2013 #2
samsingh Jan 2013 #3
redgreenandblue Jan 2013 #4
samsingh Jan 2013 #6
leveymg Jan 2013 #10
Purveyor Jan 2013 #13
Igel Jan 2013 #7
riderinthestorm Jan 2013 #5
cosmicone Jan 2013 #15
leveymg Jan 2013 #8
Comrade Grumpy Jan 2013 #9
leveymg Jan 2013 #11
FrodosPet Jan 2013 #12
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #14
Socal31 Jan 2013 #16

Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 11:44 AM

1. Who's running the show in Paris? Rumsfeld and Cheney?!

cause they were pretty damned surprised at how the Taliban-AQ in Afghanistan fought; and how tenacious were the insurgents we faced in Iraq.

I used to reprimand my squad for saying stupid things. "The enemy is wily. Do not underestimate them and get us killed"

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 11:47 AM

2. Blowback from Libya?

Where did they get those weapons I wonder....

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Response to redgreenandblue (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 11:51 AM

3. somebody is systematically doing this for a wider purpose

what is that i wonder?

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Response to samsingh (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 11:52 AM

4. Arm one group to fight another group. Then when the armed group gets to strong...

...arm another one to fight that one. Very profitable.

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Response to redgreenandblue (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 11:57 AM

6. and its spreading an ideology

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Response to samsingh (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:57 PM

10. Read "A Clean Break" (1996), US neocon plan for regime changes across MENA and the Levant.

That document was prepared in 1996 for PM Benjamin Netanyahu by the same crew that later manned the Office of Special Plans (OSP), a Mossad-linked disinformation office within Rumsfeld's Pentagon, that provided much of the phony intelligence that justified Bush's invasion of Iraq and carried out an effort to do the same in Iran (see, the related Larry Franklin-AIPAC-OSP espionage case). See, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Clean_Break:_A_New_Strategy_for_Securing_the_Realm

According to Clean Break document -- authored by Perle, Wurmser, Feith and others -- in the process of promoting regime change across the region, Israel would break its subservient relationship to Washington and form a new strategic alliance with the Sunni Arabs and revive the Shi'ia dynasty of the Jordanian Heshamites to challenge and overcome the Iran-centered Shi'ite center of power in the Gulf.

That describes exactly what is happening. The thing that may have been unanticipated is how the Saudi and Gulf Arabs would outrun the ability of Jerusalem, Washington and NATO to manage the Sunni uprising. After some in Washington pushed along the process in Libya and Syria, the Arab intel agencies and their paramilitaries are now pretty much running the show. The Jihad is spreading.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #10)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 02:51 PM

13. +1 Thanks for posting... eom

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Response to redgreenandblue (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:12 PM

7. The history's not a surprise.

The Berbers in the south of Libya are closely connected to the Berbers in the north of Mali.

The Berbers had a bit of a nationalistic independence/autonomy movement going for the last few years.

The Berbers played a significant role in overthrowing Qaddhafi. Part of the spoils of that war wasn't just power and disposing of the Qaddhafis, but also looting the military bases and officials' homes. (Not a distinctly Libyan trait. The Syrian rebels were trying to take over a military base but it was taking days. They complained that even as they were fighting the Syrian government was removing assets, or, as the rebels put it, taking away the "booty.")

Once the Libyan Berbers had military tech they helped their brethren in Mali.

Islamists also helped the Berbers gain autonomy.

Once the region had autonomy and the Berbers were happy, there was a bit of a civil disturbance as the Berbers lost to the Islamists.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 11:55 AM

5. Because the Saudis and the other fundy Gulf states have PLENTY of money to fund the Islamists

France can't possibly be this naive. The Islamist movement globally is well funded. The Saudis have poured billions into brainwashing clinics, er religious schools, all over the planet, training up young Salafists. The Gulf states have been funding and providing arms to the "rebels" (Islamists) in Syria (and everywhere else there's an Arab spring "revolution") so why wouldn't they be doing the same in Mali?



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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 08:11 PM

15. Plus they get intelligence, training andpersonnel

from our "allies" Pakistani government and ISI.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:43 PM

8. Benghazi blowback. That didn't take long. To topple Asad, we strengthened AQ. Brilliant

strategy at work there, Hillary, David, and Susan and a big shout out to the lingering necon/regime change apparatus.

"Nobody could have seen this coming." Just wait.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:57 PM

9. Yes, this is an unintended consequence of the Libyan intervention.

A ripple.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #9)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 01:11 PM

11. Chaos theory postlates that given uncertainty a ripple will become a hurricane half a world away.

And, that process in large, complex systems is almost sure to show self-similarity in its development yet, ironically, is almost unpredictable in its later outcomes.

It's almost enough to make one miss the stability of a bi-polar world.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 01:20 PM

12. I could MAYBE see the Sarkozy government doing this

But WTF? I thought a more progressive government would be opposed to non-defensive military action.

President Hollande, shut the shit down NOW! NO western intervention in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 02:59 PM

14. Following a link from the article cited in the OP, I found this information and opinion which

explains the French involvement:

But its (the Muslim fundamentalist, Al-Shabab government) credibility was knocked when it rejected Western food aid to combat the 2011 drought and famine.

Al-Shabab advocates the Saudi-inspired Wahhabi version of Islam, while most Somalis are Sufis. Al-Shabab has destroyed a large number of Sufi shrines, causing its popularity to further plummet.

However, with Mogadishu and other towns now under government control, there is a new feeling of hope in the country and many Somalis have returned from exile, bringing their money and skills with them.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15336689

Mali's key industry is agriculture. Cotton is the country's largest crop export and is exported west throughout Senegal and Côte d'Ivoire. During 2002, 620,000 tons of cotton were produced in Mali but cotton prices declined significantly in 2003. In addition to cotton, Mali produces rice, millet, corn, vegetables, tobacco, and tree crops. Gold, livestock and agriculture amount to eighty percent of Mali's exports. Eighty percent of Malian workers are employed in agriculture while fifteen percent work in the service sector. However, seasonal variations lead to regular temporary unemployment of agricultural workers. Mali's resource in livestock consists of millions of cattle, sheep, and goats. Approximately 40% of Mali's herds were lost during the Sahel drought in 1972–74.
Cotton processing at CMDT.

In 1991, with the assistance of the International Development Association, Mali relaxed the enforcement of mining codes which led to renewed foreign interest and investment in the mining industry. Gold is mined in the southern region and Mali has the third highest gold production in Africa (after South Africa and Ghana). The emergence of gold as Mali's leading export product since 1999 has helped mitigate some of the negative impact of the cotton and Côte d'Ivoire crises. Other natural resources include kaolin, salt, phosphate, and limestone.

Electricity and water are maintained by the Energie du Mali, or EDM, and textiles are generated by Industry Textile du Mali, or ITEMA. Mali has made efficient use of hydroelectricity, consisting of over half of Mali's electrical power. In 2002, 700 GWh of hydroelectric power were produced in Mali.

The Malian government participates in foreign involvement, concerning commerce and privatization. Mali underwent economic reform, beginning in 1988 by signing agreements with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. During 1988 to 1996, Mali's government largely reformed public enterprises. Since the agreement, sixteen enterprises were privatized, twelve partially privatized, and twenty liquidated. In 2005, the Malian government conceded a railroad company to the Savage Corporation. Two major companies, Societé de Telecommunications du Mali (SOTELMA) and the Cotton Ginning Company (CMDT), were expected to be privatized in 2008.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mali

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 08:46 PM

16. It took almost 2 decades for us to really feel the blow-back from getting involved in Afghanistan.

It took about a decade to for us to really feel the blow-back from getting involved in the Iran/Iraq war.

It has only taken months for a NATO country (France) to feel the blow-back of us getting involved in Libya, by fighting people who now have CIA training and better weapons.

Who knows how fast the arming of the Syrians will bite NATO, Iran, the Saudis and the Russians in the ass?

We receive no widespread international love for the positive things we have accomplished. Some of that is because we ruin the goodwill (Over-staying our welcome in the Pacific after WWII), or because we only did it out of self-interest, or both. Examples of this include ending the rape/torte/pillage of Kuwait, and helping stop the genocide in Bosnia.

"Isolationism" is a loaded word in some circles, but this country could use a heaping helping of it. Or something that resembles it. The phrase "no more blood and treasure" has become cliche, but not all cliches should be dismissed.

Putting our hands in so many pots in the ME and now Africa, while a once isolationist/pacifist country is emerging as an economic powerhouse and military threat to our allies, will be the United States' Operation Barbarossa. Two large oceans and MAD will make sure we do not see the same fate as the Germans, but the next 25 years will be very interesting.

One thing is for sure, the MIC around the world is NOT in a recession.



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