The headline news on Mali conveys very little. I think it is useful to try and understand the background to events.
Heather Hurlburt argues that Mali’s crisis caused by development failures, not military aid which seems a bit off, but at least it does provide one side of the argument.
Peter Beaumont’s contribution is much better:
“In Mali’s post-dictatorship history, Bamako’s response to these periodic outbreaks of rebellion has, depressingly, remained the same – a “militiatary” policy that meant that different groups armed to neutralise each other. That policy was pursued over a long period even as former peace agreements were largely allowed to slip on their commitments and old grievances allowed to fester.
Indeed, close analysts of developments in Mali have been concerned for almost a decade by the increasing dysfunctional nature of the country’s government, as well as by the re-emergence of Tuareg and Islamist armed factions in the north. “
The New Yorker is pessimistic and sees the next quagmire:
“The situation in Mali dates back to March of last year, when, in a surprise coup, low-ranking government soldiers overthrew the former Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure. Since then, the country has been broken in two, with the lawless north slipping into a hell of medieval-era punishments like flogging, stoning, and even, reportedly, amputations, all dictated by a severe form of Sharia law practiced by the Islamist radicals who now dominate the area. France, the United States, and other Western powers have been nervously watching this unfold, concerned that Mali would become the next major organizational hub and training ground for Al Qaeda. They hoped that the nations of West Africa would intervene on the Malian government’s behalf, but as those countries dragged their feet about doing so, and as the Islamist rebels continued moving steadily into the southern part of Mali, it began to seem that if someone did not take action to halt their advance, it would be too late to stop them. “
Africa is A Country has a good backgrounder, France in Mali: the End of the Fairytale.
Scott Edwards at Amnesty International USA provides a who’s who, which is very handy.
CNN reports on the growing humanitarian crisis in Mali.
I had always appreciated that Ronald Reagan was intellectually decrepit and only capable of repartee when it had been written for him, but I had not realised he could not process information in a written form, as most presidents do.
Apparently, the CIA provided him with simplistic reports and analysis in the form of films:
By chance I read of Rev. Stephen Sizer’s plight on Craig Murray’s sites. It sounds positively miserable:
“That Stepehn is not an anti-semite and has not knowingly endorsed anti-semitism, I have no doubt. But what worries me is the growing bravura with which all critics of Israel or supporters of the Palestinians are charged with the – rightfully – damning slur of anti-semitism.”
Leaving aside the poor spelling and even weaker reasoning within Murray’s post, I imagine he would have had a stronger case if the comments box had not been littered with obvious antisemitism.
I will bet that neither Rev. Sizer nor Craig Murray would be able to adequately explain why that occurred, but this is a very small sample:
[Apologies to readers, as I have left in the links to neo-Nazi and racist web sites, as a public record. It indicates the type of material that is considered fit and proper reading amongst some of Rev. Sizer’s supporters.]
“Cryptonym 13 Jan, 2013 – 12:36 am
I later sampled Behind Communism by Frank L. Britton**, available on hundreds of other websites too, it tries to tell the story of pre, during and post-revolutionary Russian history, not found hardly anywhere else, and can hardly do so without mention of its Jewish population and their huge role, it has a tellingly critical tinge that intrudes on the story…”
It isn’t an impossibility to be anti-jewish with perfect ethical and moral justification, nothing is above criticism, it like all religions simply being a set of madcap ideas, constituting a bogus identity, rammed into impressionable minds and causing permanent damage. It seems any subject matter which mentions the chosen ones, not closed off only for their exclusive consumption, and which isn’t quite the prescribed Hollywood gloss revisionist whitewash version of events -is proscribed reading nowadays. “
[** See below for details on Frank L. Britton.]
Many of Murray’s readers seem to relish the opportunity to digest more antisemitic and neo-Nazi material.
“A Node 13 Jan, 2013 – 1:37 am
I’m with Cryptonym on this one. Thanks BoD and Kempe for the tip-off about this useful resource.
Sure there’s some stuff there that’s a bit rabid for my taste, but there is much that seems reasonable comment.
It’s absolutely fascinating and resonates with a lot of my findings elsewhere.
Really, thank you Bod, and particularly you, Kempe, for providing the link.”
“Brendan 13 Jan, 2013 – 1:47 am
Posting a link is now an offence? Blimey.
Smell them apples then.
Note: I do not deny the holocaust.
Holocaust denial and the themes of “Judeo-Bolshevism” are not considered antisemitic by Murray’s poster, although it is a common notion pushed by the Extreme Right and racists, such as David Irving.
“Zona Norte 14 Jan, 2013 – 2:19 am
An anti-semite is someone who hates someone of semitic origin simply because that person is semitic.
I argue, therefore, that it is not anti-semitic:
To deny the Jewish holocaust.
To deny the uniqueness of the Jewish holocaust.
To compare Jewish suffering with that of other peoples.
To point out that Jews figured prominently in the Bolshevik Revolution.
To claim that AIPAC calls the shots in the US’ Middle East foreign policy.
To opposed the existence of the State of Israel.
Such statements or claims may be controversial or dead wrong and could be motivated by anti-semitism but of themselves are not anti-semitic. Refusing a Jew (or Arab) a job because of their race is anti-semitism. Jailing or attacking a Jew or Arab because of their race is anti-semitism. Prejudicial behaviour is the key to anti-semitism. “
“Mary 15 Jan, 2013 – 12:07 pm
Not (fully) reported in the Zionist-controlled corporate media.
[Explanatory note on reference above. Lorne Bair Rare Books notes on Frank L. Britton’s publication, American Nationalist “was the racist and anti-Semitic house organ of Frank L. Britton, a California anti-Communist crusader who was one of the first to detect the presence anti-American influences in Hollywood. Content of the current issues is about equally divided between Jew-baiting and exposure of the plot to “mongrelize” the United States through interracial marriage (also, not surprisingly, a Jewish plot).” ]
I suspect had Frank L. Britton been alive today he’d be commenting on Craig Murray’s site to widespread approval and raising cash for Rev. Sizer’s defence.
Anyone capable of reading should know that the whole “Judeo-Bolshevism” nonsense is the staple of neo-Nazis and hardened antisemites, as are many of the ideas circulating in that thread.
The complaint against Rev. Sizer is here, as a PDF, and fairly damning it is too.
The BOD statement, One Sizer doesn’t fit all.
Update 1: Rev. Sizer hasn’t been slow garnering support enlisting his PhD supervisor, Dr Martin Davies.