France's Intervention in Mali is Beneficial or Self-Serving?

The Islamic militants were about to overtake the legitimate government in Mali.  There would be no more music or Western influences.  Limbs would be amputated for the slightest crimes.  After the overthrow of the government of President Amadou Toure, the situation was ripe for a new voice.  The Islamic uptick in power was fueled in part by arms confiscated during the overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi.  Also, the government of Mali was typical of many other governments trying to recover from colonial influence: corrupt and catering to the ruling few.

The French have a long history in Africa.  Most of it has not been good.  Mali, Senegal, French Guinea, Algeria and Senegal were among a number of countries known as Francophone countries.  Britain, Italy and Spain divided Africa up for its natural resources, slaves and general plunder.  Many of these countries utilize French as their primary language.  It took years and many revolutions for these countries to re-establish local and independent governance.  Who would have thought that France would return as a triumphant military force to overthrow the Islamic militants?


When one mentions Islam from an American perspective, it can refer to  the influence of the Nation of
Islam in helping African Americans establish a new sense if identity after suffering racism and discrimination for many years,  Today, there have been mosques built throughout our country and we are becoming more tolerant of Muslim view points.  The attack on New York and Washington not witshtanding, we have somewhat moderate Muslim communities here.  In Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan, women are second class citizens and subject to discrimination in employment and education.  I am American so maybe it could be how it is supposed to be in those countries.

I am ambivalent about the French intervention in this instance.  Some recent research that I completed seems to indicate that the French stood by while almost 800,000 Rwandans were slaughtered during conflicts between the Hutus and Tutsis in the mid 1990's.  Also, there were references to the support or lack thereof for the Arab spring in Tunisia.  The French have to have a motive for sending troops and support against an Islamic takeover of Mali.  Interim President Traore actually asked the French for support against the militants.  They were moving quickly through major cities and the Malian Army were offering little or no resistance.  Also, they were destroying historical writings in Timbuktu and other cities.  Smoking was banned and artists had to go underground or be killed.  What kind of leaders ban music and artistic expression?

The French soldiers were successful in their efforts to displace the Islamic militants.  Many Malian citizens celebrated by wearing their colorful native outfits.  Sports became a much needed outlet for citizens again.  I could imagine that music that was stored away was played with merriment.  I have a hard time understanding why it was banned in the first place.  I hope that government can stand on its own and grow stronger in the upcoming months.  I am not against Islam in any way shape or form.  Chopping off limbs and banning local culture and traditions is taking religion a little too far.  Nigeria is struggling with the Boko Haram and conflict with its Christian population.  Once again, I am happy to reside and the United States with all of its shortcomings. 

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