After having recently left thousands dead from overthrowing the governments ruling Libya and the Ivory Coast, the United Nations is already plotting its next invasion to deal with the fallout. This time, Mali is in the UN’s crosshairs.
Mali attracted UN attention when the northern part of the country was taken over by Islamists and nomadic rebels amid a military coup d’état that ousted the government in the South. The UN Security Council is currently considering two resolutions related to the country, a former colony of France. The first one calls for negotiations between armed rebels in the North and the supposed “interim” government operating in the capital. That measure is expected to be approved soon, according to officials involved in the negotiations.
The second resolution would purport to authorize international military intervention, a move being sought by the coalition of regimes making up the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the struggling “interim” government in Southern Mali. The French government is circulating a draft of the resolution this week.
Among the key points in the tentative UN plan is a request that ECOWAS draft a proposal for an international assault on Northern Mali to oust the rebels, who are reportedly committing wanton human rights abuses under the guise of imposing Islamic Sharia law. The scheme demands "detailed and actionable recommendations … for such an international military force, including means and modalities of the envisaged deployment.”
On top of that, the draft resolution calls on UN member governments, regional authorities, and international organizations to “prepare to provide support, including through military training, provision of equipment and other forms of assistance in efforts to combat terrorist and affiliated extremist groups." Finally, if approved, the measure would express the Security Council’s “readiness to respond positively to the request ... for an international military force.”
In other words, if the resolution is adopted — unnamed diplomats cited by Reuters said it was likely to pass — the UN and assorted regional and national governments will soon be invading Mali. "We need more clarifications on models and formulas on how the international community can help," UN boss Ban Ki-Moon told reporters about what is needed before the international military plot can proceed.
Former Italian Prime Minister and European Commission chief Romano Prodi has already been appointed as the UN “special envoy” for the Sahel region, the vast area along the Southern Sahara where much of Mali is located. Military planners, meanwhile, are reportedly drawing up an attack plan to prop up the “interim” government purportedly ruling some parts of the nation.
The background story on Mali is quite complex, and often-contradictory reports make the truth even harder to discern. However, what appears clear at this point is that much of the crisis supposedly necessitating a global armed response was actually sparked by other recent international military interventions in the region.
In late March, elements of the U.S.-funded Malian military led by a U.S.-trained officer staged a coup against the ruling regime in the capital city of Bamako, quickly taking power after seizing the presidential palace and various organs of state power. Multiple government ministers were arrested and the president went into hiding. Looting, shootings, and chaos quickly ensued.
The Obama administration and governments around the world condemned the coup and threatened to cut off foreign aid and military support to Mali unless and until the previous government was restored to power. ECOWAS even warned that it would seal Mali’s borders and freeze its assets if rebel leaders refused to hand over power. By April, those threats became reality.
Amid the chaos, an ongoing rebellion by members of the nomadic Tuareg people seeking an independent homeland dubbed “Azawad” in the North gained strength, taking advantage of the crisis to seize ever-larger swaths of territory. The mass influx of Libyan arms and fighters, which even the UN admits was caused by the bloody UN-approved “international intervention” in Libya, added fuel to the fire.
"This is not only a humanitarian crisis; it is a powder keg that the international community cannot afford to ignore,” claimed U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about Mali last month, making no mention of the Obama administration’s crucial role in arming and training Islamic extremists — many affiliated with al-Qaeda — to advance “regime change” in nearby Libya. "What is happening inside Mali is augmented by the rising threat from violent extremism across the region."
Within weeks of the coup, the Tuareg fighters and Islamist militias had taken control of several major cities and towns including Timbuktu, with the Tuareg warriors declaring permanent independence from Mali. Islamic extremists under the banner of Ansar Dine, who apparently worked with Tuareg rebels to seize control over Northern Mali, now appear to be firmly entrenched in power throughout much of the region.
The Islamist group, which is allegedly linked to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), is now fiendishly working to impose strict Sharia law throughout all of Mali and beyond. Some analysts said the Islamists had “hijacked” the Tuareg rebellion in the North, but the precise relationship between the two forces remains unclear.
When coup leaders in the South and advancing Tuareg rebels in the North refused to surrender to international demands, ECOWAS and Western governments began plotting military intervention. The Western establishment, meanwhile, refused to recognize the Tuareg declaration of independence for Azawad and is now demanding that the North surrender to the dubious regime in Bamako.
The supposed “interim government” in Mali’s capital is said to be trying to organize elections. However, with much of the country under rebel control, it remains unclear how or when any voting might take place, if it ever will. The international military force will apparently be charged with forcing the North to capitulate under the guise of promoting “democracy.”
Complicating matters even further is another recent UN “military intervention,” the bloody Obama administration-backed campaign in the Ivory Coast that one Republican Senator blasted as a “reign of terror.” In a nutshell, the UN partnered with ruthless Islamist militias to overthrow and arrest the leftist Christian leader of the Ivory Coast, Laurent Gbagbo, who according to the nation’s highest court had won the disputed presidential election.
In his place, after slaughtering thousands of innocent Christians during the march to the capital, the UN and its Islamist allies installed a Muslim central banker named Alassane Ouattara, whose regime has now started shutting down critical newspapers and arresting political opponents. The situation is reportedly still deteriorating and is likely to get even worse.
The UN and Ouattara now claim that Gbagbo loyalists are collaborating with the Islamic extremists in Northern Mali to destabilize the Ivory Coast in a bid to restore the ousted government to power. The argument is that the “enemy of my enemy is my friend,” according to analysts trying to explain the counterintuitive alleged alliance between pro-Gbagbo forces and fanatical Islamists.
Not coincidentally, the chairman of ECOWAS — among the chief proponents demanding an international invasion of Mali — is the new UN- and Obama-backed ruler of the Ivory Coast, Ouattara. Under UN guidance, ECOWAS will likely play a crucial role in the looming invasion of Mali.
Ironically, perhaps, the French government led the charge to invade the Ivory Coast and was one of the primary war-mongering powers demanding the international war on Libya. Now, the new Socialist French government, headed by Francois Hollande, is banging the war drums for an international invasion of Mali louder than any other Western power.
Some UN member governments expressed concern about intervening militarily to support an unelected regime in Mali that is widely perceived as illegitimate. "How can we organize elections when northern Mali is occupied by terrorist movements that don't apply democracy?" Hollande responded when asked whether elections to establish a legitimate government should be held before any international invasion.
The situation is particularly ironic as Hollande, despite blasting the “terrorist movements” in Mali, is simultaneously leading the charge for international military intervention on behalf of violent Jihadists and al-Qaeda-linked Islamic extremists in Syria. Many of those rebel fighters, partly under the guidance of the Western establishment-linked, Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Syrian National Council, openly proclaim their hatred of the West and admit wanting to impose Sharia law if and when the regime falls.
Some of the anti-government forces in Syria, as The New American highlighted recently, were actually French Islamists inspired to fight by a terrorist who recently murdered French troops and Jewish children in Toulouse. The irony — lunacy, critics would say — of invading Mali to fight militants with alleged links to “al-Qaeda” while supporting self-styled al-Qaeda fighters in Libya and Syria casts a strange shadow of suspicion over the entire UN military enterprise.
As history shows, armed UN intervention often leads to mass slaughter and complete chaos that is later used to justify more international military intervention — Libya and the Ivory Coast being just two recent examples among many. There is little reason to suspect that invading Mali would turn out any better.
Photo of child soldiers in Mali recruited by Islamists in case of UN military intervention: AP Images