boilingfrogspost.com / By William Engdahl / January 31, 2013
Out of the blue in the last days Mali has suddenly become the focus of world attention. France has been asked to militarily intervene by Mali’s government to drive Jihadist terrorists out of the large parts of the country they claim. What the conflict in Mali really is about is hardly what we read in the mainstream media. It is about vast untapped mineral and energy resources and a de facto re-colonization of French Africa under the banner of human rights. The real background reads like a John LeCarre thriller.
Part I: Africa’s New Thirty Years’ War?
Mali at first glance seems a most unlikely place for the NATO powers, led by a neo-colonialist French government of Socialist President Francois Hollande (and quietly backed to the hilt by the Obama Administration), to launch what is being called by some a new Thirty Years’ War Against Terrorism.
Mali, with a population of some 12 million, and a landmass three and a half times the size of Germany, is a land-locked largely Saharan Desert country in the center of western Africa, bordered by Algeria to its north, Mauritania to its west, Senegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Niger to its southern part. People I know who have spent time there before the recent US-led efforts at destabilization called it one of the most peaceful and beautiful places on earth, the home of Timbuktu. Its people are some ninety percent Muslim of varying persuasions. It has a rural subsistence agriculture and adult illiteracy of nearly 50%. Yet this country is suddenly the center of a new global “war on terror.”
On January 20 Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron announced his country’s curious resolve to dedicate itself to deal with “the terrorism threat” in Mali and north Africa. Cameron declared, “It will require a response that is about years, even decades, rather than months, and it requires a response that…has an absolutely iron resolve…” Britain in its colonial heyday never had a stake in Mali. Until it won independence in 1960, Mali was a French colony.