France Bombs Mali While Backing Jihad Elsewhere

by Alex Newman, The New American  |  published on January 17, 2013

Despite openly supporting self-styled Jihadist “revolutionaries” seeking an Islamic theocracy in Syria, and Libya before that, the new socialist French government, with help from other Western powers, has also just launched a series of military attacks against Muslim rebels who seized control of northern Mali. The controversial operations, ironically, are being taken under the guise of fighting Islamic extremism. Meanwhile, Islamists in the region have vowed retaliation, saying the French attacks were killing civilians and promising to strike “at the heart of France.”

According to French officials, the air-bombing campaigns targeting rebel strongholds throughout Mali are needed to prop up the embattled central government in the capital city of Bamako — a regime widely perceived as illegitimate after the nation’s elected authorities were overthrown by rogue U.S. government-trained military officers. France’s armed forces directly and openly intervened in the conflict late last week when rebels reportedly began another southward push after having declared independence in the north last year.

“We must stop the rebels’ offensive, otherwise the whole of Mali will fall into their hands — creating a threat for Africa and even for Europe,” claimed French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, attempting to justify his government’s support for the dubious Malian regime and its out-of-control army. “Regarding France’s direct involvement, it is only a matter of weeks. Later on, we can come as back-up, but we have no intention of staying forever.”

The unilateral French intervention in Mali came after the United Nations Security Council voted last month on a resolution purporting to authorize an international invasion of the country. The UN and some of its member states are claiming to be concerned about a complex conflict marked by shifting alliances among rebels, and an illegitimate central government nominally in charge of the south that was installed by military strongmen after a coup in March.

In the north, a coalition of nomadic Tuareg rebels seeking independence from the central government took advantage of the turmoil to establish its own homeland — a longtime dream of the Tuareg people, who have been oppressed by assorted North African despots for generations. Meanwhile, hardcore Islamists under the banner of the Ansar Dine group, armed with weapons that flowed out of Libya following the devastating NATO-led “regime change” operation there, joined forces with the rebels to sever all ties from the regime in Bamako.

Western powers including the Obama administration, however, have vowed to crush the rebellion on behalf of the central “government,” which had its previous “prime minister” arrested by military officers last month and replaced with a new “leader.” The UN-approved international invasion was supposed to come later this year, possibly as late as September, composed largely of multi-national African troops backed by Obama and various European governments.

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