Monday, March 17, 2014

Toubab attempts more political commentary...

 I am continuing to watch Algerian films in preparation for my exciting trip to Algiers for the elections and for Easter. These films, in particular the one I mentioned the other day: the fabulous  The Battle of Algiers , have made me begin to form a concerns the MNLA and the French:
France, as the former colonial power here, and as the heroes who intervened so opportunely and so efficiently last year,  all but  wiping  out the Al Quaida threat to Mali have been the ones to set the tone in the way the international community perceive and interact with the MNLA. Where the French have led, the rest of the world have followed: France left Kidal in the hands of the MNLA when they should by all rights have swept up there as well as in Gao and Timbuktu.  Don’t forget, Kidal was held not by the MNLA who had been kicked out by their Al Quaida brothers in arms months before, but by Ag Ghali (the darling of the UK Guardian) and his Ançar Dine. When the French stood on the threshold of Kidal Ag Ghali called the MNLA  back from the outer darkness in exile in Burkina Faso where they had been loitering powerless and emasculated, only in order to escape into the hinterland with his  motley crew so it was the MNLA that the French encountered, not the Ançar Dine, whom they would have slaughtered without mercy.  He  knew that the French would be lenient with the MNLA, who were posturing suddenly as the ‘liberators’ of Kidal.
Why the French leniency with the MNLA, which has led the rest of the world, as well as the unspeakably spineless MINUSMA, (whose chef of mission is wining and dining the MNLA in luxury Bamako restaurants) in its footsteps? I believe it is because of a bad conscience over their appalling behaviour in Algeria. I really do. Here we have a bunch of Algerian- looking characters fighting for their freedom and their independence. France is under the misconception that they must listen to them, since they never listened to the Algerian people. But the parallel stops with the turbans and the camels. The MNLA are not representing the Tuaregs, most of whom are against them. But who will argue with the French?  Of course, it is so comforting for them, the idea that they are now, belatedly, atoning for the crimes of their fathers by listening to a bunch of unscrupulous criminals that are refusing to lay down their arms!


Blogger David said...

I hope you will allow political commentary at table when you visit ('let's not talk politics, dahlinks, can we change the subject?')Anyway, we look forward eagerly to your energetic presence...

9:25 AM  
Blogger toubab said...

Is that what I say normally? Oh dear... Maybe its because the only politics I know anything about is Malian politics at the moment, so will feel woefully inadequate in offering any opinions on anything else...looking forward to seeing you too!!xxxxs

2:50 PM  
Blogger David said...

On Malian politics you are sounder than any of the reporters in the vicinity, don't forget that and be jolly proud of it!

2:17 PM  
Blogger priffe said...

You offer a rather Bamakoan perspective I am afraid, which does not realize the even more complex relationships between the various touareg tribes and fractions, Algeria and France. Iyad Ag Ghaly is not calling the shots although he is very good at playing the game.
Bamako is not Paris and it should not try to be.

11:09 AM  

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