Remember when the United States used to be “the world’s policeman”? We don’t do that anymore, for some arguably good reasons. But the USA used to be the go-to world power, the defender of freedom, a force to counter tyranny and social disorder. But we’ve declined from that role. The world’s policeman is now France. And the European Union in general. And not just in Mali. Europe is doing what the United States used to do. [Read more…]
Islamic terrorism and al-Qaeda in particular seemed to be in the doldrums, what with military defeats and drone attacks. But now that an al-Qaeda franchise took over that natural gas installation in Algeria–at last count, 38 hostages killed, including 3 Americans–its stock is reportedly soaring in the radical Islamic world and more young people are getting excited about terrorism again. So reports Joby Warrick in the Washington Post:
A week of violence in Algeria and Mali has transformed al-Qaeda’s North Africa branch into a cause celebre for militant Islamists around the globe, boosting recruitment and fundraising for the jihadists and spurring fears of further terrorist attacks in the region and beyond. [Read more…]
The French intervention into Mali spilled over to other countries, as Islamic radicals in Algeria attacked a natural gas facility and seized at least 20 hostages, including 7 Americans, as well as French, British, and Japanese nationals. From Reuters:
Islamist fighters seized dozens of Western and Algerian hostages in a dawn raid on a natural gas facility deep in the Sahara on Wednesday and demanded France halt a new offensive against rebels in neighboring Mali.
Three people, among them one British and one French, were reported killed, but details were sketchy and numbers of those held at Tigantourine ranged from 41 foreigners – including perhaps seven Americans as well as Japanese and Europeans – to over 100 local staff, held separately and less closely watched. [Read more…]
Back when the U.S.A. invaded Iraq, the French refused to join the “coalition of the willing” and opposed our efforts, leading to Americans making fun of French military prowess and making anti-French gestures such as re-labeling a favorite food indulgence as “freedom fries.” But now the French–not us–have embarked on a military invasion of a Muslim country, the West African nation of Mali (a former French colony) in order to quell al Qaeda terrorism and the establishment of an Islamist state. Not only that, this is the work of the left-wing socialist government of President Francois Hollande, who is as far from a George W. Bush figure as one could imagine. Evidently, the war on terrorism and fighting back against Islamic jihad is not necessarily a right/left, conservative/liberal issue. [Read more…]