Only a few dissenting voices within the Left and the Green parties have gone against the decision of the Head of State, condemning the launching of a military engagement of France in Mali, which François Hollande had not brought before the Government or Parliament for discussion. In an op-ed published on 13 January, the former Prime Minister, Dominique de Villepin, also expressed his reservations about the “apparent haste” of the operation and his concerns about the re-use of the “war against terror” rhetoric.

Beyond the criticism of the decision-making process that led to the French military engagement and the questionable legitimacy of an intervention conducted in the name of the “war against terror,” there are also contradictions between Hollande’s alleged desire to break from the neo-colonial politics, as claimed during his election campaign, and the reality of his recent actions.

More specifically, François Hollande had declared: that he did not want to behave as “Africa’s policeman,” that he sought to abandon troubled relations related to “Françafrique," and that he would privilege multilateral action under the aegis of the United Nations, letting African countries take responsibility for their own security.  For the Head of State to commit an isolated France to an intervention in Mali directly contradicts his previous commitments, and inevitably forces him to adopt an interventionist posture.”

A Dangerous Show of Force from a Former Colonial Power

The above is an excerpt from the final installment of Jadaliyya's 3-part series, featuring various angles on the situation in Mali:

US policy, currently, is to strangle Iran through economic warfare. The sanctions against the Central Bank of Iran have led to the Iranian currency, the rial, losing half its value in less than a month. Food prices have skyrocketed and basic supplies have disappeared from the markets. Riots in the bazaars threaten to bring social distress to the country. US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the Senate Arms Services Committee in February of this year that the sanctions “probably will not jeopardize the regime,” but will certainly, “have greater impacts on Iran.” By “Iran,” Clapper means the seventy-five million Iranians. The US political class is in agreement: “Sanctions,” they say gleefully, “are working.” This is reminiscent of US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s callous statement in 1996; when asked about the half-million dead Iraqi children resulting from the sanctions against the regime, she said, “we think the price is worth it.”