By Ezra Van Auken
As you may know, former Congressman Ron Paul has a weekly talk show, which he uses to deliver opinions on current issues including the economy, civil liberties and foreign policy; this week former Rep. Paul explained some much needed information into the newest Western war of Mali. The retired Texas Congressman first acknowledged that President Obama made a daring statement during his inauguration speech, “A decade of war is now ending.”
Responding to the message of ending war, Paul said, “As he spoke, the US military was rapidly working its way into another war, this time in the impoverished African country of Mali.” So far, the U.S. has provided C130s to the French for transportation of soldiers, deployed trainers to assist in training Mali soldiers and officials have agreed to fueling missions for the French fighter jets. Ramping up even more of a presence in northern Africa, the New York Times reported that AFRICOM’s top officials are seeking the go-ahead to build a drone base in Niger – just east of Mali.
Although American boots are not engaging in gunfire, Ron Paul explained, “Even if US involvement is limited, and, as Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said, US boots on the ground are not being considered “at this time,” this clearly is developing into another war. As usual, the mission is creeping.” Overall, the stern non-interventionist believes that this war will eventually snowball into something more like the Afghanistan war.
Paul alluded to French officials during the first days of invasion and how they said Mali’s military intervention would be a quick response, fast paced mission that wouldn’t last long. “France announced that it would be forced to send in thousands of troops and would need to remain far longer than the few weeks it initially claimed would be necessary.” To accompany the claim that Mali’s war will turn into another prolong occupation, France’s Defense Minister told France-5 that Mali would be a “total reconquest”.
Jumping back a year or so, Dr. Paul detailed the events leading up to Mali’s war driven country. “When Gaddafi was overthrown in Libya, many fighters from Mali who had lived in Libya and been trained by Gaddafi’s military returned to their home country with sophisticated weapons and a new determination to continue their fight for independence for northern Mali.” Paul then said, “Thus the France-initiated action against Libya in 2011 led to new violence and instability in Mali that France decided it must also address.”
Overall, the former Congressman is calling out blowback for being the reason of instability – by attacking Libya and destabilizing the country – this havoc poured into Mali once extremists were on the move.
Paul summarized his daily talk show on Monday by saying, “By placing that authority in Congress, the people’s branch of government, they intended to blunt the executive branch’s enthusiasm toward overseas adventurism.”
Somewhat agreeing with the clause of Mali being blowback is Michael Scheuer, a former CIA official – however Scheuer thinks this was far from unintended blowback. Scheuer wrote on his online website non-intervention.com, “In Mali, the interventionist establishment already is lying about “unintended consequences”. The ex-CIA official called out Wall Street Journal’s Shiraz Maher, going on to say, “Now, I have never heard of Professor Maher but, clearly, he is an intellectually dishonest jackass.” Scheuer pointed out that “Just as in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is no way to truthfully argue that “unintended consequences” are at work in Libya, Mali, or elsewhere in Africa.”
According to Scheuer, the events in North Africa and the Sahel aren’t seen as a positive to the U.S., Canada and Europe – but Scheuer says these wars were easily predictable because of Libyan intervention.
Regardless of blowback being intended or not, one thing is clear and that is, U.S. and European officials have boiled a greater force in the African region since toppling Gaddafi.