Is France, now in Mali, behaving precisely the same way and with the same faulty pretexts U.S. neoconservatives used to justify invading Iraq, Afghanistan and many others? For Liberation, French-Bulgarian philosopher Tzvetan Todorov lays out how and why France has gotten itself into such an uncomfortably ‘Bushian’ situation.
This is a preventative strike designed to prevent new aggressions. That is the theory. … In practice, we’re left with this question: Is the seizure of power by Islamists really a “threat to Europe,” according to the formulation of Angela Merkel? If it is, why is France the only one intervening? At an extraordinary meeting held in Brussels January 17, Spanish and German foreign ministers asked their French colleague: what is “real purpose” of your intervention? The French minister, undoubtedly a little annoyed, replied: “to stop the terrorists.” But he immediately added, “and to destroy the sources of terrorism,” thus positioning himself under the banner of neoconservatism. Even assuming that these “sources” can be accurately identified, their elimination presupposes the control of an immense territory and the reconstruction of Malian society. That is, the installation of an occupying army for an indefinite period of time. In this respect, previous episodes of the “war against terrorism” do not inspire any great optimism.
If the rebels are a genuine threat to Europe or to neighboring African countries, they must be combated by all of them, not just the former colonial power. In wanting to impose the good by force, we risk applying a remedy worse than the disease.
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