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Posted by on Feb 3, 2013 in International, Law, Media, Places, Politics, Race, Religion, Society, War | 2 comments

French Foreign Policy à la George W. Bush (Liberation, France)

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.

For Liberation, Tzvetan Todorov writes in part:

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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  • The_Ohioan

    Maybe, but it appears more like Bush I so far.

    A French diplomat said of the Mali ground operation: “The decision was taken by France to go in alone. We knew from the start that it would be an operation supported by African forces. It was never a question of a European ground troop mission. But Europe’s role in training the African force has now been accelerated. Things are falling into place, we don’t have any criticisms to make.”

  • slamfu

    It is completely unlike Bush’s foreign policy. And please excuse me if I sound rude, but the difference is pretty staggering and obvious. Afghanistan and Iraq were sovereign nations we invaded against the will of those respective govts, toppled them, and then tried to replace them in terms of maintaining law and order. The govt of Mali ASKED the French for assistance, which they are providing. Assuming a victory over the terrorist forces there, the Mali govt will continue to provide law and order, and the French will be able to go home. There are a number of things that can go wrong there, but Mali is nothing like Iraq or Afghanistan.

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