Coup in Mali

I don’t follow international affairs as much as some people, but I actually had been keeping an eye on Mali due to one of the candidates being a BYU-educated Mormon. Now it looks like there might not (probably won’t?) be an election. Mali is generally considered an ally to the United States and is designated “Free” by Freedom House, though the average Malian makes less then $4/day. This is considered by some to be fallout from recent happenings in Libya.

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8 thoughts on “Coup in Mali

  1. I’m generally not a fan of unicausal explanations like Larison seems to be wanting to push on the Malian Coup. Still sounding out some Africa hands to see if they know a bit more on the background. Seems like there was already a substantial tinderbox ready to light.

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      • Yeah, but this is kind of standard fare for anti-interventionists in general. If something has a proximate variable cause, they’ll try to turn that into a primary variable.

        I would imagine if we’d stopped the Rwandan genocide, that  the intervention for doing so would be blamed as the cause of instability in Uganda and Zaire/Congo. In fact that’s one of the reasons given by some advocates of not intervening in that genocide, nevermind that in the end result the Interahamwe and RGF wound up moving on to Zaire and Uganda anyway.

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        • I’m generally anti-interventionist, and even to me it Rwanda seems like a case where greater intervention could have prevented the massive Congo-Uganda-Rwanda war (1998-2003), in addition to preventing the Rwandan genocide.  There are plenty of cases that show unintended negative consequences of intervention, but Rwanda is one that shows the opposite – massive negative consequences of non-intervention.

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          • My point was more that it’s likely that if there had been intervention in Rwanda, the resulting displacement of the RGF and Interawame would likely have set off a series of events similar to this Mali situation, likely as not resulting in political instability in Zaire, and militias acting in terrible ways along the Uganda-Rwanda border. Obviously in that case we’d be arguing the hypothetical, of where we’d make the case that we prevented lots of bloodshed, but the Larisons of the world would be scolding us for making up numbers and seeing how we’d created the human rights attrocities of the Congo.

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  2. The wild card in this situation is the same one in the Libyan situation, the Tuareg.   Without their support, (and no country has such support) all these regimes will fail.

    Yet another argument for the repartitioning of Africa and the Middle East.  It’ll never happen, not soon anyway.   Sigh….

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    • Do you think the Tuareg should have their own country?

      And who decides on the partition lines?  Europe and America don’t have great records in that regard, and none of the leaders of currently-existing Middle Eastern and African countries are going to want to lose territory (much less abolish their countries altogether).  And even if there are good partition lines that won’t create as many conflicts as they prevent – something which is doubtful – who enforces them?  How many wars are we willing to fight, and for how long, to reshape the maps of Africa and the Middle East.

      It’s one thing to recognize something shouldn’t have been done; it’s another thing to seek to reverse it a century or more later.

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