This has to be a contender for headline of the year

headline of the year


France is intervening in Mali. It isn’t going so well.

As usual the rest of us are going to have to save their sorry surrendering arses.

This was not the war President François Hollande wanted.

French soldiers in Bamako preparing for deployment to the North. Britain has helped, providing planes to transport troops.

In just two hours last Thursday, after a plea for help from Mali’s interim president, Dioncounda Traoré, Mr. Hollande decided to send in French warplanes and ground troops.

It was supposed to be a quick and dramatic blow that would send the Islamists scurrying back to their hide-outs in northern Mali, buying time for the deployment of an African force to stabilize the situation. Instead it is turning into what looks like a complex and drawn-out military and diplomatic operation that Mr. Hollande’s critics are already calling a desert version of a quagmire, like Vietnam or Afghanistan. 

Some here speak of Mr. Hollande’s “Sahelistan.” Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, the former French president, reminded Mr. Hollande of “the danger of a military operation without a clear enemy, with the risk to civilians that is bound to engender hostility among the citizens.” He warned of “neocolonialism.”

Mr. Hollande, who has a reputation for indecisiveness, has certainly taken on a difficult task. The French are fighting to preserve the integrity of a country that is divided in half, of a state that is broken. They are fighting for the survival of an interim government with no democratic legitimacy that took power in the aftermath of a coup.


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  • Allyson

    If France wishes credibility they need to thank the rest of the world for rescuing their country, their arse and their culture from the Nazis. Its been a long time now and still waiting

  • Stuart Dumphries

    A Francois Hollande malaise in Africa should be described as Hollandaise

    • Gazzaw

      And extremely likely to become a very curdled Hollandaise Stuart.

  • williamabong

    The French have short memories, fifty odd years ago they got their arses royally kicked in South East. Asia, add that to the blubering defeat in ww2 the record of military prowess doesn’t stack up all that flash.
    Perhaps they should just stay home and try to convince the rest of the world they are important and actually have some relevance.

    • Cadwallader

      Not to mention the absurdly messy withdrawal form Algeria.

    • Mr_Blobby

      Don’t worry like Vietnam the US Cavalry will be along at some stage, to save the World from weapons of mass destruction.

      • williamabong

        Only if “Big Business” decides it’s worth their while, after all they seem to be who determines US agressive sorry I meant foreign policy.

  • cows4me

    Oh well this will help to balance the budget, ha ha, the socialist idiot’s will have to raise the tax on the rich to 85%. When you’re sitting in the pot and you’re a frog the outcome doesn’t look positive.

  • Gazzaw

    Are French troops there yet or have they sent in the Foreign Legion first to do the real fighting.

    • Mr_Blobby

      Sorry, I assumed it was the Foreign Legion.

      • Gazzaw

        You’re probably right Mr B. It hasnt been clarified in the MSM most likely because they have never heard of it.

  • botti

    First the the French should stop colonising their own country. Pretty soon France will be indistinguishable from Africa.

    And Hollande should just leave well enough alone with Mali. He promised when he took office he wouldn’t intervene/meddle with these countries and he should have stuck to that.

  • AnonWgtn

    Hollande needs a distraction from the French economic and social (immigrant) problems.