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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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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