The French now, but how soon will our weary, suicide-prone troops be heading here, too?

Deep inside caves, in remote desert bases, in the escarpments and cliff faces of northern Mali, Islamic extremist fighters have been burrowing into the earth, erecting a formidable set of defenses to protect what has essentially become al-Qaida’s new country.

They have used the bulldozers, earth movers and Caterpillar machines left behind by fleeing construction crews to dig what residents and local officials describe as an elaborate network of tunnels, trenches, shafts and ramparts. In just one case, inside a cave large enough to drive trucks into, they have stored up to 100 drums of gasoline, guaranteeing their fuel supply in the face of a foreign intervention, according to experts.

Now that intervention is here. On Friday, France deployed 550 troops and launched air strikes against the Islamists in northern Mali, starting battle in what is currently the biggest territory in the world held by al-Qaida and its allies. But the fighting has been harder than expected, and the extremists boast it will be worse than the decade-old struggle in Afghanistan.

Before this week, how many of you knew exactly where Mali was?



  1. Slappy says:

    Interesting. Sounds like VIETNAM all over again. You know what they say about he who forgets history…

    …And yes. I had an idea where Mali was. I wonder how many other people still think it’s an island in the south pacific – WRONG!

    If you did then you may be thinking of Bali! But still WRONG! Although Bali may be near the south pacific it’s actually in the Indian Ocean north of Australia and not too far from Singapore. But MALI is no where near Bali – Mali is on “the dark continent.”

    • stormtrooper 651 says:

      Classic projection here, you were probably the only one who mistook mali for bali.
      You also seem deeply confused over the differences between vietnam and mali.

  2. Mr Diesel says:

    And it’s one two three what are we fighting for?
    Don’t ask me I don’t give a damn next stop is Mali.

    It does not have the same ring to it. Maybe when the US gets there we will have some good songs for the troops. Maybe like “Mali High….”

    Send in the drones, send in the drones.

    • bobbo, our Politicians are all Crooks in Bed with the SUPER RICH...They should all be prosecuted.... maybe after Obama? says:

      Had the enjoyment of watching Oliver Stones Untold History of America on the Free weekend for Showtime. Pity and a shame what we did to Vietnam.

      Looks like a good case for when the Congress should declare WAR or we don’t go in. He don’t have the culture to really hose people for the 30-40 years it takes to make overseas adventures profitable. Our history is, we quit.

      We ought to at least learn this about ourselves.

      Yes, manufacture enemies so the Military Industrial power Grabbing Gubment will always be fed.

      Just look.

      • McCullough says:

        All right who kidnapped bobbo and made him say such things?

        I know its not him because I have been saying this forever and bobbo tells me I’m always wrong.

        No bobbo impersonator, it’s not a pity and a shame, it was an criminal act, and no one is held accountable. Now or then. If you truly believed what you said, you would be pushing for impeachment of dictators like Bush the ‘Tard and His Present Royal highness.

        • pedro says:

          Thing is, there are 2 bobbos: one under meds and one without. Blame the retirement home nurse for that.

          • Beer and Bobbo says:

            Not meds Pedro—BEER!!!

            …. and then my position doesn’t change.

            Just my typing goes from bad to worse as I slip into Haikus.

            I would say I admire your effort, if it were admirable………

            Poor Pedro, no ass.
            Had one idea, then it passed.
            Like tortilla gas.

          • pedro says:

            Typical liberul hypster expressing in haikus. Another example?: The European “President”

        • bobbo, our Politicians are all Crooks in Bed with the SUPER RICH...They should all be prosecuted.... maybe after Obama? says:

          Really?

          Seriously====I’d be amused/informed to see the copy/paste of whatever I said to lead you to such an opinion. I got banned from Porillo’s Lockergnome Political Forum for arguing that Ho Chi Minh was the George Washington of his people–fighting for freedom against the invasion of a Foreign Power. Much the same antagonism you see on this forum from the Wing Nuts: can’t argue any opposition but they can form a chorus and whine about what a troll I am. Silly Wing Nuts.

          On of my favorite memories is the look on my Command Pilot’s face when I said essentially the same thing to a two star General who sat between us on the jump seat. General didn’t say anything but looked disappointed and returned to his seat in the back of the airplane. Pilot said to me: “Boy, you sure pumped Sunshine up his Ass.”

          He was in uniform but you could tell my Command Pilot was a Hippie just from the permanently glazed look in his eye. I still chuckle at what that General must have thought: Hippies and Anti-War Pilots flying missions in Vietnam…what kind of war is this? Ha, ha!

          But to a minor point–while I have said VOTE ALL INCUMBENTS OUT OF OFFICE and refer to BushtheRetard always as BushtheRetard, on the evidence that I consider is before us now, I would not suggest impeachment of BushtheRetard. Politics should be given a broad sway in our system. Don’t want to near approach the Wing Nut idiot threat of Impeaching Obama for issuing Executive Orders. We might want to impeach the idiots saying that though==obviously putting insanity before America.

          Not impeachment—Congress should have instead simply defunded the War based on Lies and brought our troops home as did DaddyofBushtheRetard.

          I do support the impeachment of Clinton though. I don’t care about what he did until he shook his finger in our faces and lied outright. I don’t like liars.

          Copy/paste?

      • stormtrooper 651 says:

        Hilarious, but confirms what we all suspected, bobo gets his history from Hollywood fiction writers.

        • bobbo, our Politicians are all Crooks in Bed with the SUPER RICH...They should all be prosecuted.... maybe after Obama? says:

          Na. Never Hollywood. Being there turned me off. then reading about it after the war. Ho Chi Minh really was a great man for his people. Vietnamese have a long history of fighting foreign invaders be they the USA, the French, or the Chinese. Oliver Stone got a lot of history right in his show. Why Vietnam today could even consider uniting with the USA to counter China expansion in the Area is beyond me. I don’t think Uncle Ho would do it. Got burned way too deeply.

          I’ve been all over Africa. It sucks hind tit like no other place in the World. Not been to Mali but I assume the worst==the world taking advantage of it from day one.

          Little changes…. and then only for the worse.

          Yea, verily.

          • Strategic Bobbo says:

            Forgot to add a caveat: Ep 7 about 28 minutes Oliver Stone said the Secret Bombing Campagin in Cambodia was carried on with maps that hid that fact from the pilots==or words to that effect.

            WTF?? USAF dropping bombs and not knowing what country they were in? …… ……. ….. well, maybe the BUF drivers for the first few weeks, but no body else.

            BWHAHAHAH—that is very funny to a certain group. Insulting to the others.

  3. dusanmal says:

    Known for Mali from a very young age. Well known joke (that works only in my native language, particularly for young kids): Where are women the most happy in the world? – In the state of Nevada. And where are they the least happy? – In the country of Mali.
    Hey, that works as surrealists joke even in English.

    That said, as long as we do not call who the real enemy is – political fundamental Islam, this terrorism will not be stopped but will grow.

  4. ± says:

    Not to worry, the French will capitulate as soon as one of them gets killed.

  5. MikeN says:

    Weren’t liberals mocking ROmney for mentioning Mali so much?

  6. ECA says:

    NEXT..
    LIBERIA..

    • pedro says:

      I love Liberia. An excellent example of why Africa will never live within civilized rules. Obama should be president there.

  7. noname says:

    American’s are idiots, a bunch of gutless bandwagon fans

    All it takes is for some Republican President to claim it’s in America’s national security interest to attack someplace (plus wars are good for depressed economies) and they are all ravenously for it (as long as there is no draft or tax increase)!

    Think of Afghanistan; America went to War to get one person and in the end it only took a Seal team to kill!

    September 13, 2001: U.S. President George W. Bush delivered an ultimatum to Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban: “hand over terrorists “or share in their fate””

    After being fooled once, GWB intentionally allowed Bin Laden to escape Tora Bora into Pakistan; Americans again rallied voraciously to start a WAR in IRAQ!

    Think of how voracious, accusing and attacking Americans where of Cindy Sheehan! Think now how Americans are attacking Piers Morgan for expressing an opinion counter to the NRA!

    Where was all this, “hither come lately” anti-war sentiment, when America needed it the most, September 13, 2001!

    • jpfitz says:

      F you noname.

      Every one of your points accusing all Americans of getting in line to back Dumbo’s decisions pisses the shit out of me. I know I wasn’t the only one screaming STOP AND THINK when DUMBO rallied the war cry.

      One point you made I did hear from supposedly intelligent people was that someone needs to be punished for this attack on our soil. Most did’t care as long as the country we attacked was Islamic. Stupid knee jerk reactionary.

      Cindy Sheehan was a hero. Anyone who is gung-ho about war outta be the first to be on the ground regardless of age.

      Piers can go back to Britain and go to Hyde square and get on a pedestal and complain all he wants. No one wants a brit telling Americans how to interpret the Constitution.

      As far as being F’in GUTLESS, I probably have less of a gut than most here in the land of honey boo boo. But I started many arguments with my friends and family regarding the actions of our intelligence dept. and the military’s actions put forth by DUMBO.

      • noname says:

        Hum, feeling some guilt?

        I am always suspicious, when a person self-proclaims having “less of a gut than most here in the land of honey boo boo” and at the sometime is overly self-indignant; “pisses the shit out of me”!

        Don’t you realize, America as a whole represents only its people; warts and all? That’s what democracy means.

        You’re not the typical American narcissist; eager to take credit when things go right, refuse to accept responsibility when things go wrong, and cannot engage in constructive self-criticism?

        If you want America to rise up and be a world example again, setting the world standard countries will strive too; its people will have to be the ones to take the initiative, not the Prez, not the Congress and not the Courts!

        • Capuccinno and Bobbo says:

          What a bunch of meaningless crap. CRAP I tell you. Kinda like…… why kinda like….. Word Crap Stew!

          Overspecializing in a meal no one can stomach there noname.

          It takes an idiot, shill, or propagandist to try to characterize any large group of people as just one thing.

          America like any other ((Whole GodDa*n COUNTRY OF 320mm)) is full of factions. Worse, even where popular opinion is well known, the leaders who actually make policy and move our troops around the world, often are marching to something other than the public will.

          Want to blame everyone in America for what Washington does?—You are a dumb shit. I suspect for that very purpose alone. Eat too much Crap Stew, and thats what happens.

          Silly Hooman.

          • noname says:

            Your new & favorite theme, word crap! Well, this be more chunky word crap stew!

            I wonder how long your disparate meme attempt will last.

            This will be good for me and good for you; you don’t like my writing(s)!

            Makes no diff! But, I will toy & explore this theme of yours for all it’s worth!

            You are such an amenable and responsive test subject! This science should be fun; regularly annoy test subject and record response (Lather, Rinse, and Repeat)!

            My guess is 98% of DU readers wonder about your absurdly silly and unimpressive attempts at intellectualism.

            This isn’t an elitist or intellectual forum that you hope to command; yet there you aim.

            I actually prefer you target my authentic “word crap” and let others can take it for what it’s worth!

        • jpfitz says:

          No I’m not the typical American. When I travel people ask if I’m Canadian. Ha, and I’m not f’in around.

          I’m embarrassed to be American at times, maybe that’s the guilt you sense.
          Changing the path that America takes in the future is up to the next generation, I’m of the Vietnam anti-war and anti-colonialism generation. I do my best to spread peace and respect when in US and abroad.

        • dadeo says:

          I think noname watches too much US TV or old pre-2K movies. Those moving images on the screen aren’t real people – they are fictional drama. Come to think of it, so is our msm news. Better stick to reading and skip the judging.

  8. ECA says:

    Corp america, needs something done..
    Lets get the gov to do it..ITS CHEAP, and we can charge them for it also..

  9. Dallas says:

    I’m familiar with Mali. It’s a landlocked country in West Africa. Mali is bordered by Algeria on the north, Niger on the east, Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire on the south, Guinea on the south-west, and Senegal and Mauritania on the west.

  10. sargasso_c says:

    Ask yourselves, where does France get Uranium from?

  11. LibertyLover says:

    Let’s see if I can stir the pot here some . . .

    They had a military coup a year or so ago where the democratically elected government was overthrown and the Constitution was torn up. I’ve always wondered how a population puts up with such nonsense.

    Turns out there are only 1.1 guns per 100 people in civilian hands.

    That’s how!

    • MikeN says:

      We should drop a million guns in Cuba and see what happens.

    • Dallas says:

      God? …. Nah
      Gays? … Umm, already got gay words like ‘shaft’, ‘harder’, and ‘France’

      Let’s go with GUNS again!!

    • noname says:

      Guns are the cure for everything, even the common cold.

      What’s worse an Anarchist or an NRA member; neither, they are both the same!

  12. MikeN says:

    So that’s what Joe Wilson was doing on his fact-finding trip to Niger.

  13. msbpodcast says:

    After seeing the success the Americans has in Libya, one country down and no American casualties, the French company Rafale is about to deploy a great many drones.

    This will shore up the various French weapon industries, provide employment to military-industrial types in air conditioned containers in various arrondissements around France and give absolutely nothing for the Islamists to shoot at.

    The poor, dirty, smelly, ignorant, Kalashnikov brandishing suckers will never get within koran throwing distance of any military personel. There will be no towel-wearing mujahedins pushing knifes through the throats of the oppressors on grainy video making it onto the evening news.

    The French have already learned that they weren’t such bastards during the Vietnam and the Algerian insurgencies/wars and that they don’t have a sufficiently blod-thirsty populace for a long drawn out war.

    The new foreign legion will consist of a few thousand eighteen to twenty-four year olds joystick jockeys who eat lunch at a corner bistro and get go home after an average day of blowing people out of their socks.

    The equipment can stay up there 24 hours a day while the personel take 8 hour shifts.

    If they’re smart, they’ll charge the government of Mali for protective services and turn the whole venture into a profit centre for the French.

    • msbpodcast says:

      I can already imagine the handouts from Rafale Industries scattered around conference tables:

      Drones: The Promise of Telepresence … Realized

  14. David says:

    Sounds like a great opportunity to test all these new thermobaric and bunker buster bombs in real world situations. We need to that AQIM for the realistic training environment.

  15. Ah_Yea says:

    I wonder how many understand

    – The only real reason the French are going into Mali is to divert attention from Hollande’s failed socialist domestic policies.

    A little blood and guts to swell the national pride!!

    • pedro says:

      What I’m loving is the lack of international outcry over the French’s “adherence” of UN policies.

      Lefties are such hypocrites…

    • Cash McCall says:

      I will take those fries with extra ketchup please…

  16. Ah_Yea says:

    This makes me wonder if our current socialist president with failed domestic policies will send us into war for a little blood and guts to swell our national pride??

  17. moss says:

    No one here ever listened to Ali Farka Toure?

    Gee, what a surprise.

  18. jpfitz says:

    The US will not intercede, is there any oil or gold. Then maybe.

  19. Cromwell says:

    (Maybe) the French might have their own, special reasons why they intervene in Mali. That is their business
    But what is important, at its core it is a war against oppression and for the freedom of choice. The choice of the individuum to think and believe what they want.
    No one has to be forced to believe what someone else want!
    Nowhere on this planet!
    So I say, hunt this scum down, kill them, wipe this cancer out everywhere in the world, whatever god they worship, whatever political flavor they favor, when they threaten the right for freedom, they have voided their right of existence!

  20. Cash McCall says:

    If you want to foul up something really good… send in the French.