Opposition to Tuareg Nationalism in Mali?

Now that’s an incisive rebuttal of the War Nerd’s Mali piece. The detail, the nuance, the logical construction and persuasive rhetoric, the … :smack:

I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean. Does that mean I’m stupid? Does it mean I’m unable to read? Does it negate the six months of French training I had with African teachers who talked about their cultures? Or that I didn’t travel in-country or talk to people who, while also agents of our government, were experts on Malian culture and politics? Please enlighten me. You’ve contributed exactly four sentences to this discussion, two of which were snark.

I thought it was obvious. You were there as an agent of a foreign government. A government which like all governments had an agenda which all of its agents are influenced by and whose views are based upon that.

Oh it is. I used to read him all the time and it’s his pet theory, tribal warfare and dislikes. Iraq, tribal war. Afghanistan, tribal war. Sri Lanka? Of course it’s tribal war. Burma? Do you even have to ask. No more than a superficial analysis of the underlying issues and complexities, it’s tribal war.:rolleyes:

Not everyone who works for the government is a government robot who spouts the party line. In fact, most of the people I knew who dealt with country issues were highly intelligent people who were very well informed. While they were there to execute US policies as they related to the Malian government, it doesn’t mean they were ignorant of local culture, politics and issues.

I never said that they did. Simply, a diplomat whose duty is to further his countries interests has a different view from a local.

That was the crux of the problem. When a country “owns” a region, what happens must stay internal. If Germany decides “Hey! Alsace should be ours, not France’s!” that is a recipe for war. Arguing “that is our land because you stole it (50/100/2000) years ago!” is an argument that also leads to trouble. If outside groups and especially other countries start telling a country "you should let (Eritrea/Kurdistan/South Sudan/Cosrsica/Basque etc.) separate, then it is asking for trouble -serious trouble; especially when the suggestion is followed by logistical support for rebels.

Everybody lives in a glass house. My point was that the UN was not so much about global human rights, or world government, or such - it was about setting up a framework, especially stable borders, so that WWII would not happen again.

Not an expert, but from what I read… Hitler initially wanted to just unite all the “German Lands”; he though he could take Austria, Sudetenland, and Poland with a minimum of hassle. Almost! … Maybe he planned that next he could get Alsace with an easy romp over an isolated France. After that, left to his own, who knows? Between alliances and a “sphere of influence” (like Russia’s postwar Eastern Europe?) a combination of conquests, allies, and puppets to ensure the resources Germany needed? Then eventually isolate, block off and take care of those pesky commies once and for all?

Alsace and Lorraine simply demonstrate the standard lesson of European war - if you take the land this year because you can, the other side will try to take it back when they recover. The best road to peace is to break that cycle.

Furthermore, and it got lost in my earlier post, in this era diplomats are perhaps more clueless than the averge individual. They spend most of their time holed up in their fortresse which they try to pass off as embassies.

Your ignorance is showing, but that aside, can I assume that you are Tuareg, or barring that, Malian?

He is not, he is Pakistani, it is strange to think he is Malian just because of criticisms of people far away.

He’s the one who is making the snide remarks while implying that his knowledge of the area is superior to those who work and live there. I’d like to know what his bona fides are, other than just being obviously somewhat anti-American. If that knowledge is gained through reading, instruction, etc., then how does that make his knowledge superior to others who not only acquire their knowledge by those means but also by having boots on the ground? If he were West African, then I would bow to his views of the area.

“Anti American”? Now you are just paranoid and hallucinating.

So “holed up in their fortresses which they try to pass off as embassies” was what: a love letter? It’s completely inaccurate in every sense, but it seems like you have a hard-on for anybody who’s not you.

Yes. You are right. It’s a term I invented, not John Kerry, he never mentioned it :rolleyes:. And US missions world over are like museums, anyone can just walk in. And there has been no discussion of this fortress embassy by former state department officials and certainly not in FP mag or Foreign Affairs. No, it a figment of my imagination.

You are deluded. And if you are representive of United State diplomats, that explains a lot.

This is a bizarre conversation. I know a few people at the embassy in Bamako right now. Diplomats don’t all come out of the diplomat factory. Some are engaged and active in their local communities. I’m sure others are complete tools. Some may agree completely with US policy. Most are able to hold their own private opinions outside of their jobs. While not everyone will personally agree with the view of your average Amadou on the street, most people are able to learn about and understand other people’s opinions.

I don’t know the situation right now, but up until last month, my buddy lived in an ordinary middle class neighborhood. His family ate at local restaurants and otherwise lived relatively normal lives. Not surprising, as both are returned Peace Corps volunteers who miss village life.

Exactly my point. I will also point out that AK84 has not responded to my request for bona fides, but continues to cite anecdotal evidence rather than real life experience, and continues to sneer rather than discuss. I should expect no more at this point and won’t engage him further.

Moderator Warning

AK84, insults are not allowed in General Questions. Political jabs are not appropriate either. This is an official warning. Don’t do this again.

Moderator Note

Chefguy, you can drop the snark as well. No warning issued.

General Questions Moderator

Odd, too about this conversation - at least in the USA, a number of diplomatic posts, especially the prestige ones, are given to campaign contributors and other high society types, rather than career diplomats. Presumably the guy them becomes a figurehead and leaves a lot of the day-to-day work to the career diplomats working for him.

It’s not like Shirley Temple was an expert on Ghana before she headed out there.

Matter of fact, Turkey did precisely that with Hatay in 1938–1939. Were you aware of or alluding to that? If not, quelle ironie.

Before the United Nations was formed.

Interesting. Thanks.