Sarkozy's France was the first to recognize the Libyan rebels as the legitimate government of Libya, long before NATO bombs completed the overthrow. Without France's determination to overthrow Libya's Gaddafi by force, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, an ally of al-Qaeda, would not have had a prayer to take over Libya. Thanks to France, primarily, they were successful.
France under Hollande became the first Western country to recognize the Syrian rebels as the legitimate government of Syria, despite the fact that theonly effective fighting force among the rebels is the Al Nusra front, an ally of al Qaeda. France has taken the lead among Western nations in arguing for direct Western arming of these Islamist rebels in Syria.
France now claims it must launch a full-fledged invasion of Mali because there is a danger that al-Qaeda Islamists will over-run that strategic African country. Does that not seem rather a stretch?
The United States, incapable of allowing a military intervention to pass by without jumping on board, dutifully followed France in the Libya debacle, blowback from which was responsible for the re-igniting of the Touareg rebellion in Mali. France, with the US providing communication and drone power, now expands the Libya intervention to Mali in attempt to end the series of events it unleashed with the Libya intervention.
The Touareg rebellion, however, is not Islamist of the al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) variety and in fact the Islamic connection may well be a convenient bit of propaganda by both the eager French government and the shaky and opportunistic political leadership in Bamako.
What do the Touaregs have that is causing such stirring in France's colonial loins? France is dependent on nuclear power for 75 percent of its energy needs. The larger African region inhabited by the Touareg, including particular in Niger, contains tons and tons of that substance that brings back memories of the Bush administration's Iraq lies: uranium.
As the above linked article points out:
Stefan Simanowitz wrote in 2009: “A key reason that the government in Mali and Niger are not keen to give the Tuareg greater autonomy is that the areas that they inhabit are home to vast natural resources with the world third largest uranium reserves as well as substantial oil reserves.” He pointed out that French mining company Areva, had lost its almost complete exclusive right to Niger’s uranium. This could easily explain why France could not afford to lose Mali as well.
We recall that the Libyan rebels promised France 35 percent of the country's crude oil in exchange for French assistance in overthrowing Gaddafi.
But the insanity of the "war on terror" is that whenever a naked resource grab or land grab needs a bit of cover, one only need scream "Islamists" or "terrorism" and the Western world jumps into action while the propagandized citizens scream for blood. And elsewhere the bodies of the innocentsline up, mile after mile, and hatred grows.