A reader writes:
Greenwald is wrong about Mali. The US is involved in the French-led Mali operation, but is employing the same doctrine it did with Libya. Far from generating anti-American sentiment, the French have beenwelcomed, even greeted as liberators. This is an operation that is unfolding in much the same way as the operation in Libya did: international consensus, low cost, low casualty numbers, efficient, timely, where the US leads from behind, and most importantly – winning the hearts and minds of the people for a change, instead of turning them against us.
Pacifica critiques MSM coverage of the situation:
I read the NYT front page articles on Thursday about French military intervention in Mali, US expert perspective on Mali threat, and the related attack in Algeria, and I was quite struck by the NYT angle on these stories. The thing I noticed most was how single-focused all the articles were on Islamists and terrorism, as though that was explanation enough for everything that was happening – French intervention, US promises to help the French, the many years of US covert involvement in the region, and the tragic hostage situation in Algeria. …
The NYT left out some rather important pieces of information that might give a slightly more nuanced context to the situation. For example, neither France’s relationship to Mali historically (Mali having been a French colony not all that long ago) nor its relationship economically (France is quite dependent on the region for a lot of important natural resources) were alluded to once.
While other US newspapers took a similar approach to covering the conflict, Pacifica had no trouble finding French news outlets that were addressing the economic and historic aspects of the story. This left her with more questions:
Is the US in such an information bubble that the media as a whole completely believes in the narrative of “hunting terrorists” as a reason for all military involvement everywhere? Have they been selling terrorism for so long that they no longer even ask themselves if it’s true?
A reader recommends:
Has anyone yet pointed you to this fantastic blog for information about what’s happening in Mali? I spent two years living in Mali (Peace Corps Volunteer) and I am frustrated that the news and information we hear about Mali is mostly generated by (well meaning but often ill-informed) people with little familiarity with the country.
(Photo: A Man looks at the front pages of newspapers on January 21, 2013 in a street of Bamako. French and Malian troops recaptured the key towns of Diabaly and Douentza on Monday in a major boost in their drive to rout Al Qaeda-linked rebels holding Mali’s vast arid north. By Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images)