The Ministry of Madness - وزارة الجنون

France has now gone into Mali, or rather over it (edit: no, I was right the first time), Nigeria is preparing to send troops,ECOWAS cannot be far behind, and the US is making noises.  While I cautiously admit that in this case, a solution is likely to be at least partly military, the intervention does raise a few points. (An abbreviation guide and links to other resources are at the end.)

1. It’s quite evident that some countries – particularly France, but also the US – are using the Mali crisis as an excuse to do something in the absence of clear and uncontroversial steps they can take about Syria.  The start of intervention has raised an excellent opportunity for unreconstructed isolationist maniacs in the US to scream about variable treatment of Islamists in the two countries and how the Ba’thists aren’t that bad after all.  These…

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