French Military Embarrassments Continue As Insurgents Grab More Territory In Mali

Tyler Durden's picture

As reported over the weekend, late on Friday French forces launched a military campaign, consisting primarily of airforce incursions, designed to crush the "Islamic extremists" in the country in order to protect "European interests" (it is unclear what these may be). Parallel with this came the first humiliation for French military forces as a French helicopter pilot was killed nearly at the same time as the offensive was launched. But even more embarrassing was the bungled attempt to rescue a hostage in Somalia, in which the hostage is said to have died (by France at least, not his captors), while at least one French commando is also reported to have been left behind. Moments ago, AP reported on the latest French military developments in Mali, which confirm that when it comes to the words "French military" and "success" will hardly ever be seen side by side.

To wit: "Despite intensive aerial bombardments by French warplanes, Islamist insurgents grabbed more territory in Mali on Monday and got much closer to the capital, French and Malian authorities said. In the latest setback, the al-Qaida-linked extremists overran the garrison village of Diabaly in central Mali, France's defense minister said in Paris. Jean-Yves Le Drian said Monday the rebels "took Diabaly after fierce fighting and resistance from the Malian army that couldn't hold them back." In other words, "before France sent its forces in on Friday, the closest known spot the Islamists were to the capital was 680 kilometers (420 miles) away"... while "by now sweeping in from the west, they are now only 400 kilometers (250 miles) from Mali's capital, Bamako, in southern Mali." Yet another French military campaign stupendously executed.


France is urging the "Africanization" of the conflict, encouraging African nations to send troops to fight the Islamic extremists. There have been promises, but no troops movements have yet been publicly announced.


Early Monday, an intelligence agent confirmed that shots rang out near the Diabaly military camp in what was still nominally government-held territory and that soon after, jets were heard overhead, followed by explosions. The agent insisted on anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.


A Malian commander in the nearby town of Niono said the bombardments did not stop the Islamist fighters and that they occupied Alatona, and on Monday, they succeeded in reaching the north-south road which connects Diabaly to Segou, the administrative capital of central Mali.


The Islamist advance in central Mali came even after fighter jets late Sunday began dropping bombs in the rice-growing region of Alatona. At that point, a rebel convoy had been spotted 40 kilometers (24 miles) southeast of Diabaly, until recently the site of a major, U.S.-funded Millenium Challenger Corporation project.


French radio Europe 1 broadcast a telephone interview with Omar Ould Hamaha, a leader of the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, which controls part of northern Mali. In it he dared the French to "come down on the ground if they're real men. We'll welcome them with open arms," he said. "France has opened the gates of hell ... it has fallen into a trap much more dangerous than Iraq, Afghanistan or Somalia."

One can only hope the tide doesn't turn so much on the French that the "insurgents" make their way to Paris where the French army surrenders post haste.

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Freddie's picture

At least the French did not surrender to Islam at the ballot box - twice - through rigged elections.

midtowng's picture

I wouldn't be so proud. Our military got punked in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Randall Cabot's picture

The French are good at rape though:

Monte Cassino was captured by the Allies on May 18, 1944. The next night, thousands of Goumiers and other colonial troops scoured the slopes of the hills surrounding the town and the villages of Ciociaria (South Latium). Over 60,000 women, ranging in age from eleven to 86, suffered from violence, when village after village came under control of the Goumiers. Civilian men who tried to protect their wives and daughters were murdered without mercy. The number of men killed has been estimated at roughly 800.[3]

The mayor of Esperia, a comune in the Province of Frosinone, reported that in his town, 700 women out of 2,500 inhabitants were raped and that some had died as a result. According to some sources, more than 7,000 Italian civilians, including women and children, were raped by Goumiers


Boeing Boy's picture

Normally a big fan of ZH but I don't like this commentary at all.  These types of missions are always risky and success or failure can hang on a thread or a bit of luck.  I have a lot of respect for french military, but they have lacked support from successive governments.  I don't, for a second believe Hollande did this to distract his electorate, far too risky for that.


Have some respect for those who were killed in the line of duty. you probably wouldn't describe your own military in such a condascending way, I can give you one of the biggest US cock ups in recent times, Op Anaconda, Afg, look it up then tell me the plan was not totally incompetent.  It still took very brave men to carry it out, and some did not come back.  BTW the Brits were invited to take part, but declined, because of the holes in the plan.


The person who wrote this article is probably small dicked and never served.  For example, the french pilot was flying an unprotected gazelle helicopter, putting his arrse in harms way and died from wounds received.  So ram that up your sarcastic backside.

Azannoth's picture

Because it requires a Huge Dick to bomb people from supersonic jets flying miles above

john39's picture

being part of the NWO 'good to slaughter' innocent brown people club is not going to win you many up votes around here boeing boy...  better get back to building missles and drones to kill innocent people.   i know, just doing your job.  well done.

earnyermoney's picture

He should spend more time fixing the design flaws of the 787.

hooligan2009's picture

i grovel at the huge bulge in your pants..ok ..i don't..but i'm sure the ho ho's in your office can cover over the syphillitic ooze emanating from the swelling to complement your massiveness..

have you ever considered that there is no actual need for anyone from Europe to be in Africa and that it is the "Sad Continent" for a reason? Perhaps you were born in the wrong era and you would have been better suited to the "Agent Orange" or "Hiroshima/Nagasaki" eras, that blossomed into the World of Warfare for those in society whose fingers are best kept off the buttons that kill innocent civilians.

Boeing Boy's picture

I am surprised you can point to Africa on a map.


Well done, congratulations.  

Matt's picture

The democratically elected government of Mali requested aid from Western powers. They didn't invite themselves over there. The conflict seems to have been initiated purely from Al-qaeda-in -the-Meghreb. 

Should we abandon the Africans to be wiped out by the Islamification and Arabization of Africa?

john39's picture

Man, i vote for a throw down between you and Million Dollar Bonus for best trolling....  you really nailed it.

Cathartes Aura's picture

who is "we" that you refer to?

Xe-Xtian Crusader Erik da Prince is working on "your" behalf to secure the African Continent for the use of. . . oh wait, did he jump sides?  he's working for China now?  out of UAE. . .?  wasn't he amrka's "patriot"??

don't take "sides" Matt, they sure don't. . .

AnAnonymous's picture

Because it requires a Huge Dick to bomb people from supersonic jets flying miles above

When you are an 'american', yes, it does require.
Like scoring a touch down...

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

AnAnonymous said:

When you are an 'american', yes, it does require.
Like scoring a touch down...

Chinese citizenism equivalentary of touch down being Tibetan monk immolation.

This now being accompanied by Chinese citizenism celebratory gesturing analogous to 'american' Teebowing, but more reflectary of Chinese citizenism eternal nature, called Mao Tse Dung-dropping.

AnAnonymous's picture

So yes, Mali is for Tibet.

'Americans' take Tibet and out of it, find multiple justifications for their endeavours.

Fractional reserve...

An 'american' trait...

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Distractional reserve...

A Chinese citizenism trait...

akak's picture

AnAnonymousitizenism is as offuscationalizing blame-placing and forcing all responsibility to the exterior does.


But when diversionary monolizing of the speeching means flows like diarrhea on a Chinese roadside, just have to go with the flow and bear with it ...

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


But when diversionary monolizing of the speeching means flows like diarrhea on a Chinese roadside, just have to go with the flow and bear with it ...

Maopectate now the muchly needed mattering thing.

akak's picture

When comsumptionalizing recipes for wokking the dog from famous Little Red (Cook)Book of fabled Chinese Communist past, Maopectate ingestionism much wise for avoidance of explosive roadside Communist sharty expeditiously.

NotApplicable's picture

Funny, second troll gets no play!

A.K.A. "The early word gets the burn."

Spider's picture

Thats right we should give honor and respect to men blindly serving to fulfill their government's big corporate interests.

<End with cliche about Troops giving their lives for our freedom while sitting back and sipping my $10 mocha>

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

America, FUCK YEAH!
Coming again, to save the mother fucking day yeah,
America, FUCK YEAH!
Freedom is the only way yeah,
Terrorist your game is through cause now you have to answer too, 
America, FUCK YEAH!
So lick my butt, and suck on my balls,
America, FUCK YEAH!
What you going to do when we come for you now, 
it’s the dream that we all share; it’s the hope for tomorrow


McDonalds, FUCK YEAH!
Wal-Mart, FUCK YEAH!
Baseball, FUCK YEAH!
Rock and roll, FUCK YEAH!
The Internet, FUCK YEAH!
Slavery, FUCK YEAH!


Starbucks, FUCK YEAH!
Disney world, FUCK YEAH!
Valium, FUCK YEAH!
Reeboks, FUCK YEAH!
Fake Tits, FUCK YEAH!
Taco Bell, FUCK YEAH!
Rodeos, FUCK YEAH!
Bed bath and beyond (Fuck yeah, Fuck yeah)

Liberty, FUCK YEAH!
White Slips, FUCK YEAH!
The Alamo, FUCK YEAH!
Band-aids, FUCK YEAH!
Las Vegas, FUCK YEAH!
Christmas, FUCK YEAH!
Immigrants, FUCK YEAH!
Popeye, FUCK YEAH!
Democrats, FUCK YEAH!
Republicans (republicans)
(fuck yeah, fuck yeah)

A Nanny Moose's picture

All it takes is one of those cliche yellow ribbon magnets on the tailgate of your Ford Extinction, or sending em' boxes of Girl Scout cookies.

Empty gestures to avoid the tough questions.

Never One Roach's picture

Gun control....if they had 'gun control' laws this wouldn't happen.


(sarc on)

AnAnonymous's picture

Gun control....if they had 'gun control' laws this wouldn't happen.

(sarc on)

Not so much sarcastic, considering that rebels got their weapons from Gadafi's army arsenals...

Somehow, gun control got much looser in Libya and boom, you've got that Malian crisis.

Aint the 'american' philosophy fruitful?

ceilidh_trail's picture

cHinEse army has a chink in it's armor. Used aircraft carrier go sinky dink like cHinEse luxury yacht did. cHinEse tall buildings not so tall when randomly over on their side. cHinEse trains can't seem to stay on track. Need cHinEE superhero ananon to the rescue!

akak's picture

Not so much sarcastic, considering that Chinese shitizens got their roadside-crapping habits from traditions of fabled Chinese past ...

Somehow, bowel control got much looser in China and boom, you've got that sanitation crisis.

Aint the Chinese shitizenism philosophy poopful?

Ignorance is bliss's picture

The death of French soldiers and the current war within Mali is indeed a serious and sad event. However, the military strikes in Mali appear to be part of a historical formula deployed by struggling governments whenever financial ineptitude and excessive debt strikes the nation. Behind the curtains we almost always find a financial incentive and rarely do we find a true moral imperative to send a nation's youth onto the battlefield. The moral dilemma is not with zero hedge readers but with the Government of France.

the iD's picture

ur leaking something from your wing there...

blabam's picture

Why do you have respect for an organisation specialized in the killing of human beings? And fuck everybody who "served". If everybody stopped "serving" we would be in a happier place. 

Dugald's picture

Boeing Boy.......

Well said and needed saying which you did so well....

How many strutting their keyboads here have served, they sound like a bunch of spiteful old tree huggers.

hooligan2009's picture

you sound like an experienced killer of have my vote! when are you running for world dictator?

Boeing Boy's picture

Thanks. My comments were in support those who took part in the failed rescue attempt of their colleague.  They are warriors and walk tall, even though they wear the uniform of France.  



Vlad Tepid's picture

So let me get this straight:  You also then support those who took part in the (so far) failed liberation attempt of the Malian capital.  After all, the Oneness and Jihad movement are warriors and can walk tall, even though they wear the flip-flops of African rebels...or do you only root for the side that has John Wayne on it?

Boeing Boy's picture

Define liberation and the aims of the movement then I'll give you an answer.

Vlad Tepid's picture

So a few dirt farmers of the Islamic brand want to take a city from dirt farmers of another brand  - and they're the bad guys.

The colonial imperialists who left the country decades ago come back for no reason at all except to say hi and drop HE on highway traffic - and they're gallant.


These terms are very easy to define for the Malinese rebels.  Can you define what exactly the aims of the French movement are?  Killing people is killing people.  Sometimes a rebellion or civil war needs to be fought, I guess.  That's between them peoples's.  I start making value judgements when a foreign power comes in appropo of nothing and starts bombing the shit out of one particular side.  That doesn't strike you as...mean? Foolish?  Evil?  Dumb?

Boeing Boy's picture


Do you welcome the imposition of Sharia Law?  Is that your idea of liberation?


Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa. MOJWA is believed to be a splinter group of AQIM. Its stated goal is the imposition of sharia (Islamic law) across the whole of West Africa. Ina statement released in English and Hausa on the 10 December 2011, the group threatened to spread jihad beyond North African deserts and establish a foothold in sub-Saharan West Africa.9 The group also claims inspiration from 19th century West African Moslem leaders, who fought European colonial powers. 10 


NotApplicable's picture

Now, how many of the leaders of this group do you think realize that they are wholly funded by these same colonial powers? (Likely only a handful getting paid handsomely for the privilege)

Proxy wars, the hallmark of any decent divide and conquer campaign.

See, the mob cares not which side you choose, but only that you choose a side.

Matt's picture

Well, if you buy gasoline, and that gas comes from oil from Saudi Arabia, then you are funding the terrorists. If you want to go to the extreme end of indirect finance.

Saying America is funding them because of oil bought in Saudi Arabia that funds princes there, some of whom may fund jihadists, is quite a stretch.

Vlad Tepid's picture

I currently work in a Gulf state that is under the direct thumb of the Saudis.  I see their tanks and armored cars every day and watch an oppressed people frustrated in their attempts at self-determination.  One doesn't have to be a cave-dwelling jihadists to be a terrorist...

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

Interesting that the film "Argo" scored surprising wins at the Golden Globes last night.  "CIA as hero", in of all places, Iran.  LOL.  Kind of a giant middle finger to anyone on the receiving end of CIA "special operations".  

Totentänzerlied's picture

About as surprising as vanilla icecream.