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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Mon, 01/14/2013 - 20:26 | 3152638 nofluer
nofluer's picture

Excuse me, but the US DID win the VN war. Mission was to stop the NVA/VC/Moscow and train up the ARVNs to hold them off. We did that.

The last troops/ships, air support (Carriers) were out of VN in 1973. The ARVNs held their own until 1975 when Chicken Joe Biden and his Demoncrap buddies voted to cut off the funding they promised in the Paris Peace Accords to provide. (Oath breakers.) Once the money stopped, the war ended. It's difficult to maintain a battlefield presence without gas and bullets, which cost money.

We didn't lose the war. The politicians GAVE the country away and crapped on the graves and the sacrifices of over 58,000 American troops and unknown others who paid for the SVN people's freedom.

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 07:22 | 3153538 Sanksion
Sanksion's picture

As soon as you left the NVA was seizing Saigon. Success is a new normal for failure.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 13:02 | 3157928 nofluer
nofluer's picture

"As soon as you left..."

As soon as you read my post, and then check it against HISTORY, you'll see that US troops left before the carriers, and the carriers left in early 1973 (I was on one of them), and Saigon wasn't seized by the NVA until 1975.

You got your asses KICKED out of VN. We left after the mission was successfully completed.

But then you're French. The French tend to adjust things like time to suit their delusions. Je suis desolee. Je ne parle pas Francais.

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 13:50 | 3151179 monoloco
monoloco's picture

And I have a WWii French carbine I'd like to sell you, It's in great shape, never fired and only dropped once.

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 07:37 | 3153546 Sanksion
Sanksion's picture

I have also a parachute, served only once, never opened. Some scratches on the back but in a good shape overall.

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 19:19 | 3152485 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


Another nice lesson from a long list for french morrons who believe America is a reliable ally, and even a friend of France.

One would have to be very de gaullible to believe such a thing. Any impartial observer can see that America is a reliable ally to no one, not even itself.

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 12:50 | 3150869 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

Whenever I read that word (once I learned the history about it) I call it :"Dien Bien Phu-UUUUUUUUCK!!"

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 10:49 | 3150468 kaiten
kaiten's picture

US should show them. Chasing afghan goat herders for a decade now and still cant beat them.

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 11:49 | 3150643 I am more equal...
I am more equal than others's picture

Remember the post viet nam malaise?  What better way to totally demoralize a people than to tire them out with a long fruitless war then retreat after billions are spent in the name of 'freedom.'  We are not winning and will not win.  Jimmy Carter part deux is here and his Iran situation is coming.

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 10:50 | 3150470 L_Conquistador
L_Conquistador's picture

An important detail has been omitted from this report:  the rebels gained strength and had this breakthrough following the defection of Mali military officers (and equipment) to the rebel cause.   These officers had been trained by the U.S. military over the past few years in a botched attempt at gaining an ally in this region.  Another victory for the regime here folks.

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 11:04 | 3150515 trav777
trav777's picture

you mean the US is botching foreign policy again?!?!?

Let me ask:  who ISN'T turning against us after we tried to play nice guy with them and give them shit for decades?

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 12:29 | 3150767 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

That is extremelly secondary.

Here's how the rebels gained strength:

from the Libyan event.

'American' nations bombed arsenals in Libya and also reversed the course of the war, leading the late mad dog Guaddafi to open up the arsenals to the population to prepare for a last stand.

In both cases, the outcome was to provide the rebels who served as mercenaries for the late mad dog Guadafi with military grade weapons of a much better standard than they were used to handle (was reserved to Gadafi's official army)

When Mali looked around to try to upgrade their own military equipment to match the threat, just after the mercenaries started to leak into the country, 'american' nations forced a weapons embargo on them. Hence a fast advance by rebels.

It is just another 'american' engineering.

The defection of Mali military officers and equipment (which is inferior to the one the former mercenaries got from Libya) going with it, simply showed that those people were not blind to 'american' nations' scheming.

Also shows the spread of 'americanism': if you cant beat them, join them.

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 13:41 | 3151116 Matt
Matt's picture

Oops! You posted with the wrong login, your gig is up!

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 10:50 | 3150471 earnulf
earnulf's picture

Once again, using moderne weapons and tactics to fight a war, against an insurgency.    Since 1776 insurgents have handed "modern" military forces defeat after defeat.    Maybe we need to stop spending billions on missiles, nuclear subs and carriers and planes and just go back to the bayonet?    Course we still have mines, artillery and all the other heartbreaking "weapons of war".

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 11:18 | 3150554 john39
john39's picture

maybe it would be better if "we" just stopped going places we didn't belong to take things that don't belong to "us" as mindless minions of our banker masters.   maybe instead we should fight with those brown people and end the banker occupation around the world once and for all.  maybe.

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 13:43 | 3151133 Matt
Matt's picture

And embrace Sharia law, and pray to Mecca 6 times per day, disallow women from driving or being in public without a male relative, make women hide their faces in public, disallow all other religions, and have one grand Caliph to rule us all. Sounds like a plan we can all get behind.

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 13:47 | 3151155 john39
john39's picture

emanuel goldstein contrived and controlled enemies don't scare me....  but the banker cabal and their satanic religion...  yeah, they need to go....  back to whatever hole in the ground they crawled out of under Washing/Tel Aviv/London etc.  

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 16:57 | 3152026 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

forward your suggestions to Paul Ryan, et al - I'm sure they've got some long term goals to share with you. . .

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 12:31 | 3150777 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Yep, save that 1776 is the story of failing to project forces, the King only managed to land 20,000 troops when Washington and co had over 30,000.
Besides, they were supported by the French navy that ensured not more men loyal to the King would be disembarked.
Different story.

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 10:51 | 3150473 toomanyfakecons...
toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

The French will have about as much success in Mali as the U.S. government would have in confiscating firearms.

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 10:50 | 3150476 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

France, supporting Al-CIAda in Syria and Libya, now fighting them in Mali... some Al-CIAda groups are more equal than others.

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 11:44 | 3150618 Maxhno
Maxhno's picture

I guess Areva plants in Mali are more important than civilians in decision making processes...

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 12:34 | 3150795 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

France, supporting Al-CIAda in Syria and Libya, now fighting them in Mali... some Al-CIAda groups are more equal than others.

That's 'american' nations'stuff.

Even better though: remember the Libyan crisis and when African countries wanted to settle the crisis by themselves, claiming that it was their business, and when 'american' nations issued a big no, telling them it was 'american' business working on the behalf of humanity?

Well, this time, it seems that 'american' nations are pushing forward for it to be an 'african' matter, calling the african nations to solve that matter by themselves.

Aint life good in an 'american' world...

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 10:55 | 3150490 caimen garou
caimen garou's picture

let the french resistance take care of it,they are better than regular army! " john had a long moustache"

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 10:58 | 3150507 booboo
booboo's picture

" john had a long moustache and his mother smelt of Elderberries"

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 11:29 | 3150585 forwardho
forwardho's picture

You... you... tiny brained wiper of other peoples bottoms!

Your father was a hamster and your mother smelled...of...elderberries!

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 12:08 | 3150695 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

your mother was a strawberry and your father was a canniggit

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 12:20 | 3150737 knukles
knukles's picture

John's longue moustache was stuck in the dried crust on your mother's snortch.

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 10:56 | 3150500 Thorny Xi
Thorny Xi's picture

2007 - serious oil exploration commences in Mali. ( )


2012 - TOTAL bombs "rebels" with links to al Quaeda. 

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 10:57 | 3150503 rwe2late
rwe2late's picture

If the point of the article is to mock the French for being less efficient at foreign intervention and aerial bombings against poorly defended targets than say, are the British and US,

then the author’s imperialist hubris is unmistakably even greater than his Francophobe.

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 11:10 | 3150536 Oldballplayer
Oldballplayer's picture

No, it is to point out the French really haven't been effective sine that Prussian deal in 1870.

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 11:33 | 3150587 rwe2late
rwe2late's picture


and the point you are making is:

you wish the French were more "effective" than you believe they are?


you think the first string NATO soldiers should have been sent because they would be more "effective" (at what?)?


Do you realize this isn't a sports contest?


Mon, 01/14/2013 - 11:46 | 3150628 Maxhno
Maxhno's picture


Since freemasonery promotes mason officers and blocks Catholic ones.

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 12:39 | 3150817 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Made me laugh. JKC, 'americans' always trying to sell some unbelievable stuff.

But of course, the author has to follow his 'american' nature.

'Americans' run a business of extorting the weak, farming the poor.

This kind of business comes with certain contingencies.
Which leads to mock fellows who are unable to perform the contingent tasks properly.

'Americanism' is a story of masquerading: masquerading propaganda and fantasy for truth, coercion for freedom, injustice for justice.

But when the time of action comes, 'american' nature lets 'americans' no other opportunity but show where their priorities lie.

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 13:01 | 3150925 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

AnAnonymous said:

JKC, 'americans' always trying to sell some unbelievable stuff.

JKC? What is that stuff JKC? Perhaps Chinese citizenism fast food franchise Just Killed Cat?

Djeee, Chinese citizenism citizens always trying to sell some unbelievable stuff.

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 13:38 | 3151103 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Excellent one.

Who is trying to sell that JKC stands for Just Killed Cats?

'Americans', they are doing it but feels the urge to shift it onto others...

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 14:06 | 3151285 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


Excellent one.

Made me laugh.

Who is trying to sell that JKC stands for Just Killed Cats?

Must be you trying to sell it, since you offered outward no differentiated explanation.

AnAnon must be a JKC franchisee.

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 11:04 | 3150514 etresoi
etresoi's picture

Hollande desparately needed to act presidential and get Depardieu off the front pages.  What better way is there than to drop a few bombs on Africans?

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 11:05 | 3150519 XtraBullish
XtraBullish's picture

Prototype French tank = 1 gear FORWARD 3 gears REVERSE

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 11:06 | 3150522 Son of Loki
Son of Loki's picture

The 'rebels' are using the same guns NATO gave them to bring down Gadaffi I read. Now they are using them against the frogs.

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 11:44 | 3150622 nofluer
nofluer's picture

Did I read somewhere something about 20,000 shoulder fired anti-aircraft missilse going AWOL from the Lybian "insurgents" stocks? The French best fly above - 20,000 ft?

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 12:40 | 3150827 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Not even. They used the weapons they took from Gaddafi's army arsenals.

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 11:09 | 3150532 Oldballplayer
Oldballplayer's picture

Well, at least they did not have to go to SE Asia to surrender this time. Saves on gas.

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 11:10 | 3150533 Uncle Zuzu
Uncle Zuzu's picture

What does Gerard Depardieu think of all this?  What will Mali's top marginal tax rate be under the Islamists?

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 11:11 | 3150539 john milton
john milton's picture

soon the ebay will be full of french assault rifles "never shot, only dropped twice"

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 11:13 | 3150544 Uncle Zuzu
Uncle Zuzu's picture

You can't be good at everything.  Some countries are good at war, others are good at cheese, wine and silk scarves.

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 11:14 | 3150545 crito
crito's picture

Where is the in depths, thoughtful thinking in this article?

I only see rage and stupidity. Don't comment things you don't want to understand.



Mon, 01/14/2013 - 11:18 | 3150555 marcusfenix
marcusfenix's picture

i guess they just never got past that whole maginot line debacle...

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 11:23 | 3150569 Debugas
Debugas's picture

unintended consequences of Libya's war

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