Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Crisis in Mali

French President François Hollande decided to send fifteen thousand French troops to Mali after terrorists from Northern Mali pushed South, taking Timbuktu and the capital city. 

To date, about six thousand French nationals live in Bamako, and about eighty thousand Malians live in France with close family ties in Mali. In 2006, Bamako was estimated to be the fastest growing city in Africa and the sixth fastest in the world. 

Today we are going to examine what happened, and answer that big question, with all the problems in the world, and in France, why does France give a crap about Mali? Mali poses absolutely no threat to their security. 


When asking why any country cares about another, consider the following factors: money, energy, power, and geography. France does not have any uranium, so they have to mine it from abroad. They get their uranium from Niger, and those uranium mines just so happen to be very close to the boarder of Mali. In order to continue mining, the French must have safe access to the uranium and be able to transport it back to France for enrichment.

Nearly 79% of of French electricity comes from its highly developed nuclear power plants. Areva is France's major government owned power plant with stocks on the French market. Areva's main shareholder is the French public-sector company, CEA, which owns 78.9% of it's stock. If you wonder what the CEA does, just think of the United States Department of Energy, they do the same things. The French State (including the 78.9% of CEA shareholdings) owns more than 90% of the Areva. Therefore, it is a French nationalized energy company. Areva is responsible for enriching uranium. In the image below you will see actual French uranium enrichment sites. 


Uranium is enriched through a process called isotope separation. It is done by concentrating specific isotopes of a uranium, by removing others. There is no simple way of explaining this, and I must admit that I do not understand it as well as I should. Uranium found in nature consists of two isotopes, U-235 and U-238. They do something called 'fission', or splitting the U-235 atoms. This process releases energy in the form of heat. U-235 is the main isotope used. There are a few stages of uranium enrichment: slightly enriched, reprocessed, low-enrichment, and highly enriched. There are two currently used methods for enrichment. Gaseous diffusion (also referred to as first generation) and gas centrifuge (second generation) which consumes only 6% as much energy as gaseous diffusion. 


The Islamic militants of Mali do not pose a threat to the uranium in Niger. They lack the education and skill to build an automobile, let alone enrich uranium. Instead, they resort to the things that the religion of peace (ah-hem) are good at: kidnapping, beheading, threats, and the like. Three years ago they kidnapped French energy workers in Niger, near the boarder of Mali. Since it happened, some of the hostages were released, others are still alive and being held. Imagine what it must be like to be held hostage by Islamic militants for three years. What a nightmare. In the French News Clip linked in this blog, Hollande discusses the deplorable conditions in which these people are being kept.

Agents from the religion of peace threatened to kill the French hostages if France invaded Northern Mali. It appears that day has finally arrived. These little bastards doing the work of Allah also asked for 90 million euros ($118 million dollars), in exchange for the hostages. Ahh.... religion makes people so moral, doesn't it? Nicolas Sarkozy (former French president) made it clear that they would not be paying off any terrorists. 

Jihadists decided to take over Northern Mali last year. However, they have now decided to start moving South, to the wealthier and more fertile parts of a very poor country. 

If the Muslims take the capital city, and southern Mali then there will be an international crisis. As the terrorists have been moving further south, they decided that they had no choice but to launch military action to gain control of the region. West African troops are in the process of deploying troops to Mali. This is not only a French invasion, but a West African invasion 

French Hostages


Mali is a landlocked West African country, and one of the poorest in all of Africa.  The north is an arid desert, the south has some farming and a small amount of industry, farming, and gold. Transport costs are higher on land than sea. The landlocked country has little choice about the transit of goods and land transport charges are subject to monopoly pricing within the adjacent countries. They tend to have inward looking economic development strategies which simply do not work in countries that have few, if any resources. (Switzerland and Austria being the only exceptions). The economic disadvantages experienced by landlocked, third world countries like Mali are staggering. It is amongst the Least Developed Countries in the world because they have no access to the sea, and trade relies upon their neighboring countries. 

Momar Gaddafi hired the hundreds of Tuaregs, from Mali and Niger to fight for him in Libya.
When the inevitable arrived and Gaddafi was killed, the Mali mercenaries took his money, weapons, and brought them straight back to Mali. The Turaregs, (namely, their rebel leader Iyad Ag Ghaly) are one of three main Islamist groups in Mali causing all the problems. From 2007 to 2010 Ghaly was actually a diplomat representing Mali, to our allies (wink wink) Saudi Arabia. A US diplomatic release broke by Wikileaks referred to Ghaly as, "turning up like the proverbial bad penny" whenever there was the prospect of a cash transaction. 

The others are Ansar Dine, Movement for Inity and Jihad in West Africa (Mujao) and of course, our old friend al-Qaeda. How could we forget al-Qaeda. 

These bastards destroyed Timbuktu mausoleums and African artifacts that have existed for thousands of years. Muslims have a history of destroying any artifact they consider to be idolatry. They did it in Afghanistan when they destroyed Buddhist shrines dating back to the second century.  Apparently, these backward thinking fuckers want to make Mali an even bigger dump than what it already is, by destroying some of the greatest things to come out of that area. 

I watched a few French language broadcasts from Mali. The rhetoric is the same. "We will conquer France, England, USA and the name of Muhammad will rule from where the sun rises to where the sun sets." I have heard that rhetoric time and again. They think that Islam will conquer the world. These people really believe that the entire globe will be Muslim. Who can blame them for living in that delusion, if my life sucked that bad I would probably spend a lot of my time daydreaming too. 

Thousands of families have had to flee the north. These poor people are stricken with poverty, famine, and drought. What gets under my skin about that situation, is the fact that these poor people already have a hard life. Nothing sickens me more than hurting people who need help and compassion. As if their lives are not difficult enough, stupid Muslims have to come in and make life even worse. 

Officially France wants to stop the rebel advances long enough to handover the conflict to a trained African force, made up of about 3,300 soldiers from several countries. President Hollande said France won’t leave until “Mali is safe, has legitimate authorities, an electoral process and there are no more terrorists threatening its territory,” indicating a long-term commitment.

Although I support the French decision to invade Mali and kick the shit out of the Islamist terrorists, Mali has all the potential of being a quagmire. 

Suddenly the separatist movement became a fight to impose radical Islam across all of Mali and the well-armed jihadist, funded largely by ransom payments from kidnappings and drug trafficking, started winning battles against the Malian army. Those defeats led to a military coup last year in Bamako that left Mali with virtually no government.


The above title was entirely sarcastic. France are completely alone on this one. France formally asked the United States for help in the Mali crisis. The United States, Germany, England and all other Western Countries have not offered the French any help. In fact, the British said they have no intention on deploying any troops to Mali. Goodness me, if we care so much about our fellow human beings, and even the United Nations supports France, then surly other countries would lend a hand? 

There would be one problem with that. Other countries do not rely on Niger for uranium to the extent that France does. According to Michael Hughes from The Huffington Post, the French have intervened in Mali only because of the uranium in Niger. I went to a website, that maps out uranium supplies around the world. I wanted to get an idea where a country would get their uranium, and how much they rely on Niger. This is what I came up with:

From the image above, it is pretty clear why nobody will help France. There are many places a country could go for uranium. In the United States, about fifteen States have uranium. Australia has loads of it, as does Canada, Brazil, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Ukraine and several other areas around the world. France has the monopoly on uranium in Niger. 

I hope the best for the people of Mali. In my dreamland, these poor people would realize that Islam screws over everything it touches in some form or another. That being said, I conclude that uranium is the primary reason that France invaded Mali. If every single African of Mali dropped dead from the black plague, I doubt President Hollande will shed a tear. If those uranium mines are taken over, then he would be inconsolable. 

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