Up | January 27, 2013
>>> so we have a current situation now in which the french have intervened. in fact there's news reports this morning that they have taken a major strategic city that was held by -- i'm not sure of the right term, the islamists, let's say that. so the question now is now what? this seems like the classic kind of quick sand intervention.
>> i think the u.s. is in my mind preferable to the french. horace and i will agree that the french has a horrible record in africa .
>> they were the colonial rulers of this area.
>> the french were particularly bad. maybe the portuguese would have rivaled them but they had a bigger area. so i'm uncomfortable with them. but if the terrorists, jihadists, i'm glad somebody stopped them because it gives me nightmares of what would have happened if they had gotten into bama bamaku. the u.s. has civil society traditions that will hold the government's feet to the fire. whatever they are doing in mali .
>> you sound like john bolton , dude.
>> i'm only saying comparatively i don't see that in france , okay. if you look at french policy, whichever side of the aisle, everybody just says, oh, it's africa , let our government do whatever it wants. but you have the anti-apartheid movement and i would prefer the u.s. to france .
>> robin, robin -- robin, you wanted to jump in.
>> i do. whether it's the united states or france , the reality is that military force is not going to solve the problem alone. bombing attacks are not going to remove the jihadists or the -- not address the core issues that have divided mali . and this is where you need a really much longer term solution, and this is where the united states has talked about smar just defense and diplomacy but also includes economic development . and that's really the key in trying to deal with the intense poverty and sense of need and desperation in this large and strategically located african nation. i was in bamaco in the 1990s during the first visit of the secretary of state and the great question was mali as a model for africa , could you have democracy endure in a country which doesn't have much of a middle class , where poverty is so rampant and doesn't have a whole lot of outside aid to help it develop. and so the great question is not just how many resources are devoted right now to get rid of the jihadists, extremists, marginalize, recapture the north, allow for democratic elections to put back a representative government , but what do you do, what does the outside world do to create a viable state and stabilize -- create a model all over again in this region now of deep instability?
>> the outside world can't ever do that in my view. i don't think it's ever succeed eld. that has to come from inside. the kinds of intervention that we're seeing is solely aimed at the military part. and what we're already seeing is that french planes have killed civilians in various cities.
>> all of the discussion have ignored the people of mali . all of the discussion about what to do ignore the fact that there's a civil society in mali . that they are people who want peace and the malian people do not want the military.
>> as robin pointed out, the world has ignored already what africans wanted. africans went to the united stations security council for months asking for a mandate to intervene. we all dithered. now, frankly, given the destruction and the sheer inhumanity, barbarity of sharia law that has taken hold in mali , it is time for military intervention . i strongly support the french but i am very glad that the united states did not take the role that the french have because, of course, the world would be up in arms about that. i think that now is the time for the united states to seriously think through what kind of humanitarian assistance can it give mali since the french are doing the dirty work , it's time for the united states to get smart about soft power .
>> horace, i want you to have the last point here.
>> i think anyone who talks about france intervening in africa to help africans do not have a sense of the history of the destruction and killing and the torture that has been carried on by the french. this is an opportunist move by france --
>> we're talking about now.
>> to preempt work that was being done by africa and by africans . who wanted to go in? what we've seen in somalia , that after all the talk of somalia , it was the african troops who cleaned up the somalia institution. in the final analysis it will be africans on the ground to solve the problem.
>> horacecampbell and nii, thank you for joining us this morning. that was fascinating. there were so many different perspectives there that i had not been anticipating. rooting for an american intervention over the french.