[Marxism] Question about Mali - more

Ken Hiebert knhiebert at shaw.ca
Sat Jan 19 08:09:20 MST 2013

The piece by Roger Annis that I forwarded said:
Front de gauche/Parti communiste français
The Left Front in France has vigorously endorsed the French intervention. Left Front deputy François Asensi delivered a lengthy address to the National Assembly on January 16, 2013. The statement quibbles with the terms and duration of the intervention. It argues that the intervention must be attuned to the national sensitivities of the Malian population so as to not wreck the French standing in the region. France is the former slaveholding and colonial power in this region of Africa. Asensi expressed no acknowledgement or concern for the nationally oppressed Touareg people in the north of Mali.

The newspaper of the French Communist Party, a member part of the Left Front, is filled with news reports favorable to the French intervention. One memorable news brief quotes the leaders of six countries in favor of the intervention--the U.S., Britain, Germany, Algeria, Russia and Benin. One new article does analyze the historic existence of the national rights struggle of the Touareg:

Marv Gandall sends this comment:
Its (Front de Gauche) position seems to be more ambivalent. One account suggests Mélenchon has even "denounced" the intervention:

The firebrand (sic) of the French left, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, has also denounced the government's actions. Like his predecessor Jean Jaurès, Mélenchon believes the war is a welcomed distraction for a government unable to respond to legitimate demands of a struggling working class.


That's going to the other extreme. Mélenchon's statement on his blog is much more guarded, ie. the intervention is questionable and should not have been undertaken unilaterally. While it's wrong to characterize it as a defence, much less a "vigorous endorsement" of the action, we can agree it isn't calculated in any case to mobilize opposition to the intervention, the only effective means of halting it:

L’intérêt d’une intervention militaire extérieure pour régler le problème posé au nord du Mali est discutable.

En décider alors que les intérêts fondamentaux de la France ne sont pas en cause, selon le chef de l’Etat lui-même, et alors que les troupes africaines sont engagées, est discutable.

En décider seul, sans en saisir préalablement ni le gouvernement, ni le Parlement, est condamnable.


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Ken Hiebert replies:
Roger bases his comment on a speech made in the National Assembly by a Left Front deputy as well as the views of the CP, a component of the Left Front.  Marv reports on remarks made by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, an important figure in the Left Front.  
So Roger and Marv are not necessarily contradicting each other, but they are giving different weight to Mélenchon's remarks.  

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