Skip to main content

View Diary: Reports: Timbuktu Manuscripts Threatened By Mali Insurgents; Some Saved (221 comments)

Comment Preferences

    •  During the Arab Spring people (31+ / 0-)

      joined hands and formed a human circle around the Library of Alexandria.  

      When things happen so quick, there is often so little time for people to save things like this.

      •  This didn't happen quickly. (13+ / 0-)

        Like the Taliban in Afghanistan, who had threatened to destroy immense buddhas carved in the cliffs thousands of years old, the world was on notice.

        If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

        by Bensdad on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:07:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But the Taliban did destroy those... (25+ / 0-)

          and the world stood by and let it happen. At the time, I felt that the countries of the world should have stopped them, taking whatever action was necessary. No one group should have the right to detroy the history of mankind.

          Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

          by reflectionsv37 on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:20:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That showed me what the Taliban REALLY stood for (11+ / 0-)

            long before Bush was selected...

            •  Destroying the Buddhas was the first time I heard (17+ / 0-)

              the word 'Taliban'.  All I could think was What IGNORANT people these are.

              And when Rumsfeld shrugged off the destruction of the Baghdad museum with "Shit happens", he showed the world What an IGNORANT person he is.

              "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

              by 417els on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:57:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  We aren't going to leave Afghanistan (0+ / 0-)

                in a much different state now than it was in then.

                The BBC aired a report this morning about a little girl aged six who was being sold to pay off a family's debt.  The government says it is illegal, but the tribal leaders gave the father their "OK" so...  

                Apparently, she will be handed over to the old guy with the scraggly beard and mustache in about a year if the father can't come up with the money.

                And... Then there is the possibility that this is a scam to get people to send the family money - so don't immediately go whipping out your checkbooks, people.  

                In a nutshell in this story above, the layers upon layers of cultural, religious and political fucked-up-ness in Afghanistan are pretty apparent.

          •  Did you sign up to go deal with it? (0+ / 0-)

            And after the countries had banded to gether and invaded Afghanistan to set this right---what would have happened next?

            Happy just to be alive

            by exlrrp on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:40:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sign up where? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              newpioneer

              What's your point?

              No one did anything to stop them. Perhaps if someone put a cap on the crazy back then, we wouldn't have been in a war for 10 freakin' years.

              Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

              by reflectionsv37 on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:02:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  My point is: (0+ / 0-)

                if you didn't sign up to do something about it, you can hardly blame other people for being just as reluctant. there ARE complications to invading Afghanistan you seem to be ignoring
                Not that there wasn't plenty of chance to do something, we've been at war there, as you pont out, for 10 freaking years, .

                here's the point again so you won't miss it again:  if you didn't do anything about it, don't complain because other people didn't either. They might have had their reasons too

                Happy just to be alive

                by exlrrp on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:14:43 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Sign up where? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  newpioneer

                  Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

                  by reflectionsv37 on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:16:34 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  maybe they had the same problem (0+ / 0-)

                    that may be why no one went to save the statues
                    You think?

                    Happy just to be alive

                    by exlrrp on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:20:08 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Sign up where? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      newpioneer

                      Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

                      by reflectionsv37 on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:20:49 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Run right down and sign up for the unfantry (0+ / 0-)
                        At the time, I felt that the countries of the world should have stopped them, taking whatever action was necessary
                        Because the worlds cultures need fighting tigers like you

                        such a bad idea, as history has proven so well. we don't do very well invading remote Islamic countries

                        Happy just to be alive

                        by exlrrp on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:24:41 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  infantry, tho unfantry is kind of funny (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          marsanges

                          Happy just to be alive

                          by exlrrp on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:25:21 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  I'm just a tad too old... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          newpioneer

                          to go sign up for the unfantry. Sorry to hear you see no reason to protect the history of mankind. Do you like burning books too?

                          Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

                          by reflectionsv37 on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:28:24 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I see no reason for Americans to die for that art (0+ / 0-)

                            (or anyone else)
                            And you haven'tt given a good one yet
                            Do you like burning Americans?

                            Happy just to be alive

                            by exlrrp on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:31:01 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Buh bye!!! n/t (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            newpioneer

                            Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

                            by reflectionsv37 on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:34:52 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Don't go away mad! (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            chmood

                            Just go away!!

                            Happy just to be alive

                            by exlrrp on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:38:40 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  An RKBA'er to the end (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            newpioneer

                            So freakin' typical!

                            Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

                            by reflectionsv37 on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:41:10 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  your sig says it all (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            DocGonzo

                            Dick Cheney: "Reagan proved deficits don't matter"
                            Mitch McConnell: "There's no evidence whatsoever that the Bush tax cuts actually diminished revenue"

                            by chmood on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 10:38:20 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  How typically Republican of you!! (0+ / 0-)

                            I may be in RKBA but youre entirely typical of someone who wants others to go for war for something he won't do him(?)self
                            How typically  Republican of you!!

                            Once again: Don't blame other people for not doing something you won't do yourself.
                            and don't send people into war over art!

                            Happy just to be alive

                            by exlrrp on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 03:45:58 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  September 11, 2001 (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            reflectionsv37

                            It was perfectly clear that the Taliban would destroy the statues in Afghanistan when they said they would.

                            And when they did it was perfectly clear that they'd help the Qaeda attack the US when they said they would.

                            Then the Qaeda attacked us, and the world descended even further into living hell, from which it has not recovered for over a decade.

                            If we had done something to protect the statues, we very likely would have nipped in the bud the same people who attacked us later. That is what it is to do the right thing: it has more than just immediately transactional benefits.

                            I thought everyone in the US had learned that waiting too long costs too much. Evidently not.

                            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                            by DocGonzo on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:17:04 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So you think the Afghan war was a good thng? (0+ / 0-)
                            I thought everyone in the US had learned that waiting too long costs too much. Evidently not
                            I sure don't

                            When George W Bush got the idea to invade Afghnistan, it was a BAD idea as history has proven all too well.
                            When you and these other people talk about invading Afghanistan to protect Afghan Art from the Afghanis, its STILL  a bad idea

                            There's NO good reason to invade Afghanistan

                            Happy just to be alive

                            by exlrrp on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:23:10 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I Didn't Say Invade (0+ / 0-)

                            But since you're the one insisting on it as if it were the only option, to reject it, you're saying we should have done nothing.

                            That was the bad option we took for years that led to our being attacked.

                            The lessons to be learned are to do something - and not to invade.

                            You are now insisting on the same course in Timbuktu. Good thing you have practically no influence on our foreign policy. Too bad too many others like you do.

                            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                            by DocGonzo on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 04:18:04 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  Unfortunately, you kind of lost your (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      reflectionsv37

                      argument when you suggest that anything could have or would have been done from the inside in Afghanistan to save the Buddhas.  At that time, the country was under such tight Taliban control that people were getting shot for having television sets.  Neither an average citizen here nor there had the power or resources to stop the Taliban.  

                      Afghanistan is a really broken society and our time there won't have changed a lot.  The people who have managed to survive thirty years of wars are by and large not prepared for modern life - the people who would have been in that country were either murdered or they fled the country.

            •  Yes; there's the quandry. We can't deal with this (8+ / 0-)

              kind of destruction by force of arms, in most cases.  But it was a sad, sad loss, and this one is in my mind far greater.  Thousands of books, representing the thought and knowledge from centuries ago, when Timbuktu was a great center of learning, a precious part of the heritage of both Africa and the Islamic world.

              Why are Islamists out to destroy Islamic history and heritage?  Oh, yeah, it's the wrong KIND of Islam.

              THe people of Timbucktu have preserved these manuscripts for centuries, families passing them on generation after generation.

              So sad.

              --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

              by Fiona West on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:17:24 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  You know perfectly well that becoming enlisted (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              reflectionsv37, DocGonzo

              in the armed forces doesn't give you the power to control where those forces are sent.   Someone who thinks the military should be used to do a particular task doesn't change the fact that it's NOT being used for that task by enlisting in it.  Once enlisted you're ordered to go what you're told, whether that's in the service of the thing that made you decide to enlist for or not.

              You're dishonestly trolling.    Or you're actually so dumb that you really think that a newly enlisted private gets to decide which nation to invade.

              The fact that these are the only two options is your fault.

              •  Let me put it this way (0+ / 0-)

                I know what the Army does or doesn't do, I was in it.
                Were you?  If not, its only a guess on your part, thanks for you opinion.

                My point, which you missed, is that you shouldn't advocate sending people into war if yore not willing to do it yourself.
                Thats a typically Republican thing to do.

                Happy just to be alive

                by exlrrp on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:10:34 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Your new point is better than your original point. (0+ / 0-)

                  But stop being a condescending ass by saying I "missed" the point.  I didn't "miss" it because that's NOT what you actually said.  You didn't say the same thing this time as what you said the first time.  There is a massive difference between saying people should be willing to join the war they advocate for and saying the first step to advocating for a war is to join up FIRST before you know whether or not you will be successful at getting the army to be deployed to the war you had in mind.  The chances are much higher that if you do that you'll end up in a different war than the one you advocated.  Once you join up you don't get to pick where you're sent.

                  Don't blame other people when the words you use mean something different from what you were attempting to say.

            •  We Have Countries for That (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              reflectionsv37

              I have a country with a government to do things I don't have time or capability to do myself, but still want done. That is why I pay over a quarter of all my income. That is why I spend time discussing politics, working for candidates, volunteering for my city's legislature's committees.

              If I had to sign up and go there to do everything myself, if everyone had to do that, we'd have very little getting done.

              Yet a vast amount gets done with my money and by my government. Likewise in France and many other countries.

              Who says invading Afghanistan was the answer? There are other answers. And I maintain a large government with an expensive intelligence and foreign affairs apparatus to figure out the best ways and apply them. They do seem to work pretty well on solutions that are good for oil corps, agricorps, banks and the like. It's not too much to expect that they should do the right thing without a specific corporate backer writing their script, and without me going there myself.

              "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

              by DocGonzo on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:12:16 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Well yeah I was aware of that..... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            reflectionsv37

            ...which is why I used that example.

            If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

            by Bensdad on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:57:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I had a very, very bad feeling when that happened. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mali muso, reflectionsv37, marsanges

            I mean, not ascribing myself awesome powers of prediction.  But... I think people could legitimately see that as a sign of shit hitting the fan.  To use the technical terms :).

            I'm glad that we take this seriously now.  We're not perfect and history will always be able to find fault with us as a world for over-reacting or under-reacting, depending on the outcome.  But France's intervention, for all of its baggage, is better than sitting back and saying "not our problem."  (I'm inclined to keep it as a French intervention - they may be best equipped to handle this, and Hollande is no latter-day Napoleon - this intervention can be debated by reasonable people, but people accusing him of colonialism are unreasonable).

            I know that lots of people here hate any military intervention anywhere, ever, always.  But this is the right kind of military intervention.  And I won't miss any of the rebels - if they don't want to be blasted off the face of the planet, they can stop killing their own African brothers and sisters at any time.  Simple solution, really.

            Alternate histories are dangerous, but if we had intervened in Afghanistan in the '90s after the Red Army melted away, would Sept. 11th have happened?  If Clinton hadn't backed off Al Qaida after the lies about that "pharmaceutical" factory (it was much later proven that Clinton was right about it being weapons iirc), would Sept. 11th have happened?  It's easy to Monday morning quarterback and, as a child of the 80s, I recognize that I have no personal memory of Soviet Afghanistan, a memory that would give any sane person pause before sending an army into that ungovernable land.  Same goes for Bush, who of course received even more alarming warnings than Clinton did, but continued to focus on his deeply radical domestic agenda.

            Still, despite our setbacks, we get better.  We fail, sometimes horribly, but, with notable and horrible exceptions, we learn from our failures.

            "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

            by auron renouille on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:59:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  and we protected the oil fields of iraq! yay. (0+ / 0-)

        "A dollah makes me hollah"-- Stephen Colbert, pretending to be S. Palin

        by stagemom on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:00:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, and the (8+ / 0-)

      French killed 12 civilians in Mali, and residents of western powers wonder why the world hates them.

      •  And how many civilians have the "rebels" killed? (6+ / 0-)

        Why is it that no one pays attention to civilians killed by those other than a military? Dead is dead. These people kill those who do not wish to live under their rule. I'd like to at least error on the side of those who don't wish to be fanatics.

        Sometimes there are no good answers no matter how easy it is to be outraged.

        "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

        by sebastianguy99 on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:57:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  "No one pays (0+ / 0-)

          attention to the civilians killed by rebels?"

          I've seen lots of reports on the brutality of the "Al Qaeda-linked" terrorists, though I'm certain people in France have seen much more.

          In any case, if you think invasions are a good way to quell insurgencies -- and protect the human rights of the people there -- I've got some ocean-front property in Kandahar I'd like to sell you.

          •  Didn't mention it until called out. The diary is (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mali muso

            ...about the rebels but you went somewhere else. I simply wanted to remind you that dead is dead. I don't want to see any death.

            "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

            by sebastianguy99 on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:07:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I'll repeat what I said above (17+ / 0-)

        How much do you actually know about Mali and how much are you reading into this situation based on your pre-existing narrative.  Newsflash.  The French spent days recapturing the tiny village of Diably last week.  Why did it take so long?  Because they were being so extremely careful to target only the militants and not the civilians.  Don't believe me.  I just have family living in the city next door.  Malians have been under threat by the jihadis who are carrying out a war of aggression and they are GRATEFUL for the French assistance.  

        •  Sure (0+ / 0-)

          foreign interventions are often popular at the beginning (although a popular intervention by a former colonial master may be something new.)

          People are desperate and they need help, but that doesn't make the intervention smart or right, not least because the well-being of the residents of the people are there are generally a tangential concern, at best, of the foreign power.

          As for the alleged concern for civilians shown by the French; well I've been hearing that for a decade about American forces too, and the claim my even be true in relative terms, but war is hell, and scores of civilians will die.

          •  so what's your solution? (9+ / 0-)

            please do tell.  My family in Mali are all ears.  Non-intervention would make you feel better, but I'm afraid your feelings are worth a lot less to me than their freedom and safety.

            •  Feel better? (0+ / 0-)

              Believe it or not, my concern for the lives and rights of human beings is genuine.

              I understand this affects you directly and while I appreciate that fact, it doesn't tempt me to change my fundamental beliefs.

              As for my solution, you're not going to like it because it won't bring immediate relief to people in Mali. My solution is for western (former colonial powers) to have actual foreign policy instead of a military-corporate policy, one that respects the rights and autonomy of people everywhere instead of one geared toward shoveling money to corporations, one that starts helping poor people and stops killing and exploiting them.

              Western powers fuck over the world, and then when they start or contribute to a situation that "requires" military action, we're supposed to break out the pom poms? No, thanks.

              I understand that every situation is different, but the piece Gary Younge wrote before the Libya intervention is relevant, (and not just because the NATO regime-change operation helped spark the crisis in Mali.)

              Those who are resisting Qaddafi deserve our support. But they don’t single-handedly determine the nature of it. Solidarity is not a process by which you unquestioningly forfeit responsibility for your own actions to another; it involves an assessment of what is prudent and what is possible...

              Far from being a knee-jerk response to Western military action, opposition to the bombing marks a considered reflection on the West’s knee-jerk impulse to mistake war for foreign policy. This impulse follows a well-worn circular logic in three parts: (1) Something must be done now. (2) This is something. (3) So we must do it. And that something invariably involves bombing.

              Such sophistry treats “now” as its own abstract point in time: a moment that bears no legacy and carries no consequences. Amnesia and ignorance are the privileges of the powerful. But the powerless, who live with the ramifications, do not have the luxury of forgetting. They do not forget Shatila, Falluja, Abu Ghraib or Jenin—to name but a few horrific war crimes in which the West was complicit....

              So while the West clearly has the power to intervene, given its history of colonialism and imperialism, it has no more credibility to do so on humanitarian grounds in this region than Iran would to bomb Bahrain in defense of the Shiites who are currently being killed there.

              •  I understand this perspective (6+ / 0-)

                but I fail to understand how refusing a direct appeal from another state would be any less imperialistic.  We have the luxury of deciding whether or not to involve ourselves.  Because Mali is dirt poor, they don't have options.  They are at our mercy and refusing to help when asked is just as arrogant as meddling.  And yes, it's personal to me.  I'm not ashamed of that.  If perfection and ideals have to be adjusted to make room for human reality, I don't see that as a bad thing.

          •  Re: Mansplaining Mali to Mali Muso (5+ / 0-)

            You're doing the nationalist equivalent of mansplaining to mali muso, a person with actual ties to Mali.

      •  One could argue West gets even more non-love.. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TheLizardKing, terrypinder

        for the times it does nothing at all.

        Bosnia comes to mind. Then Rwanda.

        Ultimately, those with power make enemies no matter what they do or neglect to do. The default is to pick weak enemies... to piss off those with no immediate means to strike back.

        We see this in interstate politics. In organizational and community politics. In the little exchanges that promote individuals' agendas on websites such as this one.

        For example - Think of how many times a comment has name-dropped a front-pager or well-known diarist and 'wondered aloud' why so-and-so has NOT said or done something? It's the same as if they had weighed in.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site