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Former colonialists not fighting for freedom in Mali
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France’s recent military action in Mali has raised many questions about the French Socialists’ rhetoric touting their belief in democracy and freedom. 
 
French President Francois Hollande seems to have committed a big mistake in Mali, and many compare the move to former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev’s decision to attack Afghanistan in 1979. The military action is expected to have huge repercussions for France, as was the case for Brezhnev, whose reputation was sullied in the international arena. 
 
Embarrassed by the country’s economic problems and having a tough time dealing with former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s grim legacy, Hollande decided to start the offensive to divert the attention of the French people from internal problems. However, the French army will certainly have difficulties in the days to come, and Mali will become a serious quagmire if French officials do not pull their troops out as soon as possible. 
 
The decision to attack Mali under the pretext of fighting extremist al-Qaeda forces and other insurgents has revealed the true nature of Western governments’ propaganda about democracy and freedom. What is the difference between the rebels in Mali and the rebels in Syria? Why does France defend and support terrorists in Syria while it bombs the rebels in Mali. 
 
In 1979, the Soviet Union justified its invasion of Afghanistan by insisting that it had a mission to defend the legitimate government of Afghanistan against drug dealers and extremist Islamists. Hollande has resorted to the same pretext and says that France began the military operation at the request of the Malian government, a coup d’état government that is clearly serving the interests of the West and lacks legitimacy. 
 
It’s a pity that a government is seeking help from its former colonial ruler and paving the way for the bloodsuckers to loot the country and kill its innocent civilians.      
 
Hassan Beheshtipour is an expert on Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia based in Tehran.
 
MS/HG

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