In Mali, The Revolution Consumes Its Own — Literally

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The allegory miner strikes far too rich a vein even for irony in Mali, where the (illegal) French intervention to prop up an anti-democratic regime installed by coup d’etat has produced a revolutionary atmosphere under whose weight even Marat or Robespierre would shrink.

I am referring, of course, to the ultimate, but no doubt culinarily satisfying, demise of the camel presented to French President François Hollande in honor of his bloody invasion of Mali to, for geopolitical reasons echoed by an earlier French-led intervention in Libya, annihilate a revolt by nomadic tribes against the centralizing and authoritarian Bamako government.

Said prize gift camel to Hollande in question never quite fit the part, screaming and howling through the presentation ceremony — perhaps because the poor beast had been stolen in the first place — and even as Hollande promised, “I will use it [the camel] as a means of transport as often as possible,” the French authorities cautioned against such mode of transport to and from Élysée Palace. In the end, a fitting epilogue to an ill-advised intervention whose main goal, a boost in the polls, has failed to produce even remotely optimistic results, the poor camel has found its funky and recalcitrant self rudely cooked into some sort of Malian stew at the hands into which the very protectors that the usurper Malian government had entrusted its care.

Interventionism is an ugly dish, an Aesopian moral might warn, where the spoils of war however sometimes provide unexpected and delicious results.

On Twitter @DanielLMcAdams

8:07 pm on April 9, 2013