Mali: shrines destroyed; intervention approved

Islamist militants occupying Timbuktu in northern Mali destroyed remaining mausoleums in the ancient city using pick-axes Dec. 23, a leader of the group said. "Not a single mausoleum will remain in Timbuktu, Allah doesn't like it," Abou Dardar, head of Ansar Dine, told the AFP. "We are in the process of smashing all the hidden mausoleums in the area." (Al Jazeera, Dec. 23) Three days earlier, the UN Security Council voted unanimously to approve an African-led intervention force to oust the Islamist forces from Mali's north. (The Real News, Dec. 20)

Representatives from Ansar Dine and the Azawad National Liberation Movement (MNLA), a Tuareg separatist army, harshly protested the UN vote, but vowed to work toward a peaceful solution. Ansar Dine and the MNLA said they had agreed "to refrain from all action likely to generate confrontations and all forms of hostility in the zones under their control and to do everything necessary to get this commitment respected." Ansar Dine is actually being portrayed as moderates, compared to the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), which also controls large areas of northern Mali, and is said to be linked to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). (AFP, Dec. 22)

Insanity is spreading.

It's too bad we don't hear more about this sort of thing.

I object to calling it "insanity."

Something is certainly spreading, but I object to calling it "insanity." We've pointed out that fascism is not a mental illness. Neither are its related maladies such as jihadism. These are political pathologies.