What’s your opinion about the war in Mali?

As you may have read in the news and on Ceasefire.ca, the Harper government is moving toward more direct military involvement in the former French colony of Mali in western Africa.

A Canadian military aircraft is transporting French (and probably in the near future African) troops and weapons into Mali, and our soldiers are training African troops in neighbouring countries.

What is your opinion about events in Mali and Harper’s response? Leave your comment below.

Update: Results of our online poll of Ceasefire.ca supporters:

Results from our online survey of Ceasefire.ca supporters (1516 responses)

Photo credit: DND

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333 Responses to “What’s your opinion about the war in Mali?”

  1. margaret beresfordFebruary 24, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

    One thing no one has mentioned that I find very troubling is the assertion that our current Canadian government has set up 5 small military bases in various countries. As well our government is supposed to be or has purchased Drones. Now what realm of reality would cause our government to substitute Drones for soldiers if they were not getting involved militarily?? Far too many of these type of contrary actions just keep happening—when do Canadian taxpayers start being treated with respect? When does our government start being honest with us? When do they stop treated us as people they can’t trust and therefore the last to know? Almost makes one feel they are afraid of the true opinions of Canadians and that is the reason for so much secrecy on trade agreements and just about every other policy they want, but know we don’t.

  2. margaret beresfordFebruary 24, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

    The only crisis in Africa are the lengths taken to secure and control all the resources of Africa. If the two global economic powers would stop this zero sum race there might be hope. One side militarizing Africa with, at last count 35 military bases and a never ending focus on arms sales to further conflicts. The other side playing economic hard ball thru dependence via development. Corporations using their governmental front men are treating Africa like an open auction leaving no room for the indigenous people. So, is anyone surprised that even Aljazeera’s guests on Empire felt hesitant staying on subject when talking about Mali and why the French etc, had trouble explaining their right to determine how this conflict would be dealt with and they alone would decide when their “boots on the ground would leave”, or not.

  3. Dale DewarFebruary 6, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    We were one of the “other” votes on this survey. We believe that humanitarian services should be supplied to the victims of the war but we also believe that Canada should be heavily involved in understanding the roots of the war, learning how to apply interventions and taking steps to mitigate the spread of arms and violence throughout the region.

    Since our Special Forces Unit is already there “protecting Canadian interests”, it is also a bit after the fact to ask what we should be doing.

  4. annaFebruary 6, 2013 at 7:40 am #

    ..as usual,upgrading, training the mali army, giving them more weapons, will have a backlash in the near future…

    I predict a terrible new war in the coming future, that will spread like wildfire thru the whole of central Africa, from Mali to Sudan, all the way to Botswana, and not centralized wars, here and there. no. A big organized war. Lead by a insane murderous thug, worse than Pol Pot, Stalin or Hitler, who will have amassed a great army.
    It will be known as the great african war.
    ..there, I did it. I gave my prediction. Hope it doesnt come true, but unfortunately, it looks like it will.

  5. giovanniFebruary 5, 2013 at 6:59 pm #


  6. CindyFebruary 3, 2013 at 12:02 am #

    Al Queda….an evil arm of the evil USA government.

  7. IOFebruary 1, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

    This is corp/gov protecting the interests of resource extraction from other countries. Canada has the worst mining record of abuses in the world. CIDA has been usurped by this shadow corp/gov. Democracy is in its death throes at this stage worldwide. We need to stop buying into the propaganda that this serves anyone except a few who are manipulating this “casino empire” to the exclusion of the majority. People are allowing this to happen without taking any steps to curb this epidemic virus. Northamerican “blackhole” is lost at sea.

    • margaret beresfordFebruary 24, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

      Well written, could not agree more. Please keep writing your views as far too many people believe mass media is still the source for information and analysis. One point to consider, Canada may have the worst mining record, but no one can beat the destructive spread of oil in Nigeria. Take care.

  8. Randy HenningFebruary 1, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    There is no best answer to this. Doing anything may simply cause more suffering for the people and further inflame the Islamic community. Doing nothing may allow extremists to inflict more suffering on the Mali people. And what are our own motives? Are they altruistic or just economic? If altruistic, then what about Bahrain and Syria and Saudi Arabia? What about Mali’s current military despots? Will we also oppose go to war with them? Or do we only oppose those who threaten international corporations and the plutocratic governments who do their bidding? Is that what it is about after all?

  9. LiseJanuary 31, 2013 at 11:40 pm #

    La guerre tue des gens, des 2 cotés. La guerre a un effet négatif sur tous ceux qui la côtoient. Echange, discussion, éducation dans ce pays ou les enfants sont si peu scolarisés. Regardez ce que fait la Fondation Gérin Lajoie pour aider le pays. Avec un travail pour le peuple, il y a surement des chances de trouver des solutions humanitaires

  10. Miroslav KolarJanuary 31, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    I am absolutely against any foreign military intervention in Mali. It’s a long internal conflict. Maybe some of those rebels have good reasons to be angry, to require some sort of local rule/autonomy. Outsiders in Mali (and everywhere else) should always only try to help resolve conflicts using peaceful means. There has apparently been no fighting in Mali for some time, and there have been reports in recent days of the government soldiers killing in revenge civilians when returning to the North with the French.
    Humanitarian aid maybe – but care should be taken care it really gets to the civilians in need, not to any of the fighting sides. Maybe we should wait with any help till more information is available.

  11. CatherineJanuary 31, 2013 at 11:37 am #

    Is once again the spectre of Al Qaeda used to justify a military intervention whose real goal is to protect Canadian mining interests in Mali?

    This intervention seems, like so many others, only aimed at protecting multinational interests.

    For the time being, Canada should limit its role to humanitarian aid.

  12. benjaminJanuary 30, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    currently I believe our main choices should be aid or nothing, likely leaning towards nothing, until we understand more.
    I believe that, like any hot topic in the news, we are likely focusing on a “crisis” and waiting for “Canada” to act so that we can feel assured of our governments’ decision making skills. There are many crises, of many kinds, both in Canada, and around the world, with urgent urgent needs.
    Therefore, there are key questions, like with any conflict, that we need to understand, as citizens, before supporting any decision especially regarding killing and use of military force
    What options have our government or our military pursued?
    Why are we interested? (clear “geopolitical” importance from the gold mining)
    Who are we aiding, by sending aid?
    who are the “rebels” and what is their cause? (we supported the ‘no fly zone’ in libya to aid the “rebels” without any true understanding of their ties to various regimes, assuming they were a unified civilizan resistance against evil)
    why are the rebels fighting?
    what caused the mali military to overthrow its own government?
    what economic options are available?
    military aided – non violent?
    military aided – policing to maintain human rights?
    do we know anything about any of the groups involved other than blanket dehumanized terms such as rebels and “aligned with al Qaeda”
    what was the UN’s decision making process for authorizing force?
    what do we aid in mali with our $130M per year?
    has its recent large increase been due to humanitarian aid or protection of economic interests?
    Who receives the money?
    what is the accountability and transparency of the aid?
    Regarding our “interests” as canadians: how do the gold companies benefit individuals and our quality of life in canada? who owns the companies? are they government? corporate? canadian owned? subsidiary?
    Do the canadian companies aid in canadian interests as a whole?
    what could our aid, and our current $130M per year buy us in canada to raise our quality of life?
    what could it buy mali?
    what will the gross cost of current military operations be?
    what would gross cost of extended combat ops be?
    what do we stand to gain as individual canadian citizens?
    what does our government stand to gain?

    this isn’t even close to an exhaustive list, but all of the answers to these questions, and how much our government knows about them, and how much we’ve been informed about them affects the world, and affects us all as canadian citizens, and canada as a global force for change.

    We as citizens have personal responsibility to understand the climate of the world and voice our desire for change and action in the most needed places, for example here at home first.

  13. Jacob RemepelJanuary 30, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

    On the face of it, with the information provided by friend and foe, the about civilized culture and political society, a reasonably free MALI,their people certainly need help to restore home rule — the Taliban and al Queda invaders are an awful burden. However, they are there because the US regime, NATO, and Canada have been spreading mayhem everywhere and are the underlying cause of all the current and recent disruption in Africa and elsewhere, all to enable greater exploitation of resources in African , Middle East and Far East lands.

    By all means, let Canada help restore the well-being of people in MALI without adding greater mayhem,but Canada’s real contribution to peace and well-being everywhere is to separate from US and NATO imperialist aggressive wars. Bring home every soldier, airman and sailor. Join with the best UN countries to initiate economic and political changes to arrest climate warming and recover environmental sustainability.

    I do not under-estimate the difficulty, but I do not want to underestimate the massive, dangerous disruption of the environment, the climate, and social stability if we continue the imperialist excessive exploitation of small nations and the entire planet. To reverse the process and restore sustainable economies must be Canada’s and world priorities. .

    That must be every nation’s priority.
    Jacob Rempel, Vancouver.

  14. Ian WalkerJanuary 30, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

    I visited Mali shortly after independence, in 1968, and can speak somewhat from direct experience of these beautiful people.
    The Economist was quoted in the Winnipeg Free Press as saying ‘We cannot leave Mali alone.’ Hmmph. I never agree with The Economist, and not this time either.
    When France granted independence to French West Africa, two options were made available: 1) neo-colonialism, where the French continued to own and control the economy, but the locals were allowed to hold public office (e.g. Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Niger) 2) total freedom, where the French took everything home, even unscrewed the pencil sharpeners, and left the locals to run things themselves (only Guinea and Mali chose this).
    When we arrived in Mali in June 1968, of a population of 4.5 million there were exactly 4 non-Africans in the country, including 2 CUSO volunteers.
    Mali was totally left alone. The Malians insisted that any aid took the form of investment that included full training for a Malian staff, with the trainers to return home in a limited time. Most of their aid then came from China, some from Egypt and Cuba; none from the West.
    The determination to ‘not leave Mali alone’ is revanchist and backward, and definitely not good for Mali.
    Incidentally, Malians are some of the best musicians anywhere. Their first real national investment was in four radio stations, so they could listen to their own music.
    The people are charming, friendly, outgoing. How I would love to return.

  15. Jennifer WadeJanuary 29, 2013 at 12:09 am #

    In spite of what Robert Fisk has said about the war in Mali, the BBC did a half hour program on Mali last week and indicated the situation is very serious in such countries. It appears that wherever the infrastructure is weak, Islamic extremists begin to operate and one cannot help but wonder if traps are not purposely being set in desperate lands to weaken the resources of the West. On the other hand, can one possibly stand by and watch the killing of civilians as the West has done in Syria where over 60,000 have been killed and no action has been taken? Future generations will wonder how that could have happened.

    For those who say let the Africans sort out their own conflicts, well the war that has gone on in the Congo for almost 25 years has seen the killing of almost five million people. How long does one watch slaughter and mayhem and the destruction of all structures before acting to try to stop the fearful terror experienced by so many in so much of Africa on a daily basis?

    • TDJanuary 29, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

      While what you say generally is true, it is for the same reason I agree more with Patricia S., Ron G. and Roland R. — it’s my opinion that any assistance from Canada needs to be restricted to “support” & humanitarian aid. — Many tricks can be used to deplete our defenses, already at risk. – All of these issues have histories of which most of us are just barely aware.

    • ChesterJanuary 30, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

      As is often the case the situation in Mali is more complex than our esteemed news media let us know. It is true that al Qaeda and other extreme islamist elements are involved in Mali just as they are in Syria and have been involved in Egypt, Iraq and Libya. Al Qaeda, the Taliban and other like-minded movements have piggy-backed legitimate actions by repressed peoples in all of these countries, including Mali. In Mali it is the Tuareg who are fighting legitimately for their rights. Like the Kurds they are a nation without a country and their traditional livelihood is being systematically destroyed by current governments in the Sahara, the Maghreb and the Sahel. They are being left in a position of poverty. But we cannot allow extreme muslimist movements growing out of wahabbi and salafa convictions to take over the entirety of North Africa, because these run contrary to our own traditions and pose a threat our way of life. I do not endorse a military role for Canada aapart from some logistic support and strongly urge the Canadian and other governments to provide aid in a manner and to a degree that will have a strong positive impact on poverty stricken areas of the globe and that will address the daily needs of their populations.

  16. Roland RiouxJanuary 28, 2013 at 10:30 pm #

    Canada should not get involved in Mali at any time. France got involved not to help Malians, but to protect their own interest. Let France use its own forces, (Foreign Legion). Who are well prepared and experienced in African wars.

    Canada would do well to look after its own people.

    The billions spent in Afghanistan, Libya, and now Mali would go a long way to help our Native People, hospitals, education, etc.

    • CatherineJanuary 31, 2013 at 11:46 am #

      You are totally right! Charity begins at home.

  17. Steven StaplesJanuary 28, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    I just want to thank everyone for the amazing comments. I have updated the chart on this post displaying the responses from our email survey of Ceasefire.ca supporters. – Steve

    • Ron GreeningJanuary 28, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

      Canada needs to invest adequately in foreign affairs, especially in unstable, impoverished regions, enough that our government can more often join with constructive governmental and non-governmental forces to head-off crisis or shape outcomes, and less often toss holy-hot-potatoes with other rich worried nations.

      I would be willing to support any skilful role for Canada, from direct military action, through humanitarian aid, to complete hands-off, if only I had confidence that:

      • Canada had built sufficient local intelligence and had enough history of engagement to act with skill, awareness and local credibility.
      • Canada had built a history of diligence (credibly discrete of profit motive) to support human rights, diminish hunger and violence and to promote effective governance responsive to fundamental needs of all stakeholders.
      • The Canadian government was being frank with Canadians as to probable costs, risks, objectives and expectations of either intervention or of leaving people to their fate.
      • The Canadian government was effectively honour-bound to be open to Canadians with policy mistakes as a political sacrifice to democracy properly commensurate with the death and suffering of all the people entangled in war events.
      • Canada supported its warriors materially, socially and psychologically, and it effectively monitored the actions of its armed forces for congruence with enduring values of compassion and justice.

      I do not support unconsidered pacifism. Thugs exist and are much best to be disempowered.


      • S. FarrowJanuary 28, 2013 at 11:13 pm #

        Thank you, Ron…
        I was struggling to find words, and you have articulated exactly my thoughts and feelings. The people involved in this conflict (ie Al Quaeda) are as far as we can see, thugs, and do need to be disempowered. But I share your sceptisism as to the Canadian government’s information sharing and motives. Thanks for adding to the discussion.

      • TDJanuary 29, 2013 at 9:37 pm #

        Due to general agreement with the above, at this time Canada should restrict assistance only to “support” & humanitarian aid.

  18. Patricia StrungJanuary 28, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    this is not our war to fight. It is an internal matter for Mali. Our involvement in this will lead to dire consequences for us here in Canada. In the home grown variety. Leave Canada out of this war.

  19. Gilles FecteauJanuary 28, 2013 at 8:48 am #

    In this case, I believe military intervention is required. You have religious extremist using arms stolen from Libya and forcing their view on civilians.

  20. robertJanuary 28, 2013 at 8:28 am #

    With so much government smokescreened secret deals, corruption, lies, deciet, election fraud, murder on ethnic groups not only in canada, envirnomental destruction etc. we can hardly believe anything that is said as a justification for joining in on another war murdering innnocent people. we are not stupid it is about time to put the corrupt elite behind bars to stop them destroying this planet, you and me.
    murder for humanitarian reasons? it is time the the truth is revieled.
    let us remember lybia:

  21. David RamsayJanuary 28, 2013 at 3:49 am #

    If this is a “mission” of the Security Council, does this represent the views the General Assembly? If Canada justifies its involvement under the provisions of Responsibilty to Protect, why did our government not take action after the military coup replaced the democratically elected government and human rights organizations reported the abuse civilians were experiencing? What is the criteria the Canadian government is using to determine whether this is a civil war and which side we should support? What have been the political donations to the Conservative party from the Canadian mining companies involved in Mali? Is invoking the threat of Al Queda involvement serve the same purpose as the “red scare” did……fanning the flames of fear rather than seeking diplomatic solutions? And when will we begin to address the conditions that lead people to seek conflict to resolve them?

    • TDJanuary 29, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

      This is the result of a long history that will not be resolved through Canadian forces involvement; our forces are needed for defense here. —
      Assistance should be restricted to “support & aid” only.

  22. robert korolJanuary 27, 2013 at 8:07 pm #

    Has our governemnt forgotten that we contributed 20% of the 10,000 air stikes on Libya, including its vital infrastructure to support rebels whose centre of opposition to the Gadaffi regime was Benghazi? Recall that it was the hub of opposition to the regime that asked for help from NATO to oust that “dictator” who provided free health care and education to the end of a first degree at university! And, may I add, who provided his people living in the coastal cities of his country the best quality water via an aquaduct system from the south Sahara aquifers in Libya? The result of our bombings being:
    1) we helped to push that country into 3rd World status ($400 billion neede to repair the damges done from the total air strikes – according to a UN report),
    2) untold deaths and injuries to civilians of that country and the deaths of 4 Americans in Benghazi (“thank you very much for your earlier aid of weapons and air strikes!”),
    3) those rebels, many of whom were al Qaeta operatives, are now involved in Mali.

    Bottom line – Sometimes al Qaeta are the “bad guys” (9/11 comes to mind), and other times, (Libya and Syria) they seemingly are “good guys”. Are they now suddenly “bad guys” again?

    Since we do not know who to support in Africa and the Middle East, our government should simply provide humanitarian aid. Let us only be involved militarily when our own country is threatened by outside forces.


    • Murray LumleyJanuary 29, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

      This is the best analysis I’ve seen here.

  23. Hector LeisersonJanuary 27, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    Canada should not get involved in the present conflict in Mali. According to
    Robert Fisk, who has the best credentials for his knowledge of that area, this
    is an internal civil war, which is going on for at least 30 years. There is
    no justification for the West to be involved in military activities, including the loan of transport of military equipment and soldiers. Canada
    should return to be a peaceful country. and not go the militaristic dirfection that Ottawa and the federal govt. wants. This is just inmoral.
    The labelling of one of the factions as islamists, Al-Qaeda, etc. sounds like
    As for the real business reasons of Canada’s interest in Mali, wer should
    know that Mali is the 3rd. largest producer of gold in the world, and a number
    of Canadian gold mining companies are operating there. Some of them, according to google: 1. Rodex Resources Inc (TSX:RBX), now holder of titles for 9 exploration permits; 2.Avion Gold Corp: holds 80% of the Tabakoto and Segal gold projects in Mali; 3. Frontline Gold Corp; 4.Norquest LTD; 5.Tamico SA, subsidiary iof Newson Canada; 6.reat Quest – Candian exploring for Phosphat abd Gold; 7.Menex Gold.Inc; 8.IAM Gold Corp;8.African Gold Group.Inc., Candian Co. holding 12 gold concessions. REFERENCE at gogle:
    “Canadian gold mining companies operating in Mali”. HISTORY: after getting independence from France in 1960, the Republic of Mali created a good Constitution, and choose a quasi-socialist economic structure. In 1968 a military coup took power (the current government is military), got rid of the constitution, etc (Encycl.Britannica 1982). Clearly France is supporting this military regime, ideal of the business of French companies… but Canada should be out of this war. Clearly Mali did not attack Canada, but neither Irak nbor Afghanistan attacked the US. When a war is started, nobody can predict the consequences… but the arms industry is very happy all the time!

  24. Terry RobertJanuary 27, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    I am torn at the moment on this issue. It seems we might be entering an extended period, 25, 50 years of more of conflict with extreme religious groups.

    I tend towards preferring a world response through the U N to remove abusive regimes and to assist countries under attack on the model of peace keeping but with a more aggressive approach.

    I think it will become necessary at some point to avoid another Rywanda or Afghanistan or Mali. The World Court as judgement is an excellent beginning after the the dust is settled, but the world should not stand by in the face of governments’ torturing, otherwise abusing and killing their citizens.

    How we do it is the big question. We don’t want to impose values except where the the values elsewhere are obviously wrong. Who determines this, how are the decisions made to intervene will be a long process. Even how do we develop the will to do this will take time.

  25. Robyn PetersonJanuary 27, 2013 at 9:14 am #

    Canada is still working out her role militarily in the world. This process is certainly confusing. Still, Canada does have an honourable military past, and the majority of Canadians do support our trying to make a difference in the world. The “peacekeeping” role is seen as being particularly valued. The French-led operation in Mali has the sanction of the United Nations. If Canada can play a modest supportive role in that operation we should certainly do so. There are times when savage force and inhuman impositions on large numbers of people need to be confronted. That said, we must remain alert to the exact configuration of the existing Mali government. If it can demonstrate its legitimacy through fair elections, all well and good. If it becomes despotic and corrupt, then we should review our role. If our role is modest to begin with, and essentially involves air logistics, then we can withdraw our support, if we need to, with minimal entanglements.

  26. rob clementJanuary 27, 2013 at 5:24 am #

    Unlike the vast majority of Canadians i have visited Mali and all the centres where there has recently been fighting. To see this once peaceful backwater ripped apart by needless fighting is a sad state of affairs. That the weapons being used in Mali now are part of improperly secured caches of weapons left over from the Libya uprising speaks to a lack of proper post conflict weapons control.
    The Government needs to come clean as to what it’s strategic, economic and military goals are so Canadians can make an informed decision as to what we are doing and why.
    Canada should, ideally, return to it’s universally revered role as Peace Keeper and should not be seen by either side as an aggressor. This will lend it credibility in any post-conflict nation rebuilding efforts.

  27. Hussan ZiaJanuary 27, 2013 at 1:39 am #

    The vast majority of Canadians would not even know where Mali is — a very poor mismanaged African nation. It has no capability to threaten Canada or any other country in the world except itself. Why in the world should Canada wish to get involved in its affairs militarily defies logic and reason.

    What the French are doing is a repeat of nineteenth century colonialism. There is no excuse for Canada to become a participant in this misadventure and make enemies where none need exist. Have we learnt nothing from Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya? Chicken always come home to roost.

  28. DarleneJanuary 27, 2013 at 12:30 am #

    ACTION REQUIRED NOW!!!! I believe that we as Canadians must provide military support (not troops on the ground at this time)to Mali and the French. I also cannot stress how important it is that we continue to provide human aid to Mali citizens who are becoming displaced. Children are always at the greatest risk at times like this…..I have a child/family that I support in Mali and know first hand that children and families are not only dieing but if they are successful in fleeing their homes, are starving and children are being misplaced from their families…..Aid requirements are growing rapidly. We must do our part to support this country – the surge of teorrists into this country is no different than Afghanistan and if allowed to take hold will not only have a huge impact on Mali,and Canadian interests, but also neighboring countries in Africa…..the time to act is now before this conflict escalates any further. I believe that Canada can, and should, provide military support without putting troops on the ground; however, the Harper government definitely needs to have a long term strategy that must be completely revealed to Canadians from the onset – Canadians will not buy in to more military spending without knowing the full plan. ** My prayers are with the people of Mali.**

  29. DavidJanuary 26, 2013 at 11:53 pm #

    Yet another example in the all too familiar story of industrially developed nations using the capitalist system of corporate greed to pillage the resources of ‘underdeveloped’ nations to feed their insatiable greed for profit and control. Interesting to watch which nation supports which side in these conflicts which often turn into wars; and remember, as Phil Ochs sang so many years ago now…..The Economy Needs A War. What a sick and dysfunctional time in history we are living in…..governments like the Harper regime are definitely not for the electorate of their respective countries. Absolutely no long term plan for cleaning up the environment; just profit taking until it’s all gone. What a sad world this has become indeed.

  30. MarilynJanuary 26, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

    Our involvement in Mali has everything to do with its amazing resources and
    Canadian resource extraction companies operating there. In the interests of
    the citizens of Mali? I think not. If Harper is hell bent on supporting
    Canadian corporations he should focus on financing research into alternative energy, and subsidizing start-ups of companies who hope to make and market
    equipment that lessens our dependence on fossil fuels. I’m sick and tired
    of watching countries go to war over resources. I’m sick and tired of seeing
    Canada’s reputation as a fair and peaceful country being destroyed.

    • MarcyJanuary 27, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

      I agree with you Marilyn,
      I want to add that we have a lot of humanitarian issues to be resolved inside of Canada, such as the plight of native people.
      I believe that nations need to solve their own political problems. Canada should not get involved in other nation’s politics just as other countries should not get involved in our political affairs.

  31. Marian NollJanuary 26, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

    I’ve not heard that Canada is at war with Mali, so I see no reason to send troops. Certainly, we must not send troops to protect our gold “interests.” The mine owners probably have enough “protectors” without the Canadian government’s interference.

  32. MofizuddinJanuary 26, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

    Try to bring all the relevant parties on the negotiation table and make all necessary efforts to resolve the matter peacefully.

  33. RobJanuary 26, 2013 at 6:07 pm #

    This is a war for resources. Gold! We have become the terrorists!

  34. Geni HagenJanuary 26, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    Background info did not include crucial details comparing the official government of Mali with the occupying rebels. The fact that the rebels want to eliminate Mali’s musicians would normally be reason enough to oppose them on humanitarian grounds, regardless of any misdeeds committed by the government of Mali, or the oil and mineral interests of Canadian corporations! But it’s not at all certain whether Canada’s (so far token) military aid can actually help the people of Mali caught up in this conflict, or whether they are more likely to become “collateral damage.”

  35. Jordan ThorntonJanuary 26, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    As I see it, once more “Western” aligned states are fighting to prop up a brutal puppet regime, against militants trained by the US, which were used most recentlty to overthrow the Libyan government. Again, we see the media engaging in the kind of misleading reports that accompanied Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza, Georgia, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, etc. that help to enable conflict, and betray the public’s trust. I hope this can be resolved for the good of the country and its people, and not simply for those who continue to profit from the exploitation of populations like that in Mali.

  36. Gwen ChuteJanuary 26, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

    I have been curious and troubled about Mali since I first heard about it …. at the same time as I heard about the constraints on CIDA and Plan Canada and other NGOs (!), and the amount we were spending on aid to Mali (about the same as the cut to the CBC). Then I started paying attention to what Canadian interests there had to be in Mali to make ‘our’ government so ‘caring’ about the place. Yup, gold and other mining interests. It caused me to shift my contributions from those NGOs (!) to WarChild and Doctors Without Borders who aren’t beholden to the government’s pressure and dictates. But now I am in a quandry … like many of the others who have posted here. I do not know enough, understand enough or TRUST enough to give a solid opinion. I do know that any involvement MUST NOT involve combat troops, and MUST involve UN oversight. NATO makes me very wary. This is why we need top-rate, well supported investigative reporters and diplomats in these regions. No wonder Harperites are so keen to immasculate the CBC and foreign service – and meddle with CIDA. I cannot imagine how frustrating it must be to try to serve the public good under this regime! Thankyou Ceasefire and Project Ploughshares for your good – no – great, work on our behalf.

  37. margaret beresfordJanuary 26, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    Enough of this fairy tale of Canadians or any other Western country giving no strings attached humanitarian aid. Maybe its time Canadians dealt with their government’s truer nature when it comes to actual forms of aid to countries such as Africa. Any monies governments give are strictly calculated to benefit both, in most cases taxpayers are subsidizing big businesses interests, which are only based on resources or projects for profit. In the past our Canadian media actually reported on these “deals” such as crass “TIED AID” programs out of Ottawa. Then a poor African villages would be granted aid only if the aid was set up to guarantee a contract for say, water pumps to brought from certain Canadian firms. It is a nice way to kill two birds with one stone—the villages got soon to break down pumps, the feds got sanctimonious humanitarian cred in their go along with media and big businesses got free taxpayer monies with no expectations of being paid back. When our fed feels it is safe and legally too late to reverse their latest con, we will again be privy to hearing how these big businesses will reap our tax dollars thru binding trade agreements, now they can actually control the flow and use of our taxes to eventually end up as part of their bottom line—-profits. That is what Shareholder supremacy is all about—they dictate for multinationals how to override any countries sovereignty by these agreements—to have contractual rights to clear cut forests, strip mine vital land masses near much needed waterways; in essence reek havoc for profit while taxpayers are left shafted with polluted unrecoverable regions. This strategy can and is the basis whether applied domestically through trade deals or as the end game in foreign resource centered conflicts. Wars are now more blatant, only countries with enough desired resources are targeted for our brand of humanitarian cynical concerns.

    • jim cowanJanuary 26, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

      Well said Margater Beresford.

      • jim cowanJanuary 26, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

        Sorry Margaret. My computer is Dyslexic

  38. Kathleen HillJanuary 26, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    The purpose of re-colonization is the same as colonization – > Pillage! NATO does not want to do business, NATO wants it all (Power) “out of the barrel of a gun” (Mao) on behalf of the world government it works for, just as Al-CIAda works for it. It’s a mugging! AFRICOM has moved into 35 African countries. Economic warfare in Europe and military warfare in the Middle East and then N. Africa and spreading – overall. Millions displaced and (unknown) million(s)+ dead/maimed. When genocide is more profitable than business, pacifists need to arm themselves to protect self/other. Peace? Yes! Social Justice? Yes! Disarmament? No! Because if you are reading this, You are the resistance to Tyranny! Because, what goes around comes around! Because, for there to be a world government there can be NO national sovereignty. Shine ON* Katie

  39. Sandra CurrieJanuary 26, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    For a perspective on Harper’s foreign policy read Yves Engler’s book “The Ugly Canadian”. Harper has adopted American style foreign policy – support dictators when it furthers Canadian mining and resource extraction, and help get rid of them if it doesn’t. Democracy, the well being of the people of those countries be damned. He has ruined Canada’s reputation in a very short period, and threatened our security by making us a well deserved target.

    • Roger LagasséJanuary 26, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

      Your survey did not include an option of taking a strong stand in opposition of Canada’s involvement in the destabilization and occupation of Mali, which astute observers say is a covert preparation of an attack on Algeria.

  40. Elizabeth BlockJanuary 26, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    Can anyone explain why we are pulling France’s chestnuts out of the fire?
    Or maybe it’s not France we are helping, but all the Canadian companies that are mining for gold in Mali. It’s not enough that CIDA is favouring NGOs with projets to mitigate the destructive effects of Canadian mining companies on the communities whose environments, livelihoods, and in some cases lives they have destroyed – now we’re sending the military as well.

  41. ChrisJanuary 26, 2013 at 11:27 am #

    This is a tough one. It would be preferable not to reach this point, where we need to decide between only humanitarian aid, which will not stop the advance of rebels who will violate the human rights of the average person, and limited military support which might. I would always prefer peace but am afraid that whatever our aid money was used for, it apparently did not help strengthen governance, which might have helped avoid the military’s overthrow of the elected government… Yet again …

  42. Jack RobinsonJanuary 26, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    I find it both paradoxical and disturbingly sinister that, whilst Our Caesar of Sussex is sending troops and high tech hardware to an African country most Canucks have never heard of, has Diplomatically Abandoned and cut off aid to Haiti amidst harsh criticism from even our most polite allies and accomplices. And makes me wonder what former G.G. and just a ding-a-ling away Voodoo Vamp Ms. Jean might have to say re: Her former Soulmate across the street’s iciness towards her beleaguered homeland.

  43. WendyJanuary 26, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    It is a really complicated situation, and the side we are backing certainly does not look like an ideal, democratic option, either. However, remembering how Islamic extremists in Somalia made it nearly impossible to get aid to starving people, or for those people to flee to where aid was available, I fear that if we do nothing, the suffering may be even worse that it will be if we support the French military initiative with some material aid.

    • Frances DeverellJanuary 26, 2013 at 11:10 am #

      We have no recent examples of wars that actually solved the problems we want to solve. We have to stop being afraid of other groups because of ideological differences and start seeing people who are trying to solve the particular challenges in their area. Yes, we must be vigilant against totalitarianism, but we must try hard to establish human connections and work towards peace and non-violence in conflict resolution. Getting Canada into another war situation is simply maintaining a commitment to economic development through the military industrial complex. We have to find another, more peaceful basis for our economy. This is true all around the world.

    • Frances DeverellJanuary 26, 2013 at 11:10 am #

      We have no recent examples of wars that actually solved the problems we want to solve. We have to stop being afraid of other groups because of ideological differences and start seeing people who are trying to solve the particular challenges in their area. Yes, we must be vigilant against totalitarianism, but we must try hard to establish human connections and work towards peace and non-violence in conflict resolution. Getting Canada into another war situation is simply maintaining a commitment to economic development through the military industrial complex. We have to find another, more peaceful basis for our economy. This is true all around the world.

  44. KevinJanuary 26, 2013 at 7:51 am #

    These are terrorists. Send as much military aid as possible to remove the cancer of terrorism.
    The Malian people are hostages to these law breakers and killers.Don’t let them (the terrorists0 get another foothold in more countries so they can impose Islam/Sharia law and anarchy!!

  45. Dallas McQuarrieJanuary 26, 2013 at 5:07 am #

    Canada used to be a peace=keeper on the international stage. Today, however, Canada is an enthusiastic war-maker. In the process, the Harper Government has put down the banner of Children of God (as the Bible describes peace makers)and now walks in darkness as a government that exalts conflict and killing. Such are the ways of those people greatly to pitied who cannot accommodate themselves to peace.

  46. Larry Says Free Leonard PeltierJanuary 26, 2013 at 3:16 am #

    “Canadian companies are among the biggest investors in Mali. One of the largest mining companies in the country, Toronto-based Iamgold Corp., said it has not formally received a request for its vehicles so far”.(www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-contributing-to-fight-in-mali-by-training-niger-forces/article7279904/)

    “And Canadian mining companies were major investors in Mali”. (www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/why-mali-matters-to-the-west/article7347113/)

  47. FRANKJanuary 26, 2013 at 2:50 am #

    This should not be seen as a war, with an organised enemy. Instead, we have (a) disaffected tauregs who need somehow to be dealt with as citizens by Mali, and (b) outside (for the most part) fighters. Both groups are financed by smuggling and kidnapping — and there is a need for police action to deal with both (not pre-emptive raids, which only upset the innocents who get in the way). It is also about time that the West took more serious steps to identify whatever money is flowing from wahabis to the fighters, and identified means to stem the flow — up to and including sterilising assets of Saudi and Gulf States. There is also an urgent need to somehow get stronger civilian institutions in Mali. Simply arming and strengthening uniformed thugs to go after other thugs will resolve nothing. Whatever the case, there is no role for the Canadian military, since the issue is not military.

  48. Christa KirsteJanuary 26, 2013 at 1:47 am #

    Of course it is a given that Harper sends our troops on a combat mission to Mali. He has to protect the Canadian Gold Corp. to mine Mali’s resources to the hilt. He wants the world to see him as the greatest statesman there ever was.
    Sacrificing our young men and women in a new war is just negligible. As always, Harper will just go ahead what he has planned in secrecy and send our troops into a combat mission in Mali. The parliament and the Canadian people are informed about the facts later, whenever it pleases him.

  49. Dieter KirsteJanuary 26, 2013 at 1:42 am #

    Any military invasion or intervention should be organised, directed and supervised by the United Nations.

  50. Nancy BeachJanuary 26, 2013 at 1:19 am #

    Always allow humanitarian aid by individuals, but send government aid only to other countries not in combat.

  51. Anne van KesselJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:46 pm #

    Any military invasion or intervention should be at the behest of the United Nations.Such incursions must be flaunting of international law when taken by independent action.

  52. RTJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

    Backgrounder for anyone wanting to know a little more: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/spotlight/2012review/2012/12/20121228102157169557.html

    Here’s a brief backgrounder for anyone who hasn’t had a chance to read much about this issue. (For a more thorough and accurate account, read the above linked article.)

    Until the overthrow of the Malian government in 2012, al-Qaeda was arguably a pawn in resource extraction. They were kept busy with military support that they used to suppress the Tuareg independence movement, they took pay-offs for securing drug-running routes and they extorted money from Westerners by kidnapping. All of this was facilitated by the Malian government, and many of the resources, military and financial, came from Western powers. Thus, the Western powers secured access to resource extraction by paying-off the Malian government who then paid-off al-Qaeda. This was the cost of doing business.

    Western powers did not want the Tuareg taking control because that could mean the creation of a new state called Azawad, which would threaten Western access to resources in Mali and in all neighbouring states – the Tuareg people live throughout the region. Western powers also did not want al-Qaeda taking control because of similar concerns over access to resources and over sharia law. Thus the Tuareg and al-Qaeda were pitted one against the other.

    This power dynamic shifted with the overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya in 2011. Western powers sided with Islamic rebels (associated with al-Qaeda) to overthrow Gaddafi’s forces, many of whom were Tuaregs who fought as mercenaries in Gaddafi’s army. Thus the spoils of war, Gaddafi’s arms stockpiles, went to both sides – Tuareg mercenaries and al-Qaeda rebels. And both of these groups returned to Mali with these arms.

    Next, in March 2012, the Tuareg used their new military strength to launch a coup against the Malian government and depose the former president Amadou Tourmani Toure (ATT). In doing so, they most likely interfered with al-Qaeda’s revenue streams that all depended on ATT staying in power. This in turn may have been the impetus for al-Qaeda to overthrow the Tuareg leadership, who beat a hasty retreat without putting up a fight. It’s not clear if al-Qaeda has been able to re-establish it’s revenue streams as ATT was integral to their arrangement – he legitimize the process. And it’s not clear if Western powers have been able to maintain their access to resources for the same reason.

    al-Qaeda is now imposing sharia law, which is angering the general population, and al-Qaeda also appear to be defending the integrity of the state of Mali, possibly in a failed attempt to ward off Western intrusion and re-establish revenue streams – al-Qaeda is typically a non-state entity. (See quote by Algerian Abdelmalek Droukdel a.k.a. Abu Musab Abdel Wadoud in the above linked article.)

    Western powers responded with US backed Algerian forces that moved onto Malian soil to restore a power dynamic favourable to Western interests. At issue is Iyad Ag Ghali, a US-Algerian trained operative (DRS-US) turned former Tuareg rebel (founder of the Azawad independence movement) turned power broker of the Malian government (negotiator arranging kick-backs from al-Qaeda kidnapping) who since the coup in 2012 has become the head of the al-Qaeda forces. (In other words he has played all sides at one time or another). He’s connected with the subsequent hostage taking in Algeria.

    Regarding Western military intervention, one major concern of the Tuareg people is potentially being targeted under the pre-tense of fighting al-Qaeda, a group the Tuareg oppose. Western powers may potentially do this because, if al-Qaeda is killed, the Tuareg will likely take the opportunity to continue their fight for independence. This would interfere with re-establishing the Malian government control over the country’s territory and ability to allow access for Western companies to resources. Plus it would destabilize neighbouring governments as the Tuareg state of Azawad would cover portions of all states in the region.

    [That’s all for this not so brief overview. If you read this far you’re probably better off reading the linked article. And for more on Iyad Ag Ghali go to: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/01/20121274447237703.html%5D

  53. Lue HarperJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:35 pm #

    I understand the urgency to uphold a non-democratically installed puppet, representing, well, us I suppose, against dissatisfied rebels from the north .. rebels, rebelling against? Hold on! Terrorists, that’s it! Easier to get my head around .. terrorists, threatening citizens both at home and abroad, and so what if those threatened citizens are the Canadian Gold Corps who exploit and pollute around the globe. Are they not citizens too?
    Super-citizens in fact, because unlike the rest of us they are outside Canadian law. Should Mali fall to its citizens, or worst yet, to the global corporatocracy, and we are not involved in the slaughter, WE WILL NOT GET OUR HANDS ON ANY OF THAT GOLD!
    Sorry,(deep breath)I’m calmer now .. So while I personally feel that we should be there to provide aide to those least considered, (the citizens of Mali) who will suffer dearly should we, along with the rest of the free world, involve ourselves militarily, I can understand perfectly well why Harper and Corp would have us wade into the gore with bayonets fixed; not for profit only, but because it is the will of God.
    God chose Harper, you see? So Harper cannot help but do Gods work. Nothing happens on this planet that is not the will of God. Harper cannot help but do the right thing, which is whatever Harper will do, cause God chose him.
    You see, I didn’t chose Harper, and I don’t believe in God, so in turn both He, and Harper ignore me completely.

  54. JoannaJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

    I feel tired and discouraged that Canada’s foreign policy has been relentlessly undermined by the likes of Stephen Harper. We actively seek involvement in conflicts that have often lead to people having to escape the conflict and at the same time announcing there is no more room in our very expensive inn. Taking part in this and other conflicts appears to be based on desiring a prominent role with the big guys. I agree with an earlier comment that the Canadian government and other privileged nations are ready to point out a convenient enemy that we have to remove.
    What good has come of these actions?

  55. dorothy henautJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:05 pm #

    I think Canada should help the Maliens — and the French and the African forces — because the Al Quaeda forces are destroying civilians and families, as well as centuries of culture. But I don’t trust the army’s leaders to function intelligently on the ground with the local people, so Canada should just give non-combat support.

    I have heard Robert Fisk on the radio who says this will be France’s Afghanistan or Irak. To me there is a huge difference — the Al Quaeda forces in Mali are all foreigners – some from Algeria, some from all over the arab world, and the Maliens feel they are the invaders. You could check out Erica Pomerance’s facebook page, but she is in Bamako now (actually, just left for Ouagadougou today), but she says the Maliens in Bamako are very happy the French have come in to help them get their country back. The Touaregs in the north have been trying for years to have a separate country. They foolishly made an alliance with the Al Quaeda to get their help, but the latter have trod rough-shod over everyone, and i’m not sure the Touaregs aren’t regretting that alliance. Neither the Touaregs nor most of the Maliens are fanatic muslims, but rather gentle (although there were some pretty unpleasant mullahs even when we were there in 2006). And the Touaregs and the Dogons have mixed their pre-muslim beliefs in with the muslim ones in rather interesting mixtures. I am heartbroken for the Maliens generally, because they were so proud of their democracy when we were there. There are many different tribes, or peoples and languages in Mali, and Erica’s husband speaks most of them.

  56. DaveJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

    A difficult question to answer, certainly. If the Al-Queda connections are correct, it warrants some response beyond protests and aid. If the democratic rights of the population are being threatened, support is warranted for intervention. As others have mentioned, a clear, detailed perspective needs to be reported before it’s possible to give an informed response to the question. Mining interests are not a moral reason for a military intervention, but if it serves as a reason for intervention in a true threat to democracy, then so be it.

  57. BrianJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    We should not be militarily involved in any other country and hopefully don’t need to in our own.
    There are many terrorist groups in the world but only 2 terrorist nations.
    Harper wants to be buddies with the worst terrorists, the ones who practice both military anf financial terrorism and are now starting to dismantle citizen protection and rights as Harper is doing.

    Please name the countries in the world that have become democratic through the intervention of the USA or Israel, or Canada or Britiaa etc. Leave Mali to sort out their own problems, It masy not be pretty but it will be better than what they’ll get if we step in.

  58. David HillJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

    We need a lot more information before casting any kind of vote. The claim is that al Quaeda remnants are involved, yet other sources say it is Tuareg tribesmen who have historically held the Northern area of this allegedly artificial state. As in Syria, there’s too much spin on the news, and too many outside interferences. Wasn’t Mali recently taken over by some kind of military coup? We badly need accurate, comprehensive information.

    Marie Colvin, we miss you very much.

  59. RosalindJanuary 25, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

    I need more information about the Mali government we’d be supporting before I can give an opinion.

  60. Selma TischerJanuary 25, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

    I find it so hard to form an enlightened opinion on Mali. My suspicion is that Canada will only fight causes where it has vested interests, such as mining etc. And of course, this is not a valid reason. On the other hand, human rights issues such as a group oppressing another would be a valid reason. But in this case, would Canada get involved?

  61. Warren BellJanuary 25, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    I fear that our militaristic Prime Minister and his warlike associates like Peter McKay, Vic Toews and John Baird all find fighting with someone preferable to helping those in need. They therefore seem to want to send troops into battle, promote the WAR of 1812, and get rid of the “Civilization” in “Museum of Civilization” (to say nothing of excoriating any opposition with harsh and abrasive language and hard-core legislative moves). So fighting in Mali? Par for the course. Nevertheless, humanitarian aid to those innocents caught in the crossfire fo the civil war would seem to be more apt. The legacy of colonialism is not more colonialism. If France had built up democratic institutions in Mali before pulling out, perhaps this war might not have taken place…?

  62. Gord Van DyckJanuary 25, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

    Ever since we have had a Conservative government, I have been ashamed And discouraged. Canada should only participate in wars of aggression if they are UN actions, no exceptions.

  63. Jim CouplandJanuary 25, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    I do not have enough information to make a statement, but I would like to see Canada serve only in a humanitarian way as a peace keeper.

  64. George CrowellJanuary 25, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

    The Harper government is beginning to participate in military intervention in Mali without any consultation with Parliament. Harper is taking us ever more away from peacekeeping and peacemaking work, and more and more into aggressive military action. What real interests is he supporting? Probably the exploitation of resources by Canadian and other corporations. Mali military intervention could get Canada mired in armed conflicts there and elsewhere with no end in sight. And how about the welfare of young Canadians who will be induced to serve in the military at great personal risk for purposes that serve neither justice nor environmental protection?

  65. Val CareyJanuary 25, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

    As HG Wells predicted, the world is now in a state of permanent war, and as former President Eisenhower warned, the Military-Industrial Complex is operating unquestioned. War is about profit, and there is much profit to be made producing armaments. When I was a young woman the threat was from “communism.” Now we are to fear “terrorism.” When are we going to say, “Enough war and rumors of war!” We are one human family.

    The money spent on armaments in a year would profoundly change the world if spent on housing, education, nutrition, clean water, clean air, etc. How
    much longer are we going to continue to accept permanent war?

  66. Mike AntoniadesJanuary 25, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

    What is going on in Mali is essentially a civil war that has been simmering for decades. We hear about arms from Libya etc. so we displaced Gadaffi at great cost to the Libyan people and shifted the fighting to Mali. When we cause enormous loss of life there where do we move to? When will we learn that war never has a winner? Iraq is still a mess, Afganistan needs no comments, both places being losing propositions. Is there No end to irrationality?

    No involvement. Period.

  67. Natania WingraveJanuary 25, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

    United we stand Divided we fall – war keeps us all busy arguing as the world disintegrates in the “small wars forever” scheduled by Bush.

    Canada now seems more Fascist than democratic, whatever opinions we may or may not have are meaningless in the bigger picture. All that wars achieve are more assets for those in power, while subtly culling the world population and wrecking the planet.

    I’ve lived long enough now to notice that anyone labelled as ‘terrorists’ are merely people wanting to retrieve their own lands from oppressive regimes, whether foreign interests or their own tyrants. It seems to solve nothing just to go to war with countries bi-laterally, disregarding the Geneva Convention, Human Rights etc., unless bombing them to smithereens, and rebuilding them is bringing in the money for those already with it.

  68. Scott HendersonJanuary 25, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

    French intervention in Mali has more to do with securing natural resources like Uranium and very little to do with humanitarianism. A civil war exacerbated by all-purpose ever-ready Al Qaeda mercenaries who fight both for and against “the west” depending on our need to intervene, provides a convenient prop. Canada should limit aid to refugees and those suffering the collateral damage associated with these kinds of conflicts and push for a comprehensive peace process.

  69. J. G.January 25, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

    Under the pressure of USA Canada performed vicious attacks on Serbia killing innocent Serbian people. We are now getting involved in Mali because our PM is ordered to do so. At the same time Canada did not solved British colonial problems left behind of yet. It is a absolute national shame. And who we are serving? NATO! If my memory serves me well NATO organisation was formed for Europe’s affairs 6000 miles away from Canada.Explanations for these types of new colonial wars is suitable for imbeciles only.

  70. Sandra CowleyJanuary 25, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

    I was so relieved that France intervened. And further pleased about our tiny intervention with a cargo plane; however, would like to see more Canadian involvement in the way of humanitarian aid; and some aid to the French and Malian militaries with supplies and technology.

    • J. G.January 26, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

      Bravo,Sandra!Why don’t you take machine gun put on fatigues and help French boys to re-establish their colony and continue with the exploitation of innocent Africans. Would you also like to re-establish slavery?

  71. Scott PrestonJanuary 25, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

    It seems I must be forever at odds with the prevailing winds of the times or out of tune with the Zeitgeist.

    The problem of bad judgement and decayed instinct for what is truly needful… the Harper government wants to intervene where it should not, and yet not intervene where it should. Mali is a case where intervention is needful. Intervention here is justified in defence of a defenceless population (with a Sufi Muslim heritage) that is being brutalised by armed Islamicist, fundamentalist reactionaries. Iraq, Afghanistan… these are entirely different matters. But it’s quite disgraceful that the Muslim nations don’t step up to defend their own heritage, but then, Sufis have very often been considered heretics and infidels by orthodox Muslims.

    Precisely where the Conservatives are called to stand up for their vaunted “principles”, they become shirkers. But where vulgar and rank partisan or “national” interest, or pretensions to imperial glory are all disguised behind the rhetoric of high “principle”, they are in like a dirty shirt and show themselves to be nothing but vulgar militarists and glory-seeking enthusiasts.

  72. John Duddy.January 25, 2013 at 7:16 pm #


    • Kathleen HillJanuary 26, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

      Thank You!
      Shine ON* Katie

  73. Wendy StephensonJanuary 25, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

    This is yet another step in Harper’s increasing militarism of Canada that citizens have not agreed to. We want our reputation as a peace keeping nation restored. How many years will that take to restore that reputation? We do not want to help greedy colonial nations to continue to escalate foreign wars to satisfy their own interests.
    Only the most naive Canadian could have believed Harper could be trusted to stick to the agreed one week of help with transport vehicles in Mali. Obviously he would go for extensions and further involvement.
    Canada should provide humanitarian aid only in conflict zones—no further military involvement in Mali.

  74. Art PearsonJanuary 25, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

    Unfortunately, if someone doesn’t stop the al Qaeda, terror will eventually reach Canada as it has Europe. So we’re in a no-win situation. If we support the French, we could loose soldiers. If we don’t, the terror will spread.

  75. Ken CollierJanuary 25, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    What is Canada’s interest in Mali? Canadian mining companies operating there. Probably other reasons also. And Canadians “Special Forces”? Aren’t those the troops that push the bounds of legality, UN commitments, treat obligations, human rights abuses and so on? Largely trained at US “black ops” bases?

  76. Siusaidh CaimbeulJanuary 25, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    Let’s instead, start fulfilling one of the solutions envisioned by the Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples – restoring land to land-poor First Nations so they can be self-sufficient.

    BTW – what is ‘our’ plane transporting from France to Mali – Depleted Uranium?

  77. Michel CasselmanJanuary 25, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

    The campaign against threats from al Qaeda around the world is beginning to look and sound too much like the hunt for an earlier “boogyman” that lead us to a fifty year Cold War against communism which was responsible for many armed conflicts, bloodshed and which ended in self-destruction. Waging a 10 year war against the Taliban across two nation states (Aghanistan and Pakistan) was also foolish and illegitimate, since they have every right to struggle for power within their region. Granted, they are not admissible into the highly controlled circle of Western democracies and high-mindedness. In the Middle East and even more so in Africa, borders are artificial, the result of European colonialism which has left a legacy of exploitation and injustice. al Qeada, assuming such an entity exists as a global organization, is filling the political void left by the expulsion colonial powers. The West including Canada should stay out of Mali. Haven’t we learned anything from our involvement in Somalia. Humanitarian aid yes and ultimately political support through the UN.

  78. CC BocaJanuary 25, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    Canada’s hypocrisy boggles the mind. We have no interests in Mali beyond colonial looting, so the Canadians need to stay home and attend to Canadian problems before “policing” others. Humanitarian aid and medical aid are required. Leave the Mali gold there is too much blood on our hands as it is.

  79. darcyJanuary 25, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

    Funny how as soon as Germany want’s it’s gold back from France that there is a war on Mali. Gee isn’t Mali the 3rd largest gold producer in the world. It’s obvious that France and the United States does not have the gold to pay back Germany so it’s off to steal it from another country. Ask yourself a question if Malis main crop was spinich would there be a war going on? i doubt it. Canada has it’s own war going on in it’s own country now one of the most unaffordable place to live, a huge poverty rate and jobs that are impossible to live on. maybe we should be concentrating on helping our own people then bailing out and supporting the rich. Do we need another war based on lies? where are the arrests of the liars? Are we that stupid to believe them again? heaven help us if we continue to let the weak parasites control and lie to us again. I guess then we are the stupid ones and we deserve what we get.

  80. RobertJanuary 25, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

    Did anyone – anyone at all – for even an instant – buy that “one week” non-intervention charade from these wanna-be celebrities that constitute the current version of “government”?
    Majority Rule really means Majority Reign under current election laws, and it is not possible to reign in these autocrats, regardless of public opinion.

  81. Helen ReadyJanuary 25, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    Canada should maintain its stance of peace making and non-violence.

  82. MoSJanuary 25, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    When I read that U.S. Special Forces, during the Bush Jr. administration, were fighting alongside the Tuareg and now, under the Obama administration, are fighting against the Tuareg I realized that intervention is pointless. There are at least four main Islamist groups and western forces wind up backing one of them against the others. Furthermore the conflict isn’t simply confined to Mali. It’s a pan-Saharan conflict. And what of this supposed “government” we are intervening to support? It’s merely the latest iteration of a series of successive military coups over the past year. The latest assessments suggest it is too corrupt and too weak to stand against the insurgents. Does that sound at all familiar? The Tuareg seem to be waging a nationalist war that somewhat resembles the Kurdish struggle for an independent homeland.

    Here’s the key point. Not one western leader can give a coherent narrative of the situation in Mali and, without a convincing explanation of purpose, any military involvement is utter rubbish.

  83. ElspethJanuary 25, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

    When I first heard about Canada providing transport to help in Mali, I though, that’s good. But I keep changing my mind. I think of the Afghan women forced to wear a burka and denied education. I think of school girls who had acid thrown in their faces. I think of the Pakistani girl, MALALI? who was attacked for wanting to be educated. I want to see an end to religious extremism. …….But is the life of an Afgan woman worth more than an American life or a French life, or are they equal? …..Hundreds of years ago, http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/battleswars16011800/p/glencoe.htm the Glencoe Massacre took place. Did the English and Irish not think to send troops to Scotland, as Scotts were killing other Scotts? Did Norway not think of sending troops to help the Scottish people? ….The Glencoe killings were related to religion also, Catholics and Protestants had extreme distrust towards each other. ……No other countries helped. So I’m not sure. I don’t think the involvement with Mali should be more than it is now. ….Canada continues to mistreat Omar Khadr. Let’s stay out of it so there will be no more Omars.

  84. Bruce RosoveJanuary 25, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

    I don’t feel I have enough information on the situation in Mali to offer a useful opinion.

    I’d love to know why there is a rebellion. What are the rebels fighting for?
    How democratic is the current government?

    Once I know the answers to those questions I’d likely have additional questions.

    Regardless, I would much prefer to see some form of mediation process implemented. Many people will be killed, maimed and wounded by this fighting. Surely there us a better way.

  85. PaulineJanuary 25, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    Killing and maiming as a solution to a problem? Is this the middle ages? When faced with terrorist movements, spend on intelligence (pre-empt, prevent) and humanitarian aid where needed.

  86. Aukje HuitemaJanuary 25, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    Like everyone has said so far – war is all about money and power and the
    ‘leaders’ don’t really care about the lives we have to ‘waste’ to get what we WANT. Like Einstein said – war will only end when no one goes to war.

  87. KhalilJanuary 25, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

    Absolutely against another war in another country that people did not no existed before the war drums started beating.
    If we can afford humanitarian aid, by all means we should give it. But I am absolutely against another war.

    • KarenJanuary 25, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

      I am absolutely against military aid to Mali. This is all about protecting resources for the corporations, and we should give humanitarian aid, but not military aid!

      • vicki obedkoffJanuary 25, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

        I am against military intervention to protect Canadian mining interests in gold and uranium in Mali. The situation is comples in Mali, with its brutal colonial legacy and the government’s brutal treatment of popular resistance- 250,000 dead- in the 90s. Canada must stay out of war. Only humanitarin supplies delived through the Red Crescent/Cross or other NGO means.

  88. Ruth NichollJanuary 25, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

    To begin, I will say that I hate the direction the Harper government is taking Canada, both at home and in the larger world. We are NOT “this great country”, a nonsense propaganda phrase that’s tailored to make us want to send young Canadians off (in service of the Empire) to kill and maim foreign young people and foreign civilians of all ages: rather, we are a mid-size population of usually calm, collected multi-ethnic people who live on a very large land mass named Canada. Our best impulses and our best actions have been as peace-makers, not warriors.

    All my life, until 1991, was lived in the Cold War. I learned to recognize propaganda, ours and theirs, and to value the way Canada held back from so many of America’s wars. In those years, a developing nation/poor country had at least the option of claiming protection of some sort from whichever Empire did not have its claws sunk into it (think Poland or Nicaragua).

    Since the fall of the Soviet Union left us with Pax Amercana, we have seen the rising of an uncontrolled free market, including the free market of ideas, of styles and trends, of social change of any sort. Sure, sounds great and has been in many ways: who can argue that Polio should be wiped out, that no one should be tortured, that no one should be stoned to death, that bombing civilians to death should be forbidden, that rape is a crime and a war crime, that genital mutilation should be banned, that slavery should be outlawed, that natural resources should be to the benefit of the people who live on top of them, that labour should provide a fair living for the labourer, that wild animals and the wild lands they need should be protected…? Well, someone will argue for and someone against all of these.

    For me, the problem in deciding what Canada ought to do about Mali is that I don’t like nor trust my own elected leaders at all; nor do I like or trust in any way the ‘Islamists’ (what do they call themselves, I wonder?)who are fighting the Malian government soldiers. I might sympathize with the Malian government if I had any idea of the principles it operates by – but I don’t. So, how am I to choose between the rebels in Mali who would not like me, an opinionated western woman, if they met me, and the Harper government which has made it obvious that it cares not a whit for the opinions of any Canadian who does not support it?

    What should Canada do about Mali? I have no idea. What should Canada do about Africa, Mali included? Not what the Harper government has done to date which is cutting off aid to dozens of long-established projects that had built relationships with and worked along side local people at the village level all over the continent. Nor should Canada sell military weapons to any side or any nation on earth. The recent decision to let Canadian companies sell such death-dealing items to Colombia shouts out loud about ‘Canadian values’ under the Harper government. That decision is being noted in Mali, as in every country where instability could tip over into civil war at any time.

    Whatever Canada does or does not do in Mali, ‘Al Quaeda’ or whatever won’t be wiped out. Driving out the Taliban from Afghanistan, had it stopped with that, may have achieved that aim, just maybe. Going on into Iraq, Pakistan, Yeman, Somalia, now Mali, next Iran, then where… Where do we stop?

  89. MelleJanuary 25, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

    Having been in both Mali and Niger, i recognize the futility of waging war in that desert place. Aside from the terrain , the roots of conflict lies in the colonial past when the rights of the Tuareg people were not met. The curent conflict is fueled by the arms provided “liberation of Libya”. The spin meisters are busy casting this as terrorism rather than a desperate people seeing opportunity and using allies where they find them. The French rushed into this without consideration of an exit strategy. As Canadians we need to stay as far away from this as we possibly can .

  90. AnnieJanuary 25, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    I think Canada should go back to being a peacekeeping supporter. We are not meant to fight; we are meant to help reduce harmful comebacks afterwards. War is not the way to rule the world. We had such an excellent reputation and recent participation stained our name across the globe. I am currently living in Colombia and don’t like people’s response when they find out that we will be purchasing jet fighters and are equipping ourselves to wage war instead of helping overcome it.

  91. ChrisJanuary 25, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    I believe that any action should be through United Nations, not any individual country or countries. If United Nations decide to act (and they probably should) then Canada should be proud to assist the UN in a significant manner.

  92. Ziggy KleinauJanuary 25, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    There’s only one way Canada can stand out in the face of world opinion:
    Help all those poor people who are affected by that corporate,yes, colonial-type war:
    Send in those transport planes, not filled with combat troops, but with humanitarian supplies and medical and organizational personnel, to soften the effects on the suffering population.

  93. BrentJanuary 25, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

    The Malian government began to allow Al-Qaida to operate in their country years ago as a counterweight to northern Tuareg separatists who seek to claim the north of the country as their own national territory. Northern Mali contains significant oil, gas and mineral reserves. The Malian and French governments want to maintain control of those resources. If Canada assists the French, that’s the reason. If anyone believes the French are there to “fight terrorism”, they have been seriously misled.

  94. Bill BellJanuary 25, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

    In Canada, as in quite a number of other faux democracies, we have the “right of free speech”—the right to post opinions here, for example—because what we say matters very little.

  95. MarkJanuary 25, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    Robert Fisk spoke about this in Ottawa recently. The perspective he put forth is that the ruling army is the result of recent coup. And that what the West is injecting themselves into is a civil war that has been going on for some time. Gold and other minerals are the reason Harper is getting involved and why France was ready to pounce. Already there are stories of atrocities committed by Mali troops in two weeks, when in Afghanistan it took the West 6 months to find out about similar atrocitites. Its all about money, war is a racquet.

  96. Richard FahlmanJanuary 25, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    Paraphrasing from memory: “War is the legitimate racket of the ruling class.”.. Al Capone. Like the rest of Africa, Mali is struggling with the consequences of five centuries of European rape. We are witnessing an era of warlords funded by the outside forces of corporate economics for which our PM is not merely an apologist but is an active participant dreaming of membership in the Big Boy’s Club. “humanitarian aid” is seldom effective at anything other than siphoning tax monies to gangsters or to bureaucrats in “aid” institutions (Apologies to the rare exceptions) Knowing this, we must withdraw all involvement, including our mining companies, as it benefits no one except the aid providers and the entrenched status quo, in this case a military dictatorship. This will inevitably result in some catastrophic tragedies but we must face the reality that our stated intentions are bullshit and the tragedies will not be resolved by our pretences.

  97. LeeJanuary 25, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

    Our goverments go to war to support recourse extraction for large corporation. That is the only thing goverments do, protect the wealth and if more money is needed they just tax us and cut back on services. Our wars do nothing for the indigenous population but only the pocket books of CEO’s

  98. SharonJanuary 25, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

    Completely opposed to Canadian military here. Do not want my tax dollars to be spent on other countries for their political problems. There are dozens of countries currently going through a similar evolution in their development, and we cannot help all of them. Meanwhile, thousands of Canadians are sick and impoverished. Let us heal our own country first. Then we will be stronger and more able to help the rest of the world.

  99. Mary Jane MillerJanuary 25, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

    AS with all conflicts in post colonial Africa, particularly those in sub Sahara, military action by the ex colonial powers is suspect. It worked in Sierra Leone and the intervention By Britain should have happened much sooner. But France does not have the same record as Britain.

    NEvertheless I think proven AlQuaeda in the Magreb connections require a response from the West, since the West is the target of some of the terrorism. In North America it is easy to forget how close some parts of North Africa are to Europe.

    Peacekeeping is not an option with these antagonists.

    I do not think we should be fighting in Mali or elsewhere in that contiguous belt across the continent but I do think we should support the French intervention, in our own self- interest – not because of resources in those countries, thought hat is clearly one of the motivations for this war on both sides, but because of the history of terrorism.

    This war cannot be won. But it needs to be fought to a stalemate where ever possible, preferably deep in the desert away from most towns and the civilians trying to build lives there

    Mary Jane Miller Jan 25

  100. Don KerrJanuary 25, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

    We should do everything possible to stop the AQIM program of taking over a wide swath of Africa. That includes humanitarian aid plus support for an effective program – but what would be effective? I would prefer an african initiative under UN auspices but that isn’t happening. Mr Fowler, who was kidnapped by AQIM, say we must do something so, I say, provide help but insist on a short and long-term strategy with checkpoints to reconsider what is really working and change direction if needed for success.

  101. Patti mayerJanuary 25, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    Dear mr. Harper and the rest of the Canadian government invoked in international policy…
    I plead with you to stop getting involved in a military no win battle with countries that need education, and humanitarian aid.
    we used to be seen internationally as a peace keeping nation and now we are participating much like our American counterparts…
    Raw rough shod force that does not support or create educated peaceful nations!
    Please spend our Canadian taxes on peace, education and support for the basic needs if the people…not war!
    Patti Mayer

  102. Laura SavinkoffJanuary 25, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    Humanitaria aid is also a bit of a problem, since too often, this is linked to supporting and aiding only those who agree with us, who are willing to sell out themselves and their communities, in order to have enough food to survive. Aid should and needs to be reassessed and reevaluated so as not to put an additional burden on those whom we profess to be helping. As well, emergency aid of food, medicine, etc, needs to be temporary and transparent and direct to those in need and not funnelled through a power structure, domestic or forgein. Our foucs must be on long term sustainability not band aids. To do this, we must also look at ourselves and our life styles that contribute and are complicit in the raping and pillaging of the rest of the world all for material, corporate greed. I would like to see Canada, and the rest of the Western nations, have the compassion and willingness to scale back our materially based and greedy lives, in order to ensure the well-being of our glboal brothers and sister. Sadly, this latest invasion of a people, does not speak to our collective humanity, compassion, empathy and love.

  103. BethJanuary 25, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

    These are my personal feelings and opinions: We are in Mali because of our mining and resource interests. We need to get back to being a country that is looked to for peacekeeping and humanitarian aid (which doesn’t always have to be monetary).

  104. MelCJanuary 25, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    This is a difficult question, but on balance I think helping defeat the Al Quieda rebels is the lesser evil to allowing this repressive ideology gain a foothold in the region and impose its Sharia law which is so detrimental to women. Pacifism does not work when you are dealing with fanatics. It is a similar situation as when faced with Hitler in 1939. This evil has to be confronted. I think we should help African troops deal with it by providing material support but not direct involvement in combat.

  105. AllanJanuary 25, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

    It appears that a war is going on: the question is whether we should have any involvement in it at the moment. Western involvement in the past has largely been self serving, attempts to secure and plunder what could be taken out of the ground. Will this be any different? We are faced with difficult choices. I support the position that we have taken as a country before the Harper Conservative government: use the UN to contain the war and provide support for any peace keeping efforts, and provide humanitarian aid to the populace.

    • Moji SedaghatiJanuary 25, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

      The Canadian government would do better to help Africa’s poverty, than send in the military !

  106. Roger CarterJanuary 25, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

    Humanitarian aid should be given through the International Red Cross who will ensure that it gets to those who actually need it. Beyond that Canada should not get involved at all as this is a civil war in a foreign country. Leave the Malians alone to sort out their own problems as best they can.

  107. Donna StockerJanuary 25, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    Stay out of Mali and get out of NATO.

  108. Ray MorrisJanuary 25, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    Most mining companies are registered on the Toronto stock exchange, whether they have much Canadian content or not. If Harper “intervenes” every time the interests of a “Canadian” mining company are threatened, few countries will remain free of Canadian troops in combat roles. And more countries than ever will be devastated by war.
    The situation in Mali is complex, not a neat case of good guys vs. bad guys, as military interventions presuppose. Does our intervention serve largely to prop up a military dictatorship? Does it serve to give support to extremist groups, which can play very effectively on the theme of unwanted foreigners?

  109. John McConnellJanuary 25, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    There is a need for more countries including Canada to support and expand the global role of the United Nations. Canada for example provides 1/2 of one per cent to the UN of what Canada spends per year on its military. Also more countries including Canada should be aware and better informed of “hot spots”, problems and potential up risings in countries months and years before fighting threatens to erupt. Wars are the most expensive way of trying to solve a country’s problems, usually fail to solve the basic problem and leave thousands and millions of poor people dead and needing food,shelter,etc. More needs to be done by world leaders to prevent wars by more and better advance work, including more country to country communication and by expanded roles for the countries’ professional international diplomats. Today Canada needs a Lester B. Pearson to help restore Canada’s international role in the world.

  110. Ron CrowtherJanuary 25, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    Get out and stay out. Humanitarian aid for the population. Place an arms embargo on the region. Remove foreign companies until it is solved and a democratic government is in place that can make decisions. Let the Africans decide for themselves how this plays out, however long it takes. If we remove Western influences, things historically have tended to settle down.

  111. Diaane HendersonJanuary 25, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    Wherever there is conflict the need for humanitarian aid becomes
    paramount. Undoubtedly this is the case in Mali. In addition,
    given the important antiquities in northern Mali there should be
    some aid for the preservation of those (perhaps few) that have so
    far survived. I would support any Canadian action that would
    assist the Malian population in their survival and the preservation
    of their unique antiquities.

  112. Anu BoseJanuary 25, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    Keep away from this mess.

    • trevor trowerJanuary 25, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

      here we go again. i demand that my government remove itself from any involvement in this mess. No more wars, No more wars. we have enough to do to look after our own citizens. the only aid we should export are farming tools and seeds. and these must be of our own manufacture.

  113. André BlaisJanuary 25, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

    I agree with most responses here as far as armed intervention being a haphazard attempt at solving a very complicated problem. I also agree that it is tiring to hear of the seemingly relentless want for involvement by western powers in these far-away conflicts. What I find even more surpising however is the amount of hate and distrust towards the western pillars of power. I understand and also agree to some extent. However, when I read some of these comments and how they speak of “neo-colonialism”, “Amercian hegemony”, “American empire” I can’t help but chuckle. I think it to not only be laughable but downright ignorant for people to fail to acknowledge that at the core of many of the most significant conflicts of the last 20 years is an ideology borne out by war and massacre from it’s inception: Islam. It is time people in the west begin to speak frankly about this budding issue! I understand that this is a challenge due to the death threats one is likely receive if one decide’s to speak out publicly. To wit, a certain Des McMurchy left a response here that is not only alarming, but also disgusting, though not at all surprising coming from somebody who is clearly a muslim. Des, I am reporting you to the RCMP and sincerely hope that you get deported (unlikely, I know) back to whatever miserable Muslim country from whence you came! But it is of vital importance that this become an issue we can all speak about without fear of violence! I don’t know about you guys but I would much prefer American hegemony over Islamic hegemony any day! One only needs to read a few pages of the Qu’ran to understand that it is an ideology as dangerous as those found in the Old Testament of the Bible – the difference being that, especially in Canada, people who claim to be religious are not likely to adhere to (let alone be aware of) some of the more brutal elements found in Christian texts whereas Muslims, generally speaking, tend to be literalists in their approach. I know there are moderates out there but the undeniable fact of the matter is that Islam is a dangerous ideology that has seen itself grow thanks exclusively to violence and oppression.

  114. BillDJanuary 25, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    I fully support the government’s decision so assist France and Mali in their operations to prevent AQ and its proxies from invading and taking over Mali and other African countries that seek assistance from the West.

    Our assistance to France to date is minimal; a cargo plane for a month. Hopefully the government and the CF can muster the wherewithal to provide more and for a longer period.

    Provision of troops or aircraft for combat could well be unwise given the our current commitment in Afghanistan and the CF’s need for refurbishment.

    • Stephan WilliamsJanuary 25, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

      Memo to BILL:

      THERE IS NO AL QAEDA! Al Qaeda is a CIA construct! Bin Laden candidly admitted to working for the CIA in the 1980’s! It’s all FAKE!

      It’s a false narrative carefully designed to manipulate you and everyone else into fearing those that our real masters want gone. We’re supposed to be so afraid of these shadowy people that we will give our governments permission to legally murder people who mean us no harm for the exclusive benefit of those who hold the real reigns of Power – the financial centres of our utterly corrupted world.

      Cui bono?

      “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”- Voltaire

      Naaah, tell me it ain’t so…

  115. Onni MilneJanuary 25, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    I started watching a YouTube series on the history of war. European explorations of “discovery” were nothing more than opportunities to steal resources from countries far away, leaving the land and people destroyed. In Rwanda, Belgian authorities and clerics (former overlords) created a scenario where one group of Africans was ready, willing and determined to exterminate those who were “lesser”. That is the legacy colonialism left behind. Wasn’t Robert Fowler in Niger to discuss matters relating to Canadian mining interests when he was kidnapped? We created a monster centuries ago and weep crocodile tears as we scream “terrorists” loudly now. If African peoples had been treated with justice and respect, we would not be dealing with the consequences of centuries of injustice. No military aid and intervention now. Let the French clean up their mess.

  116. Egni ElnahJanuary 25, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

    Under Stephen Harper Canada has completed the metamorphism from a peace keeping nation to one that has no respect for International Law and refuses to respect the sovereignty of other nations and the right of their citizens not to have their lives destroyed by “bombing foreign governments that function as protectors of multinational thieving monopolistic Corporations. Every war can be raced to “doing the bidding of the world’s biggest Corporations who claim the right to pillage the resources of the entire globe, regardless of where they are located. NATO and the USA military with the CIA, now joined by Canada have become the scourge of the planet – the most consistently destructive force – camouflaging themselves with the “propaganda spin of humanitarian rescue , defense of democracy and national security”.
    The money now spend on Canada’s illegal wars is more than enough to pay for the services that are being slashed and denied Canadian citizens in order to enrich the military corporate suppliers, to engage in illegal war games.

    Canad has no business being the self-appointed policeman to control non-compliant nations who resist the dictates and control of foreign corporate vested interests – which get military protection. Under Harper, Canada has joined the den of pillaging, plundering and murdering thieves.

  117. JamieJanuary 25, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    International military intervention will likely make the situation worse and more volitile, both in Mali and neighbouring countries. The international community needs the ability to respond nonviolently to crises such as this, ideally at a much earlier stage. When conflicts flare up we hear that there are no other options besides military intervention or doing nothing. We need to build other options now for future conflicts.

  118. Paul WhitakerJanuary 25, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    This is a government which came to power in a military coup last year, which does not represent the majority of the northern (mostly Arab) peoples. For Canada to back one ethnic group against the other as we have elsewhere will be a huge mistake and only spread the mistrust most of the world now has toward the US lackey we have become. Odd isn’t it that we never have a shortage of funds for killing people across the globe.

  119. Lawrence UhlinJanuary 25, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    War is a business. We have a Conservative government. Conservatives are about business. With these premises in mind Canadians need to assess the manner in which we elect governments. Democracy means power to the people not to the government. Electoral reform would change the possibility that less than 40% constitutes a majority Conservative government. There simply is no shame and no wisdom, its all about power and money.

  120. David C. FoxJanuary 25, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    Canada is building military bases in African countries and engaging in the civil war in Mali because there are resources there that Canada wants: gold, oil and gas, minerals.

    Our mining companies can’t imagine a worse scenario than African countries having any power or control over their own resources. But countries in Africa deserve to have the power to control their own resource extraction industries to ensure some of the profit stays in their countries.

    Also, these “missions” and “mission creep” bog us down with more military spending while health care and education is privatized. The private contractors and arms traders love these wars and make a lot of money from them.

    This will be another Afghanistan and Iraq. We should not be led by Harper into another deadly quagmire that will continue to kill Muslims and Arabs as part of the Bush’s endless war of terror.

  121. Leo KurrtenbachJanuary 25, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

    At the present time I can only go along with humanitarian aid in the Mali trouble, and then we should know exactly to whom that aid is being supplied.

    On January 29th., Robert Fiak will be speaking in Saskatoon. I hope to get a better understanding of what the real issues are in that region.

  122. Rufus PolsonJanuary 25, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

    I think it’s always appropriate to give humanitarian aid, evenhandedly, apolitically and without strings attached, to people who are in trouble. But it’s rarely appropriate to get involved in other countries militarily. In the case of Mali, the picture we’ve been given of the situation in the news is extremely uninformative. Conflict has been simmering there for many years, and its roots have nothing to do with Al Quaeda. As usual, they have to do with poor people sitting on resources and being refused much slice of the pie. Apparently Al Quaeda has been in northern Mali for a couple of years, but until now the government had been tolerating them, almost welcoming them because they caused trouble for the rebellious Tuaregs. The Tuaregs had complained to the government about the Al Quaeda groups and gotten no action. Now it seems they’ve teamed up some, and due to NATO’s previous misguided intervention in Libya some of the people they armed there have come down to cause trouble in Mali, and so the nasty situations we’d previously nurtured are suddenly not so convenient.
    The most likely outcome of military intervention is we’re going to devastate Mali like we did Libya and Iraq and Afghanistan, and in the end leave behind a shattered country that’s more violent than we found it (like Libya and Iraq and Afghanistan). For this, we’re going to spend lives and money. Canada should steer clear of what is very likely to be an atrocity-studded debacle.

  123. Butch NutterJanuary 25, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    I will add only one item to those stated above: Canada has no defense policy, it has a war(s) policy. Our foreign policy should be about humanitarian aid. War on hunger and poverty, not war on people.

    • CarolineJanuary 25, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

      I agree completely and would add – war on poverty here at home – we need to encourage diplomacy – negotiation – not fighting, war which have never lead to anything other than more conflict.

  124. Brydon GombayJanuary 25, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    I am sure most Canadians would prefer to see our tax money spent on health and education than on wars and militarism.

  125. David AndersonJanuary 25, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    In the first place, I believe Canadian involvement in Mali by our government is mostly an exercise in fomenting a virulent nationalism here. Secondly its part of a larger global fight for hegemony in Africa between China and the West (US interests). It’s about getting control of Africa’s natural resources.

    In general, I don’t know how we got here: how we came to believe that we have a right to fix other countries’ problems. The UN request for support notwithstanding, I don’t think the Harper gov is capable of thinking in anything but economic terms, and therefore I do not trust that our involvement will contribute in a positive way there.

    • LeonJanuary 25, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

      You are absolutely correct David Anderson regarding rising militarism in Canada. Just look at the number of vehicles featuring the camouflage ribbon, the renaming of highways after “heroes” and veterans, and the government support for the celebration of the War of 1812. Of course, it is a necessary condition to allow neo-con Harper to ingratiate himself with the hegemonic U.S. and the mineral and oil extraction industry.

  126. Scott BurbidgeJanuary 25, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    Dear Mr. Staples and readers: I suspect that most Canadians are ignorant of the history of Africa, Mali included. Your Centre should therefore make every effort to inform Canadians about the history, culture, society and economy of this region. Given the complexities of this part of the world, your questions are merely tapping ignorance, ideological presuppositions and worse. May I refer you to some of the thoughtful debates happening in the journal Le Monde, beginning with an article in yesterday’s edition by Bertrand Badie, “L’operation au Mali marque un perilleux retour auzconflits d’antan” (rough translation: The Mali intervention marks a dangerous return to the conflicts of yester-year)

  127. TerriJanuary 25, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    Until such time as we know who the various so called rebels/terrorists/insurgents/freedom fighters really are and who is arming; funding; training them. there cannot be any involvement on our part. We have entered an era where it seems we continue to use our Canadian Military to protect Private Enterprise abroad, that has nothing to do with our sovereignty or our safety,and everything to do with propping up regimes that have been corrupted by those very corporations and it seems to be with explicit apporval from CIDA

  128. Marcella PedersenJanuary 25, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    War solves nothing. Usually when there is trouble it is because someone is crying out for justice. Are the rebels being treated unfairly? If so, why should we support the government. Seeing as how there is a presence of a Canadian mining company involved, I would not trust it to not be exploiting the people and resources of the country, and should therefore clean up their act. The media loves to play up the religious differences to make people in this country respond with weapons of war, etc. Although I don’t support extremists of any religion, we have to remember that Islam are also descendents of Abraham, and can’t all be bad – just protecting their own. I think we need to find out what is really going on before jumping in. War solves nothing. Harper would rather support mining companies than humanitarian support as seen in his cuts to humanitarian organizations. Who’s lining Harper’s pockets? Mining companies? Weaponry making companies? Follow the money! Then you’ll know what the problem is.

  129. Susan GrimbleJanuary 25, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    War breeds more war, more death and more suffering. It supports the armament industry and does nothing to make us safer. If anything it makes us less safe.

  130. al simonJanuary 25, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    I am looking to see Canada removed from all its foreign entanglements. Let’s get real. We don’t need to aggrandize plans by ex-colonial governments by supplying muscle for their acquisitions. We helped topple a regime in Libya that held that region fairly stable. Now our short sighted leaders are going to play Whack-a-mole with all the regimes destabilized in the area. Even Hitler realized that colonialism was the thing of the past, and for us to assist in its return shows that all the leadership strata in N. America are led by their collective noses to some that show zero advantages for Canada.

  131. SimonneJanuary 25, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    War never solves anything. Would Harper even be interested in Mali if there were not corporate interests to “protect”? I suspect that the injustice inherent in resource extraction there is responsible for much of the conflict in the first place. We need to find ways to get along with each other as a Global Community. Nothing else will work.

  132. Ibn Al-WaleedJanuary 25, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

    The western world should butt out and stop its rape and plunder of Africa.

  133. allanJanuary 25, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

    This Mali spat as well as the Algerian attack are clear examples why Canada should not have got involved the the NATO led invasion of Lybia. It is blowback, the unforeseen consequence of standing in as one of the defenders of Big Oil and other exploitive industry that we, as Canadians tend to ignore even as we know what exploitive means.

  134. iamli3January 25, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

    “What’s your opinion about the war”
    hey how bout no war? ever thought of that? didn’t think so……

  135. DebJanuary 25, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    The time for war is OVER!!! We should step away from any internal conflict in sovereign countries. And unless we can track the money for humanitarian needs to ensure that it gets to the poor who need it, we should not hand it over to any government. We should not help Western Imperial interest take over countries for their natural resources. A little honesty in reporting would be good. Their propoganda is transparent and useless–it just makes them look so stupid. We all know they are propping up corrupt puppet governments who do their bidding. So, once again, the TIME FOR WAR IS OVER, AND CONQUERING IS OUT!!!!!

  136. RickJanuary 25, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

    Great civilizations cease to become great when they allow the uneducated, uncivilized,hordes of the world to break the laws of human rights. Mali’s have the right to peace and freedom as they define it. They have requested help in insuring that right. As part of the Francaphonie we must help as we helped in WWII. This is not Afganistan, this is not Iraq. This is a democratic nation that needs help to restore its democracy and its legitimate borders.

    • Stephan WilliamsJanuary 25, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

      “Great civilizations cease to become great when they allow the uneducated, uncivilized,hordes of the world to break the laws of human rights”

      Bollocks!!!! It is uneducated, uncivilized nitwits who describe other peoples and cultures they know nothing about, (beyond what their masters tell them), as “hordes” who are nowadays a chain around the necks our once great western and eastern, southern and northern civilizations.

  137. irene AstellJanuary 25, 2013 at 12:37 pm #


    • Evelyn RebmanJanuary 25, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

      After WW2 I remember the pledge . “Never Again” HUH! It has Never stopped. We have become war mongers like our neighbours south of us. All the efforts (Money & Military support) has changed nothing. Let’s pour some Love and money into saving our planet for our grandchildren.

  138. Mel JohnstonJanuary 25, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

    I’m not at all convinced that the Harper government can supply any aid to Mali d, either military or non-military, that would not be attached to corporate interest.
    Mel Johnston

  139. Jon Sears, PhDJanuary 25, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    I’m still confused as to how this became a crisis ‘all of a sudden’, and to be solved only through militarized responses. Where has Canada been for 20+ years of Mali’s apprentissage démocratique?! Were have we been since 1991-92 (transition), 1995-97 (peace accord), 2002-03 (“unity government”,) 2006-07 (peace accord)? Classic: wait util its a ‘complex emergency’, and sweep in to ‘save Africans from themselves’ with the blunt instrument of armed rescue: immensely costly in lives and livelihoods for everyone involved.

    • LeonJanuary 25, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

      Jon, in answer to your rhetorical question: Libya has been swallowed, (though not digested), and it’s time for Africa Command/NATO to take another bite.

  140. John TabakJanuary 25, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    These hardline Muslim militants are a spinoff from Libya where NATO and friends supplied much weaponry and support to the “rebels” to topple Ghadafi and create a fundamentalist state. We are now doing the same in Syria sending in foreign Muslim fighters to topple a modern secular regime and tear the country apart. Then there is Iraq and Afghanistan, and soon Iran. Just say No to the Amerikan/NATO Empire before we play off against Russia and China.

    • Stephan WilliamsJanuary 25, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

      John Tabak said: “Just say No to the Amerikan/NATO Empire…”

      It isn’t the “Amerikan/NATO Empire”, Mr. Tabak. It is the Private-Central-Banks-of-the-World Empire – the Real Owners of America and the other Nato countries.

  141. Christine IlottJanuary 25, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    It’s not our place to be there. No good comes of it when we impose our values on other people. If the people of Mali want democracy, to get rid of Al Queada (not that I believe those are truly the problems) they need to do it themselves.

  142. Robin WestinJanuary 25, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    Once again the West (including Canada) is misunderstanding and misrepresenting the situation in countries no one cares about until the word ‘terrorism’ is invoked. We have left a mess in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. Mali will be no different.

  143. Paul GloverJanuary 25, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    Please keep our role in these countries as peacekeepers, not militarists. Humanitarian aid is good.

    • Des McMurchyJanuary 25, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

      Yes, I remember Canada under Pearson, too. What on earth has that got to do with the last forty years of Canada as the running dog of Empire?

  144. John MackintoshJanuary 25, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

    Canada traditionally doesn’t deploy soldiers to the field of combat to protect corporate mining interests. I am increasingly becoming very cynical about the current Harper regime that is pushing our military into becoming corporate security guards.
    Canada was once a world leader in trying to ensure peaceful diplomatic responses in troubled areas around the world. I guess we should be more careful in the future to elect Canadians who understand basic diplomatic skills…instead of single focus economist types.

    • Alfred MumaJanuary 25, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

      I agree entirely with John Mackintsh.

  145. AveryJanuary 25, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

    Just once I would like to see this government make an informed decision on foreign affairs rather than depending on some other country to make it for them.

  146. Des McMurchyJanuary 25, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    The prime consideration in assessing the neocolonial French aggression in Mali and Canada’s participation as the good little running dog of the Empire should be the brutal fact that THIS IS THE EIGHTH MUSLIM NATION THAT THE WEST IS COMMITTING AGGRESSION AGAINST in the past four years.

    This neo-imperial violence in support of former colonists, subservient “governments” and criminal conspiracies such as Canadian mining interests are violent, anti-democratic interventions privileging the interests of the foreign exploiters over those of the peoples affected, who are always desperately poor Muslims.

    Far from providing further support to the outrageous Western interference in Mali, the Prime Ministerial Insect, Harper, and the brain-free Defense Minister of this country, McKay, SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE AND BEHEADED for committing even so much as a single Canadian transport plane to this disgraceful action that is against the ideals of our country and the interests of the vast majority of Canadians.


    • Elizabeth WoodworthJanuary 25, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

      Mr. McMurchy, you have stated it beautifully. The truth is, they are war criminals with a subservient media lolling at their feet. They should be taken to court.

      No longer in my name either!

      We must do everything possible to Stop Harper, and indeed such a website to coordinate this effort is now being developed by a street signing campaign at http://stopharper.org/


      • John Duddy.January 25, 2013 at 7:27 pm #


        We need some members of parliament like this one.

        • Des McMurchyJanuary 29, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

          Everyone should watch this inspiring 14-minute speech by Belgian MP Laurent Louis debunking Belgium’s participation in the neocolonial French aggression in Mali.

          “J’emmerde nos dirigeants! … Quel vilain mensonge!”, indeed! (subtitles available for the linguistically challenged).

          As you say, “we need some MPs like this one”. Where the hell is the neoliberal, Israel-serving “usurper” of the NDP party, T. Mulcair (et les enfants du Québec) on this? And more importantly, where will the NDP stand when Israel and its client state, the USA, carry out their illegal, unilateral attack on Iran later this year and the god-deluded Israeli statesman Harper institutes the military draft here in Canada, so all young Canadians can fight for the Rapture?

  147. JaniceJanuary 25, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

    The comments here are great, I really have nothing to add. We all seem to know that this is about resources and that Harper is beyond reproach.

  148. MichaelJanuary 25, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    I am in favuur of humanitarian aid only. Military action associated with gold profits makes me thoroughly suspicious.I would prefer to make a judgment based on more information, however.

  149. Josette WierJanuary 25, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    This is the “dfense” of the military-industrial complex. The only reason for Canada to be involved is to protect mining and Big Oil. I am forever confused at who are the “terrorists”, or the “rebels”. I believe it is “us”.

  150. D. BurjorjeeJanuary 25, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    Perhaps we should be aiding the rebels who are fighting a junta who overthrew a democratically elected government. The truth I fear is we are protecting the interests of a few mining companies. I really don’t know enough about the situation. Robert Fisk’s interview on the Agenda on TVO yesterday was interesting.

  151. John McIrvineJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    Stephan Williams said all I was going to say, and more. Hit the nail right on the head!

  152. PamJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:56 am #

    Harper Government needs to stop meddling in Mali – to serve their own vested interests, and are ultimately careless of human rights.
    Get our own country in order.
    LOOK AFTER our own people and our environment who are suffering at the hands of Harper’s govt.

    We morally disapprove of a government that harms its people.

    We need to help the people of Mali with humanitarian and peace keeping aid. I do not support any military fighting and do not support any Canadian greed for Mali’s gold and other mining prospects.

  153. Mary NeilsonJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    Lets see how quick Harper can make a decision on this so called COMPLICATED Issue…..

    If he can make a quick decision on this (which I say is None of Our Business so stay out of it) then Harper should get on with taking care of HIS BUSINESS here in Canada.

    That is Meeting with ALL the First Nations Chiefs of Canada and start making some concrete plans to give them their Human Rights as the First People of this country. This means No Mouldy Houses, Clean drinking water and Equal Money for Education as the Immigrants to this country get/got. There’s alot more but lets start with this.

    Take Care of the First Nations Canadians FIRST!
    First thing Harper can do in good faith and Lead by Example is to Make Public all his Expeditures he received from our Taxes since 2006. No more secrets.

    There! Save money, no war and deal with Your Business here in Canada.

  154. Stephan WilliamsJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    I posted before reading the comments. Many people covered the points I made well before I submitted mine. I’m happy to learn we’re all waking up – it’s not just a few of us anymore.

  155. Elizabeth WoodworthJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    What about the United Nations? It’s a huge organization and was set up for just this purpose — when invited, to intervene in conflicts that threatened sovereign nations.

    WHAT are doing in Canada, even CONSIDERING waltzing into a sovereign nation to interfere in its conflict?

    The “war on terror” was manufactured by 9/11. It has become a global imperialistic war that has gained sufficient albeit misguided support to allow regular intrusions into sovereign nations. Check out some of the scholarly work on 9/11 (e.g. consensus911.org) and see that this whole Western aggression against the Middle East and Africa has been set up since the beginning of this century.

    The worst is that it has set two of the world’s major religions against one another.

  156. Munroe ScottJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    This is a typical situation where Parliament should be fully involved, to study, debate, and come to a consensus, which is why we have Representative government. It will not happen that way, of course, because our system is broken and Harper knows all, wields all power, and will do whatever he wants to do — or whatever he figures his power base wants him to do, and that base includes the military/industrial complex..

  157. Stephan WilliamsJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:50 am #

    “After years of democratic elections, but unequal development, the Mali government is fighting a rebellious ethnic minority in the poorer northern region of the country. The military endured several defeats by advancing rebels, and then the armed forces turned on their own civilian politicians and overthrew the Mali government last year.

    In response to the crisis…”

    France hasn’t invaded Mali “in response to the crisis”. That’s nonsense! France and other evil governments have CREATED the crisis!

    The French are invading Mali for the age old reason – Colonial greed!

    Are you aware that the German Parliament has instructed their central bank to repatriate the gold reserves the French and American private central banks are supposedly holding for them? Neither bank has the gold they were supposed to be keeping in trust. They’ve been stalling the Germans for months.

    Mali, a defenseless country produces 7 per cent of the world’s gold. Do the math…

    “…France has dispatched thousands of troops to push back rebels armed with weapons seized in Libya, who are aligned with al Qaeda fighters.”

    There is no such thing as “al Qaeda”. Al Qaeda is a construct of the CIA – a tool created to further the tyrannical policies of those who have taken over the US government. Bin Laden admitted to being a CIA agent in the 80’s. It’s all a dog and pony show run from Washington, New York, the City of London, the world’s other closely-held private central bank headquarters and Tel Aviv.

    “The fighters have taken control of several cities in Mali, reportedly imposing harsh Islamic extremist rules. The UN Security Council has authorized the use of force by the international community.”

    This paragraph could have been written by the criminals presently engaged in the looting of all of Africa. Any time I read inflammatory and content-empty rhetoric like, “reportedly imposing harsh Islamic extremist rules”, I know the fix is in. And so should you!

    “Canada has interests in Mali that are threatened by the fighting. Canadian mining firms are active in this significant gold-exporting country, and the Canadian government has increased aid to Mali nearly six-fold, to $130 million per year, during the last decade.”
    What constitutes “aid”? Can you break it down for me? I suspect the “aid” Mali receives goes to protect and subsidize the profit taking of the “Canadian” companies presently engaged in the looting of the country.

    “What’s your opinion?”

    My opinion is that we should bring our soldiers and military equipment home and we should immediately stop using borrowed money to further enrich the vermin who are madly strip-mining our whole planet for their own profit.

    Major General Smedly Butler, the most decorated soldier in American History, wrote a small book titled, “War is a Racket”. I recommend you read it.

    “This is a critical moment. Harper has not revealed his plans, and Parliament has not returned to Ottawa. We are receiving media calls already because of increasing interest and concern.”

    Harper isn’t intelligent or creative enough to have plans. Harper follows instructions. And we all know who leads this pathetic and traitorous toadie around by his nose, don’t we?

    • Fred BraileyJanuary 25, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

      Reading Stephan Williams is eye-opening. Canada is one of many players in these interminable international power struggles. We should pause to consider that putting out these myriad “fires” is a waste of our money and resources. Building Peace is paramount, and waging war does not advance world Peace.

  158. Lannie KellerJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:50 am #

    Using violence and military might to repress the results of inequality, injustice, hunger (etc.) will never ultimately succeed. Humans have better tools, including education, compassion and real generosity. We also need to be honest about our motives: the economy served by military/industrial solutions must stop driving Canadian policy!

  159. StevenJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:48 am #

    This is not good.

  160. ken jonesJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:47 am #

    well, after reading the first couple of comments, im not sure nothing else is needed….its so obvious the one would think the world would see what is going on, what has been going on since our glorious civilization erradicated the indiginous cultures. nothing has changed. one war of conquest after another for the empires and their unquenchable desire for resources. one ie after another. millions die around the world because because we cannot get off our asses and throw out warmongers…pretty close to the end now

  161. Paula SteinJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:47 am #

    Anne Coffey’s comment and Kate Chung’s comment expresse my feelings exactly!
    The Harper thugs would not give Mali a second thought if it were not for corporations wanting to access their natural resources.

  162. Stella MoriniJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:45 am #

    Je remarque que dans toutes les interventions faites pour liberer un peuple de la tirannie, on envoie beaucoup de matériel militaire qui est ensuite récupéré par Al Qaida et Associés. En fin des comptes Al Qaida ,qui est déjà extremement riche se voit offrir les armes gratuitement pour combatte le diable occidental. Donc, Al Qaida va continuer d’attaquer des pauvres Pays sans défense, nous envoyons les armes et contribuons à rendre plus forte Al Qaida qui va pouvoir semer la guerre à laquelle le US et Alliés répondrons etc. etc…Qui gagne à la fin ? – LES TRAFICANT D’ARMES! Comment arrêter ce cercle vicieux? Si on REcommencait par le commencement : LA PAIX AU MOYEN ORIENT?

  163. Rosemary KeenanJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    According to Hilary Clinton Islamist extremists pose a serious threat in northern Mali. I believe criminals should be stopped and brought to justice. However this should be done through international courts of law and the United Nations, not through military aggression of one nation against another. The only ‘winners’ in war are weapons manufacturers, fossil fuel industries, and the infrastructure that supports them. Everyone else is a victim. Violent action only serves to perpetuate an ongoing cycle of violence. We must work together on a nation to nation basis, to build peace through fair trade and economic engagement. That is the role that Canada should play in Mali and on the world stage.

  164. sterling haynesJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:41 am #

    Many years ago I was stationed in Katsina Province in Northern Nigeria. I was close to the border with French Equatorial Africa [Mali]. I met a few French Foreign Legionaires.
    The crime, lawlessness and violence among the tribes was well known. It was dangerous for me to travel alone and I believe it still is. Terrorist must be controlled but skirmishes could soon lead to a major war at present.

  165. David BurmanJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:36 am #

    According to Robert Fisk, this like other civil wars is not one the “right” side will win from outside intervention. Vietnam, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and anywhere else the war on terror is enacted the result is failure to understand the difference between a civil war and a war of fundamental good vs bad ideologies. The West created Saddam Husein and the Taliban in their desire to undermine Iran and the USSR respectively. Then we had to find an excuse to eliminate them when they didn’t play to our interests.

  166. Ann CoffeyJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    We should never be involved in anything that is for corporate interests. We should also stay out of other countries’ business and let them sort out their problems for themselves. As for “democracy”, Canada and the USA should clean up their own anti-democratic house before mouthing off about other countries’ politics. We should mind our own business. And as for foreign “aid”, does anyone truly believe that “aid” packages don’t come with economic strings attached that are designed to benefit countries being given “aid”? We give a little for a short period of time with one hand and take a lot for an extended period of time (until the resource we want runs out and US military bases have been established) with the other. Also the aid never seems to reach those most in need of help because it is siphoned off by the wealthy and powerful in the country and passed on to the ranks of middlemen who sell it on rather than distributing it to the needy.

    • Elke DenhartJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:42 am #

      I wholeheartedly agree with Ann Coffey. I couldn’t have worded it better.
      Thank you Ann

    • Harry BondyJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:56 am #

      Excellent, well informed comment Ann Coffey. I’m concerned that Canadians, having been conditioned for so long to believe we are a “helping hand” on the international scene, will be wide open to some kind of interference. Harper will play that card. Your standpoint, however much I agree, will be difficult to defend. Also, everyone should note that the weapons did not come only from the Qatari shipments to Libya. The U.S. special forces have been training and arming Malian troops for at least five years. These included the Tuareg. Just before the fighting increased, three of four senior Tuareg officers from the north defected to the rebels bringing 1600 troops and their weapons with them. Notice that the mainstream media has made no mention of this.

  167. Patrick BrownJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:33 am #

    Canada’s reason for any involvement in fighting al-Queda in Mali should be moral; the basic moral issue in Africa and central Asia is the treatment of women. This is not a religious issue. It is hard to morally separate a support role and ‘boots on the ground’ – it’s even more difficult to separate support and humanitarian roles.
    Canada should not, however, be going to war to protect our mining interests; they should get out and stay out.

  168. GregJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    My understanding of the war in Mali is that it is motivated by the United States’ desire to control the Mali gold resources. Mali produces 7-8% of the world’s gold and now that Germany has said they want their gold reserves returned from US Federal Reserve, the Americans are scrambling to produce the gold. It is just another “Libya” and the old Islamic terrorist card is again being played. Mali’s citizens will suffer, as did Libya’s, in this “humanitarian” attrocity. I hope Harper has enough brains / morals to stay neutral and provide aid as Canada’s peace keeping forces should…but based on his past performance I expect him to dig right in as the American lapdog he is.

  169. ShaheenJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:27 am #

    IT is ALL a big Hoax, that place is RICH in minerals and GREEDY Govts. want a share AS USUAL. I want my country to take care of us first we have SOOOO many poor people to take csre of FIRST ….. It is better NOT to poke our noses in other’s affairs. In my humble opinion it is the historical French Colonialism on the rise.

  170. Robert DollJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    I certainly believe we (Canada) should be engaged in humanitarian aid and relief for those who are obviously suffering in this difficult situation.

    I would be more supportive of Canadian military support presumably, encouraged by the United Nations SC, were it not for the reports which seem to be coming out about undisciplined, violent behaviour of a resurgent Mali military against the civilian population of northern Mali.

  171. Harry PaineJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    Capitalism is in such bad shape that it has to send troops into a country like Mali and suck it dry of whatever resources it has. Canadian capitalism is doing the same thing that it did in Iraq and Afghanistan, prop up an Imperialist war against a make-believe enemy. More young people will die so that some already rich can become richer.

  172. Kay OsatenkoJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:23 am #

    What happened to UN Peacekeeping? You know, keeping the militants apart so that there can be peaceful negotiations with input by the people of the region? I quote from a recent Guardian article: “Only a political settlement, guaranteed by regional African forces, can end the conflict. Meanwhile, French president François Hollande says his country will be in Mali as long as it takes to “defeat terrorism in that part of Africa”. All the experience of the past decade suggests that could be indefinitely – as western intervention is likely to boost jihadist recruitment and turn groups with a regional focus towards western targets.” Further, I think peacekeepers with fair and just reputations (which now excludes Canada, to my shame) might be included in the forces sent.

    NATO involvement, along with the ‘war on terror’ has been disastrous. The troubles in Mali are directly linked to the intervention in Libya, aided by the Harper government (which caused us the international shame of not procuring a seat on the Security Council) and the Libyan fiasco has now been linked to the sharks circling Syria

  173. Ingrid WirsigJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    Why are the media and our pathetic government making a field day out of Mali now? Certainly not in defense of the people of Mali and their democratic and human rights. More likely in defense of mining rights and to further the bogus war on terror as already mentioned.
    We have a duty to help where we can and I support the idea of humanitarian aid but I do not trust our government to provide it in good faith.

  174. Elaine McIntyreJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    The continent of Africa is the poorest in the world, yet probably the richest in terms of resources (hence all the mining interests). I find it appalling that the people of Africa are so poor, surrounded by so much wealth. We should not initiate a war to support corporate interests.

  175. Steve LyneJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    I believe it is another case of elites making war to serve their vested interests, ultimately careless of human rights. Warnings of “Al Qaeda” are stale propaganda and scare tactics that didn’t justify laying waste to Afghanistan and Iraq and don’t justfify any other intervention. People of Mali should be free to determine their own government, and local rebels have far more right to do so than foreign governments of France or Canada–who have probably ignored the indigenous and poor of Mali in typical colonial style. Western governments should get out of their former colonies and focus on living self-sufficiently and sustainably within their own territories. If we morally disapprove of a government or think it is harming its people, we should help the people with humanitarian aid and deny the government any support–not celebrate and prop up right-wing dictators who serve certain people’s greed. Our government should stop meddling in other people’s lands and get their own land in order. Help our own people live better–with good health care, education, social security, and sustainable industry. Help everyone afford an electric car and generate part of their own home electricity.

  176. Dan SchubartJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:07 am #

    I put up a thought or two, pertaining mostly to French involvement at:

    However, another conflict in which Canada becomes complicit and into which we pour resources and, possibly, lives, is the height of stupidity and hubris. This conflict is not about protecting us from some who are. admittedly, nasty and oppressive, it is about protecting resource extraction and the arms industry. Until we treat other populations with the respect and consideration we want for ourselves ( not a given here in Canada at present), we will be given over to participating in Catch-22 exercises of this nature. We need a new, long-term vision for a livable world for all and, the joy of it, when we start at home, we set an example for the rest of the world. We need out of NATO, out of NORAD, out of NAFTA and its spawn, out of the WTO and the IMF to enable us to build a new model of collaboration.

  177. AnneJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:07 am #

    Yes to humanitarian aid; no to jumping in and ultimately making things worse. For the most part, it is a lie that we are trying to “help” anyway. It is just one more attempt to continue or extend control over the leadership in all these countries.

  178. JJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    After learning all the discrepancies in truth on all the other issues this side of the world, I say no military action or aid. Come home and protect our own resources.

  179. Franki HJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:01 am #

    This is an extremely complex issue; obviously, humanitarian aid is greatly needed – not only as a result of the conflict currently taking place, but also to establish a foundation for the future – and, unfortunately, humanitarian aid is difficult to disseminate without protection during a conflict. I DO NOT support Canada’s military involvement on behalf of France and the other colonial powers; I would support Canada’s military being involved in humanitarian and R2P efforts on behalf of the civilian population. Unfortunately, with Adolph Harper at the helm, what we will see is support for colonialism, imperialism, and humanitarian aid offered with an immense amount of strings attached (and the will likely not make it to those most in need).

  180. Phyllis ReeveJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:00 am #

    This is a complication situation which has developed over years, involving all of North Africa and the history of French colonialism. Canada should not intervene in any military way, and should offer humanitarian aid only with caution and impartiality.

    • Phyllis ReeveJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:01 am #

      This is a complicated situation which has developed over years, involving all of North Africa and the history of French colonialism. Canada should not intervene in any military way, and should offer humanitarian aid only with caution and impartiality.

  181. Dave StewartJanuary 25, 2013 at 11:00 am #

    From what I can gather, Mali is now a military dictatorship since the democratically elected government has been removed. Since neither the military nor the rebels have any right to rule the country neither should be supported militarily.

    I do however support Canada’s aid to the civilian population and, if possible, act as a mediator for peace as a neutral nation.

    • mJanuary 25, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

      Unfortunately Canada is not neutral or impartial…geo-politically and economically…nor does it have a mandate from its population to enter into another war. To decide the viability of Canada ever pacifying the situation in Mali would require inclusive public debate, histories and proofs and then a referendum from an informed public…as it is, once again, we’re presented a situation in which “something has to be done!”…yet another moral panic…in which the implicit shorthand is that our nation’s moral compass, pointing due north, (overlooking and under reporting the realities of other interventions due south) defaults to an innocent intention…Civil wars do not arise out of the blue…As citizens, we can refuse to be morally press ganged into knee-jerk military interventions in our name…before reasoned public debate can occur…that would reasonably have to include…of course… truly representative Malians!

  182. BarbaraJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    I really don’t have a clue. I’m against all military interventions, supportive or combat, to solve problems. Pouring more aid doesn’t seem to get where it’s really needed and I suspect it more often goes to corrupt polititians. Doing nothing while innocent people are caught in the violence isn’t right either.

    What I see lacking is justice. A “fair shake” for the people, a willingness to sit down, shut up, and listen to each other. I suspect that there is a lot of oppression from the foreign mining interests. And Mr. Harper is most likely on the side of those interests.

    But honestly, I don’t even know where Mali is….and it’s time I learned more about the Country and it’s people.

  183. Siusaidh CaimbeulJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:53 am #

    The ‘War on Terror’ is a hoax. Geo-politics of hegemony.


  184. Angus PerryJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:52 am #

    I thought aiding and abetting murder was also a crime. Our prime minister is turning us into criminals. No wonder his government is building so many prisons.

  185. Kate ChungJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:51 am #

    I am concerned about Canada’s increasingly terrible stand on human rights. Harper sends in the military to support mining companies and only funds aid organizations which work in support of mining companies.

    We need to return to humanitarianism, or else stay out of others’ affairs entirely. And we need to strictly clamp down on the human rights violations of Canadian mining companies.

  186. DaleJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:49 am #

    I don’t think we should become involved at all. Why doesn’t Ceasefire mention the uranium mines in the country that France wants to protect. That is the really big concern, not Al-Qaeda

  187. Mary Ellen DavisJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:48 am #

    Is there a way to help the people of Mali, and not its military forces? There are reports of abuse in the aftermath of combat… Media is not allowed into fighting zone… The Sahel is full of resources the West wants to have at its disposal thanks to deals with local gvts… Check this out: BBC News – The rise of Islamist militants in the Sahara

  188. KatJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:48 am #

    We should stay out of Mali

  189. Doug McGowanJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    By fomenting sectarian violence, we in the West, illegally (war crimes) killed the best hope the people of Africa had for a “fair shake” in this Corporate Dominated world when we collectively destroyed Libya and Muammar Gaddafi’s plans for a United States of Africa. This is likely the prime reason that he had to be removed, as it would have been a united force against the US hegemony. Gaddafi wouldn’t tow the US “line”! Sound familiar?

    For all the good it does, I had sent the letter that follows to my MP, Ted Menzies, and hereby it becomes an open letter:

    Mr. Ted Menzies MP Macleod

    Do the interests of the 1% never cease predominance? Here we go again, this time by supplying military cargo planes, “Our Canadian Government” is proving complicit in maintaining the US “Reign of Terror” over resource rich and/or geopolitically coveted foreign lands, what with “Humanitarian Bombing” by drone attacks in Pakistan, the use of “Depleted Uranium” in Iraq, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and again in Iraq. That is not to mention the motives and methods behind the attack on Libya: War crimes, all of them!

    Things haven’t changed much, except in scale, in the 80 years since Major General Smedley Butler gave hid retirement speech in 1933: “War is just a racket”.

    Here is a segment of that speech:

    Smedley Butler on Interventionism
    — Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC.

    “War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.
    I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.
    I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.
    There isn’t a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.
    It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.
    I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.
    I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.
    During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

    And below is a link that connects some of the dots that are muddied by the complicit Corporate Media.

    Enjoy your day,

    Doug McGowan


  190. Bob StuartJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    I’d have voted for humanitarian aid, but Harper would find a way to use even that to help the bullies.

  191. Judy KennedyJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    There should be conflict resolution measures taken stat with ongoing negotiations. Essential to the latter is discussion of the right of self-determination of the people of Northern Mali.

    Imperial powers, including Canada, a would-be imperial power, should keep out.

    • SandraJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:48 am #

      I do not believe we should have any presence in Mail: I have listened to experts and the war is a civil war and Al Queda is a western concern with no evidence this is a fact. It is time that we stay out of the politics of other countries. The use of drones and suspect reasons for what essentially is us as invaders is continuous and needs to stop.

  192. yanisJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    when “we” canadians are there for investment interest we are there for business purposes, there is a big difference between humanitarian aid and investments interests.
    so we are prepared to pour in millions to fight american funded al queda ‘insurgents’
    while innocent people get killed in the crossfire.
    are we that broke that we are willing to destroy lives and respect for canada just to protect a few mining companies???.
    i for one say, no war for business purposes under the disguise of humanitarianism.

  193. Nina TruscottJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    We need to win hearts, not territory. Al Qaeda will not be beaten “on the ground”. 21st Century military tactics don’t work too well against guerrilla forces meanwhile civilian losses are turning the population against the West.

  194. DonnaJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    It is simply a grab for mining resources. Shame on these companies and shame on us for permitting these actions in our name. Harper is dragging the good reputation of Canada as peacekeeper into the mud to serve his own corporate agenda. This is a grave thing and will bode ill for Canada in the future. We are an international laughing stock.

  195. MargaretJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    I don’t know enough to know how this has escalated however I do know that Canada’s role is best confined to that of peacekeeper and provider of humanitarian aid. Too much can go too wrong once sides are taken.

  196. JordanJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    I think that we have the resources to help innocent civilians from being killed, but also that I don’t have the right to say whether or not other Canadians should put their own lives at risk for the cause.

  197. Douglas AltonJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    Intervention is about protecting Canadian mining interests. Human rights, justice, loss of life and civilian casualties are issues that are really not conidered.

  198. ConnieJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    I am afraid the Harper government does not understand a healthy economy. It is about making sure the government respects the rights of ALL the people in the country it serves.
    Mali seems like another case where there is poor resource sharing and exploitation by foreigners for excessive profits. The first concern should be the right of the people to have a method to provide the necessities of life. Humanitarian aid could be given in exchange for those weapons, followed by negotiations to ensure the people could thrive while improvements were made in income distribution and development. A graduated income tax is a great tool to start the process with royalties for extraction. This is not a case for war.

  199. Keith MeisenheimerJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    Forensic accounting performed by the team of Shelia Fraser / Kevin Page of CEDA , aboriginal affairs and DND F -35 file . If the Ruzzutos are not involved the mafia has a wealthy competetor .

  200. Edward WilsonJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    I don’t know enough to decide which side is in the right, but I do know that any involvement will inevitably escalate, and Canada will be responsible for more deaths.

  201. John Duddy.January 25, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    Wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and other Middle East countries, all started by lies, WMDs, false flag attacks; we need to investigate the terrorists who brought us 9/11, 2001. We need clean elections, media we can trust, an end to corporate ownership of government.

  202. Doreen McConachieJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    Canada used to have a major role in world peacekeeping… this has gone with the fear based, pro war stance of the present government. No-one is peacekeeping anymore. Ghandi said, war is not the answer.

  203. ExpatJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    As a former American, I have seen this pattern before. Reduce your people to serfdom to protect the fortunes of the few. Wreck your democracy. Waste the country’s wealth on losing military adventures that allow you to funnel taxpayer dollars to the favoured few while depriving citizens of their right to improved infrastructure and the benefits of living in one of the rare parts of the world where there is truly enough for all citizens. A blank cheque for any unscientific, unproved military gadget as long as it is expensive, highly lethal and will not benefit Canada or its people. Secrecy, cronyism, protection of the worst of the worst. It’s been done, Mr. Harper, and it is the path to dismal failure.

    If any other party were in power, and even if a non-psychopathic Conservative were leading the country, I would support humanitarian aid and environmental assistance. But under this monster, we have to keep inside our borders to the extent possible so he doesn’t forever harm future generations of Canadians.

    • CherylJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:34 am #

      Expat has perfectly explained the true situation with our ‘government’ and Mali.
      This is just another action to line the pockets of the elite and to install government favorable to same.
      Harper IS a psychopathic, delusional hate-monger. His actions will be answerable eventually.
      Harper’s actions and ‘imperial’ approach to ‘governing’ continue to show no concern for the wishes and well-being of Canadians.
      Have we had enough yet?

  204. Tim BartschJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:22 am #

    The attack on Mali by Western governments is a direct grab for Mali’s gold and other rich natural resources. ‘Al Quaeda’ is just the excuse they needed.

  205. Richard RenshawJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:18 am #

    The whole, Canadian sponsored, doctrine of “Responsibility to Protect” is a cover for military recolonizastion. I do believe we have a responsibiity to protect citizens from massive attacks on their basic human rights by irresponsible governments. What I do not believe is that the military are in any position to engage in that process. We have to go through the United Nations (with all its defects) and not NATO. We have to make diplomacy the principal tool and not military intervention. Most of the time when there is military intervention, even more lives are lost and more distabilization takes place. The instrictive turning to guns is dangerous.

  206. Friederike KnabeJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:16 am #


    I waw in Mali justover a year ago when developments started to get worse. I was in Mopti and Douenza where I have friends and former colleagues… this just to say that I have keeping up to date on the current situation.
    I believe that Canada should be more engaged given the longstanding relationships. While the noncombat role to support the Malia, African and French forces is important, to me the most important role is the humanitarian role at thistime. People are hungry in the North,there was a poor harvest before the fighting started and desperate because farmers can’t plant in northern regions. Civil society need urgent support. Too many agencies have left at the first eruption of hostilities.

    i can tell you more if you want.

  207. Dan LafrenièreJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:16 am #

    Mali has the potential to become another folly like Afghanistan. The French are escalating the conflict to protect their commercial interests (extractive industries)in the guise of the ‘War on Terror’.
    Mali ranks at 175th of 187 countries on the UN’s Human Development Index and close to 70% of Malians are considered in severe poverty (UN data, 2011). I fear that western interference in Mali will delay the eventual reconfiguration of the country into at least two separate states and result in horrific losses of lives (Malians, not foreigners). The Touregs and other ethnic groups in the north (Sahel/Sahara region) of Mali have nothing in common with their southern natives and have steadfastly refused to be governed by Bamako. The French and other Western “allies” will propagate a civil war which will not allow any diplomatic solution to this conflict.
    We must actively oppose any military intervention by Canada in Mali!

  208. Darlene JuschkaJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    In order to respond to this question I checked out Aljazeera’s website site and they have an interesting interactive page were Malian folks have left their comments on the subject of French intervention. 96% of these comments support French intervention in Mali and for me this was helpful to know. Equally, Aljaeera have some articles on the conflict that are also helpful. I also checked out Amnesty International on Mali and they have good information on the subject. In light of this material I support humanitarian aid contributions only. The information referred to can be found following the links below.



  209. Rev. F. Mark Mealing, Ph.D.January 25, 2013 at 10:07 am #

    We have no business in Mali other than humanitarian aid. Harper’s War God Worship is appalling.

  210. CarolannJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:07 am #

    War is an obsolete way to solve problems. If Canada wants to spend our tax dollars on some aspect of war, it should be working on a way to shut down the manufacture, selling, and trading of firing arms and all the other “toys” that give rebel groups the means to start the mass killing of their fellow man I.e. to start a war.

  211. Pedro VillamizarJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:06 am #

    Canada and France as well are responsible for what it is happening in Mali by supporting the so called “Arab Spring” and supporting AL-Caida terrorists in Libya-Siria-Egypt etc.
    This is an strategy of creating Chaos in the middleeast to extend it to IRAN , Russia and even China.
    As well as spreading this chaos into ALGERIA and other countries that have limits with Mali. The re-colonization of AFRICA!
    This is the strategy and tactics used by Western Imperialism, Israel, The Saudis and Katar to discredite the genuine struggles of the peoples Middle east and elsewhere and them to take them over.
    The Agressors Do not want Peace and Democracy but Fascism and War!

  212. Mike MJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:06 am #

    What war. Oh, another planned invasion of a sovereign. A war crime.

    • Mike MJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:13 am #

      A sovereign nation that is.

  213. kathleen abellJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    There is no way we should be involved. NATO is guilty of enough war crimes. The reasons for sending troops to these countries are always the same plunder and murder disguised as humanitarian aid. Anybody who still does not realize that western politicians are criminal psychopathic liars is not paying attention at all. Lie after lie is revealed and poor deluded followers of the government propaganda still believe what they are told. Sheesh!

  214. John BellJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:04 am #

    Most commentators seem to have been asleep last year when the Mali crisis broke out. At the beginning of 2012, it was a Toureg uprising that was going nowhere. Then Mali’s military thought that the government wasn’t helping them put it down, so they overthrew the government in a coup. Into that chaos came a Toureg strike (assisted by Islamists armed with ex-Libyan weapons) that pushed the military out of the North and generally humiliated it. Once that was accomplished, the Islamists started fighting and ousting the Touregs. Remember all the hubbub in Timbuktu, when they started destroying UNESCO-protected religious shrines (just because they were from the wrong sect of Islam) ?

    Now, I am not advocating Canadian infantry and tanks on the ground in Mali. I’m simply pointing out what happened, not some shadowy megacorp conspiracy that other people are advocating.

  215. Helen CarterJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:04 am #

    I cannot believe how far right our current leadership are moving towards.
    Our beautiful country is becoming a warring culture not making peace. PM Pearson clearly lead the way and what he accomplished for world wide peace through Peacemaking activities is eroded and dangerously moving toward vanishing. I continue to pray for PEACE WORLDWIDE.

  216. Mike SmithJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    I vote for logistical support only.

    I also would like a better understanding of the issues behind the war. The press use the word “Islamists” do define the bad guys. Sometimes they use “Al Qaeda”. But it would be good to know what the insurgents are mad about.

    Stephen Harper and John Baird will always fight against any group that appears to be Muslim whether they are right or wrong. That is their entire basis for unconditional support for Israel.

    If the reporters could tell us what is behind the war, I would feel a lot better about filling in the check boxes.

  217. medmtlJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    Is there a way to help the people of Mali, and not its military forces? There are reports of abuse in the aftermath of combat… Media is not allowed into fighting zone… The Sahel is full of resources the West wants to have at its disposal thanks to deals with local gvts… Check this out: BBC News – The rise of Islamist militants in the Sahara

  218. Joe HJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    I just do not know enough to have an informed decision. If the U.N. makes a declaritive motion that asks for miltiary action with defined and reasonable goals that military action can produce (ie Elimniation of armed groups in an area, not being about peaceful democracy which can not be brought by pure military action) and is passed a majority then I would be willing to support miltiary action. Otherwise I would limit it to humanitian aid. I do not believe anything that comes from this present government, particularly concerning miltiary matters and would not ask this of our troop to be put at risk to be used for political gain by the Harper government as they like to call themselves, it would bring disgrace to Canada, much like harpers other foreign and eviromental policies have already Harmed Canada’s reputation.

  219. Bob WrightJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    My vote was for humanitarian aid only – and now Harper wants it administered by the corporations so it can be used to buy off opposition!

    … even when we were ‘peacekeeping’ our industrialists were feeding the US – and other – war machines – as evidenced from information revealed by Project Ploughshares, ‘Ceasefire’ and others…

    and now we are supporting that good ol’ has-been ‘used-to-be’ wanna be again colonial power France …

  220. LynneJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:53 am #

    I appreciate the email today from Ceasefire asking for an opinion.
    Isn’t it a tad patronizing to discuss what ‘our’ opinions are ?
    No mention of what Mali thinks.
    Has Mali pleaded with Canada for help ? Maybe yes but I’d love to know.
    It’s good to know what is going on outside our comfortable existence.
    Islamic extremism is a real problem today and much persecution and murder of non-muslims.

  221. HeatherJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:53 am #

    The peoples of Mali should be left to settle their own problems. If France wants to get involved, well that is their business. Canada has lost too much blood and treasure over many generations fighting other peoples wars. The Canadian economy has tanked under Harper Conservative policies; getting involved in yet another war is no solution.

  222. JeanJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:53 am #

    As the problems in Mali begin with disasters caused by climate change it seems a bit stupid to be going in there now with bombs. These people have been suffering and the terrorists seized the opportunity to get involved. The wealthy countries need to stop this aggressive misguided behaviour. We wouldn’t treat our poorer, hungry or homeless citizens this way…..would we?

  223. DaveJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    At one time we were considered a peace keeping nation in the world, of course it was a nice myth since most of our peace keeping missions served corporate interest. Now we are as blatently war mongering as the US. I am embarrassed to be Canadian at this time. We need to get out of NATO and all countries and let them deal with there own affairs.

  224. A.B. DavisJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    I do not know much about Mali. What kind of government do they have? We should never support known dictatorships or very corrupt governments but we should always do aid with the UN. We have lost virtually all our credibility by supporting governments that we called “GOOD” that were doing what we wanted and not what was best for their citizens.

  225. Rod DawsonJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    Harper is moving Canada farther and farther away from our reputation and role as peacekeepers.

    His evangelical Christianity is being used to shape our humanitarian role to exclude family planning that does not conform to his fundamentalist Christian beliefs

    Peace keeping only with humanitarian aid – no dogmatic strings attatched.

  226. LiamYoungJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:49 am #

    Another fabricated war to keep our country in debt.
    Quelle surprise.
    The world suffers as bankers collect interest.
    What else is new?

  227. EricJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    The West is so slow to learn that sticking its nose into the disputes of other nations is a lose-lose proposition. This world will never become a better place because we have more soldiers, guns, tanks, and jets in some faraway place trying to annihilate one another.

    And as far as training soldiers in foreign armies, few things make less sense. When it comes to hating, fighting, murdering, and killing, any army anywhere will invent its own ‘special methods’. This tiny planet already has far too many people who know how to handle firearms and ammunition and far too few people who know how to handle a hoe and a sack of maize seeds.

  228. JaneJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    I am concerned about the spread of human rights abuses taking place in Mali and the supression of women. Maybe if intervention takes place early enough we will have a chance of defeating this takeover.

  229. Bob LewisJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    Since I have no faith in the news I have no way of knowing what is actually going on in Mali. I wouldn’t trust the integrity of the French government, and even less the ‘Harper’ government. I’d like to know what Mali has that the French want. Oil? Other Minerals? It’s inconceivable that they are going in their for humanitarian reasons.

  230. Helen CastonguayJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:45 am #

    An absolute NO to any intervention in Mali. It is a historically complicated situation the root of which is colonialism. We need to rise up right here in Canada. Our voices will not be heard on individual issues like this until we deal with our own colonial legacies. We will be shouted over by big oil interests, mining interests, banking interests,and all other colonization based power interests, and mostly by the fear of the powerful and the 1% who know no other way than domination. Right here and now we should rise up. We have leaders willing to take us down the good road of relearning how we might live in peace with First Peoples, with cultural and religious diversity, with shared power … ~ let’s dismantle and transform Canada’s despicable legacy of colonialism and eradicate poverty before we decide to fix other countries. Although there are not as many bullets being fired we have a war raging right here and we need to bring peace here. Let’s listen to the leaders and elders who would have us share this land with respect for all beings and Mother Earth. We need a peaceful revolution and we need it soon.

  231. M AtkinsonJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:45 am #

    Canada’s involvement will only escalate the violence.
    Have we learned nothing from Iraq, Afghanistan ?
    Let’s fix Canada-make poverty disappear especially on the reserves
    And among young people.

  232. Wolfgang KrugerJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:43 am #

    Canada has already lost all credibility under Harper. I like the comment “unbomb Libya”.

  233. david schroederJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:43 am #

    when you read about this the harper government wants you to believe that al qaeda and terrorists are the blame, but they don’t want you to know that Mali is part of the drought conditions in the sub sahara brought about by global warming and his oil patch friends, coupled with the french colonialists mining uranium to feed their nuclear powered hydro stations at the expense of the local indigeneous people, the touregs etc. this war is about denying local muslim populations food and we should have no part of it. how about supplying humanitarion aid first. do you think that will ever enter his puny little brain???

  234. JenJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    STFU and worry about the clustef*ck of problems in Canada before self-righteously meddling in the affairs of others.

  235. KevinJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    We should support our allies in their fight against the terrorists of al-Queda from a military supply point of view as the Harper government has done so far. I do not want Canadian troops on the ground at this time but that could change.
    One must remember that these terrorists want to force themselves and their sharia laws on the people of Mali. They are well armed and cannot be defeated by Malia’s armed forces so they invaded, captured and have terrorized the Malian population; one only has to talk to the poor Malian farmers and others living there.
    Terrorism in this Islamic form or any other is lawless and must be defeated wherever it rasies its’ ugly head.

  236. ChristopherJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    Canada has been and continues to be a part of the US/NATO led military camp. Our current right wing government has no qualms jettisoning Canada’s facade of neutrality in world affairs. This government cost us the little credibility we had in International forums, as we became the first country that did not get the vote to become a non-permanent member of the Security council.

    Our current defence and foreign policies would surely lead us to lose more battles, both on the armed aggression front as well as on the all important the international trade front. The taxpayer will bear the costs of such misguided policies that are designed and implemented to benefit the globalist military-industrial complex.

  237. Anne PetersonJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    We don’t need to bomb and destroy another country to ‘save’ it.

  238. Claire AdamsonJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    We should send diplomats, conflict resolution people, have a summit in another country if they wish. There will be free food at talks, and they will be unbiased. Let them decide what to do, encouraging a real multi-ethic solution including Christian and Muslim brother and sisterhood.

    • David BeaudinJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:42 am #

      The first casualty of any war is the truth. Was this conflict initiated by the western military industrial complex to allow invasion of the country and protect their extractive industries?

      Canada needs to strictly keep out except for humanitarian aid and peacekeeping (clearly not the policy of our current government).

  239. JayDeeJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    It’s time for Canada to lead the way to peace and humanitarian work once again.

    I support humanitarian aid contributions only, and no military role whatsoever for our troops

  240. HeatherJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    I don’t support military presence of Canadians in Mali. I wonder and fear what the real reason is that Canada (and others) resort immediately to military participation. There has been no attempt made whatsoever to hear what these rebels really have to say, no attempts at negotiations, no diplomacy at all. Throwing bombs out of planes on the people below should be a very last resort measure. It should not be something to try first, in the 21st century, with all the knowledge and experience that we have about (armed) conflicts and what works and what doesn’t when it comes to sustainable conflict resolution. Remember Afghanistan? Waging old-fashioned style wars in circumstances in remote geographical regions against practically invisible guerrila targets is futile and unwinnable and a lot of innocent lives get lost. Blasting opponents to smitherines is not a good step towards a long-term solution for peace in any region. Canada will win neither peace nor popularity contests if we go in and make the armed conflict even bigger, more complicated and more long-lasting than it already is.
    Let’s help Mali with conflict resolution wisdom, not barbaric fighter jets.

  241. Donna RobertsonJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:30 am #

    I do not support military action in Mali. I do support humanitarian aid in that area.

  242. R. BitnerJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:30 am #

    I am in support of humanitarian aid for Mali only. I’m talking about “real” humanitarian aid, not the kind that comes with conditions (economic or other).

  243. alma normanJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:25 am #

    We should not involve ourselves in what is in really a Civil War in Mali. The term Islamist is used to scare us into “fighting terrorists”, when in fact we’re intervening in a war between the Tuaregs and Arabs of the north and a Black givernmnent in the South, It’s san issue they must settle between themselves. Canada doe3s not belong there, and there is, given Harper’s love of military intervention, the danger of “mission creep” – long involvement in a conflict where we have no business. Let’s use the millions we’d be spending on that mission to deal with issues at home – the third world plight of our own Aboriginal communities.

    • Brenda MacLauchlanJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:30 am #

      I agree completely with what Alma has said.

  244. Bob BorresonJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:23 am #

    Canada was once known as an international peace keeper, we are now protectors of corporate investments.
    In a continent of hunger and poverty, Canada now spends more to kill people than to feed them. What a sad legacy for Canada

  245. Angela BedolfeJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    Those rapacious, avaricious mining cos cd have been providing humanitarian aid to somewhat offset the damage they do, wrecking ecosystems. I am in favor of aid for the poor, here & in Mali & wherever it’s needed, since the luciferian wealthy have murdered & enslaved them/us for generations, but I am cautious about donations, since they are seldom benefiting the ostensible targets. ‘Haiti” Where Did All the $ go?’ reveals what appears to be all too common abroad. The $ must be tracked, & ICRC et al held accountable.
    Feeding & proliferating the war machine must stop. Psychopaths in the death industries, wh’ Harper is a part of, deserve no support from ppl of conscience!

  246. NadineJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    Please! The only way we will have global peace is to stop supporting, participating in and aggrevating war.

  247. KenskyJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:21 am #

    We don’t have a right to intervene in Mali. This is a colonial action ordered by multinational corporations involved in mining and agriculture. Our governments are in lock step with the rapacious resource rampage corporations are leading around the world. I consider these actions international crimes against humanity and the ecology in the way they are implemented. Lack of sustainable methods that respect nature and the lack of profit sharing with local citizens is a standard practice by these corporations and their reprehensible actions.

  248. Kathleen TudorJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:15 am #

    None of Harper’s moves whether within Canada or abroad are performed in the interests of people,so why should we think any differently about his role in Mali. Mali was a French colony–the Malian people have been conquered before and are now being conquered again by imperialist Western states. So, what’s new?

  249. AnastasiaJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    I support humanitarian support for civilians in Mali and Azawad. While I feel it is important to put pressure on AQIM, MOJWA, and Ansar Dine, continued militarism in Africa will only feed conflicts, not end them. We must also remember that by bolstering the Malian government, we are supporting a state that has oppressed ethnic Tuaregs in Azawad. The MNLA and other Tuareg groups, while perhaps ill-advised to initially partner with Ansar Dine, have many legitimate grievances with the Malian government, and their right to self-determination, to the point of independence if there is popular support for it, should definitely be supported.

  250. JimJanuary 25, 2013 at 6:23 am #

    In none of the instances where Canada has intervened with our ‘allies’ have we made the situation better, and in the examples of Haiti and Afghanistan we made it worse.

    We haven’t gained any military credibilty, but we’ve lost a lot of credibility in international affairs.

    We’ve become a country that tolerates torture, arbitrary assassination, and reduced civil liberties.

    It’s time to take a step back and contemplate whether that’s really where we want to go.

  251. Murray LumleyJanuary 24, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

    Robert Fisk says that the Mali conflict is a civil war of 30 years duration, now made more deadly by arms brought in by Tuareg fighters from Libya who want the northern part of Mali to be a separate state. Fisk describes a ‘Jihadi Veil’ over this civil war. It may spread to all of North Africa and become a quagmire.

    • Edgar RogalskiJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:25 am #

      Agree, Robert Fisk seems to be the only analyst that really understands the issues and conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa

  252. Brenda HillJanuary 24, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    There is no war we should be involved in, Harper is just doing what the American and British machine tells him to do, so sad, certainly not a leader but a follower.

    • robert korolJanuary 24, 2013 at 11:46 pm #

      Brenda is absolutely right. We have no business being involved despite the claims being made about those horrible “Islamic fundamentalists”! For goodness sake, we came to help them oust a legitimate government of Libya and were complicit in the assassination of Moamaar Ghadaffi who had offered his people free health care, free education to end of a first degree, and the best water quality in Africa via an artificial river that delivered this vital reaource from the south Sahara aquifers to the coastal cities of Libya! Our 2,000 air strikes resulted in at least $80 billion in destruction of the country’s infrastructure (UN report) – and we are proud of that? It is not time we said “no” to these adventures abroad which only fuel hatred amongst populations that are attacked by foreign military forces of which we are part!


  253. jay schumacherJanuary 24, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

    man…do i love living in a democracy! the prime minister without any discussion with the electorate, opposition members or anyone who may have a divergent view is silenced.

    democracy according to harper is his right as the king….there is no room for any opposition, only his fearless totalitarian ideals.

    democracy by the people fort the people…..well not really, how about by harper for harpies!

    • Harry LJanuary 25, 2013 at 10:22 am #

      I agree the REform party is undemocratic. Obtuse canadians continue to be hoodwinked by right wing garbage.

  254. Kathryn LangleyJanuary 24, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

    I know next to nothing about Mali. My intuition tells me we should stay put. Beware the military/industrial/political complex. Our CPP funds are heavily invested in the war machine. I would prefer them to be invested in industries that construct and are sustainable and industries that do not destroy/disrupt the planet.

  255. Mavis DeGirolamoJanuary 24, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

    Let us learn from past judgement mistakes… NO involvement… Harper must recognize that corporate friends and allies only dig us into deeper holes!

  256. Harry LeslieJanuary 24, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

    The nation is a nation that should be broken up like so many others that have borders which were inflicted on them by colonialism. The response to the uprising is best done by the african union and should be under UN auspices. Self-determination as propounded by former US president Wilson should be applied so that the countrie’s peoples can govern themselves without being forced to be in a nation not of their own choosing.Democratic break up is far preferable to rebellion being put down by force. Our contribution should be to the OAS or UN. If the French are hired to mercenarily do the OAS bidding then our current contribution is measured and appropriate. Unfortunately any response by Harper is from an ideological point of view which does not respect the UN and basic universal precepts..

  257. Dennis ChoptianyJanuary 24, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

    Mervyn Russell nail it. Please read his comment at (January 24, 2013 at 11:48 am) before leaving yours.

    For a more detailed analysis, I recommend viewing several clips from http://www.TheRealNews.com – under the AFRICA tab. There’s a wealth of additional information in international issues at that site.

    In view of the complexity of the factors in this conflict, I would advocated a limited engagement, consisting of logistical support and training. But NOTHING more. No ‘Boots on the Ground’.

    We should learn about unintended consequences from Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Libya campaign, and try not repeating the same mistakes.

  258. EricJanuary 24, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    Martin and Harper have successfully cultivated enemies for Canada in Afghanistan and Libya; now it’s time to develop some further south in Africa. They’ve also worked on the Caribbean (Haiti and Honduras) and South America (Colombia), so now it’s time to get some mud thrown on the Canadian flag in a new country.

    Besides, there are Canadian-based mines in Mali — that settles it.

  259. Ziggy KleinauJanuary 24, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    Harper once again seems to bow to the wishes of his corporate friends.
    AREVA, a French owned uranium mining corporation with a strong presence in Canada has uranium mining interests in Mali and a number of active mines in neighbouring Niger.
    A large number of the population have protested against the dangerous pollution in their water and food.That’s when Al Queda came in to help them fight foreign interests.
    Once again Harper has to help his buddies, spending our tax dollars, shedding innocent peoples’ blood, to make sure that AREVA can keep France’s nuclear fleet running.

  260. Maria HeynenJanuary 24, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    What about the Canadian mines operating in Mali?
    For sure Canada has a vested interest in Mali.
    And looking at the history one notices how Western Governments (including Canada) have been switching support from one group to another. Was that not for self interest?
    Instead of finding peaceful ways (negotiations) to help Mali we only think of military means.
    Hooray for the Arms industry.

  261. Mike HinchJanuary 24, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    This is a thirty year old civil war, not a war on terrorism. Long after Nato boots are gone the war will continue. By the way the north is on the right side of this conflict. Thier rights (legal and moral) have for years been trampled by the south. If we go in we will be on the wrong side!!!

  262. Grace IsaakJanuary 24, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    Canada must decline France’s efforts to pull this country into the conflict in Mali. It is time we pressured our goverment to take Canada out of NATO. NATO is a tool of the Pentagon. We have been drawn into other conflicts through our membership in this organization and now France is using NATO to garner support for it’s African interests.

    Mr. Harper continues to act as though he were annointed rather than elected. We must put to halt his neoconservative ambitions before Canada loses all qualities that have made us unique among western nations–the will and ability to be peacekeepers.

    • LeeJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:40 am #

      The only reason Harpo wants Canadians in MALI is to support Canadian MINING. Mulroney (Harpo’s mentor) is one of the owners.
      Get Canada out of NATO. Grace is absolutely correct in that NATO is the Pentagon’s war tool.

  263. BillJanuary 24, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    Mali, Harper’s entry to war, step by small step. The West has yet to answer the question ‘Why do they hate us so?’ except with puerile attacks on Islam and jihadists. Canada used to bring shades of grey to international conversations, but now it’s simply economic, military, and religious ‘our might is right’.

  264. Peter DavisonJanuary 24, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

    What is Canada’s interest in Mali? Peace above all. However, there appears to be a civil war between the north and south, which is ethnic rather than religious; but our involvement seems to be justified by the discredited and so-called War on Terror. Canada’s and everyone else’s interest might be better served by re-establishing peacemaking and peacekeeping as our national priority for our armed forces. To do this we need a long-term strategy, rather than reactive policies to situations as they arise. This should include marginalising extremists who operate under the guise of religion or ideology, and strengthening the already fruitful interfaith conversations which are ongoing. Before military intervention we should always ask, ‘Is this the only resource left?’ War should always be the policy of last resort.

  265. Richard FahlmanJanuary 24, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

    Whenever we begin to form conclusions about foreign affairs we must remind ourselves that our information sources are highly suspect. In the case of Mali, which overlaps with several issues and neighbouring countries, there are layers of issues including religious fundamentalism, global power and economic struggles, domestic political agendas, and delusional leaders (Harper). We have nothing to gain here and a lot to lose. Stand down. But as long as the majority of Canadians are numbed into inactivity Steve can get away with murder.

  266. Sandra CurrieJanuary 24, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    The Americanization of Canada, especially in the area of foreign policy leaves Canada open to being a target for terrorists. And, if we continue on this path, we deserve to be.

  267. LilJanuary 24, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    This is a civil war between two tribes in a country we know nothing about and will become dogged down in the same as Afganistan. We should spend our resources working toward bringing peace to our panet.

  268. Koozma J. TarasoffJanuary 24, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    Canada — stay out of Mali. Instead, we ought to work to create a peace-making capability, such as proposed by the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative. War is a racket and killing leads to more killing. When will we cease to be slaves of the military industrial complex? Let’s begin now!
    Koozma J. Tarasoff

  269. Marie LloydJanuary 24, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    War, war, war. Unconsidered, mindless, murderous, wasteful.

  270. Janet VickersJanuary 24, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

    I am against militarization because it takes power away from the human conscience and the best capacities of human nature, and creates structural violence by demanding that the masses behave according to the dictates of an elite.

    There are layers of abusive power wherever there are wars. As a species we become sick and sickened by extreme expectations.

  271. margaret beresfordJanuary 24, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    It is obvious from Harper’s stand that he wishes to play lock step to NATO/US bidding on the continued chance of being with the “Big Boys” and maybe getting access to resource benefits when strategic US bases are finally established. It is reported that most of the Al Qaeda groups in Mali are from Libya, previously armed by the US. To date, the US is said to have planned to put its influential feet on the ground in 35 African countries, in the hopes of at least militarily countering Chinese presence and competition through economic development to garner oil, gold, silver, and precious metals etc. So far, the rush to counter China for global resources has led to US defeats in Iraq, Afghanistan and civil wars in varying stages in Libya, Syria and soon in Iran. Its all about gaining strategic global positions for other countries resources in order to secure Western corporations can outdo Asian (mainly Chinese) corporate competitors. The same scenario is happening here, only instead of military intervention the US and Europe are using trade agreements such as CETA and TPP to overrule our national sovereignty and constitution. This is why these agreements are negotiated and agreed to in secret—-all corporate parties and to a lesser degree appropriate governments are dictating their wants at the expense of a nations taxpayers. Thus we see again the same ending privatize natural and crown assets as well as tax coffers and socialize all costs including environmental devastation. Until taxpayers get off their knees trade deals will continue to run and rule over established national laws and regulations. After all Canadian taxpayers—- not corporations are still paying the costs for NAFTA (1.8 Billion lawsuits still outstanding). These lawsuits are viewed as cash cows to the corporate signatories. Case in point one lawsuit is posited to revitalize a badly run business—since when do trade deals become so skewed they are used as low cost venture funding. And so it goes—rumors have it that taxpayers may not be able to afford this out of control federalism that serves corporations at the expense of people.

  272. MaienJanuary 24, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    Germany demands it’s Gold back from France and the US. Mali has gold and other resources (uranium) that France and the US want to own and NEEDS to pay back Germany. Corporate interests rule. (Remember, Sarkozy has personally stolen billions from Libya). These wars are all about colonialism and nothing more. Elected governments are being overthrown and replaced by Islamists who are willing to do the bidding of the colonizers and the corporatists for even more funding. Any country with resources, especially those who are not in debt to the IMF are up for grabs. Countries with their own banking systems are especially attractive. Destroy the infrastructure. Steal their resources. Kill the educated scientists, doctors, teachers and engineers. Force the remaining population into debt. Create new obedient debt-slaves as the country begins rebuilding. This is colonisation. Better yet, use the George Soros “we want regime change” machine to create havoc in the country first and give the US/Israel and it’s allies an excuse to come and ‘rescue’ the poor population from it’s horrible leaders. An assessment conveniently provided by the US/Israel/George Soros team…. not the actual population of the country. Think Syria, a country which is fighting back. Learn more about the fake revolutions and fake Arab Springs and who financed them and ran the propaganda aimed at Western ears.

    Canada should not be involved except to be protesting against the re-colonisation of the ‘brown/black’ parts of the world, by corporations for corporate benefit. Think, learn especially about Banking Systems and who owns them.

    Harper and his dire need to be ‘one of the boys’ needs to be removed along side all members of parliament (through elections) who are not really working for Canadas’ best interests but rather for corporate and the US/Israeli interests. Zionist hopes and ideals should not be leading Canadian Politics.

  273. TerriJanuary 24, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    Canada for all intents and purposes has now become just another tool for the U.S. Military Industrial Complex to abuse, due to U.S.Northcom we are obligated to follow the U.S. path to global hegemony, and in fact aid and abet it’s policy of wars against all countries that do not favour U.S.; Britian ; France and thier collective natural resource corporations, just to keep Russia and China out.
    Lets not forget that the U.S. in fact trained the leader of the insurgency in Mali that overthrew the Government of Mali, sounds more like the U.S. installed an ” Agent Provocateur”(sp?) Lets not forget that the U.S. has in fact armed funded and trained many of the so called terrorists we are now fighting.It is time for Canadian Government to grow a backbone and some moxey and stand up to the MIC and demand more Peacekeepers, it is what most Canadians would like to see,
    Ironicaly those very Peacekeepers would be getting shot at by the very people our supposed allies armed funded and trained.

    sigh ! ! ! Instead of using our military to protect private enterprise in Foreign countries we should in fact be aiding those countries to root out corruption, by the very corporations we are using our military to protect.

  274. Renée Castro-PozoJanuary 24, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    I agree with some comments:Nate, Carol PickUp, Gordon, Roger because the most important thing is to be in PEACE. Canada is a young Country, we are not the twin of U.S. they are the most dominant and dangerous warrior of the world. With Harper we are loosing our peace-keeping quality. All together move our country as our civil heroes construct CANADA.

  275. Mike CallJanuary 24, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    The C-17 is the first step on yet another slippery slope, again moving away from peace-keeping to a more militarized (and militarizing) approach to dealing with security issues. Could it also be seen as an attempt to show the world the Canadian government’s willingness to use our armed forces to help protect Canada’s growing investments in developing West Africa’s mineral resources?

  276. Mervyn russellJanuary 24, 2013 at 11:48 am #

    This is a very complicated situation in which ethnicity is as imporatant as religon. There is a division of peoples united in one country which, as in many cases, is the result of the colonial parcelling up of Africa. Harper is treading very carefully and does not seem to be eager to be involved in another Afganistan. I would be in favour of us giving assisatnce to an African led initiative to bring the fighting to an end and to promote long term stability.

  277. nateJanuary 24, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    it is a complete waste of tax dollars and the effort required by the government and army to pull a useless mission like this off. Let africa deal with Africa’s problems, aid attempts like this only make the local issues bigger and harder for the locals who are left with the mess after us westerners leave to deal with.

    Harper and the canadian governement should scrap the plan to intervene…its just none of their business

  278. Carol PickupJanuary 24, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    Canada should stay out of military conflict in Mali. We must return to our peacekeeping role in the world!! Carol Pickup

  279. RogerJanuary 24, 2013 at 8:51 am #

    STAY OUT! Bring that plane home.

    • AwdenJanuary 24, 2013 at 10:25 am #

      This is clearly a strategy that fits into Harper’s agenda for the intensified militarization of Canada. He’s sneaking it in the back door, the same strategy he has used for the omnibus crime and budget bills.

  280. DOUG McLELLANJanuary 24, 2013 at 8:08 am #

    Canada should stay out of this conflict. We lost far too many Canadian kids over some idiot pipeline in Afghanistan.
    This country must have some sort of resources mining oil etc or nobody would give a damn.
    Maybe stevie smells oil there or he wouldn’t give a damn.
    So steve (harper) stand down.

  281. Gordon GosseJanuary 24, 2013 at 7:59 am #

    Military involvement would be disastrous – as in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. Such intervention invariably destroys the country we are supposed to be saving. Interesting to note that whenever such involvement is undertaken, the country we are supposed to be liberating is rich in resources such as oil.

  282. Katherine MaasJanuary 23, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    We don’t belong in Mali. We need to get out immediately before one plane turns into something bigger. Harper wants to militarize this country and as Canadians we must stop this from happening.

  283. Keith MeisenheimerJanuary 23, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    You can’t take the rabbits out of Australia , the rats out of North America or unbomb Libya ?


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