When All You Have Is a Hammer, Hit Something

Take a society facing a host of critical problems – lack of water, lack of food, government corruption and abuse of power, a handful of criminals taking advantage of a power vacuum – and add a vigorous Western military intervention. That pattern generates chaos: the explosion of violence in Iraq after the U.S. “conquered” it; the generation-long war in Afghanistan from the 1978 Soviet invasion until today and continuing who knows how long into the future; the endless horror of Somalia from Black Hawk Down through the defeat of Washington’s Ethiopian proxy intervention; the decade of civil war in Waziristan, the outcome of which remains beyond prediction; the 60-year-long Palestinian-Israeli conflict following the expansion into Palestine of European Jewish colonialists.

There is a saying about someone who keeps trying the same thing and expecting a different outcome…One wonders how many more examples of the same pattern need be provided before Western politicians figure out a new approach.  Evidently, at least one more example will be required. Its name is “Mali.”


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