Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The Not So Recent North African Terrorism

With things going on in Mali and Algeria recently some journalists seem to be going along the line that Islamist terrorism is very recent in North Africa and growing exponentially from its source in Libya, which is largely the West’s fault due to our intervention. This isn’t really something I buy into.

Libya on the whole is a very moderate Islamic country. Gaddafi deliberately made Islamists the enemy in Libya during his rule. This was so prevalent that people, even after the dictator’s death, are slow to trust the new democratic government in Libya because Gaddafi told the people they were Al Qaeda. As a result the Muslim Brotherhood only won 17 seats in the new Libyan Parliament. William Hague is thus mostly right that the West helping Libya is not the main cause of the war in Mali as on the whole these people are not from Libya. Although I bet that they are using the weapons that the Rebels took from Gaddafi.

These Islamists have been around for ages, at least since the Algerian Civil War in the 90s, but most likely in some form or another for longer than that (see permanent state of war half of Africa has been in since the end colonialism). During the Civil War in Algeria these terrorists were slowly kicked out to Mauretania, Mali and Nigeria (to name but a few countries).

There has been for a long time underlying Islamic Terrorism in North Africa and the recent attack in Algeria and taking over half of Mali has only been able to take place because of misfortunate circumstances (mostly weak governance in Mali). The West have not a lot to do with this. Al Qaeda is mostly interested in taking over countries rather than attacking the West in Africa and we did not unwittingly let forth a flood of terrorists from Libya. I suppose you could argue though that the West is to blame for giving up colonialism in Africa, although I doubt the leftie media are going to argue for a New British Empire. They're not that mad. 


  1. The British Empire was a bastion of peace and tranquility, I'm sure... The racist undertones in your assertion that the West should have maintained their colonies, insinuating that the African man cannot govern his own affairs, are frankly reminiscent of Mussolini or Hitler.

  2. I'm not supporting a New British Empire I'm saying that the left would never argue for one as it goes entirely against what they stand for. The problems in Africa generally originate from the end of colonialism (but personally I think they were probably as tumultuous times as now just repressed more effectively). My idea to bring an end to these problems is free trade with African nations is the best idea as it will hasten their economic development and stop terrorist groups exploiting the internal problems.

  3. Africa's problems originate with the beginning of colonialism. The best way to stimulate African economies is to prevent the Chinese and Western companies from stealing African resources. Africa is, resource-wise, far richer than Europe.

  4. Because of the lack of free trade in Africa either the nation state or Chinese companies control resources. If there were free trade these monopolies would break down. Africa's main problems come from the post-colonial break up. The states were left with a fair amount of infrastructure and the ability for a bright future; however, the people's own governments in a move to a socialist state took all of this for themselves. There is also an agricultural problem in Africa made worse by their governments but at its roots is the hot and arid climate or thick tropical jungle.

  5. I don't think you understand the concept of a 'socialist state.' Colonialism destroyed the continent - there are no two ways about it.

  6. Colonialism in no way destroys the continent of Africa. Beforehand Africa was a tribal society with no economic development. By the end of colonialism it had the beginnings of an industrial revolution. Just because their was no self-determination about it doesn't mean that African people were worse off. You speak as if colonialism destroyed a preceding African civilisation with greater living standards and quality of life. Africa's problem is its lack of free trade and lack of governance. The former is partially our fault for a lack of engagement but the later is caused by the lack of experience Africa has in government leading to poor choices, which is ultimately their own fault and solved only by exposure to successful ideas and learning the hard way.
    Socialist State wise I deem a sate to socialist by ideology of the government/leader or its policy towards the economy and welfare. A large proportion of African leaders call themselves socialists, or use this as an ideology basis. The same African leaders have followed a high rate of nationalisation in the name of the people (for their own welfare)as well as a pretend focus on benefits.