I stumbled across this special report from France24 covering the invasion of Mali and thought it was worthwhile to post the link.
If you are interested in the French view of military actions in Mali, there is a lot to look at there: maps, video, photos, in-depth features.
Some leading figures express disapproval of French military action:
Former French prime minister Dominique de Villepin has warned that military intervention in Mali risked dragging the country into an interminable conflict in the former French colony, was ill thought-out, and “not the French way”.
In this Sunday's editorial, the former prime minister, who attracted the scorn of the US leadership for his country’s firm “Non” to the Iraq War, demanded: “How has the neo-conservative virus been able to infect our outlook?
Others are in favor military intervention:
France’s top anti-terrorist investigating judge has warned that an Islamist-controlled northern Mali is a dangerous potential training ground for jihadists wanting to launch attacks against France - and that they "must be stopped".
“Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) wants to paint France as aggressors – but the group have nevertheless been central to a number of kidnappings of French citizens and is constantly making threats against France. They have to be stopped.”
It's always interesting to read what a country says about itself.
The intensity- and vocabulary- of the coverage reminds me very much of the tone in American newspapers during the initial invasion of Afghanistan. Words like 'liberate,' 'human shields' and 'al Qaeda' appear frequently in the coverage. As does the unpoken assumption that France's intervention has been just, necessary and effective.
I wonder if the coverage will keep this tone over time. Are only U.S. interventions to be considered arrogant, brutal expressions of empire?
If so, I find the France24's constant reminders that Mali was once a French colony somewhat ironic.