Article from Reporter in the area.http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/blog/michael-j-totten/get...The harshest form of Islamic law in the world is now being imposed at gunpoint. Ancient tombs and shrines are being bulldozed for the exact same reason the Buddha statues were destroyed in Afghanistan. And the place has turned into a rat’s nest of the who’s-who of terrorist organizations operating in North Africa.This time around, we aren’t waiting for a devastating attack against an American city to do something about it, and not only because Al Qaeda is already a clearly identified enemy of the United States. Northern Mali may already be the return address for an attack against the United States. Some of the leaders of Al Qaeda in the Maghreb, which was presumably behind the terrorist attack in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, are believed to be based there.The Islamists are going on a Taliban-like rampage of destruction, destroying ancient Muslim religious tombs and shrines because they’re “idolatrous.” Bulgarian diplomat Irina Bokova minces no words. “This attack is led by a tiny armed minority, who violently imposes its interpretation of a faith on a distraught local community, spoiling centuries of tolerance and exchange,” she says. “The attack on Timbuktu's cultural heritage is an attack against this history and the values it carries—values of tolerance, exchange and living together… It is an attack against the physical evidence that peace and dialogue is possible.”Music—all music—is banned. The Guardian reports a chilling recent story. Thugs armed with AK-47s drove up to the home of a local musician. He wasn’t there when they arrived, so they left a message with his sister. “If you speak to him, tell him that if he ever shows his face in this town again, we’ll cut off all the fingers he uses to play his guitar with.”Most of Africa is like Las Vegas at least in one way. What happens there tends to stay there. Hardly any African wars affect anybody off-continent. But Mali isn’t the Congo or Sierra Leone. It matters for the same reason Afghanistan mattered in early 2001 even though most of us couldn't see it yet.We might get lucky and have just a small proxy war, with moderate Tuaregs doing most of the fighting against Ansar al-Dine. But no one can say for sure where this thing is heading. All we know now is that it’s almost certainly the next war the U.S. will be involved in.Obviously this guy want another Afghan type war. Not me. Seen enough US wars where we have no idea of the culture & how things work in foreign sink holes. eg Vietnam Iraq, Afghanistan.I see these Islamic fundamentalists are destroying muslin shrines. So they're extreme. I wouldn't mind funding "moderate" Muslims to allow them to defend themselves & rid the area of extremists. Or provide logistical support for local neighboring African troops if they desire to end these fundamentalists. In no way should we put US boots on the ground or provide "advisers". Just from a economic standpoint we can no longer afford entitlements for seniors let alone these foreign adventures.
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