French President François Hollande awarded UNESCO peace prize … "After analyzing the global situation, it is Africa that held the attention of the Jury with the various threats affecting the continent," said the former President of Mozambique, Joaquim Chissano, who chaired the Jury of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize. "Having assessed the dangers and the repercussions of the situation on Africa, and on Mali in particular, as well as on the rest of the world, the Jury appreciated the solidarity shown by France to the peoples of Africa," Mr. Chissano said after the Jury's meeting in Paris. – UN News Centre
Dominant Social Theme: Give that man a prize! He deserves it.
Free-Market Analysis: France is a second-rate world power and now its President François Hollande has been given a second-rate peace prize.
Barack Obama walked off with the big one as soon as he was elected. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. What exactly US President Obama did to deserve the prize is unclear. He's authorized the drone-killing of US citizens around the world without due process. He's talked about removing troops from Afghanistan. That remains to be seen.
As for Hollande? He's promised to remove troops from Afghanistan, like Obama. But he's also proposed the establishment of a common German/French EU military headquarters and is a big proponent of increased EU powers. And the prize he received from UNESCO was for starting yet another war.
As Wikipedia tells us, "On 11 January 2013, Hollande authorised the execution of Operation Serval, which aimed to curtail the activities of Islamic extremists in the north of Mali … During his one-day visit to Bamako, Mali's capital, on February 2, 2013, he said that it was 'the most important day in [his] political life'."
Currently, Hollande's gamble is said to have paid off. Al Qaeda in Northern Africa has been dealt a setback and pro-Western Mali officials have some time to recover from the unexpected onslaught. So perhaps Hollande IS a "peace hero" – or is supposed to seem like one. Here's more from the UNESCO announcement.
The award, created in 1989 by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), honours people, institutions and organizations that have contributed significantly to the promotion, research, preservation or maintenance of peace. It is named for the first president of Côte d'Ivoire.
Northern Mali was occupied by radical Islamists after fighting broke out in January 2012 between Government forces and Tuareg rebels. The conflict uprooted hundreds of thousands of people and prompted the Malian Government to request assistance from France to stop the military advance of extremist groups.
"The Jury condemns the violation of Mali's territorial integrity, the violation of human rights, the taking of hostages and the destruction of the cultural heritage of humanity in Timbuktu," Mr. Chissano said. "The Jury therefore decided to award the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize to Mr. François Hollande, President of the French Republic, for his great contribution to peace and stability in Africa."
This really is the rankest kind of politics, however. We've reported on this blossoming Northern Africa war, and its fairly clear that it is yet another staged exercise in Western aggression. Just search for "Mali" and "Daily Bell."
What actually happened was that Western powers, for whatever reason (we've explained that, too), destabilized Libya and stirred up tribes there loyal to now-dead chief Muammar Gaddafi. Top Western elites – the ones who create these messes – then apparently approached the Tuaregs and offered to give them their own country (a nation the migratory Tuaregs have long desired) if they would serve as a counterweight to the increasingly militant pro-Gaddafi tribes.
Mali was the sacrificial lamb in all of this, as the new Tuareg nation was to be carved out of Mali with chunks perhaps elsewhere as well. Duly the Tuaregs were armed and various mercenaries infiltrated the area to fight alongside the Tuaregs.
What the Tuareg leadership probably didn't understand was that it was being set up as well. The Tuaregs were willing to fight pro-Gaddafi forces, but after having begun this task, they were suddenly identified as being allied with "al Qaeda."
This is how it always works when one does mercenary business with the West. One is identified as both friend and foe, as the top elites like to first introduce a war and then control it. The rank and file knows little of these machinations, but the very top people certainly do – eventually anyway.
This is France's second war in Africa in several years. The first we have written about at length – the destabilization of the Ivory Coast on behalf, partially, of France's cocoa interests and the empowerment of Alassane Ouattara. His opponent, Laurent Gbagbo is on trial now in front of the International Criminal Court for the crime of trying to insist on his lawful election. You can see more here: Illegally Accused, Ivory Coast President Gbagbo Begins ICC Hearing.
Hollande, who now lords over an increasingly aggressive and unjust France that has started two wars in about as many years, has just received a peace prize.
Oh, the irony.