French-Islamist Mali War Maps Batch Two - Geography as a Barrier to the Islamists
French-Islamist Mali War Maps Batch Three - French Advancing in the International War
French-Islamist Mali War Maps Batch Four - Final French Drive to Victory and Cartoon Propaganda Maps
Disclaimer: The staff of Geographic Travels supports France in its war against militant Islamists in Mali and elsewhere. We remain uncertain and personally torn by the issue of Tuareg independence via an Azawad.
The French-Malian-International forces have captured the core of northern Mali (Azawad) with only a few small outposts in the far north left in rebel hands. Ansar al Dine, other Islamists, and even non-fighting National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) forces have been swept aside and their cities have fallen to the French-led drive. France will likely capture the last few outposts by the end of the week.
|France24 map from 30 January|
I find cartoon and propaganda maps made during conflicts fascinating The fact that a powerful message can be sent using a mixture of the cartographic and politics with few written words causes me to still ponder about the power of maps. I have been collecting war cartoon propaganda maps from the 2008 Russia-Georgian War, the 2011 Libyan War, Japan's point-of-view during World War II, and sometimes guest blogger even managed to secure some Syrian Civil War cartoon propaganda maps.
In the case of Mali there are three categories: pro-French intervention, anti-intervention but not anti-France, and anti-France. The pro-French intervention category can be broken down into three sub-categories: pro-Mali/pro-France, anti-Islamist, and anti-European inaction.
|La Jeune Politique, an English-language French news website, has a rare pro-Mali map. The leader of the military and the military installed-government smile. Nowhere does one get the impression that the civilian government, admittedly a failure, was overthrown by the military. Note the rebels only get a flag but no textual mention on the map. Azawad is labelled "disputed area."|
|Heroic France stops terrorists from expanding into Niger's uranium fields. While Ansar Dine was not going east, they were advancing south, Islamists in the past have expressed their desire to take over Niger. Image from Facebook|
|Islamists take Africa hostage. Cartoon by Imad Hajjaj|
|Cartoons for Peace shows the Islamist terrorist octopus having tentacles all over the region. The long reaching, multi-tasking/threat octopus has been a propaganda tool for over 125 years.|
|France is alone while European help is just a mirage. The Mirage is a pun as France's top jet is known as the Mirage. Image by Chappatte|
|France at war while Europe plays. Image by Tom Janssen|
|France is shown as suck in the quicksand quagmire of Mali while hampered by its weak economy. From the Kuwait Times|
|Cartoonharry draws France disrupting and getting stung by the wasps nest that is African civil wars|
|France is shown making the same mistake the United States did. From the Korea Times|
|Imad Hajjaj, who made the Islamist's take Africa hostage cartoon map, shows France as a tool of the United States against hapless Malians. This is a great example of the constant flipping of sides in Arab street politics.|
|Iranian press agency FARS shows France feeding on the blood of Mali. Iran is an enemy of al Qaeda but has supported the group on the side in efforts to hurt the West.|
This will likely be the last Mali war map update. However, if things greatly change on the ground we will resume this map series.