The apologists for the French imperialist mission in Mali point to the Malian civilians waving French flags and welcoming French soldiers.
But remember how in 1992 the US military was broadly welcomed by Somalis when they landed in the war-torn country to ostensibly help deliver famine relief?
By October 1993, the US military was involved in a shooting war with the Somali militias themselves, culminating in the shooting down of US helicopters popularised in the film Black Hawk Down.
Eventually, because of the sight of dead US soldiers being dragged through Mogadishu, the Clinton administration withdrew in the US military's most humiliating episode since the Vietnam debacle.
Haven't we been here before?
Will African history repeat itself?
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