A massacre in Bamako, echoing Paris. Alas, this is far from the first time in recent years that Mali has had a run in with blood mad extremists…just a couple years ago, you’ll remember, fanatics ran riot over the northern half of the country, declaring their own Islamic state, Azawad, killing and brutalizing non-believers and apostates and the unlucky, and notoriously destroying the Islamic treasures of Timbuktu. They looted the ancient university, blew up tombs, and ransacked the Islamic libraries, burning manuscripts the way conquistadores had set fire to the codices of the Aztec and Maya. They even banned music. A Mali without music seemed an impossibility, but they were quite serious about it. They said they’d cut out my tongue, a singer said after the town was freed again by Malian and French forces. The insurgents fled into the desert, haunting the mountains and the shifting dunes, moving by night, glowering, remembering, planning revenge. Continue reading