During the first question of the Oct. 22 foreign policy debate, GOP nominee Mitt Romney brought up Mali — and the influence of “al-Qaeda-type individuals” in the Northern part of the country — before Osama Bin Laden or Afghanistan had even been mentioned.
“Mali has been taken over,” Romney said, “the northern part of Mali by al-Qaeda type individuals.”
Later, the land-locked country in West Africa came up again — this time in the context of an Africa and Middle East in upheaval. “With Mali now having North Mali taken over by al-Qaeda,” said Romney, “with Syria having Assad continuing to kill, to murder his own people, this is a region in tumult.”
The attention on Mali, however unexpected, stood out as a sign that the country — and the fight to free it from al-Qaeda’s influence — will enter the larger foreign policy conversation.
Although, as Bill Maher pointed out on Twitter, some viewers might have been hearing about the country for the first time tonight:
- 2017 Oscar nominations for Best Picture include: "La La Land," "Moonlight," "Arrival," and "Hidden Figures" 🎥 🎬
- White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer repeated claims that the inauguration was the most watched ever. But the numbers (still) don't make sense.
- Britain's Supreme Court has ruled that Prime Minister Theresa May needs to consult parliament before triggering Brexit.
- "The Great Liberation Of France" is a private chat room that Trump Supporters are using to manipulate French voters 💬👀