Tuesday, April 25, 2017
April 25, 2017
Here’s the body count in the latest geopolitical earthquake afflicting the West: The Socialist Party in France is dead. The traditional Right is comatose. What used to be the Extreme Left is alive, and still kicking.
Yet what’s supposed to be the shock of the new is not exactly a shock. The more things veer towards change (we can believe in), the more they stay the same. Enter the new normal: the recycled “system” – as in Emmanuel Macron — versus “the people” — as in the National Front’s Marine Le Pen, battling for the French presidency on May 7.
Although that was the expected outcome, it’s still significant. Le Pen, re-christened “Marine”, reached the second round of voting despite a mediocre campaign.
She essentially reassembled — but did not expand — her voting base. I have argued on Asia Times that Macron is nothing but an artificial product, a meticulously packaged hologram designed to sell an illusion.
Only the terminally naïve may believe Macron incarnates change when he’s the candidate of the EU, NATO, the financial markets, the Clinton-Obama machine, the French establishment, assorted business oligarchs and the top six French media groups.
As for the stupidity of the Blairite Left, it’s now in a class by itself.
Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the domesticated hard-left of Insubordinate France, managed to equal the Catholic Right François Fillon in the final stretch. Yet the vapid PS candidate, Benoit Hamon, stole Mélenchon’s shot at hitting the second round.
As for Marine, she lost almost four points in the final tally. With one extra week of campaigning Fillon, despite Penelopegate, could have been equal with Marine.
Marine has only one extremely long shot on May 7. She will be frantically touring “deep France” to turn the second round into a debate on French identity and a clash of nationalists, patriots and sovereignists against pro-EU globalists and urban “liquid modernity” practitioners.
So what do they want?
Frontists are ready to rip Emmanuel Clinton’s neoliberal program to pieces, which will play very well in rural France and may even yield a few disgruntled Mélenchon votes.
Unlike Fillon and Hamon, he has not gone public calling his supporters to vote Macron. Disgruntled Fillon voters may also be inclined to switch to Marine — considering Fillon was viscerally opposed to someone he described as “Emmanuel Hollande.”
A quick look at the promises is in order. In a nutshell; Marine proffers a social model that “favors the French people;” Macron offers vague, “profound reforms.”
Macron’s plan to save 60 billion euros of public funds implies firing 120,000 functionaries; that is a certified recipe to a “see you in the barricades” scenario.
Marine only says she wants to reduce the public deficit — aiming at reducing state medical aid, the French contribution to the EU, and fiscal fraud.
Neither wants to raise the minimum wage and VAT. Both want to reduce the tax burden on companies and both want to fight the “Uberization” of work, favoring French companies (Marine) and European companies (Macron).
Marine’s absolute priority is to reduce social aid to foreigners and restitute “buying power” especially to pensioners and low-income workers. She’s vague about unemployment.
Macron’s “profound reforms” are centered on unemployment insurance and pensions. He’s keen on a universal unemployment protection managed by the state. Everyone would be covered, including in the case of being fired. Marine and Macron coincide on one point; better reimbursement of costly health benefits.
Europe is at the heart of the Marine vs Macron fight; that’s Frexit against a “new European project.”
Everyone in Brussels “voted” Macron as he proposes a budget for the eurozone, a dedicated Parliament, and a dedicated Minister of Finance. In short; Brussels on steroids.
Marine’s Frexit should be decided via a referendum — a direct consequence of the frontist obsession with immigration. Marine wants to reduce legal admission of immigrants to 10,000 people a year (it’s currently 200,000), tax employment of foreign workers, and suppress social aid. In contrast, pro-immigration Macron aims at what he calls an open France, “faithful to its values.”
On foreign policy, it’s all about Russia. Marine wants a “strategic realignment” with Moscow especially to fight Salafi-jihadi terror.
Macron — reflecting a French establishment as Russophobic as in the US — is against it, although he concedes that Europe must come to terms with Russia even as he defends the current sanctions.
About that Wall of Cash
If the coming, epic clash could be defined by just one issue that would be the unlimited power of the Wall of Cash.
Macron subscribes to the view that public debt and expenses on public service are the only factors responsible for French debt, so one must have “political courage” to promote reforms.
Sociologist Benjamin Lemoine is one of the few who’s publicly debating what’s really behind it — the interest of financiers to preserve the value of the debt they hold and their aversion to any negotiation.
Because they control the narrative, they are able to equate “political risk” — be it Marine or Mélenchon — with the risk to their own privileged positions.
The real issue at stake in France — and across most of the West — revolves around the conflicting interests of financial masters and citizens attached to public service and social justice.
The coming clash between Emmanuel Clinton and Marine LeTrump won’t even begin to scratch the surface.
The French escalation against Russia is bigger than Macron رفع الجدار الفرنسي بوجه روسيا أكبر من ماكرون
أبريل 25, 2017
Written by Nasser Kandil,
Had it not been for the difference of two percent, Marine Le Pen would have been defeated and François Fillon would have entered the presidential second round versus Emmanuel Macron, or Jean-Luc Mélenchon would have won, since each one of them have won 2% less than Le Pen . So it is not in vain that France has elected under the blows of the terrorism to enable Le Pen to enter the race beside Macron to ensure his winning, otherwise his competition to win the candidate Fillon or the attractive frank and the accurate candidate Mélenchon would be full of dangers. In case Fillon versus Macron, the followers of Le Pen will vote for Fillon as the followers of Mélenchon, they will ensure the winning of Fillon, but in case the competition is between Macron and Mélenchon the followers of Le Pen and Fillion will vote in favor of Mélenchon and will ensure his winning, simply the reason is that despite the big divergence between the internal platforms of the three candidates Le Pen , Fillon, and Mélenchon the challenge which imposed by the terrorism as in the foreign policy options make this tripartite in one circle; the openness to Russia, the cooperation with its President, and the withdrawal from the war on Syria and its President. What is known by the observers is that it will be difficult to the extent of impossibility that the followers of Fillion and Mélenchon will vote for Le Pen in the second round.
The conspiracy is not the momentum which drives for searching for hidden forces which put their importance to ensure the winning of Macron, the conspiracy is not hidden and its owners have names that are defined by the policies of the competing parties who were intended to be removed from the competition. The openness to Russia and Syria is not a secondary issue, but rather a change in the geopolitics and the alliances at the international and the Middle East levels, the withdrawal from NATO is not a simple issue, and the recognition of Palestine is not a joke. The one who follows the biography of this candidate Emmanuel Macron who will become a President will easily discover that he is an employee in Rothschild Foundation which forms the heart of the savage Zionism and Liberalism, the banks, and the major associations in Europe, all of them did not get confused from supporting Macron, and funding his electoral campaign and the call to join his party which was founded only a year ago. Macron had spent only three years in the political work before he was assigned by François Holland as a Minister of Economics in favor of the economic and financial blocs, after he appointed him as an officer at the rank of the Assistant of the Secretary-General of the Presidency of the Republic.
Macron is not mere a candidate of banks and organizations, he is a public candidate for Freemasonry which its French forums announced their support, he is a supportive candidate of the Israeli and the Saudi positions in the Middle East, in continuation of the policy of his predecessor Hollande. Some people try to explain the rise of Macron supported by Hollande forgetting that Hollande has not gained more than 7 % of the French support before months, and that the candidate of his party Benoît Hamon has revealed the size of the popularity of the party that gained more than the popularity of his president. The organized campaigns for poll as well as the enthusiasm shown by the American, western, and Arab mass media which are funded and operated by Saudi Arabia and Israel to Macron are not hidden, this person has come and has become in front of the French people in a way that does not like that of Donald Trump who has a flowing history as a businessman, and has a media presence previous to his presidential candidacy. The scandals that broke out against the opponents of Macron reveal the programmed work that is carried out by effective and capable support, which intervenes in necessary in order to prevent the fall of France in another front and causes the change of the global and the Middle East balances.
When the votes which obtained by Marine Le Pen , François Fillon, and Jean-Luc Mélenchon are gathered and the outcome is more than 60% of the French people, and when the common among these three candidates is the openness to Russia and Syria then the NATO has the right to be worried, it is the duty of the US intelligence is to announce the state of emergency. This is France, Israel’s task is to get alert, and Saudi Arabia has to pay, the task of the French escalation against Russia and Syria is profits for all of them, but it is an insurance policy for Saudi Arabia and Israel before the others.
Translated by Lina Shehadeh,
أبريل 24, 2017
– لولا فارق الإثنين في المئة لكانت هزمت ماري لوبان وفاز بدخول الدورة الثانية الرئاسية فرانسوا فيون بوجه امانويل ماكرون أو لفاز جان لوك ملينشون وقد نال كل منهما أقل من لوبان بـ2 ، وليس عبثاً أن تكون فرنسا انتخبت تحت ضربات الإرهاب لتمكين لوبان من دخول السباق إلى جانب ماكرون، لضمان فوزه، وإلا فتصير منافسته للمرشح المخضرم فيون أو المرشح الجذاب والساحر والواضح والدقيق ميلنشون منافسة محفوفة بالمخاطر، ففي حال فيون بوجه ماكرون سينتخب جمهور لوبان لصالح فيون وكذلك سيفعل جمهور ميلنشون، ويضمنان فوز فيون حكماً، وفي حال منافسة ماكرون لميلنشون يصوّت جمهور لوبان وفيون لصالح ميلنشون ويضمنان فوزه، والسبب ببساطة أنه رغم التباعد الكبير بين البرامج الداخلية للمرشحين الثلاثة لوبان وفيون وميلنشون، فإن التحدّي الذي فرضه الإرهاب من خيارات في السياسة الخارجية يضع هذا الثلاثي في دائرة واحدة هي الانفتاح على روسيا والتعاون مع رئيسها والانسحاب من الحرب على سورية ورئيسها، وما يعرفه المتابعون هو أنه سيكون صعباً لحد الاستحالة أن يدعم جمهور فيون وميلنشون التصويت للوبان في الدورة الثانية.
– ليست نظرية المؤامرة هي التي تدفع للبحث عن قوى خفية وضعت ثقلها لضمان نجاح ماكرون، فالمؤامرة ليست خفيّة وأصحابها لهم أسماء، تحددها سياسات الأطراف المنافسة التي أريد إزاحتها من السباق، فالانفتاح على روسيا وسورية ليس قضية ثانوية بل هو تغيير في الجغرافيا السياسية والتحالفات على المستويين الدولي والشرق أوسطي، والانسحاب من الناتو ليس قضية بسيطة، والاعتراف بدولة فلسطين ليس مزحة. ومن يتابع سيرة هذا المرشح الذي سيصير رئيساً مانويل ماكرون سيكتشف بسهولة أنه موظف وفي لمؤسسة روتشيلد التي تشكل قلب الصهيونية والليبرالية المتوحشة والمصارف والشركات الكبرى في أوروبا. وكلها لم يربكها الإعلان عن دعم ماكرون، وتمويل حملته الانتخابية والدعوة للانضمام لحزبه الذي تأسس قبل سنة فقط. وماكرون لم يكن قد أمضى في العمل السياسي إلا سنوات ثلاثاً قبل أن يعيّنه فرانسوا هولاند وزيراً للاقتصاد لحساب التكتلات الاقتصادية والمالية بعدما عينه موظفاً برتبة معاون الأمين العام لرئاسة الجمهورية.
– ماكرون ليس مجرد مرشح المصارف والشركات، فهو مرشح علني للماسونية التي أعلنت محافلها الفرنسية مساندته، ومرشح مساند لمواقف إسرائيل والسعودية في الشرق الأوسط في مواصلة لسياسة سلفه هولاند، فيما يحاول البعض تفسير صعود ماكرون بدعم هولاند له، يتناسون أن هولاند لم يحز أكثر من 7 من تأييد الفرنسيين قبل شهور، وأن مرشح حزبه بنوا أمون هو الذي يكشف حجم شعبية الحزب الأكبر من شعبية رئيسه، والحملات المنظمة لاستطلاعات الرأي والحماسة التي تبديها وسائل الإعلام الأميركية والغربية والعربية الممولة والمشغلة من الثنائي السعودي الإسرائيلي لماكرون ليست خافية على أحد، ولا يمكن إيجاد جذور لها عند الحديث عن شخص جاء من الغيب وهبط بالمظلة على الفرنسيين، بصورة لا تشبه حالة دونالد ترامب مثلاً الذي يملك تاريخاً حافلاً كرجل أعمال وحضوراً إعلامياً سابقاً بسنوات لترشحه الرئاسي، وتكشف الفضائح التي تفجّرت بوجه خصوم ماكرون عملاً مبرمجاً تقف وراءه أيدٍ فاعلة وقادرة وتتدخّل عند الضرورة كي لا تسقط فرنسا في جبهة أخرى وتغيّر التوازنات العالمية والشرق أوسطية.
– عندما تجمع الأصوات التي نالتها ماري لوبان وفرانسوا فيون وجان لوك ملينشون وتكون الحصيلة أكثر من 60 من الفرنسيين، ولا يكون المشترك بين هؤلاء الثلاثة إلا الانفتاح على روسيا وسورية. من حق الناتو أن يقلق ومن واجب المخابرات الأميركية أن تعلن حالة الطوارئ، فهذه فرنسا، ومن وظيفة إسرائيل أن تستنفر، وعلى السعودية أن تدفع، وهذا ما كان، مهمة رفع الجدار الفرنسي بوجه روسيا وسورية، أرباح لهؤلاء جميعاً، لكنها بوليصة تأمين للسعودية ولـ إسرائيل قبل الآخرين.
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Israel is the only entity in the Middle East which posses nuclear weapons and has not only invaded all its neighbors during the last six decades but has also threatened several European capital cities.
Israel, in the past, had made sure that none of country in the region gain nuclear capability. In 1981, it bombed Osirak nuclear reactor under construction in Iraq – and in 2007 in Syria killing 10 North Korean scientists.
Amos Yadlin, one of the pilot who bombed Iraqi reactor compound, wrote an Op-Ed at the Jew York times (March 1, 2012) in which he gloated: ”
After the Osirak attack and the destruction of the Syrian reactor in 2007, the Iraqi and Syrian nuclear programs were never fully resumed. This could be the outcome in Iran, too, if military action is followed by tough sanctions, stricter international inspections and an embargo on the sale of nuclear components to Tehran.
In 2013, Shimon Peres, former president of Zionist entity, and the Father of Jewish Nukes clarified why Israel need nuclear and chemical WMDs. “There is a reason that pushes you to own nuclear power, for me it is a tool that leads to peace not to carry out attacks.” However, Netanyahu and his western poodles don’t want Iran to have the same tool to help Israel bring peace in the region.
Zionist entity’s foster parents (the US, UK, and Soviet Russia) have never dared to attack a foreign country with nuclear bombs or having the capability to produce a nuclear bomb.
Benjamin Netanyahu had been telling us since the 1990s that Iran is acquiring nuclear capability to wipe Israel off the map. But M. Ozdamar at the Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation claimed on May 6, 2013 that Iran is not acquiring the nuclear bomb to flatten the Zionist entity – but to carry jihad against Sunni Muslim majority.
“One thing is for certain; they are not developing a nuclear capability so that they can wipe Israel off the map. The real reason Iran feels it needs to have a nuclear capability is so that they can prepare themselves for the Islamic wars. There are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, the vast majority of which are Sunnis. Iran is the leader of the Shia minority, which represents around 7% of the world’s Muslims, most of whom live in Iran, Iraq and the surrounding areas. Throughout history there has been no love lost between Sunnis and the Shia. The Sunnis, led by Saudi Arabia and other regional powers, see the Shia as heretics and are deeply suspicious of the Iranian regime exporting their brand of religious fanaticism throughout the Muslim world. That is why we do not see Pakistan, a Sunni Muslim state, helping Iran to acquire the bomb; instead, the Iranians have to cooperate with the rogue regime in North Korea in order to achieve their aims,” Ozdamar said.
And people think Netanyahu is the only serial liar among the anti-Muslim Zionist Jews!
Abdel Bari Atwan has posted an advice for North Korea, entitled, Arab Lessons for North Korea.
“As an Arab and Muslim, I felt both insulted and pained when reading commentaries in the Israeli press warning the US against recklessly attacking North Korea. Pundits argued that the DPRK was not some two-bit Arab country like Syria which could be bombed at any time with impunity, but a serious adversary that possesses serious means of retaliation, involving nuclear warheads and long-range missiles,” Atwan said.
“It is no coincidence that all the Arab countries that have been subjected to US-led aggression in recent years had earlier yielded to American-authored UN demands to be disarmed of ‘weapons of mass destruction,’ especially chemical munitions, and abandon any thought of acquiring a nuclear deterrent. But this compliance did not ensure their safety. They were subsequently attacked or invaded or both. Once the US was reassured that they did not possess powerful weapons with which to defend themselves and inflict serous casualties on any invading forces, the aggression and bombing would begin,” added Atwan.
I’m glad Pakistan learned the lesson from naïve Arabs and joined world’s nuclear club in 1974.
«Centrist» candidate Emmanuel Macron was no sooner announced winner in the first round of the French presidential election at the weekend, and with unseemly haste the political establishment rushed to close ranks against rival Marine Le Pen of the Front National.
Macron topped the poll in the first round winning 23.8 per cent of the vote. Le Pen came in second place with 21.5 per cent. Both candidates will now proceed to face off in the second round, to be held on May 7, with the other nine candidates having been eliminated.
The FN leader is entitled to call her electoral performance a «historic» achievement. It was the best result for the nationalist party in the French presidential elections since its foundation in 1972. But while her supporters were celebrating a landmark victory, the French establishment was desperately pulling up the drawbridge. Slings, arrows and boiling oil are being readied to make sure Le Pen is kept at bay from the seat of power.
Le Pen, who took over the party leadership in 2011 from her father Jean-Marie, has taken the FN from «fringe» status to now being a major mainstream political force, within a shot of winning the presidency of the French Republic.
But it is unlikely that Marine Le Pen will become Madame President – at least in the 2017 cycle. Her rival Macron is already receiving fulsome endorsements from the erstwhile two main parties, the center-right Republicans and the incumbent Socialists. Both parties suffered painful defeats at the weekend, the first time in 60 years than neither of them have a candidate going forward to the second round.
Republican candidate Francois Fillon, who won 19.9 per cent of the vote, immediately gave his endorsement to Macron, telling his supporters that Le Pen would be a «disaster» for the country. Socialist contender, Benoit Hamon, whose electoral performance crashed to scraping only 6.5 per cent of the vote, was even more vehement in endorsing Macron. In his defeat-acceptance speech, Hamon called on his supporters to get behind Macron because Le Pen was «an enemy of the state».
The so-called «hard left» candidate Jean-Luc Melénchon, of the France Unbowed party, came in fourth with a respectable vote of 19.6 per cent, narrowly behind Fillon. Considering that Melénchon was campaigning on a staunch socialist manifesto and that his party was only recently formed, it was a commendable result for the veteran left-winger. He can claim to have secured the mantle of the «genuine left» in France, and going forward has a strong base upon which to build a new socialist party. For that reason, Melénchon refused to endorse either Macron or Le Pen for the second round. To his credit, he is not selling out on political principles.
The final head-to-head election next month is shaping up to be a repeat of the 2002 presidential contest, when Marine’s father Jean-Marie caused a political shock when he made it through to second round back then. Similar to that occasion, as now, the establishment rallied to support Jacques Chirac, of the center-right UMP (forerunner of the present-day Republicans). In 2002, Jean-Marie Le Pen was trounced, winning only 18 per cent of the final vote, against Chirac’s nearly 80 per cent.
As before, the same maneuver of mounting the ramparts against Marine Le Pen is underway. Macron will consolidate voters from Fillon’s Republicans and Hamon’s Socialists, and he is projected to win up to 60 per cent of the final tally against Marine Le Pen.
In terms of votes, Le Pen’s FN has evolved to become an undoubted central political force in French politics. At the weekend, she garnered some 7.6 million, less than one million behind Macron, and well ahead of the other contenders. Her party’s performance exceeded that of its previous best in the 2015 municipal elections when the FN won 6.6 million votes.
Nevertheless, Le Pen’s FN is still tainted with its original association with fascism, racism and anti-semitism. Le Pen says that mainstream media labelling of her party as «far-right» is a smear. She prefers to call the FN «nationalist».
To a large extent, the 48-year-old lawyer has managed to «detoxify» the image of the party and has positioned it as a populist movement that stands against global capitalism and the European Union’s servility to corporate finance. Le Pen is campaigning on left-leaning economic policies of «social protection» and taking France out of the EU, in the same manner as the Brexit for Britain. She also wants to quit the US-led NATO military alliance and is openly calling for friendly relations with Russia. The FN aims to restore national control over French borders and implement big cuts in immigration numbers. Her strident denunciation of «Islamization» of French culture has earned her criticism of being xenophobic.
However, to label Le Pen and the FN as «an enemy of the state» seems to be an hysterical caricature. The suspicion is that it is her party’s policies of opposing global capitalism, the EU and NATO which is the real source of establishment animus, which is concealed by hollow accusations of «racism, xenophobia and fascism» and «enemy of the state».
It is notable that EU leaders also joined with French establishment figures in rushing to endorse Macron at the weekend. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and German Chancellor Angela Merkel responded quickly to congratulate him on winning first place in the initial presidential round. With two weeks to go until the second and final round, those public comments from EU leaders seem to be a flagrant interference in the French election. Nonetheless, they underscore the urgency for the political establishment within France and across Europe to keep Le Pen from entering the Élysée Palace on May 7.
As for Macron, the branding of the «centrist» politician has the unmistakeable air of slick marketing by the powers-that-be. Of course, being avidly pro-EU, pro-NATO and frosty towards Russian leader Vladimir Putin makes Macron a keen favorite in the eyes of the status quo.
The 39-year-old Macron claims that, politically, he is «neither right nor left» and the mainstream media have glowingly dubbed him a fresh-faced «outsider». Corny comparisons are made to John F Kennedy, Tony Blair and Barack Obama. There is a palpable sense that Macron’s image is being intensely manufactured as the golden boy of politics who, it is advertised, will bring «hope and change» for everyone.
Only in a crass, superficial sense could Macron be described as «an outsider» who is forging a «new politics». It is true that he has never served in elected office. And he formed his political party, En Marche, (Forward) only a year ago.
But everything else about Macron is deeply establishment and status quo. With an elite education, he worked as a former Rothschild investment banker on a multi-million-euro income, before being appointed by Socialist President Francois Hollande as economy minister four years ago. In that post, he was the architect of the widely hated pro-business labor «reforms» (hire-and-fire), which the Hollande government forced into law last year by decree, despite massive public protests.
Macron cleverly stepped down from his ministerial post in anticipation of entering the presidential elections, and thereby gave himself a modicum of distance from the despised governing Socialists. The latter, by the way, is really a misnomer, as Hollande’s government (2012-2017) served as ardent proponents of neoliberal capitalism in the service of global finance. That is partly the reason why Hollande’s would-be successor Benoit Hamon received such a drubbing in the latest poll, while Jean-Luc Melénchon of the Communist-backed France Unbowed emerged with respectable support.
So, Macron is certainly no «outsider» nor fresh-faced «challenger» of the status quo. That’s just all superficial marketing and branding to ensure that he prevents Le Pen winning power. Macron will eventually prove to be a willing servant of global capitalism, the EU and NATO, and a ruthless economic hitman against the working class.
In his first-round victory speech at the weekend, Macron declared that he would create a France that is «fair and efficient» for everyone. The use of the word «efficient» is a creepy harbinger of the priorities that this establishment-technocrat will deliver in his presidential service to big business, global capital and US-led transatlantic militarism.
Macron’s endorsement list tells a lot. It includes: incumbent President Francois Hollande and current prime minister Bernard Cazeneuve, the foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. As well as the entire center-right Republican leadership. These two parties were solidly rejected in the first round of the presidential election at the weekend. And yet they are now cheerleading for Macron, the supposed «outsider». This amounts to failed French politicians begetting more failed French politicians. Wow, plus ca change!
April 24, 2017
It’s not that the National Front has changed since the 1980s – it’s that the other parties have changed so much for the worse.
C’est ça – that’s the point, as the French say, and which translates into English rather ineffectively.
Nobody should be happy about having to vote for Marine Le Pen, but please tell me what economic policies has Emmanuel Macron espoused which will end the systemic anti-Muslim, anti-Colored racism in France?
Got nuthin’? Of course you don’t.
And that’s why it is intolerable to hear French people say that a vote against Le Pen is a vote against racism: Racism is not just pretty words but concrete actions – it is the government installing a Black family next to yours to promote equality.
Don’t fancy that: congratulations, you are not a leftist!
But Emmanuel Macron is the epitome of today’s “fake leftism” – leftism which has a “non-racist” and “minority-friendly” face, but which is neutered of any economic or social policy that would actually improve the lives of any minority.
What good is having gay marriage in France if you can’t afford the marriage certificate because you are both unemployed?
Gay marriage typifies the misplaced priorities of the West’s fake leftists – the show over substance –which must make the Ho Chi Minh’s of the world roll their eyes and mutter, “This is the Left I sacrificed for?”
While preparing to cover the first round of France’s election I was reviewing five years of news reports I made while covering the Francois Hollande era for Press TV. I was reminded that November 7, 2012, is a day which must not be forgotten.
On that date Hollande announced he was breaking the essence of his electoral campaign: He cut taxes for the wealthy and on corporations, with financing to come from cuts to social services and a hike to the VAT (sales) tax, which is a regressive tax on the average person.
Here were the two lead paragraphs from that report:
“France has announced another round of austerity measures, in an unpredicted change-of-heart. Many expected a recent report calling for tax breaks for businesses to be ignored, but the Hollande administration will implement its neoliberal measures almost completely.”“This plan corresponds with President Hollande’s promises,” said Jean-Marc Ayrault, France’s Prime Minister. “They are leftist because our objective is to create more jobs and to correct injustice,”
Also on November 7, 2012: Hollande, Ayrault and the Socialist Party unveiled the bill for gay marriage in Parliament.
The politics of distraction….
It’s disgusting for fake leftists like Francois Hollande, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to manipulate civil rights in order to push right-wing economics, but it works.
Today, not enough French voters saw the through the masquerade of Macron, I’m sorry to report.
Even fewer remember the lessons from 5 years ago, it seems. How many journalists even helped people to remember?
However, all of France does remember perhaps the biggest-ever anti-government demonstrations which followed November 7, 2012: between 300,000 to 1 million people marched – not against austerity, but against gay marriage.
The politics of distraction causing misplaced priorities….
Then in January 2013 Hollande launched a war in Mali.
The politics of distraction, this time with dead Colored bodies….
Blame Hollande for a lot, including Macron
Hollande is the one who foisted Macron on us. He plucked him from the obscurity of the chorus, schooled him as his deputy secretary-general of Élysée Palace, appointed Minister of the Economy out of nowhere, and dubbed Macron to carry on his legacy.
Hollande admitted as much – he wants to see what he “built” continue. Many thought he was the only one who felt that way, and that’s why Hollande couldn’t even run for re-election.
So France elects a younger version of Hollande instead?
Once again I write these words: This ends the myth that the French are more sophisticated or intellectually cultivated than everyone else.
They couldn’t even see through Macron!
Anyone think Macron will be promoting peace? Or even “first do no harm” isolationism?
Le Pen might…if the military-industrial-financial-media-cultural complex doesn’t hound her with accusations of being a Russian spy like they did with Trump. Maybe she won’t even bomb Syria to get some breathing room from the fake leftist hordes in pussy hats.
Or maybe not, but Le Pen is, like Trump, the hope candidate in the French election because a vote for Macron is a vote for your own unemployment. Or your wife’s. Or your children’s.
One thing is sure: If they elect Macron the whole country will be crying in 6 months, just as France was with Hollande.
It’s simply staggering that he’s expected to win at a huge 65%-35% margin. Austerity has never worked anywhere, ever – even the IMF now admits that, only after decades of ruined lives – and yet the French are going to elect a guy who will enact 20% more austerity measures that Francois Hollande.
Trump and Le Pen are totally different
Let’s admit it – Trump is hilarious…by presidential standards.
His tweets, his self-importance, his shilling for Trump merchandise while meeting with the president of China – he’s what we’d all like to be if we had no conscience or sense of responsibility.
In France we call this person: Gerard Depardieu. Seriously! The French talk about how they secretly would love to be this fat, vineyard-owning glutton who shoots his mouth off however he wants – the guy got a Russian passport from Putin, after all!
But it’s simply not accurate to say that Trump and Le Pen are the same just because they both represent the White Trash Revolution sweeping the West.
Trump is hilarious and entertaining (and thousands of kilometers from where I live), yes, but hate for him is new: Le Pen and her family have been hated for decades.
The Le Pens have spent decades insulting Muslims, Roma, minorities – French people – and that simply cannot be erased.
French people repeatedly tell me: “Ramin, you are new here – you’ve only been here 8 years – you don’t understand the National Front.”
It’s possible, but I respond: Everybody I meet views the National Front in some sort of time warp. Only the cynics claim politics never changes: look closely and you see that the situation is different from 1980, or 2002, or 2007, etc. And they cannot see that five years of austerity will do far more collective damage than taking a risk on Le Pen.
Worse, they can’t understand that nearly all French parties are racist: Fillon wrote a book titled “Conquering Islamic Totalitarianism”; Melenchon is rabidly secular; the Socialists cracked down on the Roma worse than Sarkozy. Only the Communists got the brotherly love in France: Our 2 candidates only got 1.8% combined, and that is your fault and not ours.
Understand this well: Very few people are “happy” about Macron tonight. Think about it: 4 candidates all won nearly 20% of the vote – that’s unheard of! Macron eked out a miniscule victory – this is no sweeping mandate whatsoever.
And listen to me now and believe me later: This is not a “seismic shift” in French politics. Yes, the Gaullists didn’t advance for the first time ever, and the other mainstream party is absent too, but Macron has no party: he will necessarily staff his cabinet with the same old Socialists and Républicains; his neophyte party will necessarily make a coalition government with them in Parliament.
Macron is simply an Obama-style brand shift by the Empire. Like Obama he will be a smooth-faced handmaiden for Clintonian globalization. Nothing will change if Macron is elected.
However, I can report to you that this current of National Front fear/resentment/myopia is too strong for me to think that Le Pen will win: I have met so many people from across all boundaries who simply cannot, will not, ever vote for any Le Pen. Their dead ancestors practically forbid it.
Nobody can say the same about Trump.
So I am not hopeful that Le Pen will go the way of Brexit and Trump.
I write this while waiting to do interviews #9 and #10 on Round 1 Election Day for Press TV – maybe I’m not thinking clearly?
The worst has been seeing my grinning colleagues on France’s major media stations – they are thrilled to pieces. Of course, they’re on the wrong side of most of the issues. I’ll give them some credit: The #1 channel in France – TF1 – interviewed me as part of a piece about the view of foreign journalists and had the sense to make the lead quote, LOL. I coulda done it in French – they didn’t ask!
I have been repeatedly proven wrong about Macron
I was hoping the fawning, brain-dead, hugely pro-Macron French media would be wrong about “the Roths-churian candidate”, but it seems I was.
I never took him seriously because he’s such a seriously flawed candidate: 39 years old, Rothschild banker, Macron Law author who sparked 4-months of strikes and protests in 2016, 64-year old wife, heir to Hollande-ism, 7 step-grandkids, selling off industrial jewel Alstom to the Americans which only profited shareholders and not citizens, etc. and etc.
The guy is like Teflon! Nothing stuck! And why? He said nothing! He didn’t unveil his 60 billion in euros in austerity cuts (10 billion more than Hollande) until early March!
Robbers never tell you they are stealing, after all. But, beyond just the economy, Macron was as vague as possible – and it worked!
Well, now it’s up to Le Pen to attack him mercilessly for the great sins of…his record. Everybody should.
But instead it is Le Pen who will be attacked mercilessly and by everybody under the French sun. And let’s be honest – she is no saint, and her sins are not just bad TV and gaudy real estate.
In fact, she’s a terrible candidate, period. She’s useful to spark debate, but she’s no winner. Who really wants her to win? This all makes her a loser on May 7, most likely – that’s what Trump would say, and he can say that: he won.
The National Front is fighting decades of correctly-earned ill-will. There is undoubtedly tremendous – just tremendous – dissatisfaction in France, but how is Le Pen going turn the battleship around to take office?
I think I can fairly write that nobody is happy tonight, but Macron will provide an uplift when he likely wins. He will: it’s human nature – he has youth on his side. I suppose he’s an Adonis when you stand him next to hated hobbits like Hollande.
People will look at Macron and say: “it’s a fresh start”. They’ll lie to themselves – human nature.
The fools – they’ll be crying in 6 months again. And I hate to write that – I’m a fool too. But I’ll be a fool for the 3% chance that Le Pen could turn out to be a real statesman instead of just a blonde Mussolini. I repeat: austerity has never worked anywhere – just ask the IMF.
Hell, I’m a fool for democracy! Give the people a chance to simply VOTE on a Frexit! How can the EU be “democratic” if we are scared of democracy?
Waitaminut – I’m really losing my head here, eh? I’m forgetting the damned facts, the damned platforms, no matter how much Macron tried to hide his!
A referendum on Frexit, leaving NATO, possibly dropping the euro, finally ending austerity…what on earth is Macron offering that is even close to that?!?!?!?!?!
Macron is economically as far-right as Marine Le Pen is on the far-right on the cultural spectrum! Do you have to be a Communist like me to even THINK about an economic spectrum actually existing anymore?!
Dammit, it’s not over! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?! Heck no! We have 2 weeks of serious debate to make! We can quit when it’s over, not before!
I just talked myself into having faith in Le Pen again!!!!!!!!!!
Sure it was borne out of desperation, but it’s founded on facts.
Now we just have to let France know that.
Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television.
A Rabbi among suspects; traffickers would approach poor Bulgarians and offer to buy a kidney for transplant in Turkey.
According to INTERPOL’s spokesperson , LCol. Asan Kasingye, four people were arrested today in Sofia on suspicion of organ trafficking, one of whom is a Jewish clergyman already standing trial for similar offenses in the past.
The four were arrested today at the end of a month-long undercover investigation. Ziss, a Rabbi, was extradited from Bulgaria to Israel in 2009 on similar suspicions.
“The four men are suspected of running a complete trafficking operation: locating people in Sofia willing to sell a kidney, locating patients willing and able to pay for one and then arranging the transplant. Bulgarian Police said the traffickers would approach poor people who were in debt and propose that they sell a kidney for transplant,”Kasingye told Bulgarian News Agency (БТА ).
According to Bulgarian officials the actual transplants were performed in a Turkish hospital, with the donors posing as relatives of the patient. Meanwhile the Bulgarian National Transplant Center stressed that it was not involved in any of the transactions and that no illegal transplants were performed in Bulgaria.
Selling organs is illegal everywhere in the world except Saudi Arabia. But Israel is considered a major player in the organ trafficking business, and the number of Israelis who have sold kidneys via traffickers is estimated at between 10,000 and 20,000.
Although recipients pay hundreds of thousands of shekels for the kidney, the donor, according to various reports, gets only between 60,000 and 100,000 shekels ($160,000-$260,000). The rest of the fee goes to the head of the trafficking ring, the doctor overseeing the transplant, the lawyer who prepares the false affidavits, and expenses such as hospital and hotel fees.
One reason Israel is considered fertile ground for organ traffickers is that postmortem organ donation rates are among the lowest in the Western world, mainly for religious reasons.
The president Trump’s flip flops and zig zags on foreign policy issues make believe the US has no coherent strategy. There is each and every reason to say so. Many world leaders and experts seem to be perplexed at least. But a deeper look into the events shows quite a different picture. It’s important to review the administration’s activities to get a clue to its foreign policy.
The president has proposed to cut US expenditure on the UN, he has talked disparagingly about NATO and never given due to the role international institutions play in the contemporary world – something ex-President Obama set great store by. Instead, Donald Trump relies on interstate relations to protect the interests of «America first». He needs allies and partners. The priority is given to personal contacts with key foreign leaders. The list includes: the UK, Ireland, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Israel, Germany, Egypt, China and Italy. So, according to the adopted gradation, allies come first, partners (Egypt) second with others to follow.
There is method to his madness here. He is not rushing to meet everyone to increase US clout everywhere, but sticks to a well thought out pattern. He does have a strategy with traditional allies topping the priorities’ list.
There is another trend worth mentioning. Vice President Mike Pence is clearly playing an important role in the implementation of the allies-based foreign policy.
The Vice President has just wrapped up his first Asia Pacific tour having visited key Asia Pacific states: Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Australia. The visit took place at the time the US was balancing on the brink of conflict with North Korea. The mission of utmost importance was entrusted to nobody else but Vice President Mike Pence. In South Korea, it did strike an eye that he wore a green military jacket normally put on during visits to defense installations. The brown bomber jacket-clad vice president spoke tough, saying the «strategic patience» was over. He sent a clear message.
Unlike Donald Trump, Mike Pence has significant foreign policy experience. He was a long serving member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (2007-2013). Mr. Pence welcomed the operation in Iraq and the establishment of no-fly zone in Libya. During the election campaign he supported the idea of improving the relationship with Russia while confronting common enemy – the radical movements in the Middle East. He appears to change the stance since then. Actually, it’s hard to make conclusions about his views and their evolution as he has shied away from making statements against the background of Trump’s turnarounds.
He does not have to. It’s not statements but the level of trust between him and the president that matters.
Today, Trump has a strong foreign policy team, including State Secretary Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Herbert McMaster, the national security adviser. The vice president is to join and find his niche. He has no independent role but his influence on foreign policy may grow as the president has to willy-nilly concentrate more on domestic issues.
His predecessors – Richard Cheney and Joe Biden, had great influence on foreign policy. The Obama’s famous barb is still vivid in memory. He called Dick Cheney «the worst president of my lifetime». Joe Biden could have won the Democratic nomination in 2016 if he wanted too.
The current vice president’s growing clout became clearly visible this February during his European debut visit to meet key NATO allies. He was chosen to soothe Europeans after President Trump called NATO «obsolete», giving priority to isolationist «America First» policy. According to Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid, Mike Pence told Baltic States’ leaders, «if you don’t want to call the president, you can always call me» – a very important detail to demonstrate his standing within the administration.
He says many things with a catch. In Europe, he praised NATO but did not forget to emphasize that other countries in the alliance were expected to abide by their defense spending commitments. Talking about Ukraine, he said Russia was to be held accountable but he also believed it was a potential partner and the search for common ground was to be continued. His visit was well prepared to go smoothly, without a hitch.
According to Josh Rogin, a columnist for the Global Opinions section of The Washington Post, the role and influence of the vice president, not enshrined in any law, is determined in any administration by three things: his direct relationship with the president, his building of a personal portfolio of issues, and the effectiveness of his team. When it comes to foreign policy, Vice President Mike Pence is quietly succeeding on all three fronts.
Indeed, the vice president deftly navigates within the president’s agenda while working in a coherent, efficient manner with White House aides, who also aspire to have the president’s ear on foreign policy issues. He has his own team to rely on, for instance his national security adviser Andrea Thompson, who boasts vast intelligence and foreign policy experience. Some time ago the vice president played an important role in bringing on board Director of National Intelligence-designate Dan Coats, CIA Director Mike Pompeo and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley – the people President Trump knew little about.
The Trump’s foreign policy is far from being a helter-skelter implementation of «U-turn» strategy. It’s a well thought over diplomacy aimed at engaging and using the US influence in key parts of the world consistently over time. There is strong foreign policy team formed where the vice president’s clout is evidently growing. Mike Pence is respected on both sides of the aisle in Congress and has good chances to become president one day. These are the things Russia and other countries have to take into account while dealing with the current US administration.