HEZBOLLAH LEADER: OUR MISSILES CAN HIT ANY TARGET IN ISRAEL

South Front

22.04.2018

Hezbollah Leader: Our Missiles Can Hit Any Target In Israel

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned, during a speech to the group’s supporters in the Lebanese southern city of Tyer, via al-Manar TV

Hezbollah has the capabilities of hitting any target in Israel, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said during a speech to the group’s supporters in the Lebanese southern city of Tyer on April 21.

“The forces of the resistance today have the ability, the power and the missiles to hit any target in Israel,” the Times of Israel quoted Nasrallah as saying.

Earlier, Vice commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Hossain Salami said that the Iranian “missiles are ready” and warned all Israel airbases are within the reach of the IRGC. Many Israeli news outlets linked Nasrallah’s remarks to Salami’s statement.

Several Iranian officials have vowed to respond to the alleged April 9 Israeli airstrike on Syria’s T4 airbase in which at least 7 Iranian Army soldiers and officers were killed. According to some local sources, Nasrallah’s threat could be a hint that Hezbollah may play a role in the Iranian response.

Hezbollah carried out a cross border attack against a patrol of the Israeli Army on January 28, 2015. The attack was a direct response to an Israeli airstrike that killed officers of Hezbollah and the IRGC in southern Syria. Due to this it may be possible that if the announced Iranian response takes place, it could come from Lebanon or could involve directly or indirectly Hezbollah.

April 21, 2018

Sayyed Nasrallah: On May 6, Voters in Southern Lebanon Will Assert Sticking to Resistance Path

Mohammad Salami

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah stressed on Saturday that the voters in southern Lebanon who belong to the various sects will elect the candidates nominated by Hezbollah and Amal movement in the upcoming parliamentary elections on May 6, adding that this reflects their responsibility of protecting the resistance and sticking to its path.

Delivering a speech during Hezbollah electoral ceremony in Tyre, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that the southern city is one of the basic strongholds of the resistance where its fighters and the commanders used to confront the Zionist occupation forces in 1982, noting that it is also the area of tolerance and Islamic-Christian coexistence.

Resistance

Sayyed Nasrallah mentioned on the anniversary of the Israeli 16-day aggression on Lebanon in 1996 some of its details, revealing that the Zionists started the campaign by striking the headquarters of the resistance military command.

“The Zionist air raid at that time failed to hit Hezbollah military commander martyr Mustafa Badreddine. The enemy, then, moved to attacking the civilians throughout all the war which was ended by April’s Accord.”

Sayyed Nasrallah added that April’s Accord in 1996 protected the Lebanese civilians and put the enemy occupation troops under the intensified fire capabilities of the resistance, which established the needed conditions for 2000 victory.

Sayyed Nasrallah recounted the historical course of the emergence of the resistance, saying that when the Israeli aggressions on southern Lebanon started in 1949 and included committing massacres, Imam Sayyed Abdol Hussein Sharafeddine sent a letter to President Bechara Al-Khouri in which his eminence pleads the state authorities top defend the southerners.

Hezbollah leader added that when Imam Sayyed Moussa Al-Sadr came to Lebanon, his eminence also followed the same path of Sayyed Sharafeddine till establishing the popular resistance groups in 1975, noting that its military and financial support used to be collected from individual initiatives, not any governmental aid.

Sayyed Nasrallah also stressed that the southerners have always wanted the governmental authorities to hold their areas’ responsibilities, but that the state had not responded to those calls before the Resistance victory over the Zionist enemy in 2006 war when the Lebanese army deployed its troops in southern Lebanon.

Sayyed Nasrallah said that the situation in southern Lebanon has changed as the Resistance has possessed the needed weaponry, experience and technological advancement to defeat the Zionist enemy, adding that this area has been enjoying favorable security conditions since the end of 2006 war.

National Issues

Hezbollah Secretary General tackled a number of domestic issues, asking Al-Mustaqbal Movement to show the Lebanese its achievements in administering the country’s economics.

Sayyed Nasralah said that during the recent decades it has been conventional that Hezbollah holds the resistance responsibility and Al-Mustaqbal movement administer the economic issues, adding that the Resistance achievements are clear, but that the country’s economic administration has completely failed.

Sayyed Nasrallah also maintained that corruption which infests the governmental institutions must be addressed in order to eradicate it, calling on the political parties that raise superficial slogans to care getting rid of greed, plunder, and corruption.

Sayyed Nasrallah, moreover, highlighted that sectarianism has stormed all the national sectors, warning against adopting this path in tackling the country’s issues.
Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized that the Lebanese must share all the national resources, harshly criticizing the leaders who adopt sectarianism to reach their political aims.

“After the parliamentary elections, all the Lebanese must preserve their co-existence, so the political rhetoric must be well-tuned.”

Electorally, Sayyed Nasrallah highlighted the strategic alliance between Hezbollah and Amal Movement across Lebanon, stressing that each candidate on the two parties’ lists represents both of them.

Sayyed Nasrallah also emphasized that Hezbollah resolutely nominates the head of Amal Movement Nabih Berri to keep as the House Speaker.

Finally, Sayyed Nasrallah called on the crowds and all the southerners to vote for the candidates nominated by Hezbollah and Amal Movement across Lebanon, highlighting the importance of the public participation in the democratic event in the context of following the path of coexistence and resistance.

Source: Al-Manar Website

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نارام سرجون:ادارة الكلاب المسعورة تعيد انتاج الكلاب ..عم شنبو في عالم صنع في سورية

John Bolton: The Cartoonish Hawk

John Bolton: The Cartoonish Hawk 

مارس 27, 2018

نارام سرجون

أحب دوما أن أدغدغ اولئك الذين لايضحكون عندما نمر على ذكر الديمقراطيات الغربية الرصينة .. بل يكادون يقفون باحترام اذا ما تحدث احد عن قداسة الديمقراطية الطاهرة في اميريكا والغرب .. وتدمع عيونهم من فرط التأثر لغيابها في الشرق والعالم كله .. ويرون ان العالم مأزوم بسبب غياب النموذج الديمقراطي المخملي الغربي .. ولكن لكلماتي اصابع تأبى الا ان تمر على المناطق الحساسة لمشاعرهم الديمقراطية .. لتثير جنونهم ..

اليوم سأضع أصابعي على جسد ديمقراطية “عم شنبو* ” الاميريكية .. وكل من تصله أصابعي وتلامس بقعة الديمقراطية الغربية في عقله ستدغدغه أو ستؤلمه .. وانا على يقين بأنه سيضحك الا أولئك الذين صاروا من اتباع ديانة “الديمقراطية” التي لايقبلون المساس بها والتجديف برموزها أو اهانتها .. كأنها بقرة مقدسة .. وانا أعلم انهم يقاومون الضحك في قرارة نفوسهم ولكنهم لايجرؤون على الاعتراف انهم يعيشون كذبة العمر الكبرى ..

ديمقراطية أميريكا اليوم يقود ديبلوماسيتها الخارجية اليوم رئيس مخابرات شرس .. ويوضع جون بولتون المعروف – بأنه يصوّت لكل الحروب – في المنصب الأهم في الامن القومي .. فتخيلوا اننا قلدنا ديمقراطية اميريكا وعزلنا السيد وليد المعلم وعينا السيد علي مملوك وزيرا للخارجية .. والسيد عاطف نجيب مستشارا للأمن القومي .. لاأشك لحظة ان مجلس الامن سينعقد وسيتم اطلاق موجة نحيب على حقوق الانسان في طول العالم وعرضه وسيتم اطلاق برامج الضحك والسخرية والانتقادات والشتائم في كل صحف العالم التي سترى في تعيين ضابط مخابرات وزيرا للخارجية اهانة لقيم الديمقراطية واعلانا للحرب على الانسان ..

ولكن أميريكا يحل لها مالايحل لغيرها .. هي تضرب بالسلاح الذري ولكنها اذا شمت رائحة غاز المطابخ في الغوطة فانها تدافع عن حقوق الانسان وتضرب المطارات التي شمت فيها رائحة الغاز .. وهي تفتح غوانتانامو وتعين ملائكة التعذيب والاستجواب مسؤولين في المخابرات ثم تدافع عن حقوق الانسان .. وهي ترفض ديكتاتورية ضدام حسين والقذافي والأسد ولكنها ترحب بدكتاتورية آل سعود وآل نتنياهو .. وهي تمر بتجربة فشل المحافظين الجدد وعنفهم لكنها تعيدهم الى أدق المناصب واكثرها حساسية وتطلبا للرزانة ..

أميريكا جورج بوش تعيد انتاج نفسها واستنساخ تجربتها مع المحافظين الجدد .. فالمحافظون الجدد يتسربون الى ادارة ترامب الذي تقاسم السلطة مع دولة المخابرات الاميريكية .. وكان الاتفاق هو اعطوا مالله لله .. وأعطوا مالقيصر لقيصر .. فالله هو دولة المخابرات والبنتاغون في اميريكا .. وقيصر هو رجال الاقتصاد والتجارة والصناعة والصفقات .. اي ترامب ومعسكره ..

ولكن اعادة انتاج ذات الشيء تخضع لمقولة فلسفية شهيرة لهراقليطس هي أنك لاتستطيع ان تقفز في ذات النهر مرتين .. لأن مياه النهر تجري وتتجدد .. وهي من أكثر الأقوال الفلسفية حكمة .. والاميريكون يقفزون في النهر ثانية معتقدين أنهم يسبحون في نفس المياه التي سبحوا فيها في عام 2003 وقبله في مياه البيريسترويكا وأوهام عم غورباتشوف .. ولكن جمهورية جون بولتون أو من نحب ان نلقبه بـ “عم شنبو” لم تعد نفس الجمهورية كما أن عم شنبو صار دقة قديمة في عالم فلاديمير بوتين والروس الجدد ..

ويظن المحافظون الجدد انهم سيخيفون العالم بادارة الكلاب المسعورة .. ماتيس الكلب المسعور .. ومديرة المخابرات جين هاسبل ملاك التعذيب .. وجون بولتون الكلب العجوز .. وكأن العالم لايزال تخيفه شنبات جون بولتون التي كانت تهتز بغضب كلما تحداها أحد والتي رقصت على جثة بغداد وضاحية بيروت .. وكانت تريد الرقص على جثة دمشق ايام جورج بوش .. ولكن شنبات عم شنبو لم تعد تخيف احدا .. بل يجب ان يخاف عم شنبو على شنباته لأنه يواجه عالما ليس كالعالم الذي كان فيه صدام حسين وجورج بوش .. هذا عالم صنع في سورية حيث تمت حلاقة شنبات زعماء العالم كافة من الذين كانوا يمسكون شواربهم ويحلفون أنهم سيحلقونها كما في باب الحارة ويتعهدون ان يسقطوا الدولة السورية ورئيسها وجيشها .. وصارت لدينا مجموعة تذكارية ضخمة من شنبات الزعماء التي تمت حلاقتها في الحرب على سورية سنعرضها يوما في قلعة حلب .. الى جانب مجموعة من الضفائر النسائية .. منها ضفيرة هيلاري كلينتون ..

عالم اليوم صنع في سورية .. وفيه روسيا العظمى تعود .. وتتمطط الصين من شواطئ بحر الصين الى بحر طرطوس .. ووصلت صواريخ فلاديمير بوتين الى سورية .. فيما طارت صواريخ الأسد فوق تل ابيب وفتكت بأحدث طائرات اميريكا ف 35 .. وظهر السيد سارمات المحترم من تحت الأرض .. وعاد حزب الله الى حدود فلسطين وجهز بخبرة حروب المدن .. وصار الجليل مكافأته التي ينتظرها في أي لقاء قادم مع جيش نتنياهو ..

أميريكا التي تغير كلابها ولاتغير أنيابها .. كلب اسود يليه كلب أشقر ومعه كلب مسعور وعم شنبو .. ولكن ادارة الكلاي المسعورة لاتخيف الا قطعان النعاج في الخليج المحتل .. ومزارع دجاج الاخوان المسلمين في تركيا والخليج .. التي بالت في ثيابها من هول الرعب والفزع من هذه الادارة ..

نصيحتي لعم شنبو ان لايزيد عيار تصريحاته وأن يعرف كيف يحافظ على شنباته وكرامة شنباته .. ادارة الكلاب المسعورة لاتخيف أحدا ..

======================

* ملاحظة هامة: لقب عم شنبو اطلقه السيد حسن نصرالله على جون بولتون عندما كان الاخير ممثلا لجورج بوش في مجلس الامن ابان حرب 2006 وكان عم شنبو يستميت للدفاع عن اسرائيل واجتياح عواصم الشرق .. السيد حسن يومها عندما شاهد جون بولتون أحس انه رآه قبل ذلك اليوم ولكن لايتذكر أين وكيف على وجه الضبط .. وفجأة تذكر انه شاهد مرة مسلسلا للأطفال بعنوان (مغامرات بن بن) وهي عن كلب صغير ..

 

وكان من بين شخصيات المسلسل الكرتوني شخصية (العم شنبو) .. وهو كلب كبير وله شنبات كبيرة .. لاتشبهها الا شنبات جون بولتون .. انه هو عم شنبو بشحمه ولحمه وذيله وشنبه ..

AUB Bans Political Analyst from Taking part in BBC Debate to Be held on Its Campus

03-03-2018 | 17:27

The American University of Beirut, which hails itself as a sanctuary of free-thinking in the Middle East and claims to provide a platform for freedom of speech has just banned an independent political analyst from participating in a BBC debate that is scheduled to take place on the 8th of March on AUB campus.

This story is clear evidence that the American University of Beirut is just another American institution that acts against freedom of speech and is authoritarian in nature.

In the run up to the first Lebanese Parliamentary elections in nearly ten years, the BBC has decided to host a few political analysts and commentators to take part in its Global Questions debate to explore Beirut’s political relationships with its neighboring countries.

The debate entitled “A View from Beirut: The Impact of the Saudi/Iran Power Struggle” had invited Iranian Tehran University Professor and independent political analyst Seyed Mohammad Marandi as a member of the English-speaking panel, but the AUB administration informed BBC on Saturday that he is not be allowed to participate in the debate that will take place on AUB’s campus.

Al-Ahed news contacted Dr. Marandi, who commented on the matter saying

“I was very surprised that I was banned from participating in the panel discussion to be held on AUB campus and AUB said I could not participate while all the Saudi and Lebanese panelists will be allowed to participate. What was also very surprising was that while AUB is preventing me from speaking, the BBC is forced to appease AUB. In other words, I think it is unacceptable for AUB to be able to impose conditions on debates, and I think that the BBC or any other media outlet or organization should find this completely intolerable and unacceptable and I think that BBC should change the venue.”

saeyed Mohammad Marandi's postIn an exclusive statement to al-Ahed, Dr. Marandi pointed out that “The Americans, who claim to be advocating freedom of speech and democracy, are the ones who are here clearly preventing freedom of speech and preventing anything other than their own narrative from being heard.”

“What increases my surprise even further is that I was actually a visiting fellow to AUB in 2011 and 2012. I was there on my sabbatical from the University of Tehran and I was also born in the United States, so if AUB cannot tolerate a person who was born in the United States, a person who is an academic and was previously a visiting scholar at AUB, then what is left of debate?” he wondered.

Ironically, AUB’s official website reads “The University believes deeply in and encourages freedom of thought and expression and seeks to foster tolerance and respect for diversity and dialogue.”

Source: Al-Ahed news 

How the Establishment Undermines American Democracy

How the Establishment Undermines American Democracy

How the Establishment Undermines American Democracy

There is a growing consensus among many observers in Washington that the national security agencies have become completely politicized over the past seventeen years and are now pursuing selfish agendas that actually endanger what remains of American democracy. Up until recently it has been habitual to refer to such activity as the Deep State, which is perhaps equivalent to the Establishment in that it includes financial services, the media, major foundations and constituencies, as well as lobbying groups, but we are now witnessing an evolutionary process in which the national security regime is exercising power independently.

In a devastating critique former Central Intelligence Agency operations officer John Kiriakou has described how the Democratic Party, as part of its frenzied effort to bring down President Donald Trump, has embraced a whole group of former intelligence and law enforcement officers who appear to be on the same side in seeking a more responsible and accountable executive branch but who are in reality pursuing their own agenda.

Formerly intelligence and law enforcement agencies acted under the direction of the White House but without any political bias. Transitions from Democratic to Republican administrations were consequently seamless for the employees of CIA, FBI, DIA and the NSA, but this has changed. In the 2016 election a line-up of retired senior officers from those organizations openly supported the Clinton campaign and even went so far as to construct elaborate conspiracy theories regarding Trump and his associates, including the claim that Donald Trump is actually an agent of Russia.

The desire to discredit and ultimately delegitimize Trump even involved some active duty senior officers, including John Brennan, Director of CIA, who exploited Agency relationships with foreign intelligence services to develop information on Trump, and James Comey of the FBI who initiated an investigation of Trump’s associates. Both were involved in the later surfacing of the notorious Steele Dossier, a collection of fact mixed with fiction that sought to destroy the Trump presidency even before it began.

Kiriakou cites recent activity by Brennan as well as former NSA and CIA head Michael Hayden as well as former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, all of whom have been politically active. The three men appear frequently on television as self-described “senior statesmen,” but, as Kiriakou observes they are “…monsters who have ignored the Constitution…and international law. They have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.” They together with lesser figures like George Tenet, Jose Rodriguez, Michael Morell and John McLaughlin authorized technical spying on nearly everyone, torture, rendition of suspects so they could be tortured by others, random killing of “profiled” foreigners and targeted killing of American citizens. Brennan was in charge of a “kill list” for President Barack Obama.

Former Reagan Assistant Treasury Secretary Paul Craig Roberts meanwhile asks why liberal international organizations like Amnesty International are fundraising to oppose Trump when the real threat to a better and safer world and country is coming from the largely unaccountable “security agencies, the police, the neoconservatives, the presstitute media and the Republican and Democratic Parties?”

Antiwar activist Justin Raimondo also picks up the gauntlet, describing how the national security agencies and the Democratic Party have joined forces to create a totally false narrative that could lead to nuclear war. They and the media appear to truly believe that “…the country has been taken over by Vladimir Putin and the Russian State…Trump is an instrument in their hands, and the independence of the United States has been fatally compromised: the president and his top aides are taking their orders from the Kremlin.” He concludes that “Our intelligence agencies are at war with the executive branch of government…to reverse the [2016] election results.” Raimondo believes that Trump is being particularly targeted because his unpredictability and populism threaten the wealth and power of the elites and he notes “If you think they’ve ruled out assassination you’re being naïve.”

Raimondo believes that something like a civil war is coming, with the war party Establishment fighting to defend its privileged global order while many other Americans seek a return to normal nationhood with all that implies. If true, the next few years will see a major internal conflict that will determine what kind of country the United States will be.

SYRIAN SOCIAL NATIONALIST PARTY, ARAB NATIONALISM AND CONFLICT IN SYRIA

South Front

Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Arab Nationalism And Conflict In Syria

This analysis was originally released by SouthFront in October 2017

The traditional societies of the Middle East have always been notable for their ethnic and religious diversity. Today, however, the Middle East is on the cusp of a deep schism along ethnic and religious lines. This situation has brought several Muslim Arab states to the brink of collapse, is provoking new difficult to resolve conflicts, and continues to undermine the secular aspect of Arab nationalism to the benefit of strengthening its Islamic component, the replacement of nationalism as such with ultra-religious extremism and ethnic separatism.

An Iraqi Army M1A1M Abrams battle tank destroyed by Kurdish Peshmerga forces during the recently sparked Arab-Kurdish tensions in northern Iraq:

The current range of conflicts, which revolve around the struggle for power and territory, showed their destructive potential. The difficulty in resolving such conflicts is due to their roots in history, which further complicate the search for peace. There is also another, no less important, problem. Most of the current Arab states’ political organizations are based on the principle of nationalism. This is the principle that was used to form the post-Ottoman independent states. Their multi-religious and multi-ethnic nature was also the aftermath of the rather arbitrary drawing of borders during the colonial period.

The Evolution of Arab Nationalism

By the end of the late ‘30s and early ‘40s of the 20th Century, the influence of Islam on Arab nationalist movement began to grow. This was to a large extent due to a deep disappointment on the part of a sizable proportion of liberal secular Arab elites in the “civilizing” mission of the secular and enlightened West. As a result of Middle East policies of Western powers, Arabs were not able to establish a single state. Their lands were arbitrarily divided between Great Britain and France, the newly founded states became colonial dependencies. Simultaneously, Western powers actively supported the creation of a national Jewish nucleus in the Palestine, which only worsened the already tense situation.

After WW2, this process continued, receiving its expression in the concept of urub, or the spirit of Arab national consciousness, in order to strengthen the ties between Arab nationalism and Islam. The struggle over the future course of political development that raged in Arab states in the 1950s and ‘60s in the context of establishing independent states and modern societies brought to power secular Arab nationalists (Ba’athists, Naserites), who tried to pursue development using socialist ideas.

In spite of that, the Islamist trend within Arab nationalism did not vanish but merely receded. Even the most progressive and secular Arab leaders were forced to seek legitimacy in adherence to Islam and respect the interests of religiously active parts of society when forming own base of support.

Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Arab Nationalism And Conflict In Syria

Supporters of President Bashar al-Assad (portrait) wave Baath Party flags during a pro-government rally in Damascus. FILE IMAGE: Louai Beshara – AFP

The lack of a charismatic mainstream leader with regional appeal capable of offering a pan-Arab model of secular development respecting the interests of the Arab Muslim majority, the rights and desires of national and religious minorities, and attract regional elites and the broad masses, caused Arab leaders to encounter problems in the early 21st century. The long-serving leaders were  concerned continuity of their political course, in order to guarantee their own interests were preserved. Young Arab leaders inherited power from their fathers. This was achieved through intra-elite compromise, achieved not so much through free agreement or a democratic choice, but rather through clever intrigues and strong-arm tactics used to neutralize possible competition. Therefore the young leaders were forced to mostly worry about forming their own governing team, balancing between various power centers and regularly proving their legitimacy and the ability to govern the state to both domestic and international actors.

In the 1990s and early ‘00s, economic problems and the desire to demonstrate pro-democracy leanings led some Arab leaders to strengthen own legitimacy through elections. But the main winners of this liberalization were Islamist political movements, whose adherence to Western democratic norms was dubious.

As an alternative to hereditary power transfer, a whole range of moderate Islamic movements (for example, Tunisian An-Nahda Islamic party led by Rached Ghannouchi) entered the fray with the aim of democratizing Islam. They called for a “democratic Islamic state” within the existing borders. They also favored renouncing violence as a means of political struggle, condemned terrorism, supported the principle of open parliamentary elections, questioned the idea of divinity of authority, supported democratic power transition procedures, and also spoke in favor of expanding the role of women in the traditional Islamic society while in general actively promoting human rights.

But here the reformers of Islam ran into a problem. There were and are too few supporters of democratic Islam in the strongly traditional Arab society. And one can readily say the society is not ready for them. Can one seriously view the ideologues of moderate Islam the pioneers of democracy in the Arab world? Can a democratic Islamic state ensure political and religious pluralism, which is one of the fundamental aspects of democracy? How does one reconcile the norms of Sharia with human rights in the way they are understood in the West? To what extent can women’s rights be expanded? They could not answer these questions, and therefore the political fray was joined by supporters of Islamic fundamentalism who called for a return to the sources of Islam and build a modern society on this foundation.

Modern Islamic fundamentalism was formed as a reaction to such secular ideologies as liberalism, Marxism, and nationalism. For Muslim fundamentalists, an Islamic state was an ideological state, expanding its authority into every aspect of human life. It would control social, political, economic, and even cultural interactions. Sovereignty in such a state belongs to God, which in practical terms means Sharia law. Fundamentalists spoke in favor of democratic elections not for the sake of establishing democracy or individual freedoms, but in order to establish the rule of Islam. And when fundamentalist theorists touched upon the question of democracy, they were not talking about its compatibility or incompatibility with Islam, but about how difficult it was to reconcile Western democratic principles with Islamic governance that could only be based on the revealed laws of Islam—Sharia.

But even here there were problems. Principles of “pure Islam” adhered to by Wahhabites and Salafites were most applicable to the environment of early Middle Ages. When one had to overcome tribal conflicts and built a centralized state. The assumption of power in Egypt by the Muslim Brotherhood did not resolve societal problems, but rather made them worse. ISIS implementation of Islamic state ideas in Iraq and Syria showed how savage the application of Islamic norms can be in the context of 21st Century. The only example of successful functioning of a theocratic state is Iran. But here the overwhelming majority of population are adherents of Shia Islam which is based on the principle of vilayat al-fakih. This principle assumes that the leadership over the Shia is to a certain extent centralized and is being implemented by authoritative and competent Shia clerics whose authority is beyond doubt.

Given the proliferation of ideas and Islamic movements, the question of how (and whether) one can reconcile secular Arab nationalism with Islam, in order to develop the basis for a new national ideology, gains in importance. Or perhaps might it not be better to reject the idea of Arab national state with Islamic leanings?

It may be now is the time for concepts based on national, religious, and territorial principles, which could found the basis of a new political system capable of neutralizing obsolete medieval vestiges of Islam, unify states whose borders were drawn by Western powers without considering local issues, ensure justice among various ethnic and religious groups, stabilize international relations in the region.

One of such movements which might be ready to solve above-mentioned problems is the Syrian Social Nationalist Party.

Party History and Program

The idea of a Syrian nation within clearly defined borders is not new. In the 19t century the proponents of a Syrian state included Butrus al-Bustani, who believed that a unified Syrian nation ought to form an autonomy within the Ottoman Empire that required reform. His follower Henri Lammens, a prominent Arabist of the late 19th-early 20thcenturies, claimed that Greater Syria existed already in ancient times in the Fertile Crescent. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the establishment of an Arab state became a very real possibility. But the intervention by Western powers in the affairs of former vassals of the Porte and the Sykes-Picot delineation of spheres of responsibility ended plans for creating such a state.

Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Arab Nationalism And Conflict In Syria

Antoun Saadeh

But the idea did not die, and in 1932 the Lebanese journalist and Christian Antoun Saadeh created the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP). It was founded as an anti-colonial and liberation organization. Saadeh rejected language and religion as defining characteristics of the new nation, and instead clamed nations are formed through joint developments of peoples inhabiting a certain geographic area.

Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Arab Nationalism And Conflict In Syria

SOURCE: Stratfor.com

The Syrian national state, as imagined by the party founder, should cover the Fertile Crescent and the area of current Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Cyprus, Sinai, south-east Turkey (Alexandretta and Cilicia), parts of the Zagros mountains on Lebanese territory, and regions in Saudi Arabia’s north.

According to Saleh, “the aim of the SSNP is a Syrian social renaissance which will accomplish unification and breathe life into the Syrian nation, organizing a movement seeking full independence of the Syrian nation and defense of its sovereignty, creating a new social order to protect its interests and increase its standard of living, seeking to form the Arab Front.”

Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Arab Nationalism And Conflict In Syria

A map of Greater Syria. SOURCE: theweichertreport.com

Its main principles are separation of mosque and state, keeping the clerics from involvement in political and legal processes, removing religious barriers, removing feudal relics from social life, transforming the agrarian economy into an industrial one, protection of worker rights, of national and state interests, and the establishment of strong, effective military.

When it comes to relations with Jews, SSNP is strictly anti-Zonist, since Saadeh believed Jews were unable and unwilling to assimilate. He also criticized assertions that the Jews could be a foundation for a national state. According to SSNP Jews were not a nation because they were a heterogeneous mixture of nations.

Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Arab Nationalism And Conflict In Syria

SSNP flag. Click to see the full-size image

The party emblem is whirlwind (Arabic “Zawba’a), which according to party members is a fusion of Christian cross and Islamic half-moon. Emblem arms represent freedom, duty, discipline, power. The black backdrop reflects the dark past as part of Ottoman Empire, colonialism, national and religious fragmentation, and backwardness.

Here one needs a caveat to clarify the party’s name and its emblem. There is no similarity between it and the NSDAP. SSNP was formed long before NSDAP. Saadeh visited Axis powers during WW2 and was arrested by French colonial authorities, but released after they couldn’t find evidence of collaboration, and Nazi leaders said they had no dealings with him. He was also in favor of French colonial authorities over Nazi rule.

The creation of Israel in 1948 and its militant, aggressive policies pursued with Western approval caused worry in Arab states. Israel’s actions caused as an attempt to meddle in Arab matters using Jewish hands, and once again redraw the borders. Arab leaders’ incompetence caused their defeat in the 1947-48 war. Saadeh criticized their actions, and in 1949 SSNPR attempted a coup in Lebanon which failed. As a result of collusion between Lebanese and Syrian governments, and with active British intelligence support, Saadeh was executed. The party was delegalized. Prior to the start of the civil war, SSNP attempted another coup in 1961, fought against Arab nationalists. The civil war the party viewed as the consequence of dividing the Syrian nation into separate states. Until the end of the war, SSNP fought alongside Hezbollah against Israeli occupiers and their Lebanese supporters. Only in the early ‘90s did the party become legalized and, starting in 1992, it participates in Lebanese parliamentary elections.

In Syria itself, SSNP was a significant force since independence. But ideological disagreements with the ruling Ba’ath Party and the Syrian Communist Party led to SSNP leaving Syria’s political arena.

Current Situation

In the spring of 2005, SSPN was partly legalized in Syria and allowed an observer in the National Progressive Front which is headed by Ba’ath.

The party viewed the start of anti-government demonstrations as yet another effort to fracture the country along ethno-religious lines. It organized demonstrations in support of the current government. On February 26, 2012 the majority of Syrians supported a referendum that amended the constitution by removing Ba’ath Party from the post of the leading political force, equalizing its status with other parties. This allowed SSNP to fully participate in political struggles. Between March 2012 and May 2014 the party was part of the opposition Ba’ath National Front For Change and Liberation. But in May its leader stated SSNP would leave the National front and support Bashar Assad in presidential elections.

Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Arab Nationalism And Conflict In Syria

Ali Haidar

The current leader of SSNP in Syria is Ali Haidar, who also the Minister of National Reconciliation in Syria’s government. The party secretary is Joseph Sweid. He also has a ministerial portfolio. In Lebanon, SSNP is headed by Ali Halil Qanso who is also the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs

The party currently is the most numerous political force in Syria, after the ruling Ba’ath, with over 100,000 members. In 2012 elections the party won 4 out of 250 seats in Syria’s parliament, in 2009 Lebanese elections it won 2 seats out of 128.

Here is what Ali Haidar said in an interview with the Al-Mayadin TV channel concerning the civil war in Syria. “Throughout the war, the US headed the anti-Syrian campaign and tried to destroy Syria’s national existence using terrorist groups such as ISIS and an-Nusra. US airstrikes on ISIS terrorists on one hand, and sponsoring and training “opposition” fighters simply amount to replacing uncontrollable terrorism with US-controlled one.” In his view, US regional strategy has not changed. They seek to change Middle East’s political structure to guarantee Israel’s security and legalize its existence. As to reconciliation, Haidar said that it’s not a political tactic but the fate of all Syrians, the result of governmental effort on the national level, even though in some regions of Syria it is encountering resistance due to the presence of foreign mercenaries.

Armed formations and their role in the Syrian war

SSNP’s armed formation is the Nusur al-Zawba’a (Eagles of the Whirlwind). It was formed during the Lebanese civil war in 1974. The main motivating factor for SSNP member participation in the war was the ongoing war against Wahhabism and Israel which supports it, in order to preserve the multicultural and multi-religious Syria. Since 2014, Eagles of the Whirlwind are considered the most effective pro-government force, after the SAA.

Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Arab Nationalism And Conflict In Syria

Click to see the full-size map

Eagles’ strength is eastimated at 6-8 thousand. They operate in Raqqa, Aleppo, Hama, Homs, Sweida, Deraa, Deir-ez-Zor, Idlib, Latakia, Jobar, Damascus, East and West Ghouta provinces. They are armed mainly with small arms and improvised armored vehicles. This is due to them fighting mainly in urban confines, where rapid movement is required, every  house is a fortress, and tanks are an easy and sluggish target.

Eagles differ from other formations in that they don’t have a single commander. Each unit has its own commander and each region its administrator. Their names are unknown, only their pseudonyms.

The heaviest fighting experienced by SSNP units took place in northern Latakia, in Salma, Ghamam, and Deir Hanna. This region was strategically important since it is adjacent to Turkey and provides supply and reinforcement routes for an-Nusra. Moreover, controlling this region blocks militant movement into the province and also opens a route for government forces into Idlib.

Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Arab Nationalism And Conflict In Syria

Click to see the full-size image

Another region where Eagles were active is the al-Ghab plain. This plain runs along western coastal mountains, and is in close proximity to Hama province capital. Controlling the plain creates a buffer zone which is crucial to ensure the security of coastal regions. Next to al-Ghab there are several cities with mainly Christian population, Mahardah and al-Suqaylabiya. Mahardah, in particular was the site of heavy fighting since the start of the war. Since 2015, Islamists launched attacks here nearly every day. The approaches to the city were nominally held by SAA’s 11thDivision. But in the 6 years of war, the unit had practically ceased to exist. The division had under 500 soldiers and officers in March-April 2017. SSNP was able to field about 1500 fighters from among local inhabitants, and only their presence allowed the SAA to hold this important sector.

Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Arab Nationalism And Conflict In Syria

Click to see the full-size image

The Homs province includes the mostly Christian city of Sadad, which was also a test for SSNP fighters. An-Nusra first took Sadad in October 2013. According to Human Rights Watch, 46 inhabitants, including 14 women and 2 children, were murdered, some of the bodies were dropped into a well, and churches were looted. After intensive clashes, the SAA ejected Islamists from Sadad on October 28, 2013.

Two years later, in October-November 1015, ISIS appeared on Sadad outskirts after capturing nearby Muheen. The city was defended by local population, SAA, and 500 Christian fighters. They were helped by 200 SSNP fighters. Fighting together, they were able to stop ISIS advance.

Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Arab Nationalism And Conflict In Syria

Click to see the full-size image

The Sadad visit by Syrian Orthodox Church Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem Karim II was an important event. He met with the fighters to raise their morale and take part in funeral rites. The defense of the city is significant because it is one of the few remaining Syrian cities with predominantly Christian population, fighting against a huge number of jihadists.

SSNP units are recruited from among Orthodox Lebanese and Syrian Christians. At first, most of the recruits came from Lebanon, then their number decreased as the number of Syrians grew. One should not think, however, the Eagles consist only of Christians. Muslims and Christians are fighting side by side. This was evident in Sadad fighting, where SSNP units contained many Muslim volunteers. This fact is yet more evidence of the level of support the idea of Syrian state has among its adherents, and SSNP does nto segregate along religious lines.

At present time, due to the large-scale government offensive, Eagles units maintain order in cities liberated from the militants.

The party’s future in Syria’s political life

In order to determine SSNP’s role in Syria’s and Middle East’s political life, one must deal with several difficult to answer questions.

SSNP’s strong aspects. Spring 2011 demonstrations were caused by external factors but also the internal political stagnation. The Ba’ath party has been in power since the early ‘60s. Sooner or later the war will end and Syria will have to make a choice—what political forces will govern the country? Secular and radical Islam have shown its true nature, and there is no return to it. USSR collapsed over 25 years ago. Without its support, there is also no future for a return of socialist parties in the Middle East. Therefore SSNP has a good chance to gain power and show its abilities. By Middle East standards, SSNP is a political veteran. It has a clearly defined program, which it follows. There is an advanced ideology with a future, which is important when no other political force can offer anything new. Seeking dialogue with the ruling party (Ba’ath in Syria) means that in extreme conditions SSNP will not seek confrontatios and is ready to aid its former rival. Participating in the war against Islamic and international terrorism, in deed and not word, gives the party considerable weight and popular support.

Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Arab Nationalism And Conflict In Syria

Omar Sanadiki / Reuters

Weak aspects. Since its start, the party has been underground. This is reflected in its low level of participation in legislative activity in Syria and Lebanon, as mentioned earlier. Apart these two countries and Jordan, where SSNP has been active since 2013, the party has no significant presence elsewhere.

Political democratization in post-imperial nation-states, first secular and then religious, meant the transfer of power into the hands of the majority. The question of religious or national minorities was addressed in different ways by various countries but, as a rule, these approaches tended to rely on force. Some nations had to emigrate, others took up arms. Given progressive state weakness and near-universal drive for autonomy, one can draw the conclusion the region is continuing its process of tribalization. Overcoming the remnants of clan and tribal systems and the minorities’ desire for own sovereign states will be very difficult for SSNP. This is further complicated by the persecution of Christians and their mass exodus from Lebanon in the past and Syria right now. But the local Christians were the most opposed to any forms of violence, and represented the intellectual and entrepreneurial elite. They made the party into what it is today: ready for dialogue, to offer a new path of development, to defend own country with force of arms.

Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Arab Nationalism And Conflict In Syria

SOURCE: RIA

There are also external factors which cloud the future of SSNP. How will regional powers, like Turkey or Israel, react to the appearance of a new actor, the Greater Syria? Will they allow it to appear at all? Will the leaders of countries in SSNP zone of interest be willing to give up own power, population, and territory?

Internal and external factors make SSNP’s future extremely uncertain. The idea of establishing a state on the basis of the common aspects of the people populating the region is still ahead of its time. But even if SSNP fails for some reason, it will represent a big step toward creating a new-model Arab state.

Conclusion

Unlimited nationalism as foundation of state system has sparked a trend toward anarchy and therefore can no longer be used as an effective means of political organization and preserving societal stability. Arab leaders who survived Arab Spring find it difficult to ensure own legitimacy, internal stability, and good relations with more powerful neighbors. Some have left the stage peacefully. Some were forcibly removed. Others are fighting to remain in power. Wars, coups, mass unrest, and outflow of refugees are boosting the trend toward anarchy and threaten not only the Middle East but the whole world. The recent history of Middle Eastern countries contains many examples of struggle between and cross-pollination among religious (pan-Islam, Islamic Modernism) and secular (Pan-Arabism, Arab Nationalism) currents. This trend to a certain extend determined the evolution of the Arab political thought and helped to, up to a certain point, adapt to the ideas borrowed from the West. But as noted above, they were unable to avert the fracturing of the Middle East and address the conflict among ethnic and religious groups. This fracturing is made worse by the arbitrary nature of borders of countries which qualify as Arab. These states control the territory they do largely due to powerful external pressure, and not as a result of internal processes. It means the current system suffers from a delay-fuse bomb planted under it. It may be now is the time to implement new political ideas and to establish a state based on a historic sense of community among people living in a certain area, irrespective of their language, religion, or nationality.

SYRIAN SOCIAL NATIONALIST PARTY, ARAB NATIONALISM AND CONFLICT IN SYRIA

South Front

Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Arab Nationalism And Conflict In Syria

The traditional societies of the Middle East have always been notable for their ethnic and religious diversity. Today, however, the Middle East is on the cusp of a deep schism along ethnic and religious lines. This situation has brought several Muslim Arab states to the brink of collapse, is provoking new difficult to resolve conflicts, and continues to undermine the secular aspect of Arab nationalism to the benefit of strengthening its Islamic component, the replacement of nationalism as such with ultra-religious extremism and ethnic separatism.

An Iraqi Army M1A1M Abrams battle tank destroyed by Kurdish Peshmerga forces during the recently sparked Arab-Kurdish tensions in northern Iraq:

The current range of conflicts, which revolve around the struggle for power and territory, showed their destructive potential. The difficulty in resolving such conflicts is due to their roots in history, which further complicate the search for peace. There is also another, no less important, problem. Most of the current Arab states’ political organizations are based on the principle of nationalism. This is the principle that was used to form the post-Ottoman independent states. Their multi-religious and multi-ethnic nature was also the aftermath of the rather arbitrary drawing of borders during the colonial period.

The Evolution of Arab Nationalism

By the end of the late ‘30s and early ‘40s of the 20th Century, the influence of Islam on Arab nationalist movement began to grow. This was to a large extent due to a deep disappointment on the part of a sizable proportion of liberal secular Arab elites in the “civilizing” mission of the secular and enlightened West. As a result of Middle East policies of Western powers, Arabs were not able to establish a single state. Their lands were arbitrarily divided between Great Britain and France, the newly founded states became colonial dependencies. Simultaneously, Western powers actively supported the creation of a national Jewish nucleus in the Palestine, which only worsened the already tense situation.

After WW2, this process continued, receiving its expression in the concept of urub, or the spirit of Arab national consciousness, in order to strengthen the ties between Arab nationalism and Islam. The struggle over the future course of political development that raged in Arab states in the 1950s and ‘60s in the context of establishing independent states and modern societies brought to power secular Arab nationalists (Ba’athists, Naserites), who tried to pursue development using socialist ideas.

In spite of that, the Islamist trend within Arab nationalism did not vanish but merely receded. Even the most progressive and secular Arab leaders were forced to seek legitimacy in adherence to Islam and respect the interests of religiously active parts of society when forming own base of support.

Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Arab Nationalism And Conflict In Syria

Supporters of President Bashar al-Assad (portrait) wave Baath Party flags during a pro-government rally in Damascus. FILE IMAGE: Louai Beshara – AFP

The lack of a charismatic mainstream leader with regional appeal capable of offering a pan-Arab model of secular development respecting the interests of the Arab Muslim majority, the rights and desires of national and religious minorities, and attract regional elites and the broad masses, caused Arab leaders to encounter problems in the early 21st century. The long-serving leaders were  concerned continuity of their political course, in order to guarantee their own interests were preserved. Young Arab leaders inherited power from their fathers. This was achieved through intra-elite compromise, achieved not so much through free agreement or a democratic choice, but rather through clever intrigues and strong-arm tactics used to neutralize possible competition. Therefore the young leaders were forced to mostly worry about forming their own governing team, balancing between various power centers and regularly proving their legitimacy and the ability to govern the state to both domestic and international actors.

In the 1990s and early ‘00s, economic problems and the desire to demonstrate pro-democracy leanings led some Arab leaders to strengthen own legitimacy through elections. But the main winners of this liberalization were Islamist political movements, whose adherence to Western democratic norms was dubious.

As an alternative to hereditary power transfer, a whole range of moderate Islamic movements (for example, Tunisian An-Nahda Islamic party led by Rached Ghannouchi) entered the fray with the aim of democratizing Islam. They called for a “democratic Islamic state” within the existing borders. They also favored renouncing violence as a means of political struggle, condemned terrorism, supported the principle of open parliamentary elections, questioned the idea of divinity of authority, supported democratic power transition procedures, and also spoke in favor of expanding the role of women in the traditional Islamic society while in general actively promoting human rights.

But here the reformers of Islam ran into a problem. There were and are too few supporters of democratic Islam in the strongly traditional Arab society. And one can readily say the society is not ready for them. Can one seriously view the ideologues of moderate Islam the pioneers of democracy in the Arab world? Can a democratic Islamic state ensure political and religious pluralism, which is one of the fundamental aspects of democracy? How does one reconcile the norms of Sharia with human rights in the way they are understood in the West? To what extent can women’s rights be expanded? They could not answer these questions, and therefore the political fray was joined by supporters of Islamic fundamentalism who called for a return to the sources of Islam and build a modern society on this foundation.

Modern Islamic fundamentalism was formed as a reaction to such secular ideologies as liberalism, Marxism, and nationalism. For Muslim fundamentalists, an Islamic state was an ideological state, expanding its authority into every aspect of human life. It would control social, political, economic, and even cultural interactions. Sovereignty in such a state belongs to God, which in practical terms means Sharia law. Fundamentalists spoke in favor of democratic elections not for the sake of establishing democracy or individual freedoms, but in order to establish the rule of Islam. And when fundamentalist theorists touched upon the question of democracy, they were not talking about its compatibility or incompatibility with Islam, but about how difficult it was to reconcile Western democratic principles with Islamic governance that could only be based on the revealed laws of Islam—Sharia.

But even here there were problems. Principles of “pure Islam” adhered to by Wahhabites and Salafites were most applicable to the environment of early Middle Ages. When one had to overcome tribal conflicts and built a centralized state. The assumption of power in Egypt by the Muslim Brotherhood did not resolve societal problems, but rather made them worse. ISIS implementation of Islamic state ideas in Iraq and Syria showed how savage the application of Islamic norms can be in the context of 21st Century. The only example of successful functioning of a theocratic state is Iran. But here the overwhelming majority of population are adherents of Shia Islam which is based on the principle of vilayat al-fakih. This principle assumes that the leadership over the Shia is to a certain extent centralized and is being implemented by authoritative and competent Shia clerics whose authority is beyond doubt.

Given the proliferation of ideas and Islamic movements, the question of how (and whether) one can reconcile secular Arab nationalism with Islam, in order to develop the basis for a new national ideology, gains in importance. Or perhaps might it not be better to reject the idea of Arab national state with Islamic leanings?

It may be now is the time for concepts based on national, religious, and territorial principles, which could found the basis of a new political system capable of neutralizing obsolete medieval vestiges of Islam, unify states whose borders were drawn by Western powers without considering local issues, ensure justice among various ethnic and religious groups, stabilize international relations in the region.

One of such movements which might be ready to solve above-mentioned problems is the Syrian Social Nationalist Party.

Party History and Program

The idea of a Syrian nation within clearly defined borders is not new. In the 19t century the proponents of a Syrian state included Butrus al-Bustani, who believed that a unified Syrian nation ought to form an autonomy within the Ottoman Empire that required reform. His follower Henri Lammens, a prominent Arabist of the late 19th-early 20thcenturies, claimed that Greater Syria existed already in ancient times in the Fertile Crescent. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the establishment of an Arab state became a very real possibility. But the intervention by Western powers in the affairs of former vassals of the Porte and the Sykes-Picot delineation of spheres of responsibility ended plans for creating such a state.

Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Arab Nationalism And Conflict In Syria

Antoun Saadeh

But the idea did not die, and in 1932 the Lebanese journalist and Christian Antoun Saadeh created the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP). It was founded as an anti-colonial and liberation organization. Saadeh rejected language and religion as defining characteristics of the new nation, and instead clamed nations are formed through joint developments of peoples inhabiting a certain geographic area.

Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Arab Nationalism And Conflict In Syria

SOURCE: Stratfor.com

The Syrian national state, as imagined by the party founder, should cover the Fertile Crescent and the area of current Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Cyprus, Sinai, south-east Turkey (Alexandretta and Cilicia), parts of the Zagros mountains on Lebanese territory, and regions in Saudi Arabia’s north.

According to Saleh, “the aim of the SSNP is a Syrian social renaissance which will accomplish unification and breathe life into the Syrian nation, organizing a movement seeking full independence of the Syrian nation and defense of its sovereignty, creating a new social order to protect its interests and increase its standard of living, seeking to form the Arab Front.”

Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Arab Nationalism And Conflict In Syria

A map of Greater Syria. SOURCE: theweichertreport.com

Its main principles are separation of mosque and state, keeping the clerics from involvement in political and legal processes, removing religious barriers, removing feudal relics from social life, transforming the agrarian economy into an industrial one, protection of worker rights, of national and state interests, and the establishment of strong, effective military.

When it comes to relations with Jews, SSNP is strictly anti-Zonist, since Saadeh believed Jews were unable and unwilling to assimilate. He also criticized assertions that the Jews could be a foundation for a national state. According to SSNP Jews were not a nation because they were a heterogeneous mixture of nations.

Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Arab Nationalism And Conflict In Syria

SSNP flag. Click to see the full-size image

The party emblem is whirlwind (Arabic “Zawba’a), which according to party members is a fusion of Christian cross and Islamic half-moon. Emblem arms represent freedom, duty, discipline, power. The black backdrop reflects the dark past as part of Ottoman Empire, colonialism, national and religious fragmentation, and backwardness.

Here one needs a caveat to clarify the party’s name and its emblem. There is no similarity between it and the NSDAP. SSNP was formed long before NSDAP. Saadeh visited Axis powers during WW2 and was arrested by French colonial authorities, but released after they couldn’t find evidence of collaboration, and Nazi leaders said they had no dealings with him. He was also in favor of French colonial authorities over Nazi rule.

The creation of Israel in 1948 and its militant, aggressive policies pursued with Western approval caused worry in Arab states. Israel’s actions caused as an attempt to meddle in Arab matters using Jewish hands, and once again redraw the borders. Arab leaders’ incompetence caused their defeat in the 1947-48 war. Saadeh criticized their actions, and in 1949 SSNPR attempted a coup in Lebanon which failed. As a result of collusion between Lebanese and Syrian governments, and with active British intelligence support, Saadeh was executed. The party was delegalized. Prior to the start of the civil war, SSNP attempted another coup in 1961, fought against Arab nationalists. The civil war the party viewed as the consequence of dividing the Syrian nation into separate states. Until the end of the war, SSNP fought alongside Hezbollah against Israeli occupiers and their Lebanese supporters. Only in the early ‘90s did the party become legalized and, starting in 1992, it participates in Lebanese parliamentary elections.

In Syria itself, SSNP was a significant force since independence. But ideological disagreements with the ruling Ba’ath Party and the Syrian Communist Party led to SSNP leaving Syria’s political arena.

Current Situation

In the spring of 2005, SSPN was partly legalized in Syria and allowed an observer in the National Progressive Front which is headed by Ba’ath.

The party viewed the start of anti-government demonstrations as yet another effort to fracture the country along ethno-religious lines. It organized demonstrations in support of the current government. On February 26, 2012 the majority of Syrians supported a referendum that amended the constitution by removing Ba’ath Party from the post of the leading political force, equalizing its status with other parties. This allowed SSNP to fully participate in political struggles. Between March 2012 and May 2014 the party was part of the opposition Ba’ath National Front For Change and Liberation. But in May its leader stated SSNP would leave the National front and support Bashar Assad in presidential elections.

Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Arab Nationalism And Conflict In Syria

Ali Haidar

The current leader of SSNP in Syria is Ali Haidar, who also the Minister of National Reconciliation in Syria’s government. The party secretary is Joseph Sweid. He also has a ministerial portfolio. In Lebanon, SSNP is headed by Ali Halil Qanso who is also the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs

The party currently is the most numerous political force in Syria, after the ruling Ba’ath, with over 100,000 members. In 2012 elections the party won 4 out of 250 seats in Syria’s parliament, in 2009 Lebanese elections it won 2 seats out of 128.

Here is what Ali Haidar said in an interview with the Al-Mayadin TV channel concerning the civil war in Syria. “Throughout the war, the US headed the anti-Syrian campaign and tried to destroy Syria’s national existence using terrorist groups such as ISIS and an-Nusra. US airstrikes on ISIS terrorists on one hand, and sponsoring and training “opposition” fighters simply amount to replacing uncontrollable terrorism with US-controlled one.” In his view, US regional strategy has not changed. They seek to change Middle East’s political structure to guarantee Israel’s security and legalize its existence. As to reconciliation, Haidar said that it’s not a political tactic but the fate of all Syrians, the result of governmental effort on the national level, even though in some regions of Syria it is encountering resistance due to the presence of foreign mercenaries.

Armed formations and their role in the Syrian war

SSNP’s armed formation is the Nusur al-Zawba’a (Eagles of the Whirlwind). It was formed during the Lebanese civil war in 1974. The main motivating factor for SSNP member participation in the war was the ongoing war against Wahhabism and Israel which supports it, in order to preserve the multicultural and multi-religious Syria. Since 2014, Eagles of the Whirlwind are considered the most effective pro-government force, after the SAA.

Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Arab Nationalism And Conflict In Syria

Click to see the full-size map

Eagles’ strength is eastimated at 6-8 thousand. They operate in Raqqa, Aleppo, Hama, Homs, Sweida, Deraa, Deir-ez-Zor, Idlib, Latakia, Jobar, Damascus, East and West Ghouta provinces. They are armed mainly with small arms and improvised armored vehicles. This is due to them fighting mainly in urban confines, where rapid movement is required, every  house is a fortress, and tanks are an easy and sluggish target.

Eagles differ from other formations in that they don’t have a single commander. Each unit has its own commander and each region its administrator. Their names are unknown, only their pseudonyms.

The heaviest fighting experienced by SSNP units took place in northern Latakia, in Salma, Ghamam, and Deir Hanna. This region was strategically important since it is adjacent to Turkey and provides supply and reinforcement routes for an-Nusra. Moreover, controlling this region blocks militant movement into the province and also opens a route for government forces into Idlib.

Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Arab Nationalism And Conflict In Syria

Click to see the full-size image

Another region where Eagles were active is the al-Ghab plain. This plain runs along western coastal mountains, and is in close proximity to Hama province capital. Controlling the plain creates a buffer zone which is crucial to ensure the security of coastal regions. Next to al-Ghab there are several cities with mainly Christian population, Mahardah and al-Suqaylabiya. Mahardah, in particular was the site of heavy fighting since the start of the war. Since 2015, Islamists launched attacks here nearly every day. The approaches to the city were nominally held by SAA’s 11thDivision. But in the 6 years of war, the unit had practically ceased to exist. The division had under 500 soldiers and officers in March-April 2017. SSNP was able to field about 1500 fighters from among local inhabitants, and only their presence allowed the SAA to hold this important sector.

Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Arab Nationalism And Conflict In Syria

Click to see the full-size image

The Homs province includes the mostly Christian city of Sadad, which was also a test for SSNP fighters. An-Nusra first took Sadad in October 2013. According to Human Rights Watch, 46 inhabitants, including 14 women and 2 children, were murdered, some of the bodies were dropped into a well, and churches were looted. After intensive clashes, the SAA ejected Islamists from Sadad on October 28, 2013.

Two years later, in October-November 1015, ISIS appeared on Sadad outskirts after capturing nearby Muheen. The city was defended by local population, SAA, and 500 Christian fighters. They were helped by 200 SSNP fighters. Fighting together, they were able to stop ISIS advance.

Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Arab Nationalism And Conflict In Syria

Click to see the full-size image

The Sadad visit by Syrian Orthodox Church Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem Karim II was an important event. He met with the fighters to raise their morale and take part in funeral rites. The defense of the city is significant because it is one of the few remaining Syrian cities with predominantly Christian population, fighting against a huge number of jihadists.

SSNP units are recruited from among Orthodox Lebanese and Syrian Christians. At first, most of the recruits came from Lebanon, then their number decreased as the number of Syrians grew. One should not think, however, the Eagles consist only of Christians. Muslims and Christians are fighting side by side. This was evident in Sadad fighting, where SSNP units contained many Muslim volunteers. This fact is yet more evidence of the level of support the idea of Syrian state has among its adherents, and SSNP does nto segregate along religious lines.

At present time, due to the large-scale government offensive, Eagles units maintain order in cities liberated from the militants.

The party’s future in Syria’s political life

In order to determine SSNP’s role in Syria’s and Middle East’s political life, one must deal with several difficult to answer questions.

SSNP’s strong aspects. Spring 2011 demonstrations were caused by external factors but also the internal political stagnation. The Ba’ath party has been in power since the early ‘60s. Sooner or later the war will end and Syria will have to make a choice—what political forces will govern the country? Secular and radical Islam have shown its true nature, and there is no return to it. USSR collapsed over 25 years ago. Without its support, there is also no future for a return of socialist parties in the Middle East. Therefore SSNP has a good chance to gain power and show its abilities. By Middle East standards, SSNP is a political veteran. It has a clearly defined program, which it follows. There is an advanced ideology with a future, which is important when no other political force can offer anything new. Seeking dialogue with the ruling party (Ba’ath in Syria) means that in extreme conditions SSNP will not seek confrontatios and is ready to aid its former rival. Participating in the war against Islamic and international terrorism, in deed and not word, gives the party considerable weight and popular support.

Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Arab Nationalism And Conflict In Syria

Omar Sanadiki / Reuters

Weak aspects. Since its start, the party has been underground. This is reflected in its low level of participation in legislative activity in Syria and Lebanon, as mentioned earlier. Apart these two countries and Jordan, where SSNP has been active since 2013, the party has no significant presence elsewhere.

Political democratization in post-imperial nation-states, first secular and then religious, meant the transfer of power into the hands of the majority. The question of religious or national minorities was addressed in different ways by various countries but, as a rule, these approaches tended to rely on force. Some nations had to emigrate, others took up arms. Given progressive state weakness and near-universal drive for autonomy, one can draw the conclusion the region is continuing its process of tribalization. Overcoming the remnants of clan and tribal systems and the minorities’ desire for own sovereign states will be very difficult for SSNP. This is further complicated by the persecution of Christians and their mass exodus from Lebanon in the past and Syria right now. But the local Christians were the most opposed to any forms of violence, and represented the intellectual and entrepreneurial elite. They made the party into what it is today: ready for dialogue, to offer a new path of development, to defend own country with force of arms.

Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Arab Nationalism And Conflict In Syria

SOURCE: RIA

There are also external factors which cloud the future of SSNP. How will regional powers, like Turkey or Israel, react to the appearance of a new actor, the Greater Syria? Will they allow it to appear at all? Will the leaders of countries in SSNP zone of interest be willing to give up own power, population, and territory?

Internal and external factors make SSNP’s future extremely uncertain. The idea of establishing a state on the basis of the common aspects of the people populating the region is still ahead of its time. But even if SSNP fails for some reason, it will represent a big step toward creating a new-model Arab state.

Conclusion

Unlimited nationalism as foundation of state system has sparked a trend toward anarchy and therefore can no longer be used as an effective means of political organization and preserving societal stability. Arab leaders who survived Arab Spring find it difficult to ensure own legitimacy, internal stability, and good relations with more powerful neighbors. Some have left the stage peacefully. Some were forcibly removed. Others are fighting to remain in power. Wars, coups, mass unrest, and outflow of refugees are boosting the trend toward anarchy and threaten not only the Middle East but the whole world. The recent history of Middle Eastern countries contains many examples of struggle between and cross-pollination among religious (pan-Islam, Islamic Modernism) and secular (Pan-Arabism, Arab Nationalism) currents. This trend to a certain extend determined the evolution of the Arab political thought and helped to, up to a certain point, adapt to the ideas borrowed from the West. But as noted above, they were unable to avert the fracturing of the Middle East and address the conflict among ethnic and religious groups. This fracturing is made worse by the arbitrary nature of borders of countries which qualify as Arab. These states control the territory they do largely due to powerful external pressure, and not as a result of internal processes. It means the current system suffers from a delay-fuse bomb planted under it. It may be now is the time to implement new political ideas and to establish a state based on a historic sense of community among people living in a certain area, irrespective of their language, religion, or nationality.

“طلال سلمان: حول “الربيع العربي

The Lucy Stein Gang Rides Into Moscow

September 18, 2017

by Israel Shamir for the Unz Review

The Lucy Stein Gang Rides Into Moscow

Can the Putin Fans League win municipal elections in New York City? Not bloody likely, you’ll murmur, and probably justifiably so. However, in the municipal elections last week, pro-American forces captured one third of the seats in Moscow. A great shock, slightly mitigated by the media silence that accompanied both the election and its results.

As a rule, I do not dwell much on internal Russian politics (as opposed to foreign relations). They are parochial, obscure and not democratic. That is true for internal politics in every country I am aware of, but in Russia, they aren’t even competitive. Kremlin wiseguys try and fix the results with all the subtleness of Democratic primaries under Ms Debbie Wasserman Schultz. This time they had a seemingly brilliant idea: wouldn’t it be nice if few people would turn up at the election booths? Only those requested to vote? So they had zero publicity, zero announcements, zero TV coverage. People were vaguely aware of the municipal elections but the affair was so low profile that very few cared to attend: slightly over ten per cent of the electorate. The cynical subterfuge flopped badly.

In Moscow (which is the only place in Russia that counts) the three main opposition parties, the Communists and the Nationalists, as well as Kremlin-friendly Socialists, were been decimated. Their votes had been snatched by pro-Western liberals, self-described as “those of good genes”, “the fair-faced ones”, “handshake-worthy”; all these epithets vaguely connected in Russian mind with prosperous Jewishness, of sorts, or with Jewified Soviet nomenclature. The best-known names include Ms Lucy Stein, a young Jewish journalist of some notoriety – she installed plaster copies of her breasts and filmed a staged act of a little boy being roughly treated by Putin’s police. Another one is Mr Maxim Katz, a young Jewish activist – he organized the delivery of flowers to the place of the opposition leader Mr Nemtsov’s assassination, allegedly with some profit for himself.

These youngsters (in their early twenties) have been led by Mr Dmitry Gudkov, a Russian Parliament Member and a son of a Russian Parliament Member. This sounds like the House of Lords, but Gudkov the Senior is an ex-KGB colonel, an oligarch and the owner of a bailiff business, rather than a hereditary peer. Gudkov’s people made a loose coalition with Yabloko (Apple, in Russian), a liberal party of some prominence in the Yeltsin years. They are against Putin’s policies, for the restoration of the Crimea to the Ukraine and for an alliance with the liberal West.

While other parties didn’t give a hoot, the liberals cared to come to the neglected elections, and they delivered their voters to the booths. For that purpose, they imported American technology, and one of Sanders’ operatives, a Russian-born Mr Vitali Shklyarov, who had come to set up what they called “a political Uber”, a web app for fielding candidates and getting voters. In addition, they vastly overspent their competitors.

Democracy in action? Forsooth! This was a clear-cut example of real (as opposed to imaginary) interference in foreign elections. While endless FBI probes have never produced any tangible proof of Russian interference in the US elections, and the Facebook investigation “revealed that it had sold as much as $150,000 in political ads to pro-Kremlin entities between 2015 and 2017”, the US interference in recent Moscow elections had been vast, powerful and effective. The pro-American forces spent over sixty million dollar in Moscow alone by very conservative estimates, and probably much more. And the funds came from abroad.

The very idea of Russian interference in the US elections had been flattering but silly. The Russians are not in the same league, in speaking of political technologies. The Americans are much more masterful, being trained in a competitive environment. The Russians’ only chance to have fair elections is adopting another American technology, namely the active fight against foreign interference. The Kremlin could and should investigate the path of every US buck to the Stein-Katz Gang, and deal with it as harshly as Americans are dealing with imaginary Russian interference. But would they? I doubt it. The wiseguys who mismanaged elections for Kremlin will do all they can to kill the story. No important Russian media carried it, by direct orders from Kremlin.

We have proof to back up our claims of the US interference in the Russian elections: a confession made by the coordinator for Open Russia, a political body created by Mr Michael Khodorkovsky. This oligarch, once the richest man in Russia, did nine years in a Russian jail for massive tax evasion, white-collar crimes, organized crime and conspiracy for murder, as brutal and ruthless a shark as ever swam murky waters of Russian business and politics.

Mr Khodorkovsky had been an American agent of influence for many years. Since being pardoned by President Putin, he moved abroad and became the focal point for the US-led clandestine campaign for regime change in Russia. Together with other exiled (and wanted) oligarchs, Tel Aviv-based Mr Nevzlinand London-based Mr Chichvarkin, Mr Khodorkovsky funnels money to Russia’s pro-Western opposition.

His coordinator Ms Maria Baronova had been quite close to Mr Khodorkovsky but parted with him some time ago. In her Facebook blog she admits that “Gudkov and Katz are a secret project of M. B. Khodorkovsky” while other elements of the opposition are a public project of Mr Khodorkovsky. In other words, the whole campaign has been organized from Washington, or perhaps from Langley.

As we learned from Wikileaks-published State Department cables, this is the current trend of CIA for orchestrating regime change: instead of sending money directly to the opposition with a courier, they employ oligarchs as go-between. This mode has been used in Syria since 2006, as well as in Lebanon, and now is being applied in Moscow.

The winners of the recent municipal elections in Moscow weren’t just the “fair-faced” children of nomenclature, but appointees of the US deep state. They did it using American know-how and American money. This is the real and very successful interference, and the organisers got away with it.

The Russian post-Soviet political system as organized by Putin’s wiseguys should share the blame. The Communists, Nationalists of Mr Zhirinovsky and Socialists of Mr Mironov have been tamed and house-broken so efficiently that they lost their balls, their will power, their desire for victory – and their voters, as well. People stopped to care about them. The ruling party United Russia isn’t better; it is a toothless clone of the toothless CPSU, the late Soviet Union Communist Party that was dismantled by Gorbachev and Yeltsin without a single objection from millions of card-carrying members. It is a party of people who want to have power and its privileges.

The Ukraine had been ruled by a similar Party of the Regions. Led by Mr Victor Yanukovych, the party fell to pieces after the coup, its members deserting the sinking ship as fast as they could. United Russia will also run away in a case of trouble; they will helplessly watch Mr Khodorkovsky enter the gates of the Kremlin and probably applaud him. The United Russia’s 70% of vote is no guarantee of support for Mr Putin’s independent course. It would be better for Putin to rely upon smaller but more reliable and devoted cadres. Lenin used to say, ‘a small anchovy is better than a big cockroach’.

(This is true for other countries, too, as Mr Trump and Mr Corbyn discovered: their big parties just aren’t reliable. A small and reliable party of their dedicated supporters would be a better bet.)

The Kremlin spokesmen comfort themselves and others by stressing very limited powers of the elected deputies. By law, they may deal with municipal questions only. However, it is not unusual for such bodies to reach for more power in a revolutionary situation. In France, in 1789, the elected parliament was intended to be an advisory to the monarch, but very soon it assumed all the powers and chopped off the king’s head. In the USSR, in 1991, the Russian Federation parliament had very few rights being subservient to the Soviet parliament, but it assumed rights and broke up the USSR.

Forget about Mr Navalny. Perhaps we should get used to the idea that the next president of Russia will be called Maxim Katz, and Lucy Stern his Foreign Minister. That is, unless Mr Putin will do a better job at the forthcoming Presidential elections.

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

This article was first published at The Unz Review.

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From the US Embassy in Kiev: Happy Independence Day, Ukraine!

August 24, 2017

This video was made by the US Embassy in Kiev and posted on YouTube with the following message: “On behalf of the American people, Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, and the staff at the US Embassy in Kyiv we wish all Ukrainians a joyous Independence Day holiday.”  At the end of the day the US Embassy personnel warmly greets the Ukrainian people with the words “Glory to the Ukraine” which everybody in the Ukraine (and Russia) will immediately recognize as part of the Ukronazi greeting of the Banderites “Glory to the Ukraine – To the heroes glory”.

Bravo America – you can be proud of this one (and then wonder “why do they hate us?!”)

Also, here is a photo of Mattis and Poroshenko greeting each other on the military parade (with participation of US forces).  Next to them, Yuri Lutsenko, ex convicted felon and penitentiary resident, now Prosecutor General (with no legal training), a bona fide Nazi and, according to persistent rumors, an alcoholic with mental issues.  Feel the love!

 

Poll: Americans’ Massive Disapproval of Both Parties

Poll: Americans’ Massive Disapproval of Both Parties

ERIC ZUESSE | 17.07.2017 | WORLD

Poll: Americans’ Massive Disapproval of Both Parties

The «Monthly Harvard-Harris Poll: June 2017» is the latest poll in that series, and it scientifically sampled 2,258 U.S. registered voters, of whom (as shown on page 30) 35% were «Democrat», 29% were «Republican», and 30% were «independent»). It indicates (page 24) that 37% «approve» and 63% «disapprove» of «the way the Republican Party is handling its job». It also indicates (page 25) that 38% «approve», and 62% «disapprove», of «the way the Democratic Party is handling its job». So: despite there being 6% more self-described «Democrat»s than «Republican»s, there was only 1% more disapproval of the Republican Party than of the Democratic Party; and, this indicates that there was a substantial disapproval of «the Democratic Party» by Democratic voters (more disaffection by them for ‘their’ Party, than Republicans have for theirs).

The answers to other questions in the poll also help to provide an answer as to why this is so, and why the voting public don’t hold either Party in high regard — why America’s supposedly ‘democratic’ (small-«D») politics is currently a contest between uglies, with neither Party offering anything like what the U.S. voting public want their government to do (i.e., it fits what this scientific study found actually to control U.S. politics):

(Page 27) 41% think «President Trump should be impeached and removed from office», and 45% think «no action should be taken» against him.

(Page 28) 36% think «the investigations into Russia and President Trump» are «helping the country», and 64% think they’re «hurting the country».

(Page 39) Of listed U.S. government officials, the highest percentage-favorable ratings were: Bernie Sanders (52%), Mike Pence (47%), Donald Trump (45%), Hillary Clinton (39%), Paul Ryan (38%), Elizabeth Warren (37%), Jim Comey (36%), Robert Mueller (34%), Nancy Pelosi (31%), Jeff Sessions (28%), and Rex Tillerson (28%).

(Page 40) The highest percentage-unfavorable ratings were: Hillary Clinton (56%), Nancy Pelosi (51%), Donald Trump (50%), Paul Ryan (45%), Mitch McConnell (42%), Jeff Sessions (41%), Mike Pence (40%), Jared Kushner (39%), Bernie Sanders (38%), Jim Comey (36%), and Elizabeth Warren (36%).

(Page 72) 48% think «President Trump colluded with the Russians during the election over the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta’s emails». 52% say «No» — Trump did not do that.

(Page 73) 54% say «associates of President Trump» did it; 46% say «No» to that.

(Page 74) 38% say «There is evidence» of such «collusion» by Trump; 62% say «No».

(Page 75) 54% say this is a «legitimate investigation»; 46% say it’s «fueled to create a cloud over the Trump administration».

(Page 79) 44% say «Keep the focus on the Russia investigation»; 56% say «Move on to other issues».

(Page 83) 73% say they are «concerned» that there has been «lost focus and energy by the administration and Congress because of the Russia investigation». 67% say they’re «concerned» about «future interference by Russia in U.S. elections».

(Page 95) 54% say «Yes» and 46% say «No» to «Do you think the so called ‘Deep State’ — the collection of intelligence agencies and holdover government workers from the Obama administration — is trying to unseat President Trump?»

(Page 96) When asked «Who do you think is more to blame for Hillary Clinton’s loss of the election?» 67% choose «Hillary Clinton and her campaign team for running a weak campaign» and 33% choose «Forces like the Russians, former FBI director Comey, and the Democratic National Committee not having reliable voter data».

(Page 124) 74% «Favor» «Offering incentives for electric cars and renewable energy such as wind and solar». 62% «Favor» Setting much tougher emission standards for cars and other vehicles». 34% «Favor» «Putting coal, and all coal and clean coal plants, out of business». Today’s American public take global warming seriously — or at least more seriously than Republican public officials do..

(Page 133) 47% think it was «Right» and 53% think it was «Wrong» for Trump «to pull the United States out of the current version of the Paris Climate Agreement.”

(Page 151) 49% think «the media is being fair» to President Trump; 51% say «Unfair».

(Page 154) 21% «Favor «raising the U.S. government’s debt ceiling». 69% «Oppose».

(Page 155) 36% «Favor» «a government shut down» over the issue; 64% «Oppose».

What this poll found is basically the same thing that has been shown in many different polls. So: former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who was the last person who was able to win the White House without needing to rely upon billionaires in order to do it, was correct when he said that, «Now it’s just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or being elected president. And the same thing applies to governors, and U.S. Senators and congress members». Anybody who refers to this government as being a ‘democracy’ is way behind the times, because it has been, ever since 1980, controlled by its aristocracy; it is an «oligarchy» instead of a democracy; it is a «regime» instead of a government that represents its public. This regime represents its aristocrats. And that is why the public’s disapproval of this country’s leaders is so high. That happens in a regime, not in a democracy. Both of America’s Parties represent this country’s aristocracy, not America’s public. The latest Harvard-Harris poll simply adds to the already-overwhelming evidence of this. But the basic evidence on the matter was the Gilens-Page study. In their section «American Democracy?» they said:

What do our findings say about democracy in America? They certainly constitute troubling news for advocates of «populistic» democracy, who want governments to respond primarily or exclusively to the policy preferences of their citizens. In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule — at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes. When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the U.S. political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it.

One of the aristocracy’s many magazines, The Atlantic, headlined on June 21st, «Is American Democracy Really Under Threat?» and tried to fool their readers to think the answer is no; but, of course, they were pointing, as ‘evidence’, merely to nominal adherence to ‘democratic’ forms, and ignored the actual evidence on the matter, such as Gilens and Page examined in depth, and such as the many polls that have also been referred to in the links here have additionally reinforced. None of this actual evidence was even so much as mentioned. The honest answer to the article’s title-question is not just «Yes» but more than that: their question itself is more like their having asked «Is there a danger of the horse being stolen?» after the horse was already stolen, and has for decades (since at least 1980) already been absent from the barn; so, that article’s very title is a deception, even without its text (which is written for outright fools who can’t recognize what constitutes «evidence» that is suitable for a given allegation). A better question would therefore be: Why do people still subscribe to vapid propaganda-magazines like that? All propaganda should be free of charge. But, of course, in a dictatorship like this, people pay even for the right to be deceived. It’s no longer free-of-charge. That’s just the way things are — really are. It’s shown in the data — not in anybody’s mere platitudes about the matter. People pay to embellish the lies that they already believe. Most people want that, more than they want to come to know the truth. The worse the truth is, the more that people crave the myth which contradicts it — they’ll pay good money to mainline that into themselves: evidenceless reassurances, such as that article. But anyone who takes that type of pap seriously, won’t be able sensibly to understand such findings as were reported in the latest Harvard-Harris poll.

Report: Oliver Stone’s Israel Remarks Censored By Stephen Colbert’s Late Show

Posted on June 17, 2017

[ Ed. note – The Duran has published a story saying that during an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Oliver Stone made a remark about Israel having far more influence over US elections than any supposed influence Russia may have exerted. It is of course a truthful statement, but it would be stunning to hear something like that ever spoken on American TV. And indeed, according to The Duran, the remark was censored out. This is particularly ironic, not to mention utterly hypocritical, considering that at one point in the interview Colbert made a sniping comment about Vladimir Putin supposedly suppressing freedom of the press in Russia.

Below is the full article from The Duran, and beneath that is a video of the Stone interview as it aired on the Colbert show. The remark about Israel is indeed missing, but the host’s snide comment about Putin being “an oppressive leader of his country who suppresses the free press and arrests his enemies” comes at about 5:45. There no doubt are hypocrites in Russia–just as there are every place else–but the difference is that hypocrisy doesn’t seem to predominate public discourse they way it does in America–something perhaps to ponder as you reflect upon Colbert’s quips about Russia and the audience laughter they provoke. No matter how hard Stone tries to explain his views about Putin, it is useless. The comedian (and to a large extent his audience as well) has wholly bought into the mainstream media narrative, or either he pretends to. ]

By Adam Garrie

Oliver Stone said Israel had more involvement in the US election than Russia. But the mainstream media kept this statement from the public.

Reports have surfaced that during his heated exchange with Stephen Colbert, Oliver Stone responded to statements from Colbert repeating the tired narrative about Russia interfering in the US election by bringing up an elephant in the room that many media outlets have totally ignored.

Stone said of alleged and thus far totally unproved Russian interference,

“Israel had far more involvement in the US election than Russia, why don’t you ask me about that?”

Colbert, quick to end that part of the discussion replied,

“I’ll ask you about that when you make a documentary about Israel”

This section of the interview was edited out of the final  broadcast, but multiple sources, including many pro-Israel sources testify to the existence of the in-studio exchange.

Few could reasonably deny that the pro-Israel lobby in the US is extremely power, well funded and influential.

Oliver Stone touched on a deeply important issue, one that clearly did not fit the anti-Russia stance of Stephen Colbert and his producers.


Related

Video

Oliver Stone Interview With Vladimir Putin

Posted June 14, 2017

Part 1 (English Subtitles)

Part 2 (English Subtitles)

Part 3

Part 4

French Presidential Election 2017: Nothing Succeeds Like Success. Macron “Selected”. Billionaires and Bankers Rejoice

Global Research, May 08, 2017

There is great rejoicing tonight in places accustomed to rejoicing. The best champagne must be flowing in places that have plenty of it, chez Bernard Arnault, for example, first fortune in France (eleventh in the world), owner among so much else of the newspapers Parisien, Aujourd’hui France and Echos, all fervent supporters of Emmanuel Macron. The glasses should be clinking also wherever the peripatetic billionaire Patrick Drahi finds himself, born in Morocco, double French-Israeli nationality, resident of Switzerland, owner of a vast media and telecom empire, including the epitome of post-May ’68 turncoatism, the tabloid Libération, which ran a headline calling on voters to cast their ballots for Macron a day after the public campaign was legally over.

The list is long of billionaires, bankers and establishment figures who have a right to rejoice at the extraordinary success of a candidate who got elected President of the French Republic on the claim to be “an outsider”, whereas nobody in history has ever been so unanimously supported by all the insiders you can name.

There should also be satisfaction in the embassies of all the countries whose governments openly interfered in the French election – the U.S. of course, but also Germany, Belgium, Italy and Canada, among others, who earnestly exhorted the French to make the right choice: Macron, of course. All these champions of Western democracy can all join in gloating over the nonexistent but failed interference of Russia – for which there is no evidence, but part of the fun of a NATOland election these days is to accuse the Russians of meddling.

As for the French, abstention was nearly record-breaking, as much of the left could not vote for the self-proclaimed enemy of labor law but dared not vote for the opposition candidate, Marine Le Pen, because one just cannot vote for someone who was labeled “extreme right” or even “fascist” by an incredible campaign of denigration, even though she displayed no visible symptom of fascism and her program was favorable to lower income people and to world peace. Words count in France, where the terror of being accused of sharing World War II guilt is overwhelming.

Surveys indicate that as much as 40% of Macron voters chose him solely to “block” the alleged danger of voting for Marine Le Pen.

Others on the left voted for Macron vowing publicly that they will “fight him” once he is elected. Fat chance.

There may be street demonstrations in coming months, but that will have little impact on Macron’s promise to tear up French labor law by decree and free labor and management to fight it out between themselves, at a time when management is powerful thanks to delocalizations and labor is disorganized and enfeebled by the various effects of globalization.

As Jean Bricmont put it, outgoing French President François Hollande deserves a Nobel Prize for political manipulation.

At a time when he and his government were so unpopular that everyone was looking forward to the election as a chance to get rid of them, Hollande, with zealous assistance from of the major media, leading banks and oligarchs of various stripes, succeeded in promoting his little-known economic advisor into the candidate of “change”, neither left nor right, a totally fresh, new political star – supported by all the old politicians that the public wanted to get rid of.

This is quite an amazing demonstration of the power of “communications” in contemporary society, a triumph for the advertising industry, mainstream media and the billionaires who own all of that.

France was perceived as a potential weak link in the globalization project of eliminating national sovereignty in favor of the worldwide reign of capital. Thanks to an extraordinary effort, this danger has been averted. At least for now.

An Islamic Response To The French Presidential Elections by Sheikh Imran Hosein

May 03, 2017

Le Pen &Trump aren’t even close – are we stuck with Emmanuel Macr-Obama?

April 24, 2017

by Ramin Mazaheri

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.

Champs-Elysees attack: Perfect timing, for some

April 21, 2017

by Ramin Mazaheri

On the night of April 21st I was in my office in Paris, just 100 meters from the Champs-Elysees, when I got a phone call from a fellow journalist telling me about the deadly attack on policemen there.

I was in the middle of working on my latest report on France’s presidential election for Iran’s Press TV.

When I got the call, I had just written this sentence – I was still mulling it over (lotta numbers for TV copy):

“The last week has seen two major surprises which may push undecided voters to the right: the alleged discovery of a 2-man terror plot to attack 1 of the 3 main right-wing candidates, and the surprisingly-timed start of a court case involving 20 people accused of being part of a terror cell in 2012.”

Well…as you can guess, I had to add a third major surprise: the alleged terrorist attack on Champs-Elysees Avenue.

France’s 1st round vote in the presidential election is just two days away – on April 23rd – so let’s be very, very clear: The industrial-military-finance-media complex cannot live with a victory by Communist-backed Jean-Luc Melenchon.

If the establishment wouldn’t do “anything” to prevent Melenchon from taking office, they would certainly do “most anything”.

But let’s be level-headed: We know that governments commit assassinations. We know that they often send their soldiers off to certain death to advance unjust goals. The murder of this policeman is going to remind many of Jo Cox’s murder in the run-up to the Brexit vote.

What is absolutely undeniable is that the Champs-Elysees attack will have some sort of political effect

Tension here is high – the race is currently a 4-way dead heat. It’s too close to call because four candidates are within the margin-of-error.

But even the polls are somewhat useless, because there is an enormous undecided voter rate of over 30%.

I have used some form of “the only certainty is uncertainty” at least a half-dozen times in my reports over the last week, because it truly does bear repeating.

But one thing is certain: all three of this week’s “surprises” – which pushed terrorism, xenophobia, insecurity, fear and hate to the top of the headlines in this final week of unparalleled importance and indecision – have benefitted everyone except for Melenchon.

The industrial-military-finance-media complex wants Emmanuel Macron or Francois Filllon to win. Both are a continuation of Sarkozy and Hollande: austerity, globalization, racism, foreign intervention, Eurozone cannibalization of weaker members.

They industrial-military-finance-media complex can even live with a Marine Le Pen victory, even though she is also promising many of the same anti-system/anti-Brussels measures as Melenchon – on Frexit, NATO, the Euro, etc. She goes even further by promising to suspend the Schengen visa-free requirement if elected, and that would make the refugee crisis look like small potatoes, because it would do untold damage to the pocketbooks of the leading capitalists.

Heck, 60% of active cops are going to vote National Front, so they might work in her favor just to get their way, high-finance be damned. God bless the sainted “boys in blue”, eh?

But the establishment absolutely cannot cope with the rise of a leftist candidate in any country, no matter how backwards. Not Burkina Faso, not Nicaragua, not Laos and not any other country most people can’t find on a map.

So for sure it can’t happen here: France, the world’s 5th-largest economy.

The French say “once does not make a custom”, but 3 times in 1 week?

Of course I have no proof to offer, but the timing of the Marseilles 2-man terror cell “discovery” and the Champs-Elysees “terrorist attack” are going to make them ripe for accusations of being a false-flag operations.

Or maybe it’s all a coincidence? I’m a reporter – I need facts. I need to examine all the angles. Coincidences do happen, in fact.

Maybe France truly is being targeted by terrorists during the election campaign, as authorities have repeatedly claimed? They certainly prepared us for that possibility with announcements to that effect.

Maybe the court docket was so full that the unprecedented 20-person terror cell trial simply HAD to start 3 days before the vote? Another coincidence? They don’t decide these court dates by lottery, I know that.

Maybe…but what’s sure is that the industrial-military-finance-media complex is toasting these 3 events, because it aids their 3 favorite candidates.

Because what they don’t want is serious discussion of the problems which touch all French people.

Quickly: record unemployment, austerity, economic stagnation, state of emergency, 2,000+ arrests of democratic protesters last year, cops anally raping with batons, angry riots.

I could go on, but it’s after midnight – need to finish my Press TV report, then do a 2 am interview. Welcome to journalism!

Everyone else has already had their workday. All those voters lying in their bed, wondering who they will vote for, and possibly wondering if another killer escaped from the Champs-Elysees. That rumor was floating around just an hour ago, but at some point you have to switch off the TV.

I am not calling the roughly 16 million undecided voters “weak-minded” for being prey to such faithless, late-night monsters during this last week of campaigning – I simply imagine them to be politically uninterested. Because how can you still be undecided 2 days before the election when you have 4 candidates who have rather radically different candidates? Simple – you are not paying very much attention.

Hey, I’m not looking down on them – I wouldn’t listen to most of these guys unless I got paid, and thankfully I do. I’m interested in politics, but many aren’t. Many don’t have time.

But it’s these people – the huge 30%-plus – who might let themselves be affected by these 3 events.

This is also going to be a huge factor: The abstention rate should surpass the record 28% in 2002. That’s why Jean-Marie Le Pen got into the 2nd round back then – his right-wing voters got out to vote while the uninterested stayed at home.

These 3 events galvanize not just the undecided, but the both lazy-and-far-right voter.

The complex, the cops, the establishment – all going very well for them

Except for Francois Hollande – what a patsy. He’s actually speaking live right now. Unless he’s apologizing, I have no interest in listening and not even for pay.

Nobody does, which is why he can’t even run. His Socialist Party’s candidate is down to just 8% – might not even make 5% and get the Party’s campaign expenditures reimbursed, which must be the only reason the candidate hasn’t dropped out: He is just going to split the leftist vote and ruin Melenchon’s chances, most likely.

Hollande didn’t even back his own party’s candidate – he indirectly supported Macron, who Hollande plucked from obscurity to become a minister and who is now absolutely, 100% running on a Hollande-Part Deux platform.

And Macron’s leading…and the French are buying all of this…just like many will not even see the possibility of a false flag situation, or two, this week.

The helicopters have mostly stopped now – must be terrible to be in Palestine and hear that regularly. Or the ghettos of Los Angeles.

ISIL just claimed responsibility for the Champs-Elysees attacks, I just read.

Makes me wonder if the “false flag” idea would have gained more traction if it was Al-Nusra (Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate) instead? After all, in 2012 France’s foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, said of Al-Nusra: “they are doing good things on the ground.”

And for this Fabius is being sued by Syrians – it is rather obvious why: “defending terrorism speech,” is illegal in France. But that’s what Fabius clearly did.

Check back with me in 2032 when that case is finished. Of course, if you are a young Muslim in France and you are accused of “defending terrorism speech” then you’re rushed through the system: accusation, trial, prison within days. They convicted the mentally ill, they convicted the drunk, but they convicted the Muslim above all.

I’m getting off-track here and talking about things which increase citizen alienation and dissatisfaction. The story line is terrorism, always terrorism, right?

Yeah, if it was Al-Nusra, then maybe the “false flag” idea would gain some mainstream traction. Too bad it was ISIL – the two groups are enemies, for those who don’t know. Bad luck, no story there….

The only candidate who will end the state of emergency is, you guessed it, Jean-Luc Melenchon. If the French truly loved “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité” they’d vote in Melenchon just for that….

3 “surprises”, but only 3 facts to remember

The most important fact – and I even thought about leading this article with this fact – is that seemingly every terrorist in France since 2012 has cited France’s foreign interventions as their motivation for terrorism. It is not Islam, it is not jihad – it is foreign intervention, and their obviously capitalist motivations.

Secondly, France’s establishment wants – above all – to avoid discussions about capitalism and its ineffectiveness.

Thirdly, these attacks are simply not important.

No matter who did them, or why, they simply are not important right now. Whether they are government assassinations or ISIL-led terrorist attacks, you French citizens owe it to each other to make an intelligent vote, not an emotional one.

For the undecided voters: You haven’t made a stand for your political morals yet, but that’s a good place to start.

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.

‘White Trash’ – both a book and Trump revolution?

March 07, 2017

by Ramin Mazaheri‘White Trash’ – both a book and Trump revolution?

White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America (2016) by Nancy Isenberg is a book which is credited with the groundbreaking idea of studying the history of poor Whites in America.

It’s a necessary book because it gives us a lot of badly-needed historical information to analyze the major divide in the United States today: between pro- and anti-Trump factions.

Hillary Clinton denounced Trump supporters as “a basket of deplorables” – i.e., White Trash.

And her supporters applauded. If you are pro-Trump you “do not represent America”, and certainly not the best of America.

Anti-Trumpers enjoy this incorrect feeling of superiority, but this cannot be a long-term policy.

What’s needed is understanding, and a good place for Americans to start learning about the absolutely real historical oppression of the class known as White Trash is with this book.

After reading it, I found it quite logical that today’s White Trash support Trump’s conservative call for rolling back the administrative state – this book proves over and over that the US government has done very little to help poor Whites, while it’s done plenty to elevate and maintain the status rich Whites.

We communists generally call this “capitalism”.

While Europe had the revolutions of 1798 and 1848, finding an actual remedy to White Trash poverty was never a real issue in America: It was only temporarily a focus after the crisis of the Civil War, the Great Depression and Johnson’s “Great Society” programs of the 1960s.

This experience is the opposite of Trash in places like Cuba, Iran, the USSR, the mourning Trash of Yugoslavia, China and elsewhere – in these countries a 20th-century revolution put a permanent focus on the needs of the average Trash, and they delivered.

Receptivity to socialism in the US is higher now than at any time since the Great Depression, and this should be no surprise: The underground earthquake which produced the tsunami of Trumpism was the Great Recession, which vastly expanded the social strata unfairly derided as White Trash.

The subsequent failure of Obama to hold anyone accountable allowed everyone to see the false lies of the “American Dream” – White Trash has been (re-) reminded of the “1%” and how “only profits are capitalized, but losses are socialized”.

Oh yes, they fear the White Trash Revolution (WTR)

According to The New York Times review of this book: “’White Trash’ is indeed a bummer….”

LOL, yes, national truths can never be as satisfying as national myths.

The fact is that White Trash are starting to take over, and they must, democratically. The key is for the left to win them over.

This is an enormous challenge in a country as politically reactionary as the United States, where leftist thought has been systemically oppressed and exterminated by the FBI, media owners and a culture that has always adhered to racist, capitalist, empire-maintenance.

But so many leftists in the US, even the more sincere ones, will never win them over if they don’t both understand and sympathize with them.

One would think that the archetype of today’s “White Trash” politician would be Dubya Bush, but he is surprisingly not mentioned at all in the book. Bush was a fake redneck, after all, and a teetotaling, born-again one at that.

But an interesting quote can be drawn from the author’s discussion of Sarah Palin, the Vice-Presidential nominee of John McCain and the first redneck woman to appear on a presidential ticket.

“Writing in the New Yorker, Sam Tanenhaus was struck by Palin’s self-satisfied manner: ‘the certitude of being herself, in whatever unfinished condition, will always be good enough.’”

If Sarah Palin is White Trash – an American peasant – this is how the fake left views them: unevolved.

Palin is not a great political leader, sure, but my point is that anyone even resembling Sarah Palin has been contemptuously looked down on for more than 400 years.

Now imagine if Tolstoy had used the same description while writing about his archetypal “good peasant” Platon Karataev in “War and Peace”…would it have been out of place? I think not.

But Tolstoy’s great love allowed him to see the virtues in Russia’s peasants. For the New York Times, The New Yorker and a seemingly-gigantic majority of the mainstream media, America’s peasants and pro-Trumpers are not only without political intelligence but also moral virtue.

Tolstoy is usually defined as a Christian Anarchist – and this is extremely close to a Communist in 2017. After all, Cuba reconciled with Catholicism two decades ago; China is promoting Confucianism and it’s necessary yin component of Taoism; Iran has married many communist ideas with religion.

While Tolstoy uplifts, reading the New Yorker is like getting a root canal because their elitist sentiment is so smugly pro-establishment. Shouldn’t it be “good enough” to be yourself? Must we put on fancy airs and pretend to be something we are not?

But there is no archetypal “good” White Trash in America – they are despised, marginalized, oppressed and segregated in American life, as this book repeatedly proves.

The WTR is looking more and more like a real historical wave, especially if the National Front wins in France and topples the European Union. If Le Pen is voted in she’s promised a ‘Frexit’ referendum within 6 months if elected.

If the WTR is a historical trend, what does it supplant?

It supplants the Politically Correct Revolution (PCR), which was a great revolution, despite its many xenophobic detractors.

The PCR has enabled it to now be well-known that the US democracy was always a sham due to racism and sexism – prior to that you had to have read or listened to somebody like Malcom X. I.e., you were you on the fringe.

Yet I always found it funny that the most impassioned PCR adherents expressed such respect for the Trash of, say, India, and yet they would look down as though from Mount Olympus on poor White cultures in America?

Part of this fine: Giving the hicks – of the Andes Mountains or Central Africa or the Eskimos or whoever – their cultural due is absolutely necessary. Looking down on them only proves your inability to comprehend their culture.

Yet these PCR die-hards expressed SUCH contempt for the hillbillies in America – for White Trash – and they still do.

I am thankful to say that I had White Trash friends (I don’t to write ‘have’ and offend them, LOL) and they were great. They taught me a lot and certainly taught me that city folk and middle-and-upper class people were totally ignorant of many key aspects of life.

But in segregated, suburban, gated America, it seems very few getting out to the country and sincerely trying to make friends?

The WTR is feared by these supposedly “left” publications, because White Trash, and Trash in general, are on the verge of upsetting the established order. But it is not the order established by the PCR, but a rigid class order that was established from the moment of British colonization, as the author repeatedly demonstrates.

The WTR created by the end to the denial of their democratic power

The book elevates the importance that post-Civil War poll taxes were also unaffordable for White Trash. It is the banning of poll taxes with the 24th amendment in 1964, and not the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which finally gave poor, landless White Trash a true democratic voice.

This gives the WTR a truly historical basis which has been largely ignored by the PCR in favor of their false, class-ignorant, “poll taxes harmed only Blacks” theory.

The reality is that poll taxes – which would not even begin to be eliminated until the 1930s and would not be fully eliminated until 1964 – allowed all Trash regardless of color to finally participate in American democracy.

Because there has been no modern revolution in the US since 1776, American Trash have only had the slow slog of those forced to work within the constraints of the capitalist/social democratic system (due to the constant and violent suppression of communist thought).

Well, it has taken 50 years, but the White majority – who come from the 99% – has finally elected a president who did what White Trash have always asked for: End four centuries of oppressive rule by the moneyed elite, the landholders, the wage-stealers, the aristocratic class, the global capitalists (who also happen to be mainly White, for those who are permanently stuck in the PCR).

The WTR, after 50 years of mass media control, also finally surmounted the media domination of the capitalists. Trump was endorsed by just 2 of the top 100 newspapers; even right-wing Fox News fought him for months; Hollywood was a constant stream of anti-Trump messages.

Another thing the WTR did was overturn the idea that the president should be an aristocrat in nature, and the book proves this idea has been dominant for decades.

As the move to end poll taxes became inevitable, “…the longing for a more regal head of state was advanced. The Democrats swooned over Kennedy’s Camelot, and Republicans ennobled the Hollywood court of Reagan.”

Trump is no moral hero like Carter (LOL to that notion), no reformed alcoholic/Christian like Dubya, no (sellout) racial hero like Obama.

Trump is probably no “great man” but, as Tolstoy would agree, one drop of the historical WTR wave. This wave has eliminated Cameron, Renzi, Sarkozy, Hollande, Clinton and others.

It’s unfortunate that this wave includes xenophobia, but we must agree that the nationalism is no longer petty: average Americans and Europeans and are now victims of a global corporate imperialism and radically-new digital high-finance class.

Trump is not White Trash – he is a billionaire – but Trump is clearly the first White Trash President.

Trump was elected to smash the system

This is something which White Trash has wanted to do since always.

And what does that mean?

Smashing the system is what revolution is: you chase out the rich, you retake control of the armed forces and you finally reflect the democratic will.

This is an enormously rare event, and it has only been done recently in places like Cuba, China, Iran, the USSR and a few others. This has happened in places like Burkina Faso, only to be subverted by the West. This is also something which has not been done in Western nations since 1776 for the US, 1789 for France and never in the UK.

Trump is not a revolutionary, but he could accomplish some of these WTR dreams. He could reorient US foreign policy away from imperialism; he could reorient the US from free-trade global capitalism.

The WTR is an exciting idea, but it is just a phase and not an end.

The reason Trump is destined to fail – although he is about 50/50 after six weeks in office – is that he is trying to do it from within the system and through reforms.

That is not revolution, but a coup.

Still…history is also full of coups that turned out well for the average person, mainly in places where the bar was already set quite low.

Trump receives only one mention in the book, and his presidency will probably turn out like the author wrote:

“Donald Trump’s The Apprentice, billed as a ‘seductive weave of aspiration and Darwinism,’ celebrated ruthlessness. In these and related shows, talent was secondary; untrained stars were hired to serve voyeuristic interests, in expectation that, as mediocrities, they could be relied on to exhibit the worst of human qualities: vanity, lust and greed.”

We simply cannot fairly say if Trump will finish as an object of hero worship like a Castro or as a mediocrity who was hired to serve non-White Trash interests – his actions as president will determine that.

But we must realize that what Trump has achieved is based on the strategy of not bashing White Trash and their political interests.

And what are Trash interests?

Historically that has been land, just like in every country.

In every modern, anti-imperialist revolution “land reform” has been essentially the guiding policy: USSR, Cuba, Zimbabwe – the list goes on and on.

The book proves that White Trash was systematically excluded from good land as a matter of government policy. The idea that the Frontier provided a White Trash family the ability to claim, clear and hold good farmland for generations is totally disproven. “They are blamed for living on bad land, as though they had other choices.”

Out of sight, out of mind: the most restrictive and undemocratic laws in America are zoning laws, after all.

They are still used to keep White Trash segregated: gated communities, trailer parks, congressional redistricting…all are designed to keep rich Whites away from Trash of any color.

Highways block off Black-filled urban housing projects; trailer parks are on the outskirts of town and by the factory/railroad/cattle pens/dump.

I think some White Democrats express genuine concern about Black poverty, but you never hear them utter a sentence like in this book: “Trailer trash had become America’s untouchables.”

They certainly are.

As the author demonstrates, this is because extreme White poverty has been systematically obscured and ignored in America.

White Trash has always been a huge problem and it’s gotten much bigger due to the Great Recession.

Despite the decline of individual farming, land reform is still required in America because nothing has really changed: the biggest marker of class and status is the value of the land where you live.

Just like everyone in real estate knows: “Location is everything. Location determines access to a privileged school, a safe neighborhood, infrastructural improvements, the best hospitals, the best grocery stores.”

The obvious solution is for the government to force economic integration via rent controls, to subsidize poor people to live in rich areas and to use economic redistribution to uplift poor areas.

News flash: This is what communists have already done in places like Cuba. The most run-down areas of Havana are at least the most desirable real estate as they are just steps from the water. In any capitalist city Havana’s waterfront property would instead be the most valuable and reserved for the ultra-rich.

After the Iranian revolution the government first rebuilt south Tehran, the city’s poorest area. Ahmadinejad, so derided in the West, was a rock star in rural areas but an “illegitimate president” in the richer areas of the cities.

Doesn’t that sound familiar in 2017?!

Republican France has laws for housing integration on the books but they are never properly enforced, even under the fake-Socialist Francois Hollande.

The facts are all in:

Communism leads to more stable growth and actual equality while capitalism shuns equality and widens the gaps during any downturn.

Trump, and we see this from his pro-capitalist stance, is probably only going to exacerbate this lack of justice.

Again, the WTR is just a phase, and it’s a bumpy one, but it’s better than the previous era that followed the death of the USSR, the “TINA-UCV”:

There Is No Alternative-Unstoppable Capitalist Victory.

So what is White Trash, really?

In describing NASCAR fans the author writes: “They embraced a certain species of freedom – the freedom to be a boor, out in the open and without regrets.”

Does this not perfectly describe the electoral campaign of Donald Trump? Goodbye PCR!

Sloughing that off – as it became no longer just a necessary tool but an end in itself – is indeed progress.

But here in France we just call those types of boors “the French”.

And these people are far more interesting, fun and numerous than the other French archetype: aloof, stylish (rich) and sexually sadistic…but also “cosmopolitan”, pro-EU, fundamentally pro-capitalist, anti-Le Pen but still racist because the hijab is a “prison”, etc.

The gulf between the boor and the angelic yet earthy peasant Karataev is real.

But was Karataev angelic and earthy, despite being White Trash, due to the superiority of Russian genes? Certainly not.

Karataev was so wonderful and inspirational because he was not a real person but a fictional character; but we can assume Karataev, and his author, “learned” his socialism/Christian anarchism from his culture.

Karataev would probably be proud to be called a “redneck” today, but he would not have been proud to have been called a “boor”. He’d be a fun clown at a party, yes, but that is not a boor.

This book does a great service because it investigates, redeems and promotes the historical class oppression endured by America’s White Trash.

It seems clear that Trump and Bannon do not truly idolize the hidden virtues of White Trash – they idolize King Reagan and King Croesus– but it is still too early to say for certain.

They say getting money shows who a person really is – the same probably goes for power.

It is capitalism which accuses, however: “You White Trash must raise yourself up.” It is socialism, and only socialism, which lends both the helping hand and the shield from those who will certainly try to break brotherly bonds.

Middle- and upper-class America are desperately fighting the WTR, just as they have historically always fought off White Trash demands for justice and fairness. And it is true that there is no guarantee at this date that the WTR will not descend into fascism. Certainly, many of the same xenophobic and fascist elements are similar to the 1930s.

This is partially why the demonization of Trump supporters is something which should never be tolerated by any thinking or moral person – it only fuels the climate of ignorance and anger which fascism thrives upon.

Regardless, the separate point is that this book shows that the WTR – via the empowerment of White Trash – has been decades in the making in the United States.

Fortunately, socialism is centuries in the making across the world.

(This editorial is paired with a complete book review of “White Trash”.)

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 Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television.

Double Standards over ‘Russian Interference’ in Western Elections

Double Standards over ‘Russian Interference’ in Western Elections

FINIAN CUNNINGHAM | 23.02.2017 | OPINION

Double Standards over ‘Russian Interference’ in Western Elections

Just as polls show Marine Le Pen of the Front National taking a decisive lead over her two main rivals, Francois Fillon of the Republicans, and Emmanuel Macron of the newly formed En Marche, the latter gets a high-profile reception in Downing Street with British prime minister Theresa May.

Fillon has no plans to make a similar visit to Britain, while Downing Street officially announced that it would not be receiving Le Pen, reported the Independent.

With only weeks to go to the first round of the French presidential elections in April, the British government’s hosting of Macron this week can be seen as an extraordinary endorsement of his candidacy.

One could express it even more strongly and say that Britain is evidently interfering in the French democratic process by elevating one candidate over another.

A spokesman for premier May said that Macron had requested the meeting at Downing Street and «we were able to accommodate».

A smiling Macron photographed on the doorsteps of Number 10 clearly showed him relishing the singular honor bestowed by the British prime minister.

One can imagine the media hullabaloo if Marine Le Pen were greeted in Moscow by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the Kremlin to then pointedly announce that her rival Macron would not be receiving a similar invitation. There would be howls of «Russian interference» in the French election.

Indeed, Russia is being accused of doing just that already on the basis of scant allegations. Emmanuel Macron has recently claimed that his campaign is being targeted by Russian hackers and «fake news». Macron’s campaign team is alleging – without providing any evidence – that its computers are being attacked by «Russian hackers».

The liberal pro-EU candidate is also claiming that «Kremlin-run news media» are mounting a fake news «influence campaign» to damage his credibility.

This follows the publication of a news article by the Sputnik outlet earlier this month which quoted French political rivals accusing Macron of being supported by global banking interests and a wealthy gay rights lobby.

Russian government-owned Sputnik has denied that it is trying to damage Macron’s candidacy, and that it was merely giving coverage to criticisms aired by French political rivals.

Based on such flimsy, partisan claims of political interference, the French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault earlier this week issued a warning to Russia to «stop meddling in the French presidential election».

Thus, a one-sided overblown claim by one of the presidential candidates is raised to a state level as if it is an established fact of Russian subversion of French sovereignty.

This narrative of Russian interference in foreign elections has evidently become contagious. Ever since American intelligence agencies, amplified by US media, began accusing Russia of hacking into the presidential elections to favor Donald Trump, the narrative has become a staple in other Western states.

Last week, German news outlet Deutsche Welle published this headline: «Is Moscow meddling in everything?» The article goes on to ask with insinuating tone: «Does Putin decide who wins elections in the West? Many believe that he cost Clinton the US presidency; now Macron is next France, and then Merkel will be in the line of fire».

The Russian government is legitimately entitled, as are other governments, to hold views on the outcome of foreign elections. After all, many European governments, including those of Germany and France, were adamantly opposed to Trump winning the US election, instead preferring his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. But they weren’t subjected to criticism that they were interfering in the American election.

Regarding France, Russian state interests might be best served by Marine Le Pen taking the presidency. She has expressed a desire to restore friendlier relations with Moscow and to jettison the NATO agenda of hostility towards Russia. Her anti-EU views would also help to undermine the Washington-led atlanticist axis which has driven enmity between Europe and Russia.

The Kremlin has been careful to not make any public statements on the outcome of the French election, nor of any other foreign election, maintaining that it does not interfere. Nevertheless, Moscow is entitled to have its own private assessment on what would serve its own national interests. There’s nothing untoward about that. It seems almost bizarre to have to explain that.

But such is the fever-pitch and hysteria about alleged Russian malfeasance that the slightest sign, such as a random news article airing critical comments as in the Macron example, is taken as «proof» of Kremlin interference.

This is in spite of the fact that no evidence is presented. German state intelligence, for instance, recently concluded that there was no evidence to support allegations that Russia was running a Trump-like influence campaign against Chancellor Merkel ahead of her country’s elections being held in September.

Perhaps the most egregious expression to date of the Russian interference narrative were claims made this week by Britain’s Telegraph newspaper that the Kremlin had sponsored a coup attempt against the government of Montenegro last October.

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov lambasted the evidence-free claims as «absurd». Lavrov said it «is just another one in a series of groundless assertions blaming our country for carrying out cyberattacks against the entire West, interfering in election campaigns in the bulk of Western countries as well as allegations pointing to the Trump administration’s ties with Russian secret services, among other things».

The height of absurdity is Britain this week hosting Emmanuel Macron at the Downing Street residence of Prime Minister Theresa May.

May’s intervention is a full-on endorsement of this one candidate at a crucial time in the French election which sees his main rival Marine Le Pen taking a decisive lead in the polls.

But where are the headlines denouncing «British interference» in French democracy?

Western media are too preoccupied digging up far-fetched stories claiming Russian interference based on the flimsiest speculation.

That double standard is clear evidence of the irrational Russophobia that is gripping Western governments and news media. Russophobia that has become a psychosis.

France: Another Ghastly Presidential Election Campaign; The Deep State Rises to the Surface

Elections présidentielles 2017 France-1

As if the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign hadn’t been horrendous enough, here comes another one: in France. 

The system in France is very different, with multiple candidates in two rounds, most of them highly articulate, who often even discuss real issues. Free television time reduces the influence of big money. The first round on April 23 will select the two finalists for the May 7 runoff, allowing for much greater choice than in the United States.

But monkey see, monkey do, and the mainstream political class wants to mimic the ways of the Empire, even echoing the theme that dominated the 2016 show across the Atlantic: the evil Russians are messing with our wonderful democracy.

The aping of the U.S. system began with “primaries” held by the two main governing parties which obviously aspire to establish themselves as the equivalent of American Democrats and Republicans in a two-party system.  The right-wing party of former president Nicolas Sarkozy has already renamed itself Les Républicains and the so-called Socialist Party leaders are just waiting for the proper occasion to call themselves Les Démocrates. But as things are going, neither one of them may come out ahead this time.

Given the nearly universal disaffection with the outgoing Socialist Party government of President François Hollande, the Republicans were long seen as the natural favorites to defeat Marine LePen, who is shown by all polls to top the first round. With such promising prospects, the Republican primary brought out more than twice as many volunteer voters (they must pay a small sum and claim allegiance to the party’s “values” in order to vote) as the Socialists.  Sarkozy was eliminated, but more surprising, so was the favorite, the reliable establishment team player, Bordeaux mayor Alain Juppé, who had been leading in the polls and in media editorials.

Fillon’s Family Values

In a surprise show of widespread public disenchantment with the political scene, Republican voters gave landside victory to former prime minister François Fillon, a practicing Catholic with an ultra-neoliberal domestic policy: lower taxes for corporations, drastic cuts in social welfare, even health health insurance benefits – accelerating what previous governments have been doing but more openly. Less conventionally, Fillon strongly condemns the current anti Russian policy.  Fillon also deviates from the Socialist government’s single-minded commitment to overthrowing Assad by showing sympathy for embattled Christians in Syria and their protector, which happens to be the Assad government.

Fillon has the respectable look, as the French say, of a person who could take communion without first going to confession.  As a campaign theme he credibly stressed his virtuous capacity to oppose corruption.

Oops!  On January 25, the semi-satirical weekly Le Canard Enchainé fired the opening shots of an ongoing media campaign designed to undo the image of Mister Clean, revealing that his British wife, Penelope, had been paid a generous salary for working as his assistant. As Penelope was known for staying home and raising their children in the countryside, the existence of that work is in serious doubt.  Fillon also paid his son a lawyer’s fee for unspecified tasks and his daughter for supposedly assisting him write a book.  In a sense, these allegations prove the strength of the conservative candidate’s family values.  But his ratings have fallen and he faces possible criminal charges for fraud.

The scandal is real, but the timing is suspect.  The facts are many years old, and the moment of their revelation is well calculated to ensure his defeat.  Moreover, the very day after the Canard’s revelations, prosecutors hastily opened an inquiry.  In comparison with all the undisclosed dirty work and unsolved blood crimes committed by those in control of the French State over the years, especially during its foreign wars, enriching one’s own family may seem relatively minor.  But that is not the way the public sees it.

Cui bono

It is widely assumed that despite National Front candidate Marine LePen’s constant lead in the polls, whoever comes in second will win the runoff because the established political class and the media will rally around the cry to “save the Republic!”  Fear of the National Front as “a threat to the Republic” has become a sort of protection racket for the established parties, since it stigmatizes as unacceptable a large swath of opposition to themselves.  In the past, both main parties have sneakily connived to strengthen the National Front in order to take votes away from their adversary.

Thus, bringing down Fillon increases the chances that the candidate of the now thoroughly discredited Socialist Party may find himself in the magic second position after all, as the knight to slay the LePen dragon.  But who exactly is the Socialist candidate? That is not so clear.  There is the official Socialist Party candidate, Benoît Hamon. But the independent spin-off from the Hollande administration, Emmanuel Macron, “neither right nor left”, is gathering support from the right of the Socialist Party as well as from most of the neo-liberal globalist elite.

Macron is scheduled to be the winner. But first, a glance at his opposition on the left.  With his ratings in the single digits, François Hollande very reluctantly gave into entreaties from his colleagues to avoid the humiliation of running for a second term and losing badly.  The badly attended Socialist Party primary was expected to select the fiercely pro-Israel prime minister Manuel Valls.  Or if not, on his left, Arnaud Montebourg, a sort of Warren Beatty of French politics, famous for his romantic liaisons and his advocacy of re-industrialization of France.

Again, surprise.  The winner was a colorless, little-known party hack named Benoît Hamon, who rode the wave of popular discontent to appear as a leftist critic and alternative to a Socialist government which sold out all Holland’s promises to combat “finance” and assaulted the rights of the working class instead.  Hamon spiced up his claim to be “on the left” by coming up with a gimmick that is fashionable elsewhere in Europe but a novelty in French political discourse: the “universal basic income”.  The idea of giving every citizen an equal handout can sound appealing to young people having trouble finding a job. But this idea, which originated with Milton Friedman and other apostles of unleashed financial capitalism, is actually a trap.  The project assumes that unemployment is permanent, in contrast to projects to create jobs or share work.  It would be financed by replacing a whole range of existing social allocations, in the name of “getting rid of bureaucracy” and “freedom of consumption”. The project would complete the disempowerment of the working class as a political force, destroying the shared social capital represented by public services, and splitting the dependent classes between paid workers and idle consumers.

There is scant chance that the universal income is about to become a serious item on the French political agenda.  For the moment, Hamon’s claim to radicality serves to lure voters away from the independent left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon.  Both are vying for support from greens and militants of the French Communist Party, which has lost all capacity to define its own positions.

The Divided Left

An impressive orator, Mélenchon gained prominence in 2005 as a leading opponent of the proposed European Constitution, which was decisively rejected by the French in a referendum, but was nevertheless adopted under a new name by the French national assembly.  Like so many leftists in France, Mélenchon has a Trotskyist background (the Posadists, more attuned to Third World revolutions than their rivals) before joining the Socialist Party, which he left in 2008 to found the Parti de Gauche.  He has sporadically wooed the rudderless Communist Party to join him as the Front de Gauche (the Left Front) and has declared himself its candidate for President on a new independent ticket called La France insoumise – roughly translated as “Insubordinate France”. Mélenchon is combative with France’s docile media, as he defends such unorthodox positions as praise of Chavez and rejection of France’s current Russophobic foreign policy.  Unlike the conventional Hamon, who follows the Socialist party line, Mélenchon wants France to leave both the euro and NATO.

There are only two really strong personalities in this lineup: Mélenchon on the left and his adversary of choice, Marine LePen, on the right.  In the past, their rivalry in local elections has kept both from winning even though she came out ahead.  Their positions on foreign policy are hard to distinguish from each other: criticism of the European Union, desire to leave NATO, good relations with Russia.

Since both deviate from the establishment line, both are denounced as “populists” – a term that is coming to mean anyone who pays more attention to what ordinary people want that to what the Establishment dictates.

On domestic social policy, on preservation of social services and workers’ rights, Marine is well to the left of Fillon.  But the stigma attached to the National Front as the “far right” remains, even though, with her close advisor Florian Philippot, she has ditched her father, Jean-Marie, and adjusted the party line to appeal to working class voters.  The main relic of the old National Front is her hostility to immigration, which now centers on fear of Islamic terrorists. The terrorist killings in Paris and Nice have made these positions more popular than they used to be. In her effort to overcome her father’s reputation as anti-Semitic, Marine LePen has done her best to woo the Jewish community, helped by her rejection of “ostentatious” Islam, going so far as to call for a ban on wearing an ordinary Muslim headscarf in public.

A runoff between Mélenchon and LePen would be an encounter between a revived left and a revived right, a real change from the political orthodoxy that has alienated much of the electorate. That could make politics exciting again.  At a time when popular discontent with “the system” is rising, it has been suggested (by Elizabeth Lévy’s maverick monthly Le Causeur) that the anti-system Mélenchon might actually have the best chance of winning working class votes away from the anti-system LePen.

Manufacturing Consent

But the pro-European Union, pro-NATO, neoliberal Establishment is at work to keep that from happening.  On every possible magazine cover or talk show, the media have shown their allegiance to a “New! Improved!” middle of the road candidate who is being sold to the public like a consumer product.   At his rallies, carefully coached young volunteers situated in view of the cameras greet his every vague generalization with wild cheers, waving flags, and chanting “Macron President!!!” before going off to the discotèque party offered as their reward. Macron is the closest thing to a robot ever presented as a serious candidate for President.  That is, he is an artificial creation designed by experts for a particular task.

Emmanuel Macron, 39, was a successful investment banker who earned millions working for the Rothschild bank.   Ten years ago, in 2007, age 29, the clever young economist was invited into the big time by Jacques Attali, an immensely influential guru, whose advice since the 1980s has been central in wedding the Socialist Party to pro-capitalist, neoliberal globalism.  Attali incorporated him into his private think tank, the Commission for Stimulating Economic Growth, which helped draft the  “300 Proposals to Change France” presented to President Sarkozy a year later as a blueprint for government.  Sarkozy failed to enact them all, for fear of labor revolts, but the supposedly “left” Socialists are able to get away with more drastic anti-labor measures, thanks to their softer discourse.

The soft discourse was illustrated by presidential candidate François Hollande in 2012 when he aroused enthusiasm by declaring to a rally: “My real enemy is the world of finance!”.  The left cheered and voted for him.  Meanwhile, as a precaution, Hollande secretly dispatched Macron to London to reassure the City’s financial elite that it was all just electoral talk.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/10/emmanuel-macron-france-president After his election, Hollande brought Macron onto his staff. From there he was given a newly created super-modern sounding government post as minister of Economy, Industry and Digital affairs in 2014.  With all the bland charm of a department store mannequin, Macron upstaged his irascible colleague, prime minister Manuel Valls, in the silent rivalry to succeed their boss, President Hollande.  Macron won the affection of big business by making his anti-labor reforms look young and clean and “progressive”. In fact, he pretty much followed the Attali agenda.

The theme is “competitiveness”.  In a globalized world, a country must attract investment capital in order to compete, and for that it is necessary to lower labor costs.  A classic way to do that is to encourage immigration.  With the rise of identity politics, the left is better than the right in justifying massive immigration on moral grounds, as a humanitarian measure.  That is one reason that the Democratic Party in the United States and the Socialist Party in France have become the political partners of neoliberal globalism.  Together, they have changed the outlook of the official left from structural measures promoting economic equality to moral measures promoting equality of minorities with the majority.

Just last year, Macron founded (or had founded for him) his political movement entitled “En marche!” (Let’s go!) characterized by meetings with young groupies wearing Macron t-shirts.  In three months he felt the call to lead the nation and announced his candidacy for President.

Many personalities are jumping the marooned Socialist ship and going over to Macron, whose strong political resemblance to Hillary Clinton suggests that his is the way to create a French Democratic Party on the U.S. model.  Hillary may have lost but she remains the NATOland favorite. And indeed, U.S. media coverage confirms this notion.  A glance at the ecstatic puff piece by Robert Zaretsky in Foreign Policymagazine hailing “the English-speaking, German-loving, French politician Europe has been waiting for” leaves no doubt that Macron is the darling of the trans-Atlantic globalizing elite.

At this moment, Macron is second only to Marine LePen in the polls, which also show him defeating her by a landslide in the final round.  However, his carefully manufactured appeal is vulnerable to greater public information about his close ties to the economic elite.

Blame the Russians

For that eventuality, there is a preventive strike, imported directly from the United States.  It’s the fault of the Russians!

What have the Russians done that is so terrible?  Mainly, they have made it clear that they have a preference for friends rather than enemies as heads of foreign governments.  Nothing so extraordinary about that. Russian news media criticize, or interview people who criticize, candidates hostile to Moscow.  Nothing extraordinary about that either.

As an example of this shocking interference, which allegedly threatens to undermine the French Republic and Western values, the Russian news agency Sputnik interviewed a Republican member of the French parliament, Nicolas Dhuicq, who dared say that Macron might be “an agent of the American financial system”.   That is pretty obvious.  But the resulting outcry skipped over that detail to accuse Russian state media of “starting to circulate rumors that Macron had a gay extramarital affair” (The EU Observer, February 13, 2017).  In fact this alleged “sexual slur” had been circulating primarily in gay circles in Paris, for whom the scandal, if any, is not Macron’s alleged sexual orientation but the fact that he denies it.  The former mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe, was openly gay, Marine Le Pen’s second in command Florian Philippot is gay, in France being gay is no big deal.

Macron is supported by a “very wealthy gay lobby”, Dhuicq is quoted as saying.  Everyone knows who that is: Pierre Bergé, the rich and influential business manager of Yves Saint Laurent, personification of radical chic, who strongly supports surrogate gestation, which is indeed a controversial issue in France, the real controversy underlying the failed opposition to gay marriage.

The Deep State rises to the surface

The amazing adoption in France of the American anti-Russian campaign is indicative of a titanic struggle for control of the narrative – the version of international reality consumed by the masses of people who have no means to undertake their own investigations. Control of the narrative is the critical core of what Washington describes as its “soft power”.  The hard power can wage wars and overthrow governments.  The soft power explains to bystanders why that was the right thing to do.  The United States can get away with literally everything so long as it can tell the story to its own advantage, without the risk of being credibly contradicted.  Concerning sensitive points in the world, whether Iraq, or Libya, or Ukraine, control of the narrative is basically exercised by the partnership between intelligence agencies and the media.  Intelligence services write the story, and the mass corporate media tell it.

Together, the anonymous sources of the “deep state” and the mass corporate media have become accustomed to controlling the narrative told to the public.  They don’t want to give that power up.  And they certainly don’t want to see it challenged by outsiders – notably by Russian media that tell a different story.

That is one reason for the extraordinary campaign going on to denounce Russian and other alternative media as sources of “false news”, in order to discredit rival sources.  The very existence of the Russian international television news channel RT aroused immediate hostility: how dare the Russians intrude on our version of reality!  How dare they have their own point of view! Hillary Clinton warned against RT when she was Secretary of State and her successor John Kerry denounced it as a “propaganda bullhorn”.  What we say is truth, what they say can only be propaganda.

The denunciation of Russian media and alleged Russian “interference in our elections” is a major invention of the Clinton campaign, which has gone on to infect public discourse in Western Europe.  This accusation is a very obvious example of double standards, or projection, since U.S. spying on everybody, including it allies, and interference in foreign elections are notorious.

The campaign denouncing “fake news” originating in Moscow is in full swing in both France and Germany as elections approach.  It is this accusation that is the functional interference in the campaign, not Russian media.  The accusation that Marine Le Pen is “the candidate of Moscow” is not only meant to work against her, but is also preparation for the efforts to instigate some variety of “color revolution” should she happen to win the May 7 election. CIA interference in foreign elections is far from limited to contentious news reports.

In the absence of any genuine Russian threat to Europe, claims that Russian media are “interfering in our democracy” serve to brand Russia as an aggressive enemy and thereby justify the huge NATO military buildup in Northeastern Europe, which is reviving German militarism and directing national wealth into the arms industry.

In some ways, the French election is an extension of the American one, where the deep state lost its preferred candidate, but not its power.  The same forces are at work here, backing Macron as the French Hillary, but ready to stigmatize any opponent as a tool of Moscow.

What has been happening over the past months has confirmed the existence of a Deep State that is not only national but trans-Atlantic, aspiring to be global. The anti-Russian campaign is a revelation.  It reveals to many people that there really is a Deep State, a trans-Atlantic orchestra that plays the same tune without any visible conductor. The term “Deep State” is suddenly popping up even in mainstream discourse, as a reality than cannot be denied, even if it is hard to define precisely.

Instead of the Military Industrial Complex, we should perhaps call it the Military Industrial Media Intelligence Complex, or MIMIC.  Its power is enormous, but acknowledging that it exists is the first step toward working to free ourselves from its grip.

 

As if the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign hadn’t been horrendous enough, here comes another one: in France. 

The system in France is very different, with multiple candidates in two rounds, most of them highly articulate, who often even discuss real issues. Free television time reduces the influence of big money. The first round on April 23 will select the two finalists for the May 7 runoff, allowing for much greater choice than in the United States.

But monkey see, monkey do, and the mainstream political class wants to mimic the ways of the Empire, even echoing the theme that dominated the 2016 show across the Atlantic: the evil Russians are messing with our wonderful democracy.

The aping of the U.S. system began with “primaries” held by the two main governing parties which obviously aspire to establish themselves as the equivalent of American Democrats and Republicans in a two-party system.  The right-wing party of former president Nicolas Sarkozy has already renamed itself Les Républicains and the so-called Socialist Party leaders are just waiting for the proper occasion to call themselves Les Démocrates. But as things are going, neither one of them may come out ahead this time.

Given the nearly universal disaffection with the outgoing Socialist Party government of President François Hollande, the Republicans were long seen as the natural favorites to defeat Marine LePen, who is shown by all polls to top the first round. With such promising prospects, the Republican primary brought out more than twice as many volunteer voters (they must pay a small sum and claim allegiance to the party’s “values” in order to vote) as the Socialists.  Sarkozy was eliminated, but more surprising, so was the favorite, the reliable establishment team player, Bordeaux mayor Alain Juppé, who had been leading in the polls and in media editorials.

Fillon’s Family Values

In a surprise show of widespread public disenchantment with the political scene, Republican voters gave landside victory to former prime minister François Fillon, a practicing Catholic with an ultra-neoliberal domestic policy: lower taxes for corporations, drastic cuts in social welfare, even health health insurance benefits – accelerating what previous governments have been doing but more openly. Less conventionally, Fillon strongly condemns the current anti Russian policy.  Fillon also deviates from the Socialist government’s single-minded commitment to overthrowing Assad by showing sympathy for embattled Christians in Syria and their protector, which happens to be the Assad government.

Fillon has the respectable look, as the French say, of a person who could take communion without first going to confession.  As a campaign theme he credibly stressed his virtuous capacity to oppose corruption.

Oops!  On January 25, the semi-satirical weekly Le Canard Enchainé fired the opening shots of an ongoing media campaign designed to undo the image of Mister Clean, revealing that his British wife, Penelope, had been paid a generous salary for working as his assistant. As Penelope was known for staying home and raising their children in the countryside, the existence of that work is in serious doubt.  Fillon also paid his son a lawyer’s fee for unspecified tasks and his daughter for supposedly assisting him write a book.  In a sense, these allegations prove the strength of the conservative candidate’s family values.  But his ratings have fallen and he faces possible criminal charges for fraud.

The scandal is real, but the timing is suspect.  The facts are many years old, and the moment of their revelation is well calculated to ensure his defeat.  Moreover, the very day after the Canard’s revelations, prosecutors hastily opened an inquiry.  In comparison with all the undisclosed dirty work and unsolved blood crimes committed by those in control of the French State over the years, especially during its foreign wars, enriching one’s own family may seem relatively minor.  But that is not the way the public sees it.

Cui bono

It is widely assumed that despite National Front candidate Marine LePen’s constant lead in the polls, whoever comes in second will win the runoff because the established political class and the media will rally around the cry to “save the Republic!”  Fear of the National Front as “a threat to the Republic” has become a sort of protection racket for the established parties, since it stigmatizes as unacceptable a large swath of opposition to themselves.  In the past, both main parties have sneakily connived to strengthen the National Front in order to take votes away from their adversary.

Thus, bringing down Fillon increases the chances that the candidate of the now thoroughly discredited Socialist Party may find himself in the magic second position after all, as the knight to slay the LePen dragon.  But who exactly is the Socialist candidate? That is not so clear.  There is the official Socialist Party candidate, Benoît Hamon. But the independent spin-off from the Hollande administration, Emmanuel Macron, “neither right nor left”, is gathering support from the right of the Socialist Party as well as from most of the neo-liberal globalist elite.

Macron is scheduled to be the winner. But first, a glance at his opposition on the left.  With his ratings in the single digits, François Hollande very reluctantly gave into entreaties from his colleagues to avoid the humiliation of running for a second term and losing badly.  The badly attended Socialist Party primary was expected to select the fiercely pro-Israel prime minister Manuel Valls.  Or if not, on his left, Arnaud Montebourg, a sort of Warren Beatty of French politics, famous for his romantic liaisons and his advocacy of re-industrialization of France.

Again, surprise.  The winner was a colorless, little-known party hack named Benoît Hamon, who rode the wave of popular discontent to appear as a leftist critic and alternative to a Socialist government which sold out all Holland’s promises to combat “finance” and assaulted the rights of the working class instead.  Hamon spiced up his claim to be “on the left” by coming up with a gimmick that is fashionable elsewhere in Europe but a novelty in French political discourse: the “universal basic income”.  The idea of giving every citizen an equal handout can sound appealing to young people having trouble finding a job. But this idea, which originated with Milton Friedman and other apostles of unleashed financial capitalism, is actually a trap.  The project assumes that unemployment is permanent, in contrast to projects to create jobs or share work.  It would be financed by replacing a whole range of existing social allocations, in the name of “getting rid of bureaucracy” and “freedom of consumption”. The project would complete the disempowerment of the working class as a political force, destroying the shared social capital represented by public services, and splitting the dependent classes between paid workers and idle consumers.

There is scant chance that the universal income is about to become a serious item on the French political agenda.  For the moment, Hamon’s claim to radicality serves to lure voters away from the independent left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon.  Both are vying for support from greens and militants of the French Communist Party, which has lost all capacity to define its own positions.

The Divided Left

An impressive orator, Mélenchon gained prominence in 2005 as a leading opponent of the proposed European Constitution, which was decisively rejected by the French in a referendum, but was nevertheless adopted under a new name by the French national assembly.  Like so many leftists in France, Mélenchon has a Trotskyist background (the Posadists, more attuned to Third World revolutions than their rivals) before joining the Socialist Party, which he left in 2008 to found the Parti de Gauche.  He has sporadically wooed the rudderless Communist Party to join him as the Front de Gauche (the Left Front) and has declared himself its candidate for President on a new independent ticket called La France insoumise – roughly translated as “Insubordinate France”. Mélenchon is combative with France’s docile media, as he defends such unorthodox positions as praise of Chavez and rejection of France’s current Russophobic foreign policy.  Unlike the conventional Hamon, who follows the Socialist party line, Mélenchon wants France to leave both the euro and NATO.

There are only two really strong personalities in this lineup: Mélenchon on the left and his adversary of choice, Marine LePen, on the right.  In the past, their rivalry in local elections has kept both from winning even though she came out ahead.  Their positions on foreign policy are hard to distinguish from each other: criticism of the European Union, desire to leave NATO, good relations with Russia.

Since both deviate from the establishment line, both are denounced as “populists” – a term that is coming to mean anyone who pays more attention to what ordinary people want that to what the Establishment dictates.

On domestic social policy, on preservation of social services and workers’ rights, Marine is well to the left of Fillon.  But the stigma attached to the National Front as the “far right” remains, even though, with her close advisor Florian Philippot, she has ditched her father, Jean-Marie, and adjusted the party line to appeal to working class voters.  The main relic of the old National Front is her hostility to immigration, which now centers on fear of Islamic terrorists. The terrorist killings in Paris and Nice have made these positions more popular than they used to be. In her effort to overcome her father’s reputation as anti-Semitic, Marine LePen has done her best to woo the Jewish community, helped by her rejection of “ostentatious” Islam, going so far as to call for a ban on wearing an ordinary Muslim headscarf in public.

A runoff between Mélenchon and LePen would be an encounter between a revived left and a revived right, a real change from the political orthodoxy that has alienated much of the electorate. That could make politics exciting again.  At a time when popular discontent with “the system” is rising, it has been suggested (by Elizabeth Lévy’s maverick monthly Le Causeur) that the anti-system Mélenchon might actually have the best chance of winning working class votes away from the anti-system LePen.

Manufacturing Consent

But the pro-European Union, pro-NATO, neoliberal Establishment is at work to keep that from happening.  On every possible magazine cover or talk show, the media have shown their allegiance to a “New! Improved!” middle of the road candidate who is being sold to the public like a consumer product.   At his rallies, carefully coached young volunteers situated in view of the cameras greet his every vague generalization with wild cheers, waving flags, and chanting “Macron President!!!” before going off to the discotèque party offered as their reward. Macron is the closest thing to a robot ever presented as a serious candidate for President.  That is, he is an artificial creation designed by experts for a particular task.

Emmanuel Macron, 39, was a successful investment banker who earned millions working for the Rothschild bank.   Ten years ago, in 2007, age 29, the clever young economist was invited into the big time by Jacques Attali, an immensely influential guru, whose advice since the 1980s has been central in wedding the Socialist Party to pro-capitalist, neoliberal globalism.  Attali incorporated him into his private think tank, the Commission for Stimulating Economic Growth, which helped draft the  “300 Proposals to Change France” presented to President Sarkozy a year later as a blueprint for government.  Sarkozy failed to enact them all, for fear of labor revolts, but the supposedly “left” Socialists are able to get away with more drastic anti-labor measures, thanks to their softer discourse.

The soft discourse was illustrated by presidential candidate François Hollande in 2012 when he aroused enthusiasm by declaring to a rally: “My real enemy is the world of finance!”.  The left cheered and voted for him.  Meanwhile, as a precaution, Hollande secretly dispatched Macron to London to reassure the City’s financial elite that it was all just electoral talk.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/10/emmanuel-macron-france-president After his election, Hollande brought Macron onto his staff. From there he was given a newly created super-modern sounding government post as minister of Economy, Industry and Digital affairs in 2014.  With all the bland charm of a department store mannequin, Macron upstaged his irascible colleague, prime minister Manuel Valls, in the silent rivalry to succeed their boss, President Hollande.  Macron won the affection of big business by making his anti-labor reforms look young and clean and “progressive”. In fact, he pretty much followed the Attali agenda.

The theme is “competitiveness”.  In a globalized world, a country must attract investment capital in order to compete, and for that it is necessary to lower labor costs.  A classic way to do that is to encourage immigration.  With the rise of identity politics, the left is better than the right in justifying massive immigration on moral grounds, as a humanitarian measure.  That is one reason that the Democratic Party in the United States and the Socialist Party in France have become the political partners of neoliberal globalism.  Together, they have changed the outlook of the official left from structural measures promoting economic equality to moral measures promoting equality of minorities with the majority.

Just last year, Macron founded (or had founded for him) his political movement entitled “En marche!” (Let’s go!) characterized by meetings with young groupies wearing Macron t-shirts.  In three months he felt the call to lead the nation and announced his candidacy for President.

Many personalities are jumping the marooned Socialist ship and going over to Macron, whose strong political resemblance to Hillary Clinton suggests that his is the way to create a French Democratic Party on the U.S. model.  Hillary may have lost but she remains the NATOland favorite. And indeed, U.S. media coverage confirms this notion.  A glance at the ecstatic puff piece by Robert Zaretsky in Foreign Policymagazine hailing “the English-speaking, German-loving, French politician Europe has been waiting for” leaves no doubt that Macron is the darling of the trans-Atlantic globalizing elite.

At this moment, Macron is second only to Marine LePen in the polls, which also show him defeating her by a landslide in the final round.  However, his carefully manufactured appeal is vulnerable to greater public information about his close ties to the economic elite.

Blame the Russians

For that eventuality, there is a preventive strike, imported directly from the United States.  It’s the fault of the Russians!

What have the Russians done that is so terrible?  Mainly, they have made it clear that they have a preference for friends rather than enemies as heads of foreign governments.  Nothing so extraordinary about that. Russian news media criticize, or interview people who criticize, candidates hostile to Moscow.  Nothing extraordinary about that either.

As an example of this shocking interference, which allegedly threatens to undermine the French Republic and Western values, the Russian news agency Sputnik interviewed a Republican member of the French parliament, Nicolas Dhuicq, who dared say that Macron might be “an agent of the American financial system”.   That is pretty obvious.  But the resulting outcry skipped over that detail to accuse Russian state media of “starting to circulate rumors that Macron had a gay extramarital affair” (The EU Observer, February 13, 2017).  In fact this alleged “sexual slur” had been circulating primarily in gay circles in Paris, for whom the scandal, if any, is not Macron’s alleged sexual orientation but the fact that he denies it.  The former mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe, was openly gay, Marine Le Pen’s second in command Florian Philippot is gay, in France being gay is no big deal.

Macron is supported by a “very wealthy gay lobby”, Dhuicq is quoted as saying.  Everyone knows who that is: Pierre Bergé, the rich and influential business manager of Yves Saint Laurent, personification of radical chic, who strongly supports surrogate gestation, which is indeed a controversial issue in France, the real controversy underlying the failed opposition to gay marriage.

The Deep State rises to the surface

The amazing adoption in France of the American anti-Russian campaign is indicative of a titanic struggle for control of the narrative – the version of international reality consumed by the masses of people who have no means to undertake their own investigations. Control of the narrative is the critical core of what Washington describes as its “soft power”.  The hard power can wage wars and overthrow governments.  The soft power explains to bystanders why that was the right thing to do.  The United States can get away with literally everything so long as it can tell the story to its own advantage, without the risk of being credibly contradicted.  Concerning sensitive points in the world, whether Iraq, or Libya, or Ukraine, control of the narrative is basically exercised by the partnership between intelligence agencies and the media.  Intelligence services write the story, and the mass corporate media tell it.

Together, the anonymous sources of the “deep state” and the mass corporate media have become accustomed to controlling the narrative told to the public.  They don’t want to give that power up.  And they certainly don’t want to see it challenged by outsiders – notably by Russian media that tell a different story.

That is one reason for the extraordinary campaign going on to denounce Russian and other alternative media as sources of “false news”, in order to discredit rival sources.  The very existence of the Russian international television news channel RT aroused immediate hostility: how dare the Russians intrude on our version of reality!  How dare they have their own point of view! Hillary Clinton warned against RT when she was Secretary of State and her successor John Kerry denounced it as a “propaganda bullhorn”.  What we say is truth, what they say can only be propaganda.

The denunciation of Russian media and alleged Russian “interference in our elections” is a major invention of the Clinton campaign, which has gone on to infect public discourse in Western Europe.  This accusation is a very obvious example of double standards, or projection, since U.S. spying on everybody, including it allies, and interference in foreign elections are notorious.

The campaign denouncing “fake news” originating in Moscow is in full swing in both France and Germany as elections approach.  It is this accusation that is the functional interference in the campaign, not Russian media.  The accusation that Marine Le Pen is “the candidate of Moscow” is not only meant to work against her, but is also preparation for the efforts to instigate some variety of “color revolution” should she happen to win the May 7 election. CIA interference in foreign elections is far from limited to contentious news reports.

In the absence of any genuine Russian threat to Europe, claims that Russian media are “interfering in our democracy” serve to brand Russia as an aggressive enemy and thereby justify the huge NATO military buildup in Northeastern Europe, which is reviving German militarism and directing national wealth into the arms industry.

In some ways, the French election is an extension of the American one, where the deep state lost its preferred candidate, but not its power.  The same forces are at work here, backing Macron as the French Hillary, but ready to stigmatize any opponent as a tool of Moscow.

What has been happening over the past months has confirmed the existence of a Deep State that is not only national but trans-Atlantic, aspiring to be global. The anti-Russian campaign is a revelation.  It reveals to many people that there really is a Deep State, a trans-Atlantic orchestra that plays the same tune without any visible conductor. The term “Deep State” is suddenly popping up even in mainstream discourse, as a reality than cannot be denied, even if it is hard to define precisely.

Instead of the Military Industrial Complex, we should perhaps call it the Military Industrial Media Intelligence Complex, or MIMIC.  Its power is enormous, but acknowledging that it exists is the first step toward working to free ourselves from its grip.

 

French elite chose their new pawn, Emmanuel Macron, former Director of Banque Rothschild

February 10, 2017

by Cosimo

The Short Version: In a shocker on Jan. 25, the French elite moved to destroy the right-wing candidate, François Fillon with a scandal that may be fake. The elite is clearing the way for their new pawn, Emmanuel Macron, a former Director of Banque Rothschild. Macron’s misdeeds are revealed here. The dissidents shine an unwanted light on the Macron-Rothschild connection and in return, the elite seemed to have gotten the police to put unspecified arrest charges against the well-known dissident Alain Soral. The FN will likely lose the second round of the elections. The Socialists, former pals of the elite, are running fourth in a field of four.

France: Scandal-Shock in the presidential race

Recall that in France, the April/May elections are for just the presidency. Legislative elections will follow in early June, but in the Fifth Republic, the President is extraordinarily powerful and the Senate and Chamber of Deputies are not.

On January 25, the French election campaign was thrown into turmoil when the oligarchs made it known that they had switched support to another candidate than the usual right-winger. Their tricks are quite visible no.

The background ins that France’s globalist elites are in a panic. As elites elsewhere are also in a panic, really. Across Europe in 2017, voters are ready to kick out the oligarchy’s pawns with elections in France, Italy, Germany and perhaps Holland. American just elected an anti-globalist president. That’s Huuuge!!

In France, the oligarchy finds itself cornered, which only happens once or twice a century. The National Front is at record strength, as anti-elite as ever. The French elite enjoyed service from the utterly fraudulent “Socialist” Party since the summer of 1914, but in the last 5 years, the “Socialists” set new records for unpopularity and have little chance of winning elections any time soon, if ever.

Why the Elites Turned on Fillon

A casual observer might think the French oligarchs would be happy with François Fillon, a regular politician from the party now known as Les Républicains. That’s the old UMP, with a fresh name in 2015 but nothing else changed. Fillon was Prime Minister in the right-wing and very pro-American Sarkozy government, 2007-2012. Fillon was a safe bet if the polls can be believed, they showed him winning the second round of elections, the “knock-out round.”

This comes as shock a to people, especially outside France, but the oligarchs have rejected Fillon. A list of his “defects” reveal a stubborn French patriot who defends Christians and family values, who wants French-Russian friendship, and who is not a dyed-in-the-wool Europhile. This ordinary right-wing politician didn’t support the Maastrich Treaty which is a foundational document of the EU. That was 1992, and since then he rebuilt bridges with the Europhile elite, or so people thought. Fillon wants to end the sanctions and he’s also calling for an EU-Russian conference to work out new security arrangements. Fillion is also supportive of Syrian Christians, who have been a main target of the terrorists. In 2015, he spoke at a meeting of 1600 supporters of this endangered minority. (http://www.lepoint.fr/politique/francois-fillon-se-mobilise-pour-les-chretiens-d-orient-24-06-2015-1939424_20.php)

It’s shocking how Christian churches have been so silent on this state-sponsored attack on their coreligionists. That silence means that Fillon has gone out on a limb in opposing the genocide of Christians because the US, France, Saudi Arabia, even Israel are up to their eyeballs in supporting the terrorists.

I could summarize it by quoting Gérard Bardy, current president of the Union de la Presse francophone-France (UPF) and an author of books on Charles De Gaulle. “In my latest book, “De Gaulle was Right, – The Vissionary” (Ed. Télémaque), I do not hesitate to say that F rançois is, to this day, the only heir to Gaullisme.” ( http://www.facebook.com/groups/161767340689246/ )

The oligarchs schemed quietly fo two years to build a brand-new candidate to oppose Fillon, but the immediate trigger may have been an interview which Fillon gave to both Le Monde and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, published January 22, so 3 days before January 25, when The Chained Duck quacked its bombshell allegation. ( http://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2017/01/22/francois-fillon-je-propose-une-alliance-europeenne-de-defense_5066975_3210.html )

January 25 the elite’s chosen date to rock France with this scandal. Le Canard Enchaîné claiming that Fillon, as a Senator put his wife and two adult children on his expense account as his aides. There is no doubt they were paid from his parliamentary expense account. This type of nepotism is common practice among French politicians on the left and on the right. The salaries are in the public record and it’s legal. This nepotism is only illegal if the relatives didn’t work to earn their salaries. At time of this writing, Fillon’s supporters claim there is no evidence He did anything illegal, and they say it’s all cooked up.

The oligarchs could have uncorked the scandal at any time in the last 20 years. They could have uncorked it before the LR primary of Nov. 20 and 27, which would have caused the victory of Nicholas Sarkozy. Why not December 1, after their favored candidate didn’t win ? The oligarchs were clever and disciplined. They waited out December and most of January so their scandal would gain the greatest effect. When Le Canard Enchaîné ran the scandal on Jan. 25, Les Républicains didn’t have enough time to replace Fillon with someone else. Alain Juppé, the runner-up in November understand what was afoot, that the oligarchs support Macron, so he ruled himself out of a second chance to be the LR candidate.

Even if the charge were true, it’s worth noting how artificial this scandal really is, because that artificiality reveals a deeper truth. This routine scandal has been magnified and allowed to be sat on, probably for many years, which would support a suspicion that the scandal was cooked up. It’s also crucial to keep the sense of scale. This scandal, if it’s true, cost French taxpayers €800,000 over ten years. By contrast, as w will see below, Macron’s scandal cost France at least €9 billion, so 100 times greater. The only way the oligarchs could inflate this relatively small account-padding into a career-destroying mega-story is because the elites own all of the mass media and have the power to turn any story into whatever size they want. This sizing is only partially based on the collective gullibility of their readers. Gullibility can be overcome with more repetition, as Goebbels noted in the 1940’s. To rephrase, compare €80,000 a year to the €14 billion a year revenues of Alstom’s power division, described below.

Emmanuel Macron, Director at Banque Privee Edmond de Rothschild S.A.

When the oligarchs pushed out Fillon, it became undeniable that Macron is their man, but in fact the process to create Macron the Candidate started two years ago.

Who is Macron ? Until he resigned on August 30, 2016, he was the «Ministère de l’Économie et des Finances» a second-tier post where he is best knows for a labor law which cuts salaries, allows employers to demand work on Sunday, and the usual right-wing stuff, but his greater importance is his contribution to the de-industrialization of France, where the giant, Alston was sold off to its American rival GE for a song). But since Macron also spent years as a Director at Banque Rothschild, he became a puppet of the rich and powerful, and they can work magic and turn Macron into a temporary somebody.

Macron and his Rothschild connection is really bad news for the French. Here is why:

The last time the Rothschilds put a puppet into the presidential office, it was to overthrow the great President Charles De Gaulle, who had become anti-imperialist. At the time, all the American Lügenpresse told us was that he kicked NATO out of France. In reality, De Gaulle’s offenses were far greater. Few Americans known that he used the prestige of his office to oppose the US wars in Southeast Asia. His speech in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (Sept. 1, 1966) is breathtaking in its deep and eloquent denunciation of the American Empire. A French transcript of that speech is at http://www.charles-de-gaulle.org/pages/l-homme/accueil/discours/le-president-de-la-cinquieme-republique-1958-1969/discours-de-phnom-penh-1er-septembre-1966.php The most important offense is that De Gaulle, as a French patriot, was not interested in a European Union where France would lose her sovereignty, and De Gaulle had managed to Make France Great Again with a strong economy based on industrial competitiveness. The cherry on the top was his remark that “Some people even feared that the Jews, until then scattered about, but who were still what they had always been, that is an elite people, sure of themselves and domineering, would, once assembled again on the land of their ancient greatness, turn into a burning and conquering ambition.” (press conference, Nov. 27, 1967 – in the wake of the 1967 War). The elites decided De Gaulle had to go.

The chosen tool was Georges Pompidou. Like Macron, Pompidou was a relative nobody, but he was a former Director-General of Banque Rothschild. Behind-the-scenes support was vital for Pompidou to stage an insider revolt against Charles De Gaulle. Once Pompidou became president, he gave La Banque de France over to private bankers in early 1973. Dissidents scathingly call the legislation «la Loi Pompidou, Giscard, Rothschild». Destroying the Bank Of France was a huge treason. From 1936-1973, the sovereign French government ran its Bank of France to serve the public. The government borrowed money for public works at little or no interest. Bank policies were designed to grow the economy. Public Banking. It was the key to creating “The Glorious Thirty”, the 30 years of postwar economic growth and prosperity (1945-1975). Stripping France of its national bank killed off that prosperity in a few short years.

So Pompideou stands as a great warning. When a Rothschild pawn is running for high office, the people should be very concerned about what comes next. Unfortunately, the French Lügenpresse swept all that under the rug and turned De Gaulle into first a bogeyman, and later a remote icon of history. The only people who bring to light how this is relevant today, and how France needs another De Gaulle are the French dissidents which I discuss below.

The French business press has mentioned that Macron was a Director of Banque Rothschild, but this is not much discussed. Only the dissidents give it the prominence it deserves.

The French public know two big bad things about Macron. Alstom and the Macron Law which attacks labor. The third, the Rothschild connection lies hidden in plain view.

Because the Macron Law it affects all working people in France, the polemics around it have attracted widespread attention. It allows top-down changes to labor contracts with the consent of whichever trade union represents 50% of the workers. It abolished the restrictions on Sunday work, an important item and a serious blow to family life – a strategic goal of anti-humanist liberals, since strong families are a basic protection against predatory capitalism. It ends the 35 hour work week and allow companies to demand 46 hours work for up to 12 weeks a year. This law is another attack on the working class, with the propaganda that it will increase employment.

Macron wrote this law, but in an endless string of frauds, the French media call it la Loi El Khomri even though El Khomri, the Labor Minister, didn’t help write it and seems to have opposed it. (fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myriam_El_Khomri) Macron says long and loud that he would have gone much further in this law, if political realities hadn’t restrained him.

The Alstom matter is more serious, really.

Macron’s role in the sell-off of Alstom is very strategic damage. It de-industrializes France.

With his portfolio in the “Socialist” government, Macron should have worked to prevent the sell-off of Alstom to GE. This stands as a second clear warning that Rothschild puppets can inflict serious damage.

Alstom was one of France’s few remaining high-tech dynamos, a key to French prosperity in the 21st Century. Nuclear reactors, high speed trains, electricity transmission, etc. GE has a similar set of industries, so the American giant offered to buy the nuclear power and electrical transmission part of Alstom for €12.35 billion, but not the train business. That was a paltry sum for businesses with an annual turnover of over €14 billion. Any businessman would understand GE’s initial offer as a fire sale price – but Alstom was not in distress. Even worse, after all the flim-flam such as a US Department Of “Justice” fine ($970 million) for bribing Indonesian officials, French share-holders ended up with less than €3.7 billion. French people made a public outcry and an effort to prevent losing this jewel, but to no avail. Macron should have prevented this catastrophe, and he did nothing because he’s a neoliberal with masters to please and – amazing at is seems – his French masters serve American masters. The American website, Counterpunch, ran a detailed story on Alstom two months ago, although it failed to highlight the role of Macron as the most responsible “Socialist” minster. Link:

Behind GE’s Takeover of Alstom Energy

Emmanuel Macron, the Candidate

In the last two years, the oligarchic press, the French Lügenpresse, has been trying to turn the nobody Macron into a major candidate, creating a big PR campaign. The French website Le Vent Se Leve (The Wind Rises) has a good short exposé at http://lvsl.fr/medias-ont-fabrique-candidat-macron “How The Medias Fabricated Macron The Candidate”. The exposé note that more articles were published about Macron than all three of the other “Socialist” candidates combined, a peer group that included Hamonthe “Socialist” presidential candidate. Polling data from before this campaign started, in late 2014, shows only 6% of the public considered Macron as a serious candidate. The way the glossy press portrayed him, you’d think the 1970’s pop star, Johnny Halliday, was being created all over again. Minus the good mood music and the Ford Mustang driving-on-the-beach commercial, however.

In April 2016, Macron started a political movement,“En Marche”, and it was clear he was preparing for a presidential run and he was soliciting campaign money. When he resigned on Aug. 30, President Hollande called him “a methodical traitor” so the bridge to the “Socialist” Party was truly burned. What’s curious, so odd and artificial, is that Macron waited until November 16 to announce his run for the presidency. That delay indicates Macron has run a stealth campaign.

Macron’s ties to Rothschild are in the French media if you know to search it out, but the ties don’t get the prominence and the analysis that it should. The Lügenpresse describes Macron as an “independent centrist.” He is “independent” of everything – except the oligarchs. “Centrist”? Really ? No, this label is as meaningless in France as anywhere. There’s only one polite label for Macron; he is a neoliberal. That means fundamentalist capitalism where, without exaggeration, nothing matters except the accumulation of capital.

Alain Soral, the Dissident Who Must Be Silenced

The critical importance of the French dissidents is that they make the connection between Macron and Rothschild, as well as Pompidou to Rothschild. The dissidents are the only people in France who describe 1968 as a Color Revolution created by hidden networks, and the dissidents also lead the way in describing De Gaulle as a great patriot, when the mass media tries to paint him as an authoritarian nut, just some obscure old general. A lot hinges on how people evaluate “1968”. It was sold, then and now, as being spontaneous, anti-authoritarian, romantic, etc. It was a great sales job and only the dissidents unravel the marketing of “May, 1968”.

The dissidents are a major force in France. Their main power is word of mouth. They are sprinkled throughout France, at most income levels and ethnicities, so they can bend the ear of non-political French citizens. I estimate there are about 250,000 dissidents, and obviously Alain Soral one of the most prominent. The main dissident web site is egaliteetreconciliation.fr/ and it averages 144,000 unique visitors a day. Almost none of this is in English. This is French nationalism at work and one of their goals is preservation of French culture and French language.

If ever the French oligarchs needed to suppress the dissidents, it’s now. The arguments of the dissidents are strong, but their biggest obstacle has been the passivity of the French people. Passivity is ending in France as it is elsewhere. So the elite decided it was time to call in the police.

The French police have been trying to arrest Alain Soral since Thursday, Feb. 2. The police haven’t stated why they want to arrest him, but the leaders of the “Socialist” government have said in just so many words, that they want to permanently silence Soral and Dieudonné. To quote Valls, the recently departed prime minister, “Death! … Uh, I mean social death!” So yeah, the oligarchs want the dissidents silenced for the duration of the elections.

Soral and fellow dissidents have been on the receiving end of a concerted campaign of intimidation with arrests and trumped-up civil suits. This has been going on for a decade and it’s a case of attempted murder social death by a thousand cuts. It drains the dissidents of money and energy.

Unlike the US, France does not have free speech. Some topics can’t be discussed openly without fear of arrest. Comments which can be interpreted as racist, as “hate speech”, or as “supporting terrorism”, or merely as revisions of details from the official history of the Holocaust, or simply annoying a few well-connected Jews, are all prosecutable under French law. In the US, back in the old days when free speech was not all that free, we had gray zones for artistic license, for humor, and for speaking when reporters were not present. France never developed these gray zones because they had free speech from 1881 until the new laws of 1972 and 1990 slowly crept up on them.

One example can give you an idea how this works. Dieudonné, an Afro-French humorist fills large halls at all his performances, at 50 Euro a ticket. He’s extremely talented, insightful, and his humor is gentle and fierce. This is all too dangerous and subversive. For a Facebook posting, he was sentenced to 200 days in jail or 30,000 Euros fine, reduced on appeal to 2 months or 10,000 Euros. After the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack, he posted, «Je me sens Charlie Coulibaly.» “I feel like Charlie Coulibaly.” It was a hybrid name. Charlie for Charlie-Hebdo, the humor magazine where the victims had worked. Like Dieudonné , they had been humorists, and Dieudonné understood that not everyone likes funny men. Coulibaly, supposedly one of the terrorists, was AfroFrench. Well, Dieudonné is Afro-French, too. Dieudonné said he was trying to do the Christian thing and to lovingly reconcile these two opposites which he said he also finds within himself. He told the court that he “condemned the terrorist attack, holding back nothing, and without any ambiguity.” The upshot is that in France, the government decides what’s funny.

Soral’s Views On The Election

In an interview on Saturday, Alain Soral had some interesting comments. https://youtu.be/Yl2TBBy3HII

Soral says the globalists are very concerned after Trump’s election and “the loss of America”. They believe they have no choice but to hold on to France «à tout prix», “at any cost.” He says the Empire is in panic mode because Hamon, Fillon, and the FN are all against the globalists.

Soral says the “globalist oligarchy” expected and wanted Juppé to win the LR primary. For them, Fillon is “too French, too Catholic, and not submissive towards the Empire.” He notes that the attacks on Fillon are coming from the globalist right-wing, not – as you’d expect – from the left. The globalists see Fillon, even with his Bilderberger membership, as a member of the “grande bourgeoisie” and too close to Putin. So the oligarchs need Macron and they are doing everything to puff up Macron “who incarnates the candidate of the Empire.” Soral says Macron is a nobody, an of course the Empire magnifies Macron’s small accomplishments into the serious doings of a serious candidate, the same as they did with Manuel Valls before they had to dump him Easily made, easily broken, like a pie in the Mary Poppins musical.

French Polls

Let me end this essay by asking what the polls do or do not reveal. First what do the polls say, and then the question of their credibility.

Broadly, the polls claim that Marine Le Pen will be the victor in the first round, with 29% or so of the vote. But in the second and decisive round, she will be defeated, either by Macron with 66% of the vote, or by Fillon with 58%. These are approximate numbers from an assortment of polls. So all the polls say the NF will not gain the presidency.

However, it’s a serious question to ask if these polls are credible. The American pollsters lied outrageously during the 2016 campaign. I hindsight, we can see this was a cross-organizational attempt to create an electoral reality with the use of well-coordinated lying. This stunt was also international and crossed channels. Three weeks before the elections, Paddy Power, an Irish betting firm, “called the election” for Clinton and paid off all the bets on her, saying there was no point in waiting. They paid out a few million needlessly. One can only speculate how Paddy Power was reimbursed, in cash or in more favorable treatment of internet betting,; it’s trivial, really. So the manipulation of perceptions is not just a theory, it’s a fact.

A history of honesty isn’t worth a lot in a very high stakes situation, which is what we have here.

French polls must raise and then answer three questions. First, were citizens really candid with pollsters who represent the establishment ? Second, which people will actually go to the voting urns, and third, how can the pollsters estimate the stay-at-homes ?

At the March, 2014 municipal elections, French voters stayed home in record numbers, causing a tidal wave of losses for the “Socialists”. They lost towns they had held for 100 years. The polls were wrong because voters boycotted the “Socialist” Party that ignored the working people. In 2014, the FN only gained 2 or 3 towns and a modest number of seats. But in the last 3 years, as the economic crisis grinds on, the FN has gained voters and more legitimacy. So it’s harder to rule out an FN victory.

There’s no need to mention Jean-Luc Mélenchon, of the Left Party. Fringe leftists get more coverage than they have electoral prospects.

Sign this petition to arrest George Soros.

Issue an International Arrest Warrant for George Soros | We the People: Your Voice in Our Government

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The petition states:

George Soros is a menace to the free world and stands in the way of making America great again. He is guilty of the following crimes:

1) Financially supports open sedition in major American cities resulting in millions of dollars of property damage as well as loss of life.

2) Attempts to manipulate democratic elections by donating millions of dollars to his preferred candidates.

3) Seeks to curtail American sovereignty. In his own words: “The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States … Changing [the] attitude and policies of the United States remains my top priority.”

4) Is a currency manipulator. Soros initiated a British financial crisis by dumping 10 billion sterling, forcing the devaluation of the currency and gaining a billion-dollar profit.

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