The Yellow Vest Salpêtrière Hospital hoax: I reported live from there as it happened

May 05, 2019

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

The Yellow Vest Salpêtrière Hospital hoax: I reported live from there as it happened

The French government has been forced to shamefully admit that they made totally false accusations that May Day Yellow Vest anti-government protesters tried to break into the Pitié Salpêtrière Hospital in order to “attack”, “assault” and “steal”. Countless mainstream media are just as covered in ignominy for having repeated these untrue claims.

I was right there when it happened, covering it for PressTV, so I witnessed exactly what transpired.

In fact, I even gave a live interview at the exact time of the incident, just after 4pm. I don’t have a copy of that for now, but I hope to get one soon: certainly, I can explain what happened and why.

Why it happened: A new rule permitting even worse police brutality against Yellow Vests

May 1st was the debut of a new policing tactic: cops can initiate violence against peaceful protesters.

It is just that objectively simple, openly discussed, and easy to explain:

Cops are now using the age-old method of “divide and conquer”… on peaceful protesters. On May 1st a line of riot cops repeatedly charged the demonstrators in order to sever them into two, more manageable sections. One section of the protest is forced to advance, while the other section is forced to wait behind.

Of course, police are not watching their elbows and politely saying, “Excuse me” – the only way to stop peaceful demonstrators from moving is to violently get in their way and then violently bar them from advancing one more step. That is “initiating violence”, and they didn’t used to do that with the regularity we saw on May 1.

The cops did this at the start of the demonstration at 2pm, and to achieve their goal of cutting the demo into two sides they gassed about 5-8,000 people. I was doing a live interview at that time as well (I don’t have a copy of that one, but I do have others from that day, read on for the link!). It was so violent and so shocking – tear gas forcing thousands of people to flee – that I had to talk (yell) for 20+ minutes live, giving myself a temporary headache. We almost had to turn and run, but we stood our ground: I take no credit, of course, but when cops advanced as far as journalists reporting live they finally relented and let the demonstration proceed, as they had set up an unprecedented, shockingly-narrow, cop-filled corridor tens of thousands of people had to slowly pass through. Happy International Workers’ Day!

Back to 4pm: the cops again cut the demonstration, and they did so right in front of the hospital. So, firstly, if anyone is at fault for putting the hospital in the line of fire it is the riot cops because they chose to re-initiate violence at that particular spot.

Why that spot? Because Boulevard de l’Hôpital was the final straightaway until the end of the protest – the roundabout Place d’Italie: the government’s new tactic also meant they wanted to allow the first group of protesters (the most hard core) to enter Place d’Italie all alone… so they could be gassed, attacked and cleared out before for the next section of protesters arrived. Gas, attack and clear out; gas, attack and clear out Place d’Italie – this happened three times (in my estimation, but I was only there for numbers 2 and 3). This is the result of the new, so called “more offensive” police tactics.

Why do that? Because the government did not want the protest – 40,000 strong – to finish together, in celebration. The government was threatened by this large gathering, so they simply did not allow it to happen.

This explains why when I finally got to Place d’Italie it was a bizarre, desolate, damaged ghost town. Construction barricades had been toppled and damaged, along with advertisements and bus stops, there was garbage, glass and tear gas canisters everywhere… yet no people. Just an empty Place d’Italie, surrounded by cops at all eight exits.

Allow me to say this: I have never seen more cops that day in Paris. This was a city under foreign occupation, truly.

Entire regions of the city were rendered inaccessible to citizens, with armored vehicles and enormous temporary, metal gates blocking off road after road after road. But the number of cops… staggering. There was a squadron of riot police every 200 meters along the demonstration route, which was limited to a tiny section; so small, in fact, that I started my day at Place d’Italie at 11 am, covering the first demo (ecological protesters, of course, who only want to make their stupid complaints and then leave – quite pleased with themselves – before the violence starts), only to return there at the end of the day. Yes, it was back and forth along the only, narrow, permitted path to celebrate International Workers’ Day in the “birthplace of human rights”. This is why there was not more violence that day – cops were everywhere.

But wait, it’s worse! I actually drove in from 130 kilometers outside Paris that day: there were rural gendarmes searching cars and people (without warrants, based only on suspicion) at every toll booth and gas station. They waved me through, each time, without searching me.

What went down at the hospital

So the cops cut the demo at 14h, the start, and then they did it at again at 16h. I was in the group forced to wait behind, stuck in front of the hospital, as the first group was getting their butts kicked at Place d’Italie while waiting for comrades who would never be allowed to join them. May 1st was a demonstration in stages, and only in certain places – certainly not “freedom of assembly”.

So to cut the demo into two means to separate friends from each other – that creates anger. The cops have no fear of provoking anger because they have tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons, truncheons and the power to arrest against totally unarmed protesters… and that’s exactly what they did at 16h.

It was a rough 30 minutes. I was at the front lines and I’ve seen worse in France, but it was no picnic either.

Cops launched tear gas first, as always, to repel the protesters from the separation line they were undemocratically enforcing. Tear gas, then water cannons, and then hand-to-hand combat – it’s the same thing I’ve seen since 2010, but I assume this existed in France long before then: this is the culture here.

So, via tear gas, cops caused a third of the protesters to flee into a side street (Rue des Wallons), while another third fled further back on the Boulevard de l’Hôpitaux, while the final third was pushed against the side gates of the now-infamous Hôpitaux Universitaires Pitié Salpêtrière. This is where the cops made their mistake (although this is all mistakes in preserving citizen security): they tear-gassed protesters who had nowhere else to go. Some panicked protesters somehow got through the side gates and entered into the hospital grounds.

And it was “panicked protesters” – subsequent videos have proven that it was not “Black Bloc” nor even Yellow Vests who forced their way into the hospital. The only people who actually made it into the hospital were just two elderly men who said they had been “tear gassed all day”. The video has made the government and the mainstream media appear even more terrible and pathetic. Not much more needs to be said….

More interesting: Why even try to get into the hospital? It’s a stupid move, like running upstairs in a horror movie – you have nowhere to go; you are sure to be arrested and/or abused. But those protesters couldn’t think that far ahead, because they were frightened, gassed, hurt, simple everyday citizens and not Black Bloc, cops or that other group which straddles both those groups – journalists.

Of course, there were no TV reporters during this long melee. There were plenty of photographers and some cameramen, and surely some print reporters, but not any TV reporters. Maybe all these journalists were working for a company, or maybe they were working for independent Yellow Vest blogs – who can tell? However, as is often the case at the front lines, I was the only one with a logo and doing a live interview.

I take that back: a lady for Italy’s RAI was there during all this. She was doing her “piece to camera”, the little wrap-up for a TV report – not a live interview. Major kudos, though.

French media on the front line? Ha! Dream on!

I don’t know why – they could be. They could hire 3 security guards (instead of the usual 1 or 2), and then 3 ombudsman to explain to (very likely angry and confrontational) protesters, “We are here now! We are trying to do a good job for France! Don’t get violent with us, please!” Maybe that’s naïve of me, but totally hiding from the front line – hiding the reality of what’s going on at the front lines for everyday citizens, such as those trapped at Hospital Pitié Salpêtrière – only further ruins the reputation of French media within France. Don’t they feel an obligation to report on such an event properly… in their own damned country?!

And then they so quickly relay whatever the government wildly claims without any verification. Oh boy….

Please stop the tear gas – I’m live on TV

The hand-to-hand combat: Tougher protesters had wanted to… keep marching. That’s all. But riot police violence prevented them and attacked them – so they fought back.

Such “resistance” is really quite, quite stupid, I think – I mean, both sides keep the kid gloves on. And thank God, because it’s not even close to a fair fight: every square inch of the bodies of cops are protected with 8,000 euros worth of equipment; cops have been searching for weapons from a 130 kilometer-wide radius around Paris, so nothing can even the playing field; protesters have none of the cops tactical knowledge, organization or discipline. Hand-to-hand means a cat and mouse game and very quick skirmishes.

I recall that, amid the melee, there was a teenager dressed in black tossing a rock up and down, like a gangster flipping a quarter on a street corner.

Stupid….

A plainclothes cop – dressed as if he was a fellow Black Bloc member – dropped his phony act: he grabbed the kid and threw him to the ground with 100% of his force. Hey, the kid was holding a rock like a weapon and looking like he was about to use it – the kid was dead to rights, and by showing off he gave the cops time to think and react. As they dragged him away I thought: Poor kid – he’s going to prison for a year or so. Some might be surprised that a cop would – gasp! – dress up as a Black Bloc member: Why that never happens! Yeah, sure….

Anyway, about a minute later – amazingly – the kid actually breaks free! He’s running away!

But a cop trips him up and the first, arresting officer hits the kid on the ground on his thigh with his telescopic truncheon as hard as anything you can imagine. Punches sound nothing like they do in movies, of course, but the sound of this hit was enormous. If the cop had hit the kid’s knee it would have been shattered – thankfully, the human femur is stronger than concrete. The kid surely has a nasty, nasty mark and a limp today.

Good ending: The kid still jumped the short garden fence on the west side of the Boulevard and got away. LOL… kids.

During this whole time I am dodging all this and waiting to go live on (smartphone) camera. My cameraman is dodging too. PressTV, which doesn’t seem to understand that I am avoiding the wild crowd along the hospital gate, the arrests and beatings across from the gate, and the cops further up the boulevard who can attack, gas or water cannon us at any moment, keeps pushing us back because they want a “stable shot”. LOL, yeah right. Amid this fluid situation?! Where I was just “stable” a rock just landed!

They want me to stand there – stock still – amid this violence, LOL. Just put me on air, already!

But PressTV is still waiting – I move to the side of hospital gate. Cops gas there again. I’m not going in the hospital grounds, but some do. Various ministers, reporters and know-nothings at home will soon be calling them bad little boys and girls… until the truth comes out.

One has to realize that during a bad gassing there is only one thought: get away from the gas. Certainly, LOL, you cannot do a single other thing until you complete that task.

Then there is – maybe – a second thought: if cops charge and attack now, I am totally helpless and done for.

That’s why ya gotta know these things, and avoid being right where the gassings land; ya gotta think a step or two ahead; ya gotta not celebrate your survival, as if it was some huge victory, because more gas (or worse) is coming. It takes time to learn this stuff – a couple dozen people haven’t had good luck and lost an eye, while over 600 have been seriously injured. Reminder: the weekly anti-Yellow Vest violence is nearing a half-year now! A half-year!!!

Anyway, I get away from the re-gassed hospital gate, and PressTV finally puts me on the air. I’m thrilled, because I want to get this live interview over with. So, I’m between the line of cops higher up Boulevard de l’Hôpitaux, and across from the hospital (Rue des Wallons) where the cat-and-mouse, will-they-or-won’t they is taking place, and I’m doing my live blah blah.

Blah blah is done, and all is well. I had been gassed several times in 30 minutes – medics kindly spraying my face with cooling solvent at one point – but I could tell the fight was ending, as it can’t go on forever. The cops finally get the order to pull back and stop antagonizing and attacking this section of the protest.

I didn’t know this at the time, but they had gotten these orders only because they had sufficiently gassed, attacked and cleared out the first protest section at Place d’Italie.

The protesters are thrilled – they have “won”… by not losing an eye or being arrested. Little victories for the oppressed masses. Cops are slowly pulling back, and the protesters all congregate in front of a group riot cops and start singing a chant. I forget what – On est la (We are here), probably.

Stupid. (But I did join in for a short minute.)

They’re just going to get gassed again. I tell my cameraman that this is not the place to be – indeed, it’s all about knowing where’s the place to NOT be! The crowd is singing louder, and it reaches a point where it’s either dance or fight, and the French don’t dance even though they are a Latin culture. Therefore, I know that someone in the crowd is going to do something to offend or antagonize the cops – or the cops will just get annoyed at the crowd’s sense of triumph – and gas will arrive shortly. Everyone is celebrating, but we are moving… and more gas arrived where we had just been. I had gotten my fair share of abuse by then.

Thanks to my press card the cops let us through and we enter Place d’Italie early.

Hey, I am not obligated to document and witness every tear gassing! LOL, this is France – that’s impossible. And there are other journalists, both good ones and bad ones.

This was the exact time when a cop was filmed throwing a rock at protesters, which is generating some news. Indeed, as we had passed the police line I had noticed that up and down Boulevard de l’Hôpitaux protesters had pried off chunks of road asphalt – they are being attacked and have no weapons, let’s recall. Nothing will happen to that cop, who should be fired immediately. It is ABSOLUTELY the primary part of the job description of a “riot cop” to take punches and not give them… but that’s only in a country which is honest, which enforces law and order, which doesn’t sic the cops on the protesters, etc.

Place d’Italie is totally empty, except for a thousand or so cops, and it’s a wreck. Me and my cameraman speculate on the possibility of an alien abduction of the first protest group.

The protest section we were with starts to filter in: we’re all gassed immediately.

That pushes us to one side of the roundabout, and that allows cops to push them all out. Ah, so there probably wasn’t an alien abduction? Coulda been nice, maybe….

We stay, because we have an interview at 18h.

So it’s 18h and here I am – getting gassed live on camera again (6:50 mark). The wind had shifted and it was on us quickly… but I have a tolerance to tear gas after all these years.

PressTV takes me off camera… that’s so annoying. What am I getting gassed for, then? We want to show the sufferings of the people – so show it! If we aren’t going to show it, then I can just stay in back with all the other journalists!!!

But ya gotta be at the front – at least sometimes. Protesters gotta see professional journalists are there to (somewhat) protect them, and cops gotta see that professional journalists are there to document what they do.

It’s a real shame more reporters aren’t doing live reports from the front lines, because cops know they can’t do anything to anyone on live TV – they surely are forced to rein in their violent tactics. It’s a real shame mainstream reporters (and I include PressTV with them, in a rare instance) aren’t going to the front line. Again, I am no courageous guy, I just feel that the Yellow Vests are nothing new: France’s Yellow Vests: It’s just 1 protest…which has lasted 8 years, was the first article I wrote on the Yellow Vests, and it stresses that this violence against peaceful protesters is absolutely, positively nothing new.

I’ve seen these “battles” before many, many times – and I think I know how to safely handle it. Knock wood for luck, but experience gives everyone – a reporter, a Black Bloc member, a cop – a sixth sense, and a genuine ability to predict what comes next because it is all rather formulaic (although not on May 1). I know I am not courageous, because I would never put my cameraman at risk; more importantly, I would never put his expensive camera at risk, and that shows you how well-paid we are when the camera is the utmost priority! No joke….

But French TV reporters weren’t at the front lines with the rail workers, with anti-State of Emergency protesters, with the “you can’t ban pro-Palestinian marches” protesters, and on and on and on in France since 2010.

That was, I assume, the last gassing of the day because right when I am gassed live you can see that unions and their fancy floats are starting to arrive – no more poor Yellow Vests.

Unions, of course, have signed off on every major austerity measure since 2010, and are incredibly easy to “divide and conquer” with targeted concessions… so cops surely just wanted to give them a nice Place d’Italie to stand around, talk loud and say nuthin’. This is why many Yellow Vests don’t want to march with unions, even on May Day.

At that point I left to go and do our report for that day.

All in all – not a bad day

I was expecting May Day to be bad – I was honestly concerned, as I do have things to live for besides these articles, you know – and it was pretty bad.

But it was only bad at the start and the finish – the massive, massive, massive police presence all along the route made any sort of “permanent shenanigans” impossible. That filtering corridor after the first protest-separating was appalling. May Day 2019 in France was like holding a march during a North Korean military parade, minus the great choreographed dances and true socialism.

It was also bad because it is much safer when the cops are playing defense, as they are supposed to always be doing, but on May Day they were playing offense. They have all the weapons, all the tactics, all the legal ability to whatever they want… and then a reporter – who invariably finds his or herself on both sides of the front line – has to worry about the cops, and also about rocks being thrown in his direction (at the cops). Whereas on a day like March 16, the last time the Champs- Élysées was a scene of civil disobedience, things are perfectly safe because everyone knows who the Yellow Vests are targeting and why. Cops… they can do whatever they want, and whenever they want – they respect nothing.

French reporters need to be at the front lines… but they aren’t. I’m sure editors tell them not to, and that they are told that by their publishers. But that’s why we got nonsense reporting which initially accused May Day protesters of breaking into a hospital to… do what? Burn, pillage and behead? Yeah, right….

Frankly, this new tactic of “initiate violence in order to divide and conquer peaceful protesters” is something which I can’t see the Yellow Vests being able to combat… but that’s the subject of a future article.

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. He is the author of Ill Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.

 

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French Muslim support of the Yellow Vests ignored by media

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

French Muslim support of the Yellow Vests ignored by media

Even though the Yellow Vest anti-government movement is historic in scope, duration and intensity, and even though Muslims compose 5-10% of France’s population, there has been almost zero media coverage of the interplay between these two forces.

Check Google in French or English and you truly find almost nothing. I have been waiting and waiting to do a story on this angle for Iran’s PressTV – I am their Paris correspondent – but there is simply no “news peg” from which we can start any report.

The reasons for this silence are due to a four key reasons but, mostly, it’s because the plight of Muslims and Yellow Vests are so obviously similar: just as French media ignores the Muslim community to promote violent misrepresentations instead, so they ignore the true substance of the Yellow Vests in favor of tabloid coverage.

For years I have talked with Nagib Azergui, who is the founder of the Democratic Union of French Muslims (English-language website here). This party is the most realistic political hope for France’s Muslims, and they seem certain to win seats in next month’s EU elections. They are not Islamists nor pushers of divisive identity politics – they are completely concerned with improving the lives of all French people. Secondarily, they have taken on a tough job – decontaminating Muslims in domestic French politics.

Azergui and I discussed why there is no media coverage of the Muslim Yellow Vests, and the level of support for the Yellow Vests in the French Muslim community.

French Muslims are indeed joining the Yellow Vests

I have covered the Yellow Vest demonstrations for months and I can assure you: there are plenty of Muslim Yellow Vests.

So why is there an impression that Muslims are not part of the movement? About the only thing we ever hear on the subject is: What a pity more Muslims didn’t show up.

“We heard the same complaints for the ‘Je Suis Charlie’ march for Charlie Hebdo,” said Azergui, referring to the attack on the satirical paper’s headquarters in 2015. “I was at the march with my children, and I saw many Muslims there.”

Azergui hits the nail on the head as to why Muslim Yellow Vests are hiding in plain sight from French media, which is hardly known for positive portrayals of Islam or Muslims.

“I think such statements reveal the subconscious image these commentators have of French Muslims – they expect us to show up wearing burkas, beards, African clothing, chanting slogans in Arabic and carrying signs in Arabic. But these types of Muslims are simply not representative of the average Muslim in France.”

So the first reason behind this false idea that there are no Muslim Yellow Vests is that many commentators are looking for caricatures – not French Muslims.

Muslims in France look very much like regular French people because they are regular French people.

A Black or Arab Yellow Vester does not stick out, mainly because all Yellow Vests look the same – they are wearing shiny Yellow Vests!

Let’s not forget that Muslims are a minority – there is about the same percentage of Muslims as there are people with red hair in often-Celtic France. Frankly, I have seen a million Yellow Vest faces and I can’t recall a single redhead – should I ask, “Why aren’t Celtic French supporting the Yellow Vests?” Of course, redheads are surely present… and often with plenty of Celtic-pride paraphernalia.

So the only way Muslims could get attention at Yellow Vest demonstrations is by being “excessively Muslim”… but such a thing is rather absurd, will not happen, and would certainly be dangerous – Muslim-pride paraphernalia would only attract negative attention, and Muslims already get enough of that.

Zero doubt among Muslims: when the truncheons fly, Muslims will get hit first

And the truncheons do fly every Saturday.

French police simply love to abuse Muslims: an estimated 70% of their prisoners are from Muslim backgrounds. French police simply love to abuse Yellow Vests. Police violence is guaranteed at which ever city is the week’s “focus”.

So the sight of a Muslim Yellow Vester makes many cops salivate. It also makes judges salivate at sentencing time.

Muslims would be the first victims of police brutality,” confirmed Azergui. “They are always the sacrificial lambs in France, so why would it be any different at the Yellow Vest protests?

On April 20th the police abuse was constant in Paris. Medics were working overtime as people were dropping like flies, but I only saw one unconscious person carried out on a stretcher – he was Black and thus quite possibly a Muslim, of course.

This guarantee of a double helping of both police brutality and judicial impunity is the second reason, but likely the most important reason, why Muslims might not be so eye-catching at Yellow Vest demonstrations.

This violence adds to the media silence – talking about Muslims and Yellow Vests would have to break the taboo against honest discussion of the institutionalised state violence towards the Muslim community.

Sad but true: one of the “great” things about the Yellow Vests is that it’s not only Muslims who are being brutalised anymore.

“France is starting to wake up to reality,” said Azergui. “When 4,000 Muslim families had their homes raided without a warrant during the State of Emergency, France didn’t care about police violence. There are so many images and videos which show how French cops abuse old people, women and innocent people – this is something Muslims live with daily. How could Muslims not have solidarity with such a movement?

Azergui’s thoughts reminded me of the case of Ali Ziri, a 69-year old Algerian native who was infamously beaten to death by French cops in 2009. Police violence is a real taboo in France, and by taking so many beatings the Yellow Vests are helping out their Muslim brothers and sisters.

Yellow Vests haven’t done enough to reach out to Muslims

The Yellow Vests are absolutely not an Islamophobic movement because none of their demands are steeped in religion or ethnicity. Their demands are economic, political and social – this is a class-based struggle.

The idea that because the Yellow Vests are a rural-based movement that they must be latently Islamophobic is absolutely false – in the 21st century there are at least a few Muslims in seemingly every tiny French village. Such accusations only reveals prejudice against rural people, and certainly in France and the West it is very au courant for urbanites to look down on small-town people as a “basket of deplorables”.

The Yellow Vests only trust other Yellow Vests – the only color they see is Yellow. As a worker for Iranian government media I am routinely persona non grata at many fake-leftist demonstrations, and even truly leftist ones, due to Iranophobia and Islamophobia. The only demonstrations I am welcomed at in France are for pro-Palestinians… and now the Yellow Vests, too. So I have no doubt – Muslims are welcome at Yellow Vest gatherings.

However, Yellow Vests have made some mistakes, and also failed to take some proper measures. At the very start of the movement Yellow Vests infamously turned in asylum-seekers to authorities, give the initial impression that extreme-right contaminated the Yellow Vests.

“The Yellow Vests are not a structured movement, but they have not done a good job repudiating some Islamophobic acts and disassociating themselves from Islamophobia completely. They just said, ‘Well, there are always some imbeciles in every crowd.’ That has left some lingering suspicions in the Muslim community.”

If the Yellow Vests would only organize a march dedicated to Muslim outreach I can promise – you will get at least one reporter there to help permanently dismiss this false accusation of Islamophobia. The rest of the French media… they might not be so interested in reporting it accurately.

Yellow Vests certainly do plenty of other demonstrations dedicated to certain themes and issues. It was absolutely necessary for the Yellow Vests to march in February against the absolutely false accusation that they were anti-Semitic. That was all a ruse to pave the way for Macron’s announcement that he would criminalise anti-Zionism – but we can understand why Muslims said to each other, “And where’s the march for us?”

Indeed, where? Why not?

The third reason for the lack of publicised interchange between the Yellow Vests and Muslims is that many Muslims may have been put off by the false propaganda campaigns of the Mainstream Media, and because we have yet to see a real Muslim outreach from the Yellow Vests.

Massive support for Yellow Vests from Muslims, even if sometimes from afar

When I asked Azergui if Muslims support the Yellow Vests he answered, “Yes,” before I had even finished the question.

In an unfortunate but perhaps real sense, many Muslims feel that they are best helping the Yellow Vests by staying out of it.

“If Muslims showed up and there were fights and destruction of property, we know the media would say these are ‘violent Islamists’, and this would only hurt the image of the Yellow Vests. We have already even heard this type of discourse.”

Azergui is right – last year there were absurd conspiracy theories that the Muslim Brotherhood was orchestrating the Yellow Vests – but Muslims simply must participate anyway.

That brings us to our fourth reason why Muslims haven’t attended Yellow Vest demonstrations in huge numbers – Muslims have never been allowed, encouraged or motivated to participate in French politics, so why would this time be any different?

Muslims were hidden underground in France for decades, after all. Their coming out party wasn’t until 1985 with the Touche pas mon pote (Don’t touch my buddy) campaign. The arrival of Nicolas Sarkozy as Interior Minister, then the mainstreaming of Islamophobia under Francois Hollande, then Macron’s normalisation of the Muslim-targeting State of Emergency – all this has reinforced to Muslims that their participation in French politics is neither useful nor desired.

So, of course the French media doesn’t want to talk about the Muslims and the Yellow Vests, because it only reminds France of their total failure to include the Muslim community in politics. And they like dominating, controlling and suppressing Muslims – let’s not act as if neo-imperialism is not alive and well in France.

So let’s not pretend that Mainstream Media really cares about Muslims and democracy, nor mainstream politicians: Despite all the Muslims in France, Macron no longer has a single Muslim minister in his cabinet. If Marine Le Pen had won the election she’d surely at least have a token Muslim minister….

Yellow Vests and Muslims are the two largest groups in France which suffer from socioeconomic marginalization – there is no doubt that they will be open political allies, eventually. We have 5 months of proof – the far-right contamination of the Yellow Vests was drastically overstated; by reaching out to Muslims immediately, the movement can even further display their leftist, progressive, class basis.

But there are obviously a raft of obstacles keeping Muslims from openly joining the Yellow Vest movement, mainly: mainstream media, mainstream politicians, and backwards policing and judicial methods. But not individual (nor collective) Yellow Vests.

The reality is that if the Yellow Vest movement does not adopt an open policy of anti-Islamophobia it will never succeed – how can it succeed when such a huge part of the company is not fully involved? Nor can it be considered a truly leftist movement – how can it be if race, religion or ethnic culture is prioritised over class?

However, it is truly leftist and it will succeed, I feel.

It is not a question of “who has to make the first step”, because Muslims are already involved with the Yellow Vests. However, both sides need to increase their cooperation and outreach for the good of France, the Eurozone, the European Union and the entire world.

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. He is the author of Ill Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.

The Blaze of Hate

 

APRIL 19, 2019

The Rabbis do not regret the Paris disaster. “It’s Divine punishment for burning the Talmud,” divines a prominent Jewish divine, the Bethel Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, about the Notre Dame fire. In 1242 the French investigated the Talmud, established that the codex contains volumes of hate speech, and finally burned 1200 codices in the square of the freshly-built Notre Dame Cathedral. “The time for punishment is here,” the Rabbi intones dramatically. Not so fast, Rabbi! If we must connect these two events – the historical burning of the Talmud and the recent destruction of the church, the real point of the story is that France once had a strong, virile immune system. That medieval destruction of that evil book built up a healthy immunity to Talmudic legalisms that helped the cathedral survive wars and revolutions for the magic number of 777 years. But nothing, alas, lasts forever: the resistance of the French people has exhausted itself.

Perhaps it’s time to re-inoculate the French people against Talmudic scheming. Maybe the nasty spirit of Talmudic intolerance and Judaic supremacy should be exorcised once again from the heart of France for another 777 years. Mayhap the building of the replacement cathedral will inspire a new spirit of fidelity to Our Lady. But it’s not likely to happen. Indeed, in the present climate the French authorities are more likely to turn the burned wreckage of Notre Dame into the next Tolerance Museum.

777 years ago, a Jew who denied the Talmud, parted with Jewry, accepted Christ and entered the Church, Nicholas Danin exposed the kvetching Talmudic hate to a disputation that, shocked and bitterly offended, agreed to gather them up and burn them. In Macron’s France, Nicholas Danin would be dragged into court by LICRA (Ligue Internationale Contre le Racisme et l’Antisémitisme) and sentenced to jail, if not burned at the stake. Danin, not the Talmud, would be found guilty of hate speech if his judges had been trained, as we are, in philosemitism. Is there any reason to return the ruins of Notre Dame to the Catholic Church? Why not hand it directly over to CRIF (Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France).

In the same article the French-born Rabbi Shlomo Aviner reminds his followers that all Christian churches will eventually be destroyed (at least in Israel) – but the time is not ripe yet. As for the French cathedral, “we aren’t obligated to destroy it,” though “Christianity is the main enemy of the Jews.” A Jew is supposed to rejoice at the sight of a burned church and recite a special blessing of the Lord of Vengeance Who overturns the House of the Proud. Jewish power in France rises whilst the significance of the Church dwindles; the old cathedral had little chance to survive such a turn of fate. It will be rebuilt as something else: something not Catholic, something that is not a church. It will be designed to appeal to tourists; no need to consult the native Frenchmen. It is already being decided for them.

The destruction of the cathedral had been in the cards a long time. When the naked witches of Femen celebrated their black mass, abused the priests and flogged the venerable old bells in the Notre Dame towers, the French court immediately acquitted them of all charges and instead sentenced the guards who tried to stop the sacrilege. And yet even this was not enough for the enemies of the Church: for their bold blasphemy the Femen were presented with France’s 2017 International Secularism Award, their leader had a postage stamp issued in her honour and she served as the model for the French icon of Marianne. Dominique Venner, a French Catholic writer and historian, committed suicide in the cathedral in 2013 to alert his countrymen to the storm clouds threatening his beloved France, but all in vain.

In France, the relentless struggle against the church, led by the Jews and their allies, continues to bear fruit. In 2013, the government of Holland forced their citizens to accept gay marriage despite massive demos by French Catholics. The influence of LICRA in France exceeds even that of the ADL in America. Catholics like Soral and Dieudonné are now being sent to jail for offending Jewish sensitivities (and as you know, Jews can be very sensitive). They prosecute the Yellow Vests just as they persecute the Church and for the very same reason: both are made up of sturdy provincials who harken back to the days of Christian France.

The terrible blaze in Paris should be an ominous warning for the French: Reconnect with your Church! Save Her and cherish Her, for She may not always be with you. And who will save you when She has gone? The Church of France should reach out to the people by supporting the Yellow Vests against the anti-Christian government of Macron. His government did nothing to defend the Church and that fire didn’t come out of the blue. Macron is definitely guilty, if not by deed, then by criminal negligence. It’s too easy to imagine him toasting champagne at the news. We all should be wary of powerful people who are likely to rejoice at the destruction of our churches.

The previous campaigners against the church in France marshaled, as they did in the US, beneath the banner of ‘Paedophile Priests’. This clear-cut ad hominem (or should we say “canard”, or “trope”?) is aimed directly at the heart of the Church. No one says a word about the dishonesty of the jibe, they are too busy beating their breasts. Yet if you make mention of “Jewish crooks” you’ll have LICRA or its sister bodies pounding on your door. It might be that there are crooks who happen to be Jews, but that doesn’t make them ‘Jewish crooks’, they recite piously. And if you happen to say ‘Jewish crook’, you are guilty of antisemitism. But ‘Paedophile Priests’ is fine. And so the Church is forced to cleanse Herself, and the Jews are left alone, free to continue their self-destructive denouement.

Jews describe themselves as “a Nation of Priests”, the priests of the most anti-Christian faith on the planet. As the influence of the Jewish church waxes, the strength of the Christian church wanes. It is zero-sum-game.

Even those of us who aren’t interested in things spiritual can see history threatening to repeat itself. Whenever the forces of darkness prepare a new attack on mankind, they use their considerable artillery to shut down any potential resistance, and they always start by targeting their avowed enemy, the Church. This was the practice of the Third Reich as well: before starting the war, they began a timely campaign of ‘priests as sex fiends’ to bully the church into silent acquiescence. Our Fourth Reich has taken careful notes: the Church was against the war in Iraq; the Church was steadfast in her defence of Palestine; the Church is against the impending attack on Iran; the Church is implacably opposed to war with Russia. Obviously the Church must be brought to heel.

But the Church cannot be stained by the foul deeds committed Her servants. If a priest abuses a boy then the crime is his crime, not that of the Church. Likewise, if a soldier abuses a boy it is not the fault of the army, and if a politician abuses a boy the nation is not to blame. Since we now sue the Catholic Church for crimes committed by priests, shouldn’t we be able to sue her traditional competitor, the Jews, for every crime committed by a Jew? If the Church bears responsibility for “abusing priests”, maybe International Jewry should be responsible for “cheating Jews”? Or for war-mongering Jews? Or for Jews killing gentiles in Palestine?

A little bird tells me that modern Jews would never agree to accept collective responsibility. They regret their hubris when they stood before Pilate. Today’s Jews are ready to act as a collective in order to collect, but not to pay. Today’s generation of gentle church doves might learn a few pragmatic lessons from these wise old serpents on how to survive in this Jewish world.

A little advice: dismiss the alleged victims of last century’s clerical abuse. Send them home. I do not feel sorry for these late claimants. Why did they wait 20 years to complain? Children who are attacked scream and run home to parents and police. If they didn’t run and scream, it wasn’t an attack. Chalk it up to a clumsy pass by a pathetic amateur; an unpleasant, shameful experience to be sure, but one unlikely to be repeated with a firm rebuke. Blame yourself for sending mixed signals, and go on with your life. Join mankind: every one of us, even your mommy and daddy, suffered an unwanted kiss or an undesired embrace. The laws should be reasonable. Allowing 20-year old claims for unreported transgressions is not reasonable. Only an immediate accusation should be considered valid, and 24 hours is more than enough time in most cases to lodge a formal complaint.

If a crime has occurred, then of course the criminal should be punished. But let not the denouncer profit by his report of the crime. This is the necessary rule of justice. There was a time when a denouncer could claim a third of a denounced man’s property. Oftentimes we exceed even that in today’s litigious environment.

The “paedo” angle is misleading. What is “a child”? Are you revolted by Romeo and Juliet? As a good American citizen, you should be; Juliet was 14, and thus Romeo today would be tried and locked up as a “paedophile”, together with his accomplice the good Friar Laurence. Friar Laurence would surely be considered as an “abusing priest”, and a Dershowitz would collect a million ducats from the Diocese of Verona for his sin of arranging the lovers’ tryst. Edgar Allan Poe married a 14-year old, and if the present laws were in force the American poet would harken to his Raven’s “nevermore” in jail. The prophet Muhammad married nine-year-old Aisha, but Jacob, the Biblical patriarch, surpassed him and married Rachel who was only 7. In our modern world Jacob and Muhammad would be hunted down, extradited and jailed. It is possible that even better-placed Persons would not fare well when faced with today’s enlightened justice: the Mother of our Saviour was just 14 at Annunciation.

Greek tradition approves of mature women who are willing to share their expertise with growing boys. In the Greek classic book Daphnis and Chloe, an experienced and mature lady Lycaenion taught young Daphnis how to attend to his girlfriend – to their mutual satisfaction. The BBC reports of a 26-year old woman teacher who was arrested for having sex with her 15-year old pupil. Even the prosecutor admitted that it’s “every schoolboy’s fantasy to have that kind of attention from a young, attractive member of staff”, but pushed for conviction all the same. In the US, Pamela Rogers was sentenced to years of jail-time for having sex with a boy as tall as you and me; he may have been only 13 at the time, but this happens to be the exact age my great-grandfather was married. If Mrs Rogers had instead concentrated on emotionally torturing and humiliating the boy she would have certainly enjoyed a successful career in public education. Who knows, she might have become Secretary of State.

The Americans and the Brits have invented the nonsensical concept of “statutory rape”; as if a state prosecutor knows better than boys and girls what they want. The great French thinkers Sartre and Derrida, Foucault and de Beauvoir, called in 1977 for scrapping this jailbait trap, this tool of selective prosecution. Wise Spaniards established the age of consent at 13, while the even wiser Muslims place no age limit for marriage at all because they so strongly disapprove of extramarital relations. Jews were guided by the Talmud, which stipulates the permitted age of marriage for girls at ‘three years and one day’ (though the safer age of nine was preferred), and wisely forbidding sodomy.

Indeed, almost all the cases of alleged clerical abuse are homosexual; the alleged victims should perhaps sue the gay rights organizations that infested the Church instead of harassing the Church Who failed to keep them out. But Church leaders are not permitted to even contemplate such a suggestion. They can’t say “pederasty”; they must pretend this is “paedophilia”. They are forbidden to defrock a homosexual priest lest they be accused of “homophobia”.

Sexual violence towards a small boy or girl by an adult man is a repulsive and criminal act, but such accusations are extremely rare in the history of clerical abuse.

We must not remain indifferent to the travails of the Church, for only She has the potential to turn the predatory neo-Judaic state into a peace-loving Christian one. The Church affirms the primacy of spirit, and of our godlike abilities to think and to reproduce; such hopeful opinions are anathema to our Worldly Masters. On the deepest level the Church is the main adversary of evil in our world. The worldlings have formed a competing church of sorts, the church of darkness, and they will not suffer a competitor.

Dominant as they are, they are not omnipotent. There is no magic in their incantations. They have no divine powers behind them. They are impostors. They exploit the old myths of mankind, forgetting that nothing works without God. As rebels against God, they will be defeated. As charlatans they will be dismantled. Their fall is imminent. We should reject them completely, as completely as we are called to in our confession of faith.

The Catholic Church is one of the greatest champions of Palestine. They have a Palestinian Patriarch, they do their best to defend the Palestinian people. All established churches support Palestine; with the apostolic churches taking the leading role, and the Catholics often leading them all. During the 2002 Bethlehem siege by the Jews, the Catholic Church led the resistance. I know because I was resisting too. Once upon a time, the Church led the Crusade to liberate the Holy Land. With a brave and selfless spirit She could lead a Crusade of Peace and free it again.

France once reached the greatest heights of economic fairness, social sophistication and moral integrity in union with the Church. The terrible warning of the Notre Dame blaze should shock the people of France into returning to the Rock of the Church, just as it must surely make the Church wake up to the “smoke of Satan” permeating Her walls.

In collaboration with Paul Bennett

Read more on the abusing priests here: http://www.unz.com/ishamir/darkness-from-the-west/

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

This article was first published at The Unz Review.

Libya – U.S. Reveals Support For Hafter’s Side

By Moon Of Alabama

April 19, 2019 “Information Clearing House” – The Libyan National Army (LNA) troops of General Hafter attack the militias which support the UN recognized government in Tripoli from the south. The LNA still lacks forces for a larger break through. Several objects at the front changed hands several times. There are bloody skirmishes but no big fights. Those are still to come.


Map by South Front – bigger

Some people doubt that Hafter can be successful:

Analysts believe that Haftar over-estimates the strength of his LNA.

They say the controversial field marshal, who backs an administration rival to the GNA based in eastern Libya, was counting on a quick collapse of Tripoli militias.

But pro-GNA reinforcements from around Tripoli rushed to assist in driving back his forces.

It was never clear if Hafter really hoped that a lightning attack on Tripoli would achieve a fast victory, or if his sudden move was intended to rally support from outside. He is now certainly getting such support and that will be to his decisive advantage in the longer play.

As we described it:

Hafter has open support from France, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Russia. The Trump administration is not interested to step into the mess. Hafter is an old CIA asset and if he takes control there is a good chance that the U.S. will have influence over him. As long as Libyan oil flows and keeps the global oil price down Trump will be happy. Russia is trying to stay in the background to not give the anti-Russian forces in Washington an excuse to intervene.

The Muslim Brothers, supported by Turkey and Qatar, are still in play in Misrata but have otherwise lost their influence on the ground.

Since then the Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Arabia pledged tens of millions of dollars to support Hafter’s move on Tripoli. During the last week Hafter visited President Sisi of Egypt.

Europe is disunited over the issue. Italy wants to keep its influence in its former colony Libya and its historical position in the Libyan oil industry. It is also concerned about a new wave of refugees. It supports the government in Tripoli. France is supporting Hafter with an eye on taking over some oil business. It is also concerned about Islamist activities in former French colonies west and south of Libya. With Italy and France in a clinch, the European Union only issued a weak statement that called for a stop of fighting without naming any side.

Concern over the militias which support the Tripoli government increased too. They not as harmless as many seem to have thought:

A week after an aspiring strongman launched a surprise attack on the Libyan capital, an assortment of criminal gangs and extremists are rushing into the fight against him, raising new questions for the United States and other Western powers that have condemned his attack.

But an increasingly unsavory cast has joined the coalition against him, including a group closely tied to a militia sanctioned as a terrorist organization by the United States and the United Nations; an extremist warlord sanctioned for undermining Libya’s stability; and other militia leaders sanctioned for migrant trafficking. That mix so alarms Western powers that some may deem General Hifter the lesser evil.

Yesterday the U.S., which had said little when Hafter launched his assault on Tripoli, came out of the closet:

The United States and Russia both said Thursday they could not support a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a cease-fire in Libya at this time, diplomats said, as mortar bombs crashed down on a suburb of the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

Russia objects to the British-drafted resolution blaming eastern Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar for the latest flare-up in violence when his Libyan National Army (LNA) advanced to the outskirts of Tripoli earlier this month, diplomats said.

The United States gave no reason for its position on the draft resolution …

Today we learn that Trump spoke with Hafter several days ago:

President Donald Trump spoke on Monday with a Libyan strongman whose forces are advancing on the nation’s capital, the White House said, in a move that may undermine support for the country’s internationally recognized government.

Trump discussed “ongoing counterterrorism efforts and the need to achieve peace and stability in Libya” with Haftar, White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said in a statement. Gidley called Haftar by the title “field marshal.”

“The president recognized Field Marshal Haftar’s significant role in fighting terrorism and securing Libya’s oil resources, and the two discussed a shared vision for Libya’s transition to a stable, democratic political system,” Gidley said.

The key point for Trump is the oil price. His administration put sanctions on sales of Iranian and Venezuelan oil. Since the beginning of the year crude oil prices rallied from the low $50 per barrel to over $70 per barrel. Trump plans to reduce waivers he gave to some of the countries that continue to buy Iranian oil. That would further decrease Iran’s output. Any additional disruption of Libya’s oil production would increase the oil price and harm the U.S. economy. It would thereby make Trump’s plan for total sanctions on Iranian oil impossible.

Hafter controls most of Libya’s oil supplies. With open backing from the U.S., Russia and France, support from the military in Egypt, and with enough Saudi cash to finance his army, he surely has all the needed support to sustain a longer fight.

His next move will likely be against the small air force the Misrata gangs assembled. The U.S. might give him a helping hand in that. Hafter could then close down the airspace for flights from Turkey and Qatar. That would cut into the resupply Misrata and Tripoli need for a longer fight.

Those who say that “there is no military solution” to the situation in Libya will likely be proven wrong. Hafter has all he needs to win the fight.

This article was originally published by Moon Of Alabama” –

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What if al-Aqsa Mosque caught fire?

It is doubtful in today’s US-dominated world that anyone would rally to its cause, as they did for Notre Dame
Palestinians gather at al-Aqsa Mosque compound in June 2018 (AFP)

On 15 April, a devastating fire broke out at France’s famous Notre Dame Cathedral.

In the course of the conflagration, the church’s distinctive 93-metre medieval spire and two thirds of its roof were destroyed. Had it not been for the tireless efforts of French firefighters, who fought day and night to extinguish the blaze, the damage would have been far more extensive.

For days, the story was front-page news in Western countries, and media outlets were saturated with expert analyses of the cathedral’s history, architecture and significance.

Symbol of national identity

There is no doubt that Notre Dame, dating from 1163, is a Gothic masterpiece and a Parisian landmark. It is a symbol of France and of Roman Catholicism, even though France is an officially secular state that prides itself on what it calls laicité. Church and state were formally separated in 1905.

But that did not stop crowds of people from singing hymns in a vigil near the stricken cathedral and marching in its honour. Paris’s deputy mayor of tourism and sports joined others in creating a human chain to save the ancient relics held inside the cathedral.

For Palestinians, al-Aqsa is their very own possession – a symbol of Arab historical continuity in a city claimed by non-Arabs

Notre Dame is today not just a religious monument, but a symbol of French national identity. For that reason, the French president quickly took on the responsibility of rebuilding the cathedral, and French billionaires and businesses have already pledged more than €700 million ($787m) towards that goal.

In recognition of that nationalist bond, many western states, from Australia to Europe, hastened to send their condolences to President Emmanuel Macron. Japan, Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan did the same.

In the United States, the One World Trade Centre and the Empire State Building were lit up in the tricolour of the French flag, and the governor of New York pledged his city’s solidarity with the people of France.

Sacred character

What if a similar fate overtook al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem? This building is older than Notre Dame, built by the Umayyad caliphs in the eighth century, and has a long, rich history. The mosque was hit by earthquakes in 746 and 1033 and rebuilt each time; taken over by crusaders in 1099 and reclaimed by Saladin in 1187; then remained under Muslim rule until the war of 1967, when it came under Israel’s control.

Muslims everywhere revere this mosque. It is the third holiest place after the mosques of Mecca and Medina. Many associations bind al-Aqsa to Muslim religious sentiment.

Palestinians pray at al-Aqsa Mosque compound in May 2018 (AFP)
Palestinians pray at al-Aqsa Mosque compound in May 2018 (AFP)

Interpreted as the place referenced in the Isra verse in the Quran, al-Aqsa has taken on a sacred character, and is traditionally associated with the Prophet Muhammad’s miraculous night journey to Jerusalem. Its spiritual significance for Muslims is hard to overstate. Jerusalem was Islam’s first qibla, or direction of prayer, and it has been an important place of pilgrimage ever since.

For Palestinians, al-Aqsa is their very own possession – a symbol of Arab historical continuity in a city claimed by non-Arabs, and an affirmation of Arab identity in an anti-Arab environment. Though it stands beside what is claimed to be the site of the now-vanished Jewish Second Temple, it is the only concrete historical building in that place.

No assaults by religious Jewish groups claiming rights to the mosque can alter this reality, nor have Israel’s constant excavations to detect a trace of Jewish history at the site since 1967 produced that evidence.

The case of the 1969 fire

What if this unique building, so meaningful for the 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide, succumbed to fire, or collapsed after Israel’s archaeological digs weakened its ancient foundations?

Would the Arab and Islamic world rise up as one? Would Israel, the de facto custodian of Jerusalem’s holy places, be made accountable? Would world leaders rush to rebuild the mosque or to help the Palestinian people?

The struggle for al-Aqsa: Palestinians have ‘no one but God to help them’

Read More »

We have a preliminary answer in the case of the fire that burned Saladin’s minbar inside al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969. Denis Michael Rohan, an evangelical Christian Australian, started a fire in the mosque to try to destroy it, aiming to clear the way for the Jewish Temple to be rebuilt in its place, thus hastening Christ’s second coming. The incident led to the establishment of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Jordan’s representative to the UN presented letters of protest over the fire at al-Aqsa. These came from just 17 states, and a further 58 letters came from NGOs, Muslim religious bodies, other Muslim groups and Muslim individuals around the world. They called on the UN to intervene to protect the holy site from Israel’s occupation.

An orphan without allies

The Western response to the fire at al-Aqsa was muted. None displayed solidarity with Palestinians or Muslims, and no effective action was taken by the UN.

In the 50 years since the fire at al-Aqsa, Israel has only increased its hold on Jerusalem’s holy places. In 2017, it illegally installed turnstiles and metal detectors at the entrances to al-Haram al-Sharif, although they were subsequently removed. Religious settlers are now regularly allowed to march through al-Aqsa compound, threaten Muslim worshippers, and perform Jewish religious ceremonies.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is no less a religious and nationalist symbol for Arabs and Muslims than Notre Dame is for the French

Al-Aqsa Mosque is no less a religious and nationalist symbol for Arabs and Muslims than Notre Dame is for the French. But if it burned down, it is doubtful in today’s US-dominated world – and given Arab and Islamic weakness – that anyone would rally to its cause. Only the Palestinians who live there would go on fighting to defend it.

Like them, this wonderful Islamic icon is an orphan in a world without allies.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

Ghada Karmi
Ghada Karmi is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter. She was born in Jerusalem and was forced to leave her home with her family as a result of Israel’s creation in 1948. The family moved to England in 1949, where she grew up and was educated. Karmi practised as a doctor for many years working as a specialist in the health of migrants and refugees. From 1999 to 2001 Karmi was an Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, where she led a major project on Israel-Palestinian reconciliation. In 2009, she became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Six months after it begins, the oligarchs/Macron versus Gilets Jaunes battle is still raging and will keep on

April 19, 2019

By Le Saker Francophone for the Saker Blog

Six months after it begins, the oligarchs/Macron versus Gilets Jaunes battle is still raging and will keep on

This battle that the French people will win – we do not yet know when, but sure it will – is the vanguard battle of a Western world in full decline because their elites, no longer able to plunder the rest of the world as they did before, are beginning to plunder their own country in order to continue to accumulate a capital that has no other objective than to accumulate, always accumulate, by pure Pavlovian reflex. The shape and outcome of this battle therefore does not concern only France but all the other people of the “West”, specially the United States, where the 1% show the same greediness.

Saturday after Saturday, about 100,000 yellow vests invade the streets of cities and roundabouts of the countryside, claiming that the government should take more into account the interests of the people and a less those of the oligarchs.

But the latest and their puppet, Macron and his government, are stubbornly refusing to listen to these people whom they obviously consider as congenital idiots, uncultivated anti-Semitics, jealous of those who succeed… and other verbal demonstrations of their unfathomable superiority complex.

But behind this superiority complex, we also see a panic, at least with Macron who, after six uninterrupted months of demonstrations he has violently repressed, sees the hatred that is accumulating against him and who, in his rare moments of lucidity, must remember the history of France and the fate of Louis XVI, the king guillotined by the revolutionaries. And this panic was clearly visible in this episode: After spending 12 million euros on its Great Debate, that should “transform anger into solutions”, these famous solutions had to live up to the expectations and frustration of a people who saw their country turning into a dictatorship. But what can Macron offer when he is stuck between the oligarch hammer and the popular anvil? He obviously didn’t find it. So as usual, he cunningly used the very providential but very dubious fire of Notre Dame de Paris to make the Great Debate disappear into the black hole of popular memory that he hopes will lead to amnesia because, as is well known to manipulators, nothing is better than an emotional diversion to make important things forgotten. Providentially then, the fire started just one hour before its speech, giving him the perfect excuse to cancel it and, in the name of “mourning”, delaying it, and the famous solutions he should propose, to an unspecified date. Since then not a word about it, from his side or the media side. A shameful 12 million euros scam!

But, contrary to what they think, they are not dealing with fools but with people educated and intelligent enough to understand that behind their empty words, their institutional violence and their brigands’ schemes, these oligarchs are plundering the nation’s heritage, sucking the people’s blood. And the most intelligent among the Gjs are explainingto others, days after days, both through social networks and constituent assemblies, as well as through meetings in the streets every Saturday how things work. Then, the day the fire erupted the investigation was therefore open, on social networks, to find out whether this fire was really an accident, as the government claims, or a voluntary act, as most experts, especially the best in position to do it, the former head of Notre Dame’s maintenance, believe.

Moreover, one of the first visible benefits of this movement is that it is rebuilding a social bond that 30 years of “modern individualistic society” had completely destroyed. There is nothing like a common enemy to bring a people together and the Gj have found it. It is Macron and the oligarchs who manipulate it. And there is no shortage of battles against this powerful and blind enemy.

But it is not only the enemy that is common to them, they perceive above all a common objective, that of giving the French people back their say in the political decisions concerning the nation. And for that, the main tool to be implemented is the RIC. The Citizens’ Initiative Referendum, in all areas, i.e. covering all areas of politics. For sure, the oligarchs, and therefore Macron, do not want this RIC because it would sign the end of their enrichment on the State’s back. Because it is one of the things that is explained every day to the Gj by those who have understood the mechanism well, these oligarchs get rich on the back of the State through systematic public procurement, legal tax exemptionstate subsidiesprivatization of public companies, tax havens, shell companies…

And since the State is getting poorer under the blows of these oligarchs, since taxes are already on their highest level, since money is no longer under the control of the government, all that remains for the government is the solution of “budgetary austerity”, which takes the form of closing hospitals and schools, downgrading the number of civil servant, increasing education costs, reducing pensions and expenditure allowing social regulation, which was the pride of post-1936 France, in short, to gradually erase all the social gains made by our grandparents before and after the Second World War.

As one of these Gj experts explained, tax fraud alone is exactly equivalent to the amount of the public deficit. So if, thanks to the RIC, the French nation could stop the budgetary hemorrhaging caused by this oligarchic system which, since the 1980s, has been slowly weaving the web choking the nation, then it could keep its status as a world and economic power that it is losing, like the rest of the Western world, because of the greed of one percent of its population, and the shameless minions who work for them.

In the coming years, it will therefore be a fight to the death between the people and these oligarchs, one of the first victims of which is democracy. Because, now that they are already naked, these oligarchs will no longer be cluttered with the apparatus of freedom and democracy that they used to cover their hold on the country. We can already see it with a police repression that has never been seen before, a justice that is more than expeditious, totally muzzled media, in short, all the characteristics of a totalitarian state.

But how could these oligarchs win against an entire people? This is historically impossible. It therefore remains to the Gj to have them worn out so that, Saturday after Saturday, the number of Gj visible in the streets goes from 100,000 to 500,000 and then to millions, in short a new revolution. But for this to happen, it will require a long process of making aware of the situation those who do not yet understand, those who are afraid to understand. A long-term task for which, for the moment, more than one hundred thousands people are ready to give their time, energy and bravery to the end as their motto “nous ne lâcherons pas” [We shall not give up] is showing it.

Le Saker Francophone

Grandson of Gen. Gouraud Apologizes to the Syrians for France’s Occupation of Syria

SWEIDA, (ST)– Jean-Louis Gouraud, grandson of French General Henri Gouraud, who led the French army to occupy Syria early in the 20th century, has apologized to the Syrian people for what France had done upon its occupation of Syria, stressing that the French people are not satisfied over their government’s colonialist policies.

During a visit along with a French delegation to the monument of the martyrs of the Syrian Great Revolution and the tomb of freedom fighter Sultan Pasha al-Atrash, Louis Gouraud said “My grandfather, General Gouraud, had committed grave mistakes, but successive French governments didn’t get the lessons, rather, they continued to practice aggressive policies towards the Syrian people,” said the grandson, pointing out that “all the governments which didn’t get the lessons will find themselves obliged to apologize for the Syrian people as I am doing now.”

Louis Gouraud, an author and horse specialist, is currently visiting Syria within delegation of guests participating in activities of al-Sham International Arabian Horse Festival due to kick off activities on Tuesday and it will last for five days with notable international participation.

He stressed that “most European peoples, particularly the French , are not satisfied with the colonialist policies and wars, particularly those waged by the United States on Iraq and currently on Syria,” pointing out that several demonstrations were held in Paris to protest the French government’s interference in Syria.

“We are here to say that we are against these colonialist policies and that we apologize to the Syrian people,” he said.

“Syria has been exposed to several wars throughout history and today it is facing a war launched by terrorist gangs backed by western countries and some Arab regimes. But, we find that the country has triumphed.

On his part, Thaer al-Atrash, Grandson of Sultan Pasha al-Atrash, leader of the Great Syrian Revolution, hailed Jean-Louis Gouraud’s initiative towards the Syrian people who defended their land against the French occupation and won independence. He said that the initiative coincides with Syria’s celebration of the 73rd Evacuation Day (the evacuation of the last French occupation soldier from Syria.”

Earlier in a statement to SANA, Louis Gouraud affirmed that through visiting Syria he want to convey  a message of love from the French people to the Syrian people.

About the situation in Syria, he said that he felt happy for seeing the Syrians enjoying security and peace after eight years of war and destruction.

Hamda Mustafa

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