‘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.

Berri : Two golden equations برّي: معادلتان ذهبيتان

Berri : Two golden equations

فبراير 28, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

From Tehran the Speaker of the Parliament Nabih Berri issued two golden equations one is Lebanese and the other is regional. Berri announced that the Arabs and the Muslims who meet on considering the threat of transferring the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by Washington  a rude challenge of the feelings of the Arabs and the Muslims, a disgraceful infringement upon the identity of Jerusalem, and a step forward to Israeli escalation that is related with making Jerusalem Jewish and the completion of the displacement of its Arab citizens, as well as an encouragement of the occupation government to go on in further preemptive steps can disable each opportunity for the settlement and ignite the region. Berri wondered what the Arabs can do; he said: why the Arabs and the Muslims do not use the deterrence weapons which they have, which is the prior threat; that they can close their embassies in Washington in case Washington transfers its embassy to Jerusalem.

The deterrence weapon which is put by Berri in circulation has revealed that there are alternatives for the wailing and the begging, as revealing the oil weapons which were used as a deterrence weapon in October War 1973 and have proved their high effectiveness, but this time the fact proves that that the cause of the Arab and Islamic governments is not due to the absence of the alternatives but due to the absence of the wills and the determinations, therefore, the inciting function of Berri’s equation will embarrass the Arab and Islamic governments and will embarrass Washington once launched by Berri, and its turning into common equation in the public opinion, it asks the governments why do not you do that, and will make Washington observe the ability of the governments affiliated to it through bearing pressures of that magnitude, and considering the US interest in exposing these affiliated governments to instability and the fall, in addition, to what will be the consequences of Berri’s equation as launching civil and popular movements that carry the equation to the street as a demand, and turn it into a slogan for preemptive pressure movement against the governments, Washington, and Tel Aviv together.

The second golden equation which was issued by Berri was like drawing a separated line between the fair and the fake election law, by saying we need a law that ensures some of the ambiguity in the results, in response to his description of the situation, that each party tries to calculate his position from the formulas of the laws by measuring his parliamentary share in advance before making the elections. Berri’s equation in Politics is a condition for the correct and the fair law, because it is an election law not a decree of appointments and the going to the elections with expecting some surprises arouse the interest of the enthusiastic voters and will give a meaning for the electoral alliances and a justification for the competition. Because without the ambiguity in the results which stem from adopting any electoral law the law will turn into an ugly deal of partisan and sectarian quota that does not worth the debate and where the law of sixty will be equal to the relative variety on specified circles. This ambiguity grants the overall relativity according to one circle its superiority to the other projects and puts is in the lead as a guarantor of the political, partisan, and sectarian pluralism.

These are Berri’s two golden equations, while the Arab fact and the Lebanese one in particular are bronze.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

 

برّي: معادلتان ذهبيتان

ناصر قنديل

– من طهران أطلق رئيس مجلس النواب نبيه برّي معادلتين ذهبيتين، واحدة لبنانية والثانية إقليمية، فقد أعلن بري أن بإمكان العرب والمسلمين المُجمعين على اعتبار قيام واشنطن بنقل سفارتها من تل أبيب إلى القدس تحدياً فظاً لمشاعر العرب والمسلمين، واعتداء سافراً على هوية القدس، وفتحاً للباب «الإسرائيلي» على خطوات تصعيدية تتصل بتهويد القدس واستكمال تهجير مواطنيها العرب، وتشجيعاً لحكومة الاحتلال للسير بالمزيد من الخطوات الاستباقية لتدمير كل فرصة للتسوية والذهاب لإشعال المنطقة. وتساءل بري عمّا يمكن للعرب فعله، فقال: لماذا لا يستعمل العرب والمسلمون سلاح ردع بين أيديهم، وهو التهديد المسبق بأنهم سيُغلقون سفاراتهم في واشنطن في حالل إقدامها على خطوة نقل سفارتها إلى القدس؟

– سلاح الردع الذي وضعه بري في التداول كشف عن وجود بدائل للنحيب والتسوّل، يشبه الكشف عن سلاح النفط الذي استعمل كسلاح ردع في حرب تشرين عام 1973 وأثبت فعالية عالية، لكن الواقع يؤكد هذه المرّة أن قضية الحكومات العربية والإسلامية ليست بغياب البدائل بل بغياب الإرادات والعزائم، من دون أن تنتفي الوظيفة التحريضية لمعادلة برّي التي ستُحرج الحكومات العربية والإسلامية وتُحرج واشنطن بمجرد إطلاقها على لسان برّي وتحوّلها معادلة شائعة في الرأي العام، توجِّه للحكومات السؤال: لماذا لا تفعلون ذلك؟ وتضعها واشنطن أمام حساب قدرة الحكومات المحسوبة عليها على تحمّل ضغوط بهذا الحجم، وحساب المصلحة الأميركية في تعريض هذه الحكومات التابعة للاهتزاز والسقوط، عدا عما سيترتّب على معادلة بري من إطلاق لتحرّكات مدنية وشعبية تحمل المعادلة إلى الشارع كمطلب وتحوّله عنواناً لحراك استباقي ضاغط بوجه الحكومات وواشنطن وتل أبيب معاً.

– المعادلة الذهبية الثانية التي أطلقها برّي كانت ما يتصل برسم الحدّ الفاصل بين قانون الانتخاب العادل والمزيّف، بقوله، نحتاج لقانون يضمن بعض الغموض في النتائج، رداً على توصيفه للحال بقيام كل طرف بحساب موقفه من صيغ القوانين بمدى قدرته على احتساب حصته النيابية سلفاً قبل إجراء الانتخابات. ومعادلة بري هي في علم السياسة شرط القانون الصحيح والعادل، لأنه قانون انتخابات وليس مرسوم تعيينات، والذهاب إلى الانتخابات مع توقّع بعض المفاجآت هو الذي يمنحها حماسة الناخبين، ويجعل للتحالفات الانتخابية معنى، وللتنافس مبرراً، وبدون الغموض في النتائج التي ستترتّب على اعتماد أي قانون انتخابي يتحوّل القانون صفقة محاصصة حزبية وطائفية مقيتة لا تستحق النقاش ويتساوى فيها قانون الستين بالمختلط بالنسبي على دوائر مفصلة على المقاسات. وهذا الغموض هو الذي يمنح النسبية الشاملة وفقاً للدائرة الواحدة تفوّقها على سائر المشاريع، ويضعها في المقدمة كضامن للتعددية السياسية والحزبية والطائفية.

– معادلتا بري ذهبيتان، والواقع العربي واللبناني برونزيّ، إن لم يكن بعضُه «تنك».

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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.

Aoun: who have changed? You or I? عون: مَنْ الذي تغيّر؟ أنا أم أنتم؟

Aoun: who have changed? You or I?

فبراير 20, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

After hundred days in the era of the General the President Michael Aoun we recall the debates of the few days that preceded his election, accompanied with questions about the content of the implicit agreement that was included in the understanding with Al Mustaqbal Movement to nominate the General Aoun as the President of the Republic, that understanding was preceded by a similar understanding between the Free Patriotic Movement and the Lebanese Forces. The media campaign which was organized by Al Mustaqbal and the Forces together has succeeded by the suggestion to indicate to the presence of guarantees that they got from the General Aoun in exchange of nominating him for the presidency of the Republic, these guarantees affect his previous positions especially the parliamentary elections law and the understanding on keeping the law of sixty that will lead to a new consideration of the balances of interior and repositioning of the Free Patriotic Party within them in new alliances on one hand, and the dealing of the Movement and its leader after the arrival to presidency with the regional issues especially the weapons of the resistance, the relationship with Syria, and the position toward the war which targets it, along with the surrounding alliances of this war on the other hand.

The General Aoun kept silent toward this campaign, smiling when he is asked and just saying that he is not among those who hold understandings indirectly, and that he is not from those who pay costs for the positions. Those who accepted him for the presidency of the Republic have embraced Michael Aoun for his biography and positions. The inauguration speech which was the first position through which the General Aoun has emerged as a President was an occasion to express his commitments that are not in conformity with the campaign of the Al Mustaqbal Movement and the Lebanese Forces, either in his pledge to hold the parliamentary elections under a new law or in his expression that “ it is a pre-emptive war on the terrorism” or “ to confront the Israeli threat with everything possible  including “ we will not reserve resistance” but those who launched the campaign went out with interpretations for these positions, trying to change their content and to play with words  and to talk about the difference between (resistance and the resistance), however, once again the success was relatively to the launchers of the campaign, benefitting from the interpretations and the meanings that they granted to the visit of the General the President to Riyadh, talking about what may be the secrets, but the inquires about the validity of what the people of Al Mustaqbal Movement and the Lebanese Forces claim become wider.

During the last days, the General the President has reached in his commitment to the new election law to the extent of going to the choice of vacancy if he is obliged to choose between the law of sixty and the extension, so the Minister of Interior Nuhad Al Mashnouk has threatened of the loss of the era due to the internal and external consensus, then the President responded in a decisive way  to those who claim the injustice of the relative system toward them and toward their communities to stop the political indulgence and to behave rationally as the senior and the officials, and to refute the backgrounds of those who refuse the relativity through their desire to have seats for their sect and for the other sects by the force of the hegemony and the bullying. On the eve of his visit to Cairo the General the President talked clearly and frankly about the resistance weapons and about Syria as well as the Lebanese-Syrian relationship as he used to talk before he became a president, but in the language of presidency and its responsibility, so all the lies and the falsity of allegations and the claimers were revealed.

Those who fabricated the lie hastened to deal with the speech of the President as if they were without their consciousness and wanted to behold him the responsibility for the regression of promises that they have created, fabricated, and dreamt of. So they did not find what to say about the lie of promises but only to say that this speech is not acceptable from the President of the Republic, as if their tongues were tightened when they met him before giving him their electoral votes, did not say that it does not suit us to maintain on your speech after you become a president. The prevention of saying that before, was enough to accept him implicitly, and to make their criticism today a cowardice, weakness, and silliness, you have given your vote to the presidency of the Republic for a man whose his positions are declared and whose his options are known, after you were for two years and a half refraining from voting due to these positions, finally you accepted him as a president but you did not negotiate him to change his options, because you know that he will not change them, you gave him your votes because he is your only gateway to return back to the rule, so what is that hypocrisy which is behind your criticism today?

Some of the allies who were skeptical are involved today to say to the General the President we were unjust toward you.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

عون: مَنْ الذي تغيّر؟ أنا أم أنتم؟

فبراير 14, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– نستعيد مع الأيام المئة التي مرّت من عهد الرئيس العماد ميشال عون، النقاشات التي أحاطت الأيام القليلة التي سبقت انتخابه، وما رافقها من تساؤلات حول مضمون اتفاق ضمني تضمّنه التفاهم على سير تيار المستقبل بانتخاب العماد عون رئيساً للجمهورية، بعدما كان قد سبقه تفاهم مشابه بين التيار الوطني الحر والقوات اللبنانية. وقد نجحت الحملة الإعلامية التي نظمها المستقبل والقوات معاً بالإيحاء بوجود ضمانات حصلا عليها من العماد عون لقاء السير به لرئاسة الجمهورية تطال مواقفه السابقة، خصوصاً لجهة قانون الانتخابات النيابية والتفاهم على بقاء قانون الستين وما يرتّبه هذا التفاهم من نظرة جديدة لتوازنات الداخل وتموضع التيار ضمنها في تحالفات جديدة  من جهة، وتعامل التيار وزعيمه بعد الوصول لرئاسة الجمهورية مع القضايا الإقليمية، خصوصاً سلاح المقاومة والعلاقة مع سوريا والموقف من الحرب التي تستهدفها والتحالفات المحيطة بهذه الحرب من جهة أخرى.

– بقي العماد عون ملتزماً الصمت تجاه هذه الحملة يبتسم عندما يسأل، ويكتفي بالقول إنه ليس من الذين يجرون تفاهمات تحت الطاولة، وإنه ليس من الذين يدفعون أثماناً للمناصب والمواقع، وإن من ارتضاه لرئاسة الجمهورية فقد ارتضى ميشال عون الذي يعرفه بتاريخه ومواقفه. وكان خطاب القسم أولى المحطات التي أطلّ عبرها العماد عون من موقعه كرئيس في اللحظة الأولى، مناسبة لإطلاق التزامات لا تنسجم مع الحملة القواتية المستقبلية، سواء بتعهّده إجراء الانتخابات النيابية وفقاً لقانون جديد، أو لجهة إشاراته لـ«حرب وقائية على الإرهاب» أو لمواجهة الخطر «الإسرائيلي» بكل ما توفر بما في ذلك «لن ندّخر مقاومة»، لكن أصحاب الحملة خرجوا بتأويلات لهذه المواقف تحاول إفراغها من مضمونها والتلاعب بالكلمات والحديث عن الفرق بين مقاومة والمقاومة، وأل التعريف بينهما، ومرة أخرى كان النجاح نسبياً لأهل الحملة مستفيدين من تأويلات ومعانٍ منحوها لزيارة العماد الرئيس إلى الرياض والحديث عما دار فيها من «أسرار»، لكن التساؤلات حول صحة ما يدّعيه اهل المستقبل والقوات تكبر.

– خلال الأيام الأخيرة بلغ الرئيس العماد في التزامه بقانون انتخاب جديد حدّ المجاهرة بالذهاب إلى خيار الفراغ، إذا أُجبر على الاختيار بين قانون الستين والتمديد، فخرج وزير الداخلية المستقبلي نهاد المشنوق يهدّد بخسارة العهد للإجماع الداخلي والخارجي، وبعدها ردّ الرئيس على مدّعي ظلم النظام النسبي لهم ولطوائفهم بلغة حازمة تدعو لإنهاء الدلع السياسي والتصرّف برشد الكبار والمسؤولين، وتفند خلفيات رافضي النسبية برغبتهم بالسطو على مقاعد تستحقّ لأبناء طوائفهم وأخرى لطوائف أخرى، بقوة التسلط والبلطجة. وعشية زيارته للقاهرة تحدث العماد الرئيس بوضوح وصراحة عن سلاح المقاومة وعن سورية وعن العلاقة اللبنانية السورية، كما كان يتحدث قبل أن يصير رئيساً، لكن بلغة الرئاسة ومسؤوليتها، فسقطت كل الأكاذيب وانكشف زيف الإدعاءات والمدعين.

– هرع أصحاب الكذبة بلسان صقورهم لتناول كلام الرئيس وقد صدّقوا كذبتهم، كأنهم بلاوعيهم يريدون محاسبته على تراجع عن وعود هم قاموا بفبركتها وتأليفها أو حلموا بها، فلا يجدون ما يقولونه عن كذبة الوعود، إلا أن هذا الكلام غير مقبول من رئيس للجمهورية، وكأن ألسنتهم كانت مربوطة يوم التقوه قبل أن يمنحوه تصويتهم الانتخابي ليقولوا له يومها لا يناسبنا أن تبقى على خطابك المعهود بعد أن تصبح رئيساً، وعدم القول وقتها كافٍ ليكون قبولاً ضمنياً به، ولجعل انتقاداتهم اليوم جبناً وضعفاً وسخافة، فأنتم منحتم تصويتكم لرئاسة الجمهورية لرجل معلن المواقف ومعلوم الخيارات، بعدما بقيتم سنتين ونصفاً تحجبون عنه تصويتكم بداعي هذه المواقف، وجئتم أخيراً وقبلتم به رئيساً ولم تفاوضوه على تغيير خياراته، لأنكم تعلمون أنه لن يغيّرها، ومنحتموه تصويتكم لأنه بوابتكم الوحيدة للعودة للحكم، فأي نفاق يقف وراء انتقاداتكم اليوم؟

– بعض الحلفاء الذين ساورتهم الشكوك معنيون اليوم، بالقول للعماد الرئيس: لقد ظلمناك.

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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.

 

Sayyed Nasrallah: Hizbullah Strongly Supports Syria Cease-fire, Trump A Fool who Unveiled US Real Face

Zeinab Essa

Hizbullah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah announced Sunday that the resistance supports and welcomes any ceasefire in Syria.

In a speech commemorating the late Hizbullah Central Council official, Sheikh HusseiSayyed Nasrallah: Hizbullah Strongly Supports Syria Cease-fire, Trump A Fool who Unveiled US Real Facen Obeid, His Eminence highlighted that his party backs any ceasefire agreement in Syria because it’s with any measure that ends the bloodshed and gives an opportunity to political solutions and national reconciliations.

He further denounced some Arab media outlets that have been falsely accusing Hizbullah of rejecting Syria ceasefire concluded in Astana talks.

In this context, His Eminence said: “Hizbullah and Iran support the ceasefire, the reconciliation, and the political settlement in Syria, while some Arab states are still backing the military option.”
“We are keen on addressing some pressing humanitarian crises, on top of which is that of Foua, Kafraya, Madaya and other towns,” Sayyed Nasrallah stated.

Rejecting all fabricated reports regarding Hizbullah’s alleged plan to bring about demographic changes to the Syrian front, His Eminence clearly denied the accusations raised by those who claim that Hizbullah and the Syrian government seek demographic change across the Syrian cities.

“Let Muslim, Arab and independent delegations visit Syria to verify that there are no demographic changes… These lies are aimed at sectarian incitement,” the Resistance Leader cautioned.

In parallel, he pointed out that “Aleppo’s victory greatly contributed greatly to the reconciliations and political settlements in Syria.”

According to His Eminence, the recent military victories have turned vast areas of Syria into safe regions.

“The whole world came after six years of fighting, to confront the sides that we started to,” he added, noting that “the path in Syria took another turn thanks to the steadfastness of the Syrian leadership, the Syrian army and the people and all those who refused to submit to the Takfiri terrorism.”

Moving to the Lebanese front from the Syrian one, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that “The file of Syrian refugees is not a sectarian file but rather a file that is putting pressure on Lebanon.”

Moreover, he urged the Lebanese to carry their responsibility and to deal with the issue of refugees in a humanitarian manner, regardless of fears or political affiliations. “Should we keep begging for international aid or should we cooperate to return most refugees to their towns, villages, cities and homes?” His Eminence wondered.

On this level, Sayyed Nasrallah elaborated: “We will be told that these people fear to return out of concern over the regime’s vengeance and I tell them that they can go to Syria to live in security and safety.”

As he called for cooperation toward repatriating Syrian refugees back to their homeland, His Eminence urged the Lebanese government to send a delegation that would evaluate the outcome of reconciliations in Syria.

“It is the responsibility of the Lebanese government and Lebanese political forces to convince these refugees to accept to go back to their cities and villages in Syria,” Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized.

In addition he announced Hizbullah’s readiness to “serve the Lebanese state” and contact the Syrian authorities on the matter.”

“It’s our duty to deal with the case of the refugees in a humanitarian, rather than political manner,” he said.

Urging the Lebanese government and political forces to end their stubbornness and to initiate dialogue with the Syrian government over this file, Sayyed Nasrallah raised the following question:
“Why do you talk with the countries that created Daesh and al-Nusra Front and you don’t talk with the Syrian government to address a humanitarian file of this importance?”

On another aspect, Sayyed Nasrallah tackled the Lebanese electoral law, reiterating Hizbullah’s support for a new electoral law based on proportionality.

“All sides are talking about a fair electoral law that allows all sides to represent in the Parliament and doesn’t eliminate anyone,” he highlighted.

He further expressed Hizbullah’s support for proportionality because it’s keen to preserve the rights of all sects, parties and minorities.

His Eminence went on to say that the current 1960 majoritarian vote law is equal to a cancellation system.

“We have a serious desire to block any new extension and to hold elections on time,” Sayyed Nasrallah declared, noting that the winner-takes-all electoral system is an exclusionary law and proportional representation does not eliminate the Druze community or the Future party.

“I say that proportional representation does not eliminate the Druze community, the Progressive Social Party or the Future, it rather reflects the true political weight of each party.”

His Eminence warned against wasting more time in talks over the electoral system.
“Stop wasting time. We should not shut the door. If we reached the deadline, we will be moving into the unknown,” he said, repeating Hizbullah’s openness to dialogue.

On the security level, particularly with respect to the Bekaa region, Sayyed Nasrallah renewed the call again to the Lebanese state to effectively hold its responsibility for the security situation in the Bekaa.

He also called on the Lebanese Army and the security services to deal with the security problems in the Bekaa within the limits of the law, adding that “security is not only the responsibility of the state only but it is a social responsibility also.”

“The matter doesn’t only relate to security but targets the dignity of the people,” His Eminence said.

He praised cooperation between security agencies and the Lebanese Army, calling on the public to avoid moves that would put stability at risk.

“Stability is a bless which the Lebanese must hold and do not waste,” he said.

On the general budget, Sayyed Nasrallah renewed Hizbullah’s firm refusal “of approving any new taxes or fees on poor Lebanese families.”

“Instead of taxes, end embezzlement, corruption, wasting money and unauthorized spending,” he said, noting that a courageous political decision should be taken to cut down unnecessary spending.

Commenting on the new threats posed by the new US President, Donald Trump, Sayyed Nasrallah undermined the impact of the new administration on the region.

“Trump merely set aside hypocrisy and revealed the true and ugly face of the unjust, criminal and racist US administration,” he stated, pointing out that Hizbullah is not worried, but optimistic, for [he] who is residing in the White House is a fool.

His Eminence also said “this is the beginning of our relief. The victory that has been achieved in 1985, in 2000 and 2006 and is being scored in Syria and Iraq will be achieved in Yemen.”

“Neither Trump nor George W. Bush and all those racists will touchthe courage, the will or the faith of a child of our children as well as our men and our elders.”

Source: al-Ahed news

12-02-2017 | 21:44

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.

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