The French escalation against Russia is bigger than Macron رفع الجدار الفرنسي بوجه روسيا أكبر من ماكرون

The French escalation against Russia is bigger than Macron

أبريل 25, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Had it not been for the difference of two percent, Marine Le Pen would have been defeated and François Fillon would have entered the presidential second round versus Emmanuel Macron, or Jean-Luc Mélenchon would have won, since each one of them have won 2%  less than Le Pen . So it is not in vain that France has elected under the blows of the terrorism to enable Le Pen  to enter the race beside Macron to ensure his winning, otherwise his competition to win the candidate Fillon or the attractive frank and the accurate candidate Mélenchon would be full of dangers. In case Fillon versus Macron, the followers of Le Pen  will vote for Fillon as the followers of Mélenchon,  they will ensure the winning of Fillon, but in case the competition is between Macron and Mélenchon the followers of Le Pen and Fillion will vote in favor of Mélenchon and will ensure his winning, simply the reason is that despite the big divergence between the internal platforms of the three candidates Le Pen , Fillon, and Mélenchon the challenge which imposed by the terrorism as in the foreign policy options make this tripartite in one circle; the openness to Russia, the cooperation with its President, and the withdrawal from the war on Syria and its President. What is known by the observers is that it will be difficult to the extent of impossibility that the followers of Fillion and Mélenchon will vote for Le Pen in the second round.

The conspiracy is not the momentum which drives for searching for hidden forces which put their importance to ensure the winning of Macron, the conspiracy is not hidden and its owners have names that are defined by the policies of the competing parties who were intended to be removed from the competition. The openness to Russia and Syria is not a secondary issue, but rather a change in the geopolitics and the alliances at the international and the Middle East levels, the withdrawal from NATO is not a simple issue, and the recognition of Palestine is not a joke. The one who follows the biography of this candidate Emmanuel Macron who will become a President will easily discover that he is an employee in Rothschild Foundation which forms the heart of the savage Zionism and Liberalism, the banks, and the major associations in Europe, all of them did not get confused from supporting Macron, and funding his electoral campaign and the call to join his party which was founded only a year ago. Macron had spent only three years in the political work before he was assigned by François Holland as a Minister of Economics in favor of the economic and financial blocs, after he appointed him as an officer at the rank of the Assistant of the Secretary-General of the Presidency of the Republic.

Macron is not mere a candidate of banks and organizations, he is a public candidate for Freemasonry which its French forums announced their support, he is a supportive candidate of the Israeli and the Saudi positions in the Middle East, in continuation of the policy of his predecessor Hollande. Some people try to explain the rise of Macron supported by Hollande forgetting that Hollande has not gained more than 7 % of the French support before months, and that the candidate of his party Benoît Hamon has revealed the size of the popularity of the party that gained more than the popularity of his president. The organized campaigns for poll as well as the enthusiasm shown by the American, western, and Arab mass media which are funded and operated by Saudi Arabia and Israel to Macron are not hidden, this person has come and has become in front of the French people in a way that does not like that of Donald Trump who has a flowing history as a businessman, and has a media presence previous to his presidential candidacy. The scandals that broke out against the opponents of Macron reveal the programmed work that is carried out by effective and capable support, which intervenes in necessary in order to prevent the fall of France in another front and causes the change of the global and the Middle East balances.

When the votes which obtained by Marine Le Pen , François Fillon, and Jean-Luc Mélenchon are gathered and the outcome is more than 60% of the French people, and when the common among these three candidates is the openness to Russia and Syria then the NATO has the right to be worried, it is the duty of the US intelligence is to announce the state of emergency. This is France, Israel’s task is to get alert, and Saudi Arabia has to pay, the task of the French escalation against Russia and Syria is profits for all of them, but it is an insurance policy for Saudi Arabia and Israel before the others.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

رفع الجدار الفرنسي بوجه روسيا أكبر من ماكرون

ناصر قنديل

أبريل 24, 2017

– لولا فارق الإثنين في المئة لكانت هزمت ماري لوبان وفاز بدخول الدورة الثانية الرئاسية فرانسوا فيون بوجه امانويل ماكرون أو لفاز جان لوك ملينشون وقد نال كل منهما أقل من لوبان بـ2 ، وليس عبثاً أن تكون فرنسا انتخبت تحت ضربات الإرهاب لتمكين لوبان من دخول السباق إلى جانب ماكرون، لضمان فوزه، وإلا فتصير منافسته للمرشح المخضرم فيون أو المرشح الجذاب والساحر والواضح والدقيق ميلنشون منافسة محفوفة بالمخاطر، ففي حال فيون بوجه ماكرون سينتخب جمهور لوبان لصالح فيون وكذلك سيفعل جمهور ميلنشون، ويضمنان فوز فيون حكماً، وفي حال منافسة ماكرون لميلنشون يصوّت جمهور لوبان وفيون لصالح ميلنشون ويضمنان فوزه، والسبب ببساطة أنه رغم التباعد الكبير بين البرامج الداخلية للمرشحين الثلاثة لوبان وفيون وميلنشون، فإن التحدّي الذي فرضه الإرهاب من خيارات في السياسة الخارجية يضع هذا الثلاثي في دائرة واحدة هي الانفتاح على روسيا والتعاون مع رئيسها والانسحاب من الحرب على سورية ورئيسها، وما يعرفه المتابعون هو أنه سيكون صعباً لحد الاستحالة أن يدعم جمهور فيون وميلنشون التصويت للوبان في الدورة الثانية.

– ليست نظرية المؤامرة هي التي تدفع للبحث عن قوى خفية وضعت ثقلها لضمان نجاح ماكرون، فالمؤامرة ليست خفيّة وأصحابها لهم أسماء، تحددها سياسات الأطراف المنافسة التي أريد إزاحتها من السباق، فالانفتاح على روسيا وسورية ليس قضية ثانوية بل هو تغيير في الجغرافيا السياسية والتحالفات على المستويين الدولي والشرق أوسطي، والانسحاب من الناتو ليس قضية بسيطة، والاعتراف بدولة فلسطين ليس مزحة. ومن يتابع سيرة هذا المرشح الذي سيصير رئيساً مانويل ماكرون سيكتشف بسهولة أنه موظف وفي لمؤسسة روتشيلد التي تشكل قلب الصهيونية والليبرالية المتوحشة والمصارف والشركات الكبرى في أوروبا. وكلها لم يربكها الإعلان عن دعم ماكرون، وتمويل حملته الانتخابية والدعوة للانضمام لحزبه الذي تأسس قبل سنة فقط. وماكرون لم يكن قد أمضى في العمل السياسي إلا سنوات ثلاثاً قبل أن يعيّنه فرانسوا هولاند وزيراً للاقتصاد لحساب التكتلات الاقتصادية والمالية بعدما عينه موظفاً برتبة معاون الأمين العام لرئاسة الجمهورية.

– ماكرون ليس مجرد مرشح المصارف والشركات، فهو مرشح علني للماسونية التي أعلنت محافلها الفرنسية مساندته، ومرشح مساند لمواقف إسرائيل والسعودية في الشرق الأوسط في مواصلة لسياسة سلفه هولاند، فيما يحاول البعض تفسير صعود ماكرون بدعم هولاند له، يتناسون أن هولاند لم يحز أكثر من 7 من تأييد الفرنسيين قبل شهور، وأن مرشح حزبه بنوا أمون هو الذي يكشف حجم شعبية الحزب الأكبر من شعبية رئيسه، والحملات المنظمة لاستطلاعات الرأي والحماسة التي تبديها وسائل الإعلام الأميركية والغربية والعربية الممولة والمشغلة من الثنائي السعودي الإسرائيلي لماكرون ليست خافية على أحد، ولا يمكن إيجاد جذور لها عند الحديث عن شخص جاء من الغيب وهبط بالمظلة على الفرنسيين، بصورة لا تشبه حالة دونالد ترامب مثلاً الذي يملك تاريخاً حافلاً كرجل أعمال وحضوراً إعلامياً سابقاً بسنوات لترشحه الرئاسي، وتكشف الفضائح التي تفجّرت بوجه خصوم ماكرون عملاً مبرمجاً تقف وراءه أيدٍ فاعلة وقادرة وتتدخّل عند الضرورة كي لا تسقط فرنسا في جبهة أخرى وتغيّر التوازنات العالمية والشرق أوسطية.

– عندما تجمع الأصوات التي نالتها ماري لوبان وفرانسوا فيون وجان لوك ملينشون وتكون الحصيلة أكثر من 60 من الفرنسيين، ولا يكون المشترك بين هؤلاء الثلاثة إلا الانفتاح على روسيا وسورية. من حق الناتو أن يقلق ومن واجب المخابرات الأميركية أن تعلن حالة الطوارئ، فهذه فرنسا، ومن وظيفة إسرائيل أن تستنفر، وعلى السعودية أن تدفع، وهذا ما كان، مهمة رفع الجدار الفرنسي بوجه روسيا وسورية، أرباح لهؤلاء جميعاً، لكنها بوليصة تأمين للسعودية ولـ إسرائيل قبل الآخرين.

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Champs-Elysees attack: Perfect timing, for some

April 21, 2017

by Ramin Mazaheri

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3 “surprises”, but only 3 facts to remember

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

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

Thirdly, these attacks are simply not important.

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

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

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television.

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

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