عن الجزائر… حتى ينتهي المخاض بسلام

مارس 13, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– يحتاج أي تحليل أو موقف مما تشهده الجزائر إلى إدراك خطورة الوقوع في قياسات التشبيه بتجارب أخرى، تتجاهل فرادة الحالة الجزائرية. فالحديث عن أن دور الجزائر قد حان في تجارب الربيع العربي المقيت، يتجاهل أن التجربة الاختبارية لكل ما شهدناه من مسمّيات الربيع كان في الجزائر في ما عرفته في تسعينيات القرن الماضي من انتخابات أوصلت الجماعات الإسلامية إلى الأغلبية البرلمانية، وما تلاها من حرب ضروس نزفت خلالها الجزائر لعشر سنوات عرفت بالعشرية السوداء. والقول بأن الحال في الجزائر تكرار لما شهدته سورية أو مصر مجاف للحقيقة. فالجزائر رغم كل التشوش الذي أصاب موقفها في محطات عربية مفصلية، لم تغادر ثوابت رئيسية في الاستقلال ولا تزال دولتها على كل ما فيها من علل وفساد دولة رعاية اجتماعية، في بلد كثير الثروات، وهي في هذا نصف سورية ونصف ليبيا، لكنها من حيث الموضوع الراهن الذي فجّر الشارع وفتح ملف الأحداث، تشكل نصف مصر، فالرئيس عبد العزيز بوتفيلقة الذي يملك تاريخاً وطنياً يستحق التقدير، بات عاجزاً عن ممارسة الحكم، وترشيحه لولاية خامسة شكل استفزازاً قاسياً للشارع والنخب، خصوصاً الذين لا مخططات مسيئة لبلدهم تسيِّر تحركاتهم أو تتحكم بمواقفهم.

– الدعوات لدعم غير مشروط لحراك الشارع ليحسم الموقف ويرسم المستقبل، تتجاهل ما توفره السيولة التي يقدمها حراك الشارع مهما بلغ نبل المقاصد، ومهما كانت درجة الانضباط. وهذه السيولة تشكل هدفاً بحد ذاتها، يراد له أن يطول في ظل استعصاء مطلوب يحول دون اي حل سياسي يضمن خروجاً سلمياً من الأزمة، حتى تتكسر هيبة الدولة ومؤسساتها ويتم تحييدها من المشهد، وخصوصاً مؤسسة الجيش الوطني الجزائري، وتذبل هياكل السلطة وتتآكل، بينما يتعب الشارع المتدفق بحيوية، فيصير المجال متاحاً للتشكيلات المنظمة أن تنزل إلى الساحة بمخططاتها السياسية والأمنية، وهي تملك طول النفس وحسن التنظيم والمقدرات والدعم الخارجي وتفرض أجندتها على الجميع، وفي ظل الأهمية الاستثنائية للجزائر في أسواق النفط والغاز ومشاريع الخصخصة، قد يكون التحرر من الجغرافيا والديمغرافيا الجزائرية كأعباء، لحساب منظومة خفيفة الأثقال تمسك ملفات النفط والغاز، بعدما قالت التجربة الليبية الكثير عن القدرة على التحكم بهذه الثروات مهما اشتدّت وتسعّرت الحرب والفوضى، مقابل ترك الداخل الفقير والريفي للجماعات الإسلامية بمتشدديها ومعتدليها يتنافسون ويتحاربون.

– الخطوات التي أقدم عليها الرئيس الجزائري شكلت خطوة في اتجاه فتح الطريق لمسار سلمي للخروج من الأزمة، لكنها كما يقول الشارع الجزائري ونخبه النظيفة غير كافية، بحيث لا يقبل استبدال التجديد بالتمديد، والمطلوب خريطة طريق واضحة للانتقال إلى دستور جديد وانتخابات في ظل حكومة انتقالية موثوقة، في ظل غياب قيادات سياسية موثوقة وازنة في الشارع وقادرة على قيادته، مقابل هامشية تشكيلات المعارضة التقليدية بإسلامييها وعلمانييها في لحظات التأجج الشعبي الذي يصعب الرهان على دوامه، كما تقول التجارب، وهو ما لا يجب أن يُحرجنا بالقول إن الجيش لا يزال يشكل الجهة الأشد موثوقية لتحقيق هذا الغرض الانتقالي، برعاية الحكومة التي تتولّى صلاحيات الرئاسة لزمن محدود، مع تحويل الندوة الوطنية إلى جمعية تأسيسية تحلّ مكان البرلمان وتضمّ أبرز قواه، بالإضافة إلى رموز الحراك وقادة الأحزاب، لتخرج بدستور يتناسب مع غياب القيادات التاريخية، وبالتالي ينتقل من النظام الرئاسي إلى النظام البرلماني الذي يتيح قراراً جماعياً للدولة، عبر حكومات وحدة وطنية تتمثل فيها التكتلات بحجم وزنها النيابي، وتمنع التسلط على الحكم عبر شخصيات مموّهة، تضيع معها ثوابت الجزائر والتزاماتها في مجال الأمن القومي، وهكذا تحفظ للجيش مكانته ودوره، وهذا ما يحول دون وقوع الجزائر في النتيجتين المصرية والتونسية بوجههما الأخواني أو بالعودة للنظام القديم بحلة جديدة، أو ذهابها للمسار الليبي. وفي كل الأحوال الجزائر لن تكون سورية، ليس لأنها ليست بأهميتها، بل لأن الكتلة الشعبية الوازنة والغالبة في سورية بقيت وراء مشروع الدولة ورئيسها ولأن ليس في الجزائر قائد تاريخي صاعد يمثل وجدانها الوطني والقومي قادر على قيادتها كالرئيس بشار الأسد.

– لأننا نحبّ الجزائر لا نستطيع أن نقف بلا شروط وراء الحكم أو الشارع، بل نقف بقوة مع مسار سياسي سلمي ينهي الأزمة بسلاسة ويحفظ ثوابتها، لأننا ضنينون ببلد الثورة العظيمة، ونريد أن نشهد ضماناً يحول دون أن تضيع منا الجزائر.

Related Videos

Related Articles

Advertisements

Algerian President Bouteflika abandons re-election bid amid protests

Source

Mon Mar 11, 2019

Algeria’s octogenarian president has abandoned his attempt to contest a fifth term amid nearly-month-long protests against the country’s changeless political scene.

Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced the decision not to contest the April polls on Monday, and also postponed the election itself, Reuters reported.

The 82-year-old has been in power for the past 20 years, but is reportedly in poor health conditions after suffering a stroke in 2013.

Protesters say they disapprove of the country’s old political system, which is dominated by veterans of the 1954-1962 independence war against France, who include the president himself.

Opponents have also cited suspicion that the president was being kept in office to protect the grip of the military and business elite.

New generation ‘to be empowered’

Bouteflika’s office said a new constitution would now be put to public vote, adding that his last duty would be to contribute to the founding of a new system that would be in “the hands of a new generation of Algerians.”

An “inclusive and independent” national conference will oversee the transition, drafting a new constitution and setting the date for elections, it noted. “The conference should finish its work by the end of 2019, with elections to follow,” Reuters added.

As an apparent token of the government’s submission to the protesters, Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, meanwhile, resigned from his post. He was replaced by Interior Minister Noureddine Bedoui, who is not known for maintaining comparably close ties with the president.

The public swarmed the streets following the announcement, this time celebrating their triumph over those supporting the president’s continued incumbency.

Related Videos

Related News

Bouteflika warns of ‘chaos’ as protests continue against his candidacy الحراك الشعبي في الجزائر… ما مصيره؟ بوتفليقة يحذر من اختراق الحراك الشعبي

In this file photo taken on May 04, 2017, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is seen on a wheelchair as he casts his vote at a polling station in Algiers during parliamentary elections. (Photo by AFP)
In this file photo taken on May 04, 2017, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is seen on a wheelchair as he casts his vote at a polling station in Algiers during parliamentary elections. (Photo by AFP)

Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who is facing protests against his bid for a fifth term in office, has called for vigilance, saying foreign or domestic groups may seek to stoke chaos in the North African country.

Demonstrations have been staged almost daily in Algeria since February 22, with Bouteflika cautioning protesters not to allow their peaceful rallies to be manipulated as he invoked the country’s decades-long civil war.

“Breaking this peaceful expression by any treacherous internal or foreign group may lead to sedition and chaos and resulting crises and woes,” the 82-year-old leader wrote in a letter on Thursday on the eve of a major rally.

The elections are due to be held on April 18 but protesters are unlikely to give up demanding the resignation of Bouteflika, who uses a wheelchair and has rarely been seen in public since he suffered a stroke in 2013.

He has been in Switzerland since February 24 for what his office has described as “routine medical tests,” without giving an exact fate for his return home.

In the letter, Bouteflika urged protesters to exercise “vigilance and caution” and warned of a return to the “national tragedy” of the country’s decade-long civil war and of the “crises and tragedies caused by terrorism” in neighboring countries.

Algerian lawyers and journalists take part in a protest against their ailing president’s bid for a fifth term in power, in Algiers on March 7, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

Bouteflika’s letter came as some 1,000 lawyers took to the streets of the capital Algiers on Thursday, saying his ill health should disqualify him from the upcoming elections.

“We are asking the Constitutional Council to assume its responsibilities … This candidacy is inadmissible,” protester Ahmed Dahim, a member of the Bar Association of Algiers, said as his fellow demonstrators chanted “No to the fifth mandate.”

The Constitutional Council must decide on the candidates by March 14.

Opponents also cite what they call chronic corruption and a lack of economic reform to tackle unemployment.

On Sunday, Bouteflika promised that if re-elected, he would order a referendum on a new constitution and call an early election where he would not run.

The compromise came nearly three weeks after he announced that he would once again participate in the presidential race, infuriating his opponents and unleashing major protests in the country.

Algeria’s divided opposition and civic groups have called for more protests against Bouteflika’s 20-year rule if he proceeds to seek another term.

الحراك الشعبي في الجزائر… ما مصيره؟ 

مارس 7, 2019

كمال حميدة

كنت أتوقع أن يمضي الرئيس عبد العزيز بوتفليقة في تقديم ملف ترشحه لولاية خامسة، رغم الاحتجاجات العارمة التي شهدتها معظم المدن الجزائرية، الرافضة لتوليه ولاية جديدة. هذا التوقع أتى نتيجة أنّ الرئيس بوتفليقة يستمدّ ترشيحه من طرف جبهة التحرير الوطني، وهي الحزب الحاكم منذ الاستقلال وبعض الأحزاب والحركات الموالية له، هذا الحزب هو الآخر يستمدّ حضوره من المشروعية الثورية التي نالت الحرية وانتزعتها بفضل تضحياتها ونضالاتها ضدّ المحتلّ الفرنسي، وهي بدورها تسلّمت مقاليد السلطة لكونها اعتقدت اعتقاداً جازماً أنّ السلطة هي مكسب لها ومشروع محق للحفاظ والدفاع عن المبادئ الثورية وأهدافها.

هذا الترشح أتى بالوكالة عبر رئيس حملته الانتخابية عبد الغني زعلان، الذي عيّن خلفاً لرئيس الحكومة السابق عبد المالك سلال، هذا الأخير تجنّب معارضته للاحتجاجات الشعبية لأسباب صحية من الدرجة الأولى للرئيس بوتفليقة. وعقب تقديم ملف ترشح الرئيس الحالي تلا رسالته الوزير السابق بالنيابة عنه، التي نصّت في أهمّ بنودها على أنّ الرئيس الجزائري وعد بانتخابات رئاسية مبكرة في حال انتخابه للدورة الخامسة، وعقد ندوة وطنية تجمع كافة الأطياف والمكوّنات الحزبية لإجراء تعديلات دستورية، وتأسيس لجنة مستقلة تشرف على الانتخابات.

فبعض المراقبين اعتبروا أنّ هذه الخطوة استفزازية وتؤدّي بالبلاد نحو المجهول وهي مناورة لكسب الوقت من أجل تجديد النظام من رحم ذاته، مضيفين أنّ ثمة رجالاً في الخفاء يديرون الدولة من أعلى الهرم السلطوي، بالأخصّ في الظروف الصحية الحالية لرئيس الجمهورية. ومنهم رأى أنّ الصراع القائم بين الحرس القديم والحرس الحالي، هو من فجر هذا الحراك الشعبي في الشوارع العامة، ويعمّق الفجوة بين الهرم السلطوي والقاعدة الشعبية، ورأي آخر يرى أنّ رجال المال الفاسد أو ما يعرفون بـ «باترونة المال» أو «المجموعة النافذة» بما يتمتعون به من نفوذ وعلاقات داخل مفاصل الدولة لا يروق لهم أن تتنازل السلطة عن مركزية قرارتها وأن تعيد النظر في تقديم وجه آخر لمرشحها.

كما أنّ هذه الرسالة اعترضت عليها منابر إعلامية وحزبية بأنّ هذه الوعود أتت متأخرة، حيث سبق أن قدّمت أحزاب المعارضة قبل سنوات هذه المقترحات، عندما كان الرئيس يتمتع بكامل صحته، فأقدمت السلطة على الأخذ بعين الاعتبار بجزء منها، وتجاهلت المقترحات المتبقية، وهنا بدت الأحزاب غير الموالية للسلطة أنها فقدت ثقتها بنظام الحكم، خصوصاً عندما تفجّر الحراك الشعبي في معظم المدن، التي باتت تعتمد على أصوات زخم المسيرات من أيّ وقت مضى، وتدعم مطالبه بكلّ ما أوتي من قوة، وتنظر إليه أنه أتى في الفرصة المواتية ليكون هو المحرك الحقيقي لإرغام السلطة الحاكمة للنزول عند شعاراته وهتافاته وتقبل ما يريده من المسؤولين الحاكمين.

الإنجازات التي تحققت في حقبة طوال الحكم تفتخر بها الأحزاب الموالية، كشبكة الطرق والسكك الحديدية، والسدود، وزيادة في عدد الجامعات، ومنح حوالي ثلاثة ملايين مسكن للمواطنين بصفة مجانية، إلى جانب الدور الأساسي لرئيس قصر المرادية في استتباب الأمن وترسيخ الاستقرار الداخلي. إلا أنّ المعارضة تقضي عليها بأنها إنجازات نسبية، والأموال التي أنفقت في جميع المشروعات هي أموال الشعب، فضلاً أنّ رجالاً من داخل النظام والمقرّبين منهم هم الذين انتفعوا من الأموال التي استثمرت فيها. واستاءت المعارضة من مستوى الفقر المستشري في المجتمع الجزائري بحيث وصلت نسبتها إلى 38 بالمئة من خلال تقارير الأمم المتحدة.

مطلب المتظاهرين على منع الولاية الخامسة دون تحديد سقف معيّن للتجاوب معها، قد يحمل في طياته نتائج لا تصبّ في خانة المحتجّين. فمضاعفة الاحتجاجات دون الالتقاء والتقاطع مع تنازلات السلطة بالحدّ المعقول من وجهة نظر دوائر الحكم، من المحتمل أنه سيصطدم بمواجهات في الشارع، لأنّ نظام الحكم له مناصروه ومؤيدوه سيدافعون عن نظام الدولة ويرفضون رفضاً قاطعاً اللجوء إلى الانقلاب عليه بين عشية وضحاها ودفع السلم الأهلي نحو حافة الهاوية، لا سيما أنّ الأسرة الحاكمة قدّمت مقترحاً واعداً بتنفيذه في أجل قصير المدى، وهو مبرّر قد يضيفها رصيداً لإقناع الشارع بأنّ الدولة في خدمة المصلحة العامة للشعب، والحفاظ على أمنها واستقرارها بدلاً من جرّ البلاد نحو المجهول أو الفراغ الدستوري. وفي حال إصرار الشارع الرافض لرئاسة خامسة على المضيّ قدماً في تجاوز مطالبه وفي طليعتها تغيير جذري للنظام القائم، واعتراضه من جانب شارع المؤيدين والموالين قد سيؤدّي إلى اندلاع صدامات واشتباكات وأعمال شغب وعنف، حينها ستتدخل الأجهزة الأمنية والعسكرية وتفرض حالة الطوارئ داخل البلاد لأجل قصير أو طويل المدى، بطبيعة الحال ستصبح فرض منطق الغالب هو الأقوى على الأرض. وفي هذه الحالة ستعمل السلطة على إعادة النظر في تصحيح أوراقها وترتيب بيتها ومعالجة ما يمكن معالجته وعلى رأسها تقديم مرشح رئاسي مستقبلاً يحظى بإجماع وطني لإقناع شريحة واسعة من الشعب الجزائري بأنها الجهة الوحيدة القادرة على إنقاذ البلاد من دوامة الخلافات الخانقة والانقسامات الحادة التي تهدّد الوحدة الوطنية، والحامية الكفيلة بالتصدي وردع كلّ صوت أو حراك يستهدف زعزعة الأمن الداخلي والاستقرار السلمي.

كاتب سياسي

—–

بوتفليقة يحذر من اختراق الحراك الشعبي ضد الولاية الخامسة من أطراف داخلية وخارجية

الميادين نت

الرئيس الجزائري عبد العزيز بوتفليقة يحذر من اختراق الحراك الشعبي ضد الولاية الخامسة من أطراف داخلية وخارجية، ومدير حملته الانتخابية ينفي ما تضمّنته تقارير إعلامية عن تدهور صحته، والمحامون يبدأون التجمع في إطار تحركات باتجاه المجلس الدستوريّ.

مدير الحملة الانتخابية عبد الغني زعلان، يؤكد أنّ "التصريحات الرسمية الجزائرية عن صحة بوتفليقة مطابقة للواقع"

مدير الحملة الانتخابية عبد الغني زعلان، يؤكد أنّ “التصريحات الرسمية الجزائرية عن صحة بوتفليقة مطابقة للواقع”

حذر الرئيس الجزائري عبد العزيز بوتفليقة من اختراق الحراك الشعبي ضد الولاية الخامسة من أطراف داخلية وخارجية.

كما حذر بوتفليقة من “إثارة الفتنة وإشاعة الفوضى وما ينتج عنها من أزمات وويلات”، مشيداً بالطابع السلمي للمسيرات الشعبية في الجزائر.

وأكد بوتفليقة على ضرورة الحفاظ على الاستقرار للتفرغ للاستمرار في معركة البناء.

وكان مدير الحملة الانتخابية لبوتفليقة نفى ما تضمّنته تقارير إعلامية عن تدهور صحته.

وأكد مدير الحملة الانتخابية عبد الغني زعلان، أنّ “التصريحات الرسمية الجزائرية عن صحة بوتفليقة مطابقة للواقع”.

في هذه الأثناء، بدأ المحامون في الجزائر التجمع في إطار تحركات باتجاه المجلس الدستوريّ.

كما قرر اتحاد المحامين تجميد العمل على مستوى المحاكم والمجالس القضائية، ويطالب المحامون السلطات بـ”إرجاء الانتخابات المقررةِ في الثامن عشر من نيسان/أبريل المقبل، وبتأليف حكومة انتقالية”.

هذا وأعلن حزب جبهة القوى الاشتراكية في الجزائر، “سحب نوابه من المجلس الشعبيّ الوطنيّ ومجلس الأمة”، موضحاً في بيانه أنّ “الانسحاب جاء من أجل النضال مع الشعب في الميدان”.

كما أعلنت جمعية قدماء وزراء التسليح والاتصالات العامّة، دعمها الاحتجاجات ضد الولاية الخامسة للرئيس بوتفليقة.

الى ذلك، أكد رئيس أركان الجيش الجزائري الفريق أحمد قايد صالح، “استعداد الجيش لتوفير الظروف الآمنة التي تكفل للشعب حقّه في الانتخاب”.

ومن ناحيته، أشار النائب في البرلمان الجزائريّ عن حزب العمال يوسف تعزيبت للميادين، “رفض أي تدخّل في شؤون الجزائر من قبل القوى الإمبريالية”.

Bahrain opposition begins armed resistance against ‘Saudi occupation’ – English Subs

February 08, 2019

Note: this is the first time I am posting a video by the Middle-East Observer which has now joined the Saker Community (translations) and who will be providing us Arab-language videos translated and subtitled in English.  Please see under this video how to support the Middle-East Observer and stay in contact.  Please support this work generously!

The Saker

Original description:  A prominent Bahraini opposition leader says his al-Wefaq movement has begun carrying out increasingly sophisticated armed resistance operations against the ruling al-Khalifa government and the “Saudi occupation”. Sayyed Murtada al-Sanadi said that the ruling al-Khalifa monarchy and its Saudi backers gave no opportunity for dialogue or negotiations despite eight years of peaceful protests by the opposition. Source: Etejah TV (YouTube) Date: 24 January, 2019 ———————————————————————————————————–

Support us on Patreon: Help our work continue and grow with as little as $1/month: https://www.patreon.com/MiddleEastObserver
Subscribe – YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2PtSAPyEgn0cnYzJZKHKiw
Subscribe – Website Mailing Listhttp://middleeastobserver.net/subscribe/
Like – Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MEO.Translation/
Follow – Twitterhttps://twitter.com/MEO_Translation

Israel SITREP: The Christ-hating Israelis are at it again

Remember this:

or, for that matter, this:

Well, our Israeli friends have done it again, check out this article by RT: (just ignore all the explaining away and other cop-outs in the text of the RT article).
———-

‘McJesus’ statue sparks riot at museum in Israel as protesters call for removal of ‘offensive’ art

An art exhibit featuring a crucified Ronald McDonald caused chaos in the Israeli city of Haifa last week, after members of the country’s Arab Christian minority took offence at the depiction and protested outside the museum.Hundreds of Christian protesters called for the statue, titled ‘McJesus,’ to be removed from the museum, with Israeli police saying that some rioters even hurled a firebomb at the building and threw stones, shattering windows and injuring officers. Crowds were eventually dispersed with tear gas and stun grenades, according to the Associated Press.

Embedded video

The Wolf Report@thewolfreports

Christian Palestinians protesting in front of the Haifa Museum to the sculpture “McJesus” by Finnish artist Jani Leinonen, depicting Ronald McDonalds clown on the cross.

However, it seems the protesters missed the point of the exhibit, which was not intended to be an attack on Christianity, but instead meant as an artist’s statement on capitalism, corporate domination and how modern society and culture worship false gods. The exhibit also includes Barbie-doll boxes with Jesus and the Virgin Mary inside.

The sudden focus on the exhibit came as a surprise to Museum Director Nissim Tal, however, since the art in question had been on display for months already without issue. It is believed that photos of the controversial statue recently published on social media prompted the protests.

The work has also been shown in other countries without problems, although Israel’s Christians make up a tiny percentage of the population in a country which is already rife with ethnic and religious tensions.

Wadie Abu Nassar, an adviser to church leaders who have demanded the exhibit’s removal, told the AP it was necessary to understand that freedom of expression “is interpreted in different ways” in different societies. “If this work was directed against non-Christians, the world would be turned upside down,” he said.

The museum has refused to remove the artwork, saying that it must uphold freedom of expression and resist pressure. “If we take the art down, the next day we’ll have politicians demanding we take other things down and we’ll end up only with colorful pictures of flowers in the museum,” Tal said, adding: “We will be defending freedom of speech, freedom of art, and freedom of culture, and will not take it down.”

Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev, who has earlier been accused of supporting censorship after pushing legislation commanding national “loyalty” in art, also called for the exhibit to be taken down, saying it was “disrespectful.”

The museum has hung a curtain over the entrance to the exhibit and put up a sign saying that it is not intended to offend, but that is the “maximum” it will do, its director added. Protesters, however, have refused to give up, with one reportedly camping outside the museum in a tent with a sign calling on artists to “respect religions.”

In another twist, the Finnish artist who produced the ‘McJesus’ statue, Jani Leinonen, also wants the work taken out of the Haifa museum, but not because he doesn’t want to offend. Leinonen said he supports the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, which aims to pressure Israel to change its policies toward Palestinians.

Nadine Nashef@nanninenashef

The McJesus Saga keeps getting better and better. Apparently Finnish artist Jani Leinonen is a activist/supporter and wants his work taken out of the Haifa museum. He wasn’t aware it was being exhibited there. 😂

———-

Bottom line is this: if it is anti-Christian, then even a BDS-supporting goy will get his 15 minutes of fame in the “only democracy in the Middle-East”.

These guys, and the al-Qaeda crazies, are the forces which the West chose to support in the Middle-East.

Bravo!

The Saker

نقاط على الحروف تحية للمبادرة الشيوعية… إلى الأمام

الشيوعي ينجح في تحرّكه الأول: نحو العصيان؟

ديسمبر 17, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– لبنانيون كثر لا يشاركون الحزب الشيوعي اللبناني الكثير من مواقفه ونظرته للكثير من الملفات أثلجت صدورهم مبادرة الشيوعيين للخروج المنظم إلى الشارع لرفع البطاقة الحمراء للنظام السياسي والاقتصادي أمام أزمة اجتماعية خانقة، تدقّ أبواب الفقراء وذوي الدخل المحدود والشباب العاطلين عن العمل، بيد قاسية مع اقتراب مواسم البرد والشتاء. والفرح بالمبادرة الشيوعية نابع من عوامل عدة على الشيوعيين الانتباه إليها والاستثمار عليها، للمضي قدماً وصولاً لتحقيق غايات لا يجهضها خروج الحكومة إلى النور، ولا تجعل صرختهم مجرد ومضة عابرة.

– في البلد يقين بأن المعالجات للشأن الاقتصادي والمالي والاجتماعي منحازة بقوة إلى جانب حيتان المال، ويقين بأن الفساد يخترق أغلب القوى السياسية الممثلة في السلطة، بما فيها تلك التي هي قيد الولادة، وبأن التقاسم للمغانم والمكاسب والمناصب، في خلفية أغلب الخلافات السياسية، بما فيها تعقيدات ولادة الحكومة المنتظرة منذ شهور، ويقين بأن شيئاً جذرياً لن يتغير بولادتها سوى الحركة التي يمكن أن تدب نسبياً في آلة الدولة الصدئة والمعطلة، يقابل ذلك قلق من أيّ تحرك تقوده قوى غامضة، ربما تنتهي في أحضان المسؤولين سياسياً أو اقتصادياً عن الأزمة برشوة هنا أو مكسب فئوي هناك، أو تنتهي بفوضى تجعل كل حراك واسع صندوق بريد للرسائل في الداخل والخارج، أو تنتهي بتصنيف طائفي أو فئوي للحراك يقيد انفتاحه على كل الشعب اللبناني. وهذه مخاوف لا يطمئنها لكون التحرّك بقيادة الشيوعيين، الموجودين خارج جنة الحكم والمصالح.

– المطلوب من الشيوعيين وقد حازوا من الذين لم يشاركونهم تحرّك الأمس، لكنهم صفقوا لهم بقلوبهم، إدراك الحاجة للمواظبة والمثابرة، كل أحد على حراك مشابه، سينضم إليه المزيد فالمزيد كلما أظهر الشيوعيون قدرة على إثبات ما ينتظره منهم اللبنانيون، طغيان لبنانيتهم على شيوعيتهم، اي العلم اللبناني والنشيد الوطني اللبناني، والهتافات الجامعة للبنانيين، والترفع عن الحزبية العصبية، وكلما أظهروا استعداداً للانفتاح على قيادة جماعية للتحرّك تسعى لضم كل من يبدي استعداداً للمشاركة، وخصوصاً الخصوم العقائديين والسياسيين للحزب، فالكثير من العقائديين القوميين والإسلاميين والكتائبيين كانو أمس يصفقون للشيوعيين عدا الكثير من القيادات النقابية والشعبية ومنظمات مدنية. وهذا لم يحدث من قبل، والتقاط اللحظة يستدعي توجيه دعوة منزهة عن الكسب الضيق للجميع، الجميع دون استثناء وبأسمائهم، وقياداتهم، ليكونوا قبل الأحد المقبل في لقاء تشاوري جامع واسع عنوانه: كيف نطلق حراكاً هادفاً للتغيير الاقتصادي والاجتماعي لا يخضع لمساومات وصفقات جانبية مع النظام السياسي والاقتصادي، وتحديد المطالب الواضحة والفعالة التي لا تراجع دون نيلها، والدعوة بنهاية اللقاء وفقاً لبيان يحمل تواقيع الحضور، لأحد لبناني يجمع الساحات من 8 و14 آذار، تحت العنوان الاجتماعي، حيث الشيوعيون ضمانة عدم الانقسام كما عدم التطييف وعدم التسييس، والأهم عدم الذهاب إلى خراب الفوضى.

– الفرص التاريخية تأتي مرة واحدة ولا تنتظر، وقد دقّ الحزب الشيوعي باب فرصة تاريخية أمس، ستجعل له مكانة في كتابة تاريخ جديد للبنان، إن أحسن التعامل معها، وأول شروط التقاط الفرص التاريخية، السرعة والترفع والتواضع والصدق، وتلك ميزات لا ينقص الشيوعين إدراكها أو توفيرها، فهي بعض مما يُنتظر منهم.

Related Videos

Related Articles

France’s Yellow Vests: It’s just 1 protest…which has lasted 8 years

December 07, 2018

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker BlogFrance’s Yellow Vests: It’s just 1 protest…which has lasted 8 years

The most important thing to understand about France’s Yellow Vest movement is that the Mainstream Media wants you to view it as an isolated incident which exists in a vacuum, when we are much better served to look at in a continuum.

When the Yellow Vests started I was not foolish to say: “So what?”

After all, the Yellow Vest movement is dwarfed by France’s first major anti-austerity protests in the fall of 2010. When Nicolas Sarkozy backtracked on a promise to raise the retirement age France saw 7 marches in 8 weeks with (conservatively) 1.5 million marchers each time. Over just one week there were three different marches with perhaps 3 million people! The three Yellow Vest marches – and all are on Saturdays, to make it easier for people to attend – only reached 300,000 demonstrators one time. So we’re talking 10 times smaller than in 2010 per protest, and something like 30 times smaller if we compare the two movements overall.

Unsurprisingly, I have yet to read of this “ancient history” in any of the Anglophone Mainstream Media coverage of the Yellow Vests. It’s “vacuum versus continuum” in terms of journalistic approach.

I summarise the “continuum” approach in an original saying about journalism (at least I think it’s original): “A journalist without experience is just somebody with a notepad and a pen.”

Some Mainstream journalist who doesn’t know about 2010 – do they really grasp what the Yellow Vests are about? Because the Yellow Vests were definitely there back in 2010…but they remained in the car (Reflective yellow vests in your car are required by French law: in case you get a flat tire or something, you have the vest to put on for safety from oncoming traffic.).

So, if we believe the living-in-a-vacuum Mainstream Media then the Yellow Vest protests are finished: President Emmanuel Macron just canceled the diesel tax hikes. The protests are no longer necessary, right?

Wrong.

There is no reason why AFP, AP, Reuters and everybody else spent all that time saying “diesel tax, diesel tax, diesel tax” other than: they are either purposely misleading people by viewing the diesel tax in total isolation from previous policies, or they are a bunch of inexperienced newbies, or they just want to be proven right for repeatedly making this absurd diesel tax claim. My point: it’s all bad journalism.

Second-most important thing to realize about austerity: it has accumulated

I hear and read stories about the French in 2018 similar to what I used to read about Greece in 2012 – because austerity is cumulative.

It is not just one tax / measure / policy / reform: it is all of them combined. And we are talking about 8 years’ worth.

“Ramin, you are usually awfully long-winded. Do you get paid by the word? Even in your funny columns, you could use an editor. Just explain what you mean about this in real-world terms!”

Fine – hear ya go:

French inflation, according to my calculations, has increased by 14% since 2008: therefore, people have effectively taken a 14% wage cut in 10 years. This helps explain why “decreased purchasing power” has been the number one concern of the French year after year after year.

Salaries in France are already low to start with:1,700 euros is the median net salary, which is far lower than Anglo-US-Germanic countries.

Ok, so you have a lousy salary to start with, which has lost 14% of its value in the last decade. But inflation is not caused by the policy of neoliberal / trickle-down / austerity economics, of course.

But France does have austerity, so 14% is not the only reduction: we must account for the impact on salaries of 8 years of cuts to social services, because a key plank of austerity is reducing the size of the government. This means YOU foot the bill for many services the government used to totally provide or subsidise.

So let’s say, conservatively, because it really depends on the size of your family and what their needs are, that this has effectively lowered your yearly salary 5% overall during the Age of Austerity. Your salary is now actually worth about 20% less than in 2008.

Now let’s add in the new taxes imposed by austerity, because austerity means that the French state taxes workers and not capital, and more than ever. Did you expect that high finance would pay for their failed bets? Ha ha, you are funny – you probably say things like “France is socialist”, too. For example: two years ago they increased my council tax (the annual tax I pay for renting an apartment, so that I avoid things like getting rained on and assault-while-sleeping) by 60%. I don’t know how that’s legal or morally defensible, and I was enraged, but how could I stop them? It went from to €1,285 in 2016 to €2,134 in 2017.

So let’s say, conservatively, that the increased taxes imposed by austerity have taken just 5% of your salary over the last 10 years: your salary is now down 25% from 2008.

Of course, losing 25% of your wages in 10 years is no problem IF your wages have increased 25%.

In 2008 the government claimed the median salary was €1,580 per month for a full-time worker. In 2015, which is this year’s data from the government (why are they so behind schedule, probably because austerity means firing/not replacing government workers), the median salary was €1,692. This means that the median salary has only increased 7%.

So we can conservatively estimate that the median citizen has lost 18% of their salary in real terms since 2008, all thanks to following austerity economics.

For people making €1,700 per month in 2018…losing €306 per month is a huge, huge problem. For childless, former Rothschild bankers who married elderly chocolate heiresses/statutory rapists…€306 only means skimping on the wine tonight.

But wait, it’s worse!

Not only has austerity taken this huge cut out of your already-meagre salary, they have made it significantly more likely that you will lose your poorly-paying job due to long-standing, near-record unemployment levels in France.

This pressure exists because another plank of austerity is the reduction of and/or the refusal to spend government money on job-creating infrastructure PLUS the insistence on giving tax breaks to corporations and businessmen WITH zero strings attached (such as the promise of jobs).

And, the coup de grace, austerity means reduced safety conditions, making firing easier and loosening oversight rules – as a way to encourage hiring – so your poor-paying job is even more disagreeable.

And who has arrived on the scene immune to these pressures, and thus just oozing life, but “old Mackie” Emmanuel Macron. Well, when the shark bites with his teeth, babe, and the scarlet billows start to spread – Mackie’s got them fancy gloves, so there’s never a trace of red. Never a trace of policy-sweat, either: he controls his brand-new political party, which has an absolute majority in Parliament. France is Macron’s little austerity laboratory, and he doesn’t care about public opinion and nor does he have to.

So the “real-world terms” in France are: major cuts in take home pay, combined with job insecurity, combined with a mad neoliberal scientist who doesn’t believe he was elected to reflect the popular will but to rule as he technocratically thinks best.

Can you hear the Mainstream Media shouting to drown me out: “The problem is just the diesel tax, just the diesel tax I tell ya!

Let’s be real journalists and do the math, and give the context, and recount the history

Want me to quickly debunk Macron’s rationale for the diesel tax, which is dutifully placed at the top of every Mainstream Media report?

France’s auto industry made a failed bet on diesel in the 1980s. Result: a whopping 80% of French passenger cars now run on diesel. Pretty clear why the diesel tax is so widely unpopular, no?

Diesel is dirtier than regular gas, but has always been cheaper – until old Mackie came along. But Macron’s “this tax is needed to pay for a necessary ecological transition” is pure bull: Instead of taxing stockholders, corporations and car dealership owners for this failed bet (i.e., the ones who profited) Macron is capitalistically taxing labor (workers, households). There are myriad other ways to make the necessary auto-ecological transition than taxing the average person…but not in capitalism.

People think France is “socialist” because they have a great social safety net, but it remains a capitalist country because they tax labor and not the 1% / management to pay for this safety net. That is the reason the median salary is so low compared with other Western nations. The diesel tax is not the only example of this – ALL French taxes are: It’s so bad that in 2018 all the wages of the average French worker from January 1 until July 27 went to the taxman, to give some real-world context. (In Iran, being so heavily socialist-inspired, 50% of the population pays zero taxes, including every farmer – the money comes from oil revenue (socialistically state-owned) and businesses.)

That’s some context for the latest austerity measure – the diesel tax -which is no different from a banker bailout because Macron wanted to capitalistically make the average person pay for the failures of high finance / alleged technocrats / the rich bosses once again.

But what about the many austerity measures which preceded this one? That laundry list is long and stinking, but I’ll make it brief because I think it matters:

The first austerity cuts were rushed through in 2011, with 2012 serving as France’s first official austerity budget. The reason: the confidence fairy” and France’s AAA bond rating. Did the People want them? Sarkozy became the first French president not to be re-elected in 30 years.

I remember when Francois “The Ultimate Patsy” Hollande came along in 2012. He was a formerly-fat, witty, jovial, (alleged) Everyman from rural France. Surely HE would understand the popular will and do what he promised: break with the Austerity Party line enforced by Brussels, as his campaign was built around a promise to renegotiate the Orwellian-named EU Stability and Growth Pact. I really can’t express how high optimism was in May 2012 – evil Sarkozyites were traitors, and France was truly going to lead a Latin Bloc La Résistance against the arrogant Germans, Dutch and usurious Northern bankers.

Instead, Hollande broke the Socialist Party.

He backtracked on ending austerity on November 6, 2012, by announcing another round of it, and which contained basically all the neoliberal, economically-regressive measures proposed by Sarkozy during the presidential campaign. It was Obama turning into Dubya Bush à la française. The very next day Hollande announced the approval of a draft law to legalise gay marriage and adoption. Funny how I never read about this connection in the Mainstream Media, ever, even though it was a simply atrocious act of societal and political manipulation of the media agenda. That alone was enough to turn many French off of politics for years.

Yellow Vests were thus diverted to enormous anti-gay rights marches, instead of being at anti-austerity marches, but the vests still remained in the car.

How much time do you have to discuss incredibly repressive anti-government protests during the Hollande era? How about after the State of Emergency was imposed? How about the “France has free speech except for pro-Palestinians, whose marches we ban”? What about the 2014 months of protests, led by the rail workers – I dutifully filled up my car with gas (it’s such a fancy car that I was able to buy it entirely with €1 and €2 coins, LOL) in order to help provoke fuel shortages, which have only just barely begun in the current, far-weaker iteration of fuel depot blockades. What about the 2016 Labor Code reforms, when it was all-out war on Hollande?

I never did discover a Western presidential incumbent who was so unpopular that he couldn’t even run for re-election. Feel free to finally provide me with an answer to that trivia question, because for now Hollande is that punchline to that joke.

But Hollande sure did punch – protesters, that is. I don’t know what NGOs are doing but it’s not compiling this data, so off the top of my head – and after asking other journalists – I would estimate that at least 15-20,000 citizens were arrested at anti-government protests during the Hollande era, with 20-30,000 hurt (and truly countless tear-gassed and harassed by cops). Hey, you had 4,000 protesters taken to court by the government during the 2016 protests alone – how many got arrested but were not given court cases? And how many more would have been arrested had not over 600 demonstrations been banned by “liberté-loving” France during the 2-year State of Emergency, with countless others strangled in the cradle? The anal rape of a young Black man by cops with their truncheon in 2017 isn’t necessarily economic austerity-related, but it is evidence of emboldened state repression: my headline sums up the Hollande era when it comes to “Frnce’s love for freedom of assembly”: Cop violence at Paris demo against cop violence.

And how much time do you have to discuss incredibly repressive anti-government protests during 18 months of Macron? The labor code part 2 reform, the rail reform, the education reform, hospital reform, normalization of the state of emergency reform – all have been met with majority-opposition from the People and the same state violence.

So when 400 people got arrested and over 130 anti-government protesters were hurt at the Arc de Triomphe protests last week – this is not seriously different from many other violent protests over the past 8 years!

I admit, I have never seen the Arc de Triomphe tagged with graffiti, but that’s the only real novelty – the violence is totally de rigeur in French political life and anyone who says otherwise is either ignorant or a liar.

Or they are hypocrites, because violence against anti-government protesters is apparently ok…in Western countries. Since 2011 I have been saying on PressTV: “If this was Iran, Cuba, China or Venezuela the West would be calling for a humanitarian intervention to save the people from such anti-democratic aggression.”

I eventually stopped saying it – I just got tired of it, ya know? Rather, the West’s hypocrisy just got acceptable. Terrible journalism on my part.

I guess I also stopped being upset over people getting hurt at demonstrations for the same reason – it became mundane, normal. More bad journalism – and bad humanity, and bad citizenship – on my part.

However, I didn’t do what the Anglophone media simply loves to do: I never blamed French protesters for the violence. My God, the Anglophones and their “Keep calm and carry on” worship of law and order at all they costs…what a bunch of sheep, eh? They wouldn’t revolt under any circumstances, I’d say.

Of course, unlike those idiot commentators I have been at innumerable violent protests and choked down litres of tear gas. Fact one: if the cops fail to stop violence it is the fault of the cops, as that is their primary job. Fact two: if the government provokes violent protests, it is the fault of the government, as it is their job to promote policies which do not inspire citizen rebellion. Fact three: France’s armed-to-the-teeth riot police are inherently provoking to the increasingly-poor and increasingly-repressed Frenchmen who come to protest the government and not to get intimidated by it, so their whole plan is designed to fail…and purposely – we talk about the violence and not the reasons nor the past. More “politics in a vacuum and not a continuum”.

Future of Yellow Vests – going on vacation, I’m betting

Of course the Yellow Vesters are going on vacation shortly – it’s December 6. The past 10 years of French history ALWAYS shows that the protesters – no matter how hot, blue and righteous – prefer taking a vacation to sustaining their political momentum. Nothing must stand in the way of several weeks off in December-January and August!

This is, of course, is why they keep losing.

So here’s a real easy test for you to see if the Yellow Vests are different: If the French are seriously protesting on the couple days on either side of Christmas or New Year’s Eve – that would be a revolution in political norms.

But I’ve seen it year after year, so I predict the protests will stop after December 16, and then re-start in January but necessarily weakened. The French sure do make it easy for the politicians they truly despise.

But maybe not so weakened upon restarting….

Beyond the Arc de Triomphe graffiti, I am seeing things I’ve never seen before – like a motorcyclist in rush hour wearing a Yellow Vest with “General Strike – Let’s Stop It All”. Anybody who knows anything knows that a general strike – the only demonstration which actually hurts the pockets of the 1% – is the only way to get any true political change anywhere in the world and at any time (barring outright revolution and rebellion).

Maybe this is the year Santa Claus is not the priority?

People outside of France ask me: will there be a revolution? Here is my stock answer:

No: a huge percentage of French are just as insanely committed and prideful about their outdated, 19th-century based system as the Americans. This is the true legacy of imperialism – unmerited arrogance about your system. Iranians use “arrogance” and “imperialism” interchangeably for very logical and obvious reasons.

But, once again, maybe not so arrogant after 8 years of austerity….

The far-left (true left) and far-right are making unprecedented calls for new elections, for referendums, for things which are rather radical. Let’s not forget that in the 2017 presidential first round vote 19.5% of the electorate voted for Jean-Luc Melenchon (just 2 points less than Marine Le Pen), whose platform included abolishing the 5th Republic. So in France you have an inordinate amount of arrogant jingoists whose parents grew up in French Algeria, but there definitely is a sizeable part of the population which knows things are fundamentally wrong about France’s Liberal-and-not-Socialist Democracy-influenced structure.

And the problem is definitely structural – it is not just the price of diesel.

Any true “Yellow Vest Revolution” would have to include a drastic rewriting of the rules of the European Union and especially the Eurozone, or else a Frexit. Both of those institutions were constructed in the heyday of the fall of the USSR , and thus at a time where socialism was at its absolute nadir. Their birth chart is significant because the two are designed with 1%-safety hatches to escape anything close to true popular democracy. The structure of these two institutions are truly the triumph of “Americanism”, and their neoliberal, self-cannibalizing socio-political thought. Indeed, the US runs on a system inspired by the English, French and Europe, but Continental Europe runs on a system inspired by the US…ironic. And unfortunate.

If the Yellow Vest movement proves to be different it will be largely because of this: they have, and they allow, no leaders or spokespeople. The Prime Minister admitted that he cannot meet with any Yellow Vests, because the ones he arranges to meet with keep getting death threats from fellow Yellow Vesters.

The reason this is so important is: the government cannot co-opt or buy off the movement.

Take French unions for example – there are nine big ones. There was a span lasting from 2010 to 2018 when they didn’t march together once, even though their members all hate austerity. Obviously, they are not united at all. What I have seen year after year in France is: there are anti-austerity strikes and hopes are high…but then the government buys off one or two of the unions with targeted concessions. Those unions say, “We’ve satisfied our members, as is our duty,” and they pull out. Thus, the strikes are now less impactful on the pockets of the 1%, and they are emboldened. Those still striking feel betrayed and see the lack of solidarity, and the strike soon collapses because too many people went back to work. It’s all as easy as pie for the ruling technocrats and 1%, whereas all an increasingly-poor average worker can say each year is: “This time it will be different.” It likely won’t be – French unions have signed off on every major austerity measure, after all.

All of that should go a long way in explaining why socialist countries like Iran, Cuba and China ban independent trade unions – for them the state IS the union.

You can be sure the Yellow Vests are certainly aware of the failure of the philosophy underpinning Western unionism, and thus they are trying to prevent being similarly co-opted or sold out. The death threats and opposition to any leadership are now given context: radicalization and the demand for new methods has accumulated, due to the accumulation of austerity; it is not merely the presence of (politically over-idealistic and step-skipping) French anarchism.

The Yellow Vest Movement also doesn’t even have a program or a list of clear demands which could be satisfied…and I say “right on”.

Their list of demands should be SO long and SO varied that it would take months just to compile it…because their demands are the combined demands of 8 years of anti-austerity protests.

Who are the Yellow Vests, after all? They are all those workers, students, pensioners, teachers, hospital staff, etc. who have been protesting and gotten only tear gas and failure for their efforts. They all have ignored demands which must be addressed, no?

So they don’t need a short & clear program which creates a quite fix because France’s problem is – just like the EU and the Eurozone – structural, cultural and endemic.

Is this a Yellow Vest Cultural Revolution, or just another failed anti-austerity protest?

People will mock me, but something like a Chinese or Iranian Cultural Revolution is clearly needed: several years of shutting down institutions and having major public political discussions in order to have both a huge rethink on societal structures and to get “Rebel Red Guards/Yellow Vests” into local positions of power.

Disagree? Ok, then answer this: How long can this go on?

I don’t mean the Yellow Vest protests – I mean citizen acceptance of anti-democratic austerity. Anything is possible, after all – give me a real figure, please: The Eurozone has had a Lost Decade (which the Mainstream Media never openly admits): will Eurozone citizens tolerate a Lost Score, like the Japanese did?

I say no: Japan is an island, ethnically and culturally homogenous, and they own their debt and cannot be foreclosed on. The Eurozone has none of these advantages.

Here’s another issue I’d like an actual answer on: How long can France have a president and a government which believes public opinion only matters once every five years? One more presidential election? Maybe you believe three more? I admit, anything is possible.

Again, I say no. The Socialist Party is smashed, the mainstream conservative party was routed almost as badly, and Macron’s party – at this rate – will be just a blip in France’s political history books, because they are even less popular than Hollande was at the same point in his term. So who is the party which will be running in 2027? We have no idea in France, much less in 2022.

So when I say that new people in local positions in power are not just needed, that is an understatement: they appear absolutely inevitable.

Another question requiring an actual answer: Where is the political party or grassroots movement which can tangibly implement the Yellow Vests’ will, once that will is known? I am not being obtuse – what is the political pathway for them?

The only alternatives which are not smashed (or soon to be discredited) and still within the realm of possibility are Le Pen and the far-left (real left).

But I don’t think such a Red-Brown alliance can happen in France, however: hatred for the National Front cannot be overestimated, and Le Pen permanently lost many by clowning against Macron in their 2017 debate instead of realising she had a chance to win. Uber-intense anti-Le Pen / Rassemblement National sentiment is the only explanation that France chose a 40-year old Rothschild banker 6 years into austerity. And we can’t overestimate the anti-leftist feeling in France: France neo-imperialist, France capitalist, France Islamophobic, etc. Melenchon came so very close in 2017, but he has the entire media landscape against him, and for many his past as a Socialist Party member until as late as 2008.

Therefore, a real political option – but only by default – is that the Yellow Vests turn into Italy’s Five-Star movement, because they lack any other route to translating their political will, when declared (or if declared, given French anarchism).

But Five-Star took 8 years to coalesce and win power – the Yellow Vests are still in month #1.

However, as my headline notes, this has essentially been the same protest for 8 years, going on 9, so maybe France as a whole is “there”? Maybe the timeline is speeded up in the digital age, too? That’s a significant psychological consideration, but Italy does not give us much hope for 4G political speed in France.

Given the 90,000 cops to be deployed on December 8, it appears that the Yellow Vests are still in “smash” mode, as they should be. Austerity has accumulated after the Great Recession, so there is much to demolish: namely, received wisdoms such as France is democratic, functioning well, rather-socialist, sovereign, etc; there’s also the pan-European ideas (beloved by the French elite) that these new institutions have been beneficial, successful, are the only thing preventing European War III, etc. Lotta nonsense to bring down to earth.

They say we can never predict a revolution, but we do know what precedes successful revolutions: years (if not decades) of nationwide, constant, family-splitting political discussion and involvement combined with drastic measures of self-sacrifice. That was the case in Russia in 1917 and in Iran in 1979 – thus their Revolutions were more aptly-termed bloodless “Celebrations”.

France is a long way from celebrating anything but Christmas, but I can report that all anybody is talking about is the Gilet Jaunes. However, we are truly only on the 6th day of this nationwide ferment, though, so…some perspective.

But, as far as my 2 centimes, I predict they will take Christmas and New Year’s off. And when they come back the same problems will be there. This is a very cynical and depressing point of view – maybe after 10 years here I have become French? – but those are the facts and the historical pattern.

What is also a fact is that the Yellow Vests may or may not change things, but that things in France and the Eurozone simply must change. And they will – someday. See, I’m not that French – I’m optimistic!

And for damn sure I am a Yellow Vest. So is everyone else I’ve talked to, and that means something big…at least for now.

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. He can be reached on Facebook.

%d bloggers like this: