PRELIMINARY RESULTS: PUTIN ACHIEVES DECISIVE VICTORY IN RUSSIAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

19.03.2018

South front

Preliminary Results: Putin Achieves Decisive Victory In Russian Presidential Election

Russian President and Presidential candidate Vladimir Putin at a polling station during the presidential election in Moscow, Russia March 18, 2018. Yuri Kadobnov/POOL via Reuters

The Russian Central Election Commission (CEC) has published preliminary results of the 2018 presidential election [55.34% of ballots processed].

  • Vladimir Putin is leading with about 75% of votes.
  • Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin is running second with about 13%.
  • A candidate from the so-called “liberal opposition” Ksenia Sobchak currently has about 1.5%.

The voter turnout is currently 59.93%.

Vladimir Putin is going to secure a decisive victory in the Russian presidential election 2018. A large-scale campaign of the so-called “liberal opposition”, backed up by Western power holders, aimed at discrediting the election has resulted in a total failure. The voter turnout of 59,93 shows that a major part of the Russian population has ignored the opposition’s appeals to ignore the election in order to declare it illegitimate.

Even if claims of the so-called “liberal opposition” and the “international community” about alleged “mass forgeries” are close to some kind of reality and the current government has “added” additional 5-6% to Putin [it’s hardly possible to add more under the conditions of live broadcasting from polling stations], the current Russian president has achieved a resounding victory.

It’s interesting to note that Grudinin, a candidate from Russia’s Communist Party, has achieved the second result with about 13%. Grudinin has been the Putin’s competitor that has shown himself as professional politician. One the same time, the communist candidate has more hard-line views on the governemnt and foreign pilicies that Russia should implement.

On the same time, the “liberal opposition” candidate, Sobchak, has failed. She and her backers from pro-Western power elites have tried to exploit the desire of changes among the population, especially among middle-class in big cities. Sobchak, a pop-tv anchor, has promoted herself as a “none-of-the-above” candidate and called on all who do not want to vote in favour of Putin to support her. This strategy has appeared to be inefficient.

Earlier today, the CEC’s website and information center have faced a cyber-attack from from 15 countries. However, no furious reports over the meddling of 15 states into the Russian election have been seen in the MSM so far. In turn, the Russians have reacted to the attack without drama.

In coming days, SF will continue providing reports about the results of the Russian presidential election and further developments.

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يا معالي الوزير.. كلّها انتخابات

يا معالي الوزير.. كلّها انتخابات

مارس 9, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– إذا عطفنا كلام وزير الداخلية نهاد المشنوق في حواره المتلفز ليل أمس، مع كلامه من منبر وزراء الداخلية العرب في الجزائر لا نستطيع إلا أن نشمّ روائح الانتخابات رغم الوجدانيات التي أراد الوزير ربط موقفه من قضية المسرحي زياد عيتاني بها، مستذكراً ما وصفه باتهامه بالعمالة وتعرّضه للتهديد وموقفه البطولي في مواجهة ذلك، مقابل نصائح تذكّر منها نصيحة للوزير السابق أشرف ريفي بإصدار بيان يهين نفسه به لطي الملف، والسؤال هنا هو بالاستذكار الذي أراده المشنوق نفياً لتهمة الاعتبارات الانتخابية في موقفه من ملف اتهام عيتاني، هل حشر اسم ريفي كان مجرد ذكر للوقائع، وهل استعراض موقف من الذاكرة لنيل التعاطف من جهة، واستعراض البطولة من جهة مقابلة، مجرد تذكّر لشاهد على العصر، أم هو جوهر الخطاب الانتخابي؟

– يا معالي الوزير، هل تتذكر أنّ هناك من جرى اتهامه بما لا يقلّ خطورة عما وصفته باتهامك بالعمالة، بعد اغتيال الرئيس رفيق الحريري، وبمؤتمر صحافي رسمي لرئيس الحكومة، وبدون أيّ دليل، واقتُحم منزله وتمّ النيل من سمعته والتحريض على قتله، وكانت الأجهزة الأمنية التي تتباهى بصدقيّتها، هي مَن فبرك ومَنْ أعدّ ملفات الاتهام والشهود الزور، وهي مجرد مسخرة وفعل انتقام مريض وتوظيف سياسي مشبوه، وأنّ هؤلاء لبنانيين مثلك لهم عائلاتهم وسمعتهم ووطنيتهم، ولك كشخص أن تخالفهم الرأي، لكن لا يحقّ كوزير أن تستذكر حادثة أقلّ شأناً مما تعرّضوا له بفضل إنجازات تيارك السياسي الذي وظف مسؤولية شخصياته السياسية على أجهزة أمنية ليوظّفها لحساباته الفئوية، والمبرّر الوحيد لذاكرتك الأحادية هو شخصنة الحدث طلباً للتعاطف، والحساب انتخابي، والنفي هنا يأتي في معرض التأكيد.

– في الجزائر كنت ممثلاً للبنان وحكومته، يا معالي الوزير، فهل تأتينا بمستند من البيان الوزاري للحكومة أو من قرارات مجلس الوزراء ما يخوّلك أن تقول، ما بدا بالنيابة عن مجلس الوزراء السعودي وليس عن مجلس الوزراء اللبناني، وفيه حرفياً أنّ «التمدّد الإيراني هو أحد أسباب الأزمة الأمنية والسياسية في العالم العربي، ولبنان العربي لم ولن يسمح بأن يكون شوكة في خاصرة العرب، ويجب ألا تيأسوا وألا تستسهلوا تسليم لبنان لإيران أو غيرها. فمن يسلّم لبنان يكون يسلّم نفسه، وهذا هو درس التاريخ الذي تعلّمناه معاً بكلفة عالية عالية عالية والمشروع الإيراني الذي لم ينجح في أن يكون عامل استقرار وإنماء في أيّ بقعة وصل إليها، فهذا الدور لم ينتج إلا الأزمات، لكنّ هذا لا يعفينا من السؤال: ماذا فعلنا في المواجهة مع إيران أو في الحوار معها؟». فهل هذا كلام وزير لبناني أم وزير سعودي، وما في هذا الكلام من تحريض ضمني على مَن يُفترض أنهم أدوات الدور الإيراني الذي تحذّر من مخاطره وتتعهّد بمقاومته، والمعني هنا شريك في الوطن وفي الحكومة، واللعب بنار الفتن يبدأ من هنا يا معالي الوزير، أم هذا هو شدّ العصب المذهبي عشية الذهاب للانتخابات؟ وهل هذا التزام بالنأي بالنفس الذي تدّعون أنه مطلبكم، وهل الحديث بنبرة سعودية له وظيفة غير الانتخابات وطلب الودّ، ولو بانتهاك حدود المسؤولية الدستورية؟

– معالي الوزير، بيننا وبين الانتخابات شهران، فإذا

كنت من اليوم مستعداً لارتكاب هذه التجاوزات ووزارتك هي المعنية بالعملية الانتخابية ونزاهتها، فأنت أكثر المطالبين بين زملائك بإثبات الحياد بالقدرة على الفصل بين صفتك الوزارية وكونك مرشحاً، وإ ثبات الحياد الوزاري في ملفات الانتخابات بمواقف الوزير وتصريحاته وسلوكه، وأول الثقة بالأمن، يا معالي الوزير، ليست الثقة بالأجهزة الأمنية التي لا تُعوزها الأهلية ولا الشجاعة ولا الكفاءة، ولا الثقة بالقضاء الذي لا تعوزه أهلية وكفاءة وشجاعة. أول الثقة بالأمن كما بالانتخابات هي الثقة بوجود وزير قبضاي شجاع يحمي الأجهزة من التدخلات السياسية، ويترفّع عن توظيف صفته الوزارية لحساب فريقه السياسي وحكماً لحساب مصالحه السياسية، والوقت لم يفُت بعد.

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Putin’s Syrian withdrawal announcement: an analysis

December 12, 2017

Putin’s Syrian withdrawal announcement: neither a full Russian withdrawal nor victory in Syria

by Alexander Mercouris (cross-posted with The Duran by special agreement with the author)

At a time when President Putin is undertaking a tour of the Middle East it would have been politically speaking extremely unwise for him not to have made a stop-over to meet the Russian troops at the Khmeimim air base whom Putin himself sent to Syria.

A failure to do so might have conveyed the impression that Putin takes these troops for granted, an impression which Putin is far too good a politician to want to give.

No Soviet leader – not Brezhnev or Gorbachev – ever visited the Soviet troops sent by the USSR to Afghanistan in the 1980s.

That however was at a time when the USSR did not have competitive elections.  With Russia due to hold Presidential elections in March Putin cannot afford to appear as indifferent to the Russian troops in Syria as the Soviet leaders were towards the Soviet troops they had sent to Afghanistan.

Doing so would make a very bad impression, not just amongst the troops themselves but also across the whole Russian military and with the troops’ families.

With Russia’s military – including Russia’s military families – constituting one of Putin’s strongest electoral constituencies, needlessly annoying them is not a mistake Putin is going to make just three months before he stands for re-election as Russia’s President.

That this was the reason for Putin’s visit to Khmeimim air base and for his making his withdrawal announcement is shown by what he said to the troops when he was there.

In order to show this I will reproduce these comments here in full as the Kremlin’s website reports them

The most important thing for a military person – and we are very much aware of this – is the defence of our Fatherland, our people. This is not just the purpose of military service, but also the purpose of life for those who have devoted themselves to serving their people.

At the same time, a soldier is truly tested for loyalty to the Fatherland in a military operation fraught with huge risks to life and health. Here, in Syria, far from home, you are doing exactly that – you are protecting our country.

By helping the people of Syria to maintain their statehood, to fight off attacks by terrorists, you have inflicted a devastating blow to those who have directly, brazenly and openly threatened our country.

We will never forget the sacrifices and losses incurred in the struggle against terrorism both here in Syria and in Russia. However, it will not make us fold our hands and retreat. This is not in our peoples’ nature.

On the contrary, this memory will continue to motivate us to eradicate this absolute evil – terrorism – whatever face it hides behind.

Yes, the threat of terrorism around the world is still very high. However, the task of combating the armed groups here in Syria, the goal that needed to be addressed with the help of the large-scale use of the armed forces, has been largely resolved – and brilliantly resolved. Congratulations!

Our Armed Forces and our defence contractors have shown the growing power of the Russian Army and Navy, and the high combat capability of the various military units.

Pilots, sailors, members of special forces, reconnaissance, troop-control and logistic support units, military police, medical personnel, field engineers and advisers working in the battle units of the Syrian Army have displayed the best qualities of Russian soldiers, such as courage, heroism, combat cohesion, determination, as well as excellent training and professionalism.

The Homeland is proud of you. I am convinced that you will always faithfully serve the Fatherland, defend and uphold our national interests, our country and its people.

Syria has been preserved as a sovereign and independent state. Refugees are returning to their homes. Favourable conditions have been created for a political settlement under the UN. The Russian Centre for the reconciliation of opposing sides in Syria continues to operate in line with international agreements.

The two bases, in Tartous and Khmeimim, will continue to operate on a permanent basis. If the terrorists raise their heads again, we will deal unprecedented strikes unlike anything they have seen.

In just over two years, the Russian Armed Forces and the Syrian Army have defeated the most combat-ready group of international terrorists. In this connection, I have decided to redeploy most of the Russian military contingent from the Syrian Arab Republic to Russia.

You are returning victorious to your homes, your families, parents, wives, children and friends.

I hereby order the Defence Minister and the General Chief of Staff to start redeploying units of the Russian army group to their permanent bases.

The Homeland is waiting for you, friends. Godspeed! Thank you for your service.

The key point is that Russia’s deployment to Syria was a controversial step in Russia, including amongst Russia’s military.

As The Saker for one has repeatedly and correctly pointed out the Russian military unlike the US military is not structured to intervene constantly abroad but is overwhelmingly focused on a single mission, which is the defence of the Russian homeland ie. of Russia itself.

The Saker summed it up perfectly with these words written in an article which can be found here

The legal purpose of the Russian Armed Forces.

The Federal Law N61-F3 “On Defense”, Section IV, Article 10, Para 2 clearly states that the mission of the Russian Armed Forces is to

repel aggression against the Russian Federation, the armed defence of the integrity and inviolability of the territory of the Russian Federation, and to carry out tasks in accordance with international treaties of the Russian Federation“. 

That’s it.  Defend the territory of Russia or to carry out tasks in accordance to ratified treaties.  These are the sole functions of the Russian Armed Forces.

The Russian Constitution, Chapter IV, Article 80, Para 2 clearly states that

The President of the Russian Federation shall be guarantor of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, of the rights and freedoms of man and citizen. According to the rules fixed by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, he shall adopt measures to protect the sovereignty of the Russian Federation, its independence and state integrity, ensure coordinated functioning and interaction of all the bodies of state power“.

Now, for an American used to having, on average, about one new war every year, this might seem mind boggling, but the Russian Federation has absolutely no desire to become an “anti-USA” and get involved in constant military operations abroad.  Not only that, but the laws of the Russian Federation specifically forbid this.

Russia is not the world’s policeman, she does not have a network of 700-1000 bases worldwide (depending on your definition of ‘base’) but an army specifically designed to operate within 1000km or less from the Russian border and the President does not have the legal mandate to use the Russian armed forces to solve foreign crises.

Deployment of Russian troops relatively far from the Russian homeland to a place like Syria is for the Russian military a considerable departure from its normal role, and is something which has to be explained carefully if it is to attract support.

Putin has succeeded in doing this because he has explained carefully to the Russian military and to the Russian people that this deployment is actually in defence of Russia itself, since the Jihadist terrorist groups Russia is fighting in Syria are a threat to Russia.

The Russians have had to fight a bitter war against Jihadism on their own territory in the northern Caucasus during the 1990s and the 2000s, and have also suffered sustained Jihadi terrorist attacks on their main cities on a scale that no Western country – not even the US – has experienced.

No Russian wants to go through that again, so it was not difficult to persuade most Russians that preventing the establishment of a Jihadi enclave in Syria which might become a springboard for a Jihadist terrorist offensive against Russia was for Russia an urgent security interest.

Maybe the intervention in Syria also serves other purposes, though I personally doubt it.  However it is important to stress that this was the reason Putin gave to justify the intervention to the Russian military and to the Russian people, and why they agreed to support it.

However though most Russians – including critically the great majority of Russians serving in the military – have understood and accepted the need for the Syrian intervention and have supported it, it most definitely is not a war which the Russian people have enthusiastically embraced, and which they wish to see perpetuated indefinitely.

A comparison of Russian attitudes towards the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria illustrates the point.

Whilst there is no shortage of men in Russia who are willing to go and fight as volunteers to protect the Russian speaking people of the Donbass – regarded by all Russians as their kith and kin – there has been no similar flood of volunteers signing up to fight the Jihadis in Syria.

On the contrary most Russians – including those who serve in the military – want to see the war in Syria ended as soon as possible, and the troops once their mission is successfully accomplished quickly brought home.

Putin understands this completely, and this explains many of the things he said in his address to the troops at Khmeimim air base.

Thus the address begins with an acknowledgement that for Russian soldiers

…..the most important thing….is the defence of our fatherland, our people.

(bold italics added)

Compare those words with The Saker’s words quoted above.

The address then went on to repeat that this is a war carried out in defence of Russia

By helping the people of Syria to maintain their statehood, to fight off attacks by terrorists, you have inflicted a devastating blow to those who have directly, brazenly and openly threatened our country.

(bold italics added)

Note that flowery language of the sort beloved by US or Western leaders about defending things such as ‘values’ and ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ appear nowhere in Putin’s address.  Not only does Putin have no time for such language but the Russian troops he was addressing have no time for it either.

Having then congratulated the troops on their victory Putin then went on to fulfil what the troops and their families consider to be the explicit promise which was made to them when they were sent to Syria: that at the earliest possible opportunity they would be brought home

You are returning victorious to your homes, your families, parents, wives, children and friends.

I hereby order the Defence Minister and the General Chief of Staff to start redeploying units of the Russian army group to their permanent bases.

The Homeland is waiting for you, friends. Godspeed! Thank you for your service.

(bold italics added)

Given that the war in Syria is now visibly winding down, politically speaking it would have been risky for Putin on the eve of an election to have done otherwise.

If all this explains the reasons for Putin’s visit to Khmeimim air base and his withdrawal announcement, it is nonetheless in no sense the end of the affair.

The war in Syria is not over and it is not won.  Though ISIS’s back has been broken, it is still a force under arms in rural Deir Ezzor where it has recently taken the offensive against the US’s Kurdish allies.

In addition hundreds of ISIS fighters are still roaming free in the desert regions of central Syria even if they no longer control any important towns there.  These bands of fighters still pose a significant security threat, and will continue to do so for some time.

Further west Syria’s Idlib province remains under Jihadi control.

Worse still, there is now growing evidence that ISIS is trying to redeploy as many of its fighters as it can from central and eastern Syria to Idlib province.

With the Syrian military as always heavily over-stretched and still not in full control of much of the countryside it seems that this apparently planned redeployment of ISIS fighters from central and eastern Syria to Idlib province is not only taking place, but that it is actually meeting with some success.

Recently there have been reports of bitter fighting in Idlib province between Al-Qaeda – previously in undisputed control of the province – and the ISIS fighters who are being redeployed there from central and eastern Syria.  Moreover it seems that with Al-Qaeda severely weakened because of the massive losses it suffered last year in the Great Battle of Aleppo, it is ISIS which is gaining the upper hand in this fighting.

Whilst it is probably still alarmist to say that ISIS’s caliphate which has been driven out of Raqqa, central Syria and Deir Ezzor is now in the process of reconstituting itself in Idlib, the possibility that something like that might happen is certainly there, and the Russians cannot be unaware of it.

Elsewhere there are still significant pockets of Jihadi resistance in south western Syria, especially in the Golan Heights and near Damascus, whilst the Syrian government still faces a serious problem with the US-backed Kurds who currently control around a fifth of Syria’s territory in the north.

Last but not least there are still thousands of US troops in Syria, uninvited and potentially dangerous, with no one outside the Pentagon and CENTCOM knowing exactly how many of them there are.

Though victory in Syria is therefore now in sight, it is premature to declare it, as Putin did in his comments to the troops in Khmeimim air base.

As it happens Putin’s comments show that he knows this perfectly well.  How else to explain comments like this?

We will never forget the sacrifices and losses incurred in the struggle against terrorism both here in Syria and in Russia. However, it will not make us fold our hands and retreat. This is not in our peoples’ nature.

On the contrary, this memory will continue to motivate us to eradicate this absolute evil – terrorism – whatever face it hides behind…..

The two bases, in Tartous and Khmeimim, will continue to operate on a permanent basis. If the terrorists raise their heads again, we will deal unprecedented strikes unlike anything they have seen.

(bold italics added)

Those familiar with the history of the Syrian war know that we have been here before.

In March 2016, shortly after the Russians negotiated a cessation of hostilities agreement in Syria with the US, Putin announced a very similar draw down of Russian troops from Syria.

In the event within weeks it had become clear that the cessation of hostilities agreement with the US was a dead letter.  After a short break Jihadi attacks on Syrian military positions resumed, and the Russians were obliged to reverse their drawn down and escalate again their air campaign.  The Great Battle of Aleppo and the struggle against ISIS in Palmyra, central Syria and Deir Ezzor followed.

With both Al-Qaeda and ISIS routed conditions for a drawn down are more favourable this time.  However Putin’s comments show that the Russians stand ready to reverse the drawn down if the need arises, just as they did before.

As for peace in Syria, that will only be achieved when fighting in Syria finally stops, with all the Jihadis there having been either killed or forced to lay down their arms, and with all of Syria’s territory which was previously under Jihadi or Kurdish control once more returned to the control of the Syrian government in Damascus.

Only then will it be possible to declare victory in Syria.

They are not riddles: The release of the detainee Maatouq The emergence of Abu Mustafa into public The Sub – elections in Deir Al Zour ليست ألغازاً: تحرير الأسير معتوق إطلالة أبو مصطفى انتخابات فرعية في دير الزور

They are not riddles: The release of the detainee Maatouq The emergence of Abu Mustafa into public The Sub – elections in Deir Al Zour

سبتمبر 24, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

The Americans and their allies endeavored to trade with the understanding accomplished by Hezbollah with ISIS after a clear victory on the militants of ISIS in the barrens of Lebanon and Syria. This understanding depended on transferring the remaining militants and their families along with their  individual weapons to Deir Al Zour in exchange of revealing the fate of the Lebanese kidnapped soldiers and liberating the martyrs’ bodies and a detainee who belongs Hezbollah. The Americans and their groups in Iraq and Lebanon accompanied with the satellite channels and newspapers funded and operated by Saudi Arabia hastened to distort the image of Hezbollah and the clarity of its victory and accusing it with the seriousness in fighting ISIS which the victories and the blood of the martyrs prove. The Americans have waged a war of disrupting the understanding by hindering the bus of the militants of ISIS in the desert, but Hezbollah did not get embarrassed, on the contrary it defended its understanding, showing the ethics of wars and the concept and the strategy of the positive psychological warfare in order to dismantle ISIS and to prepare for the surrender of ISIS’s militants in its next battles, it has perfected the use of the campaign which was waged against it to show how Hezbollah deals,  its fighting value, its military features and in preparation for the surrender of ISIS’s soldiers whenever they are besieged by its fighters, being confident that they will not be treated brutally as they treat their victims.

In the last stages of the understanding, the arrival of the convoy to its destination, and the release of the resistant detainee Ahmed Maatouq all the balances of forces which surround the war in Syria have been brought. The Americans as Hezbollah have made every effort, but this time the word of America was versus the word of Hezbollah and the war was in its peak at the borders of the Euphrates towards Deir Al Zour, till Jacob Amirdor said that Israel fought in 2006 to push Hezbollah to beyond Litani, it is two kilometers away from the borders from the side of khardali. Now Hezbollah is on the borders of the Euphrates expanding hundreds of kilometers, so within days the war of Deir Al Zour has been resolved, and the Americans announced that they stopped following-up the convoy which belongs to ISIS depending on a Russian request, that convoy continued its way and reached its destination, thus Hezbollah was able to liberate its resistant detainee. Therefore, it was proven that the word of Hezbollah was the influential, moreover America which tried to trade to undermine the understanding and did everything possible to disable its Implications has turned into a partner in implementing it in favor of Hezbollah, as it is a partner that offers the participation to liberate the detainees of Hezbollah on the day of exchange after the war of July to ensure the arrival of the martyr Samir Al-Kuntar liberated to Lebanon. These are the real balances of forces in the region for those who know the meaning of reading politics and strategies.

*****

The leader of Hezbollah Al Hajj Abu Mustafa has made a rare TV interview from Deir Al Zour after raising the siege, he emerged as a political and high intellectual leader, he chose his expressions very accurately. He talked within minutes what is enough to draw the course of the war in Syria and the path of Hezbollah in it. He said that emerging to media is a translation of the equation “we will be where we should be” into “we will be as we should be” When it is needed to emerge publically we emerge and vice versa. He said that the military steps are decided by the Syrian leadership and we carry out what the leadership demands. He added that the decision of the Secretary-general of Hezbollah of emerging to public is in order to show this axis of resistance in its strategic victory and in all its aspects from Russia, Iran, Iraq Syria, and Lebanon, where Palestine is the cause, giving every part of this axis a meaningful feature, Abu Mustafa read a written text and repeated sentences which he said twice, he was a distinctive leader in his performance, but many times he spoke fluently without a text, so the smoothness of the expression was an honesty and a credibility to a leader as his indication to the symbolism of the five pillars of the axis of resistance “friendly Russia, Iran is the Islam, Iraq is the Arabism, Syria of Al-Assad , and the resistant Lebanon”, with these pillars the resistance is wining by its morals, culture, courage, and faith.

*****

Few days ago immediately after the liberation of Deir Al Zour the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad issued a republican decree in which he determined the date of the sub-elections in Deir Al Zour on the thirtieth of September for a vacancy of a parliamentary seat, while the Lebanese officials are escaping from holding anticipating sub-elections for months and years. Between the security situations of Syria especially Deir Al Zour and the situations of Lebanon, we know the meaning of the existence of a country and the appropriate conditions for holding elections, and how the men in powers are. So those who say that the elections in Syria are blocked, their problem is not in the appropriate security and administrable conditions but the blocking, and those who are afraid to hold them on their account, will lose more when the date is postponed, so hasten to do so today, it is better than tomorrow or is not as bad as tomorrow.

*****

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

 

ليست ألغازاً: تحرير الأسير معتوق إطلالة أبو مصطفى انتخابات فرعية في دير الزور

سبتمبر 15, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– جهد الأميركيون وحلفاؤهم للمتاجرة بالتفاهم الذي أنجزه حزب الله مع داعش بعد نصر واضح على مسلحي التنظيم في جرود لبنان وسورية، يقضي بنقل ما تبقى من المسلحين وعائلاتهم بأسلحتهم الفردية إلى محافظة دير الزور مقابل كشف مصير العسكريين اللبنانيين المخطوفين وتحرير جثامين شهداء وأسير لحزب الله، واستنفر الأميركيون جماعاتهم من العراق ولبنان والقنوات الفضائية والصحف المموّلة والمشغلة من السعودية لتشويه صورة حزب الله ونقاء نصره، واتهامه بجدية حربه على داعش التي تتحدّث عنها الانتصارات ودماء الشهداء. وخاض الأميركيون حرب تعطيل التفاهم بحجز قافلة مسلحي داعش في الصحراء، فلم يُصَب حزب الله بالإحراج بل خرج مدافعاً عن تفاهمه مقدّماً فيه أطروحة في أخلاقيات الحرب وفي منهج واستراتيجية حرب نفسية إيجابية لتفكيك داعش والتمهيد لمسار استسلام مسلحيها في معاركه المقبلة، وأحسن استثمار الحملة ضده لتنقلب وجهاً من وجوه الدعاية للحزب وقيمه القتالية ومناقبيته العسكرية، وتمهيداً لاستسلام عناصر داعش، كلما حوصروا من مقاتليه، واثقين أنهم لن يعامَلوا بالوحشية التي عاملوا بها هم كل مَن وقع بين أيديهم.

– استُحضرت في آخر فصول التفاهم، ببلوغ القافلة مكان وصولها النهائي وتحرير الأسير المقاوم أحمد معتوق، كلُّ موازين القوى المحيطة بالحرب في سورية وعليها، فرمى الأميركيون بثقلهم ورمى حزب الله بثقله. وكانت الأمور هذه المرة كلمة أميركا مقابل كلمة حزب الله، والحرب في ذروتها على ضفاف الفرات ونحو دير الزور، حتى قال يعقوب عميردور إن إسرائيل قاتلت عام 2006 لتدفع حزب الله إلى وراء الليطاني وهو يبعد كيلومترين عن الحدود من جهة المطلة الخردلي، وها هو حزب الله على ضفاف الفرات يتوسّع مئات الكيلومترات، وخلال أيام حُسمت حرب دير الزور، فأعلن الأميركيون أنهم بطلب روسي أوقفوا متابعة القافلة الخاصة بداعش، فأكملت مسيرها ووصلت نقطة النهاية وحرّر حزب الله أسيره المقاوم معتوق. وكسر الإرادات هنا يقول إن كلمة حزب الله خرجت هي العليا، لا بل إن أميركا التي تاجرت للنيل من التفاهم وبذلت كل ما تستطيع لتعطيل مفاعيله، تحوّلت شريكاً في تنفيذه لحساب حزب الله، كما لو أنها شريك يقدم المساهمة لتحرير أسرى حزب الله يوم التبادل بعد حرب تموز، لضمان وصول الشهيد سمير القنطار محرراً إلى لبنان، هذه هي موازين القوى الحقيقية في المنطقة لمن يعرف معنى قراءة السياسة والاستراتيجيات.

– أطل القيادي في حزب الله الحاج أبو مصطفى في لقاء تلفزيوني نادر الحدوث، من دير الزور بعد فك الحصار عنها، فظهر قائداً سياسياً وفكرياً عالي الثقافة دقيق الاختيار في التعابير، قال بدقائق ما يكفي لرسم مسار الحرب في سورية ومسيرة حزب الله فيها، فقال إن الإطلالة على الإعلام ترجمة لمعادلة نكون حيث يجب أن نكون بمعادلة نكون كيف يجب أن نكون، فعندما يقتضي الظهور علناً نظهر علناً وعندما يقتضي أن لا نظهر فلا نظهر، وقال إن الخطوات العسكرية تقررها القيادة السورية ونحن ننفّذ ما تطلبه القيادة. وقال إن قرار الأمين العام لحزب الله بالظهور العلني ليظهر محور المقاومة في هذا النصر الاستراتيجي بتجلياته كلها، ومعه روسيا الصديقة، من إيران الإسلام إلى عراق العروبة وسورية الأسد إلى لبنان المقاومة ففلسطين القضية، مانحاً كل ركن في المحور صفة ملازمة ذات مغزى.

رأ أبو مصطفى في بعض كلامه نصاً مكتوباً وكرّر جملاً قالها مرتين، فكان قائداً مميزاً في الأداء، لكنه تدفق مرات بلا نص فكانت سلاسة التعبير صدقاً ومصداقية لقائد، مثل ترميزه لخماسية أوصاف أركان محور المقاومة، بهؤلاء تنتصر مقاومة رصيدها أخلاق وثقافة وشجاعة وإيمان.

– أصدر الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد قبل أيام وفور تحرير دير الزور مرسوماً جمهورياً يحدّد موعد الانتخابات الفرعية في دير الزور عن مقعد نيابي شاغر في الثلاثين من شهر أيلول الحالي، بينما يتهرّب بعض المسؤولين اللبنانيين من إجراء انتخابات فرعية منتظرة منذ شهور وسنين، ويحاولون تهريب الانتخابات كلها منذ سنين ويكرّرون المحاولة اليوم، وبين حال سورية الأمنية، وخصوصاً دير الزور وحال لبنان تكمن العبرة في الحديث عن معنى وجود الدولة، وعن ظروف مناسبة لإجراء الانتخابات، والأهم كيف يكون رجال الدولة، وللذين يقولون إن الانتخابات في سورية معلّبة، ولذلك لا يهابون إجراءها جواب بسيط، إن مشكلتكم إذن انتظار تعليب الانتخابات وليست الظروف الأمنية والإدارية المناسبة، أو الجواب إذا كانت في سورية ممكنة الإجراء ومعلبة، فلتكن عندكم ممكنة الإجراء ولا تعلّبوها، أما للخائفين من إجرائها على حساباتهم وأوزانها، فالجواب أنكم ستخسرون كلما تأجّل الموعد مزيداً من الحجم والوزن، فزمن هزائم مشروعكم سيتجلى أكثر وأكثر، فسارعوا إليها اليوم أفضل من الغد أو أقل سوءاً، واعملوا بالقول المأثور، «إن هبتَ أمراً فقَعْ فيه، فإن شدّة توقيه أعظم مما تخاف منه».

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The Lucy Stein Gang Rides Into Moscow

September 18, 2017

by Israel Shamir for the Unz Review

The Lucy Stein Gang Rides Into Moscow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

This article was first published at The Unz Review.

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

Posted on June 17, 2017

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

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

By Adam Garrie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Oliver Stone Interview With Vladimir Putin

Posted June 14, 2017

Part 1 (English Subtitles)

Part 2 (English Subtitles)

Part 3

Part 4

President Vladimir Putin On Alleged Russian Election Interference

Source

(Full Exclusive) | Megyn Kelly | NBC News

Megyn Kelly sits down for an exclusive interview with President Vladimir Putin, asking him about allegations that the Russians interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Posted June 05, 2017

 

See also

The Real Danger in Demonizing Putin’s Russia

Putin to Oliver Stone: I suggested Russia joining NATO to Clinton: While Clinton replied that he “didn’t mind,” the rest of the American delegation became visibly nervous, Putin went on to say, smiling.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

 

Click for Spanish, German, Dutch, Danish, French, translation- Note- Translation may take a moment to load.

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

Global Research, May 08, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 03, 2017

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

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

February 10, 2017

by Cosimo

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

France: Scandal-Shock in the presidential race

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

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

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

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

Why the Elites Turned on Fillon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Alstom matter is more serious, really.

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

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

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

Behind GE’s Takeover of Alstom Energy

Emmanuel Macron, the Candidate

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

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

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

Alain Soral, the Dissident Who Must Be Silenced

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Soral’s Views On The Election

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

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

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

French Polls

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sign this petition to arrest George Soros.

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

Sign here

The petition states:

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

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

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

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

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

You can sign the petition here

Marine Le Pen Challenges CNN’s False Narrative on Crimea

Source

In this interview with French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour absurdly attempts to argue there was no US coup in Ukraine in 2014. Le Pen sets the record straight, pointing out not only that there WAS a coup, but that the people of Crimea, after the coup took place, voted overwhelmingly in a referendum to become part of Russia. Amanpour, however, has no eyes to see and is blind to the truth.

It raises an interesting question: what kind of pill do people like Amanpour have to swallow each day in order to continue to do what they do? Is it the pill of self-deception? Is it the pill of deliberate and willful deception of others? Is it the pill of fear of retribution? Maybe some combination of the three?

ulfkotte

Udo Ulfkotte was a German journalist and former editor at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of Germany’s largest newspapers. A few years ago, Ulfkotte became a media whistle blower and began to speak of how he and his colleagues in the journalism profession were in many cases working for the CIA. You can go here to see an interview he did with RT in October of 2014.

“You are bribed to get more and more corrupt,” Ulfkotte says in that interview.

“They make you good contacts. You won’t know that those good contacts are, let’s say, non-official covers or officially people working for Central Intelligence Agency or other American agencies. So you make friends. You think they are friends and you cooperate with them. They ask you, ‘Well, could you do me this favor? Could you do me that favor?’  And so your brain more and more is brainwashed.”

Words rather interesting to keep in mind as we watch Amanpour’s behavior in the video above.

By the way, Ulfkotte died on January 13, 2017. The official cause of death was a heart attack. He was 56 years old. His book, Journalists for Hire: How the CIA Buys the News, is scheduled for release in May.

The French elections are set to take place on April 23. Le Pen appears to be the front runner.

القادة الكبار يتركون بصمتهم ويتخطّون أحزابهم الأسد ونصرالله… وعون؟

القادة الكبار يتركون بصمتهم ويتخطّون أحزابهم الأسد ونصرالله… وعون؟

ناصر قنديل

يناير 31, 2017

– من ضمن التغييرات التي أدخلتها ثورة الاتصالات والمعلوماتية والإعلام على صناعة السياسة، تقديم الزعماء للناس مباشرة وتوفير فرص تحوّلهم رموزاً يتخطى إشعاعهم مساحة ـ أثير حركاتهم وأحزابهم وأحياناً بلدانهم، ومن الطبيعي في البدايات أن يرتبك القادة المخلصون لأفكارهم وحركاتهم وأحزابهم أمام هذا التحوّل، ويُصرّون على أنهم يدينون بما هم عليه للأحزاب التي يقودونها ومنحتهم ثقتها، ويعتبرون أحياناً إعلان الولاء لهم وليس لأحزابهم نوعاً من فك الصلة المرفوض والمفخخ بين ثنائي الحزب والقائد، ونفاقاً مبرمجاً لإضعاف الحزب تمهيداً لإضعاف القائد، لكن مع تقادم الحالة وتطورها يكشتفون أنّ الأمر أبعد مدى من حدود مواقف أفراد منافقين يتودّدون ويتقرّبون من مركز قرار لحساب مصالح، بل هو واحد من معايير النجاح والفوز بخدمة القضية التي يؤمنون بها وحزبهم، والتي بدون امتلاك مساحة تأثير تتخطى الحزبية تعجز عن تحقيق النصر.

– في تجربة حزب الله في لبنان والعلاقة بين شعبية الحزب والهالة المعينة لأمينه العام شيء من تاريخ هذه الإشكالية، وفي تجربة الرئيس بشار الأسد وحزب البعث صفحة لا تقلّ أهمية في تاريخ مشابه، والتمييز بين البيعة لقائد من دون حزبه من جهة أو كيل المديح لقائد للذم بحزبه من جهة أخرى، يصير هو الحدّ الفاصل لصدقية الحالة وتوسّع الهالة. فحول السيد نصرالله مريدون لا يتسع لهم حزبه لأسباب عقائدية ومذهبية ودينية ووطنية وقومية، فمنهم من غير دينه وبلده وأمته وبعضهم يراه زعيماً مجدداً لحركة تحرّر عالمية، أو على الأقل لا نقاش في كونه وارث ماو تسي تونغ كزعيم لحركات المقاومة، وفي حال الرئيس الأسد لا نقاش في تقدّمه كزعيم للعروبة المجدّدة، وفي الحالتين لا يرتبط التسليم بالزعامة بتسليم مشابه لزعامة الحزب من دون أن يصدّ القائل أو المؤيد أو المبايع والمتأثر بصدق برمزية القائد وتاريخيته.

– في مراحل لاحقة من التأقلم مع الحالة واليقين بكونها قوة للحزب وليست سبباً لضعفه، بل تأمين حماية واسعة لخياراته في شرائح متزايدة من الرأي العام، يصير نقاش حال الحزب وارداً ونقده بحضور القائد، ويصير الإصغاء والاهتمام بالملاحظات علامة على كون القائد قائداً للحزب ولشعب لا يعرفه كله، لكنه يعرف أنه يتخطى شعبية الحزب، وهو كقائد لكليهما معني بالعدل بينهما، وبالسعي لتوفيق نظرة كلّ منهما للآخر، فلا يكيد الحزب لمحبي ومريدي القائد من خارج الحزب وهم في غالبهم قادة أحزاب سابقون ومناضلون ذوو تاريخ، ولا يصير همّ المريدين النيل من الحزب وتشويهه وإضعافه، والقائد حكم بين الشريحتين وقائد لكليهما، وفي مراحل لاحقة يصير الحزب رصيد للقائد لتحالفات يقيمها بقوة العلاقة بهذه الشرائح التي ترفد زعامته من خارج حزبه، يمنحها مواقع وأدواراً على حساب حزبه وبرضاه. وهذا ما يفعله الرئيس الأسد مع مستقلين سوريين وشخصيات فنية وثقافية وعلمية، وما يفعله السيد نصرالله في تحالفات تستدعي تنازلات نيابية ووزارية من رصيد الحزب.

– يخوض العماد ميشال عون، بعد فوزه برئاسة الجمهورية اللبنانية مساراً يضعه بسرعة في مصاف القادة التاريخيين الكبار، فقد أظهر في محطات متلاحقة قدرة عالية على الثبات والقوة والجرأة في قول وفعل ما يجب أن يُقال ويُفعل، ونجح بصناعة مهابة لمقام الرئاسة كان يفتقدها، وفي مواقفه في رحلته الخليجية وكلامه عن حزب الله، وفي حواراته الإعلامية الأوروبية وكلامه عن سورية والرئيس الأسد، ولكن بصورة خاصة في أدائه المانع لمعادلة الاختيار بين قانون الستين للانتخابات النيابية والتمديد لمجلس النواب اللبناني وصولاً لقوله لا تخيّروني فسأختار الفراغ ما جعل الرئيس العماد يكرّس ثقة وتعلق شرائح واسعة به كقائد بعيداً عن علاقة هذه الشرائح بحزبه. والرئيس دستورياً رئيس لكلّ اللبنانيين وليس لمحازبيه، وللكلّ فيه ومنه قدر متساوٍ، لكن حتى خارج لبنان بدأ الحديث مبكراً عن الرئيس العماد كظاهرة قادرة على ترك بصمة تاريخية، كرمز لبناء الدولة المدنية في الشرق. وهذه رمزية لم يشغلها أحد بعد ومتاح للعماد الرئيس أن يفعل.

– بقدر ما يبدو من حق التيار الوطني الحر أن يناقش قانون الانتخاب أسوة بسائر الأحزاب من موقع حساباته ومصالحه الانتخابية، من ضمن الحرص على مصداقية الاتصال بالمبادئ التي ينتسب إليها، يبدو من واجب الرئيس العماد الابتعاد عن هذه الحسابات والوقوف على مسافة واحدة من الناخبين الذين يحق لهم قانون يمثل أصواتهم من جهة والمشرّعين الساعين لقانون يعيد إنتاج زعاماتهم، وليس لعب دور الحكم بين الحاكمين المشرعين الممسكين بناصية صياغة القانون والذين لا ينكرون أنهم يدافعون عن مصالهم، ليقف الرئيس مدافعاً عن صوت الناخب ومصالحه. وهنا لا بدّ من المصارحة بالقول إنّ كلّ قانون صالح للتمثيل لا يهمل صوتاً لناخب، ويمنحه أوسع فرصة للتأثير، لا يمكن أن يقوم إلا على النسبية والدائرة الأوسع، وفي حال لبنان الدائرة الواحدة، وأول أخطاء أهل النسبية هو حملة التشويه التي أدخلوها على مشروعهم أو ارتضوا إدخالها بداعي البحث عن التسويات والحديث عن الواقعية، فقبلوا نسبية وطائفية وثم نسبية ودوائر صغيرة وصولاً لنسبية على مقعد واحد كمهزلة، وأخيراً نسبي وأكثري في مجلس واحد، ليصير المطلوب من رئيس الجمهورية ردّ النقاش إلى حيث يجب أن يكون، مطالبة مجلس النواب والحكومة بخطة مرحلية لتطبيق المادة 22 من الدستور التي مضى على وجودها ربع قرن ولم تجد مَن يقول متى وكيف تطبّق، وتحدّد وحدها المضمون الإصلاحي للدستور عملياً باعتبار السلطة التشريعية أمَّ السلطات في النظام البرلماني. وبعد ضياع تاريخي في البحث عن قانون انتخابي مناسب تقدّم لنا المادة الدستورية وصفة مناسبة، وإذا القانون المطلوب لا يمكن أن يكون إلا تسوية. وهذا صحيح، تسوية بين النسبي والأكثري، وهذا صحيح، وتسوية بين الطائفي واللاطائفي، وهذا صحيح أيضاً، وتسوية بين الدائرة الكبرى والدائرة الصغرى، وهذا صحيح أيضاً وأيضاً. لكنه تسوية بين الناخبين والمشرّعين قبل كلّ شيء، وتسوية من ضمن الدستور وهذا هو الأهمّ.

– التسوية المنشودة لا تكون دستورية وواقعية ومنصفة للناخبين ومدخلاً للإصلاح، وقابلة للقبول من المشرّعين أصحاب المصالح الانتخابية، إلا إذا انطلقت من أنّ المختلط الوحيد بين عناصر التسوية هو قسمتها بين مجلسين، كما قال الدستور، مجلس لا طائفي ونسبي وفي لبنان دائرة واحدة، ومجلس على أساس طائفي ودوائر صغرى. والتسوية التفاوضية التي تعكس موازين القوى ليست في تلبيس النسبية ثوباً أكثرياً أو العكس، بل في توزيع عدد أعضاء كلّ من المجلسين وصلاحياته، وخطة مرحلية للتدرّج في تعديل العدد والصلاحيات بينهما، فالدستور قال بمجلس لا طائفي له الصلاحيات الأساسية، ومجلس شيوخ يمثل العائلات الروحية بصلاحيات محدودة، ويوحي النص بأنّ المجلس اللاطائفي هو الأوسع عدداً وصلاحيات ومجلس الشيوخ الطائفي هو الأضيق عدداً وصلاحيات. وقد تقتضي التسوية البدء بعدد وصلاحيات معكوستين، فينال المجلس الطائفي العدد والصلاحيات الأوسع وينال المجلس اللاطائفي العدد والصلاحيات الأضيق، وتلحظ الخطة المرحلية تدرّجاً ربما يستمرّ ربع قرن آخر لبلوغ ما سعت إليه المادة 22 من الدستور، لكن خيراً من أن ندخل ربع قرن من الإحباط بقانون نترحّم معه على قانون الستين، يمضي كربع القرن الذي مضى.

– فخامة الرئيس القيادة التاريخية بصمة في الموقف التاريخي وفي الواقعية في صناعة التسويات معاً، وذلك متاح لك، ولك وحدك، فدع حزبك يحارب على جبهته كحزب له مصالح انتخابية، ويتطلع إليك اللبنانيون والتاريخ لتكون الحكم بين مجموع أصحاب المصالح الانتخابية من جهة، والناخبين الذين لا يمثلهم سواك من جهة أخرى.

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