Why are Western leaders gawd awful bad and China’s so darn competent? Part I.

July 30, 2019

Why are Western leaders gawd awful bad and China’s so darn competent? Part I.

By Jeff J. Brown for The Saker Blog

30 July 2019

Crosslinked with:

https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2019/07/30/why-are-western-leaders-gawd-awful-bad-and-chinas-so-darn-competent-part-i-china-rising-radio-sinoland-190730/

https://youtu.be/855RwhFvvv8

https://soundcloud.com/44-days/why-are-western-leaders-gawd-awful-bad-and-chinas-so-darn-competent-parti

Pictured above: it’s the Beavis and Butt-Head Show. Or is it Butt-Head and Beavis? Does it really matter? They, like all Western political leaders are suborned from the get-go, by global capitalist 1% elites.

Every time I come back to the West, this time in France, comparing Eurangloland and China just slaps me in the face. I’m getting to talk to many European citizens about life here and their impressions of Sinoland. I will first talk about Western governance and leadership. In Part II, I’ll compare it to China’s.

Following how Boris Johnson got “elected” Britain’s newest prime minister was surreal to say the least. Best as I can tell, the citizens were not even involved. It was all done behind closed doors, among Conservative Party cronies, with all the corrupt wheeling and dealing you can imagine. It reminded me just how undemocratic their parliamentary system can be, with the people voting as much for a political party as a person.

With Donald Trump, we now have on the global stage a real live Beavis and Butt-Head duo to laugh at and mock. It’s shockingly humiliating that two of the West’s most representative “democracies” can actually be led by a former reality TV star and slum lord billionaire (Trump) with another megalomaniac, media-hungry former TV host, who loves to be an outrageous buffoon in front of the camera (Johnson).

These two carnival-barking clowns are what passes for “global leadership”. I can’t stop laughing while I write.

Not that other Western “democracies” are any better. France’s “two-to-the-final-round” system assures that no one threatening the entrenched capitalist order can be elected. Emmanuel Macron is another Wall Street-whore, anti-99% austerity Trojan horse, like François Hollande (I can’t believe I voted for that deep state Manchurian son of a bankster!), and his campaign (Macron’s) was bankrolled by the American billionaire Henry Kravitz (https://www.voltairenet.org/article204276.html). Thus, my wife and I voted for the far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélanchon in the first round of the last presidential election. Mélanchon got really close, but in the second round, we were left with “destroy the French working-middle class” Macron and the far-right candidate, Marine Le Pen, who actually has a very progressive social agenda. So, to do anything to keep Manchurian Macron from getting elected, we voted for Le Pen.

We are not the only people who voted the same, “anybody but Macron” way, as we have talked to French friends who did the same thing. How democratic is a system where you are forced to vote from one political extreme to another, to avoid a neoliberal train wreck, who is hellbent on making working class people suffer even more than they did during the totally corrupt, previous “socialist” Hollande administration, who was nothing but a Washington slut?

Is this what our supposedly “superior, noble, Western ‘democracy’” has to offer, as a “shining white temple on the hill”, for the rest of the world to emulate?

Boris Johnson replaced feckless Theresa May, who was a human jellyfish. Before her and going back in time, the world suffered David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, John Major and Margaret Thatcher. Every one of them were wealthy elites who worked overtime to serve the interests of the Fortune 500 and Western global empire, totally subservient to Big Daddy Yankee. All during this time, working- and middle-class British folk got the shaft buried deeper and deeper into their backsides. What kind of future do their children have? It’s bleak to say the least. The UK’s wonderful National Health Insurance is being turned into a sausage factory, students have unpayable university loans, lots of subsistence level training jobs and low pay temporary contracts.

Do you really want me to catalogue US leadership? Before Trump, we had the quintessential CIA-puppet Barack Obama. I totally exposed his and his family’s deep state allegiance in The China Trilogy (see below). Other than his half-black skin color, speaking skills and pushing for gay marriage, his administration was indistinguishable from his predecessor’s, the boy-idiot, “always pulled from the jaws of failure” George W. Bush. Before intelligence-challenged “W”, we had pedophile Billy Clinton, who made several trips to Jeffrey Epstein’s “rape a minor” Lolita Island (https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2017/11/19/china-versus-the-west-another-shocking-comparative-vignette-china-rising-radio-sinoland-171119/). Billy Boy carried water for the banksters and Wall Street like a firefighter overdosed on crack.

At least we knew Bushie Boy’s father was a CIA White House plant, having been the spy agency’s director before. Ronald Reagan was a Grade-B Hollywood actor, who made millions promoting hatred of communism, and was probably suffering from dementia during his later years in the White House. The deep state tried to assassinate him for making peace with those boogey-Russkies, so give him credit for that. Jimmy Carter was vilified for thinking past the 24-hour new cycle, by talking to the people about – capitalism forbid – conservation and learning to live with less. Off with his head! He’s been vilified ever since, just like Bush 41 for passing the American Disability Act. If those gimps and retards can’t walk into a building, too fucking bad, as every true capitalist will tell you.

We have close friends in France and the husband has had a managerial post for 20 years with a big US oil company. He is shocked about how cruel and inhumane the attitude of every Stateside visitor is who comes to work here, and there are many of them: older, younger, men and women. Their contempt and disgust for their country’s fellow citizens who are poor or sick is always manifest, as is their hatred of “that black president”. While France is being neoliberalized into poverty for the middle and working classes, most of the citizens here still have a strong sense of solidarity, the ideal that fellow citizens should help those in need.

I can go on and on back in time. Gerald Ford had the IQ and finesse of “W”, sort of a temporary duty Theresa May. Richard Nixon was a delusional megalomaniac, likely addicted to Dilantin and got kicked out of office by the deep state for wanting to end the profit spinning genocide in Southeast Asia. This, after he and Henry Kissinger led the extermination of millions of innocents in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. When asked why he was resigning, Nixon famously told the truth about Western “democracy”, I don’t want to go out like Jack!, knowing that John F. Kennedy was assassinated by his own government for fighting the 1% elites. In The China Trilogy, I wrote about Obama admitting the same lament.

Nixon’s predecessor, Lyndon Baines Johnson did level the socio-economic playing field, by pushing through his Great Society, voting and civil rights legislation, thank you, but sold his soul to the Devil by playing a key role in the murder of JFK. Don’t believe me? William Pepper has sworn affidavits proving the case (http://noliesradio.org/archives/118087). No wonder LBJ died a broken man, with a double guilty conscience for palace high crimes and sending millions of US and Vietnamese citizens to their early graves.

The last US president who actually tried to be presidential was John F. Kennedy and he paid a heavy price for standing up to America’s capitalist owners: he got his brains very publicly blown out all over Dealey Plaza, in Dallas, Texas.

President Dwight Eisenhower could see that the military-industrial-legislative complex was already an octopus vampire squid in control of the government and economy, but like every other president before and after him, was powerless to tame this ever-growing, insatiable capitalist monster. His presidential farewell warning speech fell on national deaf ears (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyBNmecVtdU).

Before Ike, there was poor Harry Truman, the only non-millionaire to be US president, going back to at least the beginning of the 20th century. He was much, much worse than the UK’s Theresa May, as he was warm putty in the conniving paws of the CIA, NSA and Joint Chiefs of Staff, he having signed the law to create these agencies of death. Truman also oversaw the racist incineration of millions of “yellow niggers” in Japan and Korea (https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2019/07/15/dirty-dark-secrets-of-d-day-france-china-rising-radio-sinoland-190715/).

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was surely the United States’ greatest president and since he worked for the 99% at the expense of the 1%, was very probably poisoned to death, (http://reformation.org/assassination-of-president-roosevelt.html and https://yankophobe.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/was-roosevelt-poisoned-by-churchill/ and http://falsificationofhistory.co.uk/false-history/the-assassination-of-franklin-delano-roosevelt/), after the failed fascist, Wall Street coup d’état against him in 1933 (http://www.truedemocracy.net/hj32/19.html and http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/Coup.htm and https://larouchepub.com/other/2006/3332morgan_coup_plot.html). W’s grandpa, Hitler and Nazi loving Joseph Bush was one of the main culprits in that plot. Once the elites got socialist Vice-President Henry Wallace deposed and replaced by jellyfish Truman, Roosevelt’s days were numbered. Starting with Andrew Jackson in the 1830s, every US president who has been against the big private bankers and/or the capitalist imperial Wehrmacht was killed, attempted to be killed or officially died in office. This startling statistic is glaring among Western “democracies” (https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2015/10/01/dr-moti-nissanis-interview-on-44-days-radio-sinoland-the-bank-cartels-death-spiral-for-humanity-15-10-1/ and http://www.veteranstoday.com/2015/04/13/pillars-of-american-democracy-cloak-and-dagger-case-studies/).

British leadership has not been much better, although white supremist, genocidal Winston Churchill was the man of the hour during World War II, if we can ignore tens of millions of mostly dark-skinned colonial subjects, who were exterminated like rats in the Crown colonies.

France had a truly great leader in Charles de Gaulle, who summed up what almost never happens among Western leaders,

In order to become the master, the politician acts as the servant.

And,

The (final) word is the people’s. What the people wish is the duty of the leader.

And that’s exactly how he governed. No wonder the CIA tried to assassinate de Gaulle six times. Serving the 99% at the expense of the socialist-hating, warmongering 1% is a capitalist crime punishable by death. Just ask JFK. The CIA even tried to turn France into a dollar denominated puppet state, because they knew de Gaulle represented the interests of his people, and not the bankster war machine (https://mondediplo.com/2003/05/05lacroix). François Mitterrand on the left and Jacques Chirac on the right paid attention to common French folks’ concerns, but the total takeover of French governance by American elites was a fait accompli, with the election of “I wannabe the French Kennedy/Reagan” Nicolas Sarkozy, whose father was a known CIA agent. Like father, like son (https://www.voltairenet.org/article157821.html). Hollande and now Macron have shown just how low French “democracy” can sink. These latter two should be tried and hung for treason, as agents in service to US elites, along with Sarkozy.

And so it goes in Western “democracy”. To understand Eurangloland’s governance, you just have to ask the simple question, Do the leaders and legislators honestly represent the interests of the 99% or the 1%? Wade past all the identity politics, race baiting, fearmongering false flags, wars – and going back centuries the answer is obvious. Western governments almost always work for the benefit of the wealthy elites, at the expense of poor, working and middle classes.

When it looks like the Capitalist War Party may lose control, like with the Great Depression and in postwar Europe, our owners give us just enough table scraps to nip any revolution for economic and social justice in the bud. Why did Euranglolanders get social security, the 40-hour work week, overtime pay, paid sick and vacation leave, and labor unions which were briefly given a seat at the table of establishment power? Because of the genuine popularity of communism and socialism among a broad section of the populations. Why did Europeans get much better benefits, like universal health care, unemployment benefits and subsidized childcare? Because postwar countries like the UK, France and Italy had communist and socialist parties that were winning elections. Populist movements and parties were already demonized and destroyed in the US by the end of World War II, with 1950s McCarthyite witch hunts being the Capitalist War Party’s icing on the cake.

This is not a modern phenomenon. Every civilization has had to choose whether to support the interests of the rich or the masses. Most have and continue to slavishly work for the 1%. Using limitless financial resources, the elites slowly coopt all branches and levels of government, using the usual Imperial Toolbox: bribery, blackmail, extortion, false flags and when all else fails, assassination.

In their private writings and conversations, US presidents going back to George Washington all lamented how the 1% made being truly presidential impossible. They and every elected official, judge and cop have had to and must continue to serve the elites’ demands, first, second and third – then maybe the needs of the 99% might be taken into consideration, but not for long if it threatens their profits, which is why all those postwar benefits are being clawed back across Eurangloland, under the banner of neoliberal austerity.

The vast majority of the 4,000-year-old Mesopotamian King Hammurabi’s Code concerns protecting the land and chattel property interests of the elites. Emperor Nero pulled off one of the earliest known false flags, by burning down one-fourth of his own city, Rome. Jesus Christ was killed for attacking wealthy bankers, and these latter pushed the Roman government to do their dirty work, to make an official example of him.

Julius Caesar was not assassinated for being a dictatorial tyrant. He was murdered by his peers because he was mandating laws to redistribute land and social wealth to the poor and farmers. He was threatening the riches of the Senate’s oligarchic families, who “governed” Rome like a criminal enterprise, and in fact, the modern Mafia families we know today in Italy descended from these same “democratic” thugs (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IO_Ldn2H4o). Douglas Valentine so graphically lays out this capitalist nexus between Western governments, mainstream media, organized crime, supposed “law enforcement”, Jesus’ banksters, the Roman Senate’s rich and powerful families, who have evolved into today’s Wall Street and warmongering military contractors (https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2019/07/02/douglas-valentine-on-china-rising-radio-sinoland-the-cia-is-global-capitalisms-secret-gangster-army-190702/).

Business in the West has been going great guns since the Old Testament and billions of innocent men, women and children have been slaughtered and enslaved to keep that bottom-line fat with genocidal lucre. The only change over time being the evolution of technology, which has made the elites’ resource stranglehold go global, excepting communist-socialist-anti-imperialist countries, like China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, Bolivia, Syria and on and on.

So, there you have it. It’s painful to accept that Western democracy is a giant fig leaf, an illusion hiding government sponsored organized crime and an ersatz “free press”. Our politicians can’t do the right thing, cannot really be leaders of the 99%, because they are suborned to the dictates of the wealthy 1% elites. That is why Eurangloland almost always gets mediocre to bad leaders and very corrupt governments, The 1% wants all those seats of supposed power filled with minions who can be bribed, blackmailed, extorted and if that doesn’t work, like Lincoln, Roosevelt, JFK and others, they just kill them to resolve their belligerence.

In Part II, we’ll compare and contrast Western governance with China’s.

 

Bio: Jeff J. Brown is a geopolitical analyst, journalist, lecturer and the author of The China Trilogy. It consists of 44 Days Backpacking in China – The Middle Kingdom in the 21st Century, with the United States, Europe and the Fate of the World in Its Looking Glass (2013); Punto Press released China Rising – Capitalist Roads, Socialist Destinations (2016); and for Badak Merah, Jeff authored China Is Communist, Dammit! – Dawn of the Red Dynasty(2017). As well, he published a textbook, Doctor WriteRead’s Treasure Trove to Great English (2015). Jeff is a Senior Editor & China Correspondent for The Greanville Post, where he keeps a column, Dispatch from Beijing and is a Global Opinion Leader at 21st Century. He also writes a column for The Saker, called the Moscow-Beijing Express. Jeff writes, interviews and podcasts on his own program, China Rising Radio Sinoland, which is also available on YouTubeSoundCloudStitcher RadioiTunes, Ivoox and RUvid. Guests have included Ramsey ClarkJames BradleyMoti NissaniGodfree RobertsHiroyuki HamadaThe Saker, and many others.

Jeff can be reached at China Risingjeff@brownlanglois.comFacebookTwitter, Wechat (Jeff_Brown-44_Days) and Whatsapp: +86-13823544196.

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Ramin Mazaheri interviewed by Sputnik about the “Yellow Vests” and Macron

February 05, 2019

Ramin Mazaheri interviewed by Sputnik about the “Yellow Vests” and Macron

Macron Won’t Put Question of Resignation Up for French Referendum – Journo

You can listen to the full audio of the interview here:

The first referendum in 14 years could take place in France in May as part of President Emmanuel Macron’s response to the ongoing series of weekend ‘yellow vests’ protests. The newspaper Journal du Dimanche reported that Macron was planning to organise the vote on the same day as European parliament elections: on May 26th.

According to the publication, one of the questions the French would be asked is whether they want to reduce the number of national lawmakers — a campaign pledge by Macron, as well as whether they favour imposing term-limits on legislators.

Radio Sputnik discussed the possibility of France holding its first referendum in 14 years with Ramin Mazaheri, PressTV’s Chief Correspondent in Paris.

Sputnik: What do we know about this proposed referendum and how likely is it to happen in your opinion?

Ramin Mazaheri: The Yellow Vests have no clear programme; there are literally dozens and dozens of demands which are associated with them and the reason that there are so many demands is because France has submitted to the dictates of Brussels for eight years and they have embraced far-right economic austerity, and austerity has totally created a lost decade of economic growth, high employment and suppressed wages, and reduce government services. So, you know, we should see why the Yellow vests have so very many demands. Austerity accumulates; it’s been eight years, so you always have to keep that in mind.

French President Emmanuel Macron attends the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. November 30, 2018

But the idea of more referendums, that this something that truly has risen to the top of the list of their demands… why is that? It’s because in the past decade, it has become painfully clear to the French that their politicians just don’t care a bit for the popular will. Macron, you know, he’s totally done away with the false promises of his predecessor, Francois Hollande, because he openly says he doesn’t care about public opinion at all. He says that public opinion will not affect his policy decisions whatsoever. This is obviously contrary to the modern idea of democracy. So this new demand for a referendum has to be viewed as a reaction to the dominance of the French elites in policy-making. The French people want more power in policy-making.

We have to keep in mind that out of all of the Western governments, the presidency of France has the most power, and we have to combine this reality with another one, that Macron has more power than any [French] president in recent memory, and that’s because he has an absolute majority in Parliament and because he also has total control over his own party, which is full of political novices, they owe their entire careers completely to Macron.

Macron is known for ruling like a Roman God, Jupiter; he’s also known as the president of the rich. So a referendum would reinject democracy into France’s Fifth Republic, that’s the background for this demand for the referendum. The French want direct democracy because their elected leaders, in their indirect democracy, they’re not only not succeeding, they’re not even listening to public opinion. There hasn’t been a referendum in France in 14 years, not since 2005, and French voters then rejected the Lisbon Treaty on the European Union Constitution, and what happened? The vote was totally ignored. So it’s important to keep in mind that Many Yellow vests view a referendum as some sort of cure-all for the French democracy. History proves that that’s not necessarily the case in France. The only country which seems to have incorporated referendums in an effective manner is Switzerland, and France clearly wants to emulate their neighbour in this respect, but these are two very different countries with very different political systems, so it’s not really that simple.

Macron has stated that the idea of a referendum is being discussed, it will be held on the same day as EU elections, but it’s not a done deal. I would say that a referendum is likely to happen because it’s avery attention grabbing way for Macron to say, “Look, I’m not ruling like Jupiter, I am being democratic.” However it’s something which, depending on the issues which are being voted on, this is something which could have very little political risk for Macron.

Sputnik: Let’s talk in greater detail about these issues that could be deliberated?

Ramin Mazaheri: Well that’s really the key question here, right? I mean, if you listen to the Yellow Vests, the most popular question would be: Should President Macron resign? But I think we can all agree that there is no way that Macron is going to put that question up for referendum. It’s really very ironic that Macron, I’m sure he’s going to refuse the hold new elections, because that is exactly what he ordered Venezuela to do. Macron and other EU leaders, they gave Venezuelan leader Nicholas Maduro just eight days to hold new elections or they will recognize someone else, someone who’s never received a presidential vote, as Venezuela’s new president, so it’s really a case of hypocrisy from France, but that is nothing new at all.

French 'red scarves' (foulards rouges), critics of violent 'yellow vest' (Gilets Jaunes) protests demonstrate in Paris on January 27, 2019.

So what the government is proposing right now about the referendum is to have just one question and that’s to ask voters if they want to reduce the number of parliamentarians and limit the number of terms they may serve. I think that all of our listeners will immediately grasp that this is not a major interest for the Yellow Vests. It will not affect their purchasing power, it will not touch austerity, and we should see that this is really quite a neoliberal idea once again, because it’s a way to reduce the size of France’s government. So we see that Macron is actually trying to use the referendum, and it’s not decided yet, this is what he’s floating in the media, to push the very same neoliberal agenda. He’s not talking about putting up ideas which the average French person cares about, so it’s really a tone deaf move if he goes forward with just this one question, and France’s politicians have said exactly that. They’ve said that if this is the only question on the referendum, it’s going to be a total failure. Reducing the number of legislators actually is one of Macron’s campaign pledges, so it’s amazing that despite his massive unpopularity and the massive protests that have really undermined his international image, he’s on the precipice of sticking with pursuing his very, very unpopular political agenda.

Sputnik: What the Yellow Vests envisioned for a referendum is obviously going to be quite different. They want questions on a number of socioeconomic issues.

Ramin Mazaheri: You know, for example, Macron has rushed through many, many sweeping reforms which are so very unpopular and all of which are designed to make France more in line with the American system, the English system, the German system, and what is on the docket for this year is major right-wing roll-backs to the unemployment system and the social security system. So the Yellow Vests, they would want ideally those types of issues to be on the referendum, to really talk about public policy and the policies that really affect the average French person, the average French household, the pensioner, everybody.

The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

The Return of Louis XVI: Emmanuel Macron, Roi de L’Ancien Regime

The Return of Louis XVI: Emmanuel Macron, Roi de L’Ancien Regime

MARTIN SIEFF | 29.12.2018 | WORLD / EUROPE

The Return of Louis XVI: Emmanuel Macron, Roi de L’Ancien Regime

It is easy to imagine ridiculous young President Emmanuel Macron of France as his fellow-free trading liberal King Louis XVI. Macron’s extraordinary pretensions to “dignity” and being a “king” far from elevating him have stripped him of all the bogus credibility that the corrupt, servile and stupid mainstream media of Europe and the United States tried to give him.

Far from raising the embattled Fifth Republic to new heights of achievement and success, it is already clear that Le Jeune Macron is destroying it. The contrast with the founder of the Republic, the great and truly regal Charles de Gaulle could not be greater.

The 1.96 meters tall De Gaulle towered over his nation in many ways. Twice he was his country’s literal savior: First as the leader of the Free French Resistance against the Nazis and as President of France from 1944 to 1946. And then returning to power in 1958, De Gaulle saved his nation from disintegration and civil war.

He ended the long ferocious conflict in Algeria, survived at least six assassination plots on his life and rebuilt his nation into the most powerful and prosperous state in Western Europe. He also defied the United States repeatedly, courageously criticized US conduct of the Vietnam War and built a lasting relationship of friendship and understanding with the Soviet Union.

Macron is physically not a small man, standing at 1.78 meters: He only acts and looks that way. Only a year into office, it is now irreversibly clear that young Macron is fated to make a mockery of every great achievement of De Gaulle, Le Vieux, including the Fifth Republic itself.

Ridiculous young Macron has inflicted ruinous new hardships on the long-suffering French people in the name of his global financial masters. He has loyally proved to be Washington’s poodle in petty-minded and destructive attempts to impose yet more economic sanctions on Russia.

Far from withdrawing France from needless ruinous wars in the Arab and Muslim worlds as Le Grand Charles did in Algeria, Macron continues to eagerly support and promote the disastrous Western interventions in Syria and Libya.

The true parallel to Macron is not De Gaulle, who restored the wealth, stability, dignity and pride of his nation but of the hapless, witless, very internationalist and liberal King Louis XVI, last monarch of L’Ancien Regime.

Like Macron Louis was an eager, arrogant and idiotic young technocrat. Like Macron, he was an internationalist revolutionary and a free trader. He supported the American colonies in their successful revolution against the British Empire.

It never occurred to Louis, just as it never occurred to Macron, or his predecessors Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande that supporting revolutionary wars thousands of miles away could ever come back to haunt them at home. But that is exactly what happened. The collapse of ordered societies in Syria and Libya unleashed of millions of immigrants into France and other European nations with dire social consequences.

Louis suffered “blowback” too. American revolutionary Benjamin Franklin set up underground societies in France that within a decade toppled the most powerful kingdom in Europe.

Far from being the reactionary he has been caricatured as for more than 200 years, King Louis was one of the leading fashionable liberals and technocrats of his time. He especially revered English free-market economist Adam Smith, whose book “The Wealth of Nations” was published in 1776 (the same year as the American Revolution). So only a decade later, Louis fatefully signed his own 1786 Eden Free Trade Treaty with neighboring Britain.

As I noted in my own 2012 economic history “That Should Still Be Us”, the treaty proved to be a catastrophe: Cheap industrialized goods from the more advanced British economy flooded into France while the British cannily retained barriers of their own against French agricultural and other exports.

The French economy collapsed. Millions of people were thrown out of work. They and their families starved. Within three years the Great Revolution had exploded and the monarchy was toppled.

Louis, like Macron today, was convinced his advanced economic theories were more important than petty human suffering. It took the French Revolution and the loss, first of his crown and then of his own head to teach him otherwise.

Like Louis, Macron has shown no understanding or sympathy for the sufferings of ordinary people crushed beneath his absurd, unnecessary policies. Like Louis, his mask of liberalism and civilized compassion vanished as soon as his own people dared to disagree with him. Like Louis his only answer now is repression. Like Louis, he does not have a clue.

The Yellow Vest protestors are not going away. The French people are heartedly sick and tired of the 50- percent real unemployment, wide open immigration borders, slashed welfare programs and breakdown of law and order that Macron and the European Union elite has foisted on them., The Latest French Revolution is not over: it is only beginning.

Macron has ignored the ominous lessons of history. Now he is doomed to repeat them.

Photo: Flickr

Who does Emmanuel Macron owe?

JPEG - 28.3 kb

Emmanuel Macron did not feel destined for a career in politics. As a young man, he hoped to become a philosopher, then a senior civil servant, then a business banker. To help him on his way, he frequented Uncle Sam’s fairy godmothers – the French-American Foundation and the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

It was in this milieu that he met Henry and Marie-Josée Kravis, in their residence on Park Avenue in New York [1]. The Kravis couple, unfailing supporters of the US Republican Party, are among the great world fortunes who play politics out of sight of the Press. Their company, KKR, like Blackstone and the Carlyle Group, is one of the world’s major investment funds.

« Emmanuel’s curiosity for the ’can-do attitude’ was fascinating – the capacity to tell yourself that you can do anything you set your mind to. He had a thirst for knowledge and a desire to understand how things work, but without imitating or copying anyone. In this, he remained entirely French », declares Marie-Josée Drouin (Mrs. Kravis) today [2].

Bearing the double recommendation of the Kravis couple and Jean-Pierre Jouyet [3], he integrated the closed circle of François Hollande’s campaign team. In an e-mail addressed to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Director of political planning Jake Sullivan named the four principal members of the Socialist candidate’s campaign team, including the unknown Emmanuel Macron. He specified that Macron would probably become the Director General of the Treasury (« the top civil servant at the Finance Ministry ») [4].

However, when François Hollande was elected, Emmanuel Macron became the assistant General Secretary of the Elysée, a more political function. It seems that he had ambitions to succeed Jean-Pierre Jouyet as Director of the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (the Deposits and Consignments Fund), a post which was entrusted in May 2014 to the General Secretary of the Elysée. A few days later, proposed by the Kravis couple, he was invited to the Bilderberg Club, where he delivered a violent intervention in perfect English against his boss, François Hollande. When he returned to Paris, he resigned from Hollande’s cabinet.

The Kravis couple are among the main pillars of the Bilderberg Club, which is administered by Marie-Josée Drouin-Kravis. Contrary to a commonly-held belief, the Bilderberg is not a place where decisions are made. Its archives attest to the fact that it was created by the CIA and MI6, then became an organ of influence for NATO, which directly looks after its security [5]. Since Macron’s intervention had been well received, he became one of NATO’s men in France.

Having left politics, he had no desire to return. He explained to his entourage on a number of occasions that he wanted to become a university professor. With the help of essayist Alain Minc (admitted to the Bilderberg Club in 2008), he obtained a post at the university of Berlin and another at the London School of Economics, but was unable to find a place at Harvard.

However, in August 2014, three months after having « left politics », and on a proposition by Jean-Pierre Jouyet (admitted in 2009 to the Bilderberg Club), he was named by François Hollande as Minister of the Economy, Industry and Digital Technology.

In a book published in 2018, François Hollande assured that this choice had been his idea [6]. That may be, but would suppose that he had not been informed about Macron’s intervention at the Bilderberg meeting – although one of his Ministers and close friend Fleur Pélerin had also been present.

In December 2014, Henry Kravis created his own Intelligence agency, the KKR Global Institute. He nominated at its head the ex-Director of the CIA, General David Petraeus. With the Kravis couple’s private funds (the KKR investment funds), and without referring to Congress, Petraeus pursued operation « Timber Sycamore » which had been initiated by President Barack Obama. This was the largest weapons traffic in History, implicating at least 17 states and representing many thousands of tons of weapons worth several billion dollars [7]. As such, Kravis and Petraeus became the main suppliers for Daesh [8].

The French President of Bilderberg, Henri de Castries, invited the Deputy Mayor of Le Havre, Edouard Philippe, to the annual meeting, which on this occasion was held in June 2015 in Austria. Philippe was to be re-invited in May 2016, this time in Germany. During the presidential campaign in France, both Henri de Castries and Edouard Philippe supported François Fillon, but dropped him as soon as Jean-Pierre Jouyet [9] handed the Canard Enchaîné the financial documents collected by the Inspectorate of Finances concerning the suspicious employment of Madame Fillon [10]. They then joined Emmanuel Macron’s camp.

In April 2016, Emmanuel Macron founded his political formation En Marche!, whose marketing strategy was copied from that of Kadima (Forward!), Ariel Sharon’s pretended non-right, non-left party. As for Macron’s programme, it was built on the notes of the OCDE [11] and those of the Institut Montaigne, of which Henri de Castries was president. In fact, En Marche! was created in the offices of the Institut. But Castries fooled Fillon into believing that this was pure coincidence , and that he did not support Macron. He continued for months telling Fillon that he was ready to become his Prime Minister.

Initially, the financing of En Marche! was not supervised. It was a simple association which was allowed to receive gifts from abroad. The names of the sponsors were not revealed to the Tax Office. Arch-billionaire Henry Kravis was one of them.

During his campaign, Emmanuel Macron regularly met with the ex-President of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn (« DSK »). These workshop meetings were denied until they were revealed by Le Parisien, much later, when his reputation as a sexual pervert had died down. DSK (admitted to the Bilderberg Club in 2000) brought both the support of senior government officials and that of French company management – the sociological alliance which had supported the collaborationist régime of Philippe Petain and reformed again in the 1980’s around the Fondation Saint-Simon.

In June 2018, the Minister for Youth and National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, was invited on the proposition of Henri de Castries to the annual meeting of the Bilderberg Club, which was held this time in Italy. This lawyer, a specialist in Constitutional law, has always linked political science and education. He was one of the three central directors of the Ministry for Education, then director of the prestigious Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales (ESSEC). He has known Castries for many years, frequenting him at the Institut Montaigne.

When the Yellow Vests crisis began in France [12], it quickly became evident that this was a profound problem which could only be resolved by addressing the question of global finance, which President Macron can not do. During his electoral campaign, he surprised sponsors at a dinner in New York by making accusations against the financialisation of the economy. It was no more than electoral rhetoric. He was taken to task by the Mr. and Mrs. Kravis – financialisation is the system that enables them to operate the « leveraged buy-outs », which have made them what they are.

Faced with the Yellow Vest movement, President Macron will have to sacrifice his Prime Minister as an expiatory victim during the next elections (the European elections of May 2019, which will certainly be lost). But apart from the fact that he has to hang on for five more months, who is there to replace him? When you owe the financing of your electoral campaign and the choice of your Prime Minister to NATO, it is unthinkable to replace him without first referring to the Alliance. The ideal candidate for the job would therefore be Jean-Michel Blanquer.

Translation
Pete Kimberley

[1] This meeting probably took place in 2007. Thereafter, Emmanuel Macron systematically visited the Kravis couple whenever he was in the USA, and Henry Kravis welcomed him in his offices on Avenue Montaigne when he visited Paris.

[2] «Quand Emmanuel Macron découvrait l’Amérique à 29 ans», François Clemenceau, Le Journal du Dimanche, 22 avril 2018.

[3] Jean-Pierre Jouyet is a personal friend of François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy. He directed the General Inspectorate of Finances from 2005 to 2007. He was then Emmanuel Macron’s hierarchical superior.

[4] «Hollande Team», e-mail by Jake Sullivan, May 10, 2012. Source : Wikileaks.

[5] “What you don’t know about the Bilderberg-Group”, by Thierry Meyssan, Komsomolskaïa Pravda (Russia) , Voltaire Network, 9 May 2011.

[6Les leçons du pouvoir, François Hollande, Stock, 2018.

[7] “Billions of dollars’ worth of arms against Syria”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 18 July 2017.

[8] “Seize the transnational corporations to rebuild Syria?”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 14 August 2018.

[9] Jean-Pierre Jouyet remained friends with Henri de Castries at the end of their studies at the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA, Promotion Voltaire). It was there that they met François Hollande.

[10] Contrary to the official version, the information published by the Canard Enchaîné was not the fruit of a journalistic investigation. The entire dossier was handed in one delivery to the weekly newspaper by Jean-Pierre Jouyet, in violation of financial secrets.

[11] The Organisation de Cooperation et de Développement Economiques (OCDE) is one of the two organisms born of the Marshall Plan. The other is NATO.

[12] “How the West eats its children”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 4 December 2018.

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

December 07, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wrong.

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

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

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

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

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

Fine – hear ya go:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But wait, it’s worse!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Instead, Hollande broke the Socialist Party.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But maybe not so weakened upon restarting….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Macron upset that Assad claims France has supported terrorists in Syria (which they have of course)

‘Syrians have one enemy and he is called Bashar Al-Assad’ – Macron

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BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:10 P.M.) – French President Emmanuel Macron called Assad’s comments about France supporting terrorism in Syria ‘unacceptable’, during a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Paris on Tuesday.

“If someone has been fighting and can win the war against Daesh by the end of February, it’s the international coalition”, Macron said.

“These Syrians have one enemy, and he is called Bashar Al-Assad”, he added.

Stoltenberg asserted that “France is also playing a key role in the fight against terrorism.”

“We are now looking into how we can step-up our efforts to train Iraqi forces to help them stabilise their own country” he added.

The French President received NATO’s secretary general at the Elysee Palace, where they discussed security and EU-NATO cooperation.

M/S French President Emmanuel Macron receiving NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at Elysee Palace in Paris

SOT, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO general secretary: “I strongly believe that one of the best weapons we have in the fight against terrorism is to train local forces, is to build local capacity, to enable locale forces to stabilise their own countries. And that is exactly what NATO is doing in Afghanistan, in Iraq and also what we have done before in the Balkans, and as a member of the global coalition to defeat ISIS or Daesh. We are now looking into how we can step-up our efforts to train Iraqi forces to help them stabilise their own country.”

SOT, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO general secretary: “France is also playing a key role in the fight against terrorism you have a significant presence in Sahel and you play a very important role in the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh in Iraq and Syria.”

SOT, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO general secretary: “As you mentioned, we also addressed NATO-EU cooperation. And I welcome the fact that we were able to lift NATO-EU cooperation up to a new level and that we are working together on many issues, including hybrid, cyber, fighting terrorism and also military mobility.”

 

SOT, Emmanuel Macron, President of France (French): “I do not personally believe that we can build a lasting peace and find a political solution without Syria and the Syrians. I also don’t believe Syria is just (President) Bashar al-Assad. On the military front we have a priority – the war against Daesh (Islamic State). That’s why his (Assad’s) comments were unacceptable. If someone has been fighting and can win the war against Daesh by the end of February, it’s the international coalition. All others have been ambiguous. All others have had (other) priorities, which was targeting political opposition and not the terrorists. We were coherent from the start, we have one enemy, that enemy is Daesh.The Syrian people have an enemy, there are millions of Syrians way from Syria in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, across Europe, in Canada, the United States, these Syrians have one enemy, and he is called Bashar Assad.”

SOT, Emmanuel Macron, President of France (French): “And if we want to build a political peace process that will lead to stability in Syria, we must gather all the different sides around a table and build a transition that will not lead to a status quo because that would mean millions of political opponents who fear for their lives will live outside the (Syria’s) borders.”

 

SOT, Emmanuel Macron, President of France (French): “That is why what we want to work on with our partners – and in an inclusive manner – is a process that will include representatives of Bashar al-Assad because he is today at the helm of the country.”

M/S Macron and Stoltenberg leaving press conference

The Syrian curse اللعنة السورية

The Syrian curse

يونيو 9, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

It seems that the Gulf crisis which has the title of punishing Qatar towards overthrowing its Prince or subduing him an outcome of the visit of the US President Donald Trump to the region, but surely it is not an outcome of the campaign of fighting the terrorism and stopping its funding, in which Qatar along with its Gulf partners led by Saudi Arabia are equal according to the Congress’s reports about the sources of terrorism and the speech of the Vice President John Biden in front Harvard University, so it can be said that the losses of the war on Syria are distributed by the strongest in the war alliance on the weaker and the weakest.

It is impossible to read Trump’s visit and what happened in isolation from Trump’s words about considering the punishment of Qatar an outcome of the visit on one hand, and what he got of Saudi money on the other hand. Washington behold Saudi Arabia the losses of the Gulf through Trump’s contracts and commitments. Saudi Arabia was authorized to distribute the losses among the Gulf countries in money, influence, and politics. But at the same time Trump’s visit cannot be read out the context of the arrival of Donald to the presidency, relying on a speech based on the failure in the war on Syria, even it can be said that Trump has defeated Hillary Clinton strongly by the defeat of her party in the war on Syria and his claiming that he has the ability to get his country out of this war and to reduce the losses not to win in it.

Trump is as the new French President Emanuel Macron who belongs to the same camp from which his former President François Hollande came politically, but he became a president to prevent the arrival of competitors who were planning to take France out the European Union to a civil confrontation due to the impact and the repercussions of the war on Syria, So Macron was the anticipated president to reduce the losses not to win profits, knowing that the permanent issue is the war on Syria which the administration of Hollande and the administration of Nicolas Sarkozy were active partners in it.

It is not hidden to say that the curse of Syria follows everyone who was involved in the war on it, what has happened with the former Prince of Qatar and his Prime Minister was not far from the outcome of this curse, as well as what has happened with Bander Bin Sultan and what affects the Turkish President Recep Erdogan whether regarding his aggravated relation with Washington or his fear from the birth of Kurdish entity on the borders of his country which only Syria and the Syrians can stop it. It is enough to have a quick look at the names which were insolent against Syria, its President, and its army while they were foreshadowing the immanent fall of Damascus and talking about the matter of few days, to notice that the scene included UN envoys, presidents, Foreign Ministers, heads of governments, kings, princes, and sheikhs. Today we wonder about their fate after they went out from the general scene humiliated not only from the war.

It is a real curse that chases all those who were involved in the war on Syria. In the concept of the history-industry and its laws these are the consequences of the defeat in a war which its launchers have made their involvement in it in fate and presence in a way that leads to repercussions that are difficult to overcome. It is clear that none of those involved will be safe whatever they give offerings  to avoid the destiny, as the Saudi are making today with the Qataris. It is clear as well that those who are threatened of fall by the force of the Syrians’ blood and their sufferings which chase everyone involved will not find a lifeline but to apologize from Syria, to atone for what they did, and to pay the bills which can satisfy Syria if there is still an opportunity to appease it.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

 

اللعنة السورية

يونيو 7, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– تبدو الأزمة الخليجية التي تتخذ عنوان معاقبة قطر وصولاً لإسقاط أميرها أو تطويعه، نتاجاً من نتاجات زيارة الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب للمنطقة، ولكنها ليست بالتأكيد ثمار حملة لمكافحة الإرهاب ووقف تمويله، الذي تتساوى فيه قطر مع شركائها في الخليج، وتتصدره السعودية، وفقاً لتقارير الكونغرس حول مصادر الإرهاب ولخطاب نائب الرئيس السابق جو بايدن أمام جامعة هارفرد، بحيث يمكن القول إن ترصيد خسائر الحرب على سورية يتم توزيعها من الأقوياء في حلف الحرب على الأضعف فالأضعف.

– تستحيل قراءة زيارة ترامب وما جرى فيها بمعزل عن كلام ترامب نفسه حول اعتبار معاقبة قطر من ثمار الزيارة من جهة، وما حصده من مال سعودي من جهة ثانية، فواشنطن حمّلت السعودية رصيد الخليج من الخسائر بمال حمله ترامب عقوداً والتزامات، وفوّضت السعودية بتوزيع نصاب الخسائر بين دول الخليج مالاً ونفوذاً وسياسة، لكن لا يمكن أيضاً قراءة زيارة ترامب خارج سياق وصول ترامب نفسه للرئاسة مستقوياً بخطاب مؤسس على الفشل في حرب سورية، حتى يمكن القول إن ترامب هزم هيلاري كلينتون بقوة هزيمة حزبها في الحرب على سورية، وإدعائه القدرة على إخراج بلاده من هذه الحرب وتخفيف الخسائر وليس الفوز بها.

– مثل ترامب حال الرئيس الفرنسي الجديد إيمانويل ماكرون الذي ينتمي للمعسكر ذاته الذي جاء منه سياسياً الرئيس الأسبق فرانسوا هولاند، لكنه وصل إلى الرئاسة منعاً لوصول منافسين كانوا يزمعون أخذ فرنسا خارج الاتحاد الأوروبي وإلى مواجهة أهلية، بتأثير وتداعيات الحرب على سورية، فكان ماكرون رئيس الوعد بتخفيف الخسائر وليس تحقيق الأرباح، والحاضر الدائم هي الحرب على سورية، التي كانت إدارة هولاند وقبله إدارة نيكولاي ساركوزي شريكاً نشطاً فيها.

– ليس من الغيبيات القول بلعنة سورية تلاحق كل الذين تورطوا في الحرب عليها، فما جرى مع أمير قطر السابق ورئيس وزرائه ليس بعيداً عن نتاج هذه اللعنة، ولا ما أصاب بندر بن سلطان، ولا ما يصيب الرئيس التركي رجب أردوغان، سواء بتأزم علاقته بواشنطن أو بذعره من ولادة كيان كردي على حدوده لن يحول دونه إلا سورية والسوريون، وتكفي نظرة سريعة على الأسماء التي تتالت وتنافست على التطاول على سورية ورئيسها وجيشها وهي تبشّر بقرب سقوط دمشق، وتتحدث عن ايام معدودة، ليضم المشهد مبعوثين أمميين وقادة دول ووزراء خارجية ورؤساء حكومات وملوكاً وأمراء وشيوخاً، ونتساءل عن مصيرهم اليوم لنشهد خروجهم بصورة مهينة من المشهد العام، وليس من الحرب فقط.

– هي لعنة حقيقية تلاحق كل الذين تورطوا في الحرب على سورية، وبمفهوم صناعة التاريخ وقوانينه هي تداعيات الهزيمة في حرب جعل أصحابها تورّطهم فيها مصيرياً ووجودياً، بصورة ترتب على الفشل تداعيات يصعب احتواؤها، ومن الواضح أن أحداً من المتورّطين لن ينجو منها مهما افتعل القرابين لتفادي بئس المصير، كما يفعل السعوديون بالقطريين اليوم، بل الواضح أن المهدّدين بالسقوط بقوة دماء السوريين وعذاباتهم التي تلاحق كل متورط، لن يجدوا حبل نجاة إلا الاعتذار من سورية والتكفير عما ارتكبت أيديهم، وتسديد الفواتير التي ترضي سورية إن كان لا يزال لاسترضائها فرصة.

بالخريطة والتفاصيل:الجيش السوري إلى الحدود العراقية .. نهاية داعش

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انها لعنة العراق فكيف عي لعة سوريا يا واشنطن

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