Category Archives: Emmanuel Macron

Trump Was Right: NATO Should Be Obsolete

The three smartest words that Donald Trump uttered during his presidential campaign are “NATO is obsolete.” His adversary, Hillary Clinton, retorted that NATO was “the strongest military alliance in the history of the world.” Now that Trump has been in power, the White House parrots the same worn line that NATO is “the most successful Alliance in history, guaranteeing the security, prosperity, and freedom of its members.” But Trump was right the first time around: Rather than being a strong alliance with a clear purpose, this 70-year-old organization that is meeting in London on December 4 is a stale military holdover from the Cold War days that should have gracefully retired many years ago.

NATO was originally founded by the United States and 11 other Western nations as an attempt to curb the rise of communism in 1949. Six years later, Communist nations founded the Warsaw Pact and through these two multilateral institutions, the entire globe became a Cold War battleground. When the USSR collapsed in 1991, the Warsaw Pact disbanded but NATO expanded, growing from its original 12 members to 29 member countries. North Macedonia, set to join next year, will bring the number to 30. NATO has also expanded well beyond the North Atlantic, adding a partnership with Colombia in 2017. Donald Trump recently suggested that Brazil could one day become a full member.

NATO’s post-Cold War expansion toward Russia’s borders, despite earlier promises not to move eastward, has led to rising tensions between Western powers and Russia, including multiple close calls between military forces. It has also contributed to a new arms race, including upgrades in nuclear arsenals, and the largest NATO “war games” since the Cold War.

While claiming to “preserve peace,” NATO has a history of bombing civilians and committing war crimes. In 1999, NATO engaged in military operations without UN approval in Yugoslavia. Its illegal airstrikes during the Kosovo War left hundreds of civilians dead. And far from the “North Atlantic,” NATO joined the United States in invading Afghanistan in 2001, where it is still bogged down two decades later. In 2011, NATO forces illegally invaded Libya, creating a failed state that caused masses of people to flee. Rather than take responsibility for these refugees, NATO countries have turned back desperate migrants on the Mediterranean Sea, letting thousands die.

In London, NATO wants to show it is ready to fight new wars. It will showcase its readiness initiative – the ability to deploy 30 battalions by land, 30 air squadrons and 30 naval vessels in just 30 days, and to confront future threats from China and Russia, including with hypersonic missiles and cyberwarfare. But far from being a lean, mean war machine, NATO is actually riddled with divisions and contradictions. Here are some of them:

  • French President Emmanuel Macron questions the U.S. commitment to fight for Europe, has called NATO “brain dead” and has proposed a European Army under the nuclear umbrella of France.

  • Turkey has enraged NATO members with its incursion into Syria to attack the Kurds, who have been Western allies in the fight against ISIS. And Turkey has threatened to veto a Baltic defense plan until allies support its controversial incursion into Syria. Turkey has also infuriated NATO members, especially Trump, by purchasing Russia’s S-400 missile system.

  • Trump wants NATO to push back against China’s growing influence, including the use of Chinese companies for the construction of 5G mobile networks–something many NATO countries are unwilling to do.

  • Is Russia really NATO’s adversary? France’s Macron has reached out to Russia, inviting Putin to discuss ways in which the European Union can put the Crimean invasion behind it. Donald Trump has publicly attacked Germany over its Nord Stream 2 project to pipe in Russian gas, but a recent German poll saw 66 percent wanting closer ties with Russia.

  • The UK has bigger problems. Britain has been convulsed over the Brexit conflict and is holding contentious national election on December 12. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, knowing that Trump is wildly unpopular, is reluctant to be seen as close to him. Also, Johnson’s major contender, Jeremy Corbyn, is a reluctant supporter of NATO. While his Labour Party is committed to NATO, over his career as an anti-war champion, Corbyn has called NATO “a danger to world peace and a danger to world security.” The last time Britain hosted NATO leaders in 2014, Corbyn told an anti-NATO rally that the end of the Cold War “should have been the time for NATO to shut up shop, give up, go home and go away.”

  • A further complication is Scotland, which is home to a very unpopular Trident nuclear submarine base as part of NATO’s nuclear deterrent. A new Labour government would need the support of the Scottish National Party. But its leader, Nicola Sturgeon, insists that a precondition for her party’s support is a commitment to close the base.

  • Europeans can’t stand Trump (a recent poll found he is trusted by only 4 percent of Europeans!) and their leaders can’t rely on him. Allied leaders learn of presidential decisions that affect their interests via Twitter. The lack of coordination was clear in October, when Trump ignored NATO allies when he ordered U.S. special forces out of northern Syria, where they had been operating alongside French and British commandos against Islamic State militants.

  • The US unreliability has led the European Commission to draw up plans for a European “defense union” that will coordinate military spending and procurement. The next step may be to coordinate military actions separate from NATO. The Pentagon has complained about EU countries purchasing military equipment from each other instead of from the United States, and has called this defense union “a dramatic reversal of the last three decades of increased integration of the transatlantic defence sector.”

  • Do Americans really want to go to war for Estonia? Article 5 of the Treaty states that an attack against one member “shall be considered an attack against them all,” meaning that the treaty obligates the US to go to war on behalf of 28 nations–something most likely opposed by war-weary Americans who want a less aggressive foreign policy that focuses on peace, diplomacy, and economic engagement instead of military force.

An additional major bone of contention is who will pay for NATO. The last time NATO leaders met, President Trump derailed the agenda by berating NATO countries for not paying their fair share and at the London meeting, Trump is expected to announce symbolic US cuts to NATO’s operations budget.

Trump’s main concern is that member states step up to the NATO target of spending 2 percent of their gross domestic products on defense by 2024, a goal that is unpopular among Europeans, who prefer that their taxdollars to go for nonmilitary items. Nevertheless, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg will brag that Europe and Canada have added $100 billion to their military budgets since 2016–something Donald Trump will take credit for–and that more NATO officials are meeting the 2 percent goal, even though a 2019 NATO report shows only seven members have done so: the U.S., Greece, Estonia, the UK, Romania, Poland and Latvia.

In an age where people around the world want to avoid war and to focus instead on the climate chaos that threatens future life on earth, NATO is an anachronism. It now accounts for about three-quarters of military spending and weapons dealing around the globe. Instead of preventing war, it promotes militarism, exacerbates global tensions and makes war more likely. This Cold War relic shouldn’t be reconfigured to maintain U.S. domination in Europe, or to mobilize against Russia or China, or to launch new wars in space. It should not be expanded, but disbanded. Seventy years of militarism is more than enough.

How Yulia and Sergei Skripal (and their cat) Saved the World!

Ah, the “Sorrows of Empire.” Its lies these days so easily exposed. Yet, too often ignored.

Saturday morning, April 14, 2018, the world released a collective sigh of relief after a week of anguished hand-wringing at the too-likely possibility of our own utter annihilation. US President, Donald J. Trump, a man of massive ego, reportedly small hands and apparently insignificant phallus, had failed, despite direct attempts by the Big Bad Wolf of American military madness, to blow down the retaining walls protecting human conscience… and reality.

Or fatally damage Syria.

Having witnessed this failed attempt to blow the world to pieces via the winds of war, we, the remaining civilized world, were instead treated to worldwide giddy, heel kicking and side-splitting laughter at the ultimate tepid US military inspired results. Yes, despite a week of US hegemonic huffing and puffing — and tweeting — many of us were amazed to actually wake up once again.

This past Saturday, we all discovered that the latest triumvirate of self-serving, sadistic and socially-challenged world leaders (US/UK/ FR)  had suffered a storied defeat…one caused by two little pigs — guinea pigs really — and one black cat.

Thanks to these three demur little mammals, who spoke not a word of English, but were likely – if the UK media folly is to believed-  secretly taking Russian language lessons, these three accurately summed up current Western foreign policy:

You can fool some of the people some of the time. You can fool some of the people all of the time, but… You can’t fool all of the people all the time.”

This sage advice, of course, was not within the full understanding of Messrs. Trump and Macron, nor Ms. May who instead preferred to believe in their own weakening hearts and minds the much older capitalist mantra:

Never give a sucker an even break!

Having seen their laundry list of previous cunning political connivinces go almost unchallenged by their own populace in routine acquiescence, their lies became ever bolder. And inexplicable. This lulled them into a false sense of overconfidence that believed they could provide all manner of utter nonsense as long as it was alleged to be attached to the never passe “Soviet Union” better known as “Russia.” So, it was natural for these three myopic world leaders to assume their latest plot would pass easily within the shadows of their own dark souls. Instead, theirs was a comedy show that suddenly snapped the world to the realization:

We no longer believe a fucking thing you say!

This ultimate and fundamental realization was spawned weeks before this past Saturday’s illegal attack. In the quaint UK town of Salisbury,  former double agent and recent MI-6 participant, Sergei Skripal, had relocated to go out to pasture, retire and die. Little did he know that his long-term goals would turn out to be somewhat premature. Well, almost.

UK Prime Minister, Theresa May was, and is, a desperate woman. So desperate is she — after her own recent David Cameron moment of parliamentary disaster — to retain power within the posh digs at No. 10 that she quite willingly proved correct all criticisms of her Conservative Party: She joined forces with the Irish Nazi party, better known as the DUP… and gave them a 1 Billion British pound mortita for their trouble. That’s desperate!

Strangely, Ms. May could not understand why, after all this, she was still reviled by all the UK parliamentary parties and most of the British people. Having done her best to achieve Neville Chamberlain style unpopularity, she needed a distraction… no matter how amateurish the production. For she had long ago concluded, as have so many foreign leaders, that her public was just as easily controlled as watering a potted plant in the window of her number 10.

Over arrogant, Ms. May sent in her Keystone Cops — MI-6 — to do what had worked so often before in times of political need. So easy. Indeed! As the plot unfurled on a park bench in Salisbury on March 4, 2018, the press dutifully expanded daily on the one proffered set of lies. Nice and smoothly… Russia did it! Who, but a treasonous Brit would possibly argue with such a complete lack of prima face evidence? Yes, all was going so well for Ms. May and her conspirators until their hired media minions made their first fatal and undeniable mistake.

Enter the true hero of our story, our savior, Nash Van Drake. Cat. Black cat. Likely Russian agent and the only live witness; one who knew all too well the other fundamental slogan of political cover-up…”Dead men ( and cats) tell no tales”. The two Guinea pigs were already toast, which, of course, fit the UK narrative that the Russian sounding Novichok — quickly renamed that week from its original name, “Foliant” —  had ultimately (after the Government story changed multiple times) originated in… or on… or around the Skripal house, hence the two little Guinea pigs’ timely demise and convenient incineration. However…

You see, Van Drake was a black cat: Persian of Arabic descent. In the UK being black and/or Arab is increasingly great cause for caution. After years of living safely curled up on the living room settee watching the daily BBC propaganda reel or evenings on former spy Mr. Skripal’s lap forever watching James Bond reruns on ITV — over and over and over again — when the strange alien-looking men in yellow suits, plastic masks, and oxygen tanks picked the lock on the Skripal’s front door, astutely Van Drake took to these years of imposed TV training and knew just what to do. Run!

The poor caged Guinea pigs didn’t have a chance.

Once upon a time, the secret services of the dominant world had at least the courtesy to respect the world’s intelligence quotient even when discounting their country’s own. In that era, evil political intentions did attempt to carefully cover the footprints leading to their too many false flag operations. Professional surreptitious skullduggery, however, has now given way to plots of conquest that are really ham-fisted affronts to simple mental logic followed by a near total media cover-up in favor of same.

This has so far been all too effective, and with the similarly agendized publishers in the US and UK having control of over 90% of these “media choices,” a media black-out of inconvenient facts has been the de rigueur method of cover-up. This new methodology of political deceit relies on one single, all-important premise, one that evil minds similar to those of Trump, Macron, and May believe to their soulless core:

We control the story and …You… are too stupid and willfully ignorant to find the truth.

While quantitatively and historically accurate in their belief to date, unfortunately for MI-6 and their resulting worldwide television theatrical performance, Brits are also animal lovers. One might well, then, imagine the look on the faces of the conspirators when, after already disposing of the evidence of the two conveniently dead rodents and thus certifying their claim that the Skripals were poisoned at their home, they were suddenly shocked by the very first serious media question, one for which the co-conspirators collectively had only one confused, nervous, sideways looking answer… “What Cat?!”

Like Jack Ruby seeking out Oswald, the cops were off again to fix this glaring omission. Poor Van Drake, still hiding in the dark of his own Palestine under the couch, and now revealed, never had a chance. As the yellow suited masked men dragged him kicking and screaming off to certain chemical weapons death at Briton’s own self-proclaimed Auschwitz, the secret chemical weapons facility known instead as Porton Down, the poor kitty had no way of knowing that his cremation would make him the hero of this hilarious and almost fatal — for us — tragedy. For it was Van Drake, his being alive and next dead, that snapped the world to the proper realization that: one: the highly lethal military grade Novichok/Foliant in question was approximately as deadly as Van Drake’s own flea collar, and better: Ms. May, the Cons, and the vaunted UK press were completely lying out their ass!

Finally, it seemed the counter-intelligence services of first world hegemony had actually managed to underestimate the true intelligence of the average Briton and, apparently, the military intelligence services of most of the other nations on earth. It’s one thing to shoot Palestinians for target practice, inflict the world’s biggest cholera epidemic on Yemen while bombing its hospitals and doctors, or terrorize a few hundred thousand Rohingya into abandoning their homes for the pleasure of capitalist pursuits: all these so easily ignored by a deliberate media sedated, flag-wrapped public. But, this time they had gone too far. They had killed… a cat!

What a fuck-up!

Fast forward to the land — the epicenter — of nationwide mind fabrication. Just as strangely as barely-prime minister, Ms. May, the new White House presidential marionette in orange, despite having been repeatedly for a year bitch slapped into submission by his adversaries on all sides of the aisle, was still having problems with those pesky Democrats and their Justice Department, their attorneys, and this past week, their cops. Worse, to a President who craves personal approval like an American male does Opioids, his popularity ratings were down.

What to do? To a man with a golf ball sized IQ, there was only one thing he could do. A choice that would make him popular from the boardrooms of Halliburton to the gun-toting, Jack Daniels-swilling taverns, and barrooms of Tennessee. From the dark shadowy dampness of the Israeli Knesset to the gold lined palaces of the newly anointed Saudi prophet, MBS in Riyadh: A nice “new, shiny, smart” war.

Perfect!!

But how to start a new war. That chemical weapons false flag rubbish had failed, one, two three… six times in the past. Oh, and that Salisbury debacle — where the Skripal’s were doing just fine all of a sudden — now makes seven failures. But, to hell with a smart guy like Einstein, why not give it another shot. Besides Trump had a specially prepared US media tool awaiting: Those ever handy and timely White Helmets; the ones who always seem better with a video camera than at performing first aid. Fresh off being handed a shiny 2017 Oscar for their star acting role in their own Hollywood propaganda film of justification, surely they could finally get it right this time?

Thus we, the civilized world, were treated to another round of intelligence insulting western inspired theatrics. And it might have worked. Almost did. Because, hey, these are the guys who wore the White helmets. White ones. Who could argue with that?

Needing a coalition of the willing for his new war, the logical first choice for Trump was to invite his equally flawed counterpart in London to jump into bed with him.  Apparently the salacious allegations of the Steele dossier — which the UK press failed to show as connected to Skripal senior — may be true since Trump showed a continued passion for the kinky in next going French, and inviting another similarly descending political hack to his menage a trois of war.

Macron, whose popularity echoes his two concubines in being approximately that of Napoleon bringing the troops home from Russia, was down to his skivvies in seconds. Reduced to attacking farmers and peaceful protesters in his stated effort to bring all things capitalist to bare in traditionally socialist France, he had obviously failed to yet master the emasculation of his own media. Thus the irony of all this, applied to French Napoleonic law, was that in the eyes of his countrymen Macron was at the very least, “guilty until proven innocent.” And, good luck with that.

So, when Washington called, followed by a short follow-up ring from Tel Aviv, Macron also knew just what to do. And, off to war it was.

For two weeks these three frolicked in a pre-war orgy of selling the exact same pack of lies to their own nation’s public via their own controlled media; lies that continued to include the connection to the Soviet Union Russia via the Skripal chemical weapons attack in Salisbury. Of course, this Syrian attack in Ghouta was real this time. Right?

However, in this mad three-nation ramp-up to new war many persons of rational mind and a penchant for self-preservation, persons that included world leaders still in possession of their facilities, continued to wonder about the massive logical and factual problems with the Skripal incident and “the cat.” This was shown in the universal lack of willingness of other countries to enter the fray. When Angela Merkel doesn’t willingly join an American rush to war, you know there’s a big problem. However, many leaders did save face with Israel and half-heartedly attested to the full package of lies being true by abstaining in their UN votes to stop the pending attack.

So, our three continued to cavort in pre-war bliss despite the constant interruptions made by John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, scratching and whining at the bedroom door while trying to get in. But, their orgy did continue, the glee of upcoming death and destruction being spawned from their own loins an aphrodisiac far too strong to be controlled.

Sadly, despite the inquiries and outrage of the few sharp minds — and cat lovers — worldwide, these three Israeli concubines did finally manage to achieve coitus this past Saturday, April 14, 2018, with the Donald next indiscriminately ejaculating cruise missiles all over Syria.

These missiles, having an unusually high mortality rate of their own (71/103), did almost nothing to Syria or Syrians who that new morning danced in streets afterward. But this charade did allow an embattled US president to temporarily forget his troubles, put his golf balls back in his sack and feel much better after having finally relieved himself.

Not quite done, it was time for the final act: for the three to prove that, when it comes to congressional or parliamentary oversight for more war: 1) it is far easier to beg forgiveness, than to ask permission and 2) these same legislative checks on war powers are in reality as effective a deterrent as that of a Las Vegas boxing commissioner. A few more calls from Tel Aviv, soon to be Jerusalem, and the little fish in the US congress and the two parliaments were again nicely ketteled into the proper way of retroactive thinking and approving…more war.

Well, the moral of this ages-old recurring fable of overconfident governmental, covert operations should be obvious. It should not take one dead cat and a couple of Guineas to shock us all to the proper realization:

When it comes to the Governments of our world…it’s all a pack of lies.

So, we the intelligent world salute you Nash Van Drake and your tiny brethren. May you all rest in peace in the service of us all. May we together pray: pray that the world quickly awakens to the terminal realizations of poor Van Drake, reluctant hero, as the steel doors of the gas chamber called Porton Down creaked open before him and he swallowed forever his last breath…

Not a one of us has nine lives, and our governments are pretty sure that we are all… dumber than a god damn cat!

Macron’s Syria Game

There is a certain bullishness in French circles these days, even if there was an initial attempt, with the Macron government, to calm matters down.  The need to assert Gallic might in the face of brutality has again surfaced; and has a familiar ring to it.  With Syria’s Bashar al-Assad getting more comfortable with military progress, officials in the United States, France and Britain are chewing finger nails and churning out policy papers of concern.

For them, Syria remains a chess piece they never quite controlled, an entity filled with failed “free” rebel fighters and packed with such agents of spoliation as murderous jihadi groups. But one group’s murderous antics are another’s decent balancing act in terms of strategy.

Even before US President Donald Trump decided to huff and issue the order that lead to the launch of 105 missiles from the triumvirate, France’s President Emmanuel Macron was being egged on to do something.  He was also egging himself on to target the Assad regime for its alleged use of chemical weapons, despite having previously suggested that there was no “legitimate successor” to the Syrian President.

This impulse to punish, to instigate the use of force for the specific purpose of correcting a supposed violation of international norms was already being flagged last summer. “When you set out red lines, if you are unable to force them, then you decide to be weak.”

The Syrian imbroglio has not been an easy one to define for Macron.  His predecessors – Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande were of the more traditional Gallic mould of intervention and interference, finding untrammelled sovereignty in North Africa and the Middle East a bit difficult to stomach.  Macron, at least initially, found the nightmare of intervening in Libya part of a neo-conservative impulse, and issued that sober warning that failed states were hardly in France’s best interest.

On the issue of chemical weapons, Hollande was punitively clear, instructing the French Air Force in the aftermath of the Ghouta attacks in August 2013 to ready for strikes on Syrian command centres linked to the attack.  But he pinned such a move on joint US support.  Having issued a “red line” ultimatum, US President Barack Obama signalled his wish to leave the strike party.

This instance of an ally backing down infuriated the already irritable French grouping.  Assad was to be rid of, but to do so would require whole-hearted backing from Washington’s war machine.  France’s foreign minister Laurent Fabius was all rather gung-ho about it: something needed to be done, and not getting one’s hands dirty was a sign of fatal weakness.

His interpretation of the consequences arising from such vacillation were broad and inventive.  By not striking Assad, claimed Fabius in a radio interview on Europe 1 in February 2016, the Western alliance bore witness to “a turning point, not only in the crisis in the Middle East, but also for Ukraine, Crime and the World.”  Those horrible Russians, again, with their insatiable belligerence, their territorial hunger!

Macron is now marking himself up as a true realist, a sombre assessor of more limited aims.  Less than a neo-colonial, he is a pseudo-neo-colonial, still keen to intervene in theatres of traditional French interest.

One recent example stands out: establishing a French troop presence to shadow Kurdish ambitions within the Syrian Democratic Forces from the prying moves of Turkey in north-eastern Syria while also combating Islamic State ambitions.  “He assured the SDF,” went a statement from the French President in March, “of France’s support for the stabilization of the security zone in north-east Syria, within the framework of an inclusive and balanced governance, to prevent any resurgence of Islamic State.”

He also claims to have persuaded his US counterpart to remain in Syria, despite repeated mutterings and tweets to the contrary. “Ten days ago,” claimed Macron in an interview, “President Trump was saying ‘the United States should withdraw from Syria.’  We convinced him it was necessary to stay for the long term.”

Even more of an achievement, he felt it worth noting that he had been the voice of reason for a rampant Trump itching to strike. Macron “persuaded him that we needed to limit strikes to chemical weapons [sites], after things got a little carried away over tweets.”

The US interpretation on this as unsurprising as it is predictable.  “The US mission has not changed,” came White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.  Trump had “been clear that he wants US forces to come home as quickly as possible.”  Trump reiterated that sense in his Friday speech to the nation.  “We cannot purge the world of evil, or act everywhere there is tyranny.”  He looked “forward to the day when we can bring our warriors home.”  Macron might have been reading different smoke signals, even if there was some smoke to read.

The battle over Syria as a matter of “long term” garrisons suggests a very important point for Macron’s strategy.  While Russia continues its customary backing of the government of the day, the French, with moderate support from the UK and even more moderate support from Trump, are seeking a garrison presence in some form – call them what you like: specialists, experts or just plain saboteurs – to keep Syria in orbit.  For them, Assad and his Russian backers cannot be permitted a free hand.

Russia’s Reaction to the Insults of the West is Political Suicide

The onslaught of western Russia bashing in the past days, particularly since the alleged poison attack by a Soviet-era nerve agent, Novichok (the inventor of which, by the way, lives in the US), on a Russian double agent, Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, has been just horrifying. Especially by the UK. Starting with PM May, who outright accused Russia of using chemical weapons (CW) on UK grounds, without delivering any evidence. Strangely, there is no indication where Skripal and his daughter are, in which hospital the pair is being treated, no poison analysis is being published, they cannot be visited; there is absolutely no evidence of the substance they allegedly have been poisoned with – do Sergei and Yulia actually exist as victims of a poison attack?

As a consequence, Theresa May expels 23 Russian diplomats, who have to leave the UK within a week. Then came Boris Johnson, the Foreign Minister clown, also an abject liar. He said — no, he yelled — at his fellow parliamentarians that it was “overwhelmingly likely, that Putin personally ordered the spy attack.” This accusation out of nothing against the Russian President is way more than a deep breach in diplomatic behavior, it is a shameful insult. And no evidence is provided. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, in fact, said that Johnson’s personal attack on President Putin was “unforgivable”.

Not to miss out on the bashing theatre, UK Defense Secretary, Gavin Williamson, got even more insolent. Russia “should go away and shut up”. In response to all this demonizing Russia for an alleged crime, for which absolutely no proof has been provided, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said that the undiplomatic comments meant that the British authorities are nervous and have “something to hide,”. Lavrov also strongly objected, wanted to initiate a joint UK-Russia investigation into the case – is he dreaming? – and responded to a question of diplomatic retaliation, yes, that Russia will also expel UK diplomates ‘soon’.

There is no doubt that the UK acted as Washington’s poodle. In the course of this anti-Russia tirade, Trump twittered that he fully supported UK’s position. Indeed, the European puppets, Macron, Merkel, May and their chief, The Donald, signed a joint statement blaming Russia for the nerve gas attack on the former double agent, “There is no plausible alternative explanation than that Russia was to blame for the attack”. Bingo, that says it all. The presstitute picks it up and airs it to the seven corners of this globe – and the western sheeple are brainwashed once again: The Russians did it.

Well, we know that. But the real point I want to make is that Russia always reacts to such nonsensical and outright false accusations; Russia always responds, rejects, of course, the accusations but usually with lengthy explanations, and with suggestions on how to come to the truth – as if the UK and the west would give a shit about the truth – why are they doing that? Why are you, Russia, even responding?

That is a foolish sign of weakness. As if Russia was still believing in the goodness of the west, as if it just needed to be awakened. What Russia is doing, every time, not just in this Skripal case, but in every senseless and ruthless attack, accusations about cyber hacking, invading Ukraine, annexing Crimea, and not to speak about the never-ending saga of Russia-Gate, Russian meddling and hacking into the 2016 US Presidential elections, favoring Trump over Hillary. Everybody with a half brain knows it’s a load of crap. Even the FBI and CIA said that there was no evidence. So, why even respond? Why even trying to undo the lies, convince the liars that they, Russia, are not culpable?

Every time the west notices Russia’s wanting to be a “good neighbor”, about which the west really couldn’t care less, Russia makes herself more vulnerable, more prone to be accused and attacked and more slandered.

Why does Russia not just break away from the west? Instead of trying to ‘belong’ to the west? Accept that you are not wanted in the west, that the west only wants to plunder your resources, your vast landmass, they want to provoke you into a war where there are no winners, a war that may destroy entire Mother Earth, but they, the ZionAnglo handlers of Washington, dream that their elite will survive to eventually take over beautiful grand Russia. That’s what they want. The bashing is a means towards the end. The more people are with them, the easier it is to launch an atrocious war.

The Skripal case is typical. The intensity with which this UK lie-propaganda has been launched is exemplary. It has brought all of halfwit Europe – and there is a lot of them – under the spell of Russia hating. Nobody can believe that May, Merkel, Macron are such blatant liars… that is beyond what they have been brought up with. A lifelong of lies pushed down their throats, squeezed into their brains. Even if something tells them – this is not quite correct, the force of comfort, not leaving their comfort zone – not questioning their own lives – is so strong that they rather cry for War, War against Russia, War against the eternal enemy of mankind. I sadly remember in my youth in neutral Switzerland, the enemy always, but always came from the East. He was hiding behind the “Iron Curtain”.

The West is fabricating a new Iron Curtain. But while doing that, they don’t realize they are putting a noose around their own neck. Russia doesn’t need the west, but the west will soon be unable to survive without the East, the future is in the east – and Russia is an integral part of the East, of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), that encompasses half the world’s population and controls a third of the world’s economic output.

Mr. Putin, you don’t need to respond to insults from the west, because that’s what they are, abusive insults. The abject slander that Johnson boy threw at you is nothing but a miserable insult; you don’t need to respond to this behavior. You draw your consequences.

Dear President Putin, Dear Mr. Lavrov, Let them! Let them holler. Let them rot in their insanity. Respond to the UK no longer with words but with deeds, with drastic deeds. Close their embassy. Give all embassy staff a week to vacate your country, then you abolish and eviscerate the embassy the same way the US abolished your consulates in Washington and San Francisco a bit more than a year ago. Surely you have not forgotten. Then you give all Brits generously a month to pack up and leave your beautiful country (it can be done – that’s about what Washington is forcing its vassals around the globe to do with North Korean foreign laborers); block all trade with the UK (or with the entire West for that matter), block all western assets in Russia, because that’s the first thing the western plunderers will do, blocking Russian assets abroad. Stealing is in their blood.

Mr. Putin, You don’t need to respond to their miserable abusive attacks, slanders, lies. You and Russia are way above the level of this lowly western pack. Shut your relation to the west. You have China, the SCO, the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), Russia is part of the OBI – President Xi’s One Belt Initiative – the multi-trillion development thrive, emanating from China, connecting continents – Asia, Africa, Europe, South America – with infrastructure, trade, creating hundreds of millions of decent jobs, developing and promoting science and culture and providing hundreds of millions of people with a decent life.

What would the west do, if suddenly they had no enemy, because the enemy has decided to ignore them and take a nap? China will join you.

Everything else, responding, justifying, explaining, denying the most flagrant lies, trying to make them believe in the truth is not only a frustrating waste of time, it’s committing political suicide. You will never win. The west gives a hoot about the truth – they have proven that for the last two thousand years or more. And in all that time, not an iota of conscience has entered the west’s collective mind. The west cannot be trusted. Period.

Elections: Absenteeism, Boycotts, and the Class Struggle

The most striking feature of recent elections is not ‘who won or who lost’, nor is it the personalities, parties and programs. The dominant characteristic of the elections is the widespread repudiation of the electoral system, political campaigns, parties and candidates.

Across the world, majorities and pluralities of citizens of voting age refuse to even register to vote (unless obligated by law), refuse to turn out to vote (voter abstention), or vote against all the candidates (boycott by empty ballot and ballot spoilage).

If we add the many citizen activists who are too young to vote, citizens denied voting rights because of past criminal (often minor) convictions, impoverished citizens and minorities denied voting rights through manipulation and gerrymandering, we find that the actual ‘voting public’ shrivel to a small minority.

As a result, present day elections have been reduced to a theatrical competition among the elite for the votes of a minority. This situation describes an oligarchy – not a healthy democracy.

Oligarchic Competition

Oligarchs compete and alternate with one another over controlling and defining who votes and doesn’t vote. They decide who secures plutocratic financing and mass media propaganda within a tiny corporate sector. ‘Voter choice’ refers to deciding which preselected candidates are acceptable for carrying out an agenda of imperial conquests, deepening class inequalities and securing legal impunity for the oligarchs, their political representatives and state, police and military officials.

Oligarchic politicians depend on the systematic plundering Treasury to facilitate and protect billion dollar/billion euro stock market swindles and the illegal accumulation of trillions of dollars and Euros via tax evasion (capital flight) and money laundering.

The results of elections and the faces of the candidates may change but the fundamental economic and military apparatus remains the same to serve an ever tightening oligarchic rule.

The elite regimes change, but the permanence of state apparatus designed to serve the elite becomes ever more obvious to the citizens.

Why the Oligarchy Celebrates “Democracy”

The politicians who participate in the restrictive and minoritarian electoral system, with its predetermined oligarchic results, celebrate ‘elections’ as a democratic process because a plurality of voters, as subordinate subjects, are incorporated.

Academics, journalists and experts argue that a system in which elite competition defines citizen choice has become the only way to protect ‘democracy’ from the irrational ‘populist’ rhetoric appealing to a mass of citizens vulnerable to authoritarianism (the so-called ‘deplorables’). The low voter turn-out in recent elections reduces the threat posed by such undesirable voters.

A serious objective analysis of present-day electoral politics demonstrates that when the masses do vote for their class interests — the results deepen and extend social democracy. When most voters, non-voters and excluded citizens choose to abstain or boycott elections they have sound reasons for repudiating plutocratic-controlled oligarchic choices.

We will proceed to examine the recent June 2017 voter turnout in the elections in France, the United Kingdom and Puerto Rico. We will then look at the intrinsic irrationality of citizens voting for elite politicos as opposed to the solid good sense of the popular classes rejection of elite elections and their turn to extra-parliamentary action.

Puerto Rico’s Referendum

The major TV networks (NBC, ABC and CBS) and the prestigious print media (New York Times, Washington Post, and Financial Times) hailed the ‘overwhelming victory’ of the recent pro-annexationist vote in Puerto Rico. They cited the 98% vote in favor of becoming a US state!

The media ignored the fact that a mere 28% of Puerto Ricans participated in the elections to vote for a total US takeover. Over 77% of the eligible voters abstained or boycotted the referendum.

In other words, over three quarters of the Puerto Rican people rejected the sham ‘political elite election’. Instead, the majority voted with their feet in the streets through direct action.

France’s Micro-Bonaparte

In the same way, the mass media celebrated what they dubbed a ‘tidal wave’ of electoral support for French President Emmanuel Macron and his new party, ‘the Republic in March’. Despite the enormous media propaganda push for Macron, a clear majority of the electorate (58%) abstained or spoiled their ballots, therefore rejecting all parties and candidates, and the entire French electoral system. This hardly constitutes a ‘tidal wave’ of citizen support in a democracy.

During the first round of the parliamentary election, President Macron’s candidates received 27% of the vote, barely exceeding the combined vote of the left socialist and nationalist populist parties, which had secured 25% of the vote. In the second round, Macron’s party received less then 20% of the eligible vote.

In other words, the anti-Macron rejectionists represented over three quarters of the French electorate. After these elections a significant proportion of the French people – especially among the working class –will likely choose extra-parliamentary direct action, as the most democratic expression of representative politics.

The United Kingdom: Class Struggle and the Election Results

The June 2017 parliamentary elections in the UK resulted in a minority Conservative regime forced to form an alliance with the fringe Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), a far-right para-military Protestant party from Northern Ireland. The Conservatives received 48% of registered voters to 40% who voted for the Labor Party. However, 15 million citizens, or one-third of the total electorate abstained or spoiled their ballots. The Conservative regime’s plurality represented 32% of the electorate.

Despite a virulent anti-Labor campaign in the oligarch-controlled mass media, the combined Labor vote and abstaining citizens clearly formed a majority of the population, which will be excluded from any role the post-election oligarchic regime despite the increase in the turnout (in comparison to previous elections).

Elections: Oligarchs in Office, Workers in the Street

The striking differences in the rate of abstention in France, Puerto Rico, and the UK reflect the levels of class dissatisfaction and rejection of electoral politics.

The UK elections provided the electorate with something resembling a class alternative in the candidacy of Jeremy Corbyn. The Labor Party under Corbyn presented a progressive social democratic program promising substantial and necessary increases in social welfare spending (health, education and housing) to be funded by higher progressive taxes on the upper and upper middle class.

Corbyn’s foreign policy promised to end the UK’s involvement in imperialist wars and to withdraw troops from the Middle East. He also re-confirmed his long opposition to Israel’s colonial land-grabbing and oppression of the Palestinian people, as a principled way to reduce terrorist attacks at home.

In other words, Corbyn recognized that introducing real class-based politics would increase voter participation. This was especially true among young voters in the 18-25 year age group, who were among the UK citizens most harmed by the loss of stable factory jobs, the doubling of university fees and the cuts in national health services.

In contrast, the French legislative elections saw the highest rate of voter abstention since the founding of the 5th Republic. These high rates reflect broad popular opposition to ultra-neoliberal President Francois Macron and the absence of real opposition parties engaged in class struggle.

The lowest voter turn-out (72%) occurred in Puerto Rico. This reflects growing mass opposition to the corrupt political elite, the economic depression and the colonial and semi-colonial offerings of the two-major parties. The absence of political movements and parties tied to class struggle led to greater reliance on direct action and voter abstention.

Clearly class politics is the major factor determining voter turnout. The absence of class struggle increases the power of the elite mass media, which promotes the highly divisive identity politics and demonizes left parties. All of these increase both abstention and the vote for right-wing politicians, like Macron.

The mass media grossly inflated the significance of the Right’s election victories of the while ignoring the huge wave of citizens rejecting the entire electoral process. In the case of the UK, the appearance of class politics through Jeremy Corbyn increased voter turnout for the Labor Party. However, Labor has a history of first making left promises and ending up with right turns. Any future Labor betrayal will increase voter abstention.

The established parties and the media work in tandem to confine elections to a choreographed contest among competing elites divorced from direct participation by the working classes. This effectively excludes the citizens who have been most harmed by the ruling class’ austerity programs implemented by successive rightist and Social Democratic parties.

The decision of many citizens not to vote is based on taking a very rational and informed view of the ruling political elites who have slashed their living standards often by forcing workers to compete with immigrants for low paying, unstable jobs. It is deeply rational for citizens to refuse to vote for within a rigged system, which only worsens their living conditions through its attacks on the public sector, social welfare and labor codes while cutting taxes on capital.

Conclusion

The vast majority citizens in the wage and salaried class do not trust the political elites. They see electoral campaigns as empty exercises, financed by and for plutocrats.

Most citizens recognize (and despise) the mass media as elite propaganda megaphones fabricating ‘popular’ images to promote anti-working class politicians, while demonizing political activists engaged in class-based struggles.

Nevertheless, elite elections will not produce an effective consolidation of right-wing rule. Voter abstention will not lead to abstention from direct action when the citizens recognize their class interests are in grave jeopardy.

The Macron regime’s parliamentary majority will turn into an impotent minority as soon as he tries carry out his elite promise to slash the jobs of hundreds of thousands of French public sector workers, smash France’s progressive labor codes and the industry-wide collective bargaining system and pursue new colonial wars.

Puerto Rico’s profound economic depression and social crisis will not be resolved through a referendum with on 27% of the voter participation. Large-scale demonstrations will preclude US annexation and deepen mass demands for class-based alternatives to colonial rule.

Conservative rule in the UK is divided by inter-elite rivalries both at home and abroad. ‘Brexit’, the first step in the break-up of the EU, opens opportunities for deeper class struggle. The social-economic promises made by Jeremy Corbyn and his left-wing of the Labor Party energized working class voters, but if it does not fundamentally challenge capital, it will revert to being a marginal force.

The weakness and rivalries within the British ruling class will not be resolved in Parliament or by any new elections.

The demise of the UK, the provocation of a Conservative-DUP alliance and the end of the EU (BREXIT) raises the chance for successful mass extra-parliamentary struggles against the authoritarian neo-liberal attacks on workers’ civil rights and class interests.

Elite elections and their outcomes in Europe and elsewhere are laying the groundwork for a revival and radicalization of the class struggle.

In the final analysis class rule is not decided via elite elections among oligarchs and their mass media propaganda. Once dismissed as a ‘vestige of the past’, the revival of class struggle is clearly on the horizon.

France Has No Evidence of Chemical Weapons’ Usage

The French president Emmanuel Macron, in an interview with El Pais (22 June 2017), said that the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power is no longer a priority in resolving the Syrian crisis.

“France no longer sees the displacement of Assad as a priority for anything as well as I do not see who could become his legitimate successor,” Macron said.

President Emmanuel Macron (center), in an interview with El Pais. Jean-Christophe Marmara

The French president also called on countries to concentrate on fighting terrorism. He stressed it is necessary to work out an entirely new plans of action in Syria. Special attention, he said, must be paid to the allies of Assad since effectively fighting the threat of terrorism requires the active participation of all the parties — especially Russia.

During the interview, Makron criticized Barack Obama for not keeping promises. Namely, that the former U.S. President had declared a tough response in case Assad would cross the so-called Red Line. “If the evidence of the use of chemical weapons arose,… and we knew who used it and where this weapon came from, France will respond immediately by carrying out airstrikes,” Macron said.

The president of France also hinted that his country is ready to launch air strikes on Syria without U.S. support.

The second question dealt with how the world community could accuse Assad then. Emmanuel Macron stated that there are still no clear reasons for this.

As early as in 2014, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had pointed out an absence of evidence of the Syrian president’s involvement with chemical weapon attacks.

The Macron Denial

The cheer was always going to be qualified. The bubbles would be less effervescent, more a case of relieved sighing rather than frothy exultation.  After another electoral hack, and another round of threats, the French election was being played out in an era that may, in time, be given the Trump name.

The pollsters did rest a bit easier after the election result, with Emmanuel Macron outdoing his contender Marine Le Pen by fifteen percent. Their soothsayers have been failing of late, and this result provided some form of revival. But what it did show, as it did in the United Kingdom, is that the battle between the forces of nationalist nostalgia and autonomy, and the market model masquerading as prosperity and democracy, will continue to rage.

In any other set of circumstances, it would have been seen as thumping, clear, and unquestionable: a 66 percent approval for Macron, with Parisians going the whole hog with 90 per cent. But such are the times that the 34 percent, left unattended to the north and south of the country, may well become the future governing power, a disease that takes hold, and eventually conquering the host.

While it was second highest score in the second round of a presidential vote since 1965, Macron’s margin of victory becomes less significant when compared with that of Jacques Chirac’s 82.21 percent in 2002 over Marine Le Pen’s father.  An unescapable fact is that 11 million votes were cast in favour of Le Pen.

Rather than showing France revived and optimistic, the victory of Macron poses an enormous headache which is being shielded by aspirins from various quarters. Instead of considering the model of reform so desperately needed in institutional Europe, the excuse to bury, rather than examine the current revolt, is all too real.

As if showing awareness of this, figures such as outgoing president François Hollande have attempted to bring the brush of freshness to the En Marche! campaign, despite Macron’s ministerial tutelage under him.  The message here is a distorting one: centrism, an approach embracing neither left nor right, but one overwhelmingly in favour of market and banking ideals.  “It’s true that he followed me these last few years.  But afterwards, he freed himself, he wanted to propose his [own] project to the French people.”

Nor does the enormous margin favouring Macron suggest that anti-establishment resentment, nourished by dislike for the European Union, has somehow vanished.  Taken together as a bloc vote, the majority voted, in the first presidential round, against establishment, EU smugness.  (Witness, to that end, the margin favouring Jean-Luc Mélenchon.)  What followed after was a tactical play.

With some swiftness, Macron also became the alibi for other leaders, transmogrifying into rationales and justifications that seek to avoid, rather than confront, the European dilemma.  He had won, he had found the truth.  The European establishment were delighted that something sensible had transpired, that France could again lead the project of reason in Europe.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was the quickest out of the traps on that score. “He carries the hopes of millions of French people, and of many people in Germany and the whole of Europe.  He ran a courageous pro-European campaign, stands for openness to the world and is committed decisively to a social market economy.”

For the remainder group in the United Kingdom, this would have been a spur along to show that Britain’s Gallic cousins were doing the wise thing, and may well surprise in the British election.  But Prime Minister Theresa May, in full campaign mode, took Macron’s victory as a sign that she needed the numbers to stand up to him regarding Britain’s exit. (She has already indicated future trouble, given her reluctance to renegotiate the Le Touquet border agreement.)

From the stump, she claimed that “every vote for me and my team will strengthen my hand in those Brexit negotiations.”  In contrast, her Labour alternative, Jeremy Corbyn, was weak, lacking the bull dog spirit to face up to “the collective might of the European Commission and 27 other EU countries”.

For the Brexiteers, the vote suggested something quite different.  The Leave.EU group, created by Nigel Farage last year, decided that some good old fashioned venom should be thrown in. The French, went one tweet, had “rolled over” as they had in 1940, though this time, they saved Germany “the bullets and the fuel.”  Farage, not wanting to be left out of the polemics, also claimed that Macron would be nothing more than Juncker’s puppet.

The CEO of the libertarian group the Freedom Association even got personal with the President elect, having a dig at Macron’s liking for the older woman. “Macron evidently likes older women, so he’ll make an excellent lapdog for Angela Merkel.”

For such reasons, mixed with sense and bile, Le Pen will not be disheartened.  Should she stay in those trenches of resentment against the forces of globalisation and European centralisation, the same agents of change Macron deems unstoppable, and even noble, she may well storm in after five years.

Deep in the character of French history is the genius of cosmopolitan enlightenment, and parochial fanaticism; collaboration with power, and resistance to it. On the landscape is now plotted the various forces that will shape the Republic for the next few years.  But Macron, every bit an establishment figure, despite claims to the contrary, promises reforms that are, in effect, non-reforms, a point that will feed rather than destroy the base Le Pen will work from.

If They Could Change Something, They Would Be Prohibited…

Well, that is only a slight exaggeration since change — if by that is meant a real change in the relations of power — has never been effected by elections.

As satirist Tom Lehrer once sang about the SCUM1: “All their rights respected, until someone WE like can be elected”. Elections have always been a ritual to stabilize a regime not to change it. Some regimes prefer other means or better said dispense with the cosmetics.

But just as the USA harbours the biggest advertising and PR firms — for whose economic benefit that country’s peculiar election style has emerged (and proliferated) — it also has the world’s largest military, police and prison system to maintain the regime for which elections are the plastic surgery.

For those who can still remember the Soviet Union it is fair to say that elections there were no less intended to stabilize the regime. Strangely enough after 1989 elections in the Russian Federation or elsewhere were viewed as illegitimate when people freely voted communist.

Of course, nearly all of Western Europe would have voted Communist after 1945 had it not been for the massive bribery, criminal terror, military force and corporate propaganda funded, planned and perpetrated by the US regime through what L Fletcher Prouty called “the Secret Team” and Philip Agee called “capitalism’s invisible army” (aka CIA).

It was the CIA in the form of Preston Goodfellow2 and Syngman Rhee that gave us the unending war in Korea — then for tungsten and cheap rice. Of course, the invisible army, which includes those who fund it and from whom it profits, has not ceased to manipulate what ordinary people have been taught is the peaceful way to get their interests respected.

We know that German and French and Italian elections have been manipulated by the Secret Team/ invisible army since 1945.

We even know now that the British subsidiary gave Mussolini to Italy.

The prima facie evidence is that Hitler would not have been “elected” without the weapons and money he and his NSDAP received to terrorize the opposition– and still he only got a plurality because the Roman Catholic Church, ruled then by fascist Pius XII, ordered the dissolution of the Center Party.

In short a serious examination of election history will show that the majority has never freely elected fascists. This does not mean that fascism was devoid of popular support. Most of this support came from the supposedly educated (indoctrinated is a better word) whom George Orwell called “the outer party” — the civil servants, middle managers, university trained, whom even Professor Chomsky without the least sense of irony called the most heavily propagandized segment of the population.

One has to bear all this in mind when one attempts to explain the seemingly disparate events in Ukraine, Britain, Netherlands, Brazil, Venezuela and, yes, in France.

In an interview given in 2016 one of Sarkozy’s former ministers affirmed what can be read but is rarely said:

The US regime bought the Partie Socialiste Francaise decades ago. That was in the days when people like Irving Brown, Jay Lovestone (for the invisible army) and Corsican friends paid people in the PSF to break with the Communists.3

I remember writing here some time past how I witnessed the spectacle of the former Vichy civil servant Mitterrand being elected to France’s high office as a “socialist” in 1981. I say no more.

So what happened in this year’s presidential election in France? Let me conclude with a brief analysis:

Ordinary French people, like Greeks, Italians, Spanish and Portuguese have watched their economies plundered by the vermin of Goldman Sachs and their cohorts, facilitated by every elected politician — by omission or commission — and coordinated by the European Commission (and I should add the European Council which gives them their marching orders more or less). Most have not gathered that this plunder is enforced by NATO — which can demand more tax money than hospitals or schools (and is wholly unelected by the way). But the dissatisfaction of the South of Europe is audible. So this dissatisfaction has to be neutralized.

The educated/indoctrinated are manipulated through their hypocrisy: they love the slaughter of Muslims as long as it is abroad or deniable at home. The seasonal “terror” displays are designed to channel emotions to the Right while preserving the hypocritical pretense that the “real Right” like Le Pen is not a legitimate part of our Christian cultural heritage.  (To avoid nausea I refrain from elaborating as to what that heritage actually comprises.)

After Hollande performed his function of destroying what remained of the PSF as a channel for socialist sentiments, Le Pen had to draw all the anti-EU sentiment from the electorate — something like applying leeches. Then Macron was applied like the burning end of a Gitane cigarette to the legs of France’s working and unemployed class to remove the leech. Thus the electorate could be led by their prefects out of the swamp of anti-EU sentiment, yet still exhausted by the march, into the desert of Goldman Sachs and their ilk to be bit by the scorpions of the invisible army while they slowly dehydrate for the 1%. Of course, the further south one goes — the hotter and drier it gets.

  1. I heard once from someone in the US Navy that this was the only word you can make from the letters u-s-m-c
  2. CIA officer John Hart was only one of the fabulous who went on to help establish the means for massacring electorally deficient Vietnamese after Korea was divided between a wasteland and a fascist-managed atomic bridgehead to China (which it remains today despite electoral oscillations). The extent of CIA involvement in Korea—especially in the counter-insurgency waged against the Southern peasantry by USMGK and its local help—can only be estimated since, as Prouty also explained, it is extremely difficult to tell who, in fact, is CIA, or the Secret Team.
  3. One of the most difficult concepts to understand is that of bribery and covert party or political financing.  Bribery and covert financing are not like normal business transactions among knowing parties. If I say I will buy a car from someone I may know the price and I may or may not be able to judge whether the price I am asked to pay will deliver what I want or believe I am getting. I may make a mistake or I may be willing to pay more or less than someone else. If only the buyer and seller are involved this is a question of relative risk.

    Bribery however relies not only on a lie but the pretense that there has been no lie or possibility to lie. If I pay an expert for his work then he may or may not be good but the result is independent of the price. If however I pay for the result– that is I want a certain value, then the fee I pay becomes a bribe as soon as the result becomes the product– if this product is then used to deceive the potential buyer.

    Because we are supposed to in fact must believe that a candidate for a certain party is at least obliged to support that party’s platform or programme, the knowledge that this person is paid or otherwise rewarded for contrary or ambivalent if not treacherous conduct is a special but not exceptional form of corruption. This corruption relies on class distinctions. If this were a mere trade in votes then theoretically the whole working population of a constituency could buy their representatives. But that is not allowed since the law prohibits buying votes– openly by anyone who wants an interest represented.

    The reason for this prohibition is not to prevent bribery but to exclude the vast majority from any attempt to buy their own deputies.

    When the secret team buys influence– meaning it bribes party members across the board– it does so because it has the class monopoly on such trade. The open buying of votes or other forms of influence cannot be permitted because the obligation incurred by the “bought” can only be redeemed at the bank of the ruling class and its agents. It relies on the moral order that bribes cannot be given or taken. However like all other moral orders, this applies only to the rest of us.

    It is not necessary to eliminate an enemy’s entire army– just their will to fight. It takes only a fraction of an army or a party hierarchy to destroy an entire force. The petty moral obligation or the fear of the invisible buyer are enough to keep most bribed people in line. Have a doubt? What kept you from quitting your job the last time?

Short Choices: The French Presidential Elections

The establishment got another burning in the French elections on Sunday, revealing again that there is no level of voter disgust that will not find some voice in the current range of elections.  The terror for pollsters and the establishment now is whether Marine Le Pen will realise her anti-Euro project and drag the French nation kicking and moaning into a new, even more fractious order. In her way will be the pro-European Union figure of Emmanuel Macron.

The French example is similar to others of recent times: parties with presumed tenure were confined to a punitive dustbin, rubbished for stale, estranged obsolescence.  The Gaullists got what was a fair drubbing – 19.9 percent for François Fillon of the Republicans, a figure crusted and potted with corruption.

It did not, however, mean that both candidates in the first and second positions were political virgins.  In that sense, the US election remains an exemplar, a true shock.  France retains a traditional appearance to it, albeit a violently ruffled one.

Macron, with his 23.9 percent, supposedly deemed outside the establishment, still held office as minister for economy, finance and industry but flew the Socialist coop in opportunistic fancy.  Blooded in traditional harness, he has managed to give the impression that he has shed enough of the old for the new, notably with his movement En Marche.  He is blowing hard from what commentators have termed a “centrist” position.  (To be at the centre is to be in the middle, which is not necessarily a good thing in current times.)

Just to weaken the sense of Macron as outsider, both establishment parties – the Socialist, led by Benoît Hamon, and the Republican –urged voters to go for the centrist option.  This all had the appearance of a gentleman’s seedy agreement, plotted in a traditional smoking room to undermine an unlikable contender.  The losers wanted to be vicarious winners.  The tarnished Fillon urged voters to “reflect on your conscience.” In effect, Macron as a quantity is being sanitised for stability, the firebreak against the Le Pen revolution.

Le Pen herself speaks to a particular French and nationalist sensibility, tutored to a large extent by her father, who also ran in the 2002 Presidential elections and lost to Jacques Chirac.  She is hardly one to be unfamiliar with the political argot, which has retained a reactionary punch in more measured guise.

Le Pen kept her approach punchily traditional, milking the killing last Thursday of a policeman on the Champs-Elysees with old apple and oranges comparisons on security and immigration.  Having her in the Presidential office would see the stop of “mass immigration and the free movement of terrorists.”

For Le Pen, the May 7 runoff election would enable a choice to be made between “savage globalisation that threatens our civilisation” and “borders that protect our jobs, our security and our national identity.”

Macron provides an attractive target for the Front National: having worked for Rothschild, he supplies the front for corporate interests, and is “Hollande’s baby” uninterested in French patriotism.  He certainly promises to be friendlier to companies in France, with a policy envisaging a cut of the corporate tax rate from 33 percent to 25 percent, while also permitting them to re-negotiate the sacred 35-hour week.  His vision of the European Union, in short, is business as usual.

Under Le Pen’s particular tent lie appeals to critics of globalisation, a force that has rented and sunk various industries while also seeking to reform the French labour market.  But this nostalgic throw back entails barriers and bridges, building fortifications, holding firm and wishing for the best.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon proved to be another dark horse, the spicy left-wing option to Le Pen, and a candidate who experienced a surge of popularity prior to the poll.  His result is a story that has invigorated the left while gutting the socialists, providing us a reminder of the time of a greater radicalism.

“Len Pen,” claims Roger Martelli, “was counting on turning this election into a fight with the Socialist party government, but she had to compete with a radicalized right-wing opposition and socialist opponents who had moved more sharply to the left than she had expected.”

Nor were things pretty for Hamon, with a devastating result to compare to Gaston Defferre’s 5 per cent showing in 1969.  The socialists reformed by the 1971 Épinay Congress in the wake of that electoral catastrophe, have been well and truly buried.

What Mélenchon’s popularity suggests is that the European system, at least the model as it stands, needs reform and a degree of disentangling vis-à-vis the state.  Nor has he told his supporters to vote for Macron, a paternalistic ploy that can irritate voters.

“None of us will vote for the far-right,” went the consultation to 450,000 registered supporters of the France Untamed movement.  “But does it mean we need to give voting advice?”  As Der Spiegel opined with characteristic gloominess, “The presidential election in France is becoming yet another end game over Europe’s political future.”

Much will depend on voter turnout come May, and the seasoned opportunism of Le Pen.  Her latest play is to place herself above partisan considerations by stepping down from the leadership of the National Front.  “So, this evening, I am no longer the president of the National Front.  I am the candidate for the French presidency.”