Tag Archives: France

All in play as France prepares to tear up political playbook, by Pepe Escobar

Source: Asia Times

The dice have been rolled and it looks like French electors may buck the political narrative

The Decline of the West; the destiny of Western civilization; the unraveling of the EU; the future of democracy itself. All stops are pulled when it comes to how the French presidential elections will shape the geopolitics of a young and turbulent 21st century.

And it’s about to come down to the fate of three men and one woman – not exactly rising to the occasion, rather overwhelmed by it.

The run-up to the first round this coming Sunday turned out to be an immensely entertaining Gallic House of Cards.

On the right, burdened by his massive unpopularity, the conqueror of Libya, former president Nicolas Sarkozy, a.k.a. Sarko The First, was eliminated right from the get-go alongside the conservative favorite, Bordeaux mayor Alain Juppé.

The winner of the right’s primaries was former Prime Minister François Fillon – emblem of provincial Catholic France drenched in uncompromising neoliberalism (low corporate taxes mixed with an assault on social welfare). But just when Fillon seemed to be comfortably cruising towards a second round victory, he was spectacularly derailed back in January by pugnacious satirical weekly Le Canard Enchainé; a mysterious source, with devilish timing, took Mr Clean to the cleaners.

Continue reading All in play as France prepares to tear up political playbook, by Pepe Escobar

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Conversation: Living in Aleppo

Journalist & activist Eva Bartlett who has spent several months in Syria had this to say:

Impressive report with Pierre Le Corf in
#Aleppo, speaking on the terrorist snipers which plague civilians in quarters near the frontlines of terrorist-occupied areas of eastern Aleppo, also of the real hardships Aleppo residents face daily: lack of water, lack of electricity (both thanks to terrorists control the flow of both), and the media war in which corporate media refuse to honestly portray, or report on period, life in government-secured western/greater Aleppo.

Some comments Pierre mentioned to me:
 
“The French media are trying to hide the attacks from Al-Nusra but because they want to show something full of action, they can’t hide it when I pass front of sniper curtain or when they shot on me at the end. 

A lot of people wrote me about that video and were surprised of the situation here, finally.
 
I’m tired to see that very few people know about the situation…”
 
Please share widely.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

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Urgent Update From The UN Security Council

Dear readers,

The pace of geopolitics is on such an uptick that it is practically impossible to stay up to date unless you are hooked onto your twitter,facebook and favourite alternate sites bookmark list 24/7.

However, what we often fail to realise is that actual power is not on the political spectrum which is more or less the theatre for the masses.

In the interest of keeping our readers informed, we thought that the below visual description communicates more accurately what has been happening at the UN Security Council for the past few months compared to all the articles,footage,interviews and canned news reels you have been subjected to.

global_update

AE

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

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Syria’s President Assad: “Erdogan used the Coup to Implement his Muslim Brotherhood Agenda”

source: 21st Century Wire

assad-2

President Bashar al-Assad gave an interview to Cuba’s official state news agency Prensa Latina in which he said the Turks, Qataris and Saudis lost most of their cards on the battlefields in Syria and that the Aleppo battle is their last card, affirming that there is strong harmony between Syria and Latin America, especially Cuba, on the political and historical levels and that hard work is needed in order to invigorate the different sectors of this relation.

The following is the full text of the interview:

Question 1: Mr. President, thanks for giving Prensa Latina this historic opportunity of conveying your point of view to the rest of the world about the reality in Syria, because as you know, there is a lot of misinformation out there about your country, about the foreign aggression that is taking place against this beautiful country.

Mr. President, how would you evaluate the current military situation of the external aggression against Syria, and what are the main challenges of Syrian forces on the ground to fight anti-government groups? If it is possible, we would like to know your opinion about the battles or combats in Aleppo, in Homs.

President Assad: Of course, there was a lot of support to the terrorists from around the world. We have more than one hundred nationalities participating in the aggression against Syria with the support of certain countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar with their money and Turkey with the logistical support, and of course with the endorsement and supervision of the Western countries, mainly the United States, France, and the UK, and some other allies.

But since the Russians decided to intervene in supporting legally the Syrian Army in fighting the terrorists in Syria, mainly al-Nusra and ISIS and some other affiliated groups, the scales have been tipped against those terrorists, and the Syrian Army has made many advances in different areas in Syria. And we are still moving forward, and the Syrian Army is determined to destroy and to defeat those terrorists.

You mentioned Homs and Aleppo. Of course, the situation in Homs, since the terrorists left Homs more than a year ago, the situation has been much, much better, more stable. You have some suburbs of the city which were infiltrated by terrorists. Now there is a process of reconciliation in those areas in which either the terrorists give up their armaments and go back to their normal life with amnesty from the government, or they can leave Homs to any other place within Syria, like what happened more than a year ago in the center of the city.

For Aleppo it is a different situation, because the Turks and their allies like the Saudis and Qataris lost most of their cards on the battlefields in Syria, so the last card for them, especially for Erdogan, is Aleppo. That is why he worked hard with the Saudis to send as much as they can of the terrorists – the estimation is more than 5,000 terrorists – to Aleppo.

Question 2: Through the Turkish borders?

President Assad: Yes, from Turkey to Aleppo, during the last two months, in order to recapture the city of Aleppo, and that didn’t work. Actually, our army has been making advancement in Aleppo and the suburbs of Aleppo in order to encircle the terrorists, then, let’s say, either to negotiate their going back to their normal life as part of reconciliation, or for the terrorists to leave the city of Aleppo, or to be defeated. There’s no other solution.

Continue reading Syria’s President Assad: “Erdogan used the Coup to Implement his Muslim Brotherhood Agenda”

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Conversation: Rogue Diplomacy

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

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Conversation: The Assassin’s Veto: Blasphemy & Charlie Hebdo, by Myra MacDonald

Source: War on the Rocks

The murder of Asad Shah, a Muslim shopkeeper in Glasgow, and the perverse reaction to a Charlie Hebdo editorial show us how warped our senses have become.

When an editorial dismisses as “xenophobes” those who blame terrorism on immigration, and is then taken as conclusive proof of racism, you know something has gone terribly wrong. Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine whose offices were attacked last year by gunmen offended by its cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, has once again been denounced for “Islamophobia” and racism. The alleged offense came in an editorial that challenged the role of religion in society, and that is assumed by its critics to say that all Muslims are complicit in terrorism. Nowhere in the French original by the cartoonist Laurent “Riss” Sourisseau, nor in its rather more awkward English translation, does it say that. Rather, it is an anguished defense of French secularism, tinged by bitterness in a man who was shot in the shoulder while watching his colleagues die. Far from attacking all Muslims — an assertion that assumes all Muslims are the same — it takes aim at the growing power of religious conservativism. It calls out society’s failure to question this for fear of being branded an “Islamophobe.” It blames our silence for creating an atmosphere of fear without which terrorism cannot succeed. That silence has left the field open to the far right and produced a fractured, anxious society more inclined to react emotionally than rationally to acts of terrorism. Unwittingly proving the point made in the editorial, Charlie Hebdo’s critics have loudly condemned it for “Islamophobia” and racism, silencing the issues it raised with a willful or ignorant distortion of what it said. It is a grotesque parody that could be ignored if the stakes were not so high.

Go back to the January 2015 attacks in Paris by Islamist gunmen in which 12 people died at the Charlie Hebdo offices and another five were killed in related shootings. The Charlie Hebdo staff were not killed for racism. They were murdered for the assumed crime of blasphemy. Before the attacks, Charlie Hebdo was a niche magazine catering to a certain section of the French left, lampooning the government and the far right, mocking all sources of power including religion, and championing the cause of anti-racism. Of course, those with deeply held religious views would have found some of their cartoons offensive. But they had the choice not to see them. To read Charlie Hebdo, you had to go out of your way to buy the magazine. The cartoons were not plastered on billboards across Paris. Nor, as sometimes erroneously assumed, was the publication popular with the anti-immigrant right. On the contrary, the right is one of its main targets. That critics, especially in the English-speaking world, have so conclusively convicted Charlie Hebdofor racism (in doing so, heaping ire on journalists who are already facing death threats) tells you little about the magazine itself. It does, however, tell you much about the insidious of power of the very notion of blasphemy. Rather than confront the fact that the Charlie Hebdo staff were massacred for blasphemy, the magazine has been tried and convicted for a different crime — that of racism. Such is the transformation of their role as victims of a crime to victimizers, that the latest denunciation in Vice Magazine said they had become “smug satirists” who, among others, are “terrorizing” Muslims across Europe. (Muslims are rightly worried about an increase in anti-Muslim bigotry; but the arrow directed at Charlie Hebdo is shot from a different bow.)

Continue reading Conversation: The Assassin’s Veto: Blasphemy & Charlie Hebdo, by Myra MacDonald

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‘Tel Aviv sur Seine’ – as a rather ‘sick Jewish joke’ bites the dust, by Paul Matthews

'Samson in the Temple of Dagon, destroying his enemies, and himself' - Wood Engraving  Gustav Doré La Bible : Traduction de Bourassé et Janvier, appelée aussi Bible de Tours, 1866
‘Samson in the Temple of Dagon, destroying his enemies, and himself’ – Wood Engraving
Gustav Doré La Bible : Traduction de Bourassé et Janvier, appelée aussi Bible de Tours, 1866

“Frederick John Westcott (26 March 1866 – 18 September 1941), best known by his stage name Fred Karno, was an English theatre impresario of the British music hall. He is credited with popularizing the custard-pie-in-the-face gag. During the 1890s, in order to circumvent stage censorship, Karno developed a form of sketch comedy without dialogue. Cheeky authority-defying playlets such as “Jail Birds” (1896) in which prisoners play tricks on warders and “Early Birds” (1903), where a small man defeats a large ruffian in London’s East End, can be seen as precursors of movie silent comedy. American film producer Hal Roach stated: “Fred Karno is not only a genius, he is the man who originated slapstick comedy. We in Hollywood owe much to him.” Among the music hall comedians who worked for him were Charlie Chaplin and his understudy, Arthur Jefferson, who later adopted the name of Stan Laurel. These were part of what was known as “Fred Karno’s Army”, a phrase still occasionally used in the UK to refer to a chaotic group or organisation. The phrase was also adapted by British soldiers into a trench song in the First World War, as a parody of, or rather to the tune of, the hymn The Church’s One Foundation … “. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Karno.

Writing again from Occupied France, I’ve just watched ‘The Anna Tuv Story’ (q.v.) She lost an arm, her husband Yuriy, and their 11 year old daughter Katya when, in May 2015, their house in Gorlovka was shelled, probably by Ukraine’s 1st howitzer division. But with ‘soundbites’ scripted mostly by the swivel-eyed hasbara merchants, the news was never reported. Neither were the 800 artillery rounds falling on Donetsk to greet the UK’s visiting Defence Secretary. As London and Washington manifested their support for putschists in Ukraine and Brazil, police, journalists and protestors heavily outnumbered pro-Israeli ‘pleasure seekers’ at the Paris Plages fiasco.

The arms trade is booming. With their ham acting and weasel words from White House Apparatchiks, la Mère Hidalgo in Paris, le Père Porochenko and the Right Honourable Tory MP Michael Fallon in Kiev fanning the flames of hatred and intolerance, farce competes with tragedy to sharpen our appetite for truth, justice and peace. The threatened coup d’Etat to oust Dilma Rousseff is deeply disturbing. In a rare moment of optimism, I had considered renaming my, as yet unpublished, research «La décheance du peuple élu – à quand la fin d’une élite autoproclamée ?». But can one translate that into English ? Is there any reason to warrant the belief that we, or any other dissident group, make any impact on this loathsome, repressively Permissive Society of ours ?

[Please click below to continue reading]

Continue reading ‘Tel Aviv sur Seine’ – as a rather ‘sick Jewish joke’ bites the dust, by Paul Matthews

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