Posts Tagged ‘France’

George Soros’s worst nightmare is about to become a reality in a key European country – France.

Francois Fillon, former French prime minister and member of Les Republicains political party, delivers his speech after partial results in the second round for the French center-right presidential primary election in Paris, France, November 27, 2016.

In an interview to Le Monde, the likeliest winner of the coming presidential election Francois Fillon called NATO’s promise in 2008 to take in Georgia and Ukraine as “irresponsible.” For Soros, who in his recent article saw Europe as a battleground for a Manichean fight between “democrats” and “dictators,” this must be a sure sign of “Europe falling under the influence of Vladimir Putin.”

In reality, Russia’s hopes for France are much more modest. They are nothing like the monsters which Mr. Soros creates in his imagination. Contrary to the fake generalizations in the mainstream press, Russia has been looking for understanding not so much in the so called far-right parties inside the EU countries as in the established “center” of European politics. Francois Fillon and his Gaullist party The Republicans represent exactly that – the moderate “right of center” in the French politics.

In the years that followed the worsening of relations with the West after the Kiev coup in 2014, Russia invited even the former president Nicolas Sarkozy, the main architect of the Western intervention in Libya, to several forums in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The aim was not “to dominate Europe,” but to find in France a minimally sensible politician, who would not see Russia as a “clear and present danger” (a preferred expression of French Russophobes). Finding such politicians in France would set a stage for a dialogue – an antonym to Mr. Soros’s “color revolutions,” touted by the Western media and despised by the people in the “revolutionized” countries, from Syria and Serbia to Georgia and Ukraine.

This aim of a dialogue could not be achieved through the cruel and duplicitous Sarkozy, who only advised Russia to remove its countersanctions against Western foodstuffs “in a gesture of goodwill.” (Many a previous gesture of this kind from Russia did not deter NATO’s expansion to Russia’s borders or any other hostile moves from the US and the EU.) But Russia suddenly found a lot of sympathy among the less elitist French politicians, who represented the pragmatic interests of French business, and not the imperial designs of “spreading democracy” around the globe.

In April 2016, the French parliament, the National Assembly, recommended the lifting of sanctions against Russia.

And now Francois Fillon, an unexpected winner of the primaries in the French rightist party The Republicans, is voicing similar ideas about EU-Russian relations in general. To an unbiased observer, these truths are simple enough to be coming out of the mouth of babes, but for the mainstream media they are dangerous heresies.

“Has the West always been a reliable partner for Russia?” Fillon asked himself rhetorically during a recent interview to Le Monde daily. “Didn’t we deceive Russia on Libya, on Kosovo, on the economic partnership with the EU?”

Despite his previous characterizations of Russia as a “dangerous” country, Fillon obviously went beyond the limits of the European mainstream on Russia when he called NATO’s invitation for Georgia and Ukraine to join NATO in future “irresponsible.”

“Why did we need to deploy anti-missile defense right near the Russian border? We made a lot of mistakes,” Fillon said in that same interview.

Instead of countering Mr. Fillon by arguments, French politicians and mainstream media prefers “trolling” him by alleging he has “personal connections” to Russia. So far, the only revealed connections were Mr. Fillon’s two visits to Russia in the framework of the Valdai Discussion Club (an organization bringing together people with all kinds of views on Russia, including some very critical ones). Also, Fillon and Putin were prime ministers of France and Russia respectively in 2008-2010 and as such they exchanged a few friendly messages. So much for “personal connections.”

This, however, did not deter Alain Juppe, Fillon’s rival during the primaries of the French right, to “warn” his adversary against “excess of vodka during his meetings with Putin.”

This cheap insult, however, did not play well with voters, who preferred Fillon to Juppe, making the former prime minister the main candidate of the center-right Republicans.

The lesson also did not go down well with Manuel Valls, the former Socialist prime minister, who is going through the leftist primaries right now in the hope of challenging Fillon later this year during the presidential election. Valls said he would “defend France against both the United States of Trump and Putin’s Russia” if elected the president.

Will Russophobia play out for Mr. Valls? There is a strong doubt about this. Valls has already lost the first tour of Socialist primaries to the little known “red and green” candidate Benoit Hamon.

“People like Valls just don’t understand that there is a certain fatigue about business as usual in Europe, and Russophobia is a part of the business as usual there,” said Gevorg Mirzayan, a specialist on foreign relations at the Institute of US and Canada in Moscow.

Hopefully, the Russophobic part of the business as usual will come to an end. Russia wants only as much as that – and legitimately.

The French top diplomat regretted that the Russian leader had to cancel his visit to Paris.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Wednesday he regretted that Russian President Vladimir Putin canceled his October 19 visit to France.

“We offered to discuss the situation in Syria with Vladimir Putin… Vladimir Putin has refused to visit to talk about Syria and this is what I regret. We want to talk about the situation in Syria with Russia,” Ayrault said in an interview with France’s Europe 1 radio station.

On Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Putin would have to cancel his visit to Paris due to a scheduling conflict, while remaining open to meeting French President Francois Hollande at the latter’s convenience. Hollande also voiced his willingness to meet Putin and spoke of “a profound need” for the talks with Russia.
Ayrault told France Info on Tuesday that Paris remains open for talks with Russia on concerted efforts to battle terrorism in Syria.

What a mess! In the crazy Syrian war, US-backed and armed groups are fighting other US-backed rebel groups. How can this be?

It is so because the Obama White House had stirred up war in Syria but then lost control of the process. When the US has a strong president, he can usually keep the military and intelligence agencies on a tight leash.

But the Obama administration has had a weak secretary of defense and a bunch of lady strategists who are the worst military commanders since Louis XV, who put his mistress, Madame de Pompadour, in charge of French military forces during the Seven Year’s War. The French were routed by the Prussians. France’s foe, Frederick the Great of Prussia, named one of his dogs, ‘la Pompadour.’

As a result, the two arms of offensive US strategic power, the Pentagon and CIA, went separate ways in Syria. Growing competition between the US military and militarized CIA broke into the open in Syria.

 Fed up with the astounding incompetence of the White House, the US military launched and supported its own rebel groups in Syria, while CIA did the same.

Fighting soon after erupted in Syria and Iraq between the US-backed groups. US Special Forces joined the fighting in Syria, Iraq and most lately, Libya.

The well-publicized atrocities, like mass murders and decapitations, greatly embarrassed Washington, making it harder to portray their jihadi wildmen as liberators. The only thing exceptional about US policy in Syria was its astounding incompetence.

Few can keep track of the 1,000 groups of jihadis that keep changing their names and shifting alliances. Throw in Turkomans, Yzidis, Armenians, Nestorians, Druze, Circassians, Alawis, Assyrians and Palestinians. Oh yes, and the Alevis.

Meanwhile, ISIS was inflicting mayhem on Syria and Iraq. But who really is ISIS? A few thousand twenty-something hooligans with little knowledge of Islam but a burning desire to dynamite the existing order and a sharp media sense. The leadership of these turbaned anarchists appears to have formed in US prison camps in Afghanistan.

The US, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey armed and financed ISIS as a weapon to unleash on Syria, which was an ally of Iran that refused to take orders from the Western powers. The west bears heavy responsibility for the deaths of 450,000 Syrians, at least half the nation of 23 million becoming refugees, and destruction of this once lovely country.

At some point, ISIS shook off its western tutors and literally ran amok. But the US has not yet made a concerted attempt to crush ISIS because of its continuing usefulness in Syria and in the US, where ISIS has become the favorite whipping boy of politicians.

Next come the Kurds, an ancient Indo-European stateless people spread across Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria. They have been denied a national state by the western powers since WWI. Kurdish rebels in Iraq have been armed and financed by Israel since the 1970’s.

When America’s Arab jihadists proved militarily feeble, the US turned to the Kurds, who are renowned fighters, arming and financing the Kurdish Syrian YPG which is part of the well-known PKK rebel group that fights Turkey.

I covered the Turkish-Kurdish conflict in eastern Anatolia in the 1980’s in which some 40,000 died.

Turkey is now again battling a rising wave of Kurdish attacks that caused the Turks to probe into northern Syria to prevent a link-up of advancing Kurdish rebel forces.

So, Turkey, a key American ally, is now battling CIA-backed Kurdish groups in Syria. Eighty percent of Turks believe the recent failed coup in Turkey was mounted by the US – not the White House, but by the Pentagon which has always been joined at the hip to Turkey’s military.

This major Turkish-Kurdish crisis was perfectly predictable, but the obtuse junior warriors of the Obama administration failed to grasp this point.

Now the Russians have entered the fray in an effort to prevent their ally, Bashar Assad, from being overthrow by western powers. Also perfectly predictable. Russia claimed to be bombing ISIS but in fact is targeting US-backed groups. Washington is outraged that the wicked Russians are doing in the Mideast what the US has done for decades.

The US and Russia now both claim to have killed a senior ISIS commander in an air strike. Their warplanes are dodging one another, creating a perfect scenario for a head-on clash at a time when neocons in the US are agitating for war with Russia.

Does anyone think poor, demolished Syria is worth the price? Hatred for the US is now seething in Turkey and across the Mideast. Hundreds of millions of US tax dollars have been wasted in this cruel, pointless war.

The collapse of a signature Obama administration trade pact marks a major defeat for free trade advocates and politico-economic globalism.
Free trade negotiations between the European Union and the United States have fallen apart in recent weeks with Europe reticent to open its agricultural industry to low-cost American “frankenfruits” in addition to concerns over the depletion of labor standards and worries that an unelected cabal will be able to dictate policy over the sovereign objections of participating countries.
The trade talks over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) began to stagnate years ago with the 14th round of negotiations between American and EU officials in Brussels in July serving as potentially the final death knell. The negotiations were the third round in six months as US officials attempted to make one last ditch effort to clear the deal before the end of Obama’s presidency.
Germany’s Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel confirmed that the negotiations between the parties had failed, but he said that “nobody is really admitting it.” The secretive deal, for which leaders of European countries cannot even access a fully copy of the pact, has become political anathema in both the EU and the United States behind a rising tide of nationalism and trade protectionism.
The deal began to fall apart beginning in May when France first threatened to block the deal. At the time, President Francois Hollande said that he would “never accept” the deal because it abridges the sovereignty of France and the rest of Europe while disproportionately favoring US agro-business.
 “We will never accept questioning essential principles for our agriculture, our culture and for the reciprocity of access to public markets,” Mr. Hollande said in May. “At this stage France says, ‘No’”
The deal has fallen under increased pressure in the wake of Britain’s historic vote to exit the European Union changing the dimensions and calculations of the trade pact while creating concern among US leaders that a TTIP deal without British involvement would actually diminish US-UK economic ties.
President Obama warned that a vote for Brexit would mean that the UK would have to wait at the “back of the queue” for trade deals with the United States and that Brits would lose out on the possibility of TTIP. These comments were interpreted by British pundits as a thinly veiled threat and the idea that Brexit would free the people from the unpopular trade deal became a major rallying cry for the Leave campaign which jumped nearly 5 points in polling following the comments.
The Remain campaign, by contrast, warned British voters that the UK could end up with “TTIP on steroids” if it does leave the European Union and opts to arrange in a direct pact with the US.
 In addition to Brexit politics, concerns with the deal include not only America’s lower food and drug standards that would place European agriculture at a disadvantage against US genetically modified produce, but also the across the board reduction in labor standards and the development of an international arbitration tribunal that allows companies to gain compensation from taxpayers if the health and safety laws of a country reduced economic profitability.
On Sunday Sigmar Gabriel, who is also Germany’s Economy Minister, said: “In my opinion, the negotiations with the United States have de facto failed.”

While a number of Western officials have expressed an openness to lifting anti-Russia sanctions, the German chancellor remains steadfast.

In June, French lawmakers voted 302 to 16 to lift sanctions against Moscow, given the impact of counter-sanctions on France’s own economy. A number of EU members have made similar considerations, including Germany.

“German businesses have been at least as concerned about the impact of sanctions against themselves,” political analyst Bunn Nagara wrote in an article for Malaysian daily The Star Online. “No less than the German Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister have been floating the prospect of rolling back sanctions against Russia.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, however, appears to be resisting this trend. Speaking to RedaktionsNetzwerks Deutschland (RND) on Friday, the German leader indicated that she sees no end to the sanctions.

“Europe had to react against this violation of basic principles,” she said, referring to repeatedly rebuffed claims of Russia’s involvement in ongoing internal political instability in Eastern Ukraine.

She added that she and French President Francois Hollande are working “with all one’s strength” to force Russia to comply with the Minsk ceasefire agreement.

“This is and remains the yardstick for the future of the sanctions.”

Moscow has, however, repeatedly pointed out that Kiev has been conducting military operations against Donbass independence supporters.

“It is clear why it was done,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday, referring to the Ukraine’s recent attempt to sabotage critical infrastructure on the Crimean peninsula. “They [Kiev] do not want or are unable to implement Minsk agreements for whatever reasons. And they cannot explain to their own people the significant lapses in socio-economic policy.”

On Thursday, Eduard Basurin, deputy defense minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, said that Ukrainian authorities had again deployed heavy weaponry near the line of contact.

If Germany and the European Union insist on continuing sanctions against Moscow, they will be a political gesture only, without result, given the “size and economic weight of Russia,” Nagara points out.

“If any Western policymaker still harbors the thought of cornering or containing Russia, it should be obvious that Russia is too big and savvy for that.”

According to media reports, French energy giant Total has fired almost three-quarters of staff working in its Russian office in Moscow following the partial withdrawal from the Kharyaga oil field.

The French energy giant Total has fired almost three-quarters of staff working in its Russian office in Moscow following the partial withdrawal from the Kharyaga oil field, media reported Monday, citing sources in the company.

Total sold a half of its 40-percent share in the Kharyaga oil field production sharing agreement (PSA) to the Russian state Zarubezhneft firm earlier this month after a preliminary agreement was signed in January.

According to the Forbes magazine, some 420 people lost their jobs at Total, with some of them transferring to Zarubezhneft, which now owns a larger part of the oil field.

Before the sale of the Kharyaga shares to Zarubezhneft, Total was Russia’s largest foreign investor in the oil field. Apart from the 20 percent of Kharyaga PSA shares, Total has kept bilateral projects with the Russian Novatek technology company.

The Kharyaga production sharing agreement aims to develop two objects of the oil field in Russia’s northern Nenets Autonomous Region. The geologically complex field produces 1.5 million tons of oil yearly, having raised some $3 billion for the Russian government since operations began in 1999.

Is the city of Chicago about to see a wave of unprecedented chaos and violence? The facts that I am about to share with you may seem fantastical at first glance, but they come from the Chicago police and they are being reported by the mainstream media. According to authorities, at a recent gathering of major gangs in the city it was agreed that they would use automatic weapons against the police, and at least one of the gangs already has “a sniper in place” but officials do not know where that sniper is located. As I have warned before, a spirit of violence and civil unrest is rising in America, and the number of police officers that were shot and killed during the first half of 2016 was 78 percent higher than during the first half of 2015.

Anyone that does not understand that we have a major problem on our hands has simply not been paying attention.

This meeting of major gangs in Chicago was described as a “summit” by ABC Chicago, and an alert about the security threat that this poses was sent out to every police officer in the city on Friday…

 Chicago police officers are being warned about a security threat involving possible attacks by gangs on the city’s West Side.

ABC7 has obtained a warning that the department sent out to every police officer on Friday.

The warning described a summit between senior West Side gang members in which they “agreed to use automatic weapons against Chicago police officers.” The alert also said one gang provided guns and placed a sniper at an unknown location.

An article published by the Chicago Sun-Times went into even greater detail about this story. Apparently the three gangs involved in the summit were the Vice Lords, the Black Disciples and the Four Corner Hustlers, and reportedly it is the Four Corner Hustlers that will be providing automatic weapons to members of the other two gangs…

 The meeting took place Thursday between higher-ups from the Vice Lords, Black Disciples and Four Corner Hustlers, according to an alert issued to department members the day after the meeting.

The Four Corner Hustlers “provided guns” and have “a sniper in place” though authorities do not know where, according to the alert. The Four Corner Hustlers also are supplying the other two gangs with automatic weapons, which all three factions also have agreed to use against police, the alert states.

It appears that what precipitated this “summit” of major gangs was the shooting death of 18-year-old Paul O’Neal. That incident made headlines all over the nation and resulted in very large protests in downtown Chicago

 Tensions remain high in America’s third-largest city just days after video footage emerged of the moments leading up to the fatal shooting of Paul O’Neal, an 18-year-old African-American teen.

O’Neal was gunned down by officers back in July after he stole a car and got into a chase with cops which ended in the city’s South Shore neighborhood.

Last week, demonstrators in downtown Chicago blocked streets and traffic while protesting the shooting.

If you don’t live in the Chicago area, you may not be aware of the massive gang problem in the city.

Four years ago, the Chicago Crime Commission estimated that there were 150,000 gang members currently living in the city. That was the highest number in the entire nation, and since then that number has certainly only gone up.

Meanwhile, there are just 13,318 law enforcement officers of all descriptions in the city of Chicago.

So essentially the police are outnumbered by a more than 10 to 1 margin, and now the gangs are planning to use automatic weapons?

These are ominous times for the Windy City.

Meanwhile, the threat of violence from Islamic terrorists continues to grow. We all saw what happened not too long ago at a small church in France, and there are a lot of people that are concerned that we could soon see similar scenarios play out all over this country.

For a moment, I would like for you to consider one incident that happened earlier this year at a church in Riverside, California

 As Father Josiah Trenham prepared to read the Gospel, several parishioners discreetly scooped up their babies, retreated up the aisles of St. Andrew Orthodox Church and out into the spring air, so as not to allow the crying of little ones to disturb the divine liturgy.

The time-honored tradition was shattered when a car passed by the Riverside, Calif., church, slowing down as the front passenger leaned out of his window and bellowed menacingly through a bullhorn, according to witnesses.

“Allahu Akbar!” the unidentified man repeated several times as the unnerved parents drew their infants close and exchanged worried glances.

Fortunately that unidentified man only had a bullhorn.

But what if he had been holding a gun or had thrown a grenade?

We do know that ISIS has been warning that there will be more attacks on churches, and in one recent article I described how an entire church in this country ended up on an ISIS kill list.

20 years ago, I couldn’t have imagined writing articles about gangs using automatic weapons in Chicago or about Islamic terrorists potentially attacking churches in America.

But times have changed, and we need to deal with the new realities that are confronting us… chaos and violence are coming to America, and what we have seen so far is just the very small tip of a very large iceberg.

Just remember what happened in Orlando. It was the largest mass shooting in American history, but moments before it happened most of the people in that club would have never even imagined that an Islamic terrorist was about to start shooting at them.

On Monday night, that terrorist’s father made a very surprising appearance at a very unexpected location

 As they were covering Hillary Clinton’s campaign rally in Kissimmee, Florida on Monday, a crew from Florida television station WPTV noticed the father of the Orlando nightclub shooter sitting in the audience, directly behind Hillary Clinton.

Apparently Seddique Mateen actually is a big supporter of Hillary Clinton, which somehow seems oddly appropriate.

But could you ever imagine Osama Bin Laden’s father sitting behind George W. Bush at a campaign rally?

I couldn’t either.

These are very, very strange times that we are living in, and they are about to get a whole lot stranger.

So hold on tight and buckle your seat belts, because it is going to be a very bumpy ride.