Posts Tagged ‘Georgia’

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.

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On Thursday evening, a horrific sniper attack on Dallas Police left five officers dead and seven people injured, including one civilian. On Friday, a string of violence against police officers has continued across the nation.

Shortly after 8:00 AM on Friday, 22-year-old Stephen Paul Beck called 911 to report the burglary of a car outside an apartment building. When officer Randall Hancock responded, the policeman was ambushed with gunfire. The officer was hit several times in his bulletproof vest, but one bullet landed in an unprotected area of his abdomen. The officer returned fire, injuring Beck. Both men are expected to survive.

When asked whether the department believes the ambush was connected to last night’s massacre in Dallas, investigators stated that it was too soon to know.

“You start to wonder,” Valdosta police chief Brian Childress told reporters. “But any motive of why this happened this morning, it would be speculation.”

In a Missouri suburb of St. Louis, shortly before 11:00 AM, an officer was shot in the neck three times during a traffic stop. The officer had pulled the driver over for speeding, but when he returned to his police vehicle the man got out and “advanced quickly” toward him, firing three shots.

The shooter sped away, but was captured several miles away from the scene after exiting his car and fleeing on foot.

That officer is in “stable condition, but fighting for his life,” according to Ballwin police chief Kevin Scott. The 31-year-old shooter is in police custody, and his name and motive have not yet been released.

During a news conference, St. Louis County police chief Jon Belmar stated, “make no mistake, we believe that officer was ambushed.”

In New Jersey, around midnight on Friday, 29-year-old Timothy Sayers was shot by police after he pulled a gun on officers approaching his vehicle. Sayers attempted to flee after being shot, by jumping into the Toms River. He was found by law enforcement an hour later and taken to a hospital where he is expected to recover. No officers were injured.

Prior to the tragedy in Dallas, early Thursday morning, a man who claimed to be upset about police shootings began shooting indiscriminately at vehicles and police on a Tennessee highway. One woman died, and three others, including a police officer, were injured.

Lakeem Keon Scott, 37, the suspect in custody, claimed that he was upset about recent police shootings of black Americans. All of his victims were white.

The Dallas shooter who engaged in the Thursday evening killings, Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, told negotiators that he “wanted to kill white people” and police, over the deaths of black men at the hands of white officers. The shooting occurred at the end of a Black Lives Matter protest in reaction to the killing of Alton Sterling in Louisiana, and Philando Castille, who the world watched die in a live Facebook stream after he was shot by Minnesota police the next day.

The protest preceding the sniper attack had been peaceful, to the point where officers were posing for photos with protesters and posting them on their department Twitter account. The department has a good relationship with the community, including protesters, after their use of force complaints declined dramatically following the implementation of de-escalation and non-lethal force techniques a few years ago. Their standard for policing is widely recognized as one that should be a model for departments nationwide.

Following the shootings, the police chief emphasized that the suspect acted alone, and was not affiliated with Black Lives Matter or any other organization.

The national Black Lives Matter Network also put out a statement on Friday condemning the attack, it read in part:

“Black activists have raised the call for an end to violence, not an escalation of it. Yesterday’s attack was the result of the actions of a lone gunman. To assign the actions of one person to an entire movement is dangerous and irresponsible. We continue our efforts to bring about a better world for all of us.”