MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘France’

France rises up against the new fascism | winter oak

Posted by M. C. on July 20, 2021

https://winteroak.org.uk/2021/07/18/france-rises-up-against-the-new-fascism/

“The people have woken up – at last!” declared local Gilet Jaune rebel Michelle as she watched the vast crowds assembling on the main square of Montpellier in southern France.

She has been involved with the Yellow Vest movement since the very start of the popular revolt against the Macron regime in November 2018.

Two years ago, in April 2019, another Gilet Jaune told me on the same spot, the Place de la Comédie, that France was witnessing “a turning point in history”.

Despite the vast levels of militarised repression used against the Yellow Vests, not to speak of the relentless propaganda in the mass media, the movement never abandoned the struggle.

Only the “emergency” of the Covid crisis pushed it, more or less, off the streets.

The spirit of revolt has not been very much in evidence in France since March 2020, with the population divided and fearful, as elsewhere.

But now, with the announcement that vaccine passports will be required for cafés, restaurants, leisure centres, shopping malls and trains, something seems to have snapped.

The arguments about viruses and masks and lockdowns now seem less relevant in the face of this chilling assault on the most fundamental of human rights.

Even the jab itself is not really the issue any more, with those who have already had it joining in the protests against the totalitarian laws due to come into place on August 1.

I was impressed by the turn-out for the emergency protest in Montpellier on Wednesday July 14, but Saturday’s numbers were on a completely different scale.

Even the authorities at the Préfecture admitted that there were 5,000 on the streets on a hot Mediterranean afternoon.

The crowd represented a very wide cross-section of the local population. The Gilets Jaunes had already started this process of breaking down the old “left” and “right” political divisions in favour of a broad popular struggle against the power elite.

But the process has now clearly gone a step further, with a new mood of defiant unity that must be striking fear into the hearts of Macron and his cronies, not to speak of Klaus Schwab and the global string-pullers.

The sense of possibility has been increased by the news that the French Minister of Justice Eric Dupond-Moretti is under criminal investigation for allleged “conflicts of interest”.

“We don’t want the pass sanitaire!” chanted the thousands in Montpellier. “Macron resign!” “Résistance!” “Liberté!”

It was the same picture everywhere, with massive numbers not just in Paris, but all across France, as this compilation sets out.

The people took to the streets in Aix-en-Provence, Quimper, Annecy, Lyons, Perpignan, Nice, Metz, Lille, Dijon, Caen, Toulouse, Reims, Saint-Brieuc, Pau, Strasbourg, Rouen, La Rochelle, Brest, Mulhouse, Bayonne, Narbonne, Saint-Étienne, Albi, Nîmes and La Réunion.

They protested in Toulon, Marseilles, Bordeaux, Nantes and Rennes. Tear gas was used on protesters at Besançon and demonstrators blocked a main road at Chambéry.

The politics of division seem to be failing as the French people come together to defend the principles of liberté, égalité and fraternité on which their republic is supposed to be founded.

I bumped into a couple of anarchist friends on the protest and also took a leaflet from a group called Arme Révolutionnaire Marxiste.

This condemns the “Apartheid sanitaire” being imposed by the state: “Treated like fearful cattle, ever more controlled, divided and stripped of our freedoms, we are condemned by power to still further exploitation.

“But this time the government’s medicine is not going down, there are more and more of us all the time who understand the reality of this medical mascarade, just as we understand better and better the scam of elections”.

Insisted Gilet Jaune Michelle: “This vaccine passport just can’t happen. We can’t give up”.

P.C.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Approaching Storm – OffGuardian

Posted by M. C. on July 16, 2021

As I noted in my previous column, our societies have been torn apart. We’re living in two mutually hostile “realities,” a state which cannot continue indefinitely. The problem for us (i.e., the Unvaccinated) is, we probably constitute somewhere around 20 to 25 percent of the population, so we are massively outnumbered by New Normals. The problem for the New Normals is, we probably constitute somewhere around 20 to 25 percent of the population, which is way too many people to imprison or otherwise remove from society.

https://off-guardian.org/2021/07/15/the-approaching-storm/

CJ Hopkins

So, it looks like GloboCap isn’t going to be happy until they have fomented the widespread social unrest — or de facto global civil war — that they need as a pretext to lock in the new pathologized totalitarianism and remake whatever remains of society into a global pseudo-medicalized police state, or that appears to where we’re headed currently. We appear to be heading there at breakneck speed.

I don’t have a crystal ball or anything, but I’m expecting things to get rather ugly this Autumn, and probably even uglier in the foreseeable future.

Yes, friends, a storm is coming. It has been coming for the last 16 months. And GloboCap is steering right into it.

I, and many others like me, have been tracking its relentless advance like a self-appointed International Pathologized-Totalitarian Hurricane Center (you know, like the one in Miami, except all the meteorologists are “conspiracy theorists”). We have documented all the propaganda, the lies, the manipulation of statistics, the abrogation of constitutional rights, the New Normal goon squads, the corporate censorship, and all the rest of the roll-out of the new official ideology and the totalitarian measures deployed to enforce it.

Our efforts have not been in vain, but they have not been successful enough to change the course events are now taking … a course of events that has always been clear, a course that every totalitarian movement needs to take to get where it’s going. You can’t remake entire societies into quasi-totalitarian systems without civil unrest, chaos, rioting, war, or some other form of cataclysm.

Brainwashing the masses is all fine and good, but, at some point, you need to goad the people who are resisting your new totalitarian “reality” into getting unruly, so you can crack down on them, and transform them into official enemies, which appears to be what is happening currently.

GloboCap is dialing up the totalitarianism, and they are rubbing it in our faces.

Here in New Normal Germany, prominent health officials are openly barking out Goebbelsian slogans like “NO FREEDOM FOR THE UNVACCINATED!” and “THE UNVACCINATED ARE A DANGER TO SOCIETY!”

All over Europe, including the UK, where “Freedom Day” is fast approaching, pseudo-medical social-segregation systems are being implemented.

In France, Greece, and many other countries, people who refuse to be “vaccinated” are being stripped of their jobs and otherwise punished.

In the USA, where the Unvaccinated are also being segregated, New Normal goon squads are going door-to-door, bullying “vaccine hesitant” families into conforming to the new official ideology.

And so on … I’m tired of citing the facts. They do not make the slightest difference to the vast majority of New Normals, anyway. As I’ve noted in several previous columns, these people have surrendered their rationality, and have been subsumed into a totalitarian movement, which has become their perceptual and social “reality,” which their “sanity” now depends upon defending, so the facts mean absolutely nothing to them.

And you already know the facts.

Yes, you. Us. The others. The Unvaccinated. The “Covid deniers.” You don’t really think any hardcore New Normals have made it this far into this column, do you? They haven’t. If they stumbled into it on the Internet and accidentally started to read it, their brains switched off in the opening paragraph…literally, neurologically, switched off.

They recognized it as a threat to their “reality” and instantly erased it from their consciousness, or they reported it to the proper authorities, perhaps the FBI, the Bundesnachrichtendienst, or Facebook, or some other global corporation.

This is what it has come to, folks … people are reporting other people’s “thoughtcrimes” to global corporations and the law enforcement agencies of “democratic” governments in the hopes of destroying or damaging their lives, or, at the very least, getting them censored, or otherwise erased from public view.

As I noted in my previous column, our societies have been torn apart. We’re living in two mutually hostile “realities,” a state which cannot continue indefinitely. The problem for us (i.e., the Unvaccinated) is, we probably constitute somewhere around 20 to 25 percent of the population, so we are massively outnumbered by New Normals. The problem for the New Normals is, we probably constitute somewhere around 20 to 25 percent of the population, which is way too many people to imprison or otherwise remove from society.

Thus, their plan is to make our lives as miserable as possible, to segregate us, stigmatize us, demonize us, bully, and harrass us, and pressure us to conform at every turn.

They are not going to put us on the trains to the camps. GloboCap is not the Nazis. They need to maintain the simulation of democracy.

So, they need to transform us into an underclass of “anti-social conspiracy theorists,” “anti-vaxxer disinformationists,” “white-supremacist election-result deniers,” “potentially violent domestic extremists,” and whatever other epithets they come up with, so that we can be painted as dangerously unhinged freaks and cast out of society in a way that makes it appear that we have cast out ourselves.

This process is already well underway, and it’s only going to get more intense, which will inevitably lead to social unrest. The hardcore “Unvaccinated” are not going to go quietly. Again, this isn’t Nazi Germany. There are too many of us who are already resisting. They can segregate us, ban us from travelling, blackout our protests, censor us, deplatform us, cancel our bank accounts, and otherwise harass us, but they cannot forcibly disappear us.

So, they are going to keep goading us until we lose it. We have demonstrated incredible discipline so far, but eventually, we’re going to run out patience. It’s going to get messy. People will get hurt.

Which, of course, is exactly what GloboCap wants. Nothing will make them happier than if we turn ourselves into the “violent extremists” they have been conjuring into existence for the last five years. They desperately need us to become those “extremists” before we “embolden” too many others with our “disinformation,” “vaccine hesitancy,” “election result denial,” and general distaste for the whole global-capitalist ideological program.

Unfortunately, they are probably going to get their wish.

What we need is an organized, global campaign of classic, non-violent civil disobedience, but they are not going to give us time to organize that. They are going to keep the pressure on, and crank up the pace, and the official propaganda, and the absurdity, and the confusion, and the ever-changing rules, and the mass hysteria, and the blatant lies, until we start flipping out in restaurants, and in pubs, and schools, and on public transportation, and segregated New Normal establishments start getting nocturnally vandalized, or worse, and other forms of “direct action” are taken.

At which point, game over, because they will have won. We will be the “extremists” they warned themselves about, and they’ll be able to do whatever they want with us, and our former (now New Normal) friends will applaud, or just look away in silence.

Or…I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe some New Normals are still reading this essay, and can still, at this late stage, regain their senses. Maybe we can still avoid the storm, and the full implementation of “New Normal Reality.” I know, I’m probably a hopeless idealist, but let me tell you a quick anecdote before I let you go.

I’ve been kind of nudging, or politely badgering, Glenn Greenwald, who I respect, and have always respected, to grow a pair and at least speak out against the totalitarian features of the New Normal movement. Glenn is totally on board with the official Covid narrative, and has made it clear that he has no interest in using his investigative-journalism skills to investigate that official narrative.

Despite that, I have continued to nudge him, and politely prod him, and otherwise urge him, to maybe post a few critical words, or raise a few investigative-journalist questions, about the most flagrant official propaganda campaign in the history of official propaganda campaigns and the blatantly totalitarian actions of governments all over the world.

For example, I posted this on Twitter recently.

15 months into the New Normal, as government officials openly bark out spittle-flecked, Goebbelsian slogans like “THERE IS NO FREEDOM FOR THE UNVACCINATED!” and “THE UNVACCINATED ARE A DANGER TO SOCIETY!”, the silence from certain quarters is deafening. pic.twitter.com/bNuZ5np1Ny

— Consent Factory (@consent_factory) July 12, 2021

Shortly thereafter — and I’m sure this was just a coincidence, because Glenn doesn’t follow the Consent Factory — he tweeted this bit of New Normal blasphemy:

The UK is one of the most vaccinated countries on earth. 70% have at least one dose. More than half have both. The CDC says vaccinated people need not wear masks.

Why do experts who keep insisting the vaccine works demand people act as if it doesn’t? Why ignore CDC advice? https://t.co/aBjeXpWZjh

— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 12, 2021

So, apparently, it is, in fact, still possible for people who believe the official Covid narrative as if it were the Word of God to speak out against some aspect of it, or just politely question the logic of it, or otherwise stop behaving like a bunch of mindlessly obedient “Good Germans” as a new iteration of totalitarianism is rolled out right in front of their eyes.

Yes, I know. I’m clutching at straws, but I have this crazy faith in people. On top of which, I’m getting old, so I am not looking forward to the street-fighting part of this as much as I would have 30 or 40 years ago.

Oh, and, I almost forgot, to all my friends in the New Normal UK … have a lovely Freedom Day!

CJ Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and political satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing and Broadway Play Publishing, Inc. His dystopian novel, Zone 23, is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. Volumes I and II of his Consent Factory Essays are published by Consent Factory Publishing, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amalgamated Content, Inc. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Covid Deaths Mount in France and the Czech Republic as Lockdowns Fail | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on November 21, 2020

In France, for instance, one now “need[s] a certificate to move around,” yet in spite of long maintaining some of the continent’s most stringent lockdown and social distancing measures, total deaths per million are rapidly accelerating, to the point that France is likely to soon join other countries with harsh lockdowns in having among the worst rates of deaths per million in the world.

https://mises.org/wire/covid-deaths-mount-france-and-czech-republic-lockdowns-fail?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=97356c6ca6-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_10_02_06_25_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-97356c6ca6-228343965

Ryan McMaken

Lockdowns are back on in Europe and are making a quick comeback in the US as well. Spain, the UK, Belgium, and France are back in full lockdown mode, although a multitude of restrictions on movement within each country remained in place even when full lockdowns were ended over the summer. 

In France, for instance, one now “need[s] a certificate to move around,” yet in spite of long maintaining some of the continent’s most stringent lockdown and social distancing measures, total deaths per million are rapidly accelerating, to the point that France is likely to soon join other countries with harsh lockdowns in having among the worst rates of deaths per million in the world. Moreover, eastern Europe, which was once lauded for locking down strictly and early, is quickly finding that lockdowns aren’t likely to suppress total deaths there, either. The Czech Republic is seeing some of the worst growth in covid deaths worldwide, while the rest of the region is seeing similar growth, albeit to a less dramatic extent (so far).

clobalcovid1.png

cov
Sources: Worldometer and Ourworldindata.org.

This is not what was sold to the public. Rather, politicians and their allies in the “public health” bureaucracies insisted that lockdowns would substantially reduce total deaths in countries that imposed them. Countries that failed to lock down would, on the other hand, experience runaway contagion with total Covid deaths per million orders of magnitude higher than those seen in countries that didn’t lock down.

That’s not what happened.

ee1.png

ee
Cumulative deaths per million on the fifteenth of each month. Source: Worldometer.

Sweden, for instance, has long been denounced by politicians and media pundits for failing to embrace the methods of the French and the Spaniards.  Many of these nations (i.e., Spain and the UK) have long had total Covid death per million well in excess of the Swedes. And now, other nations are surging (i.e., France and Czechia and the Netherlands) and will all likely soon be much higher than Swedish levels. (It might also be noted that Spain, the UK, France, Czechia, and Italy are now all seeing growth in Covid deaths at rates above that reported by the United States.)

Lockdowns Save Lives? 

Of course, some supporters of lockdowns are likely to continue insisting that lockdowns clearly work to suppress total deaths because a handful of small countries near Sweden (i.e., Norway, Denmark, and Finland) have reported relatively few covid deaths. While this certainly may indicate there are factors at work in these countries that help keep covid mortality numbers lower, the fact remains that experience shows countries like Norway, Denmark, and Finland are outliers when compared to most of western Europe.

[Read More: “The Evidence Keeps Piling up: Lockdowns Don’t Work“]

This isn’t exactly shocking. As early as July, studies were already beginning to show that lockdowns didn’t actually suppress total mortality. This one in The Lancet, for example, concludes,

government actions such as border closures, full lockdowns, and a high rate of COVID-19 testing were not associated with statistically significant reductions in the number of critical cases or overall mortality.

And in 2006, an extensive study in Biosecurity and Bioterrorism reported: “There are no historical observations or scientific studies that support the confinement by quarantine of groups of possibly infected people for extended periods” to slow the spread of influenza. No evidence has been offered for why this might be true of flu, but not true of Covid. Moreover, in a recent report from JPMorgan, Marko Kolanovic concluded that “re-opening did not change the course of the pandemic” and that “While we often hear that lockdowns are driven by scientific models, and that there is an exact relationship between the level of economic activity and the spread of [the] virus—this is not supported by the data.” Overall, evidence backing the lockdown theory has simply failed to materialize

Where’s the Evidence?

Indeed, as Swedish authorities have long claimed, the experience points toward an outcome in which most countries will end up with similar total deaths per million regardless of lockdown policy.1 This looks more likely by the day. As noted by Dr. Gilbert Berdine here at mises.org, “The data suggest that lockdowns have not prevented any deaths from covid-19. At best, lockdowns have deferred death for a short time, but they cannot possibly be continued for the long term.” This, of course, is why even the WHO does not recommend lockdowns except as a very short term and ad hoc measure. The side effects of the lockdowns themselves are too dangerous.

[Read More: “Even WHO Officials Now Admit Lockdowns Are Extreme Policies with Disastrous Results“]

We already know that isolation, unemployment, and other social ills caused by lockdowns affect both physical and mental health. But we also know that lockdowns lead to deaths from untreated medical conditions. Moreover, government health experts in many cases have callously cut off the elderly from all their social and family support. The Associated Press estimates that for “every two COVID-19 victims in long-term care, there is another who died prematurely of other causes.” Many of these deaths are brought on by neglect and isolation caused by state-mandated lockdown policies.

Examining Excess Mortality 

But where would we find evidence of these deaths in the aggregate? Unfortunately, regimes spend very little time counting them. Rather, regimes often only record events in ways that help the regime. While they are careful to count as many covid cases and deaths as possible in big bright numbers reported daily by government officials, deaths caused by lockdowns are generally ignored.

Eventually, the only way to guess the impact of these other deaths will be through the “excess mortality” data. Excess mortality—using a definition now generally used in the media and by government officials—occurs when total mortality during a time period exceeds the average mortality experienced over the past five years.

Some initial reports have suggested that covid deaths comprise only around 70 percent of excess deaths (see here and here). Naturally, lockdown advocates claim that this shows covid deaths are being undercounted, and that covid deaths should be assumed to account for virtually all excess deaths. This is only conjecture.

In any case, we find, not surprisingly, that excess mortality in Sweden has been lower this year compared to many other western European countries with harsh lockdowns. For example, through October the average number of deaths for 2015–19 in Sweden was 72,972. In 2020, the total deaths for the same period was 76,375. That’s an increase of 4.6 percent.

Likewise, in France, 2020’s total excess mortality is up 6.4 percent. It’s up 12.7 percent in England and Wales, up 16 percent in Italy, and up 17 percent in Spain.

excess.png

exc

How much of this excess mortality in lockdown countries is attributable to the lockdowns themselves? For now that’s still unknown. But, as Dr. Berdine writes:

It seems likely that one will not have to even compare economic deprivation with loss of life, as the final death toll following authoritarian lockdowns will most likely exceed the deaths from letting people choose how to manage their own risk. After taking the unprecedented economic depression into account, history will likely judge these lockdowns to be the greatest policy error of this generation.

  • 1. In making comparative analysis, we should not expect exactly the same outcomes across national lines, of course. The number of covid deaths will be affected by the overall age of the population, obesity rates, and the relative health levels in each country. The impact of some factors, however, has been greatly exagerrated. For example, data has been inconclusive in regard to the effects of population density. Some have claimed that voluntary social distancing has been greater in Sweden than in mandatory-lockdown countries, thus explaining the difference in covid deaths. This contention is not supported by what measures we have of social distancing.

Author:

Contact Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken (@ryanmcmaken) is a senior editor at the Mises Institute. Send him your article submissions for the Mises Wire and The Austrian, but read article guidelines first. Ryan has degrees in economics and political science from the University of Colorado and was a housing economist for the State of Colorado. He is the author of Commie Cowboys: The Bourgeoisie and the Nation-State in the Western Genre.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why We Can’t Help France Fight Its Failed Colonial Wars in Africa | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on April 30, 2020

This is the same Lindsey Graham who, in the wake of a 2017 insurgent ambush that killed four American soldiers in Niger, admitted to NBC’s Chuck Todd that he had only recently learned that there were 1,000 U.S. troops in that country. Two years later, the Senator has decided that West Africa is a vital American interest.

America spent two decades, thousands of lives, and over $6 trillion in failed nation-building efforts in places once deemed vital to U.S. interests. If France wants to relearn past lessons in a place that is decidedly unimportant to Americans, let us wish her luck. 

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/i-can-make-your-life-hell-inside-our-deluded-africa-strategy/

As the coronavirus swept through American cities in early March, a small group in Congress focused on a different threat. For these lawmakers, despite the clear magnitude of the crisis, distant conflicts in West Africa – not pandemic preparations at home – were the priority. To make their point, the bipartisan band introduced legislation aimed at restricting the Pentagon from removing U.S. troops from the region this year.

The most fervent among them, Senator Lindsey Graham, threatened Secretary of Defense Mark Esper if he follows through with a widely reported AFRICOM drawdown, which Esper and other officials believe is necessary to refocus the Pentagon’s resources on China. “I can make your life hell,” Graham reportedly told Esper.

This is the same Lindsey Graham who, in the wake of a 2017 insurgent ambush that killed four American soldiers in Niger, admitted to NBC’s Chuck Todd that he had only recently learned that there were 1,000 U.S. troops in that country. Two years later, the Senator has decided that West Africa is a vital American interest.

The truth is the opposite. The Sahel is troubled, violent, and fascinating – but it contains nothing of strategic value to the United States. Its nations, which include Mali, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso, and Mauritania, have a combined GDP smaller than that of North Dakota. Extremist groups there fuel a regional insurgency that threatens the sovereignty of these states, but even the top American general for Africa could not say last year that the rebels pose a threat to the American homeland.

Many of the several thousand U.S. troops in the region support an ongoing French military effort to combat insurgent offshoots of al Qaeda and the Islamic State. But after a 2013 intervention in Mali that was forecasted to last mere months, France is bogged down in the Sahel, and the violence has worsened. Several weeks ago, Boko Haram militants killed nearly 100 Chadian soldiers in a pre-dawn ambush, and another insurgent assault in Mali last week took the lives of dozens of government troops in that country’s restive northern region.

There is strong pressure in Washington to support France ‘s counterinsurgency campaign. Hawks on both sides of the aisle seem anxious to expand the African front of a never-ending war against Islamic militancy. Other members of the D.C. foreign policy establishment see a longer list of boogeymen on the continent. “The U.S. is losing the competition in Africa against China, Russia, al Qaeda, and the Islamic State,” an analyst from the American Enterprise Instituterecently told The New York Times.

While the Sahel is unimportant to the average American, it does have real value to the U.S. foreign policy community – as a perfect illustration of the futility of nation-building in poor, corrupt, and fractured states. Although those lessons pre-date our own misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq, they went ignored in the decade after 9/11. An examination of the French experience in Chad in the 1970s and 1980s would have shown us how counterinsurgency tactics eerily similar to those attempted in Afghanistan and Iraq failed to deliver long-term success in structurally similar states.

♦♦♦

In 1968, France intervened in Chad for the first time. An uprising in the country’s northern provinces had spread throughout the country and threatened to topple the government. The tribes of the north rebelled against what they saw as a corrupt and hostile state controlled by a political elite that disrespected Islam, overtaxed their villages, and directed economic investment according to ethnic loyalties.

Over the ensuing three years, the French military executed a textbook counterinsurgency campaign to defeat the rebels and prop up the Chadian government. Hard-nosed Legionnaires and expeditionary troops pushed into the lawless expanse of northern Chad, winning skirmishes and providing medical aid and supplies to a wary civilian population.

In the meantime, French military advisors rebuilt the rag-tag Chadian Army, employing many of the same techniques used by American and French Special Forces troops in the Sahel today. They labored to transform the military from an instrument of tribal power to an organized, representative defense force. Embedded French captains and sergeants worked to stamp out abuses of the civilian populace by the army, which was comprised of recruits from the dominant Sara ethnic group in the south.

French diplomats also worked to rebuild the Chadian state. Civilian advisors directed aid money into development projects and navigated the tricky propensity of powerful Chadian politicians to siphon cash from initiatives meant to improve the economy.

Despite these challenges, by early 1971 the violence abated. The rebellion splintered and disillusioned fighters sought refuge in neighboring Libya and Sudan. For a relatively small price tag in blood and treasure, France had purchased time and space for the warring sides to find a political solution.

Peace in Chad proved to be fleeting, however. Like their American counterparts in Iraq some thirty-five years later, French generals had expressed optimism that given the opportunity for reconciliation, the Chadian state could be reborn. That stability proved elusive. The generals watched in horror as Chadian officials committed a series of unforced errors that provided much-needed oxygen to the insurgency.

The rebels also gained the support of an ascendant Muammar al-Gaddafi in Libya. The presence of foreign troops in Chad presented Gaddafi with the wedge he needed, and destabilizing Chad became a goal of Libyan foreign policy. Like the Iranian regime in the years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Gaddafi saw a weakened Chad as key to his own regional ambitions and sought to turn rebel groups into Libyan proxies. Gaddafi’s involvement increased the insurgents’ lethality, much to the dismay of French soldiers on the other side of this firepower. The insurgency also gained support in the wider Arab world once the militants learned to portray Chadian elites as puppets of Western neo-colonialism.

In 1978, rebels again swept southward from the rocky outcrops of northern Chad. The national army, trained for years at great cost to the French taxpayer, disintegrated. Reluctant officials in Paris once again committed ground forces in a costly intervention. Though the operation stopped the rebels, a political solution continued to be elusive. In the ensuing power struggle, France, desperate to prevent Libyan control over Chad and frustrated with the Sara-dominated political elite, backed a former rebel commander in a coup.

France mounted serious operations to protect the Chadian government twice more during the 1980s, each time relying more heavily on airstrikes and less on ground troops. Counterinsurgency fell out of favor as twenty years of investment in Chad yielded little in the way of return. Frustrated French politicians called for a more pragmatic approach, but the military ardently opposed abandoning Chad. This may sound familiar to contemporary U.S. lawmakers, who suffer annual assurances by American generals that the Afghan war effort is “turning the corner”  while setting new records each year for airstrikes and drone attacks.

♦♦♦

Twenty years ago, as we prepared to mount our own counterinsurgency campaigns, Washington’s foreign policy establishment ignored France’s painful past failures in the Sahel. As we contemplate deepening our involvement in that region today, failing to study this history would be inexcusable. Yet to survey Washington is to encounter a deeply unserious U.S. foreign policy establishment that still will not do the reading.

Some of this is unsurprising. The authors of our counterinsurgency strategy in large part examined history to justify fighting the Long War, not to explore whether it was a good idea in the first place. Led by celebrated soldier-scholar General David Petraeus, counterinsurgency proponents assembled a library of “small wars” that supposedly  yielded a recipe for curbing the violence in Afghanistan and Iraq. A bit of the Brits in Malaya, a dash of France in Algeria, a heavy helping of Vietnam as a cautionary tale – and voilà– a doctrine was born in the form of U.S. Army Field Manual 3-24 Counterinsurgency. It mattered little to the authors that these cherry-picked episodes bore little in the way of resemblance to Afghanistan and Iraq or that more relevant stories, like France’s long war in Chad, lay ignored or undiscovered.

Although the recipe failed to deliver long-term security in either Afghanistan or Iraq, it did create a profitable industry in Washington for its architects. Though General Petraeus pivoted to private equity, many of his adherents remain in the Beltway. The generals who brought us “government in a box” have launched consulting firms, flooded airport bookshop shelves, and become think tank presidents. Uncowed by their failures, they lurk in the boardrooms of the defense-industrial complex, hawking new wars of choice and the weaponry needed to prosecute them. When we articulate concern for the human and financial costs of it all, they castigate us for our weakness.

In the face of a global pandemic and a potentially unprecedented economic freefall, pacifying West Africa should be the last thing on the minds of U.S. policymakers. America spent two decades, thousands of lives, and over $6 trillion in failed nation-building efforts in places once deemed vital to U.S. interests. If France wants to relearn past lessons in a place that is decidedly unimportant to Americans, let us wish her luck.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Everything you know about Europe is wrong – UnHerd

Posted by M. C. on January 23, 2020

https://unherd.com/2020/01/both-brexiteers-and-remainers-know-nothing-about-europe/

BY

The apocryphal newspaper headline — “fog in the channel, continent isolated” — famously said something about the British mindset. It’s hardly surprising that we are insular — we are literally an island after all — but this insularity is something that curiously crosses all barriers in British social and political life, whether of Left or Right, middle or working class, and on almost every issue.

This is true even for British liberals who, reeling since the night of 23 June, 2016, have made the continent a sort of spiritual home as they’ve become alienated from their countrymen.

Right-thinking Britons see their country as an embarrassment sliding towards populism, a sad contrast to the moral superpower that is Germany and France under centrist leader Emmanuel Macron. Yet the Continent of the Anglo liberal imagination is as unreal as the supposed nostalgic Britain of yesteryear loved by Leavers.

 

Italy

Britain, many people fear, is moving away from the European dream and towards fascism. It’s such an established meme that even the most recent BBC Agatha Christie adaptation was a thinly-veiled analogy about 1930s fascism and Brexit.

Yet people keep on coming to this Nazi hellhole, with the fabled “Brexodus” of migrants leaving the country actually seeing an extra 212,000 people arriving last year, and with record numbers of foreign students, too.

The fascist Brexit Britain theory is held among a minority of Remainers because they’re measuring the country by a theoretical ideal rather than comparing it to other — real — countries. So while the hate crime “surge” following the referendum mostly involved very minor incidents, Italy saw a number of openly racist murders during the late 2010s.

Whether they’re connected or not, Italy has also had a populist Right-wing government in power for most of the past four years, and the Lega may well return — at around 33% in the polls, it is by some distance the most popular party. Italian politics has been, as long as anyone can remember, chaotic and unstable, which makes me wonder if Mary Beard’s Italian colleagues who make her feel “embarrassed” about Brexit have been paying attention to their own country.

 

France

A central theme of fascism is a love of violence against ideological opponents, and so a visitor from outer space with a vague understanding of our human political philosophy would probably conclude that there was only one fascist state in the EU — France, where the brutality of the police is on a scale that would be unfathomable in England.

Among the recent victims of the gleefully violent French police is a teenager who lost an eye in Strasbourg and an elderly woman in Marseilles who died from her injuries after being hit by a rubber bullet. Just this month prosecutors launched a probe after a video appeared to show a policeman firing point-blank at protestors with a riot control gun.

France is quite far down from Britain in the Freedom International rating, and treats minorities like Roma in a way that would do more than embarrass liberal Brits.

Right-wingers often complain that the horrific behaviour of the French police towards the gilets jaunes has received scant coverage in the BBC; certainly if Hungary or Poland treated their citizens like that, I’m pretty sure it would be on our news more. But then France has always been a politically violent country.

The last mass murder of protesters in England occurred in 1819, when 18 people were killed by authorities in Manchester; in France police in Paris killed up to three hundred unarmed protesters in 1961.

Had anything even vaguely comparable happened during the US Civil Rights era it would have been the subject of about 500 films and even my children in an English primary school would now be learning about it now. But then Anglo liberals are fascinated with the Anglo world; not so much by the continent.

France is different to England, in some ways far more traditional; for example, the same-sex marriage campaign there was opposed by enormous protests, while, like many continental countries, it has a 12-week limit for abortion, when even talk of a 20 weeks-limit would have the Anglo commentariat dressing up in those Handmaid’s Tale outfits.

Germany Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

France’s Political Hooliganism – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on January 7, 2020

Here is where the US gets to shine.

A universal basic income, then government (taxpayer) sponsored retirement at 40.

Where are you Bernie, AOC?

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/01/eric-margolis/frances-political-hooliganism/

By

France’s favorite sports are striking and street demonstrations. At heart, most French are revolutionaries and protestors.

In France, the answer to every problem seems to be ‘aux barricades!’ (to the barricades!). Demonstrations are typically followed by a hearty lunch…

France is not highly unionized, but its belligerent trade organizations, most of them with roots in 1930’s communism or socialism, have a stranglehold on key sectors of France’s economy: trains, metros, refineries, truck transport, ports, food distribution, air traffic control, and even hospitals.

The current round of demos that began a month ago are serious business. Just about everyone appears opposed to President Emanuel Macron’s plans to modernize the nation’s crazy-quilt pension regulations that confer special privileges on favored groups of workers. Rail workers, for example, a particularly pampered bunch, can retire with close to full pay while in their 40’s. Ballet dancers enjoy similar benefits. Average workers can retire at 62. Macron wants to change retirement to 64, citing the longer life-span of today’s workers, and to consolidate the nation’s 42 separate retirement plans. Britain’s retirement age is 66 years.

France’s labor movement is up in arms, responding with more outrage and fury than it did when the Germans invaded in 1940. Unless Macron backs down, the unions will strike oil refineries and petroleum distribution centers, threatening to cripple most road transport, food distribution, emergency services and airports. Ports will also be targeted.

In short, industrial warfare against the state and its citizens…

Behind all this, is the unspoken but very real French notion that government is ‘papa.’ Rather than pay for work, Paris doles out allowances to the French. When they want more, like unruly kids everywhere the French throw tantrums, demanding better pay and benefits. Government in France is assumed to enjoy unlimited wealth. Budgets and spending restraints are dismissed as the works of mean-spirited Scots or Swiss accountants…

France is one of this world’s most beautiful nations. Its citizens are well educated and sophisticated; its cities shine; its ecology superbly safeguarded. In many ways, it remains ‘the Great Nation’ of the era of Louis XIV. But not when it comes to labor and civic responsibility. Instead of calm discussion to resolve wage and work issues, such as we see in Switzerland and Germany, the French keep indulging in political hooliganism to the endless misery of their fellow citizens.

Be seeing you

French protesters step up violent strikes against labour ...

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

France’s Homegrown Terrorism | Zero Hedge

Posted by M. C. on October 12, 2019

The general impression is that France is now overwhelmed with a proliferation of radicalized inhabitants…

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/frances-homegrown-terrorism

 

This time, the terrorist did not use firearms; his victims were not unarmed children, cartoonists or Jews but policemen.

The site of the October 3 attack was also striking: “The interior of the Paris police headquarters is supposed to be a stronghold; it is the symbol of public order in France and of the anti-jihadist struggle that has been shaken,” the French scholar Gilles Kepel told Le Figaro.

“We have entered a… terrorism made in France… with a mixture of Friday preaching by extremist imams, social networks and the instrumentalization of fragile individuals. It is about creating a new panic in society by targeting iconic … places… The attack is a major turning point in Islamist terrorism.”

The assailant, Mickaël Harpon, born in the French Caribbean island of Martinique, was shot and killed after stabbing four people to death with a ceramic kitchen knife during the lunchtime assault at the Paris police headquarters. Harpon, a civilian IT specialist in the intelligence division holding high-level security clearance, had worked for the police for 16 years. First he killed three men in the intelligence division, then he stabbed two female police employees in a stairwell (one died from her wounds) before he finally was shot and killed in the building’s courtyard.

Harpon was a longtime convert to Islam and a conscientious attendee of his local mosque, where he attended morning and evening prayers. A radical imam who was nearly expelled from France officiated there.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

Authorities discovered several USB flash drives at his desk, one containing the personal information of agents and violent Islamist propaganda, authorities said.

“A key question is whether Harpon downloaded that data onto the flash drive for his job… or to send it to his extremist contacts that could use it to target the police.”

In 2016, Patrick Calvar, France’s director general of domestic intelligence — pointing to the number of Salafists active in France (15,000 at the time) — declared that “the confrontation is inevitable”. Now one of them struck “the system” from within.

“The attack at the police headquarters can be regarded as the most serious on our soil since November 13, 2015,” says Thibault de Montbrial, president of the Center for Internal Security, a French think tank.

“For four years, France has undergone several attacks. Some had a very high human cost, as in Nice in 2016. But that of the Prefecture is of a different nature: it is the first ‘blue on blue’ attack, where a member of the police force targets his comrades.”

At the heart of the extremist agenda, it seems, lies separation. “How has a multitude of Islamist networks managed to create ideological enclaves inside popular neighborhoods?”, asks the author Bernard Rougier in Les territoires conquis de l’islamisme (“The conquered Territories of Islamism”). The forthcoming book documents the functioning of Islamist networks in several municipalities, such as Aubervilliers, Argenteuil, Tremblay-en-France, and Mantes-la-Jolie.

According to the French journalist Eric Zemmour:

In the street, veiled women and men wearing jellabas are de facto propaganda, an Islamization of the street, just as the uniforms of an occupying army remind the defeated of their submission. For the bygone triptych of ‘immigration, integration, assimilation’ has been substituted ‘invasion, colonization, occupation.'”

In 2016, an internal police memorandum revealed that between 2012 and 2015, there were many instances in Paris of police officers engaging in radical behavior or acts that concerned their superiors. In one instance, in 2016, a jihadist stabbed a police commander and his partner at their home in Magnanville, west of Paris; and French police investigating a woman for suspected ties to ISIS discovered a USB drive containing the personal details, including the home addresses, of thousands of French police officials. Who provided that information?

The general impression is that France is now overwhelmed with a proliferation of radicalized inhabitants…

The problem is that France has, for years, been in a state of denial about the proliferation of radical Islam. “In some districts,” said the Algerian author Boualem Sansal, “France is an aspiring Islamic republic.”

Le Monde, France’s most prestigious newspaper, ran an op-ed after the recent attack, charging the country with “Islamophobic McCarthyism.” Harpon, the terrorist who murdered his colleagues at police headquarters, would have agreed: he shared articles calling France “one of the most Islamophobic country in Europe” — so Islamophobic, in fact, that even Ahmed Hilali, the radical imam in touch with the Harpon, had received an order of deportation from France for his extremist ideas, but the order was never implemented.

Alexis Brézet, editor of Le Figaro, coined the term “dénislamisme” (“denial of Islamism”):

How is this possible? How could an Islamist terrorist be so wrapped up in the state apparatus, at the very heart of the police structure that is precisely supposed to fight the Islamist practices, perpetrate the massacre? Dénislamisme endangers the French. It blurs the perception of the threat and disarms the spirits. At a time when mobilization should be maximum, it paralyzes the fight against Islamist infiltration in our democracies. Dénislamisme kills. We will not win the war that radical Islam has declared on us by continuing to walk with our eyes shut”.

Be seeing you

Horrific news from Sweden about sexual assaults by ...

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Yellow Vests Becoming World Wide Movement | Armstrong Economics

Posted by M. C. on January 6, 2019

Hard believe the Yellow Vest platform originated in France.

It is not hard to believe arrests were made on the basis of being anti government. The US origin was based on being anti government. How long before the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s permanently fix that?

https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/world-news/civil-unrest/yellow-vests-becoming-world-wide-movement/

by Martin Armstrong

The Yellow Vest Movement that began in France, is spreading. It appeared also in Belgium and it spread to Canada as well. The French arrested the leaders of the Yellow Vest Movement calling them an anti-government charging them for organizing an unauthorized protest, as authorities adopt a tougher approach to try to curb the demonstrations. During the weekend of December 15th, mimicking the Yellow Vest movement in France, protests have formed all over Canada. These are peaceful protests, unlike in France, but they have continued every weekend in various cities such as Toronto, Halifax, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Calgary etc, especially in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

France’s fake news law leaves media experts uneasy

Posted by M. C. on June 4, 2018

– Censorship? – You betcha

Government Fake news started thousands of years ago.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/frances-fake-news-law-leaves-media-experts-uneasy-145712000.html

Jacques KLOPP

Under the law, French authorities would be able to immediately halt the publication of information deemed to be false ahead of elections.

Social networks would have to introduce measures allowing users to flag up false reports, pass their data on such articles to authorities, and make public their efforts against fake news.

And the law would authorise the state to take foreign broadcasters off the air if they were attempting to destabilise France — a measure seemingly aimed at Russian state-backed outlet RT in particular.

– Censorship? – Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Madame Marine Le Trump – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on May 4, 2017

https://lewrockwell.com/2017/05/eric-margolis/madame-marine-le-trump/

Madam Trump? One can only hope. Can the French and Le Pen do what Republicrats have failed to do?

Kick out NATO and Muslim extremists, develop a positive relationship with Russia and as a bonus say good by to the EU and The Euro. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »