Tag Archive | France

Rothschild Man in France: Emmanuel Macron

Rothschild Man in France: Emmanuel Macron

From Alexandra Bruce

Dan Dicks of Press For Truth whipped up this video to highlight some surreal facts about Rothschild banker-cum-President of France, Emmanuel Macron.

The latter recently announced his desire to reign as a “Jupiterian” president, akin to the Roman god of gods. On the heels of that announcement was another one, making vaccines mandatory in France by 2018, because it is “unacceptable children are still dying of measles”.

That would be exactly 10 children between 2008 and 2016.

Meanwhile, the side effects of the measles vaccine are potentially worse…autism, which has been strongly linked to the measles vaccine has been estimated by Catherine Austin Fitts to cost each household $5 million per child affected.

Related Topics:

‘Terrorists, Thugs’ Must Be Eradicated in West Africa: Macron*

Macron Faces Opposition Despite Absolute Majority in French National Assembly*

Macron to Put France in a ‘Permanent State of Emergency’*

Macron an American Trojan horse in the Elysee Palace*

Macron Dumps Parliamentary Candidate after Israel Lobby Pressure*

French Presidential Election 2017: Nothing Succeeds Like Success. Macron “Selected”. Billionaires and Bankers Rejoice*

French Presidential Favorite Macron sparks firestorm for Speaking the Truth about Colonization*

World War 3: Trump Begins Paying His Penance to Rothschilds*

Once a Rothschild, always a Rothschild Bankster Replaces Hollande’s Economic Minister*

Rothschild Makes Dismal Admission — His Financial World Order Now “Threatened”*

Rothschild Bank under Criminal Investigation over Missing $4bn in Global Corruption Probe*

Baron Rothschild Indicted in France for Fraud*

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‘Our future is slavery, West gets everything’ in Mineral-rich, Money-poor Congo*

‘Our future is slavery, West gets everything’ in Mineral-rich, Money-poor Congo*

 

RT Documentary travels to the vast, near-landlocked Democratic Republic of Congo, prized for its mineral resources, but plagued by centuries of colonial rule, dictatorship, civil wars and lawlessness, and meets people trying to make a living in one of the most desperate places on Earth.

 

The documentary crew’s key to understanding the country, seven times the size of Germany, was Bernard Kalume Buleri, born in 1960, the same year DRC was granted its independence from Belgium. Buleri served as an interpreter, guide, and finally the hero and symbol of the country, having been a direct participant in some of its bloodiest chapters.

 

Bernard Kalume Buleri/RT Documentary ‘Congo, My Precious’ / RT

 

“I can’t say that the Congolese, we are in control of our destiny. No, because the ones who benefit from our minerals are not the local population, but Western countries are the ones who are taking everything. They make themselves rich, while we are getting poorer and poorer, says Buleri.

 

The country of almost 80 million is one of the world’s largest exporters of diamonds, coltan – essential for electronics – and has massive deposits of copper, tin and cobalt.

“I’m afraid even for my children. Because they will continue in this system to be slaves forever. We’ll never be powerful enough to challenge the Western countries. So, the future will be the future of slaves,” Buleri continues.

 

There is plenty of blame to go around for the predicament of what is also a fertile and scenic land.

With almost no educated elite, DRC was poorly-prepared for its separation from Belgian rule, now best remembered for the atrocity-filled reign of King Leopold II, which may have killed up to half of the country’s population.

 

The vacuum was filled by the archetype-setting African kleptocrat Mobutu Sese Seko, who ruled the country for more than three decades, until he was deposed in 1997, plunging Africa into a series of continent-wide conflicts that may have resulted in as many 5 million deaths through violence, starvation and disease.

The country’s below-ground wealth means that it was never left alone for long enough to reform and wean itself off its reliance on metals and gems – the widely-mentioned “mineral curse.” The mines the RT crew passes are now owned by local warlords, chiefs and officials, with exports mostly going to China.

Salinga Prosper is a coltan and cassiterite prospector at the Mokengu Family Mine, located a two-hour walk away from the village of Tchonka. Every day, he wakes up at 4am, walks by foot to the mine, and works till sunset, digging for metals that he will sell at 1/20th of the price they will eventually fetch on the market.

“We are always hungry. We do this so our children don’t starve,” he tells the RT crew.

“What else can we do in this region? This is our destiny. Anyone not strong enough joins the army or the gangsters. But the strong, we work here.”

 

Millions of locals – perhaps one-fifth of the adult population, at some point – are employed in what is known as artisanal mining, inefficient small-scale prospecting with simple handheld tools, with no safety measures or guaranteed wages. But for a country that ranks 227th out of 230 for GDP per capita, according to World Bank data, any job at all is a matter of survival.

 

“At least we can earn something, not like when we were just unpaid slaves,” Wassa Mokengu, the mine owner, who likes to remind his employees that they used to be paid with rice and salt in colonial times, tells the documentary makers.

The acceptance of their circumstances by the Congolese is in equal parts dispiriting and admirable. Bulemi himself says that he paid a Hutu militia the equivalent of $5 to shoot – not cut apart – his Tutsi wife in Rwanda, when they came to slaughter her with a machete during the genocide.

He found his second wife, then a prostitute, in a local bar back in his homeland, and has started a new family, though he admits that he is haunted by the past, and anxious about the future.

“I’m struggling: I try to stay stable, I try to have a normal life. But inside me… sometimes I feel I’m dead,” he says. “We don’t understand what kind of system they have put in to rule this world. I don’t talk about other countries; I’m talking about my country, my family. And the worst, I don’t see a solution – I don’t think there is a solution.”

 

“Congo, My Precious” will be broadcast on RT on July 5, 6 and 9, and on RTD every day between July 5-12. It will also be available online here.

Source*

Related Topics:

The Congolese in their Struggle for Freedom*

The Secret Race to get Congo’s Uranium to Destroy Hiroshima*

How the World Runs on Looting the Congo*

The U.S. and the Wars in the Sahel*

U.N. Approves US$600-m Budget Cut to Peacekeeping*

U.N. Approves US$600-m Budget Cut to Peacekeeping*

 

A Sudanese boy rides a donkey past a U.N.-African Union mission in Darfur (UNAMID) armoured vehicle in the war-torn town of Golo in the thickly forested mountainous area of Jebel Marra in central Darfur on June 19, 2017. (Photo: AFP)

 

The United Nations yesterday approved a nearly US$600-million cut to its peacekeeping budget following pressure from the United States to reduce funding to the world body.

The General Assembly approved by consensus the annual budget expected to total US$7.3 billion, down from the current US$7.87 billion spent on peace missions worldwide.

U.N. member states agreed to US$6.8 billion to finance 14 missions, but an additional US$500 million earmarked for peacekeeping in Haiti and in Sudan’s Darfur region will get final approval in December.

The United States, the biggest financial contributor to peacekeeping, had sought a nearly US$1 billion cut to the bill and the European Union had also pushed for savings to bring costs down to US$7.3 billion.

The budget, however, fell short of what U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had sought from member states.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the financing is “meaningfully smaller than what we had last year” but that the world body will “make every effort to ensure that the mandates are implemented”.

“We cannot overstate the value of peacekeeping,” said Dujarric.

“It remains the most cost-effective instrument at the disposal of the international community to prevent conflicts and foster conditions for lasting peace.”

U.N. officials have repeatedly argued that the cost of peacekeeping is a fraction of military expenditures worldwide.

Most of the budget cuts will come from the closure of the mission in Haiti, a sharp drawdown of peacekeepers in Darfur along with some downsizing to the large peace operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

After the budget deal was reached in a General Assembly committee on Wednesday, US Ambassador Nikki Haley claimed victory and vowed there would be deeper cuts in the future.

“Just five months into our time here, we’ve already been able to cut over half a billion dollars from the U.N. peacekeeping budget and we’re only getting started,” Haley said.

Washington pays 28.5 per cent of the peacekeeping budget and 22 per cent of the U.N.’s core budget of US$5.4 billion.

While the United States pushed for the biggest cut, European countries and Japan also wanted to rein in the budget while Russia and China did not put up opposition to moves to streamline missions, diplomats said.

China, Japan, Germany, France along with the United States are the five top financial contributors to peacekeeping.

Italian Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, whose country is among the top 10 peacekeeping financiers, said that while the cuts were “substantial”, the “operational activities in all locations have been protected and preserved”.

Ambassador Elbio Rosselli of Uruguay, whose troops serve in Haiti and in the Democratic Republic of Congo, said better management of the missions could help cushion the blow from the budget cuts.

“It’s going to hurt,” Rosselli told reporters, but “there are problems in peacekeeping that are not exclusively related to funding”.

The Security Council on Thursday approved a major drawdown of peacekeepers from the UNAMID mission in Darfur but kept the force levels for the MINUSMA operation in Mali unchanged.

Yesterday, the United Nations officially closed its mission in Ivory Coast, ending its 13-year presence in the West African country.

The United Nations has about 95,000 peacekeepers serving in its missions worldwide.

Source*

Related Topics:

Over 100 U.N. Peacekeepers ran a Child Sex Ring in Haiti, and were ever Jailed*

U.N. Peacekeeper Gang Rapes*

With Cover-ups UN Quietly Offers DNA Tests for ‘Peacekeeper Babies’ & Sexual Abuse Claims*

U.N. ‘Peacekeeping’ Force Open Fire on Protesters in Haiti*

 

Le Moulinet: Indigenous French Muslims

Le Moulinet:  Indigenous French Muslims

The amazing, first-time visual documentation of a handful of French families living in seclusion in secular France, after having converted to Shi’a Islam

 

Related Topics:

Russia and Islam*

Anti-Islam Marches in U.S. Fail to Draw Participants*

New Jersey Town Settles Religious Discrimination Lawsuit With Islamic Group for $3.25mn*

Austrian President calls on All Women to Wear Hijab in Solidarity with Muslims against Islamophobia*

Islam and Martial Arts: China’s Hui Muslim Tradition*

Islamists Attack Christmas, But Europeans Abolish It*

Islamic Spirituality and the Needs of Humanity Today*

A Video Game about the Mathematical Beauty of Islamic Art*

Islamic Culture before Western Meddling*

Ottomans saved Hungarian PM’s Ancestors; but Denies Islam was Part of Europe*

Wahhabism on Trial? How Islam is challenging Al Saud’s Custodianship of Mecca*

The Relentless Jewish Campaign against Islam*

Top 10 Ways Islamic Law Forbids Terrorism*

The U.S. and the Wars in the Sahel*

The U.S. and the Wars in the Sahel*

By Gary K. Busch

Washington has been at war in Africa for years.  But in French-speaking parts of the continent it is Paris that is fully in control. Who becomes president and how national affairs are conducted is a matter determined by the French for their own interest under the colonial-era doctrine of Françafrique. And American tax-payers foot much of the bill for this neo-colonialism.

At the end of his first week in office, newly elected President Emmanuel Macron visited French troops in the West African country of Mali. Macron flew into Gao, a city in Mali’s north, where political unrest and ethnic strife have raged for more than five years. He met some of the 1,600 French soldiers stationed there, at the largest French military base outside of France. The French had intervened in its former colony in January 2013 in an effort to drive out al-Qaeda-linked groups which had taken advantage of the unrest and conflict created by a rebellion of the ethnic Tuaregs in 2012 to try to take control of the central government in Bamako, Mali’s capital. This rebellion spread throughout the Sahel; an ecoclimatic and biogeographic zone of transition in Africa between the Sahara to the north and the Sudanian Savanna to the south covering more than 3.053 million km².

Before one can explain the role played by the U.S. in the fight against terrorism in the Sahel it is important to understand the continuing role of the French Government and army in the region. France established military bases in Africa during the colonial period and maintained a military presence in Africa after the ‘flag independence’ of its former colonies in the 1960s. The independence struggle of French Africa resulted, with the exception of Guinea, in the notional independence of the African states, each with a flag, a national anthem, a football team, and a continuing dependence on France under the terms of a Colonial Pact. The terms of this pact were agreed at the time of independence as a condition of the de-colonialization of the African states.

The Colonial Pact Agreement enshrined a number of special preferences for France in the political, commercial and defence processes in the African countries. On defence, it agreed two types of continuing contact. The first was the agreement on military co-operation or Technical Military Aid (AMT) agreements. These covered education, training of soldiers and officers of African security forces. The second type, secret and binding, were defence agreements supervised and implemented by the French Ministry of Defence, which served as a legal basis for French interventions within the African states by French military forces. These agreements allowed France to have pre-deployed troops and police in bases across Africa; in other words, French army and gendarme units present permanently and by rotation in bases and military facilities in Africa, run entirely by the French. The Colonial Pact was much more than an agreement to station soldiers across Africa. It bound the economies of Africa to the control of France. It made the CFA franc the national currency in both former colonial regions of Africa and created a continuing, and enforceable, dependency on France.

In summary, the colonial pact maintained the French control over the economies of the African states:

  • it took possession of their foreign currency reserves;
  • it controlled the strategic raw materials of the country;
  • it stationed troops in the country with the right of free passage;
  • it demanded that all military equipment be acquired from France;
  • it took over the training of the police and army;
  • it required that French businesses be allowed to maintain monopoly enterprises in key areas (water, electricity, ports, transport, energy, etc.).
  • it required that in the award of government contracts in the African countries, French companies should be considered first; only after that could Africans look elsewhere. It didn’t matter if Africans could obtain better value for money elsewhere, French companies came first, and most often got the contracts.
  • The African states must make a contribution to France each year for the infrastructure created by the French colonial system and left behind when independence was granted.
  • France not only set limits on the imports of a range of items from outside the franc zone but also set minimum quantities of imports from France. These treaties are still in force and operational.

The system is known as Françafrique. These policies of Françafrique were not concocted by the French National Assembly or the result of any democratic process. They were the result of policies conducted by a small group of people in the French President’s office, the ‘African Cell’, starting with Charles DeGaulle and his African specialist, Jacques Foccart. For the past half-century, the secretive and powerful “African Cell” has overseen France’s strategic interests in Africa, holding sway over a wide swath of former French colonies. Acting as a general command, the Cell uses France’s military as a hammer to install leaders it deems friendly to French interests and to remove those who pose a danger to the continuation of the system. Sidestepping traditional diplomatic channels, the Cell reports only to one person: the president.

Under Chirac, African policy was run by the president himself. He worked with the “Cellule Africaine” composed of African Advisor Michel De Bonnecorse, Aliot-Marie (the Defence Minister) and DGSE chief Pierre Brochand. They were aided by a web of French agents assigned to work undercover in Africa, embedded in French companies like Bouygues, Delmas, Total, and other multinationals; pretending to be expatriate employees.

Under Sarkozy the “Cellule Africaine” was run by the president and included Bruno Joubert and an informal adviser and Sarkozy envoy, Robert Bourgi. Claude Guéant, secretary general of the presidency and later interior minister, played an influential role. Hollande’s “Cellule Africaine” was composed of his trusted friends: Jean-Yves Le Drian (Minister of Defence); the chief of his personal military staff, General Benoît Puga; the African Advisor Hélène Le Gal, and a number of lower-level specialists from the ministries of foreign affairs and the treasury. It isn’t clear yet who will make up Macron’s African Cell.

What is important about the effects of Françafrique on African states is that the French resisted any locally-engendered change in the rules and had troops and gendarmes available in Africa to put down any leader with different ambitions. During the last 50 years, a total of 67 coups happened in 26 countries in Africa; 61% of the coups happened in Francophone Africa. The French began the ‘discipline’ of African leaders by ordering the assassination of Sylvanus Olympio in Togo in 1963 when he wanted his own currency instead of the CFA franc.

  • In June 1962, the first president of Mali, Modiba Keita, decreed that Mali was leaving the CFA zone and abandoning the Colonial Pact. As in Togo the French paid an African ex-Legionnaire to kill the president. In November 1968 Lieutenant Moussa Traore made a coup, killed Modiba Keita, and became President of Mali.
  • The French use of African ex-Legionnaires to remove presidents who rebelled against the Colonial Pact, the CFA or Françafrique became commonplace. On 1 January, 1966, Jean-Bédel Bokassa, an ex-French foreign legionnaire, carried out a coup against David Dacko, the first President of the Central African Republic.
  • On 3 January 1966, Maurice Yaméogo, the first President of the Republic of Upper Volta, now called Burkina Faso, was victim of a coup carried out by Aboubacar Sangoulé Lamizana
  • On 26 October 1972, Mathieu Kérékou who was a security guard to President Hubert Maga, the first President of the Republic of Benin, carried out a coup against the president.
  • There were several other assassinations managed by the French which took place without the use of Legionnaires. These included:
  • Marien Ngouabi, President of the Republic of the Congo, assassinated in 1977.
  • In Cameroon, Felix Moumie, who was the successor to previously-assassinated Reuben Um Nyobe, was murdered by thallium poisoning in Geneva on 15 October 1960. His killer was a French agent, William Bechtel, who posed as a journalist to meet Moumie in a restaurant and poisoned his drink.
  • François Tombalbaye, President of Chad, was assassinated by soldiers commanded by French Army officers in 1975. Then, in December 1989 the French overthrew the government of Hissan Habre in Chad and installed Idriss Deby as President because Habre wanted to sell Chadian oil to U.S. oil companies.
  • Perhaps the most tragic was the assassination of Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso in 1987. Sankara seized power in a popular coup in 1983 in an attempt to break the country’s ties to its French colonial power. He was overthrown and assassinated in a coup led by his best friend and childhood companion Blaise Compaoré on French orders.
  • In March 2003 French and Chadian troops overthrew the elected government of President Ange-Felix Patasse and installed General François Bozize as President when Patasse announced that he wanted French troops out of the Central African Republic. A few years later the French deposed Bosize as well.
  • In 2009, the French supported a coup in Madagascar by Andry Rajoelina against the elected government of Marc Ravalomanana who wanted to open the country to investments by international companies in mining and petroleum and refused to allow Total to unilaterally raise its contracted price for oil by 75%.
  • The French used its troops in the Ivory Coast to provoke an attempted overthrow of the democratically-elected government of Gbagbo. When the rebellion to oust Gbagbo failed, the French troops divided the country into two areas and continued to plan coups against Gbagbo. When Gbagbo won the election in 2010, despite French interference, the French troops (and the UN ‘peacekeepers’) used helicopter gunships to attack the Ivorian citizenry and took over the country in 2011.

Burkino Faso

French military involvement in Africa

The current problem for France is that it maintains wide engagement of its military in operations outside of metropolitan France. These are very expensive. There are currently 36,000 French troops deployed in foreign territories-such operations are known as “OPEX” for Opérations Extérieures (“External Operations”).

Since colonial days France has stationed its troops across Africa in permanent bases. These participate in controlling the internal politics of the African nations of Franćafrique as well as their borders.

These included:

  • Côte d’Ivoire, where the French troops in Operation Licorne and its helicopters recently overthrew the government of Gbagbo and supervised the killing of numerous Ivoirian citizens in collaboration with UN “peacekeepers”.
  • Chad, with the Epervier Mission. Established in 1986 to help re-establish peace and maintain Chad’s territorial integrity, and establish and protect the government of Deby
  • France has been present in Mali since January 2013 in support of the Malian authorities in the fight against terrorist groups. 2,900 men were deployed with the Serval operation.
  • Since December 2013, France also has operated in the Central African Republic in support of the MISCA, the African Union peacekeeping operation. 1,600 men are deployed with the Sangaris operation.

France also supports the participation of African soldiers in peacekeeping operations through the Reinforcement of African Peacekeeping Capabilities (RECAMP) program.

Recently the French have concentrated their troop deployments in West Africa to fight the rising threat of Islamic fundamentalism. Around 3,000 soldiers remain in the expansive Sahel area of Africa to check Islamist violence and arms trafficking, with no specified exit date. French forces are organised around four base camps, each with its own focus, and with headquarters based in the Chadian capital of Ndjamena. Their primary aim is not entirely the suppression of fundamentalist forces; their primary aim is to safeguard the French Areva uranium mines in Niger which provide France with it supply of fuel for its nuclear power programs.

This operation is known as Operation Barkhane (the name refers to a sickle-shaped sand dune). It is an effort to streamline French military activity in the region and to retain the military power but reduce the costs of duplication of tasks. Following diplomatic agreements with Chad, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania (the “Sahel G-5”), over 3,000 French troops are involved in securing the Sahel-Sahara region in cooperative operations involving G-5 troops. Other assets deployed in the operation include 20 helicopters, 200 armoured vehicles, 200 trucks, six fighter-jets, ten transport aircraft and three drones

The initiation of Operation Barkhane brought to an end four existing French operations in Africa; Licorne (Côte d’Ivoire, 2002-2017), Épervier (Chad, 1986-2014), Sabre (Burkina Faso, 2012-2014) and Serval (Mali, 2013-2014). Licorne is coming to an end in June 2017 (though 450 French troops will remain in Abidjan as part of a logistical base for French operations) while the other operations were folded into Operation Barkhane. Operation Sangaris (Central African Republic, 2013-present) is classified as a humanitarian rather than counter-terrorism mission and the deployment of some 2,000 French troops will be reduced to 1,200 French soldiers who will remain in northern Mali. Existing French military deployments in Djibouti, Dakar (Senegal) and Libreville (Gabon) are expected to be scaled back significantly.

France military bases

France’s problem in maintaining its military presence in Africa is that it has run out of money. It cannot afford to maintain such a strong military posture in Africa. It has been able to get the assistance of its European Union partners in a Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) in programs like EURFOR in Chad which notionally confronts the terrorist organisations with European troops, but the funds needed to provide a real challenge to the terrorists are wanting.

The notion of intrinsic forces is important in the evaluation of warfare in the Sahel. These terrorists are not, for the most part, invading foreigners coming to seek domination, power or advantage. They are locals who have taken up the Salafist ideology to further their joint aims of setting up an Islamic State and in preserving the smuggling routes across the Sahel. The ancient salt caravans across the Sahel from Mali making their way to Europe and the Middle East have evolved into caravans of drugs, diamonds and gold from Mali to Europe and the Middle East. The large revenues earned from this smuggling have helped fund the AQIM, the MNLA, MUJAO and other bands and have generated financial and political support from the Wahhabi extremists of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. The collapse of Libya under Kaddafi left these smugglers without a protector so the radical extremists who supplanted Kaddafi offered the smugglers of the Sahel the same protection as before and lots of weapons.

The Sahel is still a major centre of illicit trafficking in goods. The tribes of Northern Mali are emboldened and protected by terrorist organisations in the barren wastes of Northern Mali and live, symbiotically, with the terrorist forces. Their paths are overlapping. While the tribes continue their smuggling Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) engages in illegal taxation in its areas of control, ISIS in Libya is active in human and narcotics trafficking, and Boko Haram generates significant revenues from trade in cocaine and heroin.

Illicit trafficking and threat networks

The trafficking overlaps the terrorist threats. It is matched by a large influx of weapons. Conflict Armament Research, a U.K. organization that monitors armaments transfers and supply chains, published an important report in late 2016, “Investigating Cross-Border Weapon Transfers in the Sahel.”  The report confirms that a flow of weapons from Libyan dictator Qaddafi’s stockpiles after his fall played a major role in the Tuareg and Islamist insurgencies in Mali in 2012. That same stockpile supplied weapons systems that included man-portable air defence systems to insurgents throughout the Sahel region. But, the report documents that weapons flows since 2011 are no longer predominantly from Libya. Instead, the weapons now come from African countries with weak control of their own weapons stockpiles, notably the Central African Republic and Ivory Coast. Sudan has also been an important source since 2015 of weapons used by insurgents in the Sahel. The report posits that the jihadist attacks in 2015 and 2016 on hotels and government installations specifically in Mali, Burkina Faso and the Ivory Coast also included weapons from a common source in the Middle East; Iraqi assault rifles and Chinese-manufactured weapons are also used by the Islamic State.[i]

The logistical challenge in opposing the terrorist threat

The terrain of the Sahel does not lend itself to conventional warfare. There are broad expanses of sand and dunes, broken up by small villages and, occasionally, a town or city. There are no petrol stations, wells, repair shops, water stores, food stocks or fuel reserves in most of the region. Trucks and buses, as well as conventional armour, are difficult to transport in such a terrain. Air bases are usually suited only to small aircraft and lack the scissor-tables, cranes, fork-lifts and loading equipment which allow the free flow of cargo.

On the positive side, in the war in the Sahel the lack of ground cover and a tree canopy in the region enables a strategy of using the most modern weapons, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) which can seek out, observe and destroy small and mobile enemy forces. This has meant that the logistical demands of the war in the Sahel have generated a strategy of the use of high-tech weaponry deployed by Western forces combined with African troops on the ground as garrison forces for towns and cities.

Warfare, in general, in Africa requires a policy of expeditionary war. This is a polite way of saying that massed troop formations have no real use as there are few opposing forces of equal size to fight. African insurgents are bands and groups of often irregular soldiers. Across most of Africa troops must pass through jungles, deserts, mangrove swamps and hostile terrain to get to the enemy, often under heavy fire from the bush. The enemy of the peacekeepers is rarely an army battalion of any strength. Large-scale troop concentrations can sit in a city or town and maintain order, but they rarely can take the battle to the enemy. African armies have virtually no equipment which will allow them to fight an expeditionary war. This is a war of helicopters – in and out movement of troops to desert encampments or remote landing zones or the shooting up of ground formations by helicopter gunships when the enemy can be located.

This is how African wars are fought. Except for rented MI-8 and MI-24 helicopters leased from the Ukraine and Russia, most of Africa is bereft of air mobile equipment. They are certainly bereft of African pilots (other than South Africans and a small band of Angolans and Nigerians). There are very few African military aircraft capable of fighting or sustaining either air-to-air combat or performing logistics missions. Either they don’t exist or they are in such a state of disrepair that African combat pilots are unwitting kamikazes. There are very few airbases in the bush which allow cargo planes to land safely when a war is on given that every rebel group has its share of rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and mortars. There are no fuel reserves at the airports outside most African capitals, and there are no repair facilities. There is no air-to-air refuelling, except that provided by foreign militaries. Indeed, except for Denel in South Africa and the main airbase in Ethiopia there are no places on the continent which perform sophisticated aircraft or weapons maintenance. Indeed most Western European armies themselves don’t have sufficient helicopters or heavy-lift capacities. The Africans have less. This lack of transport is critical to moving out the wounded. This takes its toll on the soldiers. This is mirrored in the lack of effective battlefield communications. In Africa the phone system doesn’t work in peacetime; why should it work in a period of war? Sending orders and receiving information between the central staff and outlying units is a ‘sometimes’ process. It sometimes takes days to contact units operating far from command headquarters.

The Europeans are not really ready to assist in the Sahel, despite the E.U. plans. In 2015 when Angela Merkel made the grand gesture of sending weapons to Kurdish rebels fighting Isil, she learned that her cargo planes couldn’t get off the ground. At the time, the German military confessed that just half of its Transall transport aircraft were fit to fly. Of its 190 helicopters, just 41 were ready to be deployed. Of its 406 Marder tanks, 280 were out of use. In 2016 it emerged that fewer than half of Germany’s 66 Tornado aircraft were airworthy. The French Transall fleet is out of date and few are being replaced.

This matches the debacle of the European military effort to conduct warfare on its own, starting in Kosovo. The Europeans wanted to show they had some independent military capability.  The amount of bombs, missiles and other tactical devices used in the first two weeks of the Kosovo campaign exceeded the total arsenal storage of the totality of the European Community. The amount spent per day on the bombing of Kosovo, including indirect costs, amounted to over $12.5 million. It would have been far cheaper to buy Serbia than to bomb it. NATO could have offered each Serb $5,000 a head plus moving costs and still saved money. Under NATO rules the US was obliged to pay two-thirds of these costs.

This was just as true in Libya. The Europeans (calling themselves NATO) quickly ran out of ammunition, bombs and money. The U.S. spent almost $1.5 billion in the first wave of attacks by the French and British. As Secretary of Defence Gates said in his speech, “Despite more than 2 million troops in uniform – not counting the U.S. military – NATO has struggled, at times desperately, to sustain a deployment of 25,000 to 45,000 troops — not just in boots on the ground, but in crucial support assets such as helicopters; transport aircraft; maintenance; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and much more.” He went on:

“We have the spectacle of an air operations centre designed to handle more than 300 sorties a day struggling to launch about 150. Furthermore, the mightiest military alliance in history is only 11 weeks into an operation against a poorly armed regime in a sparsely populated country – yet many allies are beginning to run short of munitions, requiring the U.S., once more, to make up the difference.”

That is the key point in analysing the struggle against terrorism in the Sahel. Despite the good wishes of the French and the other Europeans, success relies on an active U.S. participation and engagement.  The French have requested the support of the U.S. military (through NATO) in its ambition to retain control of its former African colonial empire.

There is an ironic side to French requiring assistance from NATO to support its neo-colonial policies. France withdrew from being a full member of NATO in 1966, and remained separated for decades. The reason for French withdrawal was that France believed that NATO was not militarily supportive enough.  France’s effort to develop its own non-NATO defence capability, including the development of its own nuclear arsenal in the 1960s, was to ensure that the French military could operate its own colonial and post-colonial conflicts more freely. Under de Gaulle, France had attempted to draw NATO into France’s colonial conflicts (on France’s side). De Gaulle claimed that Algeria was part of France and thus was part of NATO. Therefore, NATO was required to intervene to assist France in putting down Algerian independence movements. After the British and Americans refused to assist with French colonialism, de Gaulle expelled NATO troops from France and set up a more independent French military. Now that France is back in NATO it is making the same request of its partners as De Gaulle.

The Germans lead the EUTM Mali which trains Mali’s armed forces and EUCAP Sahel Mali which is training and advising the country’s police, gendarmerie and National Guard. The Eucap Sahel Mission, under the command of the German diplomat Albrecht Conze, is coordinating European aid to the region.  Gunther Nooke, Angela Merkel’s representative to Africa, a Commissioner for Africa at the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, has proposed a “German Marshall Plan” for Africa to relieve a continent struggling with terrorist bands in the region coupled with a drought which is causing mass famine. However, no money is yet attached to such a plan.

The U.S. has its own strategic interests in fighting the Islamic terrorists in the Sahel because they pose a major danger to U.S business interests in the area; a threat to political stability in Africa as a whole which has produced a human tide of refugees; and, most importantly, this terrorism in the Sahel produces a major source of revenue to the international terrorist structures of Al-Qaeda, Daesh and the myriad sub-groups of these in the Middle East as well as Africa.

The U.S. has agreed to support the French and European efforts to fight terrorism in the Sahel but has been unwilling to commit U.S. regular forces to fighting on the ground. It has offered training, equipment and Special Forces participation in military programs in the Sahel and frequently arranges mass exercises to make sure the trained remain so.

The U.S. military presence in Africa

The U.S. is at war in Africa and has been so for many years. The U.S. has had practical experience in African wars. America has been fighting wars in Africa since the 1950s – in Angola, the DRC, Somalia, the Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Morocco, Libya, Djibouti to name but a few counties. In some countries they used U.S. troops, but in most cases the U.S. financed, armed and supervised the support of indigenous forces. In its support of the anti- MPLA forces in Angola it sent arms and equipment to the UNITA opposition. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Larry Devlin of the CIA was an unofficial minister of Mobutu’s government; the U.S. ran its own air force in the Congo at WIGMO. US airmen supported the South African forces in Kwando, Fort Doppies and Encana bases in the Caprivi from WIGMO. At these bases one could also find soldiers from Southern Rhodesia (in their DC3s) and German, French, Portuguese and other NATO troops.

One of the largest of these bases was at Wheelus Field, in Libya. Wheelus Air Base was located on the Mediterranean coast, just east of Tripoli, Libya. With its 4,600 Americans, the U.S. Ambassador to Libya once called it “a Little America.” During the Korean War, Wheelus was used by the US Strategic Air Command, later becoming a primary training ground for NATO forces. Strategic Air Command bomber deployments to Wheelus began on 16 November 1950. SAC bombers conducted 45-day rotational deployments in these staging areas for strikes against the Soviet Union. Wheelus became a vital link in SAC war plans for use as a bomber, tanker refuelling and recon-fighter base. The US left in 1970.

Another giant U.S. base was Kagnew Field in Asmara. The base was established in 1943 as an Army radio station, home to the U.S. Army’s 4th Detachment of the Second Signal Service Battalion. Kagnew Station became home for over 5,000 American citizens at a time during its peak years of operation during the 1960s. Kagnew Station operated until April 29, 1977, when the last Americans left.

However, with the end of the Cold War, the U.S. has found itself fighting a much more difficult and insidious war: the war with Al Qaeda. This is much less of a war that involves military might and prowess. It is a war against the spread of drug dealing, illicit diamonds, illicit gold, human trafficking and the sheltering of Salafists (Islamic militants) who use these methods to acquire cash which has sustained the Al Qaida organisation and now Daesh throughout the world. It is a conflict between organised international crime and states seeking to maintain their legitimacy.

There are now several ‘narco-states’ in Africa. The first to fall was Guinea-Bissau where scores of Colombian Cartel leaders moved in to virtually take over the state. Every day an estimated one tonne of pure Colombian cocaine was thought to be transiting through the mainland’s mangrove swamps and the chain of islands that make up Guinea-Bissau, most of it en route to Europe. This was equally true of Guinea under President Lansana Conte whose wife (and her brother) was shown to be a kingpin in the Guinean drug trade. Many in the National Army were compromised and active participants. This drug trade has spread to Senegal, Togo, Ghana and Nigeria. There are very few jails anywhere in the world which are not home to West African ‘drug mules’ tried or awaiting trial or execution. This drug trade is spreading like wildfire in West Africa, offering rich remuneration to African leaders, generals or warlords well in excess of anything these Africans could hope to earn in normal commerce.

According to a U.S. Congressional Research Service Study published in November 2010, Washington has dispatched anywhere between hundreds and several thousand combat troops, dozens of fighter planes and warships to buttress client dictatorships or to unseat adversarial regimes in dozens of countries, almost on a yearly basis. The record shows the U.S. armed forces intervened in Africa forty-seven times prior to the now-concluded LRA endeavour. The countries receiving one or more U.S. military intervention include both Congos, Libya, Chad, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Rwanda, Liberia, Central African Republic, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Eritrea. Between the mid-1950’s to the end of the 1970’s, only four overt military operations were recorded, though large scale proxy and clandestine military operations were pervasive. Under Reagan-Bush Sr. (1980-1991) military intervention accelerated, rising to eight, not counting the large scale clandestine ‘special forces’ and proxy wars in Southern Africa. Under the Clinton regime, US militarized intervention in Africa took off. Between 1992 and 2000, seventeen armed incursions took place, including a large-scale invasion of Somalia and military backing for the Rwandan Kagame regime. Clinton intervened in Liberia, Gabon, Congo and Sierra Leone to prop up long-standing troubled regimes. He bombed the Sudan and dispatched military personnel to Kenya and Ethiopia to back proxy clients assaulting Somalia. Under Bush Jr. fifteen US military interventions took place, mainly in Central and East Africa.

Most of the U.S.’s African outreach is disproportionally built on military links to client military chiefs. The Pentagon has military ties with fifty-three African countries. The Bush Administration announced in 2002 that Africa was a “strategic priority in fighting terrorism”. Henceforth, U.S. foreign policy strategists, with the backing of both liberal and neoconservative congress people, moved to centralize and coordinate a military policy on a continent-wide basis forming the African Command (AFRICOM) and Special Operations Command Africa (SOCAFRICA). These organise African armies, euphemistically called “co-operative partnerships,” to support anti-terrorist activities in the continent. U.S. special operations teams are now deployed to 23 African countries and the U.S. operates bases across the continent.

In his 2015 article for TomDispatch.com, Nick Turse, disclosed that there are dozens of U.S. military installations in Africa, besides Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti (Main Operating Base). These numerous cooperative security locations (CSLs), forward operating locations (FOLs) and other outposts have been built by the US in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Senegal, the Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, and Uganda. According to Turse, the US military also had access to locations in Algeria, Botswana, Namibia, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, Zambia and other countries.

Gen. Charles F. Wald divided these into three types:

  • Main Operating Base (MOB) is an overseas, permanently manned, well protected base, used to support permanently deployed forces, and with robust sea and/or air access.
  • Forward Operating Site (FOS) is a scalable, “warm” facility that can support sustained operations, but with only a small permanent presence of support or contractor personnel. A FOS will host occasional rotational forces and many contain pre-positioned equipment.
  • Cooperative Security Location (CSL) is a host-nation facility with little or no permanent U.S. personnel presence, which may contain pre-positioned equipment and/or logistical arrangements and serve both for security cooperation activities and contingency access.

There are a large number of UAV bases as well.

AFRICOM’s two forward operating sites are Djibouti’s Camp Lemonnier and a base on the United Kingdom’s Ascension Island off the west coast of Africa.  Described as “enduring locations” with a sustained troop presence and “U.S.-owned real property,” they serve as hubs for staging missions across the continent and for supplying the growing network of outposts there. [ii]

One of the most important of these bases is in Niamey, the capital of Niger, and nearby at Agadez, into which the U.S. has just spent $100 million on improvements.  N’Djamena, in Chad, has been heavily used in the battle against Boko Haram.

AFRICOM’s programs

The main thrust of AFRICOM programs involves the training and equipping of local forces. It engages in regular exercises with African armies and conducts JCET training programs. Most of these involve working alongside and mentoring local allies.  SOCAFRICA’s showcase effort, for instance, is Flintlock, an annual training exercise in Northwest Africa involving elite American, European, and African forces, which provides the command with a plethora of publicity. More than 1,700 military personnel from 30-plus nations took part in Flintlock 2016. There are a wide range of programs in addition to the U.S. participation in various UN programs like AMISOM in Somalia.

Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Initiative/Partnership (formerly Pan Sahel Initiative) (TSCTI) Targeting threats to US oil/natural gas operations in the Sahara region Algeria, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, Tunisia, Nigeria, and Libya.

Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance Program (ACOTA) (formerly African Crisis Response Initiative) (ACRI)) Part of “Global Peace” Operations Initiative (GPOI) Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia.

International Military Training and Education (IMET) program Brings African military officers to US military academies and schools for indoctrination Top countries: Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, and South Africa.

Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) (formerly Africa Center for Security Studies) Part of National Defence University, Washington. Provides indoctrination for “next generation” African military officers. This is the “School of the Americas” for Africa. All of Africa is covered.

Foreign Military Sales Program sells U.S. military equipment to African nations via Defence Security Cooperation Agency Top recipients: Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Zimbabwe.

African Coastal and Border Security Program Provides fast patrol boats, vehicles, electronic surveillance equipment, night vision equipment to littoral states.

Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) Military command based at Camp Lemonier in Djibouti. Aimed at putting down rebellions in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Somaliland and targets Eritrea. Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti.

Joint Task Force Aztec Silence (JTFAS) Targets terrorism in West and North Africa. Joint effort of EUCOM and Commander Sixth Fleet (Mediterranean) Based in Sigonella, Sicily and Tamanrasset air base in southern Algeria Gulf of Guinea Initiative, US Navy Maritime Partnership Program Trains African militaries in port and off-shore oil platform security Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Nigeria, Sao Tome & Principe, Togo.

Tripartite Plus Intelligence Fusion Cell Based in Kisangani, DRC, to oversee “regional security,” i.e. ensuring U.S. and Israeli access to Congo’s gold, diamonds, uranium, platinum, and coltan. Congo-Kinshasa, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, United States.

Base access for Cooperative Security Locations (CSLs) and Forward Operating Locations (FOLs) U.S. access to airbases and other facilities Gabon, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Tunisia, Namibia, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Uganda, Zambia, Algeria.

Africa Command (AFRICOM) Headquarters for all U.S. military operations in Africa in Stuttgart.

Africa Regional Peacekeeping (ARP) Liaison with African “peacekeeping” military commands East Africa Regional Integration Team: Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania. North Africa Regional Integration Team: Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya. Central Africa Regional Integration Team: Congo (Kinshasa), Congo (Brazzaville), Chad.

Regional Integration Teams: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Angola. West Africa Regional Integration Team: Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Niger, Western Sahara.

Africa Partnership Station (APS) Port visits by USS Fort McHenry and High Speed Vessel (HSV) Swift. Part of US Navy’s Global Fleet Station Initiative. Training and liaison with local military personnel to ensure oil production security Senegal, Liberia, Ghana, Cameroon, Gabon, Sao Tome & Principe.

AFRICOM’s view based on U.S. interests

The U.S. taxpayer is paying for French neo-colonialism

The U.S. military is engaged in over 34 nations in Africa in the fight against terrorism and the growth of the various Al-Qaeda and ISIL affiliates in the region. One of the key problems in conducting this on-going battle is that the political situation in each Francophone country is determined by the needs of Françafrique to keep their chosen president in power; not necessarily what the Africans want. A good example is Mali, where the French intervened militarily in January 2013 to stop an uprising of various militant groups in the north.

As the price for this assistance, France signed a new defence agreement with Mali, which would allow it to maintain a considerable military presence in the country. The agreement’s eleven pages of mostly general statements say that French military troops and civil servants will be allowed to stay in Mali, build military bases, operate, if needed, with Malian troops, etc., for the next five years. The five years’ term, as written in the document, is renewable.

This was a great triumph for France. Ever since the inauguration of the first President of Mali, Modibo Keïta, Mali had resisted the military aspects of the Colonial Pact. The last French soldier departed Mali in 1961. Keita refused to sign the defence protocols. Keita didn’t allow French military bases or troops on Malian soil. Even after the French had him assassinated by Lt. Moussa Traore, the Malians continued to refuse the defence pact. Traore’s successors Alpha Oumar Konare and Amadou Toumany Toure also refused, despite huge diplomatic and economic pressure. The most France could get in Mali was a 1985 military cooperation accord which allowed France to give military training and technical assistance to Malian troops.

Now, after engaging French troops to fight the Islamic forces in the North, France took over military control of Mali. After having defeated the invaders, and chasing them out of Timbuktu and other northern cities, and disarming factions of the rebellions, the French military banned the Malian army from Kidal, the central city of the northern Azawad region. The territory is claimed by different rebel groups, but it is under the de facto control of the mainly Tuareg MNLA (National Movement for Liberation of the Azawad). France allowed the rebels to occupy the area, reorganise and later gain a place at the post-war negotiations table.

France has openly supported the MNLA for a long time and insisted that they be a party to the negotiations with the Malian government who did not want to negotiate with the Tuareg rebels. Then the French put on the agenda the division of Mali into two parts, despite the Malian refusal. There was a short interval of peace and hostilities started again. The French realised that they could no longer afford the military costs of the Malian war and persuaded the UN to send peacekeepers to Mali.  In December 2013 France announced 60% reduction in its troops deployed in Mali to 1,000 by March 2014. Interim peace deals were agreed but were quickly broken. By August 2016 there continued to be attacks on foreign forces. More than 100 peacekeepers have died since the U.N. mission’s deployment in Mali in 2013, making it one of the deadliest places to serve for the U.N.

The French were satisfied that the bulk of the expenses for the capturing of Mali in the web of Françafrique were being paid for by the “international community” (the UN, the US, and ECOWAS). In 2015, the European Union also joined to promote France’s ambitions. France got its military pact with Mali and control of the country. This seemed such a good idea the French then expanded its ambitions to pursue the military options of Operation Barkhane based in Chad to cover Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger and make sure that the costs of this expansion of the reach of Françafrique were being passed on to the ‘international community’; the large part of which is the U.S. taxpayer (directly and indirectly).

The same situation emerged in Niger and the Central African Republic. The French intervened militarily in domestic disputes which they created and took over de facto control of the countries. Claiming that this was a battle against “terrorism” the French were able to pass on the costs of their reoccupation of their former colonies using European, UN and, mainly, U.S. taxpayer money. Both African countries remain at war with domestic enemies in conflicts created by France and perpetuated by French policies towards reinstalling the rigours of Françafrique; all in the name of counter-terrorism. The U.N., the E.U. and the U.S. don’t get a chance to decide who is the enemy in francophone Africa; this is decided by France. They only get to pay for it and use their military to train the soldiers who keep Françafrique in place.

Perhaps the current NATO meeting in Brussels will make it clear to the new Macron Government that the U.S. is capable of choosing its own enemies and, as in the time of de Gaulle, the U.S. is not in the business of preserving French neo-colonial rule on the continent.

Source*

Related Topics:

Should a Country Like France Be Indicting African Leaders?

Stop E.U. from Hijacking Africa’s Clean Energy Future*

At the World Economic Forum-Africa Germany Pitched a Dubious New G20 Corporate Strategy*

French Draft Resolution on Syria Reflects its Longing for its Colonial History in Africa*

French Terrorists Dispatched to Sub-Saharan Africa*

E.U. Bullies its Way through an Reciprocal Trade Access in Africa*

Hiding Africa’s Looted Funds and the Silence of Western Media*

African Court Sentences Former Chadian Military Dictator to Life in Prison for Crimes against Humanity*

France is Broke, but Still Reaping from the Colonial Tax!*

Colonial France out for Niger’s Uranium*

In Madagascar, One of the Deadliest French Colonial Wars in History is Remembered*

The Rise of the French Right and the CFA Franc

Macron Faces Opposition Despite Absolute Majority in French National Assembly*

Macron Faces Opposition Despite Absolute Majority in French National Assembly*

By Abayomi Azikiwe

French President Emmanuel Macron appeared to have been in an advantageous position to govern Europe’s second most significant state in the aftermath of a resounding victory in the parliamentary elections on June 18 where La Republique en March (LaRem) won an overwhelming majority.

Nonetheless, in a matter of days Macron’s cabinet was marred by several resignations of ministers from the centrist Democratic Movement (MoDem) which has supported the ruling party. The announcement that these officials were the focus of a corruption investigation assured their departure since one key aspect of the president’s campaign pledges was the promise to maintain a transparent government.

Amid the scandal Macron reshuffled his cabinet replacing the departing ministers with individuals who are far less known in French national politics. Justice Minister Francois Bayrou along with European Affairs Minister Marielle de Sarnez, both of whom are MoDem party leading members, submitted their resignations from the cabinet on June 21. The news of their departures came just one day after Defense Minister Sylvie Goulard‘s unexpected resignation on June 20. Goulard is also with the MoDem party.

Allegations have surfaced that the MoDem misused European parliamentary funds to hire aids that were stationed in France. Even with these resignations of MoDem officials, LaRem still maintains an absolute majority.

Former Socialist government functionary Florence Parly, who has been employed at major French transport companies, was appointed as defense minister. Nicole Belloubet, considered an expert in the legal field, was designated to take over the justice ministry. Switching from the Ministry of Agriculture, Jacques Mezard, is being assigned to territorial planning. Stephane Travert, a Macron loyalist, will serve as agricultural minister.

On June 25, Macron’s former Socialist Party decided to cast its vote against a motion of confidence in the new government. Therefore, the Socialists will become key players in the opposition although they have been decimated by the ascendancy of the centrist LaRem which was founded only a year ago.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and President Emmanuel Macron

 

Socialists hold less than 40 seats in the National Assembly posing no threat to the ability of Prime Minister Edouard Philippe to win approval of the cabinet and the policy initiatives which will be delivered in a speech on July 4. In addition to opposition from the Socialist Party, Macron will face ideologues in the conservative Les Républicains (LR) party, the putative far-left MPs from Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s France Unbowed party and Marine Le Pen’s neo-fascist National Front. One faction within the LR party, known as “the Constructives,” appears to be harboring a more moderate line on the new government.

Philippe, who is 47, is a member of the LRs, the center-right party. He was appointed by Macron as prime minister on May 15.

Macron, who has a background as an investment banker, and Philippe, a lawyer and member of the moderate right-wing, have made claims of bridging the traditional left-right political polarization in France. This notion of a third way, must be examined closely in regard to the actual policies that will be implemented inside the country and abroad.

Challenges to the French Labor Movement

Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the LaRem majority government will be its efforts to institute reforms in labor law. These proposals will ostensibly make it much easier for employers to hire and terminate workers.

However, with high unemployment, miniscule growth rates and the decline in career jobs with unionized protection, the question remains whether the neo-liberal reforms will actually provide incentives for the creation of broader opportunities among working class people. In many ways developments in France are a reflection of the character of the labor markets in most western capitalist states since the mid-to-late 1970s.

French demonstrations against Macron a day after the May 7 elections (Source: Abayomi Azikiwe)

 

Foreign Policy magazine noted in a recent article written by George Ross who speculated on the potential for labour unrest in response to the Macron reforms, saying:

“well-protected jobs have declined and less secure service jobs have expanded, the labour market has become segmented between a diminishing number of workers with stable contracts and an expanding group in more precarious situations, a trend accentuated by lower growth and higher unemployment. Union membership has declined from nearly 30% of the workforce in the 1970s to 11% today — and much of that is concentrated in the public sector. Strikes, for which France was once notorious, have declined in parallel.” (June 20)”

In the United States which has the largest capitalist economy in the world where a series of recessions have occurred over the last 45 years, a similar situation for workers prevails. Unionization has gone down to 6.4% in the private sector and 34.4% in the public sector, totally 14.6 million workers.

This represents a dramatic downturn for representation of employees. In 1983, the first year that such statistics were compiled, 20.1 percent of workers were unionized constituting 17.7 million people. Consequently, the precipitous decline in union membership overall has weakened the capacity of the working class to challenge the imposition of draconian restructuring mandates that have resulted in the lowering of real wages in the U.S.

Since the public sector now has more than a 500 percent greater rate of unionization than private industry it is not surprising that large-scale attacks by the capitalist class have been leveled against civil servants and educational employees. Notions that privatization of municipal services and schools are inherently more efficient serves as a propagandistic cover for weakening and dismantling unions. This offensive against unionized employees coincides with the worsening of standards and social conditions within the large metropolitan areas related to educational quality and the maintenance of urban infrastructure.

In France, the trade unions could possibly wage the strongest resistance to the labor reforms proposed by the LaRem government. The General Confederation of Labor (CGT) has gone on record opposing the proposed efforts by Macron to further stifle the working class.

Although the CGT severed its links with the French Communist Party in 1995, the general strike of that year remains within the collective consciousness of the ruling elites. Protracted labor unrest in France would have a major impact on the European Union (EU) as a whole, potentially prompting public sector unions in other states to oppose further reforms and therefore dampening the efforts by both Paris and Berlin to forge closer ties in the absence of Britain’s departure (Brexit) from the continental economic project.

As Ross noted in the above-mentioned report in Foreign Policy,

“should the CGT decide to pull the trigger, it could push for public sector strikes, particularly in transportation, to try to bring France to a halt. It can anticipate at least some public support for this. France remains France: The country’s militant, left-leaning, and protest-prone subculture still exists, ready to be stimulated by labor action. La France Insoumise (France Unbowed), a coalition of radical left-wing groups led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who won just under 20 percent in the first round of the presidential election — about the same number that the now-eclipsed French Communist Party won in the 1970s — did reasonably well in the parliamentary vote and has talked of new resistance.”

“Centrist” Foreign Policy Merges with U.S. Imperatives on Russia

One significant indication of the international posture of the Macron-Philippe regime was the announcement that France will not recognize Crimea as being a part of the Russian Federation stemming from a 2014 referendum during the period of the aftermath of a right-wing coup in Ukraine which led to a civil war between Kiev and regions in the West of the country.

President of France Emmanuel Macron with President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko

 

 

The new French president held talks with his Ukrainian counterpart, Petro Poroshenko, in Paris after the June 24 visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Crimea. Poroshenko condemned Putin’s visit as a violation of Ukrainian sovereignty. EU member-states recently agreed to extend their sanctions against Moscow accusing the Putin government of not honoring the Minsk Accords ostensibly aimed at ending the fighting between anti-Kiev forces and the western-backed regime of Poroshenko.

With the election of U.S. President Donald Trump in November partly based upon his pseudo-protectionist “America First” rhetoric and the vote by the British people to withdraw from the EU in June of last year, France and Germany are attempting to close ranks in order to salvage the more conventional brand of 21st century globalization. Nevertheless, with the fracturing of the western capitalist leaders involving differences over how to proceed in the current period may pose serious obstacles to a much-desired economic recovery in France.

Source*

Related Topics:

Macron to Put France in a ‘Permanent State of Emergency’*

Macron an American Trojan horse in the Elysee Palace*

Macron Dumps Parliamentary Candidate after Israel Lobby Pressure*

 

Macron to Put France in a ‘Permanent State of Emergency’*

Macron to Put France in a ‘Permanent State of Emergency’*

France was first put into a state of emergency on November 13, 2015, after an attack in Paris killed 130 people. French activists and lawyers are warning that a new bill will make the country stay in a permanent state of emergency, effectively making all of the measures that are put in place during a state of emergency the permanent law of the land.

The bill will turn warrant-less property searches as well as house arrests into everyday life. Protest marches are to be banned, under the bill; places of worship that are suspected of sharing “extremist” views along with electronic tagging for surveillance purposes are also on the docket.

The power shift would be absolutely absurd and would effectively turn France into a pseudo-police state. Perhaps globalists are using the threat of Islam to consolidate their power through new police freedoms that limit their citizens’ powers.

The Daily Caller reports:

French President Emmanuel Macron wants to end France’s 19-month state of emergency by effectively turning it into a permanent reality.

“They tell us we’re ending the state of emergency, but they are actually making it eternal. It’s an intellectual scam,” Marie-Jane Ody, vice president of a union representing judges, told French newspaper Le Figaro in a June 8 article.

Imagine a fascist-like group rises to power. All the legal instruments would be in place to commit abuse.”

Source*

Related Topics:

Terror Attack in Nice: One Frenchman Speaks Out*

France: Pres. Hollande Blocked on Permanent State of Emergency Constitution Amendments*

False Flag Terror Attack in France Sees Harsh Military Rules Imposed Following Massive Civil Unrest*

Hollande Pushes to Extend State of Emergency, These are the Consequences*

French Caught Planning an ISIS False Flag Terror Attack on the French*

Macron an American Trojan horse in the Elysee Palace*

Macron Dumps Parliamentary Candidate after Israel Lobby Pressure*

French Presidential Election 2017: Nothing Succeeds Like Success. Macron “Selected”. Billionaires and Bankers Rejoice*

NWO Germany and France Agree to Draw up Roadmap on Developing E.U.*

Marine Le Pen Exposes Huge Voter Fraud Scam in France*

Was the French Election Rigged*