France: four months of Yellow Vest protests and rioting. The government seems to make every mistake in the book and is now ready to use extreme police force which could be its fatal mistake.
Paris Rioting hit mainly the chic districts, targetting the symbols of wealth and the 1%: 5-star-hotels, luxury cars, banks, jewelry stores…
After two weeks of Yellow Vest protests, government insults and deaf ears, President Emmanuel Macron is scrambling for answers but unwilling to compromise. There is a no-confidence vote is in the making, the left and right oppositions are calling for new legislative elections and an already weakened economy is teetering. This leaderless, grassroots movement by mainly angry, lower and middle income white French families, may still peter-out, and then again, as I wrote on November 22, in ‘France’s Deplorables Explained’ (Click here), it may not.
Russian Radio asked me, an American reporter based in Paris, to analyze the Yellow Vest Revolt in France. This is a five minute excerpt from that interview. Just click on the icon below or click here.
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“A medieval peasant revolt with social media. An Arab Spring without the Arabs. Don’t underestimate the potential danger of the Yellow Vests.”
They are the ‘deplorables’ of France. They get up early and go to work. If they were American, they would be those that make up Trumps hardcore base but no French worker is stupid enough to believe a billionaire can represent their interests. In the 1960s and early 70s they would have voted Communist. Today they vote for Marine Le Pen’s National Rally and other hard right conservatives. The Yellow Vests are White and ethnic French. They are mad as Hell and won’t take it any more! (1.)
The First Casualty of War is the Truth!
There is a conservative movement in France rewriting the history of World War One. These people say the Allies should have never accepted an Armistice and marched on to Berlin once the German 1918 offensive was broken, thanks to US intervention. They say this would have prevented World War Two. They made the 100th anniversary of the Armistice a celebration of the Generals. They claim the war was fought by “patriots for liberty.” They say we are wrong to measure the killing with today’s yard-stick.
Emmanuel Macrons says Europe can no longer rely on the US for its security. He is calling for a European defense initiative which could sideline Nato and has begun bilateral talks with potentially willing EU members. He is even ready to discuss a separate security partnership with Russia. But so far the response is cautious. Europe does not seem ready for France to lead another Grande Armée.
Debate rages over the role “Africans” played on the French team in the World Cup and on African sportsmen in general and their effect on integration while many in Africa are calling the French win, an African victory.
Bravo Croatia! Your country of just over four million people took on powerhouse France, pop. 65 million, as well as the best Francophone Africa, nearly half the continent, has to offer. This sort of statement sparks anger from the “ethnic French” among anti-racists. Yet, it is the general feeling I find among Africans too.
The French government is proposing two new laws to ban ‘Fake News’ from the web during elections and journalists and the opposition are in an uproar. Those opposed to the laws say there is already legislation to protect candidates during campaigns and against libel. Those in the ruling En March Party, under fire from all sides, tried to clarify their position by making a distinction between ‘Fake News’ and ‘Fake Information.’
German tax payers will not pay other people’s debt. This is in substance what the Chancellor, Angela Merkel, told the Frankfurter Algemeine Sonntagszeitung, June 3, when she said there could be no “union of the debt.” The comment was in response to news out of Italy that the new ‘populist’ coalition wants the European Central Bank to forgive 250 billion euros in Italian debt. The problem is, when you forgive debt, someone has to pay, and in Europe, that someone is Germany; the only EU country whose economy is strong enough to prop up the euro.
Europe is taking off its gloves and lashing out at the US president in unusually strong language, and, in this case, the EU has the support of its population. The question is can the EU muster the muscle to face down an aggressive US?
“With friends like that, who needs enemies?” Donald Tusk, European Council President, May 16.