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Ali je Jaques Chirac rekel: "Brez Afrike bo Francija zdrsnila navzdol v rang tretjerazredne sile"?

Ali je Jaques Chirac rekel:


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Ta članek trdi, da je Jaques Chirac marca 2008 izjavil:

"Brez Afrike bo Francija zdrsnila navzdol v rang tretjine [stopenjske] sile"

To je pomembno, ker pomeni, da Francija deluje kot kolonialna sila iz 19. stoletja.

Moje vprašanje je: Ali je Jaques Chirac rekel: "Brez Afrike bo Francija zdrsnila navzdol v rang tretjerazredne sile"?


Zdaj sem ga našel tukaj: http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/IMG/pdf/24_Lombart.pdf (opomba 40), kjer nekdo (ne sam Chirac) pravi, da je Chirac "de ceux pour qui" sans l'Afrique, la France deviendrait une puissance de troisième rang «« (eden tistih, za katere bi »brez Afrike Francija postala tretja sila«). Opomba: "tretje stopnje" ne "tretjega sveta".


5 citatov francoskih voditeljev, ki razkrivajo, koliko je Francija glede preživetja odvisna od Afrike

»Govoriti moramo jezik resnice: afriška rast nas vleče za sabo. Njegova dinamika nas podpira, vitalnost pa spodbuja ... Potrebujemo Afriko. " - S.nagovor francoskega finančnega ministra Pierra Moscovicija, december 2013

Predsednik François Hollande

"... Francija bi skupaj z Evropo želela biti še bolj vpletena v usodo vaše celine in#8230 bo jutrišnje gospodarstvo močno odvisno od moči in živahnosti afriških podjetij ... Cilj, ki sem si ga zastavil, je podvojiti raven trgovine med Francijo in Afriko v petih letih. ” - Govor sedanjega predsednika Françoisa Hollanda na Elizejskem vrhu za mir in varnost v Afriki, december 2013


Afriki Zakaj Francija ne more zapustiti Afrike? Brez ropanja in ubijanja Francija ne more preživeti! - SEYTOO.COM

Veliko belo upanje Francije - Emmanuel Macron - se je nedavno prodajal v Afriki. Bil je poln šal in nasmehov. Kljub temu, da je bil na paketu napisana "mladostna nedolžnost", je bil izdelek "senilna demenca". Ne glede na starost moškega - Francoski poskus vodenja Afrike je zastarela in neumna zgodba. Moški - Macron - je še ena zastarela in neumna francoska maska.

Maska je padla na javnem forumu v Burkini Faso, ko je dekle vprašalo francosko vojsko in njeno prisotnost v Afriki. Macron je v odgovor histerično povedal lokalnemu občinstvu, da morajo ploskati francoskim vojakom na afriških ulicah.

Težava je bila v tem, da je dan pred tem domačin - namesto ploskanja - vrgel ročno bombo na francoske čete. Naslednji dan je še nekaj domačinov vzkliknilo za konec neokolonializma. Militarizacija francoske politike v Afriki začenja dišati po gnili okupaciji.

Kdaj pa je bilo drugače? Od začetka okupacije Afrike v 19. stoletju Francija ni pričakovala nič drugega kot aplavz. Paket na začetku te dolge vojne proti Afriki je bil »civilizacija«. Toda to nikoli ni prikrilo podlega rasizma in baznega kapitalizma, ki je francosko vojsko pregnal čez Saharo.

V velikem gibanju klešč, ki se je začelo okoli leta 1830 in končalo na predvečer prve svetovne vojne, je Francija počasi, a zanesljivo osvojila večino zahodne in osrednje Afrike. Premikajoč se proti vzhodu iz Dakarja in južno od Alžira je francoska vojska ukradla verjetno 40% celine.

Medtem ko je bila »Francija« v odsotnosti in terorizirala Afriko - Pariz je spoznal svojega sovražnika: Berlin. Tevtonska sila se je prebudila in ironično nadaljevala s Francijo, kar je Francija počela z Afriko. V vrsti vojn in okupacij (1871, 1914 in 1940) je Nemčija neusmiljeno zatrla mesto Francije v svetu. Do leta 1960, bolj ali manj, Francija ni več v Afriki. In je bil zrel za revolucijo. Ali protirevolucija.

Peta republika ni mogla skriti neuspeha meščanske Francije. 1968 ga je razkrilo vsem. In ga prisilil, da se odloči tako ali drugače. Lahko bi sledila zgledu Afrike in se poskušala osvoboditi kulture, ekonomije in politike imperializma. Ali pa bi lahko poskusil obnoviti imperializem. In ponovno osvojiti Afriko.

Peta republika se je odločila za slednje. In od takrat je tekma do dna. Pomembna francoska komunistična partija je bila zavrnjena (na koncu tudi socialistična partija). Tako kot Jean Paul Sartre. Meščanska povprečnost je postala pravilo. In do leta 2000 so bili politiki, kot je Nicolas Sarkozy, in filozofi, kot je Bernard-Henri Lévy, pripravljeni Francijo popeljati nazaj v naročje Nata (De Gaulle je Francijo leta 1966 umaknil iz Nata) in to je goli imperializem.

Francija ni bila več evropska sila, ampak evropska farsa. Nemški neoliberalizem je prevladoval v novem evropskem stoletju. In Francija ni mogla storiti nič drugega, kot da je padla pred Berlinom in to je demonska vera: varčevanje (poceni delovna sila). Vendar je obstajal en kraj, kjer bi Francija lahko delovala kot "Francija" - obstajal je en kraj, kjer se je Francija lahko izognila nemški "volji do moči": Afrika.

Francoska "volja do nazadovanja oblasti" je imela v rokavu en umazan trik: to je vojska v Afriki. Ko se je Francija v petdesetih in šestdesetih letih umaknila z afriške celine, je za seboj pustila aktivne vojaške baze, ki so ji še naprej dajale vzvod v Afriki. Dejansko glede na spletno stran Stratfor:

»Po osamosvojitvi je 12 [afriških] držav podpisalo tajne sporazume o nacionalni obrambi s Francijo. Sporazumi, ki nikoli niso bili objavljeni, Franciji omogočajo, da v državah v zameno za obrambo svoje nacionalne suverenosti ohrani fizično prisotnost ... "

Ugibamo lahko, katere države so podpisale te zlobne francoske pogodbe: Maroko, Senegal, Mavretanija, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Tunizija, Čad, Slonokoščena obala, Srednjeafriška republika, Gabon in Džibuti. Po seznanitvi so jih kasneje na seznam dodali še nekaj: Ruando, Burundi in Zaire (Demokratična republika Kongo). Vsekakor je bila slika jasna in jasna: pred odhodom (in tudi po odhodu) iz Afrike - je Francija vrgla splet po Afriki.

In kaj so ti dogovori v resnici pomenili? Leta 2007 je New York Times zapisal, da je "Francija med letoma 1962 in 1995 vojaško posredovala v Afriki devetnajstkrat." Stratfor je leta 2016 izračunal 42 francoskih intervencij med letoma 1968 in 2013.

New York Times je bistveno presegel točko leta 1995, ker je leta 1994 Francija v strateški bitki za Ruando izgubila z ZDA (v tej bitki je umrlo milijon ali več Hutujev in Tutsijev - milijoni pa so umrli v bitkah, ki so sledile v Kongu itd.). In v letih po tej ključni prelomnici v afriški geopolitiki - francoska moč v Afriki se je odločno zmanjšala - ne samo zaradi vojaške moči ZDA (AFRICOM), ampak tudi zaradi nove gospodarske moči Kitajske.

V devetdesetih letih so se časi spreminjali. Francija je izgubljala "bitke" za Evropo in Afriko. Postajala je drugorazredna sila. Kljub temu je ta zvijača ostala v rokavu: očitni in prikriti vojaški dogovori, ki jih je uredil v Afriki. Francoski prst je bil še vedno na sprožilcu. Protirevolucija je obupno potrebovala nov zagon življenja. In "arabska pomlad" mu je to dala.

Ko je Tunizija leta 2010 začela protestirati, se je Francija odzvala s ponudbo "vojaške moči" (to je "tehnična podpora in policija ve kako") svojemu tunizijskemu agentu: Ben Aliju. In ko francoski poskus zatiranja afriške neodvisnosti ni uspel - Francija je leta 2011 vodila vojne proti neodvisni Libiji (Operacija Harmattan) in neodvisni Azawad (Operacija Serval na severu Malija itd.) Leta 2013.

Leta 2014 so bile razmere takšne, da je Newsweek trdil, da "Francija počasi vrača svoje staro afriško cesarstvo". In do leta 2015 je Business Insider poročal, da je "francoska vojska po vsej Afriki". Na tisoče francoskih vojakov je bilo razpršenih po Sahari in širše (Operacija Barkhane). A dejstvo je, da so se borili, da ne rešijo Afrike, ampak "Francijo".

Patetičen poskus obnove meščanske Francije (upam si reči, da je Bourbon France - ker je trenutno v Evropi tako slabo) dosegel stopnjo, ko francoska vojska ni le po vsej Afriki, ampak tudi po vsej Franciji (Opération Sentinelle). Leta 2015 - po napadih s pištolo v Parizu - je francoska vojska začela zasedati francoske ulice. In potem je leta 2017 zraven prišel Président Macron (le dauphin? - princ?), Ki je jahal na "tanku" do svoje otvoritve.

V nekonkurenčnem (meščansko) francoskem gospodarstvu se je zdelo, da je edini konkurent francoska vojska. Bili so in zasedajo obe strani frankofonskega Sredozemlja. In Macron je bil in ploska. Ker daje oslabljeno meščanstvo nižje davke in cenejšo delovno silo - daje vojski svobodo ulic. In svobodo Afrike.

Macron trdi, da Afričanom ne govori, kaj naj storijo. Francoska država pa je druga stvar. Institucionalizirala je odnos med Francijo in Afriko (Françafrique). In noče opustiti svojih zablod veličastnosti. V zadnjih nekaj letih je Afriki nedvoumno povedal, kaj mora storiti z Libijo in Azawadom (severni Mali in okolica). In danes marša afriške sile (G5 Sahel), ko zasledujejo sence v Sahari.

Za Macrona sta zgodba "džihadisti" in "trgovci z ljudmi". Toda neokolonializem je bistvo. Ali pa je resnična zgodba o ponovnem ustvarjanju neokolonializma v Franciji. Francoska vojska je kremplji francoske države. Medtem ko meščanska Francija zbledi ali zdrsne po spominski luknji zgodovine, bodo kremplji globoko vkopali v material, ki mu je pri roki - v obupnem prizadevanju, da bi se izognili neizogibnemu. Afrika je ta material - material prihodnosti. Medtem ko je Francija kljub svojim mahinacijam le flosam.

Prebivalci Burkine Faso imajo prav dvom o prisotnosti francoske vojske v Afriki. Vedo več kot infantilni francoski predsednik. In imajo boljši občutek za resničnost kot senilna francoska država. Ročne granate so bolj smiselne kot aplavz.


Lokalni junak

Vse bi lahko bilo tako drugače. Avgusta avgusta sta se pred petdesetimi leti poslovila: on je bil pameten mladi Francoz, svež iz poletnega semestra na Harvardu, in vodnjak s sodo pri Howardu Johnsonu, ona pa zardela lepotica iz Južne Karoline, ki je vozila bel kabriolet Cadillac in ga poklicala (prisega ) "medenec".

Naučil jo je latinščino, ona njega vseameriškega načina življenja. Napijal je Dizzyja Gillespieja in Cab Calloway, odpeljal širino držav od San Francisca preko Dallasa do New Orleansa (katerega pristanišče je bilo nenavadno predmet njegove univerzitetne naloge - Times Picayune je natisnil skrajšano različico skupaj z njegovo fotografijo) .

Lahko bi bila njegova nevesta, o kateri je dolgo razmišljal, da bi jo vprašal. Toda ambicije so ga prevzele, saj je vedel, kaj želi biti, ko bo odrasel. Zato se je vrnil domov v Pariz, se vpisal na ENA, končal izjemno šolo za francosko elito in se poročil z nekom, ki ima povezave, da bi mu to pomagal postati.

Te dni tisti, ki Jacquesa Chiraca dobro poznajo, pravijo, da se mlade Florence Herlihy spominja bolj kot z naklonjenostjo. Njegovo ameriško poletje leta 1953, plačano s štipendijo francoskega zunanjega ministrstva, ga je kljub poznejši in bolj znani nagnjenosti k polžem, tartufom in tête de veau pustilo v ljubezni do hamburgerjev, bananin drobtin in mlečnih napitkov .

Verjetno lahko verjamemo francoskemu predsedniku (ni vedno lahko početje), ko prisega, da so ZDA A zadnja država na svetu, s katero bi se z veseljem odločil za boj: kraj obožuje (kot je pred kratkim spomnil na revijo Time. na svojo strast do ameriške junk hrane, pa tudi na neizmerno žalost, ko je obtožen protiamerikanizma).

Torej, kaj je točno tisto, kar je vrhovno opico, ki se je predala siru, predalo njegovemu trenutnemu nezavidljivemu statusu približno tretjega najhujšega ameriškega človeka, zgoraj za Bin Ladnom, O in Huseinom, S?

"Priča smo," pravi Francois Heisbourg, direktor fundacije za strateške raziskave v Parizu, "je eden tistih zelo redkih trenutkov v politiki, kjer načelo in priložnosti sovpadata. To je tista zelo nenavadna kombinacija - politik, ki hkrati, kaj je zanj dobro in v kaj verjame. "

To je zagotovo del tega. Vrnite se manj kot eno leto nazaj in ubogi Jacques pazi na grofa. S potiskanjem 70, gladkega, a nepopravljivo umazanega kariernega potiskalnika mesa, po štirih desetletjih na vrhu francoske politike nima kaj pokazati (razen zares hvalevrednega) dosežka, da se pravočasno zbere pariški koš za smeti.

Poleg tega je seveda dvomljiva čast, da je bil imenovan v pol ducata različnih preiskav korupcije, in spoznanje, da ima francosko pravosodje, če bi kdaj opravilo svoje delo, poštene možnosti, da Elizejsko palačo zamenja za zaporniško celico, če bi ne bodo ponovno izvoljeni.

Kar trije preiskovalni sodniki so povedali, da bi radi intervjuvali Chiraca o različnih škandalih, ki segajo od njegovega 18-letnega delovanja kot župan Pariza, od prevar o zaposlitvi za fante do množičnih goljufij nezakonita shema financiranja strank.

Osumljen je tudi, da je z denarjem davkoplačevalcev plačal luksuzne zasebne izlete na eksotične destinacije in da je popravljal račune mestne hiše za 1,4 milijona funtov. Na srečo je najvišje francosko sodišče odločilo, da ne more biti vpleten v nobeno pravno preiskavo, niti ga ni poklical k pričanju kot priča, dokler je na položaju.

Šele po desetih mesecih se francoski predsednik (resno) poteguje za Nobelovo nagrado za mir. Milijoni ljudi po vsem svetu ne le vedo, kdo je, ampak mu aktivno ploskajo. Približno milijon veselih ljudi je ta teden zbralo ulice Alžira, da bi mu podelili herojsko dobrodošlico, v državi, ki ima vse zgodovinske razloge, da ne mara Francije.

Tudi v Ameriki obstajajo ljudje, ki verjamejo, da ni manjša oblika življenja od deževnika (za razliko od Sonca, ki ga je prejšnji teden kot takega upodobil na francoski naslovni strani). Nekateri nosijo plakate z napisom: "Chirac ima prav."

To je po katerem koli delu domišljije izjemna preobrazba: od gorskega galskega maratona do hriba do vodje miroljubnega sveta, od šarmantnega, a neprincipijelnega priložnostarja do de facto predstavnika vseh v Evropi (in res preostali svet), ki ne želijo videti, da bi Amerika začela takojšnjo vojno proti Iraku.

Chirac zagotovo počne tisto, kar je zanj dobro, kar zadeva domače občinstvo: približno 83% francoskih volivcev podpira stališče svojega predsednika do Iraka - skoraj enak odstotek, po srečnem naključju, ki je zanj glasoval v lanskem letu -odločilnega predsedniškega izbora proti vodji skrajno desnice Jean-Marie Le Pen.

Mnogi se počutijo neprijetno, ker ga zdaj podpirajo (čeprav verjetno manj, kot so to storili, ko so jih morali v čast republike maja lani podpreti). Vodja komunistične partije Marie-Georges Buffet je na primer večkrat težko pogoltnila, preden je v istem stavku izrekla besede "Chirac", "pogumen" in "pozdravljam".

"Tudi če 100-odstotno podprete to, kar počne, imate pri Chiracu še vedno ta mučen občutek, da morajo biti za tem skrivne politične stvari," pravi Anne-Laure Pereire, ekonomistka. "Ponosen sem na Francijo v Iraku. V grlu mi je rečeno, da sem ponosen na Chiraca."

Toda če pozabimo na takšne zadrege, ni dvoma, da bo francoski predsednik doma zajel nevihto. V tujini je druga zadeva: Chiracova odločnost, da ustavi (ali vsaj odloži) pohod Washingtona v vojno, ga je morda naredila za junaka v arabskem svetu, precej priljubljenega v Afriki in nekaj osupljivega celo v Aziji, vendar dela ogromno škode Francosko-ameriški odnosi in zaostrovanje medkanalskih vezi so bili tako pomembni kot njegov mentor De Gaulle.

Je to vredno sveče? Za Jacquesa Chiraca se to očitno zdi in iz več razlogov. Prvič, kot je uslužno opozoril Jacques Beltran s Francoskega inštituta za mednarodne odnose: "Nikoli ne smete zanemariti možnosti, da bi predsednik dejansko verjel, da vojna proti Iraku trenutno ni prava."

To je načelo (ali tako pravi Chirac). Njegovi navedeni ugovori so preprosti: vojna bo imela nepredvidljive, a verjetno grozljive posledice za iraško civilno prebivalstvo (ki ima to že dovolj težko) za mnenje arabskega sveta (spreminjanje zmernih v borce) za stabilnost na Bližnjem vzhodu (regija, ki citiram predsednika, "res ne potrebuje druge vojne") za mednarodni boj proti terorju (ustvarjanje "veliko malih bin Ladnov") in za islamsko mnenje v Franciji (narod, ki šteje do sedem milijonov muslimanov).

Po drugi strani pa je Chirac prepričan, da dokler so inšpektorji na mestu in opravljajo svoje delo, stvari ne morejo biti slabše. Tako imenovana iraška grožnja, če obstaja, je zadržana, dokler te skupine ZN delujejo. Zato je preprosto napačno izvesti napad, preden inšpektorji rečejo, da so končali (ali se pritožujejo, da jim to preprečujejo). Vojna (njegova najljubša vrstica) je "vedno najslabša rešitev": to je položaj.

Brez dvoma spodbujen s podporo ljudstva za njegovo stališče in podporo tako težkih tež, kot so Nemčija, Rusija in Kitajska, je Chirac zdaj pripravljen prezreti celo ameriški argument, da bo Pariz, če mu ne uspe podreti ameriške linije, ZN - sam vir francoskega vpliva veta - to najbolj trpi. "ZN bodo tako ali tako izgubili vso verodostojnost, če bodo videli le gumijast pečat ameriškega avanturizma," samozavestno trdi uradnik zunanjega ministrstva.

Podobno se svetovalci elysee v teh dneh posmehujejo ideji, da je pravi razlog za trdovratnost Francije lahko francosko-iraška trgovina: 15% iranskih zalog nafte naj bi bilo obljubljenih TotalFinaElf. Pravijo, da je 20 do 40 podjetij že pripravljenih za plen, svet mednarodne nafte pa ne more delovati brez daljnosežnega čezmejnega sodelovanja, zato francoska podjetja "nikoli ne bodo popolnoma izgubila".

Torej je to ena teorija. Neprekinjeno in vzvišeno načelo v kombinaciji s srečno priložnostjo sta skupaj potisnila Chiraca po tej poti. Drugi seveda temelji na tem, kar je vedno verjeten vzrok za kakršen koli nenavaden diplomatski demarš: namiga.

Po njegovi zmagoslavni majski zmagi velja ta teorija in prav tako smrtonosna zmaga njegovih desnosredinskih sil na parlamentarnih volitvah kmalu zatem je Jacques Chirac iskal način, kako v svetovnem bazenu narediti ustrezno velik udarec - "Gesta, ki bi rekel: 'Živjo fantje, Jacques se je vrnil', "kot je rekel en zahodni diplomat.

Po petih nesrečnih letih v senci neprijetnega sobivanja s socialističnim premierjem so se njegova zunanjepolitična krila razrezala do te mere, da je vse, kar je v resnici nadzoroval, njegov predsedniški letalo, predsednik je bil skratka obupan, da bi se zmotil.

Zato v kratkem zaporedju: Pariz popravlja vezi z Washingtonom, ki jih je poškodovala prejšnja vlada, ki je imela nesrečno navado, da je javno zatirala ameriško politiko, saj se "poenostavljeno" odpravi embargo na britansko goveje meso, zato je center za begunce Sangatte zaprt, Pariz in Berlin se vrneta v spet zaspati in znova zagnati slavni francosko-nemški motor, Chirac pa pravi: "Daj miru priložnost."

"Prepričan sem," pravi diplomat, ki najraje ne bi bil imenovan, "da je bila ta protivojna drža sprva zastava, ki je tekla ob drogu, da bi videla, v katero smer je zapihal. Chirac ni hotel vznemiriti Amerike , mesece se je upogibal, da bi bil prijazen. Ko pa je videl, kako piha veter, je poskočil, impulzivno. In zdaj je v njem tako daleč, da se ni mogel umakniti, če bi hotel. "

In vse skupaj je seveda več kot le dotik znanega gaulističnega veroizpovedi, da Amerika res potrebuje vsaj enega zaveznika, ki ni Blairitejev da-človek, in da svet, katerega red določa Washington, ne bi, odkrito povedano, bodi svet, v katerem bi bili veseli vsi (in najmanj Francozi). Tako bolj kot Washington dviguje žabe, bolj je jeklena odločnost Pariza.

Ne glede na to, ali je njegov tečaj načrtovan po načelu, priložnostih, nagajivosti, galski žolčni ali nesveti mešanici vseh štirih (kar se na splošno zdi najverjetneje), francoski predsednik očitno uživa. Prežet s sveže okrepljenim občutkom lastnega pomena, se počuti, kot pravijo Francozi, dobro v svoji koži.

Tako se je razburil, da je začel napredovati: dobrodošlica zimbabvejskemu voditelju Robertu Mugabeju in številnim drugim domnevnim despotom na slavnem dvodnevnem vrhu afriških voditeljev držav prejšnji teden je nedvomno pretiravala z njegovo roko, kot je govoril nekdanji komunist države, ki upajo, da se bodo pridružile EU, da so bile "infantilne" in "nepremišljene", da so podpirale ZDA nad Irakom.

Dejstvo pa je, da svet čaka, na katero stran bo skočil. Tudi v ciničnih diplomatskih krogih je splošno priznano, da je bilo prisiliti Washington, da pri pripravi resolucije 1441 ravna po pravilih ZN, resnično zmagoslavje. Toda beseda je zdaj ta, da ve, da mu posrečuje srečo: zavedajoč se, da zaradi tirana morda dela trajno škodo francosko-ameriškim odnosom, bi pozdravil ostro sodbo inšpektorjev za orožje.

Kako hitro in enostavno pa se lahko umakne? Chirac pri svojih 70 letih igra za svoje mesto v zgodovini. Dobro se zaveda, da njegov življenjepis, poln obtožb o presaditvah, izkrivljenih obratov in neizpolnjenih obljub po dveh desetletjih kot župan Pariza, nekaj časa kot predsednik vlade in osem let na eliseju, ni bil eden to bi dolgo trajalo. In ve, da verjetno ne bo dobil druge priložnosti.

Nikoli nam ne bo povedal, kaj ga resnično vodi, in če bi to storil, bi bilo dobro, če mu ne bi verjeli: kot nekdanji predsednik Valery Giscard d'Estaing rad opazuje: "Chirac ima lahko usta polna marmelade , njegove ustnice lahko kapljajo s stvarmi, prsti so pokriti z njim, lonec lahko stoji odprt pred njim. In ko ga vprašate, če poje marmelado, bo rekel: 'Jaz? Nikoli, gospod predsednik ! '"

Mogoče bi morali vprašati Florence Herlihy, njegovo prvo ameriško ljubezen. Ali pa nas preprosto ne bi smelo skrbeti. "To je noro," priznava Anne-Laure Pereire. "Vem, kdo je ta človek, vem, kakšen je. Nikoli v milijon letih ne bi glasoval zanj, lani pa sem to storil. Nikoli ne bi rekel v milijonu let, danes pa to rečem: jaz Vesel sem, da je Chirac tam. Dobro in pomembno delo opravlja. Bravo. "


Podgana, ki je rjovela

Reči, da bi bila zgodovina človeške emancipacije nepopolna brez Francozov, bi pomenilo usodno podcenjevanje. Enciklopedisti, oznanjevalci Les Droites de l'Homme, velikodušnega zaveznika ameriške revolucije. . . iskrico leta 1789 ter 1848 in 1871 je mogoče najti vse od prvega političnega ukrepa za odpravo suženjstva, preko Victorja Huga in Emila Zole, do galantnosti Jeana Moulina in odpora makij. Francoske ideje in francoski junaki so v sodobnem času oživljali boj za svobodo.

Obstaja seveda še ena Francija - Francija Petain in Poujade in Vichy ter umazane kolonialne taktike v Alžiriji in Indokini. Včasih so bile ZDA v odlični harmoniji s prvo Francijo - kot takrat, ko je Thomas Paine dobil ključ Bastille, da ga je prinesel v Washington, in kot takrat, ko sta Lafayette in Rochambeau Francijo postavila za "najstarejšega zaveznika". Včasih je bila ameriška politika slabša od politike mnogih Francozov - lahko bi na primer Rooseveltovo obžaloval de Gaulla. Uprava Eisenhower-Dulles je spodbujala Francoze v neumnosti v Vietnamu in šla tako daleč, da jo je podedovala. Kennedy je pokazal varovano sočutje do alžirske neodvisnosti, v času, ko je bila Francija preveč arogantna, da bi poslušala njegove nasvete. Tako gre. Lord Palmerston je imel verjetno prav, ko je rekel, da narod ne more imeti stalnih zaveznikov, samo trajne interese. Ni pričakovati, da se lahko vsaka ponosna, zgodovinska država samodejno šteje "v".

Vendar pa vedenje Jacquesa Chiraca v teh izrazih skoraj ni mogoče analizirati. Tukaj je človek, ki se je moral lani znova potegovati za ponovne volitve, da bi ohranil imuniteto pred pregonom, in sicer zaradi hudih korupcijskih obtožb. Tu je človek, ki je Sadamu Husseinu pomagal pri izgradnji jedrskega reaktorja in je zelo dobro vedel, za kaj si želi. Tukaj je moški na čelu Francije, ki je dejansko odkrito naprodaj. Pomisli me na bankirja v Flaubertovem "L'Education Sentimentale": človeka, ki je bil tako navajen na korupcijo, da bi z veseljem plačal za užitek prodaje.

Tu je tudi pozitivna pošast domišljavosti. On in njegov zunanji minister Dominique de Villepin sta nedvoumno povedala, da je "sila vedno zadnja možnost". Vraiment? To ni bilo stališče francoskega establišmenta, ko so v Ruando poslali vojake, da bi poskušali rešiti režim strank, ki je pravkar sprožil etnocid nad Tutsi. Domneva se, da to ni stališče francoskih generalov, ki ljudstvo in narod Slonokoščene obale trenutno obravnavajo kot svojega feuda. Niso bili mnenja tistih, ki so odredili uničenje neoborožene ladje, mavričnega bojevnika, ki je ležala na sidru v novozelandskem pristanišču, potem ko je protestirala proti uradni francoski praksi izvajanja atmosferskih jedrskih poskusov v Pacifiku. (Zavedam se, da so bili nekateri od teh ogorčenj, ko je bila na oblasti francoska socialistična stranka, vendar v nobenem primeru gospod Chirac ni izrazil nič drugega kot domoljubno navdušenje. Če je v Varnostnem svetu resnično "enostranska" vlada, je je Francija.)

Vsi se zavedamo dejstva, da francoska podjetja in francoska država Saddamu Husseinu dolgujejo ogromne vsote denarja. Vsi zelo upamo, da iraška stranka Baath ni podarila nobenega zasebnega darila francoskim političnim osebnostim, čeprav bi bila taka skromnost na obeh straneh najmanj nenavadna. Je možno, da obstaja kaj več od tega? Prihodnja vlada v Bagdadu se morda ne bo zdela odgovorna za plačilo Sadamovih dolgov. Ali samo to pogojuje Chiracov odziv na a fin de mode v Iraku?


POVEZANI ČLANKI

Tu je bil goreči evroskeptik Chirac, ki je na koncu postal strasten zagovornik evropske naddržave.

Bil je samozvani prvak človekovih pravic in sveta v razvoju, ki je prisesal tudi najbolj grozljive tirane, trdil, da "Afrika ni pripravljena na demokracijo", in obžaloval "hrup in vonj" delovnih priseljencev.

In ves čas je bil družinski človek, ki je imel rad z neštetimi ženskami - od skromnih tajnic in delavcev do filmskih zvezd. Kot župan Pariza je obdržal županski avtobus s spalnico za dodelitve in z javnimi sredstvi najel stanovanje političnemu novinarju iz Le Figara, ki je bila njegova takratna ljubica.

Chirac, ki je bil tukaj prikazan leta 1987 z Madonno, je bil v vrhunski francoski komični oddaji rutinsko zasičen kot "Superliar"

Kot je trdil neki biograf, kot predsednik, nikoli ne bi želel, da bi na predsedniškem letalu "gole ženske, goreče od želje". Na državni obisk v Tunizijo mu je uspelo na isto potovanje pripeljati tako svojo trpečo ženo Bernadette kot ljubico. Obe ženski nista izmenjali besede.

Saj ne, da bi si kdaj dovolil, da bi bil dolgo časa odvrnjen od svojega dela. Po objavi spominov predsedniškega šoferja se Chirac nikoli ni mogel popolnoma otresti vzdevka, ki si ga je pridobil pozneje: "Pet minut - vključno s tuširanjem" (da bi bil še bolj žaljiv, se je to kasneje zmanjšalo s "pet" na "tri") .

Redno zasičen v vrhunski francoski komični oddaji kot "Superliar", Chirac nikoli ne bi prišel tja, kjer je prišel - ali pa je zdržal tako dolgo - v britanski politiki. Imel je srečo, da je bil blagoslovljen s francoskimi mediji, ki so ga le redko podvrgli takšnemu pregledu, ki so ga prestali njegovi britanski kolegi. Pomagalo je tudi, da je spal s kar nekaj od njih.

In tudi ko so se pojavili škandali-pa naj gre za šopke ali skrivnostna šestmestna plačila za družinsko zabavo-se mu zdi, da mu publiciteta nikoli ni povzročila trajne škode. Kar zadeva milijone tistih, ki jih je imenoval "moji dragi rojaki", je bil najpomembnejši francoski politični priložnost, ki je svet znova postavil v francosko javno življenje.

Morda je razjezil ves svet. Britanska javnost je bila na primer zgrožena nad njegovim suhim napadom na Združeno kraljestvo: "Ne moreš zaupati ljudem, ki tako slabo kuhajo." Kljub temu je vse to odlično odigralo domače občinstvo.

Chirac, ki ga je septembra 1995 posnela princesa od Walesa, je kritiziral Združeno kraljestvo z bleščečo pripombo: "Ne moreš zaupati ljudem, ki tako slabo kuhajo"

In v nekaj primerih, ko so njegove zunajzakonske nezvestobe prišle v javnost, so njegove ocene malo škodile. "Ali veste, kje je moj mož nocoj?" Je vprašala aristokratska Bernadette svojega šoferja v noči leta 1997, ko je Diana, princesa od Walesa, umrla v prometni nesreči v Parizu. Po besedah ​​šoferja je predsednik užival v poskusu z italijansko igralko. Ko se je zgodba pojavila nekaj kasneje, je francoska javnost skomignila z rameni.

Chirac je bil edini preživeli otrok iz premožne družine srednjega razreda, ki je blestel v šoli in na univerzi ter drugod, šel skozi francosko vojsko-kjer je bil na vrhu svojih častnikov-in prestižno državno šolo Ecole Nationale d'Administration, šola usposabljanja za elitne javne uslužbence.

Njegovo odločnost, skupaj s političnimi in birokratskimi sposobnostmi, je kmalu opazil francoski premier Georges Pompidou, ki ga je postavil za načelnika kabineta in mu dal prvega od številnih vzdevkov: "Le Bulldozer". Ko je leta 1967 vstopil v francoski parlament, je bil v začetku sedemdesetih let napredovan v kmetijskega ministra. Pametno je podprl novega predsednika Giscarda d'Estainga in bil nagrajen z mesto predsednika vlade.

Kmalu je imel močno bazo moči, iz katere je lahko zahteval svojo glavno nagrado (hkrati pa je lažnim službam delil tudi prijatelje). Leta 1977 je bil izvoljen za župana Pariza in tam ostal skoraj 20 let.

Chirac je postal predsednik leta 1995 in poskušal uporabiti blag odmerek tacherizma v napihnjenem državnem sektorju Francije. Neizogibno zaporedje udarcev in obratov je zagotovilo, da se je to malo spremenilo.

Leta 1977 je bil izvoljen za župana Pariza in tam ostal skoraj 20 let

Hkrati se je Chirac odločil, da bo izvedel vrsto jedrskih poskusov na oddaljenem pacifiškem atolu v francoski koloniji Francoska Polinezija-tik pred podpisom pogodbe o prepovedi testiranja Francije. There was outrage around the world, although a handful of France’s allies – including Britain – refused to condemn him.

Months later, the British government invited Chirac and his wife on a state visit to London where he was given the full Buckingham Palace treatment. She was said to be charmed by Chirac and the English-speaking Bernadette. However, within a year, Chirac was touring China, deploring Britain’s imperial record in Hong Kong to secure contracts for French businesses in China.

Having seen off a far-Right challenge by the National Front’s Jean-Marie Le Pen, Chirac won a second term as president in 2002.

Soon afterwards, his refusal to join the US and the UK in invading Iraq saw his approval ratings soar at home. However, his decision provoked such contempt among allies that he was derided by the tabloid press as a ‘cheese-eating surrender monkey’.

There was also another trip to stay with the Queen as Britain and France marked the centenary of the bilateral friendship agreement known as the ‘Entente Cordiale’.

Yet, at the same time, he was cosying up to a man whom Britain was trying to ostracise from the rest of the world.

Zimbabwe despot Robert Mugabe had been banned from visiting Europe. Yet Chirac gave him a special pass to attend a meeting of African nations in Paris.


Coddled on the Rue de Seine

Jacques René Chirac was born in the Latin Quarter of Paris on Nov. 29, 1932, a few years after his father, Abel, then a minor bank official, and his mother, Marie Louise Valette, had moved to the capital from a village in central France.

In Paris, as his father began to rise as a banker, Jacques, then an only child, was spoiled by his mother, whose first child had died in infancy eight years before Jacques’s birth. When he came home from school he would find a piece of candy she had left out for him, its wrapper already opened to save him the trouble. She would ask visitors to wear white shirts, believing they were less likely to carry germs into the house and imperil her son.

In their apartment on the fashionable Rue de Seine, his father, who thought Jacques was lazy at school, would force him to listen to readings from Marcel Pagnol, Charles Baudelaire and Victor Hugo. Jacques went on to an elite secondary school in St. Cloud, west of Paris.

By the start of World War II, his father was a key adviser to Marcel Bloch, a founder of the aircraft maker Dassault, which later produced the Mystère and Mirage fighter planes.

In 1950, at 18, Jacques went to sea on a tramp steamer running coal between Dunkirk, France, and Algiers, the capital of Algeria, the rebellious French possession. Encouraged by the captain, he began studying to become a merchant marine officer. But a few months later, his father showed up at the Dunkirk dock and took him home to enter the prestigious National School of Political Science.

As a student, Mr. Chirac attended a summer course at Harvard in 1953 and worked at a Howard Johnson’s in Boston, starting as a dishwasher and working his way up to counterman. He became engaged to a Radcliffe woman, whose father wrote him an angry letter telling him, basically, to get lost. From there, Mr. Chirac went to California and Louisiana, writing a long paper about the Port of New Orleans.

On his return to Paris he became engaged to his longtime girlfriend, Bernadette Chodron de Courcel, who was from a wealthy family in Corrèze, southwestern France. They were married, and she was later elected a regional councilor.

Their younger daughter, Claude, became her father’s communications director when he won the presidency. Mrs. Chirac and Claude survive, as does a grandson . An elder daughter, Laurence, died in April 2016 after at least one suicide attempt.

In the late 1950s, Mr. Chirac attended the National School of Administration, which has produced several prime ministers, and did well there. He then obtained an army commission and became a lieutenant in charge of a unit of 32 men that saw combat in the Algerian war for independence. In one instance he helped rescue an ambushed unit.

The war was a defining experience. “For me,’’ he said in 1975, “it was a time of very great freedom” and “the only time I had the feeling of command.”

Back in civilian life, he took a job in the main government accounting office, where he caught the attention of Mr. Pompidou, then the prime minister. He called Mr. Chirac “my bulldozer.”

“If I told Chirac that this tree is putting me in the shade,” he said, “he would cut it down in five minutes.”

By 1974, Mr. Chirac had become a member of Parliament and a rising star in the faltering Gaullist party, which had been leaderless since de Gaulle’s retirement in 1969.

President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, a centrist, made Mr. Chirac prime minister, heading a government coalition of rightist and centrist parties. But the style of the two clashed. Mr. Giscard d’Estaing was an aristocratic intellectual, Mr. Chirac a hard-driving politician. He quit as prime minister in 1976 and began his own march toward the presidency.

The first task was to weaken Mr. Giscard d’Estaing. He did this by competing with him for right-center votes in the first round of the 1981 presidential election. The split helped elect the Socialist candidate, Mr. Mitterrand, who served two seven-year terms, until 1994.


Quo Vadis Africa?

Harare – The founders of the Organisation of African Unity – among them Julius Nyerere, Haile Selassie, Kwame Nkrumah and Gamal Abdel Nasser – dreamt of an economically and politically emancipated continent.

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Resources: Taking Back Control

Third Wave Looms Large

Fifty-eight years later, with the OAU now the African Union, the continent has made some headway, particularly as regards decolonisation, but is still heavily dependent economically on America, Asia and Europe.

The AU celebrated its 58 th anniversary on May 25, with this year’s theme being “Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want”.

For the second year running, there were few public festivities due to COVID-19, with the pandemic not only taking a health toll, but also showing up gaps in Africa’s economic infrastructure.

Africa has embarked on its largest vaccine programme to date with the World Health Organisation (WHO) saying 49 African countries have so far rolled out mass inoculation campaigns.

However, WHO says just one percent of the 1.3 billion COVID-19 vaccines distributed globally have found their way to Africa.

“We’re in a very tough spot when it comes to supply,” says Dr Richard Mihigo, the WHO immunisation and vaccines development programme co-ordinator. “What is crucial for Africa is that we urgently use all the doses we have to protect our most vulnerable populations.”

About 40 of the AU’s 55 member states are overly reliant on vaccines sourced through the Covax facility and the Serum Institute of India. But India is reeling from a spike in infections and deaths, and cannot presently supply Africa at initially anticipated levels.

“We understand the urgent challenges in India – and WHO is helping however we can – but we hope that second doses will arrive in Africa quickly to give people full immunity,” says Dr Mihigo.

Also of concern has been the low uptake of vaccines amongst populaces, with just eight countries having so far used all doses availed through Covax. Lack of funds, inadequate training and vaccine hesitancy have been cited as reasons behind the less than impressive statistics.

“Commitment and domestic resourcing is crucial,” says Dr Phionah Atuhebwe, the WHO Africa new vaccines introduction officer. “When the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire applied to receive vaccines from Covax that require ultra-cold chains, the government was willing to send the presidential jet to go and get the kit. That is the kind of commitment our countries need.”

The recurrent question, though, has been: Is African unable to invest in its own internal vaccine manufacturing capacity?

Indications are that Africa spends just 0.5 percent of its GDP on research and development, significantly behind the global average of 2.2 percent.

According to the Africa Centres for Diseases Control and Prevention, the continent currently manufactures a paltry one percent – or 12 million doses of vaccines – with the rest being imported. This is due to lack of investment in local pharmaceuticals.

Only six countries have capacity to produce vaccines for yellow fever, rabies and tetanus: South Africa, Algeria, Senegal, Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia.

Christian Happi a molecular biologist at the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics and Infectious Diseases in Nigeria says: “Africa did not invest in COVID-19 vaccine development when we could have produced a vaccine for the African population.”

Politics & Economy

Having witnessed 25 years of economic growth, the continent has suffered a recession attributable to the pandemic.

The IMF estimates that Africa requires in excess of US$250 billion for its economic revival efforts for 2021-2025.

At a summit hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron on financing Africa’s post-pandemic economic recovery last week, it was noted that “Absent a collective action, the financing and objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s 2063 Agenda will be compromised”.

President Macron said the summit had presented Africa with a new deal in its economic revival efforts.

“We have taken the first step in what we have agreed to call a New Deal with Africa,” he said.

He said he would assist Africa to vaccinate at least 40 percent of its population by the end of 2021 and the IMF said it would avail US$33 billion to Africa in Special Drawing Rights – far less than the US$100 billion lobbyists like the African Forum and Network on Debt and Development have been agitating for.

But the big issue has been why African leaders, led by AU Chairperson President Felix Tshisekedi of the DRC, made a beeline to Paris when President Macron summoned them?

With the natural resources at Africa’s disposal, the human potential it possesses, and the limitless growth opportunities available, does the whole continent have to dance to the tune of France? This is the same France that still collects a “colonial tax” from several West African countries.

It would be instructive to recall that in 1957, then French President François Mitterrand said, “Without Africa, France will have no history in the 21 st century” and how decades later in 2008, Jacques Chirac reiterated: “Without Africa, France will slide down into the rank of a third (rate) power.”

France is not doing Africa any favours, it is acting out of self-interest – something observers say Africa should also start doing.

On the political front, Africa Day once again rolled by with the continent contending with instability.

In North Africa, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic remains a colony of a fellow AU member, Morocco. To the west, Chad recently lost its president to bullets from rebels and Mali – in the same week as Africa Day – had its second coup in a year. In the east, Al Shabaab continues to be a thorn in Kenya and Somalia’s side and in Southern Africa, Mozambique and the DRC are reeling from insurgencies.

Agenda 2063

Despite the immense political, economic and health challenges, the AU remains focused on its long-term plan, Agenda 2063.

Adopted in 2015, Agenda 2063 is “the strategic framework for delivering on Africa’s goal for inclusive and sustainable development and is a concrete manifestation of the pan-African drive for unity, self-determination, freedom, progress and collective prosperity pursued under Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance”.

A key component of Agenda 2063 is the, African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA), which became operational on January 1, 2021. It is the world’s biggest free trade pact in terms of number of countries involved, with a market of 1.3 billion people and an estimated GDP of US$3.4 trillion.

“This is not just a trade agreement, this is our hope for Africa to be lifted up from poverty,” said Mr Wamkele Mene, the Secretary-General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, at the virtual launch early this year.

In addition to AfCFTA, the AU is also focused on projects to:

  • Connect all African capitals and commercial centres through a high-speed train network
  • Accelerate intra-African trade and boost Africa’s trading position in the global market place
  • Development of the Inga Dam in DRC to generate 43,200MW of electricity
  • Remove restrictions on Africans ability to travel, work and live within their own continent
  • End all wars, civil conflicts, gender-based violence, violent conflicts and prevent genocide
  • Establish an integrated African air transport market
  • Strengthen Africa’s space industry
  • Create an African virtual and e-university and

Develop an Encyclopaedia Africana to provide an authoritative resource on the authentic history of Africa and Africans.


Africa and France: An unfulfilled dream of independence?

Submission statement: Article about how after 60 years of independence French influence remains controversial and pervasive. I wrote a comment a month ago explaining why French influence is universally reviled on the continent.

As pointed out: the heavy hand of French influence dates back to the times of independence.

"Shortly before independence, France decided to abolish the parliamentary system in some countries like Ivory Coast and introduce a presidential regime in which all territories and powers are in the hands of the head of state," Yamb told DW. The reason being that in this way, "only one person with all the power needs to be manipulated," she said. Françafrique, as the French influence in the former colonies is called, remains a fact, particularly galling to the young, whose resentment of the former colonial power is growing.

And the constant promise of renewal of colonial relations since the 80's. Macron is one of many French presidents making promises that never pan out. As pointed out in my comment (see the quotes by many presidents Africa) France needs Francophone Africa more than any former colonial state on the continent. As half of all French speakers are African, which given the demographic prospect is set to grow even further. And as the article point out, it also props up it's investment portfolio (emphasis mine).

In exchange for military protection against attempted coups and the payment of hefty kickbacks, African leaders guaranteed French companies access to strategic resources such as diamonds, ores, uranium, gas and oil. The result is a solid presence of French interests on the continent, including 1,100 companies, some 2,100 subsidiaries and the third largest investment portfolio after Great Britain and the United States.

Note: French military intervention has been based on flawed logic[1]. Creating a status quo that need not have existed. Furthermore, among the left in France , there is increasing scepticism of French military presence here is a good video (in French) explaining it.

The reality in the 21th century is that this relationship is not sustainable. As pointed out by Natalie Yamb, it might still be tolerated by the elite but the youth is increasingly vocal about true independence. (Keep in mind, unlike the developed world the median age on the continent is 19 [2].) It would be wise not to view French relations with the continent as just "another ex-colonial power". French prospect as a great power lies in Africa. And all parties involved are increasingly aware of this.

Keep in mind that without Francophone Africa: the usage of French would drop by half. Greatly reducing French soft power.

Isn't it quite natural that France has the third largest investment portfolio considering their geographic position and economic size? And is there really a chance that French would be replaced as lingua franca in Francophone Africa with reduced French involvement?

Furthermore, among the left in France , there is increasing scepticism of French military presence here is a good video (in French) explaining it.

Note that Al-Jazeera, even French, is absolutely not a leftist outlet, and is simply speaking to its base.

The problem with « Françafrique » is that it is an easy way for African politicians to deflect the blame of their own shortcomings on France. Politics mingle with business everywhere in Africa, large public procurements with the Middle East and China have their own problems. Why should France's relationship with Africa be singled out? France's economic grip on Africa is today highly reduced – since the 1990's, French doctrine regarding aid to African countries is to tell them to first go to the IMF and World Bank before asking French development aid (« Abidjan doctrine »). Former African colonies therefore have little dependence on French economic aid – this is also reinforced by the fact that only 6 % of Western African exportations are towards France (vs 40 % during the Cold War). There are many other actors intervening today in Africa, namely the US and China, which have displaced a lot of France's former influence. France, to be honest, doesn't really have much economic clout in its former colonies anymore – 50 % of our trade in African countries are with Nigeria and South Africa, both of which are anglophone countries.

French intervention in Africa nowadays fall under two categories : either in a context of UN-sanctioned intervention (displacing Gbagbo) or at the request of other States (Mali intervention in 2013). The days of the French Foreign Legions intervening in some shady parts of Northeastern Congo are long gone. France still has quite a few military bases in Africa, but a lot of them have closed in the past two decades. The plan is now to only have bases in Djibouti and Liberia, with a total contingent of about 3,000 troops in total.

Regarding the franc CFA/ecu : France does not have any say in the African countries' monetary policy. It has left literally all governance institutions. 33 countries out of the 54 in Africa have some form of fixed interest rate. As a matter of fact, African countries in the CFA zone are free at any time to leave it if they want – as did Mali in the 1970's. They came back in the zone because of the advantages that belonging to a fixed exchange rate zone brings : monetary stability (CFA countries have a 3 % inflation rate on average vs 9 % in the rest of Africa) and low interest rates which are attractive to investments. The fact that it is fixed to the euro, a strong currency, does remove their ability to lower the value of their currency to be more competitive in international markets, but it's their choice : African countries are free at any time to leave the CFA zone.


Did Jaques Chirac say “Without Africa, France will slide down into the rank of a third [rate] power”? - Zgodovina

After 12 nights of rioting in the suburbs of Paris and many other French towns and cities, the premier Dominique de Villepin and president Jaques Chirac have resorted to further repression. They have invoked a law (3 April 1955) passed during the Algerian War of Liberation giving the prefects the right to declare a state of emergency in their regions, involving curfews, closing of places of entertainment and draconian penalties for breaches of it.

The “riots” are in fact a youth uprising with few recent parallels in mainland Europe. Britain has seen its urban riots under Thatcher, Major and Blair too but they were not such a nationwide phenomenon. In France the running battles with the police, the torching of cars, shops and public buildings are beginning to stand comparison with the uprisings of the ghettoes of the United States in the 1960s and 1980s.

They also come against the background of the 4 October one day general strike and day of action by called by all the main French unions, and a rash of strikes against closures and privatisation. Neighbouring Belgium too has seen two general strikes in October, and Italy has witnessed a widespread youth upheaval against education reform. It seems that mainland Europe is having a hot autumn of resistance to neoliberal “reform” and to the deep social deprivation it has given rise to. This is also leading to spontaneous resistance to the “iron fist” policing, deployed to enforce the “hidden hand” of the market.

The youth uprising has long term roots: poverty, inequality, mass unemployment, added to police racism and repression. France’s structural unemployment rate of 10 per cent is not evenly spread either socially or geographically. It rises to 25 per cent amongst youth and from 30 to 50 per cent on the run down estates in the Parisian suburbs. Here it coincides with the fact that these estates have become neglected ghettoes for citizens of Arab and African origins. Most are not “immigrants” at all in the accepted sense Their parents and grandparents came to France to work in the years of the post-war boom. The long decades of economic retreat, job losses, declining social services have left them, above all the young, in a condition the French call précarité, an insecure hand to mouth existence.

Young people find it difficult or impossible to find a job, and suspect, rightly, that an Arab or African name or face dooms their application from the start. They are constantly stopped by the police and made to produce their papers, taking lots of vile racist abuse in the process. This certainly drives some to crime, others to low level vandalism. Now, finally it has driven the youth to a fullscale revolt.

The bourgeois press – even the most liberal – presents it as mindless violence, simple criminality, lumpenproletarian rage. This is a vile lie. If the rising has deep social roots, it also has an immediate provocation, and this centres on the actions and words of Nicolas Sarkozy the sinister Minister of the Interior. Having lit the fire he is now claiming that it is the product of an Islamist conspiracy, and talked darkly of al Qa’ida connections.

In an informative article – Why is France is Burning? by Doug Ireland – carried on Znet, which nails these lies, Claude Angeli, editor of Le Canard Enchainé, is quoted:

“That’s not true – this isn’t being organised by the Islamist fundamentalists, as Sarkozy is implying to scare people. Sure, kids in neighborhoods are using their cellphones and text messages to warn each other where the cops are coming so they can move and pick other targets for their arson. But the rebellion is spreading because the youth have a sense of solidarity that comes from watching television – they imitate what they’re seeing, and they sense themselves targeted by Sarkozy’s inflammatory rhetoric. The rebellion is spreading spontaneously – driven especially by racist police conduct that is the daily lot of these youths. It’s incredible the level of police racism – they’re arrested or controlled and have their papers checked because they have dark skins, and the police are verbally brutal, calling them ’bougnoules’ [a racist insult, something like the American “towel-heads", only worse] and telling them, ’Lower your eyes! Lower your eyes!’ as if they had no right to look a policeman in the face.”

Instead of liberty, equality and fraternity, the French Republic has given the ten per cent of its people of Arab and Black African origin– plus a large number of “French” working class youth too – précarité, inequality and racism. The insulting ban on the wearing of Islamic headscarves in schools was meant to underline the forcible character of the “republican” demand for integration. This says we will integrate you – not by freeing you from racist discrimination, not by integrating you into the workforce, not by providing you with the social services that encourage solidarity amongst ordinary citizens but forcibly, by the threats of the headmaster, the bureaucrat and the policeman. No wonder such integration is failing. It will fail more and more.

But the spark that lit this prairie fire of resistance did not come from Islamists or criminal gangs but from none other than Sarkozy, himself.

In the early autumn Sarkozy launched, with great publicity, a law and order campaign, targeted at the suburban estates. This was his answer to their manifest social problems rather than any attempt to counter mass unemployment and deprivation. Chirac and “socialist” Lionel Jospin before him have been slashing various social programs in the name of “reform”. Since 2003, there have been, according to the daily Le Monde, cuts of 20 per cent per annum in subsidies for neighborhood groups that work with youths, cuts in youth job training and in tax credits for hiring youth, cuts in education and literacy programs, cuts too in neighborhood policing. This latter is regarded as a big part of the solution for all social liberals. Of course a police force that knows “its” community may be less blatantly racist to them, in part in the hope of getting more information about petty crime, but it will never solve the social problems of these areas.

But Sarkozy will have none of such “soft” solutions. On a trip to Toulouse, he even told the neighborhood police: “You’re job is not to be playing soccer with these kids, your job is to arrest them!” His solution is to treat these estates like an occupied country and send in the notorious paramilitary CRS (Compagnies Republicaines de Securité), and their delightfully named SWAT teams. He combines budget cuts for social provisions with soaring expenditure on repression. That is neoliberalism in action against the “enemy within”.

On 25 October Sarko – as he is called by the youth – visited the Paris suburb of Argenteuil to see how his law and order onslaught was going down. In fact his whole campaign is designed to attract support for his presidential ambitions for the 2007 election, by playing the racist card. Unsurprisingly he was pelted by angry crowds. In reply he said that such neighbourhoods needed to be “karcherised “(after a brand of sand blasting) “ to get rid of such “scum” (racaille). The police duly obliged. On 27 October, two teenagers Zyed Benna (17) and Bouna Traore (15) were electrocuted after being chased into an electricity sub-station in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois.

This led to the first serious night of fighting with the police and setting fire to vehicles. This was no rash of criminal acts but an uprising against Sarko and his racist police force. The uprising swept across the Seine-Saint-Denis region, and Sarkozy’s response was to declare “zero tolerance” and send major police reinforcements to Clichy-sous-Bois. On 1 November, rioting spread out of Seine-Saint-Denis to three other regions in the Paris area. On 3 November, the uprising spread well beyond the Paris region to Dijon and parts of the south and west.

In many cases the spark was in fact the actions of Sarko’s police, treating these areas as territory to be re-occupied. The anti-racist site Les mots sont importants (words are important) reports how the police acted on the Chêne-Pointu housing estate, in Clichy-sous-Bois, the home of the two youths electrocuted in the EDF substation.

Antoine Germa, a geography and history teacher, reports that on 30 October, the day of the silent march in commemoration of Zyad Benna and Bouna Traore, organised by the local mosque, “everything seemed calm throughout the day and the forces of the law kept out of sight”.

But then: “On Saturday night, at the end of the Ramadan fast, at about 6:30pm, 400 CRS and gendarmes came… in cohorts like the Roman legions, at a run, visors down, shields on their arms and rubber and plastic bullet guns in their hands, they went through each street against an invisible enemy. At this time, everyone is eating and nobody is outside. Why this demonstration of force when the streets were particularly calm? ‘Police provocation,’ reply as one the local people.”

The only problem they faced was that they totally underestimated the anger of the youth and the numbers willing to fight back. Naturally they had resort to a conspiracy theory. Islamist preachers of hate were turning the minds of the young. This too is a pack of lies.

Olivier Roy, one of the most intelligent writers on political Islam, has scornfully rejected Sarkozy’s claims that this is an Islamist uprising. Though many youth are from Muslim backgrounds, many are not. “These guys are building a new idea of themselves based on American street culture. It’s a youth riot – they are protesting against the fact that they are supposed to be full French citizens and they are not.”

No what we are certainly witnessing is an uprising similar in kind to the fightbacks in Britain and the United States – a fightback by impoverished working class youth, many unemployed, those who suffer regular racist abuse and police harassment. It has been provoked by Sarkozy but he has got more than he bargained for. Of course the almost total absence of political and trade union organisation amongst the suburban youth – not their fault but that of the big bureaucratic forces of the reformist Labour movement – means that the present movement has formulated no demands – other than the resignation of Sarkozy – and not been able to consider its tactics. The task of revolutionaries faced with spontaneous upheavals is not to arrogantly upbraid them for this lack of strategy or for some self-defeating actions (e.g. burning down schools in their own district). But it is their duty to argue for a way forward both to the youth and to the working class movement.

To the youth, faced with occupation of their districts by SWAT squads we say –

• “Self defence is no offence” Organise the protection of your estates as well as you can: protect the old an vulnerable as well as yourselves and you will weld the working class communities together against the CRS intruders. Form disciplined defence organizations. Appeal for help to the left parties and militant unions.

• Assert your right to demonstrate, calling for the immediate withdrawal of the police from the estates, the instant dismissal of the hated Sarkozy, the release of the hundreds arrested during the uprising. Call for the workers movement and the left to organise a big solidarity demonstration with the youth protests and to link the social struggles against privatisation of EDF etc. with the issue of racism and youth unemployment.

• Demand instead of Chirac and de Villepin’s latest empty promises of reform, training and jobs, the deployment of all the resources needed to improve the estates, employing local youth and unemployed, on trade union rates and conditions, and under the residents’ own democratic control and planning. Demand too a massive programme of public works and the cessation of the attacks on the eight hour day so that the work time can be reduced with no loss of pay to absorb all the unemployed. “Where is the money?” the politicians and economists will cry. Make the rich pay! And if they “cannot” then declare their whole system, capitalism, bankrupt.

Youth across Europe and the world must declare their solidarity with their French comrades. Struggles like theirs, along with that of the Italian university and school students shows the need too for mass youth organisations in every country, united in a new revolutionary youth international.

As this newswire goes out, it is hard to predict how the uprising will develop. In and of themselves, riots on this scale can, and often do bring about reforms indeed, this is the consciously acknowledged strategy of some of the youth. As one rioter said, “Cars make good barricades and they burn nicely, and the [TV] cameras like them. How else are we going to get our message across to Sarkozy? It is not as if people like us can just turn up at his office.”

Without union cards, access to the overwhelmingly white and middle class dominated Attac altermondialiste movement, or a socialist youth organisation, however, these reforms – improved housing, more low paid jobs and apprenticeships for 14 year olds have been mentioned by Chirac – will prove superficial, and be tied to new forms of social control. Already, pressure has been put on the Union of French Islamic Organisations to rein in the youth. It has duly obliged by issuing a fatwa, forbidding Muslims from attacking “private or public property,” and will now vie with the ultramoderate Dalil Boubakeur of the Muslim Council and Grand Mosque of Paris, as to who will become the official conduit for reforms and social control.

Despite the gloating of most British and some American liberal commentators, this Anglo-Saxon policy is not going to solve the problems of France’s alienated African and Arab youth, any more than it has solved the problems facing racial minorities in the UK or US.

Indeed, it has already been tried in France. As one activist on the estates told The Observer, “Twenty years ago we had a wave of policies aimed at supporting neighbourhood associations. But these groups were, in time, co-opted by politicians and lost their credibility. Other associations had their funding cut.”

This is precisely what has happened in the US since the 1960s and Britain since the 1980s. There may even have been a black mayor of New Orleans, but that didn’t help the African American masses, when Hurricane Katrina revealed their précarité.

For the uprising to achieve more than momentary reforms and career opportunities for a new layer of ”community leaders”, the French labour and altermondialiste – i.e. antiglobalisation – movements have to support the demands of the youth, stop hiding behind the empty rhetoric of French bourgeois republicanism, and take special measures to integrate the seven million African and Arab workers into their ranks.

• Unban the hijab! The FSU teachers union should launch a campaign of defiance, refusing to exclude Muslim girls for wearing the headscarf.
• CGT, organise the unemployed, and re-establish the militant tactics of Action Contre Chômage in the 1990s, taking the campaign into the suburban estates. Work or full pay!
• For the right of black and Arab workers to caucus independently within the unions and the social movements, so that they can discuss racism within the movement and develop demands to fight around. The unions must launch special campaigns to unionise those industries where black and Arab workers are concentrated.
• For the labour movement and black and Arab organisations to establish the real extent of racial oppression in jobs, education, housing, and so forth, and demand funds, real jobs and training – all under trade union and working class control – to combat racist discrimination and oppression.
• Launch a vigorous campaign for an all out general strike, linking the demand to stop the privatisation of the electricity monopoly, EDF, to the demands of the youth and the unemployed, and centring on the call, “Down with Sarkozy, de Villepin and Chirac!”