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France’s election at gunpoint

from Defend Democracy Press

The first round of the elections in France is being held against the backdrop of an attempt by the state and the media to use the violent incident on the Champs Elysées, involving a gunman who is alleged to have been acting on behalf of ISIS, to create an atmosphere of political hysteria.

With over 50,000 soldiers and policemen set to deploy to polling stations tomorrow, the elections are to be held at gunpoint.

As facts emerge about the background of the alleged gunman, it is virtually impossible not to conclude that this shooting was a provocation involving elements of the security forces, over half of whom plan to vote for Marine Le Pen’s neo-fascist National Front (FN).

Karim Cheurfi, a French citizen and career criminal, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2003 for shooting and nearly killing two policemen, but later released on appeal, was last arrested in February after demanding weapons and stating he wanted to kill policemen. He was released supposedly because the “level of danger” he posed was not at the priority level. Though he was an Islamic State (IS) sympathizer who was being followed by French domestic intelligence at least since March, his case was treated as a common law, not terrorist, case.

Despite France’s strict gun control laws, Cheurfi was somehow able to amass an arsenal, including an automatic rifle, a shotgun and several knives, which he had with him during the attack.

The day before the shooting, right-wing media such as Le Figaro demanded that Islamic terrorism be “at the center of the end of the election campaign.” The newspaper wrote: “It is a critical issue, but one that has been too little dealt with.” The shooting was the signal for a coordinated political offensive. As security forces put much of downtown Paris on lockdown, the right-wing candidates speaking in Thursday night’s presidential debate demanded stepped-up law-and-order policies and even a shutting down of the election campaign.

Conservative candidate François Fillon demanded the eradication of “Islamist totalitarianism” and called for the “suspension” of the campaign. Le Pen denounced the “incredible laxity of the courts” and demanded the expulsion of all foreigners with intelligence files. Fillon, Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron, the candidate of the On the March movement, backed by France’s Socialist Party (PS) government, all canceled their campaign events yesterday.

In a remarkable incident at the debate that points to the political atmosphere emerging in France, police confronted New Anti-capitalist Party (NPA) candidate Philippe Poutou, who had appealed for police to be unarmed. They called him a “faggot” and said they would keep their weapons.

This attempt to shut down the campaign and fill the airwaves with anti-Muslim propaganda is driven by a deep political crisis. The PS faces a historic collapse, after having been discredited by its austerity measures and its state of emergency, which suspends basic democratic rights. It is terrified of rising antiwar sentiment in the aftermath of the unprovoked US strikes against Syria on April 7, which benefited Jean-Luc Mélenchon of the Unsubmissive France movement. Macron, Le Pen, Fillon and Mélenchon are now in a virtual tie, and over one-third of voters are still undecided.

The ruling elite is well aware of explosive class tensions in France and across Europe. Two-thirds of the French people say class struggle is a daily reality of life. At the same time, voters say their main concerns are not terrorism, but social issues such as jobs, wages and social conditions.

The programs of the main candidates—which include calls for mass job cuts, tens of billions of euros in austerity measures, military spending increases and a return of the draft—make clear that the ruling class totally opposes these demands. There are also fears that financial markets could react to a surprise election result with a crash, wiping out trillions of dollars in paper wealth.

With the election outcome still in the balance, the French financial aristocracy aims to fill the airwaves with law-and-order, anti-Muslim propaganda in the final hours of the campaign.

It relies critically on the cowardice of what passes for the “left” in France, which has accepted official claims that the Champs-Elysées attack is merely the outcome of a series of police errors, though each error is so grotesque as to defy belief. Mélenchon himself reacted by declaring on Twitter his “personal solidarity” with Le Pen, Fillon and Macron.

A precursor of today’s situation in France is Italy’s “Years of Lead” in the 1970s and 1980s, when the state responded to popular radicalization and massive class struggles by letting far-right terrorists tied to Italian intelligence mount attacks they blamed on left-wing groups. These attacks included the murder of three Carabinieri police in the Peteano car bombing of 1972 and the 1980 bombing of the Central Station in Bologna.

Several far-right terrorists involved in this “strategy of tension” were caught. Judge Felice Casson explained to the BBC that they aimed to “create tension in the country to promote conservative, reactionary social and political tendencies.” One convicted terrorist, Vincenzo Vinciguerra, told the Observer: “You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the State to ask for greater security.”

As it seeks to slash workers’ living standards and rearm itself for war, the financial aristocracy is well aware that it faces deep popular opposition. It will stop at nothing in an attempt to preserve its rule.


12 Comments

  1. Fiona Kellner says

    Powerful and continuing nationalism
    Disdain for human rights
    Identification of enemies as a unifying cause
    Supremacy of the military
    Rampant sexism
    Controlled mass media
    Obsession with national security
    Religion and government intertwined
    Corporate power protected
    Labor [sic] power suppressed
    Disdain for intellectuals & the arts
    Obsession with crime & punishment
    Rampant cronyism & corruption
    Fraudulent elections

    10 signs of fascism, already arrived to the West. France will implode in the next 5 yrs as the Rothchild candidate doubtless will not be on the side of ordinary people.

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  2. BigB says

    “The Years of Lead ” equals the hybrid warfare of Operation Gladio – I’m not sure why the author does not make this clear. It is quite a causal omission – rather than “Italian Intelligence” – this was a Deep State operation directed by the CIA/MI6/NATO. The best reference I know is Paul L Williams book.

    Operation Gladio: The Unholy Alliance Between The Vatican, The CIA, and The Mafia

    (Hopefully ) a growing proportion of the Millennial Gen Y are aware that the traditional Left has absconded and folded into the “extreme centre” from the mid 90s forward. Us older Gen Xers and those who study history are aware that wherever there were nascent signs of class struggle and uprising, they were murdered in the cot by the likes of Gladio, Condor, Pheonix, COINTELPRO (or at least beaten by Thatcher’s SPG!). It’s all part of a continuum of state repression and false flag terror.
    As to who this may favour in the runoff in May? The left has already folded into the Macron camp. The (globalist elite Rothschild) ‘leftist ‘ Macron with his shiny new party appears to have been groomed Obamalike for the job – but they can’t shake off Le Pen. After Trump folded like a cheap suit, I’m not sure it matters any more – I can’t be sure it ever did – the State always wins and evolves toward tyranny. The “long and bitter, but beautiful struggle for a new world” [MLK] goes on.

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    • BigB says

      Whoops, copied and pasted the wrong link, I only meant to give a reference, I wasn’t trying to sell the book! Can you fix it for me OffG. Thanks.

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      • Fixed – looks like the only way to stop Amazon spamming huge image links is to lock the URL inside text.

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        • BigB says

          Thanks, should be boycotting Bezos anyway. In future I’ll just give the ISBN so people can support their local Indie bookstore.

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  3. Peter says

    The results are in. In the second round in two weeks, the French will have the choice between the pro-EU bankers’ & elites’ darling (Macron) and the anti-EU far-right bogeywoman (Le Pen). This time French voters really have boxed dumb (though they’ve done it before – cf. the last two presidents). Macron will undoubtedly win fairly easily, simply because the flood of anti-Le-Pen media propaganda over the next two weeks will be overwhelming, and is a tactic that has always worked up to now.

    It will be interesting to see what Melenchon (of the alternative, anti-globalisation left) says – whatever it turns out to be, many of his supporters seem likely to abstain or spoil their ballots in the second round. Many Fillon (mainstream conservative right) voters may do the same. Fillon himself has called on his electors to vote Macron, as have almost all other mainstream French politicians, left or right.

    The world financial and geopolitical order will thus not be rocked by France, alas. The Establishment is safe for the time being, but neither Macron nor Le Pen seems sure of being able to win a parliamentary majority in June. It would be difficult for Le Pen to even form a government. Macron will benefit from all the rats deserting the mainstream parties to come and feed on the spoils of success, but the country looks set for a period of political instability – both the anti-globalisation left and the mainstream right are going to cause him a lot of trouble.

    Whether last Thursday’s Champs-Elysées attack was a setup or not, it seems to have had minimal influence on the outcome.

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    • BigB says

      There was a little election recently when the pro-bankers, pro-elites darling (Clinton) didn’t do so well – despite the anti-Trump media propaganda. I’m not so confident Macron will win easily. I get the sense he is being marketed as some sort of lifestyle choice, a poster boy for the meritocracy. His own brand of En Marche is nothing too left, nothing too right, soft centreish politics has been described as “something for everyone.” I get the sense that not everyone will buy it and Le Pen will fare well despite the media sh_tstorm coming her way. In fact, she could do well because of the media sh_tstorm! It’s not without precedent. We’ll see.

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  4. Frank says

    Looks like France is going to get an ex-investment banker – Macron – for President. Pretty much routine as someone from high finance gets into high politics via the ever revolving door. Has the rule of international finance ever been quite so naked?

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  5. rtj1211 says

    The French aristocracy have a historical tendency to lack pragmatism and survival instincts. That is why they no longer have a monarchy. The French people get pretty bolshie when driven to extremes…..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dead World Walking says

    The French quandary :
    To vote for EVIL, GREED, HUBRIS or WILFUL IGNORANCE.
    (And those terms are interchangeable with each party).

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