Posted tagged ‘Democracy’

Don’t Allow Lobbyist And Deceiving Voices Conceal The Truth About Venezuela

May 25, 2017

Don’t Allow Lobbyist And Deceiving Voices Conceal The Truth About Venezuela, Center for Security Policy, Luis Fleischman, May 25, 2017

More than fifty days after mass civil disobedience began in Venezuela, more than 50 people have died at the hands of the government.

People have lost fear and the government is resorting to more measures that are repressive to subdue the population. The idea is to make every effort to stay in power regardless of human casualties. Thus, the Venezuelan government is launching the so-called “Plan Zamora,” an unclear plan and has not been published in a written form. This makes the plan even more unpredictable and dangerous. So far, “Plan Zamora” has been applied on three Venezuelan states, Táchira, Carabobo, and now Barinas (Chavez birthplace).

“Plan Zamora” consists of a military-civic coalition that includes national guards, the military, militias, and para-military groups. The purpose is “to prevent a coup d’état” and “to restore order” in the face of protests. This means increasing repression, assassination of protestors, and SA-style elimination of opponents.

Indeed, in the last several days, five protestors were treacherously murdered under the plan. It is a system aimed at intimidating protestors to the point of dissuading them from further joining demonstrations.

Maduro has also proposed a constitutional reform aimed at eliminating the National Assembly, currently dominated by the opposition. A new constitution would be drafted by a new constituent assembly elected by the local city halls and by community groups, carefully picked as stooges of the Maduro regime. The move would secure power consolidation in the hands of Nicolas Maduro.

The United States has once again increased its sanctions on Venezuela’s chief Supreme Justice and seven other members of the Supreme Court. Such step was taken in reaction to their decision last month, to strip the opposition-controlled National Assembly. Those sanctions will freeze their assets within U.S jurisdiction and no U.S citizen will be allowed to do business with them.

This is an important step as it discourages government officers from obeying illegal and unconstitutional orders. However, it remains insufficient given the magnitude of the regime crimes. From now onwards every military officer, every security official, and every government official that follows the government must be sanctioned. Likewise, every single individual involved in the drug business, which is today a huge government business. The purpose of these measures should be to encourage desertion from the government.

Furthermore, the Trump Administration should not compromise with lobbyists or with members of Congress that have been lobbied by the Venezuelan government. Most such lobbying is conducted through CITGO, the U.S based company associated with the Venezuelan oil giant PDVSA. So far, CITGO has scored incredible successes, which are scary in terms of how foreign agents can corrupt Washington. Former Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) effectively prevented the Senate from passing sanctions legislation against Venezuelan government officials in 2014. Former Congressman Joseph Kennedy (D-MA) was in charge of Citizens Energy, a non-profit organization that distributed heating oil provided by CITGO to U.S poor neighborhoods, to buy the good will of the U.S establishment.

The same applies to U.S business interests that, so far, have prevented full sanctions against CITGO and PDVSA. This step is also long overdue that could have devastating consequences for the Maduro regime.

Trump’s campaign promises included the curbing of such lobbyists and we hope and expect that the president makes good on his promises.

Additionally, Venezuela has its own conscious and unconscious accomplices in its disinformation campaign in the United States. This week the Rev Jesse Jackson warned the Trump Administration not “to help get rid of a regime it does not like,” as if Venezuela were not a huge violator of human rights or the number one sponsor of international transnational crime. He praised the regime founded by Hugo Chavez as one that brought about reduction of poverty and improvement in health care services, as if Venezuelans were not facing hunger now or as if they were any safer in the face of government-sponsored violence. Worse, Jackson criticizes the old elite that ruled Venezuela before Chavez and forgets the new class of billionaires that the Chavez regime created by allowing them to benefit from dubious businesses, government connections, and plain corruption. This includes his own vice president, who in his early forties has accumulated a fortune of 3 billion dollars in a supposedly socialist and egalitarian regime.

Jackson accuses the United States of mobilizing the Organization of American States (OAS) against Maduro, when in fact the person taking the lead is the OAS Secretary and former Foreign Minister of a Uruguayan president with strong left-wing credentials. Jackson forgets that OAS members are appalled by the violations of the organization’s democracy charter and human rights commitment. Furthermore, countries of the region such as Brazil and Colombia are concerned that drug cartels are receiving Russian weapons from Caracas, including MANPADS, a shoulder-launched surface to air missile. The Swedish government also confirmed that such missiles were found in a camp ran by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Last but not least, Jackson called to follow the initiative of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a Caribbean country that has accused the OAS of being a “weapon of destruction” against Venezuela. But Jackson does not mention that St. Vincent as well as other Caribbean countries benefitted from Venezuelan oil largesse in exchange for political support. Furthermore, as I wrote a few years ago, several Caribbean countries that are part of Venezuela’s political Bolivarian Alliance (ALBA) have issued passports to Iranians, presumably at the request of Venezuela.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines itself produced unreliable travel documents, where anybody may obtain a new passport and easily change their names. It is reasonable to assume that Iranians could have taken advantage of this vulnerability. Likewise, St. Vincent forged an alliance with Iran, who sent the island US $7 million for social projects.

The Trump Administration, as well as the media and the public, must be aware of these facts and politically fight obstacles that prevent us from carrying out the obligation to protect our national security, the security of the region, and the values for which America stands.

Diplomatic and economic efforts must continue until Venezuela recovers its democracy.

Destroying Donald Trump is all that matters in the newsrooms of the mainstream media

May 19, 2017

Destroying Donald Trump is all that matters in the newsrooms of the mainstream media, Washington Times,

(America can survive, and probably prosper, under President Trump. The “mainstream media?” Maybe not. — DM)

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Now anything goes. All restraints are loosened, all self-discipline trashed. There’s no cure or even treatment for Trump Derangement Syndrome, a disease as wild and as swiftly lethal as anything imported from the Ebola River valley of the dark continent. The rules and taboos that once guided even the sleaziest excuse for a newspaper no longer apply.

Destroying Donald Trump is all that matters in the newsrooms of the mainstream media, so called, and by any means necessary. Rarely have so many hysterics contributed so much of the national conversation.

A columnist in The New York Times, ground zero in the epidemic of Trump Derangement Syndrome, suggests that a mutiny at the White House is the “more appropriate” way to rid the nation of the legitimate 46th duly elected president of the United States. Why waste time on impeachment? Mike Pence, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell could organize the ambush. The columnist likens them to “stewards for a syphilitic emperor.”

Ross Douthat is regarded as a “conservative” at The New York Times, and he thinks impeachment would take too long, be too messy, and recommends invoking the Twenty-fifth Amendment, which permits the president’s Cabinet to remove the president if a majority of the secretaries tells Congress that the president can no longer perform his duties.

Ultimately, he writes in the newspaper once known as “the old gray lady” and which has become “the old crazy lady,” he does not believe “our president sufficiently understands the nature of the office he holds, the nature of the legal constraints that are supposed to bind him, perhaps even the nature of normal human interactions, to be guilty of obstruction of justice in the Nixonian or even Clintonian sense of the phrase.”

A half-century ago a certain magazine thought a long-distance psychiatric examination of a presidential candidate was in order, and asked 12,000 psychiatrists (who knew there were so many headshrinkers on the fruited plain?) whether they thought Barry Goldwater was crazy, and 1,189 responded with a diagnosis: Mr. Goldwater, the Republican nominee for president in 1964, was nothing less than nuts. The American Psychiatric Association, sensitive to the public outrage that followed, told their members never to do it again.

But since the psychiatrists wouldn’t do it, Ross Douthat was fitted out with degrees in medicine and psychiatry (honorary degrees, we must hope), and told to get to work. (He is expected to retire his shingle once President Trump has been dispatched to the nut house, but who knows? On the Upper East Side there’s never enough psychiatrists.) Dr. Douthat writes that the president has no aides, friends and confidantes who have any remaining regard for him. “They have no respect for him, indeed they seem to palpate with contempt for him, and to regard their mission as equivalent to being stewards for a syphilitic emperor.”

Since impeachment would take so long, Dr. Douthat would “respectfully ask Mike Pence and Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell to reconsider their support for a man who never should have had his party’s nomination, never should have been elevated to this office, never should have been endorsed and propped up and defended by people who understood his unfitness all along.”

It’s hard to imagine anything more calculated to invoke a Second Amendment answer to such a Twenty-fifth Amendment coup, and it would be nothing less than a coup by the Republican elites and the press that so many Americans believe have “rigged” the elections meant to express the nation’s will. You don’t have to be a Trump friend, supporter or voter to see where this would inevitably lead. The United States has never been a banana republic or a third world dump where elections are ultimately determined in the streets, but this would be the ultimate national indignity, wrought by just those who would go to civil war to depose an indignity.

The two stories that have dominated the news this week were the work of the very two newspapers, The Washington Post and The New York Times, that have become the not-so-loyal opposition, drivers of the coup with tales told in every edition. The Post accuses the president of dispensing national secrets to the Russians, based on the word of an anonymous source who concedes he wasn’t in the meeting, and denied by those who were. The New York Times says it heard a passage read from a memo written by James Comey, telling how the president asked him go easy on Mike Flynn, and denied by the White House.

All this to support tales of Trump campaign collusion with the Russians, which Democrats and Republicans agree that no one has yet found any evidence of. There’s no fire and only a few wisps of something that might be smoke, or more likely, the passing of partisan gas.

The dictator’s hour

April 19, 2017

The dictator’s hour, Venezuela News and Views, Daniel Duquenal, April 18, 2017

(My wife and I were in Venezuela off and on for several years in the late 1990s and early in the current century, before and after el Thugo Chavez came to power. Food and essentials were plentiful and inexpensive and the medical care we received was quite good. The people in urban and rural areas seemed reasonably happy and well-fed. The situation changed slowly but inexorably for the worse, then much became worse and then became unbearable.

Now Venezuela is at least as hellish as any country in the Middle East. The people of Venezuela are revolting but the “mainstream” media are paying scant attention. 

It would be very difficult for the Mad Mullas of The Islamic Republic of Iran to deal more harshly with protesters than have the Venezuelan dictators. Perhaps, with the Iranian elections coming next month, the Iranian people will achieve more than have the Venezuelans thus far; the slate of candidates, unfortunately, suggests that the situation in Iran will not change for the better unless the Iranian people have a successful revolution. At least the Middle-East media will be more attentive. — DM)

So we are in a dictatorship. And this one has made new progress these past days to prove to the world it is so.  We had Sunday a totally infamous presentation by the president Nicolas Maduro where live on TV he decided who is guilty of what and how.  This based on torture.  Yesterday he went further on that path convoking the militia to Caracas to stop the massive opposition protest planned for tomorrow and forcing the army to repeat once again their indefectible oath to the revolution and its heir, the dictator.  As a bonus he promised to arm the militia, which one needs to be recalled , is not constitutional. But details are not the regime’s forte.

The army today is controlling all the streets it can and all the entries to Caracas to make sure protesters do not come to fill in Caracas protests. Useless as the opposition is convoking protests in all major cities of Venezuela. You need not go to Caracas to state that Maduro is a piece of shit: you can do it in the comfort of your own city where repression awaits for you all the same than in Caracas. Decentralization at its best.

Funny dicator. He does not rule, he is just the front man but it seems that he has started to believe that all the narco generals, the corrupt generals and civilians, the Cubans cashing in whatever cash they can still grab, trust power into his hands.  Meanwhile we read things like this:

This memo of April 17 “exhorts” PDVSA employees from the Orinoco area (almost a day drive to Caracas) to attend the regime called counter march to block access to the opposition to downtown Caracas. It starts with the following words “Within the merciless War and the terrorist attacks of the venezuelan ultra right, the oil industry has the imperious need to regroup its forces in the defense of our sovereignty and independence, and support to our Worker president Nicolas Maduro to invite all….” you get it.  I respected the words with capital letters as I think they betray the subconscious of whomever wrote this memo.

Of course outside the country no body is buying it and even Cuba takes its distances from an eventual bloodbath for which they probably gave the order to the army. the local representation of the European Union had a communique (rather vague but better than nothing, and at least implying that the EU will have observers in the streets). OAS secretary on the other hand went all out with a communique of a strength unheard of in the OAS, which reflects the major hemispheric concern about what Maduro is trying to do. In English.

Of course, solemne declarations also exist in Venezuela, like the one from the National Assembly with a solid representation of its members, putting a face to the resistance to Maduro, and putting a face to its possible victims tomorrow.

The hour is dire indeed.

The opposition has convened a freedom march tomorrow starting from more than a dozen points in Caracas. As such it is impossible to block unless the regime acts early to block through whatever means the starting points in downtown Caracas, their hallowed excuse for repression.

The regime who dodged such a massive show of strength by the opposition last year through a fake dialogue has not found any excuse this time to slow down the mounting protest. The aslt two weeks fo marches and repression only seem to have united the opposition and render it more decided to end this conflict once and for all.

All sorts of threat have been uttered such as this Monday promises to arm the militia to maintain order against the opposition. That an election would be the best way to end the conflict is not an option for a regime who knows that 1) it will lose them and 2) it will have its leadership go to jail shortly afterwards for the crimes committed.  So we have pictures like this one commented by Le Monde from France. Of course, when you are an European and you see brown shirts like that with a peppering of military you jump. This is possibly the worst message to be read in any capital of Europe, probably even Budapest (Ankara is not in Europe and will never be apparently, but I digress).

Le Monde underlines this:

« Fini le temps des traîtres, des trahisons, fini le temps des hésitations, que chacun se définisse : on est avec la patrie ou on est contre elle ! », a lancé le président vénézuélien, lundi.
“The time of traitors is over, the times of hesitation is over, may each one self define: we are with the fatherland or we are against it.” thrown by the venezuelan president on Monday.

Sieg Heil would do nice at the end of that.

We also read the declarations of 11 LatAm countries warning the regime about abuse tomorrow. It is nice to see that Tal Cual reports on this lifting the logo of this blog, a logo since 2003 which has been lifted by several people from chavistas to Tal Cual. Lifted by Tal Cual is an honor and proves that at least someone there reads my blog. I do take the best pictures, check out my instagram 🙂

But again I digress.

The point here is that Maduro seems to go all out against tomorrow and he is clearly wanting a confrontation to solidify his dictatorship. Will the army oblige?

Meanwhile tomorrow in Caracas you may choose your meeting point for 10:00 AM. I will start from Plaza Las Americas #20 if anyone cares to meet me. And I will try to post stuff through Instagram if signal allows, which is rare when so many people are in the street using bandwidth. It will be nice if I could get a pic from EVERY starting point to post it here tomorrow evening.

Que este sea el punto de partida de la mayor presión que se haya hecho contra la dictadura. Desbordemos Vzla.

 

Middle East: A Shift from Revolution to Evolution

April 8, 2017

Middle East: A Shift from Revolution to Evolution, Gatestone InstituteNajat AlSaied, April 8, 2017

The lesson the Trump administration might learn from the disastrous mistakes of its predecessor is that the main sources of terrorism in the region are political Islam and all its related religious groups. All these radical groups, including ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Jabhat Al-Nusra and Hamas have been spawned by a political Islam driven by the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The fight, therefore, should not be against Islam, but against political Islam. Islam needs to be practiced the way other religions are, as a private personal faith that should be kept separate from public life and politics, and whose expression should be confined to worship only.

Mosques, whether in the Arab and Muslim world or in the West, should be places of worship only and must not transformed to centers for polarizing society or for recruitment by political religious groups.

After each Islamist terrorist attack in the West, the public is divided into two camps: one angry and one indifferent. The problem with defeating Islamist terrorism seems to be that either it is attacked by conservatives who call Islam an evil cult or it is forgiven entirely by liberal apologists. What, then, is the answer?

One of the main failures in Western analyses of the origins of terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa is that the West attributes them to a lack of democracy and a lack of respect for human rights. This is, indeed, part of the cause, but the root of the problem is a lack of development and modernity. U.S. President Donald Trump did not exaggerate when he said that the Obama administration’s foreign policy was disastrous. It was catastrophic mainly for two reasons. One was the knee-jerk support for the “Arab Spring” and for extremist Islamic political groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. The second was the alliances the Obama administration built with unreliable countries such as Qatar, which supports radical political groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. In addition, Obama made the mistake of continuing to try to appease Iran’s theocratic regime.

The Arab Spring’s uncalculated, hasty attempt to establish so-called democracy only generated more turmoil and chaos in the region. Certain radical political groups simply exploited the elections to serve their own political and sectarian agendas; that swoop for power only resulted in more authoritarian and dictatorial regimes, as have played out, for instance, in Egypt, where we have witnessed the murder of civilians and police officers by the Muslim Brotherhood. In other countries, the situation is even worse; attempts to install democracy have totally destroyed the state and facilitated the spread of terrorist militias, as in Libya.

It is ironic that Western countries and their advocates stress the need to apply democratic practices in Arab countries, but evidently do not recall that development and secularism preceded democracy in Western Europe. The United Kingdom, which has the oldest democratic system, did not become fully democratic until 1930. France became fully democratic only in 1945, 150 years after the French Revolution.

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, at the Arab Summit in Jordan on March 28, 2017 delivered a speech in which he indicated his continuous support for the Muslim Brotherhood:

“If we are serious about focusing our efforts on armed terrorist organizations, is it fair to consider any political party we disagree with as terrorist? Is our goal to increase the number of terrorists?”

Many Arab leaders were infuriated by his speech; at the forefront was President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, who left the Arab Summit Hall during the speech to meet King Salman of Saudi Arabia.

Most Arab leaders and analysts, in fact, are enraged by Qatar’s continuous support for Islamist political groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, because these groups are a threat to their national security.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt speaks at the Arab Summit, on March 29. The previous day, Sisi walked out of a speech by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. Sisi was infuriated by Al-Thani’s declaration of support for the Muslim Brotherhood. (Image source: Ruptly video screenshot)

Another consequence of Obama’s foreign policy — in particular attempts to get close to Iran’s hostile regime — has been a fraying of relationships with old Arab allies of the United States. Some of Obama’s advisors thought that replacing Saudi Arabia with Iran was somehow “better” for the United States, if Iran “is beginning to evolve into a very civilized and historically important country” — an analysis that can be described as completely short-sighted.

The Saudi regime, with all its flaws, is a monarchy run by princes; the Iranian regime is a theocracy run by clerics. The Saudi regime is not a theocratic regime but a hybrid structure, which is neither wholly secular nor wholly religious. As such, the religious class functions under the authority of the ruling class. Princes are driven by self-interest; clerics are driven by ideology. In terms of extremism, the Iranian regime is pushing for hegemony, whilst Saudi Arabia has been taking only a defensive, rather than an expansionist, position.

The motivation of Saudi Arabia in exporting mosques world-wide and installing radical Saudi imams is defensive, not expansionist as in Iran. Saudi Arabia’s impetus is to confront Iran’s hegemony and the spread of its hostile ideology. It is this strategy, which Saudi Arabia has practiced since 1979 to balance Iran’s power and to combat its rebellious ideology, that must change.

That Iran’s Khomeini regime sought to embarrass Saudi Arabia — a country that is home to Islam’s two holiest mosques, in Mecca and Medina — by portraying it as not sufficiently Islamic, meant that the foundational Islamic Wahhabism of the Saudi Kingdom was aggressively reinforced. This emphasis resulted in even more constraints being put in place in Iran: especially on entertainment. Since the Khomeini revolution in 1979, all plays, fashion shows, international events, and cinemas have been banned. As for women, the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has increasingly harassed them. As for minorities, especially Shia challenging the Iranian Shia regime and its support for Shia militias — particularly the dominant Revolutionary Guards — books were published attacking the Shia:

More books appeared, attacking the Shias and especially Khomeini’s views. These books – like the arguments of Khomeini’s followers – rejected modern thinking as an “intellectual invasion.” Saudi Arabia, considered the guardian of Sunni Islam, spent billions of dollars on challenging the Khomeini-backed Shiites.

This religious one-upmanship — a competition over which body can be the “most religious” — must stop. Saudi Arabia would do well to understand that in order to confront the hegemony of the Iranian theocratic regime, the answer is not to radicalize Saudi society but to return to the way it was before 1979.

The best way to defeat the rebel hostile regime in Iran might be through creating an inclusive and tolerant society in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia needs to change its approach towards Iran because the current strategy has not worked. The current strategy has done nothing except to strengthen the Iranian regime’s dominance; distort, globally, the image of Saudi Arabia and accelerate terrorism.

The lesson the Trump administration might learn from the disastrous mistakes of its predecessor is that the main source of terrorism in the region are political Islam and all its related religious groups. All these radical groups including ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Jabhat Al-Nusra and Hamas have been spawned by a political Islam driven by the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood. Extremist jihadists such as Osama bin Laden, Abdullah Azzam and Ayman al-Zawahiri were all taught by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Political Islam practiced by the Iranian theocratic regime has been comfortably generating Shia radical militias, including the terrorist group, Hezbollah. The fight, therefore, should not be against Islam, but against political Islam. Islam needs to be practiced the way other religions are, as a private personal faith that should be kept separate from public life and politics, and whose expression should be confined to worship only. Mosques, whether in the Arab and Muslim world or in the West, should be places of worship only and must not transformed to centers for polarizing society or for recruitment by political religious groups. Unfortunately, Western countries have turned a blind eye to the political activities inside these mosques.

The danger of these religious political groups is that they do not believe in democracy or human rights; they just use elections to grasp power in order to impose a system of “Islamic Caliphate” as their only form of government. Most of these groups use religion as an ideology to oppose governments other than their own, and when they are criticized or attacked, they play the role of the oppressed.

The Trump administration needs to take advantage of the fact that the majority of people in the Middle East and North Africa have lost faith in religious political groups, especially since the failure of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Tunisia.

Before the Arab Spring, support for these groups was huge; now it stands at less than 10% of the population. This study was conducted in the Arab world, not including Turkey. The Muslims who support Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are the Muslim Brotherhood.

Most recent polls indicate that the majority of people in Arab and Muslim countries prefer religion to be kept separate from politics.

The country that is working the most systematically to fight these religious political groups in the region is the United Arab Emirates (UAE). There are several institutes and think tanks researching how to combat these groups. Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi, Director General of the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR), has given a robust analysis of these groups and how to combat them in his book, The Mirage. In it, he cites a study on public opinion on political religious groups: A survey of the UAE population, on how these groups are able to influence the public by taking advantage of certain flaws in the system: 53.9% because of corruption; 47.9% because of poverty and 29.1% because of an absence of civil society groups that confront these opportunists.

The Middle East-North Africa region will undoubtedly have to go through several stages before it can successfully establish democracy. An evolutionary developmental approach will definitely be better than the failed revolutionary democratic one pursued by the Obama administration.

Secularization is also crucial in the fight against terrorism. Trying to build a democracy before going through the stages of secularism and political reformation — which includes rectifying existing flaws, such as corruption; modernization which means the liberation of the region from extremist totalitarian religious dogma and all other forms of backwardness in order to kick-start a renaissance; and scientific development — will not only be inadequate but will actually generate more terrorism by helping radicals to keep gaining power. It would be like a farmer who wants to plant roses in arid desert soil full of thorns.

Tapped Out: Surveillance Nation

March 9, 2017

Tapped Out: Surveillance Nation, Bill Whittle Channel via YouTube, March 9, 2017

France: Le Pen Launches Presidential Campaign

February 6, 2017

France: Le Pen Launches Presidential Campaign, Gatestone InstituteSoeren Kern, February 6, 2017

(Please see also, European Conservative Parties Are Not ‘Far Right’. — DM)

“The question is simple and cruel: will our children live in a free, independent, democratic country?” — Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s National Front party.

“Economic globalization, which rejects any limits, has weakened the immune system of the nation by dispossessing it of its constituent elements: borders, national currency, the authority of its laws in conducting economic affairs, and thus allowing another world to be born and grow: Islamic fundamentalism.” — Marine Le Pen.

“Islamic fundamentalism instrumentalizes the principle of religious freedom in an attempt to impose patterns of thought that are clearly the opposite of ours. We do not want to live under the yoke or threat of Islamic fundamentalism.” — Marine Le Pen.

“Globalism is based, as we see, on the negation of the values on which France was built and on the principles in which the immense majority of French people still recognize themselves: the pre-eminence of the person and therefore its sacred character, individual freedom and therefore individual consent, national feeling and therefore national solidarity, equality of persons and therefore the refusal of situations of submission.” — Marine Le Pen.

“Those who come to France are to accept France, not to transform it to the image of their country of origin. If they want to live at home, they should have stayed at home.” — Marine Le Pen.

“In terms of terrorism, we do not intend to ask the French to get used to living with this horror. We will eradicate it here and abroad.” — Marine Le Pen.

“Everyone agrees that the European Union is a failure. It did not deliver on any of its promises, particularly on prosperity and security…. That is why, if elected, I will announce a referendum within six months on remaining or exiting the European Union…” — Marine Le Pen.

“The old left-right debates have outlived their usefulness…. This divide is no longer between the left and the right, but between patriots and globalists.” — Marine Le Pen.

Marine Le Pen, the leader of the anti-establishment National Front party, has officially launched her campaign to become the next president of France.

Speaking at a rally attended by thousands of her supporters in Lyon on February 5, Le Pen launched a two-pronged attack on globalization and radical Islam. She promised French voters a referendum on remaining in the European Union, and also to deport Muslims who are deemed a security risk to France.

2279National Front party leader Marine Le Pen, speaking at a rally in Lyon, France on February 5, 2016. (Image source: Public Senat video screenshot)

Le Pen’s political platform is contained in a manifesto of 144 promises regarding immigration and global trade.

Polls show that Le Pen — who said the election of U.S. President Donald J. Trump “shows that people are taking their future back” — is one of the most popular politicians in France.

A February 2 Ifop-Fiducial poll for Paris Match, iTELE and Sud-Radio showed Le Pen with 24.5% of the vote, compared to 20% for François Fillon of the center-right Republicans party. In December 2016, Fillon, who has become engulfed in a corruption scandal, held a three-point lead over Le Pen.

The poll also showed the independent centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron with 20% of the vote, the Socialist Party candidate Benoît Hamon with 17%, and the far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon with 9.5%.

The first round of the election will be held April 23. If no candidate gets more than 50% of the vote, a runoff will be held on May 7.

Following is an abridged translation of key parts of Le Pen’s speech:

In all respects, this presidential election is unlike previous ones. Its outcome will determine the future of France as a free nation and our existence as a people.

After decades of errors and cowardice, we are at a crossroads. I say it with gravity: the choice we will have to make in this election is a choice of civilization.

The question is simple and cruel: will our children live in a free, independent, democratic country? Will they still be able to refer to our system of values? Will they have the same way of life as we did and our parents before us?

Will our children, and the children of our children, still have a job, a decent wage, the possibility of building up a patrimony, becoming an owner, starting a family in a safe environment, being properly cared for, to grow old with dignity?

Will our children have the same rights as us?

Will they live according to our cultural references, our values of civilization, our style of living, and even they will speak our French language, which is disintegrating under the blows of political leaders who squander this national treasure — for example, by choosing a slogan in English to promote the candidacy of Paris to host the 2024 Olympic Games?

Will they have the right to claim French culture when certain candidates for the presidential election, puffed up by their own empty-headedness, explain that it does not exist?

I ask this important question because, unlike our adversaries, I am interested not only in the material heritage of the French, but I also want to defend our immaterial capital. This immaterial capital is priceless because this heritage is irreplaceable. In fact, I am defending the load-bearing walls of our society.

Our leaders have chosen deregulated globalization. They wanted a happy outcome, but the result is frightful.

Globalization develops at two levels: from below with massive immigration and global social dumping; and from above with the financialization of the economy.

Globalization, which became a fact with the multiplication of exchanges, has become an ideology. Economic globalization, which rejects any limits, has weakened the immune system of the nation by dispossessing it of its constituent elements: borders, national currency, the authority of its laws in conducting economic affairs, and thus allowing another world to be born and grow: Islamic fundamentalism.

The latter has grown up within a deleterious communitarianism, itself a child of mass immigration, suffered year after year by our country.

We have thus fulfilled our first political act, which is to name the enemy.

These two globalisms, today, give a leg up to:

  • Economic and financial globalism, of which the European Union, the financiers and the domesticated political class are its zealous servants;
  • Jihadist globalism, which undermines our vital interests abroad, but which also takes root in our national territory, in certain neighborhoods, in certain places, in certain weak minds.

Both work towards the disappearance of our nation, that is to say, of France as we live it, as we love it, which is why the French have a feeling of dispossession.

These two ideologies want to subjugate our country.

One in the name of globalized finance, that is to say, the ideology of all commerce, the other in the name of a radicalized Islam, that is to say, the ideology of the whole of religion.

Faced with these two totalitarianisms that threaten our liberties and our country, we must demonstrate lucidity, determination and unity.

Economic globalism kills by asphyxia — slow, progressive, but certain.

Islamic fundamentalism attacks us by the calculated harassment of republican resistance, by incessant demands, by demands for accommodation, none of which, for us, can be reasonable and therefore conceivable.

Nor let us forget that Islamic fundamentalism is barbaric, that it manifests itself every day in the world by killing, massacring, using in particular the vile and cowardly weapon of terrorism or mass murder.

As in all ideological wars, we find useful idiots and more or less conscious accomplices who, through cowardice, blindness or greed, facilitate these undertakings for the establishment of this barbarous ideology, the enemy of France.

To advance, the advocates of these two globalist ideologies give the illusion of relying on our principles; in reality, they falsely invoke freedom to set up their totalitarianism: it is the freedom of the fox in the chicken coop.

The first, economic and financial globalism, invokes freedom of trade, freedom of movement, freedom of establishment; all those who venture to reveal their failures are accused of ignorance, accused of some ideological drift, and are struck down with moral reproach.

Economic and financial globalism is based on a pseudo economic expertise that never yields, not even to the evidence of its economic failure and the social devastation that it provokes. The objective is to reduce man to his role as consumer or producer.

Countries are no longer nations united by matters of the heart, but by markets, spaces where the commodification of everything and every human being is conceivable, possible, accepted and even organized.

People are no more than populations. Borders are erased, as with Schengen, to make of our countries station concourses where everyone is free to come and stay and to participate in the leveling of the social protections, the reduction of wages and the dilution of culture into the smallest common denominator.

With the globalists, cultures of peoples, that is, what makes the world’s diversity, are destined to be erased in order to facilitate the commercialization of standard products and to facilitate hyper profits at the cost of ecological depletion of the planet or child labor of the Third World.

This world where economics is an end in itself and man, a simple tool in its service, plunges us into an ephemeral era, in short, an artificial and deeply dehumanized world.

The rights of people, their social situation, their well-being, the environment in which they live, become the variable of adjustment of the interests of large groups and castes.

For them, the nation is a non-tariff barrier. In their eyes, the country is an open geographical space where the only requirement is to “live together,” that is to say, not to interfere with each other.

I want to denounce this powerful alliance between the promotion of savage globalization on the one hand, and the culpable inaction, even in the face of uncontrolled immigration and its direct consequence, the establishment of Islamic fundamentalism.

If economic globalism advances with the shield of free trade, the second of these globalisms, Islamic fundamentalism, instrumentalizes the principle of religious freedom in an attempt to impose patterns of thought that are clearly the opposite of ours.

The carelessness and weakness of our leaders have been a growth hormone to this ideology that tried to sow death in the Louvre two days ago.

We do not want to live under the yoke or threat of Islamic fundamentalism.

It tries to impose upon us pell-mell:

  • The prohibition of mixing in public places,
  • The integral veil or not,
  • Prayer halls in companies, street prayers, cathedral mosques,
  • The submission of woman by prohibiting the skirt, work or bistro.

No Frenchman, no Republican, no woman attached to dignity and liberty can accept it.

Behind these two ideologies is inexorably the enslavement of people: An enslavement, at first mental, which is effected by disaffiliation, by isolation, by dissolution of traditional bonds.

Economic globalism professes individualism, and radical Islamism communitarianism.

Globalism is based, as we see, on the negation of the values on which France was built and on the principles in which the immense majority of French people still recognize themselves: the pre-eminence of the person and therefore its sacred character, individual freedom and therefore individual consent, national feeling and therefore national solidarity, equality of persons and therefore the refusal of situations of submission.

These principles for which we are fighting are affirmed in our national motto “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,” which itself proceeds from a secularization of principles stemming from our Christian heritage.

But these two globalist ideologies do not only attack our nation. Both of them attack our Republic by questioning its indivisibility.

The answer is not technical but regal, which is why we call for the moral rearmament of the country and a surge of national energy. We call for resistance and reconquest.

There is nothing for us more beautiful than France. There is nothing for us greater than France. There is nothing for us more useful to the world than France!

I say to the French who are watching or listening to us: the fate of France is in your hands!

The Revolution of Patriotism

France is a millennial country with a history and a culture. France is an act of love. This love has a name: patriotism. It is what makes our hearts beat in unison when the Marseillaise sounds or when our national colors beat the wind of history.

It is what unites the French left and right, from the cradle to the cane, from the factory to the office. It is what pits our vision against that of the globalists.

We believe it is time to revitalize national sentiment, to live it on a daily basis, to teach our children all that makes and has made their country, to teach them to love their compatriots, to be proud of their history, to be confident in the forces of France.

When one aspires to settle in a country, one does not begin by violating its laws. We do not begin by claiming rights. To all, and especially to people of all origins and all faiths that we have welcomed into our country, I repeat: there are no and there will be no other laws and values in France than those that are French.

On this subject there will be no retreat and no compromise.

Those who come to France are to accept France, not to transform it to the image of their country of origin. If they want to live at home, they should have stayed at home.

We will strictly apply the rules of secularism in a country whose tragic history has learned to guard against the wars of religion. We will extend the rules of secularism to public spaces and we will inscribe them in labor laws. We will respond to those who see with concern the rise of religious demands and the rise of conflicts in the workplace.

We no longer want the state to allow the spread of the hatred of France. We want a France that transmits and a France that is transmitted!

The Revolution of Liberty

The first liberty is security. You may ask how to improve security when for thirty years all governments have failed? Our method is simple: we will apply the law!

As Cardinal de Richelieu said, “to make a law and not enforce it is to authorize the thing that one wishes to defend against.”

We will re-establish the rule of law, that is, enforce Republican law in those places where it has been lost, where our rulers obviously lack the courage and willpower. We are going to put an end to the impunity of criminals, the no-go zones, the dictatorships of kingpins in certain districts, drug and weapons trafficking, burglaries, burned cars.

We will stress the certainty of prosecution, the certainty of sanction, the certainty of punishment, the certainty that delinquent aliens are automatically deported.

I say to the mothers who listen to me, support me: Do not accept that our children live in fear, in this daily violence of which they are the first victims, sometimes at the cost of their young lives.

In order to fulfill their mission, so important to this country, we will give back to our security forces the human and material resources as well as the necessary support and instructions.

We shall rearm them, including morally, with the establishment of the presumption of self-defense.

We will open suitable prison places, conclude agreements with countries of origin so that foreign offenders will serve their prison sentences in their country of origin, increase the means of justice and organize a response to criminals that can be summarized in two words: zero tolerance.

In terms of terrorism, we do not intend to ask the French to get used to living with this horror. We will eradicate it here and abroad.

Since we are at war with Islamic fundamentalism, we will apply to the enemies of France the legal devices of the state of war.

We will give ourselves the necessary technical and human means and will create the conditions and cooperation necessary for intelligence on the national territory as well as outside.

Foreigners with an “S” file [Fiche “S” or Sûreté de l’État (state security)] will be deported. Binationals with “S” files will be deprived of their French nationality and sent back to their country of origin. Frenchmen with “S” files will be prosecuted for aiding the enemy.

Places of Islamic preaching will be closed and the sowers of hatred condemned and expelled. The legal windows of Islamism, especially on the Internet, will be extinguished.

Finally, this revolution of liberty is that of our collective liberties, for state sovereignty, that is to say, for a free people to decide for themselves. This struggle for sovereignty is first, principal, essential, cardinal — it conditions everything else.

Without sovereignty, no protection is possible, no action is possible. Without sovereignty, a promise becomes a false promise.

My political opponents claim to control borders, to prevent immigration, to fight against unfair competition. They are lying to you. By refusing to free themselves from the straitjacket of the European Union, which is the decision-maker on these subjects, they refrain from any even minor inflection.

Worse, by staying in the euro, they are plaguing our economy, maintaining mass unemployment and giving the European Union the means of pressure to impose its inept views, its millions of migrants.

Everyone agrees that the European Union is a failure. It did not deliver on any of its promises, particularly on prosperity and security and, worse, it has put us under guardianship and kept us on a short leash.

Who could be satisfied with doing nothing against a system which enchains us, which does not work, and worse, whose dysfunctions ruins us?

That is why, if elected, I will announce a referendum within six months on remaining or exiting the European Union, and I will immediately engage with our European partners — many of whom aspire as we do to sovereignty — a renegotiation with this tyrannical Europeanist system which is no longer a project, but a parenthesis in history and I hope one day a bad memory.

The objective will be to find within six months a compromise that will allow us to recover our four sovereignties: monetary, economic, legislative and territorial.

If the European Union does not submit, then I will ask the French to vote in the referendum to resign from this nightmare and become free again.

In the same spirit, because we believe that France is great only when it makes its voice heard in favor of independence and world balance, we will leave the integrated command of NATO. We will re-examine our diplomacy with regard to our national interests and will give the means of our internal and foreign policy by the reconstruction of our military potential.

My commitment is to put France back in order in five years. In practice this concerns all sectors of our lives:

  • Putting our economy back in order
  • Putting our schools back in order
  • Putting our justice back in order
  • Putting our diplomacy back in order
  • Putting our security back in order
  • Putting our solidarity back in order

We open our arms to all those who share with us the love of France and wish to engage our country on the path of national recovery.

The old left-right debates have outlived their usefulness. Primaries have shown that debates about secularism or immigration, as well as globalization or generalized deregulation, constitute a fundamental and transversal divide. This divide is no longer between the left and the right, but between patriots and globalists.

The collapse of traditional parties and the systematic disappearance of almost all of their leaders shows that a great political re-composition has begun.

Other peoples have shown the way.

The British have chosen freedom with the Brexit. The Italians have shown their disapproval in the referendum on the Constitution. The Greeks are thinking about leaving the Euro. The Americans have chosen their national interest.

This awakening of the peoples is historical. It marks the end of a cycle. The wind of history has turned. It will bring us to the top and, with us, our country: France. Long live the people! Long live the Republic! Long live France!

Speech by Geert Wilders at the “Europe of Nations and Freedom” Conference

January 22, 2017

Speech by Geert Wilders at the “Europe of Nations and Freedom” Conference, Gatestone Institute, Geert Wilders, January 22, 2017

We are fed up with the Europhiles in Brussels, who want to abolish our countries and impose an undemocratic super-state, in which we become a single multicultural society.

To this Europe we say no!

We stand for a Europe of national states and freedom!

We will take our countries back. We will make sure that our countries will stay ours.

********************

Hello Germany. Is everything alright? I’m doing well.

Yesterday a new America, today Koblenz and tomorrow a new Europe!

It’s really a great honor for me to be here today in the beautiful city of Koblenz, at a meeting of the ENF Group, in the presence of so many German patriots.

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And what you stand for is extremely important. Not only for Germany, but for all of Europe.

Europe needs a strong Germany, a self-conscious Germany, a proud Germany, a Germany that stands for its culture, identity and civilization.

Europe needs Frauke [Petry], instead of Angela [Merkel]!

My friends, that is why Germany is so great. Why you are great. Because you do your duty. And the Alternative for Germany (AfD), and my friend Frauke Petry, and all of you here, stand against the new totalitarianism that threatens us today.

We are at the beginning of a Patriotic Spring across Europe, and also here in Germany. And I thank you for that. You are the new Germany.

And all our European countries are faced with the question of their existence. My friends, the United Nations expects that the population of Africa will quadruple by the end of the century — from 1.1 billion today, to 4.4 billion. Studies show that in Southern Africa, one in three adults wants to emigrate. And in North Africa and the Middle East, one in five wants to emigrate. Many of them want to come to Europe in the future.

The question that none of our ruling politicians now ask is: How do we protect our country and our identity against mass immigration? How do we protect our values?

How do we protect our civilization? Our culture? The future of our children? These are the fundamental questions we have to answer.

In recent years, our governments have allowed millions of people to flow uncontrollably into our countries. Our governments have conducted a dangerous open-borders policy.

And I know, as do you, that when the citizens of Eastern Europe defeated communism in 1989, they were inspired by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Vaclav Havel, Vladimir Bukovski and others, who told them that people have the right, but also a commitment, to “live in the truth.”

Friends, liberty requires eternal vigilance. And this applies also to the truth. And Solzhenitsyn added that — I quote — “truth seldom is sweet; it is almost invariably bitter.”

And let us hear the bitter truth: Our leaders have lost their ability to recognize danger and understand the truth, because they no longer value freedom.

Politicians from almost all of the established parties are promoting our Islamization. Almost the entire Establishment, the elite universities, the churches, the media, politicians, put our hard-earned liberties at risk.

They talk about equality, but, incredibly, are incapable of seeing that in Islam, women have fewer rights than men, and infidels have fewer rights than the followers of Islam.

They are blind to the truth — but we are not! And we do not accept that they are blind to the truth. We no longer accept that the elites have abandoned the people.

It breaks my heart when I see that people have become strangers in their own land — almost everywhere in Europe.

But it is our country; it’s not their country — it’s our country. And it is unacceptable that you fear for the future of your children, that women are afraid, that Jews, ex-Muslims, Christians fear for their safety.

Day after day, for years, we are experiencing the decay of our cherished values. The equality of men and women, freedom of opinion and speech, tolerance of homosexuality — all this is in retreat.

And I say to you, my friends: We do not want this. We do not want Germany or any other country in Europe to abolish itself! We don’t want that!

We want our homeland to remain our homeland.

We want to stay who we are!

We are secure, free, democratic, proud of our culture!

My friends, what we see today is that fear reigns. Many people are desperate. Our rulers are cowardly. Our security is disappearing; our freedom is in danger.

And many normal people are afraid to say what they think. Women are afraid to show their blonde hair.

And this charade must be stopped! More and more people demand this! We demand this!

And I tell you: Enough is enough!

And then there is also the great danger of Islamic terrorism.

A German undercover journalist recently revealed that some refugee housing centers have become breeding-grounds for terrorists. The consequences are visible to everyone.

Recall the massacre at the Berlin Christmas market. Remember also the black summer of terror last year, here in Germany. We also remember Cologne and the mass assaults of hundreds of innocent women.

And yet our governments fail to do anything. But if we do nothing, we cease to exist.

Some immigrants have come here with entirely different values.

This is a fact — not a political fact, but a fact confirmed by scientists such as the Dutch Professor Ruud Koopmans, from Humboldt University in Berlin. His investigations showed that about half of all Muslims in Germany aspire to the roots of Islam.

Professor Koopmans also says that — I quote — “of a billion Muslims worldwide, between ten and twenty percent are willing to accept violence, even against civilians, to defend Islam.” End of quotation.

But despite all these terrible warnings, our rulers refuse to see the elephant in the room.

The people are fed up with the political correctness of the elites! Are you fed up, or are you not fed up?

We are fed up with the elites, who offer you a beautiful ideal world, in which all cultures are morally equivalent.

The people demand — we demand — the truth!

And we must tell them the truth, because people have a right to the truth!

Because the people should not be abandoned.

We, here, are the hope of the people! And we will never disappoint them! Never!

You may have heard that the Dutch government is trying to silence me.

But I say to you, I will never shut up!

I am on many death-lists just because they hate me, because I criticize Islam, and because I am a friend of Israel.

But I will never be silent, despite all the threats from politicians and terrorists.

For the free expression of opinions is, my friends, the basis of democracy.

There is, however, much positive news. There is reason for hope. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Better times will come. The wind started to shift last year. It brought us the victory of — and from here, congratulations to — Donald Trump, the President of the United States.

But not only in America. We also see it here in Germany, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Austria, throughout Europe: The patriots are winning. The time for a change has come. And that is why, my friends, it gives me tremendous courage to see you all here today.

This room full of German patriots shows me something very important. It shows me that Germany is not lost!

It shows me that Germany will survive!

You are a good force. The force that brings this beautiful country back on the right path. On the path to a patriotic future. A secure future. A free future. Our future!

History calls on you to save Germany. History calls on us all to save Europe. To save our own humanistic Judeo-Christian culture and civilization, our liberties, our nations, the future of our children.

And we have no choice. We will do it.

My party, the PVV in the Netherlands; Frauke Petry and Marcus Pretzell and the AfD here in Germany; Marine Le Pen and Front National in France — and yes, Marine Le Pen will be the next president of France!

But, naturally, also Hans-Christian Strache and Harald Vilimsky and the FPÖ, our friends in Austria.

Tom van Grieken and Gerolf Annemans and our friends from the Vlaams Belang in Flanders.

And all the other politicians.

But I tell you, we politicians are not important here. It’s not about us. It’s about you; it’s about the voters.

It’s about the people here in this room, and also the millions throughout the country — not we, but you are important.

You are the true heroes and the saviors of Europe. And I thank you for that.

Our parties give the people an opportunity to vote for good patriots. Patriots who want to make our borders safe again! Patriots who want to stop mass immigration! Patriots who want to restore the sovereignty of our countries, our money, our laws and our future.

We are fed up with the Europhiles in Brussels, who want to abolish our countries and impose an undemocratic super-state, in which we become a single multicultural society.

To this Europe we say no!

We stand for a Europe of national states and freedom!

We will take our countries back. We will make sure that our countries will stay ours.

My friends, this year will be the year of the people!

The year when the voice of the people finally will be heard!

The year of a democratic and nonviolent political revolution in Europe.

The year of liberation!

The year of the Patriotic Spring!

In two months, next March, we will give the Dutch people the chance to free the Netherlands! And next April, Marine, as I already said, will be the next president of France!

And next autumn it’s your turn, my dear German friends. I am absolutely convinced that with Frauke Petry, the future of Germany is guaranteed.

Long live the German Spring!

And I tell you: We will liberate ourselves. We will make our countries great again! We can do it!

Everywhere in Europe, we are electing new and courageous politicians who serve the interests of the people. And together we will win!

My friends, we live in historic times.

The people of the West are awakening. They are casting off the yoke of political correctness.

They want their freedom back.

They want their sovereign nations back.

And we, the patriots of Europe, will be their instrument of liberation!

Long live freedom!
Long live The Netherlands!
Long live Germany!
Long live the Alternative for Germany!

Thank you.