Archive for the ‘France’ Category

Anger, Lawlessness Fueling U.S., Global Economic Revolution?

March 26, 2009

Some might say, “The ends justify the means.”

Some might say the “anarchists” seen at global economic leadership conferences are now getting what they wanted; what they protested for.

Today two Washington Post reporters said the President of the United States is “attempting to harness public anger over the financial crisis” to pass his budget.

Obama Buys Into Anger, Fear as Political Tool

Are we setting the future course of the United States and the world based upon anger?  And if so, is that a good way to plan our future and the debt burden for our children and grandchildren?

And hasn’t the president himself fueled this anger expressing “outrage” at the AIG bonusus that were protected in his stimulus and known about for months by the Fed and Treasury (and Chris Dodd)?

So now the president wants to “bypass the traditional media and speak directly to the people?”  Why?  To fan and further fuel the anger?

Related:
Social Unrest: Hurt by Economy, Europeans Vent Their Anger

 President Tries To Harness Public Anger To Move His Budget

 ACORN Protesters At Homes of AIG Execs Similar To Lawlessness For UK Bank Exec?

Economy, “Foreign Forces” Trying to Destabilize Russia?

China fears recession riots

 Global Economy Weakness Leading To Social Unrest

Global Economy Sparks Protests; Governments Fear Greater “Social Unrest”

Obama: Press Conference Hints at Class Warfare

James Hill, New York Times

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

French Worker Release Factory Head After Lay Off Threat

French workers released a manager of U.S. manufacturer 3M held hostage for two days in a labor dispute over layoffs, the company said Thursday, amid rising French unemployment and public outrage at employers.

AP

A new poll indicated that French worker frustration remains high, with a majority of respondents predicting more violent incidents in response to the economic crisis. The hostage-taking was one of many recent efforts by French workers to protest the downturn.

Workers at a 3M factory in Pithiviers locked manager Luc Rousselet in an office Tuesday, demanding better severance packages for those laid off and better conditions for those who keep their jobs.

After discussions Wednesday that ran into the night, Rousselet was released overnight, company spokeswoman Catherine Hamon said. Rousselet, unharmed, then left the factory grounds.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009032
6/ap_on_bi_ge/eu_france_labor_unrest_7

Please Visit Michelle Malkin:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/
26/obamas-online-townhall-whats-r
eally-going-on/

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Global Recession, Security Challenges Test Obama’s Popularity Among World Leaders

March 25, 2009

Only nine months ago, when he addressed an estimated 200,000 people in Germany, Barack Obama was heralded as “president of the world.”

But now that he’s president of the United States, the world doesn’t appear to be following up on its endorsement.

From France to Poland, from the Czech Republic to China, many nations are rebuffing the president and offering little wiggle room for him to negotiate economic and security policies.

Obama faces his first major international test next week when the world’s largest economies meet at the G20 summit in London.

“I think as the president heads to Europe, he faces a huge public relations disaster,” said Nile Gardiner, director of the conservative Heritage Foundation’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom.

“Europe is increasingly turning against his massive spending plans, which most European leaders see as a destructive way to move forward for the global economy and will only add to a massive American debt burden,” Gardiner told FOXNews.com. 

“At the same time, there is a growing impression across Europe that the Obama administration is inept and inefficient and increasingly poorly managed.”


Last summer in Europe: the people were at his feet.  Now?

A top European Union politician on Wednesday slammed Obama’s plans for the U.S. to spend its way out of recession as “a way to hell.”

Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, who lost a confidence vote in his own parliament this week and whose country currently holds the EU presidency, told the European Parliament that Obama’s massive stimulus package and banking bailout “will undermine the stability of the global financial market.”

That followed concerns by Poland that the U.S., as a way to appease Russia, plans to bail out of a missile defense shield the Bush administration negotiated with Poland and the Czech Republic.

“Russian generals, and even the Russian president, still continues to threaten us with the deployment of medium-range missiles in our immediate vicinity,” Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski told Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Calif., in Brussels on Sunday. “So we signed with the previous administration. We patiently wait for the decision of the new administration and we hope we don’t regret our trust in the United States.”

Most European leaders favor tighter financial regulation, while the U.S. has been pushing for larger economic stimulus plans.

“We consider that in Europe we have already invested a lot for the recovery, and that the problem is not about spending more, but putting in place a system of regulation so that the economic and financial catastrophe that the world is seeing does not reproduce itself,” French President Nicolas Sarkozy told a news conference in Berlin last week with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, rebuffing U.S. calls to spend more.

Read the rest from Fox:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first100da
ys/2009/03/25/global-recession-tests-obam
as-popularity-world-leaders/

Socialist Former CNN Reporter Wins Election in El Salvador; “Yes We Could”

March 16, 2009

The world really is heading toward a more socialist utopia: make no mistake about that.

Mauricio Funes, a former television reporter, declared himself the winner before F.M.L.N. campaign workers chanting “yes, we could” at the Sheraton Hotel as supporters on the street waved flags and honked car horns in celebration.

“This is the happiest night of my life,” Mr. Funes said. “And I hope it is also the night of greatest hope for El Salvador.”

Funes’ victory ended a 20-year hold on the presidency by the right-leaning ARENA.

“Now the ARENA party passes into opposition,” Funes said. “ARENA … can be assured that it will be listened to and respected.”

El Salvador now has everything many of its neighbors, even its notable northern neighbor, has: bipartisanship, transparency, hope, “yes we can,” and socialism.

El Salvador joins other Latin American countries that have elected leftist leaders in recent years — Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Argentina, Honduras, Guatemala, Ecuador and Brazil.

New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/
17/world/americas/17salvador.ht
ml?_r=1&hp

CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WOR
LD/americas/03/15/el.salvador.ele
ction/index.html

“If socialism signifies a political and economic system in which the government controls a large part of the economy and redistributes wealth to produce social equality, then I think it is safe to say the likelihood of its making a comeback any time in the next generation is close to zero,” wrote Francis Fukuyama, author of The End of History, in Time magazine in 2000.

Socialism Is Alive in Europe:
http://www.newstatesman.com/eu
rope/2008/12/socialist-party-socialism

France To Become Full Member of NATO

March 11, 2009

France’s arms length relationship with NATO is about to end as President Nicolas Sarkozy will announce that France will rejoin the North Atalantic Alliance.

I can recall participating in NATO working groups and having to do a torturous kabuki dance just to get French participation on issues and actions the French and the rest of NATO wanted France in on.

France’s long divorce from NATO, which began in De Gaulle’s time, is about to end: and that should be good for France, and all the rest of NATO.

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

PARIS (Reuters) – France wants to become a full member of NATO, ending more than four decades of self-imposed exile from the alliance’s inner core, French Defense Minister Herve Morin said on Wednesday.

France is NATO’s fourth largest contributor of troops, but in an effort to mark its difference with the United States it has long snubbed the organization’s integrated military command, which plans, trains and conducts joint operations.

Morin told a Defense conference that times had changed and that French President Nicolas Sarkozy was keen for France to play a full role in the world’s biggest Defense alliance.

“The president and myself are convinced that France can renew its relations with NATO whilst being an independent ally and free partner of the United States,” he said.

France quit the NATO command in March 1966 and ordered the organization to close its headquarters in France, with the then President Charles De Gaulle saying Paris did not want to be dragged into a war that was not of its own choosing.

The decision, taken in the midst of the east-west Cold War, was the culmination of years of Franco-American rivalry over control of the alliance and of nuclear weapons.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090
311/wl_nm/us_nato_france_1

Related:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD
/europe/03/11/france.sarkozy.nato/i
ndex.html

Biden: “U.S., West Not Winning In Afghanistan”

March 10, 2009

Vice President Joe Biden says the “deteriorating situation” in Afghanistan poses a security threat to every NATO country and beyond.
.

BRUSSELS — Vice President Joe Biden urged NATO members to jointly confront Al Qaeda and other extremist groups in Afghanistan where he said instability threatens all of the alliance’s members equally.

Appearing before NATO’s top decision making body, Biden solicited ideas to reverse a losing military strategy in Afghanistan as part of President Barack Obama’s policy to bring more European allies on board to fight the Taliban-led insurgency.

He warned the situation in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan was worsening, adding, “The deteriorating situation in the region poses a security threat from our respect not just to the United States, but to every single nation around this table.”

“It was from that remote area of the world that Al Qaeda plotted 9/11 and subsequent attacks” in Europe and elsewhere.

In his speech, Biden said the Obama administration will be keen to engage NATO allies in global security discussions, marking a departure from the last eight years when Washington often was on a go-it-alone course that upset its European allies.

“President Obama and I are deeply committed to NATO. Lets get that straight right from the start,” Biden told the North Atlantic Council — the panel of ambassadors from NATO’s 26 member nations.

Biden said Americans view a terrorist attack in Europe “as an attack on the United States. That is not hyperbole … We view it as a gateway to further attacks on the United States. So please understand that this is not a U.S.-centrist view that only if America is attacked is there a terrorist threat.”

He said he came to hear ideas from the allies on how NATO can bring stability to Afghanistan.

“It is from that area that Al Qaeda and its extremist allies are regenerating in conceiving new atrocities aimed at the people around the world from Afghanistan, Pakistan and India to the United States, Europe and Australia,” he added.

After his consultations with NATO allies he will meet with senior officials at EU headquarters.
His visit, less than a week after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with senior NATO and EU officials here, highlights the new priority that diplomatic outreach to allies has become for Washington.

An issue closely related to the Afghan war is growing concern that neighboring Pakistan could be sliding further into instability.

Obama launched a strategic review of U.S. policy in Afghanistan after he took office in January. That review is expected to be completed later this month.

“What I want to learn is what your countries believe are working, what you think is not working, how we can do a better job in stopping Afghanistan and Pakistan from being a haven for terrorists,” Biden said.

Read the rest:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/200
9/03/10/biden-warns-deteriorating-sit
uation-afghanistan/

See Also Reuters:
“West Not ‘Winning’ in Afghanistan”
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/200
90310/pl_nm/us_afghan_nato_b
iden_4

While President Obama and VP Biden attempt to squeeze more troops out of Europe, they are facing the economic problems of the global recession as well as great uncertainty about U.S. policy, commitment, capability and ability….

Related:
Obama Throws Britain Under the Bus: Relationship “Reset” and “Regime Change”

Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

Obama’s First Major Foreign Crisis Brewing?
.
Protocol: Brit Media Furious At Obama

Czech President Says Obama Views “Unknown” On Key Foreign Policy Issues

White House: U.S. Will Not Shoot North Korean Missile

Obama, State Department, White House Staff, Hillary “Unaware,” “Overwhelmed” by Expectations
.
Hillary: One-Time Health Care Failure Now American’s Chief Diplomat, Fouls Up First Time Out

 Obama Forges New Path in Protocol

 Hillary: One-Time Health Care Failure Now American’s Chief Diplomat, Fouls Up First Time Out

Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”

Obama says US is losing war in Afghanistan and hints at Taleban talks

March 8, 2009

President Obama conceded today that the US was not winning the war in Afghanistan and opened the way for negotiations with moderate elements of the Taleban, much as America did with Sunni tribes in Iraq.

The new strategy, which comes as Mr Obama prepares to send an additional 17,000 US troops into Afghanistan, emerged after a frenetic 48 hours of American diplomacy in the region involving new overtures to Iran, Russia and the Muslim world.

The fresh approach to Tehran is causing significant concern in Israel and the Arab world over fears that Mr Obama is making too many concessions to Iran at a time when his own officials say it now has enough enriched uranium to make one nuclear weapon.

Mr Obama’s admission of the dire situation in Afghanistan followed an invitation to Iran by Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, to participate in a US-headed regional conference on Afghanistan later this month.

Read the rest:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new
s/world/asia/article5869476.ece

Obama has little reason to fall in with the G20

March 8, 2009

“REDUCED cost of government, adequate government income, and ability to service government debts are all so important to ultimate stability . . . The United States seeks the kind of dollar which a generation hence will have the same purchasing and debt-paying power . . . Our broad purpose is the permanent stabilisation of every nation’s currency.”

By Irwin Stelzer
The Times (UK)

So wired Franklin D Roosevelt to the representatives of the 66 nations attending the London Economic Conference on July 3, 1933. Sailing on his yacht at the time, the president decided to torpedo prime minister Ramsay MacDonald’s plan for international action to deal with war debts and currency stabilisation.

Gordon Brown is less concerned about maintaining the value of his currency than that old dissimulator FDR professed to be. He needs a successful, or at least big and glitzy international conference for other reasons, not least for the political uplift that a sprinkle of Obama stardust might provide. But enough cynicism. Equally important is the prime minister’s belief in the need for international co-ordination and a strong stand against protectionism.

So he is relieved to have avoided MacDonald’s fate: the American president will attend the April 2 London conference of the G20 nations.

The important question is whether the conference can achieve its goal of a co-ordinated response to the world recession. There are reasons to doubt it.

The first is that Brown’s plea to a joint session of Congress to avoid “a protectionism that . . . in the end protects no one” fell on deaf ears. The White House and the Congress have assured their trade-union funders that Doha is dead, and there will be no more trade-opening measures. Indeed, existing agreements are to be tightened. Washington has more in common with French president Nicolas Sarkozy than with Brown when it comes to trade.

The second obstacle to close co-operation was made clear by the president in a press conference with the prime minister. Brown talked of grand bargains, a global new deal. Obama spoke vaguely of better co-ordination of financial regulation, and expressed no enthusiasm for co-ordinating American recovery efforts with those of the EU, except to call on Britain and Europe to do more. The president faces a bailout-weary Congress, and one that wants any additional borrow-and-spend directed at the plight of America’s homeowners. Indeed, even when it comes to regulation, the White House and key congressional figures let it be known that America has no intention of ceding any of its powers to an international body.

Perhaps the only area of solid agreement was a distaste for “tax havens” — those places to which over-taxed individuals and companies can legally flee. Nothing appeals to the leaders of nations such as high-tax Britain and soon-to-be-high-tax America as the possibility of a cartel that can impose its policies by disciplining “cheaters”.

The third obstacle in the path of a Brown triumph at the conference is money. The prime minister wants a larger role to be assigned to international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. But that would mean a larger contribution from cash-strapped Obama, which is not on the cards, especially since America is already under-represented at the IMF and the administration is taken with the scathing criticism of the IMF from economists it respects, such as Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz.

Fourth, Obama has no sentimental attachment to Britain or to Europe. He has a broadly leftist ideology, but other than that he is a “whatever works” sort of guy, to borrow from Tony Blair. Which is why his primary attention is on Asia, where Japan and China must continue to purchase Treasury IOUs if the Obama domestic programme is to be financed.

It is no surprise that Japan’s prime minister Taro Aso beat Brown for the prize of first foreign leader to be granted access to the Obama Oval Office. Or that Hillary Clinton slid over the little matter of China’s human-rights violations when she visited the regime’s leaders.

Finally, Obama knows that his presidency is doomed if there is another attack on the homeland that George Bush kept safe for seven years. That is why he has felt it necessary to make the war in Afghanistan, home of plotters aiming to do harm to America, Obama’s War. So he wants more troops from his European allies. And troops that will fight, not merely “reconstruct”, or patrol peaceful areas, or remain in barracks at night. But the Europeans are having none of it, which Obama — who already knows this — will have officially confirmed to him at the Nato meetings to which he will fly after the G20 session.

Read the rest:
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/busine
ss/columnists/article5864579.ece

British, French Submarines “Collide”

February 16, 2009

A British and a French submarine, both of them nuclear-powered and carrying nuclear weapons, collided in the Atlantic Ocean earlier this month, the Sun newspaper reported on Monday.

The tabloid said HMS Vanguard and France’s Le Triomphant were both damaged in the incident, but there were no reports of damage to the nuclear parts. The British sub has now been towed to Faslane in Scotland for repair.

Both vessels — between them carrying about 250 sailors — were reportedly submerged and on separate missions when they crashed on February 3 or 4.

The Ministry of Defence refuses to comment on submarine operations but a spokesman said: “We can confirm that the UK?s deterrent capability has remained unaffected at all times and there has been no compromise to nuclear safety.”

HMS Vanguard is one of four nuclear submarines operated by the British military as part of its Trident system, and one is always on deterrent patrol.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090216/wl_uk_af
p/britainfrancenuclearweapons_20090216082323

Related from The Sun:
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/ne
ws/article2240543.ece

France's "Le Triomphant" nuclear submarine. A ... 
France’s “Le Triomphant” nuclear submarine. A British and a French submarine, both of them nuclear-powered and carrying nuclear weapons, collided in the Atlantic Ocean earlier this month, the Sun newspaper reported.(AFP/File/Philippe Huguen)

France’s Sarkozy aims to defuse economic protests

February 15, 2009

French President Nicholas Sarkozy will try this week to defuse protests against his economic plans but talks with unions will be tough with unemployment rising, growth tumbling and Caribbean unrest threatening to spread.

More than a million people took to the streets across France two weeks ago in protest at Sarkozy’s policies, demanding pay rises and protection for jobs in the face of the downturn, and trade unions have penciled in another protest next month.

By Francois Murphy, Reuters

French President Nicolas Sarkozy (L) waves at spectators as ... 
French President Nicolas Sarkozy (L) waves at spectators as he stands next to French former ski legend Jean Claude Killy after the women’s Slalom race at the Alpine Skiing World Championships 2009 in Val d’Isere February 14, 2009.(Stefano Rellandini/Reuters)

Sarkozy’s 26 billion euro ($33.6 billion) stimulus plan has focused on public spending projects such as building roads and modernizing rail links rather than helping consumers directly. Unions and the political left have called on him to change tack.

A television appearance after the protests, intended to allay public fears, only weakened Sarkozy’s support further. He will head into a meeting with unions on Wednesday under pressure to address their concerns, but room for maneuver is limited.

“The outcome of my five-year term is at stake,” newspaper Le Figaro, which is close to Sarkozy, quoted him as telling advisers in its Saturday edition.

French gross domestic product fell 1.2 percent in the last three months of 2008, its biggest drop in 34 years, as exports fell and retailers reduced their stock, and unemployment in December was 11 percent higher than a year earlier.

Increasing the pressure on Sarkozy before Wednesday’s “social summit,” the opposition Socialists have called for a 1 percentage point cut in value-added tax and a 3 percent rise in the minimum wage to give a boost to consumer spending.

CARIBBEAN TROUBLE

“France is the only country not to act massively and immediately in the direction of purchasing power, while a consensus has been established by economists on the need for such measures alongside those in favor of investment,” prominent Socialist Dider Migaud said last week.

Britain has cut its value-added tax by 2 percentage points but Sarkozy lambasted the move in his television address, saying it “brought absolutely no progress,” angering Downing Street.

Sarkozy has also said it is only worth increasing France’s public debt for stimulus measures that amount to investments for the future rather than funding consumer spending, even though that is traditionally the main driver of French growth.

He is likely to cite one of the few bright spots in last week’s GDP figures in his defense — household consumption rose 0.5 percent in the last three months of 2008, suggesting that consumers did not need further encouragement to keep spending.

But that is unlikely to sway protesters in the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique which have been crippled by strikers demanding pay rises and lower food prices.

Unions and associations began the protest in Guadeloupe on January 20 demanding a 200 euro monthly rise for low-wage workers. The protest has since spread to Martinique and, to a more limited extent, the Indian Ocean island of Reunion, and there are fears that it could spread to mainland France.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/2009021
5/wl_nm/us_france_sarkozy_1

Related:
http://www.uexpress.com/tedrall/

http://integralpsychosis.wordpress.com
/2009/02/15/france-it-couldnt-happe
n-here-could-it/

France Rejects “Obama Style” Stimulus

France Rejects “Obama Style Stimulus;” Turns Way Left

France Rejects “Obama Style Stimulus;” Turns Way Left

February 15, 2009

It couldn’t happen here, right?

Most Americans don’t care what happens in France. But the oldest country in “Old Europe” remains the Western world’s intellectual capital and one of its primary originators of political trends. (Google “May+1968+Sorbonne.”)

The French are reacting to a situation almost identical to ours–economic collapse, government impotence, corporate corruption–by turning hard left. National strikes and massive demonstrations are occurring every few weeks. How far left? This far: the late president François Mitterand’s Socialist Party, the rough equivalent of America’s Greens, is considered too conservative to solve the economic crisis.

A new poll by the Parisian daily Libération finds 53 percent of French voters (68 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds) favoring “radical social change.” Fifty-seven percent want France to insulate itself from the global economic system. Does this mean revolution? It’s certainly possible. Or maybe counter-revolution: Jean-Marie Le Pen’s nativist (some would say neofascist) National Front is also picking up points.

One thing is certain: French politics are even more volatile than the financial markets these days. In yet another indication of How Far Left?, the Communist-aligned CGT labor union is on the defensive for not being militant enough. “We’re not going to put out the blazing fires [of the economic crisis],” the CGT’s secretary general said, trying to seize the initiative by calling for another strike on February 18th. “We’re going to fan them.”

By Ted Rall
http://www.uexpress.com/tedrall/

http://integralpsychosis.wordpress.com
/2009/02/15/france-it-couldnt-happe
n-here-could-it/

France Rejects “Obama Style” Stimulus

France’s Sarkozy aims to defuse economic protests