River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
Saturday, 4 February 2017
Donald Trump might not be able to get Mexicans to pay for his wall that the U.S. is building to keep Mexicans out, but would Europeans pay to receive back this symbolic statue, which France gave to an America that deserved it, but that no longer does?
This monument for compassion, and against bigotry, is now merely a metaphorical sore thumb here, but maybe France would be happy to receive her back, and perhaps millions of Europeans will proudly pay to see her, touch her, and stand at her base, to welcome her back to Europe, which ironically consists of the same countries from which almost all of America’s immigrants used to come, before France had gifted the U.S. with Lady Liberty, back on 28 October 1886.
America’s Department of Homeland Security reports that, for the latest available data-year, 2015, the U.S. granted asylum to 69,920 people. By law since 2012, an annual limit had been established for refugees into the U.S.: 70,000.
During that same year in Europe, there were 1,322,825 applicants for asylum, and 69% of them were granted asylum.
Eurostat’s asylum statistics display vastly bigger figures than America’s, for the vast majority of the vastly smaller countries of Europe, as Eurostat described:
For first instance decisions, some 75% of all positive decisions in the EU-28 in 2015 resulted in grants of refugee status, while for final decisions the share was somewhat lower, at 69%. …
The highest share of positive first instance asylum decisions in 2015 was recorded in Bulgaria (91%), followed by Malta, Denmark and the Netherlands. Conversely, Latvia, Hungary and Poland recorded first instance rejection rates above 80%. …
The highest shares of final rejections were recorded in Estonia, Lithuania and Portugal where all final decisions were negative…
The number of first time asylum applicants in Germany increased from 173 thousand in 2014 to 442 thousand in 2015… Hungary, Sweden and Austria also reported very large increases (all in excess of 50 thousand more first time asylum applicants) between 2014 and 2015. In relative terms, the largest increases in the number of first time applicants were recorded in Finland (over nine times as high), Hungary (over four times) and Austria (over three times), while Belgium, Spain, Germany, Luxembourg, Ireland and Sweden all reported that their number of first time asylum applicants more than doubled. By contrast, Romania, Croatia, Lithuania, Slovenia and Latvia reported fewer first time asylum applicants in 2015 than in 2014.
Germany’s share of the EU-28 total rose from 31% in 2014, to 35% in 2015, while other EU Member States that recorded a notable increase in their share of the EU-28 total included Hungary (up 6.6 percentage points to 13.9%), Austria (up 2.2 percentage points to 6.8%), and Finland (up 1.9 percentage points to 2.6%). Conversely, France and Italy’s shares of the EU-28 total each fell nearly 5 percentage points between 2014 and 2015, to 5.6% and 6.6% respectively. …
Syrians accounted for the largest number of applicants in 12 of the 28 EU Member States, including 159 thousand applicants in Germany (the highest number of applicants from a single country to one of the EU Member States in 2015), 64 thousand applicants in Hungary and 51 thousand in Sweden. Some 46 thousand Afghan applicants were recorded in Hungary, 41 thousand in Sweden and 31 thousand in Germany. A further 54 thousand Albanians, 33 thousand Kosovans and 30 thousand Iraqis also applied for asylum in Germany; no other EU Member State received 30 thousand or more asylum applicants in 2015 of a single citizenship. …
In 2015, there were 593 thousand first instance decisions in all EU Member States. By far the largest number of decisions was taken in Germany, … constituting more than 40% of the total first instance decisions in the EU-28 in 2015. In addition, there were 183 thousand final decisions, with again the far largest share (51%) in Germany.
The much larger country, United States, under its new President Donald Trump, is promising to cut sharply the number of annually admitted refugees, downward from its present meager 70,000.
On a per-capita basis, Europe is taking in seven times as many refugees as the U.S. does. Both America and Europe are widely expected to reduce, not to increase, the acceptance of refugees.
So: Does the Statue of Liberty still represent America — or does it instead represent only an America that once was, but no longer is?
When considering this question, one might also consider what precisely caused the refugees to become refugees. Syria was the largest source of 2015’s refugees into Europe. What have they been fleeing from? According to Western-sponsored polls of Syrians throughout that country, they have been fleeing mainly from U.S. bombs and bombers, which were supporting Al-Qaeda-backed jihadist groups that have been trying to take over their country. Of course, as was being reported in the Western press, they were fleeing mainly from Syrian government and its allied bombs and bombers that have been trying to kill ‘moderate rebels’ against that government.
Those were figures from 2015, when the U.S. was bombing throughout the year in Syria (where it was, in fact, an invader), and when Russia (which was no invader, but instead was invited in by Syria’s government, to help it prevent an overthrow by that U.S.-Saudi alliance) started bombing there only late, on September 30th of 2015. Mainly, Syrians were fleeing both from jihadists who were trying to take over their country, and from American bombs that were supporting those Saudi-financed jihadists. (And, overwhelmingly, the residents there were fleeing from what Obama euphemistically called ‘rebel controlled areas’, to the areas that were still under the Syrian government’s control.)
The second and third largest sources of refugees into Europe during that year were Iraq and Afghanistan, two countries that America started bombing in 2001 in retaliation for the Saudi royal family’s 9/11 attacks inside America. The new Trump Administration is retaliating against refugees from seven countries, on account of the 9/11, and also other, jihadist attacks, which likewise weren’t perpetrated by people from any of these seven: Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. In fact, at the very moment of that U.S. announcement about those seven countries, the Saud family were not only supporting both Al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria, but were dropping American-made bombs onto Shiites in Yemen. And Trump was terminating refugees both from Syria and from Yemen, thus cutting off any escape to the U.S. for those victims of U.S. aggression against those two countries that the Saud family and the U.S. aristocracy want to conquer. Will Europe take these refugees in?
U.S. aggression combines now with a tightening closed-door policy, and neither reality fits the Western myth. So, might Lady Liberty be crying also because of Western lying? She has become alien to this country as a misfit here, as being both a refuge and a model for the world. She no longer belongs in this country, in spirit. She might as well be officially included on President Trump’s banned list, a resident alien that’s being returned to sender. Maybe if Trump sends her back to France, he’ll try to negotiate with France’s leaders, some sort of price that they will be billed — not, of course for creating the statue (since it was created by the French), but, like he plans to get Mexicans to pay for building his wall to keep them out.
How far will Trump go in his ‘politically incorrect’ new form of ‘Americanism’?
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
by Daniel Larison
Flynn’s dishonest claim that a Houthi attack on a Saudi vessel was an “Iranian action” has morphed into an even more provocative, false claim from the Press Secretary today:
The White House Press corps wanted to know what being put “on notice” entailed, and Spicer responded by claiming that Iran’s government took actions against a U.S. naval vessel, which would be an act of war. “I think General Flynn was really clear yesterday that Iran has violated the Joint Resolution that Iran’s additional hostile actions that it took against our navy vessel [bold mine-DL] are ones that we are very clear are not going to sit by and take,” he said.
Spicer has managed to combine Flynn’s nonsensical statement blaming Iran for the attack with the garbage analysis I mentioned earlier in the week that the attack had been intended for a U.S. ship, and he has produced something even more divorced from reality. No U.S. ship was attacked or targeted by anyone, Iran wasn’t responsible for the attack that did happen, and yet according to the Trump White House Iran took “hostile actions” against one of our ships. This is as blatant a lie as any that Spicer has told over the last two weeks, and it is on a matter of the greatest importance. The Trump administration is conjuring up “hostile actions” against a U.S. vessel out of thin air, and they appear to be doing so for no other reason than to stoke tensions and make conflict with Iran more likely.
It would be easy to dismiss these statements from Flynn and Spicer as ignorant babbling were it not for the fact that they are coming from the top levels of our government. The administration is lying about Iranian “hostile actions,” and it seems to be trying to cook up an excuse for increasing tensions with and possibly military action against Iran. Hawks have repeated Saudi propaganda about Yemen uncritically for years, and their pervasive exaggeration of Iran’s involvement in Yemen has helped pave the way for the administration’s lies about Iranian “hostile actions” that never happened. The longer that the U.S. keeps backing the Saudi-led war on Yemen, the worse this is likely to get
This article was written for the Unz Review
It is a rare privilege to be able to criticize a politician for actually fulfilling his campaign promises but Donald Trump is a unique President and this week he offered us exactly this opportunity with not one, but three different SNAFUs to report.
First, there was the botched raid against an alleged al-Qaeda compound in Yakla, Yemen. First, let me commit a crimethink here and remind everybody that for all the great Hollywood movies, Americans have a terrible record of doing special ops. The latest one was typical. First, it involved Navy SEALS, one of the most disaster-prone US special forces. Second, it involved special forces from the United Arab Emirates (don’t ask why, just don’t). I am pretty sure that using US Rangers alone would have yielded better results. Third, as always, they got detected early. And then they began taking casualties. This time from female al-Qaeda fighters. Finally, they botched the evacuation. They did kill some kids and, so they say, an al-Qaeda leader. More about this raid here and here. As I said, this is pretty much par for the course. But I am sure that some Hollywood movie will make it look very heroic and “tactical”. But the real world bottom line remains unchanged: Americans should give up on special ops, they just can do it right.
Second, there was the absolutely terrible press conference by General Flynn. See for yourself:
So not only did Flynn put Iran “on notice” like a high-school principal would do to a rowdy teenager, but FOX TV is already speaking about “lines in the sand”. Wait – were “lines in the sand” not one of the dumbest features of the Obama Presidency? And now, just one week in the White House, we see Trump doing exactly the same?
This also begs the question of whether a very intelligent man like Flynn seriously and sincerely believes that he can bully or otherwise scare Iran. If he does – then we are all in a lot of trouble.
There is also the troubling aspect of the language chosen. Instead of speaking about “international concern” or the will of the UN Security Council, Flynn decided to use the kind of language typical of a wannabe World Hegemon. Again, been there – done that. Do they really think that this kind of imperial hubris will work better for them than it did for the Neocons?
Lastly, the Ukronazis are apparently back on the warpath. For many months now they have been shelling the Novorussians, and they even have tried a few, rather pathetic, local attacks. This time around this is different: incoming artillery strikes are counted not by the tens, but by the thousands and the shelling is happening all along the line of contact. Of course, this is not directly Trump’s fault, but it does show that the Ukronazis in Kiev are taking their cues from the former power configuration – that is the Germans, the Neocons, and the East European cry-babies à la Poland and Lithuania. At the time of writing, there are no signs that Trump is taking the situation under control. The good news is that the Russians are still waiting, but with that level of violence there is only that much they can wait before having to give the Novorussians the green light for a counter-attack (the Novorussian forces are already engaging in strong counter-battery fire, but they have not yet pushed their forces forward).
I sure hope that this week is not a harbinger of what the rest of the Trump Presidency will look like.
Still, It is not too late to change course and return to reality-based politics.
First, the easy stuff. As I said, the Pentagon should give up on special ops. If, for political reasons and to feel good about “making American great again” the US must absolutely flex its muscle, I would recommend re-invading Grenada, provided only one of the Services is given that task. I recommend the Marines. For the rest, and especially in the Middle-East, the US should finally come to terms with the fact that they cannot and should not put any US boots on the ground. Ever.
A tad harder, but still quite manageable, Trump needs to reign in the Ukronazis. The way to do that is simple: to spend a special representative to Kiev and explain to the junta members that times have changed, that there is a new boss in the White House, and that from now on they better behave or else. The Ukronazis are used to that kind of language, they will get the message, and they will even meekly comply, provided they feel that the US means it. This, of course, is just a quick fix, a short-term solution to buy time and to work on a long-term solution to the Ukrainian debacle, but that will be a much more complex and costly exercise and will have to involve not only the US, but all of the EU and Russia as the sums of money needed to rebuilt the Ukraine will be astronomical.
The big problem right now is Iran. Well, not Iran itself, of course, but the stupid anti-Iranian rhetoric of the Trump campaign before the elections. My biggest fear is that while Trump and the people around him have apparently come to the (correct) conclusion that they cannot bully Russia into submission they have decided that they could do that with Iran. If that is really their plan, then they are headed for a major disaster.
For one thing, Iran has been living with the threat of a AngloZionst attack since 38 years, including 23 years of Neocon power in the USA. To think that right now they will be suddenly really frightening and will meekly comply with Uncle Shmuel’s demands is very naïve. The Iranians have been preparing for a war against the US and Israel for almost a quarter of a century – they are fine ready, both militarily and psychologically. Oh sure, the US can most definitely strike at Iran with cruise missile and air-strikes, but at what cost and what would that exactly achieve? In terms of achievement, it would have a beneficial psychotherapeutic effect on those Americans who feel insecure about their military size and who want to feel big and powerful again. It will also kills plenty of Iranians and destroy some unknown amount of Iranian targets, including possibility missile technology or nuclear technology related ones. But it will not change Iranian policies by even a tiny amount, nor will it prevent Iran from further pursuing nuclear or missile technologies.
But this has never been about nuclear or missile technology, of course. That is all nonsense, “informational prolefeed” so to speak.
In reality this was always about only one thing: Israel wanted to be THE regional superpower in the Middle-East and Iran was to be prevented from threatening this monopoly status by any means. In other words, if an Islamic country is mismanaged and run by incompetent fanatics, this is great. But when an Islamic country is run by a wise and extremely capable leadership which cannot be overthrown due to the fact that it has popular support, then this Islamic country becomes an absolutely unacceptable precedent. And Iran, with its advanced technologies, powerful military, strong economy and generally successful political and social model is an immense affront to the racist delusions of the Zionist regime in Palestine. Add to this that Iran dares to *openly* defy the United States and you immediately will see the real reasons for all the saber-rattling and constant threats. The problem for Trump is exactly the same as the problem for Obama, Dubya or Clinton:
the US cannot win a war against Iran.
Because a war has to have some political objective, a definition of what “victory” means. In the case of Iran, there is no possible victory. Even of the US launches 1000-2000 missile strikes against Iran, and all of them are successful, this will not be a “victory”.
Many years ago I wrote an article entitled “Iran’s Asymmetrical Response Options”. It is dated now, a lot as happened since 2007, but the fundamental conclusions are still valid:
the USA cannot win and Iran has plenty of asymmetrical options ranging from riding out the attack to attacking CENTCOM targets all over the Middle-East.
But the biggest change since 2007 has been the civil war in Iraq and Syria and Trump’s promises to eradicate Daesh. This is crucial.
There is simply no way, none at all, to eradicate Daesh without putting boots on the ground. I think that we can all agree that these boots won’t be American. They won’t be Russian either. Obama’s approach was to use a mix of Iraqi, Kurdish and Turkish boots, with the threat of Saudi and other Gulf State’s boots thrown in for good measure. We all know how that worked: it didn’t. And it won’t. So here is the ugly secret that everybody knows or, at least, ought to know:
the only boots on the ground to defeat Daesh have been, still are and will be, Iranian boots. That is a fact of life, sorry.
The Turks are out, after the attempted coup against Erdogan and the subsequent purges the Turkish military is only a shadow of what it used to be. The Kurds have no desire whatsoever to be used as cannon fodder in a dangerous and difficult war against Daesh. The Saudis and the rest of them are a joke, barely capable of terrorizing civilians, but they will be instantly defeated by Daesh in the first skirmish. So unless the Canadians, the Brits, the Poles, the Lithuanians and, say, the Georgians want to lead the struggle against Daesh (just kidding!), the only country which can make Trump’s campaign promise happen is Iran (and Hezbollah, of course).
Furthermore, I submit that Iran is powerful enough to prevent *any* policy of being successful in the Middle-East unless Iran at least passively okays it. In a way, Iran’s position in the Middle-East is similar to the Russian position in the “near abroad” (the former Soviet Union): while Iran/Russia cannot impose anything against everybody, Iran/Russia can veto/prevent any policy or outcome it does not want.
The main consequence of this is that even if Iran decided to completely renounce any kind of retaliatory counter-attack against the US or Israel, Iran could *painfully* retaliate against such a strike by simply telling Trump
“we will make darn sure that you fail everywhere, in Iraq, in Syria, in Pakistan, and Yemen and everywhere else in the Middle-East”. And that won’t be an empty threat: the Iranians absolutely can deliver on it.
Furthermore, a US attack on Iran is also going to send the US-Russian relationship into a tailspin. How much of a disaster this will be will depend on how bad the attack on Iran is, but while Russia will not militarily intervene in a US-Iranian conflict, Russia will not allow the US to get away with it either and the main political cost will be that an attack on Iran will further reinforce the Russian-Iranian-Chinese triangle.
Do I need to spell out here how an attack on Iran will be perceived in Beijing?
If it happens, the US attack on Iran will look very much like the 2006 Israel war on Hezbollah, and it will achieve the same results, only on a bigger scale. To put it simply – it will be a total disaster and it will mark the failure of the Trump presidency.
Right now Trump still has an immense political capital. It’s not like the world truly trusts him, it is way too early for that, but there is a lot of hope out there that Trump’s America will be a different one, a civilized one which will act as a responsible and rational international actor. Not like an Obama 2.0. But listening to Flynn’s condescending and, worse, empty (not to mention wholly illegal) threats against Iran, I am left wondering whether the US can mend its ways and be meaningfully reformed or whether it will take a cataclysmic collapse (military or economic) to finally see the end of the wannabe World Hegemon.
PS: for whatever this is worth, the first statement by the US rep at the UNSC just reinforces my worst fears, see for yourself:
PROVINCES- The Army and Armed Forces units continued on Friday their intensive operations in the eastern countryside of Homs in the direction of al-Mahr oil field, al-Bida al-Sharqia village and Hayan gas plant in the northwest countryside of Tadmur (Palmyra) city, SANA reported.
According to SANA reporter in Homs ISIS terrorist organization burned Hayan gas plant before its terrorists fled towards the area of the oil wells and gas fields, where smoke and flames were seen from long distances in the desert.
The reporter added that army units, in cooperation with the supporting forces, carried out intensive operations on ISIS sites in the direction of Hayan gas plant and al-Mahr oil field, killing a number of ISIS terrorists, injuring others and destroying a number of their vehicles in the hills surrounding the field.
The reporter noted that the ground operations of the army units and the supporting forces coincided with airstrikes of the Syrian Air Force on the convoys of vehicles and gatherings for ISIS in the area of oil wells and gas fields in the northwest of Tadmur(Palmyra), killing scores of ISIS terrorists.
The reporter pointed out that the airstrikes also targeted ISIS supply routes in the direction of Aqirbat village in the eastern countryside of Salamiyeh, destroying a number of vehicles equipped with machineguns.
The Syrian Air Force lunched airstrikes on the sites and movements of ISIS terrorist organization in the area surrounding Deir Ezzor city.
A military source told SANA that the Syrian airstrikes concentrated on Talit al-Khanzir, al-Ma’amel ( factories) area and Tharda crossroad in Deir Ezzor,
inflicting heavy losses upon ISIS terrorists in personnel and equipment, including destroying a bobby-trapped vehicle on al-Syasia Bridge.
The source added that army units continued advancing in the graveyards area and cut off ISIS supply routes from the direction of al-Difa’a Camp.
PROVINCES- The Army and Armed Forces units continued on Friday their intensive operations in the eastern countryside of Homs in the direction of al-Mahr oil field, al-Bida al-Sharqia village and Hayan gas plant in the northwest countryside of Tadmur (Palmyra) city, SANA reported.
Major General Issaam Zahreddeen and the Republican Guards [of the Syrian Arab Army] make advances in Deir Ez-Zor area
On Thursday, the Syrian Arab Army advanced in the area of western Deir ez-Zor, aiming to knock out mercenary-terrorists of Daesh (ISIS, ISIL). Syrian troops succeeded to capture a factory and were able to liberate the local airport from the militants. However, some of the roads are still infested by armed criminals, whose hours are counted.
BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:30 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) launched a necessary counter-offensive agianst the Islamic State (ISIS) forces near the Al-Sin Airbase in east Damascus on Thursday, attacking the Battalion 559 Base from two different flanks.
Led by the Qalamoun Shield of the 3rd Armored Division, the Syrian Arab Army managed to recapture the Al-Safa Rest Station from the Islamic State forces, killing and wounding tens of terrorists in the process of this advance.
Leith Fadel | Al-Masdar News
Following the liberation of the Al-Safa Station, the Syrian Arab Army stormed several sites around the Al-Safa Peak, destroying at least 5 vehicles that belonged to the Islamic State, including 2 Of the terrorist group’a tanks.
According to a military source in Damascus, the Syrian Arab Army is now advancing north of the Al-Sin Airbase, while another unit pushes east to force the Islamic State militants to abandon this area.
- Russian embassy comes under attack in Damascus
- Syrian Army makes massive advances against ISIS in west Palmyra
- Syrian Army on the verge of lifting siege of Deir Ezzor Airport
- الجيش يهاجم في دير الزور وحمص: سباق الشرق السوري يحتدم
- الدفاع الروسية: قاذفات روسية بعيدة المدى تقصف الإرهابيين في محيط مدينة الميادين في ريف دير الزور
- «المقاومة السورية» إلى جانب الجيش: «الباب» أقرب
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
Friday, 3 February 2017
February 03, 2017
There wasn’t an official award handed out, but the Islamophobic statement of 2016 in France has to go to the politician who said that Muslim women who wear the hejab are like the “American niggers who were in favor of slavery”.
LOL, she did even not say “blacks”, she said “niggers” – “nègres”, in French. You simply cannot use that word in polite society. I know because I tried – simply to understand what the level of acceptable racial discourse here was in France – and was roundly admonished. Fortunately, I could honestly plead ignorance.
The person who said it was Laurence Rossignol, of the Socialist Party, so she’s also a candidate for “French fake leftist of the year”.
It gets worse: This was not some nobody Socialist politician, she said it while serving as a member of President Francois Hollande’s cabinet!
But wait, there’s more! She was the Minister for Women’s Rights, hahaha.
Yes, Muslims in France truly have nobody in power on their side, LOL – ya gotta laugh to keep from crying.
And yet…“Islamophobic acts in France were down in 2016”, is what tomorrow’s headlines will blare from the mainstream media.
Because, of course, the issue of Muslims being attacked should be treated exactly like how capitalists treat the economic growth rate: “But did we get more than last year?”
(Coincidentally, those numbers were out today as well: a paltry 1.1% economic growth rate in 2016 for France. Another year of failure, but you can send me all the mainstream media reports which do not put a positive spin on the numbers.)
Back to Islamophobia: the number of Islamophobic acts was indeed down 36% in 2016 when compared with 2015.
“Three cheers for France! Pass the halal croissants!”
For those of you new to this planet: In 2015 there were 2 huge terror attacks in France and an enormous outpouring of Islamophobic violence, both private and state-sanctioned. That was the year that Islamophobia “went mainstream”- it became ok to openly talk about every Muslim as if they lived in a cave, were stuck in the year 742 AD and had 4 wives.
So, had the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) – the nation’s watchdog on the subject – reported that the numbers had actually increased in 2016…ooh la, now that would have meant 2016 was a Muslim massacre.
I can feel…people clicking away from this article, because I’m sure people are so fed up that they will read the words “Collective Against Islamophobia in France” and move on – because aren’t we all tired of such subjects? I know I am sure as hell tired of reporting it!
So let me pass on the actual good news: On the personal level, Islamophobia truly is decreasing in France.
I covered the CCIF’s press conference for Press TV and they told me that their years of work are paying off: they see more and more solidarity and help for the victims of Islamophobia. Some government workers, teachers and cops have realized there is a problem, and they are actually putting their authority to good use (as opposed to throwing up obstacles, as many civil servants still do).
That’s what grassroots activism does – it thinks long-term, it’s committed for the long-term and it really wins…long-term.
Keep in mind that it was only in 2015 that France decided to finally join the 20th century and admit that “Islamophobia” actually existed so…baby steps. But if you’ve been sucker-punched and had your hejab pulled off, such baby steps are important – if only to get the bleeding stopped.
Politically, Islamophobia is worse than ever
Again, to the aliens among us, France has been a police state dictatorship (the correct term) since November 2015. It will be until May 2017, depending on who is elected president.
As regards the Muslim community, France’s state of emergency has been one big “we run this place” message.
Intimidation, arrests, house arrests, brutal tactics, smashed doors, smashed reputations, smashed lives, smashed innocence of children…but it’s been effective in the fight against terrorism, right?
Wrong – 4,000+ raids by the French state have produced just 6 investigations opened regarding terrorism. I haven’t been able to find any new data, but going back about 6 months there had been just 1 indictment from such raids. There had been 0 convictions.
I don’t want to waste much of our time on this because the state of emergency is so obviously wrong for all Frenchmen and racist towards Muslims, so I’ll just throw out some key phrases the CCIF used at the press conference – I think you are smart enough that I don’t have to clarify: “climate of general suspicion”, “winning electoral formula”, “Muslim frustration with Hollande”, “lack of a clear message of ‘zero-tolerance’”, “Islamophobic security state”, and here’s what it was really all about in 2016: “institutional validation of Islamophobia”.
Even if you think these shifty Muslims deserve it for being born Brown, isn’t your libertarian, anti-authority side upset? I hope so.
There are, as always, only 2 poles of thought on dealing with us lousy immigrants: “live and let live”, which is known as “multiculturalism”, or you have what France has pushed all their chips behind: “assimilation”.
The problem with assimilation is that it inherently implies that other cultures have nothing of value to add. Secondarily, it necessarily freezes the growth of French culture, which is implied to be “perfect”, and thus cannot progress. Doesn’t such cultural chauvinism sound so very French? It is.
But why keep abusing the already-abused?
But enough of this ethno-racial analysis – you can find identity politics and please for tolerance all over, but it’s rarely enough: keeping the boot on the Muslims’ neck has two class components which are vital to understand.
The point I need to make to those who don’t live in France is:
Blacks & Muslims are the underclass here.
In France, the security guards in supermarkets are big and Black (the riot police are all big and White, of course). The cashiers are pretty Arab young ladies. The office cleaning ladies are middle-aged Black women. The bleary-eyed people you see unhappily taking the buses on your way home from a night of carousing are Black and Arab. The garbagemen are Black, Arab, Muslim or all three.
And it’s the wives and sisters of these garbagemen who suffer the most from Islamophobia: 75% of all such attacks are against women. Muslim women were the victims in physical Islamophobic attacks 100% of the time last year.
This is what Islamophobia in France basically boils down to: White guys scaring Muslim women, or pulling off their hejab or maybe beating the woman who is simply on her way to clean their office toilets.
This is cowardice, tragedy, deadly, misogynistic, anti-feminist, and reactionary, of course. But this Muslim underclass has nothing, is going to get nothing and poses no threat. So if France hates Muslims and tolerates violence against them, what are they for?
France – rich, rich France – needs Muslims two reasons: number one, to staff these low-level service jobs.
It’s the same reason why the only Palestinians allowed inside Israel’s football stadiums are to work as low-level service workers: “Get me my large Coke, boy, and mop it up when my kid kicks it over.”
Capitalism cannot replace these types of workers with robots. It’s the same with Mexican fruit-pickers – some jobs have to be done by human beings.
In France’s it’s the non-Whites who are fated to serve in this caste. Of course, they are not all Muslim simply because they are non-White, of course, but such collateral damage hardly keeps the Roman Catholic 1% up at night.
And we must remember that the 1% has no interest in letting Muslims improve their station, because then who would clean their toilets and check them out at the supermarket?
No class is more at the mercy of the 1% than the negative-99%, and that is Muslims are in France. What good is being in the 1% if you cannot abuse your butler, I guess is their thinking?
But Islamophobia is not just for kicks – attacking women are just one of the ways to keep all Muslims on edge, insecure, isolated and – above all – disunited. Class unity is any sort, of course – of course! – is what the 1% fear most.
To disempower an entire underclass and keep them your servants, it’s not enough just to not provide basic services like health and education or good jobs – you have to get them to short-circuit their own lives, and a simple way is via racial violence and the promotion of it; through constant media messages that your group is associated with terrorism, death and backwardness; through the constant message that your group has no values to share, and that you must “become French”, which is something French people have told me here over and over.
This is all simply colonization at home instead of abroad – i.e., capitalism!
These are all the same tactics reported by Franz Fanon in the French Caribbean or by Amilcar Cabral by the Portuguese in Angola.
To paraphrase Cabral, the French want to break the Muslims here down like any other “bush people” – they want to make Muslims “cling” to the French; to make them want to “pretend as hard as they can to be” French; they want Muslims to forget their origin because “That, unhappily, is what many people want.”
I told such French people that in a multicultural society such an order to “become French” is rightly considered to be fascistic and prejudiced. In inheritance there is richness, for all people.
Furthermore, even if France can get all the 3rd-generation Muslims here to 100% believe in their hypocritical assimilationist “everyone is French under the law” nationalist hypocrisy, they still cannot get people to give up their Allah in exchange for either the Roman Catholic God, or their French atheism.
But keeping the 99th percentile down is one thing, what about the 98% in between?
The Islamophobic safety valve for leftist indignation
The second class component is that Islamophobia is so heavily promoted by both the mainstream media and government police is because it is a flaming distraction from the real issues. We all know this.
Who does not know this are the idiot White French who go around attacking Muslims. They fail to realize they are the modern-day equivalent of the poor White sharecroppers in Jim Crow America – yeah, you have a bit more status than French Muslims, but not much, you dumb crackers.
Islamophobia is a tool not just against French Muslims, but against French non-Muslims who are not in the 1%.
These attackers are double-losers because they have also imbibed the false leftism of identity politics – they are told to worship their French nationality instead of the universal respect for hard work which unites everyone not in the 1%.
They are content with the privilege of wielding Islamophobia instead of being a real leftist like their great-grandfathers, who demanded real rights prior to World War One. My most tepid congratulations on not being in the lowest rung of society….
Why is racism and Islamophobia rising across the West?
There is no mass influx of Syrian immigrants here – France has only taken in about 12,000 Syrians while probably arming 2-3 times that number – and there won’t be. France already has their caste of non-White low-level service workers, and we understand their place in the French capitalist system. Hollande’s state of emergency has only pushed them down deeper in fear, cultural exclusion and institutionalized racism.
Germany, probably because of their incredibly racist legacy, did not have such a non-White underclass. They have a sizable Turkish minority, but France’s Muslim community is 3 times larger, proportionally.
Well, they just got theirs – 600,000 Syrians – and they have already re-closed the gates.
What happened to Merkel’s reportedly-big heart? Did you think Time Magazine’s Person of the Year was actually good person and not just a sharp capitalist businesswoman?
Germany needs a new underclass for these low-level service sector jobs nobody wants, and these jobs are even worse than in France because Germany permits part-time work – what they call “minijobs”.
Such underemployment is banned here, and that’s why France’s poverty rate is so much lower than in Germany, the US and the UK. But this is what the patsy Hollande was for – to ram through right-wing roll backs which permit part-time jobs for 45-year old men instead of 14-year old boys – and he did it.
German capitalists told Merkel that they already rolled back their wages and worker rights in the 2000s, and in order to keep an economic leg up on France they need a new pressure to keep workers from asking for better wages: and that’s why you have Syrians in Germany.
They’ll be, like all refugees, desperate for work and ready to work for subsistence wages. It’s a German capitalists dream! But if you think there is anti-refugee sentiment in Germany now, just wait – it will get far worse.
In America, Mexicans have long-provided the same function of depressing worker wages and security. But why do you think so many want a wall to keep out Latin Americans – free trade sends jobs to Mexico and desperate Latin American immigrants depress wages in America. Voila.
Is America racist? Yes, history proves that but, again, the proper analysis is not just “France, Germany and the US are a bunch of racists”. No, racism and Islamophobia is a diversionary tactic used by the 1% to keep the negative 99th% and the 98% down.
If one is content with railing against the racial angle, as falsely-superior fake leftists are, one cannot see that these racists are responding to capitalist manipulation, above all.
Charlie Hebdo – ‘fake leftism’ of Biblical proportions
It’s hard not to talk about Islamophobia without bringing up Charlie Hebdo, because that’s when it all went really bad. My God! That was the motherlode of French “fake leftism”! Ugh! What a terrible story that was to cover!
I interviewed the CCIF’s Marwan Muhammad for my report for Press TV, and he was eloquent as usual. I laughingly reminded Marwan of his debate with Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Luz on CNN in September 2012, just after Luz had penned some pictures of the prophet Muhammad.
Marwan wiped the floor with him.
I don’t know what made Luz arrogant enough to think his terrible English was good enough to outdo Marwan, who speaks like a native, on such a subject….
Luz barely managed 5 minutes of unintelligible and unsatisfying philosophic rationale – to a totally impatient Christiane Amanpour – for drawing pictures of the Muhammad bent over and spreading apart his buttocks, filming a porno movie, etc. Pure class, that Luz.
Charlie Hebdo will always be a sore subject in France because there is so much phony philosophical bull surrounding the violence, but it’s worth re-reading Marwan’s interpretation, because it helps explain my fundamental class-based premise of Islamophobia:
“I don’t think at all that Charlie Hebdo’s cartoonists are racists – I think they’re just stupid, and they don’t know what they are doing. This is a band of friends, and they are in their basements with their pencils and paper, and they don’t know the consequences of what they are doing. And that’s why you have just heard Luz saying that, ‘Well, we are just making cartoons; and we don’t expect anything bad to happen; and we are journalists; but at the same time we are not responsible at all.’ Well this doesn’t stand, because whenever you take responsibility for something you say, on national TV or on paper – you need to stand with the consequences of this. And what we see when we speak with perpetrators of hate crimes towards Muslims is that this type of cartoons, this type of ideology, is building their will to act. It legitimizes them when they to turn to actions, to stab a Muslim woman in a German court or to discriminate (against) a Muslims child in a school, so this is conducive to violence.’
I wonder if Luz thinks doing prophet Muhammad-based porn was worth it? Doesn’t every kid dream of being a man like that? In France, I guess. Luz threw in the towel at Charlie Hebdo about 3 months after the attacks – he reported that the workplace culture had changed. It did – Charlie Hebdo used to not pick on the weak and powerless, but their shift to pro-Zionism, pro-NATO & Islamophobia is another story.
As your intrepid reporter in France I could find out what Luz is doing now, but I won’t. I’ll assume he’s still in his basement drawing porn, probably like this one kid I knew in high school. That kid was a riot…when I was 14.
Not even the French left supports the Muslim underclass
One mainstream French reporter asked the CCIF about their close ties with Benoit Hamon, the surprise Socialist candidate. LOL, Marwan said that he had no relationship at all with Hamon, and I didn’t write it down so I can’t be sure, but he might have said they have never even met.
This is, of course, part of the right’s effort to scare voters that Hamon is too leftist, too close to Muslims, too willing to increase welfare to 750 euros per month, etc.
Hamon, to his credit, said he was proud of his new nickname of “Bilal Hamon”. Boring…that’s just their same old tactics: The far-righters would have come up with something similar for Manuel Valls if he had beaten Hamon, even though Valls visibly seethes on his favorite subject – holy French secularism.
Of course, good ole’ Bilal Hamon will surely be very well received in Syria, Mali and Libya, right? He supported all those foreign interventions, like all fake leftist Socialist Party members.
Anyway, Marwan did fairly criticize Hollande and his henchmen when I brought up the subject of Hollande’s Islamophobic legacy at the press conference. Remember back in 2012? Islamophobia was all Sarkozy’s fault, right? In 2017 that answer is a clear “no”.
Technocratism won’t work, even with Islamophobia
The CCIF refuses to give voters political advice, and I think that’s a mistake: the CCIF are the “technocrats” of Islamophobic facts, but what good are facts without ideology? If they are the experts and study these things, then they should take a stand and advise voters which parties are Islamophobic and which are not.
The idea that technocrats can stay above the fray is totally false. With another terrible economic year imposed by (pro-capitalist) economists in Brussels officially in the books, technocratism as a governing ideology needs to be demolished: what’s needed is activism of the side of right.
Because just giving data is not enough – and the clear proof will be in the headlines which say “Islamophobia down in France”! It’s not down, in any sort of a real sense. It’s far worse!
I understand the reticence of the CCIF to possibly tarnish their data –– but they need to get even more involved than they already are. Of course, everyone in France knows that the National Front, the conservative Les Republicains, the Socialist Party, and half of the culturally-chauvinistic far left are all Islamophobic. Still…take a public stand and get political, even if it just means telling the truth about these parties.
Predictions for French Islamophobia for 2017: Hopefully Marine Le Pen wins, and I say that seriously. I predict that a “Mexican Power” movement will rise up in the US against Trump to advance civil rights, and a “Muslim Power” movement would be the response here to Marine Le Pen. Both are what’s needed to lift the underclass out from hell…and this is the only proven route, failing a successful communist-inspired revolution like in the USSR, Cuba, China, Iran etc.
Just like Mexicans in the US, you can kick out the illegal Muslims in France, but then you are still left with 3 generations of legal French Muslims, and there’s no solution for them.
Ya gotta accept your phobias if you want to work past them…and truly live.
Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian