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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/25/19

Back to French tear gas in the morning: smells like auste'rite'

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France yellow vest protests
France yellow vest protests
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September 21 (hello autumn) was the worst day of violence in Paris since May 1st. That day is best remembered for when "centrist" politicians and citizens were enraged that Yellow Vest/union/old lady demonstrators would dare to seek refuge in a hospital rather than stand there and get tear gassed prior to getting charged and beaten by cops.

President Emmanuel Macron knew a black mark day was coming - not just Yellow Vests but unions and climate change protesters would also be marching - so he made a major concession: he gave a public interview. Noblesse oblige!

Macron waited two years before giving his first press conference, so we shouldn't have expected a miracle, but France's #1 public servant could have considered to talking to French media, at least. Instead he spoke with US magazine Time.

In the land of Ayn Rand, where the petit bourgeois boss is the undisputed chief in a million hillbilly fiefs, Macron may have been playing to his audience when he said: "In our country, we want leadership, but we also want to kill the leaders." Who can forget Louis XVI?

However, I thought of all the French leaders who weren't hacked to death by a vengeful populace. Louis I, for example. Louis II - there's another one. Louis III, him too. In fact, Louis IV through Louis XV all were not assassinated, so why is Macron so worried about public retribution?

Look deeper into French history - despite #MeToo claims of universality it's not even a gender thing: (2018's 43,434th-most popular name) Ermentrude of Orle'ans, (don't call me "Big") Bertha of Burgundy and that lousy job-stealing immigrant Clementia of Hungary all escaped assassination despite being the nation's #1 lady. Joan the Lame was a regent, and thus held the real power, and yet she wasn't beheaded even though she must have been pretty easy to catch. They did destroy Joan's tomb during the French revolution - she couldn't run forever.

I also note that way back in the Merovingian era Engelbert the Humperdinck was not assassinated either, despite his many crimes which fell harshly on the ears of his suffering subjects.

To clarify for Macron: France wants leadership but they also want to kill their leaders sometimes. Other times they build huge statues to their leaders, like Charles de Gaulle and Joan of Arc. It seems to rather depend on the leader, and I thus think this allegedly French sentiment may actually be universal.

Jokes aside, Macron is obviously not trying to get re-elected, and thus he shows the biggest loophole in Western bourgeois democracy: the one in which opportunists temporarily accept public service in order to exploit it for personal gains.

(Contrarily, I'm not sure Iran's Supreme Leader is even allowed to resign? He is there expressly to be a permanent patriotic force within a democratic system - presidents came and go but the Leader does not - and to mediate among different societal groups for the good of the national well-being.)

I look at Macron's cover of Time and I see Brazil's Michel Temer.

There is a clear contradiction between the image and caption on the cover of Time: Macron is frankly and aggressively rolling up his sleeves, yet the words about his "troubled presidency" indicate contrition, guilt and a desire for reconciliation. Anybody need to roll up their sleeves before a fraternal embrace? Anyway, Time got it fundamentally wrong: In June Macron declared he was on "Act 2" of his presidency, which is not at all a reset but an advance, a progression. Macron is rolling up his sleeves because his current pension and unemployment system rollbacks are the most divisive and most sweeping of his presidency. Like Temer, he couldn't care less about the consequences - he has work to do, and the work is the social dismantling ordered by neoliberal austerity ideology and Brussels. Both Macron and Temer act on the orders of their 1% friends - the only reset for them is personal and after their terms, when they get the cushy lives and private, ego-stroking conferences where their hurt, under-appreciated egos can be revived.

But why should Time journalists have any real idea about what the "French Street" thinks? They aren't there, haven't been there and ain't gonna be there - they hold the Yellow Vests in the same contempt as US Zionists do the "Arab Street".

What Time would have seen on the worst day of violence since May 1

The tear gas and police brutality started at 10 am. I'm not sure what time it was in Hong Kong?

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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 Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has (more...)
 

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3 people are discussing this page, with 5 comments


David William Pear

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Great to have Ramin back. Remember the Yellow Vests? Or Honduras, Egypt, Haiti, etc.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 25, 2019 at 1:04:19 AM

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Mohammad Ala

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Thanks to know what is happening in France.

France's president speaks as if his country has NO problem. Bunch of non-sense. France has many problems. France sold criminal Saddam Hussein missiles to kill Iranians. France has blood on its hands.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 25, 2019 at 3:28:56 AM

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nelswight

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Reply to Mohammad Ala:   New Content

So sadly true, Mohammad, the French government has often caused wrong

doing in international affairs. Macron is not doing better, though perhaps

performing in a worse manner. I should wish to forgive these errors but

I cannot reach out to those perpetrators. May we progress to better

understanding and deeds.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 25, 2019 at 3:40:25 PM

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nelswight

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Ramin Mazaheri - Je vous remerci - milles de fois.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 25, 2019 at 3:50:35 PM

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David William Pear

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I don't know what you said, but I gave it a thumbs up anyway.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 25, 2019 at 5:57:00 PM

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