What France Can Look Forward To

This article was written prior to the result of the election, and now that Sarkozy has won, we can see what happens to that nation.

Sarkozy: The French Neocon
By Ghali Hassan
May 1, 2007, 09:35

The Italian media compare Nicolas Sarkozy to Gianfranco Fini, the leader of the fascist Alleanza Nationale party. Sarkozy has shown to be greatly influenced by the Nazis’ ‘eugenic’ theory of ‘superior race’. It is also revealed that Sarkozy was involved in violation of international humanitarian law concerning immigrants. If elected, Sarkozy will polarise France, incite hatred and divisions, and return France to a violent imperialist power.

With 85 per cent of French electorate – the highest in generations – voting in the first round of the French elections on April 22, Sarkozy’s right-wing Union for Popular Movement (UMP) party won 31.10 per cent of the vote, ahead of Ségolène Royal of the “Socialist” Party at 25.85 per cent. François Bayrou of the Union for French Democracy (UDF) party won 18.55 per cent of the vote, and Jean-Marie Le Pen’s racist and xenophobic National Front won 10.51 per cent. The decline in Le Pen’s popularity is due to Sarkozy’s appeal to Le Pen voters. Le Pen was understandably furious, and accused Sarkozy of stealing “my ideas and my votes”. Because the French Constitution requires that a candidate receive an absolute majority of votes in order to be elected president, the results mean a run-off on May 06 between Sarkozy UMP and Royal’s Socialist Party for the French presidency.

In its recent article “Le Vrai Sarkozy” (The Real Sarkozy), the French weekly Marianne (PDF) (20 April, 2007), sheds light on the man who wants to become France’s president. Marianne describes Sarkozy as an “egomaniacal, power-hungry demagogue” and a “danger” to French democracy. It adds that Sarkozy’s “folly is of the kind that in the past has served as fuel for the ambitions of many small dictators”. A member of Sarkozy’s UMP party told Marianne: “It is said that [Sarkozy] is narcissistic, an egotist. These words are weak. I’ve never encountered anyone with such a capacity to spontaneously erase from his surroundings everything that is not a reflection of himself. Sarko is sort of a blind man regarding the exterior world who can only look at his interior world. He looks at himself, he looks at himself constantly, but he can’t look at anything else”. It is a familiar portrait of past European dictators.

While the mainstream media like to portray Sarkozy as “a changed man”, Sarkozy is, in reality, an extremist in sheep’s clothing, who has attacked minorities, oppressed civil liberties and divided the French people.

Sarkozy’s main target is the marginalised Muslims and Muslim immigrants in France. Like other Western leaders, Sarkozy is banking on the current anti-Muslim plague – the contagious Islamophobia virus – in the West. With his rhetoric of false patriotism and negative nationalism, Sarkozy is playing on people’s imagined fears and tapping into a growing pool of hardcore racists. He has called for more Nazi-like repression against immigrants, and he is in favour of creating a Ministry of Immigration and National Identity.

As France’s Minister of the Interior in 2005, Sarkozy was involved in illegal deportation of immigrants and engaged “in expulsion quotas and charter flights”. Sarkozy’s attacks on French youth (mostly descendants of Muslim and non-Muslim African immigrant families) demonstrating against discrimination and police violence, calling them “scum” and “riff-raff”, and saying that they should be hosed with “Karcherized” (pressurized water). This brought him notoriety and revealed his real colour.

Furthermore, Sarkozy has made public that he is in favour of the Nazis’ ideology of ‘superior race’. (See Sarkozy’s interview in Philosopie Magazine conducted by French Philosopher, Michel Onfray).

If we look back at world history, we can see that Sarkozy is using a “blueprint” to turn France into a dictatorial (fascist) state. It is a frightening time when Western politicians conveniently forget the horrors of the Holocaust.

Furthermore, Sarkozy is one of the few European politicians to support the illegal U.S. invasion of Iraq and the ongoing murderous occupation of that country by the U.S. and Britain. His policy on Israel and the Palestinians is a U.S. policy; he has said he will “defend Israel’s security”, a deliberately constructed Western cliché designed to justify Israeli terror, Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, and dispossession of the land and rights of Palestinian people. He has praised France’s imperialist past, including French crimes against humanity. His attitude to Turkey’s membership in the European Union (EU) is: “If you let 100 million Turkish Muslims come in, what will come of it?” Of course the comment is grossly misleading and Sarkozy is engages in fear mongering and spreading of the Islamophobia virus.

Contrary to Rupert Murdoch’s right-wing media, Sarkozy is not the “answer to France’s problems”. With 8.6 per cent overall unemployment (although a very high rate among youths), France is doing better than many countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). “[M]ost French have jobs and love their security; all French love their efficient public transport, high-speed trains running like clockwork at 320km/h, efficient urban planning, fine health services and excellent state primary and secondary schools”, wrote Professor Charles Sowerwine, of Melbourne University and the author of France since 1870: Culture, Politics and Society. It is evident why, in 2005, the French voted against the (neoliberal) EU constitution.

In addition, Professor Tony Judt of the Remarque Institute at New York University wrote in a New York Times op-ed (NYT, April 22, 2007) that: “French infants have a better chance of survival than American ones. The French live longer than Americans and they live healthier (at far lower cost). They are better educated and have first-rate public transportation. The gap between rich and poor is narrower than in the United States or Britain, and there are fewer poor people”. Professor Judt added: “Yes, France has high youth unemployment, thanks to institutionalized impediments to job creation. But the comparison to American rates is misleading: our figures are artificially lowered because so many dark-skinned men aged 18 to 30 are in prison and thus off the unemployment rolls”. If elected, Sarkozy will rollback all these achievements in favour of the ‘Neoliberalism’ that has infected other countries and destroyed many lives.

Finally, the highly respected Berliner Tageszeitung described Nicolas Sarkozy as a “tricolore George Bush who wants to impose on France a right-wing American ideology of neoconservativism”, an ideology characterised by perpetual violence, racism, violation of international laws and civil liberties.

If elected, Sarkozy will follow in George Bush’s footsteps. Sarkozy will compromise France’s independence, disregard international laws and civilised norms, and destroy constitutional freedoms. On May 6, the French people will have an important choice to make: to reject extremism.

Ghali Hassan is an independent writer living in Australia.

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