As presidential elections approach in France, many people will want to know which candidates promise to make a clean break with Atlanticist imperialism. Voters should question left and right at this important crossroads in French history.
Presidential candidate François Asselineau of the Popular Republican Union (UPR), the fastest growing grass-roots political movement in France, has unequivocally condemned the US bombing of a Syrian Airbase last week. He has called President Trump, " the American Tsipras."
he leader of the National Front party, Marine Le Pen, who has hitherto been an admirer of Donald Trump, has also condemned the US bombing of Syria. She has defended the national sovereignty of Syria and the right of its people to national self-determination. Le Pen has called for an independent, international investigation into the allegations made against the Syrian government.Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the France Insoumise (Rebellious France) was, predictably ambiguous in his statements. He condemned the use of chemical weapons regardless of who uses them. He did not , however, condemn the principle of bombing a sovereign nation in the name of "human rights."
Rather, he criticised the unilateral manner in which the United States bombed Syria: President Hollande and Chancellor Merkel are to blame for allowing the United States to take unilateral military action without UN approval.
Translation: "Hollande and Merkel hold complete resonsibility for giving Trump the sole power to strike whom he wants when he wants"
Is Mélenchon left wing?
There are many people in France who will tell you that Jean-Luc Mélenchon is a genuine "left-wing" candidate. In fact, there are some organisations claiming to be "Marxist-Leninist" who have given their support to the Trotskyist former PS back bencher! We are talking about a man who has always been a supporter of the ultra-capitalist European Union; a supporter of the far-right François Hollande during his dismal 2012 presidential campaign, and a defender of the "humanitarian" bombing of Libya in 2011 - one of the most atrocious wars of the last half century.
Jean-Luc Mélenchon is an imperialist, a war monger and a class traitor.But he speaks well and masks his reaction in eloquent, rabble-rousing left phraseology. It does not surprise me, therefore, to see Pole de Renaissance Communiste (PRCF), a Brezhneviste dissident group, supporting him; they failed to make a concrete scientific analysis of the USSR over thirty years of catastrophic revisionism and now the same anti-dialectical political posturing is evident in their support for Mélenchon.
Marine Le Pen's condemnation of Trump is a wise move in terms of her electoral chances. Le Pen has increasing working-class support and, although she is no anti-imperialist, she has been consistent in opposing NATO wars of aggression disguised as humanitarian interventions. While Mélenchon was defending the carpet bombing of Libya in 2011, Le Pen wisely opposed it. In that debate Mélenchon was clearly the fascist.
And, as predicted, Mélenchon's statements on Trump's bombing of Syria, are proof of everything I have been saying about him for over 6 years. Mélenchon and his followers are not against the bombing of Syria, they are against the unilateral US-led bombing of Syria. They would prefer a UN-mandated French-led bombing campaign such as Libya in 2011.
Unlike Le Pen, Jean-Luc Mélenchon has benefited from considerable support from the oligarchy's liberal press agencies. They are now claiming that he may become the principal opponent of Le Pen in the second round of this month's elections. To leftists with little Marxist theory and less left-wing history, Mélenchon's lofty pronouncements criticising French policy in Syria seem anti-imperialist. But dig a little beneath the surface and you will quickly find that Mélenchon is all form and no content. He is now saying that the war on Syria is all about "pipe-lines".We have been talking about that for 6 years!
Now, when the rank and file of Mélenchon's followers - some of whom are genuine leftists - are asking embarrassing questions at his rallies, he concedes that the Syrian war is not quite a " revolution." Then he falls back on the usual petty bourgeois leftist trope:national chauvinism - the problem is the Americans! France should form an independent policy in the Middle East, he exclaims. However, what he really means is that France should lead the way in humanitarian bombing campaigns and that they should do so under the aegis of the United Nations- left phrases and a block with the rights, as old Lenin would say.
No amount of mendacious lip-service to the Bolivarian revolution or Latin American progressivism will change the fact that Mélenchon is at heart a national chauvinist.
He is far closer to fascism than Le Pen. We define fascism as rule by the financial oligarchy. The financial oligarchy are more favourable to Mélenchon than Le Pen. The mayor of Janvry Christian Schoettl has recently accused Mélenchon of embezzlement of public funds. The allegations against the Rebellious France leader are more serious than those against Republican presidential candidate Francois Fillon. Yet, as if to prove the veracity of Schoettl's allegations, Le Monde promptly took up the defence of Mélenchon.
In a video on You Tube Schoettl claims that Mélenchon is protected by oligarch arms manufacturer and media mogul Serge Dassault because Mélenchon is precisely the kind of "anti-capitalist" capitalism needs to prevent its overthrow and maintain the illusion of democracy and freedom.