Sunday 24th of June 2018

I shall let that pass, since you cannot possibly know whose leg it is that you are pushing... (or pulling?)

clouseau

This weekend, the French press has not stopped praising Barack Obama, who came to France to participate in a “very expensive” conference. He was praised — lavished with a supersized beatitude equal in proportion to the massive criticisms that Nicolas Sarkozy suffered for going to the same thing in the past.

Meeting with Anne Hidalgo (Mayor of Paris) in the morning, lunch at the Élysée with Emmanuel Macron, before speaking one hour — at the hotel where he stayed — with François Hollande to finally give a lecture in the auditorium of the Maison de la Radio, in front of an assembly of business leaders and politicians, including the Socialists, Segolene Royal, Fleur Pellerin, Jack Lang and Najat Vafaei-Bashin. The next day, December 2, Barack Obama would have nothing much to say about the current tenant of the White House, but if in the United States Obama is no longer president, in France, Obamania has not abated.

“In Paris, Barack Obama gives the world a lesson in optimism,” headlined Sunday BFMTV, meanwhile, the Journal Du Dimanche made it its headline as well. On France 2, while the site published an article headlined “Barack Obama holds a conference in Paris and captivates his audience”, Laurent Delahousse, in his show 7 pm on Sunday, granted an important spread, to this former president who was doing the French news, soberly called “Nostalgia for Obama” the story goes back to the 44th American president ... and sings the tune “Barack Obama is the positive figure par excellence.”

The next day, the media outlets rivalled each others with glowing adjectives, superlatives, all more complimentary than one another. Barack Obama, was thus acclaimed like a “rock-star” — whose “fans” were waiting for the “demigod”, to take in only the most memorable and even the most fleeting outings. The image of the former American president having taken “an active part in the Paris Accords” and presented as the antithesis of a Donald Trump, himself unanimously criticised in the French media during the American presidential campaign, made the hefty remuneration for his oratory services unimportant. Barack Jesus Obama “is THE speaker”...

 

Read the Russian version (in French):

https://fr.sputniknews.com/international/201712041034171115-usa-obama-fr...

 

Translation by Jules Letambour

absence of American leadership...

 


Obama cites 'absence of American leadership' on climate - ABC News


abcnews.go.com/.../obama-ends-international-trip-meetings-speech-paris- 51530778

2 days ago ... Former U.S. President Barack Obama is ending a five-day international trip inParis, where he had lunch with French President Emmanuel Macron and gave a speech to business leaders. Obama had a two-hour private lunch with Macron at the presidential Elysee Palace on Saturday.  ...

 

Obama went on to make the same mistake Bush did...

 

Out of the New York Times last week came a report that slave auctions are now a reality in Libya. This was hardly breaking news—those who have followed the plight of that traumatized North African country know horrid human rights abuses have been rampant for years—but the existence of such auctions, unheard of by most Americans outside of weirdly macabre Disney World rides, still arouses fresh alarm. Lawless Libya has become an escape route to the Mediterranean for thousands of migrants seeking asylum in Europe, which has given rise to human traffickers promising them safe passage, only to brutalize them and even sell them as chattel. How did this happen? According to the Times: “The migrant crisis in Libya originated with the collapse of the government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi six years ago.”

Really? Gaddafi’s regime just collapsed, did it? Maybe it was blown over by a strong gust of wind, or perhaps cheers were heard from a distant party of Jenga players? Strong though some of its reportage is, the Times article completely overlooks the Obama administration’s 2011 war that killed Gaddafi and plunged Libya into anarchy. Absent also is any mention of Hillary Clinton who, according to a previousTimes account, was instrumental in convincing a circumspect Obama to intervene. Missing, too, was her subsequent cry of victory over Gaddafi: “We came, we saw, he died” (that describes a lot of Libyans these days). The left-leaning Times couldn’t even muster up a shot at Marco Rubio who supported the Libya mission on the jejune grounds that “we would love to see, to the extent possible, peaceful countries run by people that are in search of prosperity.”

Instead, the Times portrayed the Libyan crisis as all about refugees, with European leaders indicted for trying to stem the human flow out of Africa. The migrant problem is a knotty one and deserves consideration, but it isn’t the root cause of Libya’s woes: that would be the 2011 invasion, which led to human trafficking and horrors beyond. Into the post-Gaddafi vacuum were sucked two and at times three different governments, each claiming legitimacy over Libya, with a honeycomb of militias in between. The regime presently supported by the United States, the Government of National Accord (GNA), wields authority that’s shaky at best. Its rival, the House of Representatives in Tobruk, exerts substantial military control over eastern and central Libya, boosted by the Russians. Just last week, the army forces of former Gaddafi nemesis General Khalifa Haftar, which are allied with Tobruk, threatened to exercise “military might” if a political solution isn’t reached within six months. That presumably would mean an invasion of Tripoli, which, were Haftar successful, could end with Libya being forcibly reunited under the rule of a single military officer.

How familiar.

Away from the halls of power, the lives of average Libyans have been turned upside-down, with electricity flickering on and off during heat waves, banks turning away prospective withdrawers with empty pockets, the economy trapped in the doldrums. The AFP last year interviewed several Libyans who openly yearned for the days of Gaddafi. “I hate to say it but our life was better under the previous regime,” said one, adding, “Everything is three times more expensive [now].” The turbulence has radiated outwards: from Tunisia to Egypt to England, terrorist attacks have been traced back to Libya, where lawlessness provides an ideal nesting ground for jihadists. Until late last year when a rare concerted military operation drove them out, Islamic State fighters were using the city of Sirte as a sort of auxiliary capital to their stronghold in Raqqa. And Gaddafi’s weapon stocks, smuggled out of the country after the dictator’s downfall, have fueled violence fromMali to Syria.

The invasion of Iraq seems now the relic of a bygone era, one doped up on American idealism only to crash into the hazy desert. But Libya was of a different time. The United States had supposedly been chastened for its recklessness, culminating in the election of a candescent young president who crushed two pro-war challengers. That Obama went on to make the same mistake Bush did—toppling a dictator in a tribally riven country without even a plan for the aftermath—almost beggars belief.

Read more:

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-ideologues-who-wreck...

read also: 

http://yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/32297

 

the best tweets, demagoguedly ...

 

 

Twitter has released its annual list of the most popular tweets on the platform, and in a year when so much coverage of the US president, Donald Trump, has been dominated by his Twitter activity, it is his predecessor Barack Obama who dominates.

Obama’s tweet quoting Nelson Mandela, stating “no one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion ...” had more than 1.7m retweets and was the second most popular tweet of the year. It was tweeted on 13 August after the death of the anti-fascist protester Heather Heyer at Charlottesville.

Read more and spew:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/dec/05/obama-eclipses-trump-...

 

Could not agree more with the tweet... But note that Obama WAS at war during his eight years of Presidency... and many innocent children were killed "regrettably" by his actions, including sponsoring terrorism in Syria and the destruction of Libya... He should vanish but like Blair, he has to maintain his glorious Imperator bullshit.

 

la sausage contre les fake news...

The bill to fight against the spread of "fake news" announced by Emmanuel Macron has been widely criticized by Internet users who believe that the president is actually trying to muzzle discordant voices.


In his declared desire to fight against "conspiracy and populism", Emmanuel Macron announced on 3 January on the occasion of his wishes to the press a bill aimed at "protecting the democratic life". Referring to "the truth" or "freedom of expression", the President of the Republic explained that the state wanted to monitor the way information is produced.


An announcement that has not failed to irk users, who are, as well as broadcast platforms and foreign media, directly affected by this measure. Not without irony, some compare the "validation of the truth by 'Jupiter'" to the devices deployed by the North Korean leader Kim Jung Un or the Pravda of the Soviet era.

 

Read more:

https://francais.rt.com/france/47008-derive-totalitaire-la-toile-sinquie...

little napoleon does yamerika... clap clap clap...

 

...

All this obviously ignores that the Paris accord is a declaration of intentions more than it is a binding agreement. If Trump were to rejoin it, nothing would prevent him from overstepping the set targets regardless.

Regardless, this was the only instance in which Macron deliberately divided the house between Republicans and Democrats. Otherwise he surfed the wave, portraying himself as a mediator. On the Iran deal, he first asserted that France would stand by its commitments, yet seemed optimistic about finding a compromise that would include the United States. He then earned a long round of applause for saying that “Iran shall never possess any nuclear weapons.”

This turned out to be Macron’s general theme. He smuggled his agenda into a speech that flattered the United States and invoked American pride, that showed respect for veterans and reiterated America’s role in the West, the sorts of things that congressmen have to clap for. He took this double act as far as openly criticizing nationalism, which was welcomed despite Trump sometimes being identified with the “nationalist” label. Indeed, that Macron mixed the uplifting message of freedom into this segment made the applause inevitable. Democrats stood immediately, while some Republicans can be seen reluctantly getting up and then sitting down after only a few claps. This mastery of the crowd shows that Macron’s speech was well rehearsed and that he arrived with a perfect sense of the environment he found himself in. One thing is for certain: the media reviews are going to be fantastic.

Over in Europe, however, the enthusiasm is less pronounced. Macron’s charm offensive has gone largely unnoticed in France, as the country is paralyzed with public infrastructure strikes, universities blocked by radical left-wing students, and the violent evacuation of a construction site with the help of 2,000 police officers. Macron loves to play king of Europe at the European Parliament and savior of the world in Washington D.C.; back home the reality is more complicated, as his sagging approval ratings demonstrate.

 

Read more:

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/emmanuel-macron-divides-...

 

Read also:

macron, the deal-mother-fucker... 

and:

how is this possible?...

 

Read from top.

 

Meanwhile:

Emmanuel Macron conceded he had probably failed in his attempt during a three-day trip to Washington to persuade Donald Trump to stay in the Iran nuclear deal, describing US flip-flopping on international agreements as “insane”.

The French president had hoped to convince Trump to continue to waive sanctions on Iran, as agreed by the 2015 nuclear deal, in which Iran agreed to accept strict curbs on its nuclear activities. Macron offered Trump the prospect of negotiations on a new complementary deal that would address Iranian missile development and Tehran’s military intervention in the Middle East.

 

Read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/25/macron-goes-against-trump-...

 

Now between me myself and him, I can say with confidence that Macron says one thing and does another... Like Trump as well... What has been said is for the public. Behind the stage, the bullshit piles up...

macron should give us the creeps...

 

...

The day before Macron arrived, he gave an interview to Fox News asserting that "there was no Plan B" to the Iran nuclear accord which was signed in 2015 by the US, France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China.

Macron was billed as the European leader who would persuade Trump to stick with the nuclear agreement. But this week, despite all the glad-handing with "my friend Emmanuel", Trump maintains an aggressive disdain for the Iran deal, hinting that he is ready to scrap it next month.


And what was Macron's response? He said that France was now working with the US to "renegotiate a new deal" with Iran.


So much for Macron standing up to Trump.


Iran says that there will be no renegotiation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as it is formally known. The JCPOA was ratified by the UN Security Council after Iran and the six world powers signed it as a done deal in July 2015.


Russia and China have also said there can be no backtracking on the accord. The Europeans were also stating this — at least up to this week before Macron's embarrassing U-turn. It will be very interesting to see what Merkel has to say on the matter when she arrives in Washington later this week.

What the encounter between Trump and Macron shows this week is that the French president is nothing more than a lapdog. He may have been regaled with pomp and ceremony, and with florid rhetoric about representing "America's oldest ally". But in practice, all the show of two strong leaders standing side-by-side is corny public imaging.


However, that's what makes Macron a particularly dangerous accessory to Trump. The French politician is evidently willing to bend over backwards to pander to Washington's demands.

Macron's presumption of leading Europe is a pernicious delusion. Some media have even referred to him as "Trump's whisperer" — intimating that the young French president has a Svengali-like influence over the older American.

In the days before the US, Britain and France carried out their illegal missile barrage against Syria on April 14, it was Macron to whom Trump turned to for advice on what action to take.


Macron reportedly briefed Trump on "French intelligence" about the alleged chemical-weapons atrocity on April 7 in Douma, near Damascus. Macron also reportedly cajoled Trump to order the military strikes a week later.


It has become clear now that the chemical-weapons incident on April 7 was a false-flag provocation staged by Western-backed militants.


In other words, French "intelligence" was either faulty, or more likely a fabrication. But the upshot was that the US, Britain and France committed a grave war crime by attacking Syria.

This is why Emmanuel Macron should give us the creeps. He is willing to say anything to ingratiate himself with the American president in order to inflate his world standing and that of his has-been colonial nation. All the effusive body language is that of a wannabe trying to be a statesman on the world stage.

 

Macron, like his American "daddy", is taking it upon himself to unilaterally rip up an international treaty with Iran that other world powers and the UN have already finalized.

In order to justify this outrageous bad-faith and backsliding, Macron is giving credence to Trump's calumny about Iran being a sponsor of terrorism, destabilizing the region, and illegally developing ballistic missiles. Macron is saying that a "new deal" with Iran will have to be made which will curb Iranian presence in Syria, allegedly in Yemen and the Middle East.

The "Trump whisperer" is not an independent, principled European leader. He is a self-aggrandizing careerist who is willing to play to Trump's worst instincts and ignorance. Even if that means inciting more war in Syria and the Middle East.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201804251063899758-macron-trump-dange...

 

Meanwhile, the French government has been implicated in financing DAESH through a French cement enterprise in Syria.

 

Read from top.

Okay... Maybe I see conspiracies where there is none, but when I work out the progressive sum-total of the system in flux, I am sure there are, may not be conspiracies, but let's call these "arranged set ups".

Under Obama, actually since the Clinton's tenure, the perception of the rest of the world was that the US empire was on the wane. How do you change this perception? Empire is as much about perception than bully armies. By now after having done a lot of iffy-fluffy army stuff on the world scene, it's time to take a breather. The empire US forces are capable, but stretched. They have not won much apart from Iraq, the victory of which to say the least has helped this country fall into the hands of the enemy, Iran. So it has to be considered a "political" defeat despite a military "victory". Hence we have to create DAESH discretely. Same with Libya. The military victory is a political mess, desirable but uncontrolable yet. So, The Donald is taking stock, he wants (wink, wink — as this is the first part of the set-up) to achieve "America First" because blah blah, we know the spiel, US army costing too much, not enough commitments from US "allies", etc... This lead to a bit of kerfuffle on the world scene including "raising tariffs" (but not for the friends of the US — wink wink) all in order to curb the rise of China and piss on the Russians, plus a few manufactured "false-flags" events to play the magic, and all that. You know the routine. You're the tall guy in a Laurel and Hardy routine. That's Trump and Macron... You want to destroy the deal made with Iran as well... The whole thing has been rehearsed to work like a comic repartee. You brush off some dandruff from Macron's shoulders because you want him to be "perfect" in his assigned role of the comic duo, which is "to make you look bad". Macron goes on stage in the US Congress and blasts Trump's "US First" stance! Holala, but The Donald could not be happier... he has trouble not smiling. The papers and the cartoonists think that Macron has pushed the Donald's head in a pile of shit! The Donald loves it! He still has problem trying to refrain from smiling! In one STAGED swoop, he has made the world (through Macron's little play-acting) BEG FOR THE EMPIRE TO STAY AND LEAD — and destroy the deal with Iran... What is the Donald going to do? Is he going to sulk? Idiots! He's going to be humbly rekindled and tell us that yes, he will lead the world (and fuck it some more) with a renewed passion. The empire was tired. Now it's reinvigorated... Did you see the trick? No? Read again from the top of this paragraph and fill in the blanks...

the media is dumb...

Few in the media have seen what I see (read comment above). People tell me that ohlala, Macron "blasted The Donald!" I say make your pigeon-loft work. Read again my comment above. It was a set up. Donald is not dumb. He is a salesman. He's made billions by ... being dumb? He lets the new kid on the block to tell him what the new kid wants to buy: THE US EMPIRE... BEAUTIFUL! SOLD!

Brilliant!

dancing to the same tune as macroleon...

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that the existing deal with Iran was not sufficient to curb its nuclear program, while Tehran’s influence must be contained.

“We are of the opinion that the JCPOA is the first step that has contributed to slowing down their activities in this particular respect, that also established a better verification and monitoring process. But we also think, from the German perspective, that this is not sufficient in order to see the Iranian ambitions curbed and contained,” Merkel said, adding that Tehran’s “geopolitical influence in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq” must be countered.

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/425345-existing-iran-deal-not-sufficient/

 

Simple translation: We, the western goodies, tried to muck up Iran's influence by letting our mates the Saudis create Daesh, but Daesh went a bit too far... So we acted as if we were fighting Daesh but this was only a pretext to destroy Iraq and Syria some more. We're still in there, in illegal bases, but what are they going to do? Hey? We're sending the 6th Fleet joined by the 5th Fleet (a huge Armada with flags and trumpets) to "help to further regional stability" as we see fit, by bombing something somewhere, while trying to avoid hitting Russian thingies, otherwise the "real shit would hit the dunny fan"...

 

Read from top...

napoleon wins waterloo!...

At the very end of the trip, after he had bear-hugged Donald Trump and held a feisty speech in Congress and just two hours before his Airbus plane, decorated with the Tricolour, is set to take off on its way back to Paris, Emmanuel Macron plops down in an armchair in a dimly lit, room at George Washington University. "I'm yours," he says to the small group of journalists he has invited for a sit-down.

If he is tired, which would certainly be understandable after the last few days, he doesn't show it. He has grown thinner after almost a year in office and a thick layer of makeup covers his face. It makes him seem unnaturally tanned -- almost as though some of Donald Trump's color has rubbed off on him.

Macron looks expectantly at the gathered journalists, some of the most prominent commentators in the United States. For Macron, the meeting is a chance to talk about his state visit -- a visit that produced myriad images in the global media. And the French president wants to talk a bit about those images, to have the last word, so to speak.

As usual, Macron is behind schedule, turning up almost an hour late. He has never met a schedule that can keep him in line, no matter how influential the people who are waiting on him might be. When Macron visited German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin last week, he showed up 35 minutes late.

Macron captivated his American hosts during his visit, with his appearances -- both here and elsewhere -- increasingly resembling those of a popstar. In Washington, people were lined up to see him, taking pictures with their mobile phones and calling out: "Mister President!" and "Emmanoooelll!"

Shortly before his meeting with the press, Macron spoke with students at the university. With no jacket and his sleeves rolled up in a style reminiscent of Barack Obama, Macron stood in the middle of a vast auditorium and did what he so often and so willingly does: He spoke and answered questions for more than an hour.

"What steps and precautions do you hope to take to protect Jewish citizens like my grandparents in France?" asked one student.

"Many young people here have been inspired by your progress and the En Marche and I'm wondering, what advice do you have for us who might be frustrated ... by the two-party system?" asked another.

He stood on the stage speaking English with no notes, something no French president before him has ever done, even if his accent is relatively strong. Like a preacher, he exhorted the students to disregard those who tell them they can only find success by obeying the rules. "That's bullshit," he said to laughter.

When he finally stepped down off the stage and made his way to the room full of waiting journalists, a group representing the country's liberal elite, it didn't take long before he impressed them just as he had the students in the auditorium a short time before and the Senators and Representatives before that. And all that despite his "very special relationship" with Donald Trump, the hated president who he seemingly couldn't keep his hands off the day before. It was quite an achievement.

Filled with Dread

For Macron, despite some of the images bordering on the embarrassing, the visit was a success. He has emerged from the trip with an even more prominent position on the world stage than he had when it started.

In seems almost as though this state visit was a present for his first anniversary in office. It was the first such invitation extended by Trump and both the French and the Americans repeatedly emphasized what an honor it was. Almost as though the trip itself was sufficient proof that Emmanuel Macron, the 40-year-old president of France, had risen -- at least for the moment -- to the very top of the European political pecking order. Analyst after analyst insisted on pointing out that Merkel's reception upon her arrival in Washington on Friday was far less grand.

The French president's visit to the U.S. capital came almost exactly a year after Macron easily defeated right-wing populist Marine Le Pen, a victory that filled liberals around the world with hope just as Trump's victory a half-year earlier had filled them with dread. It is one of the singularities of international politics that these two men, who stand for so much that is contradictory, apparently have a great deal of fondness for one another.

What must the French think of the bond? Macron tells the group of journalists on the evening of his departure that he thinks they are proud of him. And public opinion surveys would seem to support that assessment. Some 40 percent of the French are satisfied with his performance thus far, hardly stratospheric numbers but much better than those of his predecessor François Hollande at the same moment in his presidency. He is, to be sure, facing headwinds at home: rail workers are striking, as are others that he has angered with his reform plans. The media, too, is full of increasingly sharp criticism. But he left all of that far behind during the few days he spent in Washington.

On Monday at 1 p.m., Macron landed at Andrews Air Force Base just outside the U.S. capital, the gangway bumping roughly into the side of the A330 aircraft. Then the president emerged and had hardly spent three minutes on American soil before giving a brief address to the press. The visit was a great honor, he said in English, before repeating the same sentiment in French for good measure. The Airbus was still roaring in the background.

He quickly went over his itinerary: the meeting with Trump at Mt. Vernon, George Washington's countryside estate; the meetings at the White House; the speech to Congress. His visit, he said, would touch on all matters of importance, particularly vital issues such as security, climate change and the trade war with Europe. "Many decisions" would be made during the visit, Macron said, because there were "many uncertainties." 

Primary Beneficiaries

The uncertainties, to be sure, remain even after his departure. But the visit will primarily be remembered for the images it produced. Images of these two vastly different men who repeatedly emphasized the respect and affinity they hold for each other -- with words, with kisses and with hugs. Those following the visit up close for three days quickly found it all to be a bit much. The ostentatious displays of friendship between Macron and Trump, it is a show of which the two of them are the primary beneficiaries.

Trump benefits because he can be seen at the side of a young political idol who, in contrast to Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May, actually laughs at his jokes and who, during their joint press conference, spontaneously planted a kiss on his cheek.

"As President Trump just correctly said," Macron said, "cher Donald, we have a lot in common." Macron has an entire arsenal of rhetorical niceties at his disposal to keep his counterpart in a good mood, little snippets that he sprinkles into his comments every couple sentences or so: yet another mention of the 240-year bond between the two countries; the shared history; La Fayette and Washington.

The visit, though, was also beneficial to Macron, and not just because it was proof that France is back on the global stage after an extended absence. He is now seen by some Americans as the savior of the West and its values. A year ago, that mantle was (largely unwillingly) worn by Angela Merkel, but the tone she adopted early on with Trump was a frosty one and it has remained so, resulting in her having little influence over him. Some are even calling Macron the "Trump whisperer." He realized early on how to deal with this man who understands more about show business than he does about politics. And how much potential his presidency holds, not least for Macron himself.

The question, though, is how the rest of the world might benefit from this relationship. But even after this most recent trip, the answer remains unclear.

Initially, it doesn't seem as though Macron has succeeded in getting Trump to fundamentally change his position on any issue at all. On the contrary. The tariffs on European aluminum and steel imports are likely to come into effect at the beginning of May. And whether Trump will back out of the Iran nuclear deal or not remains a mystery. "Nobody knows what I'm going to do," he crowed during the press conference, as though global politics were a quiz show.

'He Is Very Predictable'

In Washington, Macron spoke out in favor of a "more comprehensive deal," as agreed to with his European partners prior to the trip. The hope is to get Trump to refrain from discarding the deal, working instead to expand it to include aspects that are important to the U.S. president. Aspects pertaining to Iranian missile tests or Tehran's destabilizing behavior in the Middle East, for example. Trump must make his decision by May 12 at the latest, consistent with the requirement that he renew the suspension of sanctions on Iran every 120 days. If it doesn't, it won't automatically mean that the nuclear deal is dead, but it would certainly put it on the path toward dissolution. Iran, after all, has already indicated that it would resume enriching uranium should Trump reinstate sanctions.

Back in the room at George Washington University prior to his flight home, Macron tells the gathered journalists that he doesn't know what Trump will decide on May 12, but says he isn't very optimistic. "When a lot of people say Trump isn't predictable, I think the opposite," Macron says. "He is very predictable." Trump does what he has promised he will do, the French president says -- which doesn't bode well for stability in the Middle East.

On the wall next to Macron is a sentence spelled out in white letters: "We will change the world." But Macron had nothing to do with the messaging. The room for the meeting was picked out by the Secret Service. Behind Macron, his diplomatic adviser Philippe Étienne is tapping out a message on his mobile phone while the French ambassador naps on the sofa. State visits, and this one perhaps more than others, can be rather strenuous.

One after the other, the journalists present prod Macron with questions about Iran. It's not every day, after all, that you get to sit down with the French president, who answers all queries patiently and at length. The New York Times columnist Roger Cohen wants to know if Macron's visit will have been a failure if Trump allows the Iran deal to fail. Why? a wide-eyed Macron shoots back. "I never said, 'I will convince Mr. Trump,'" he responds.

When asked if the U.S. president even knows what is in the deal, Macron quickly responds by saying he has no reason to believe otherwise.

Unbeatable

Here too, among some of Trump's greatest critics, Macron would like to make a positive impression. His magic is to have its effect. After three days of buddying up to Trump, he would like to explain himself, but in such a way that it doesn't make the world's most powerful, and perhaps most hated, man look bad. 

Macron loves challenges like that. He is unbeatable in hand-to-hand combat.

Back home in France, he is able to explain to angry pensioners why he is cutting their payments in such a way that they come away with a smile on their faces. He can hold forth to Catholic bishops about the possibilities opened up by artificial insemination and be rewarded with applause. 

But how far can his sincerity take him with someone like Trump? Is it even possible to trust Trump?

"Yes," says Macron without hesitation. He then quotes the philosopher Emmanuel Levinas. Trust is something you give to someone, it isn't something that the other person has to earn.

"I have given him my trust," Macron says, for there was no alternative. Europe and the U.S. have no choice but to be allied, he continues. "I trust him very much because I want him to be part of our club," Macron says looking intently at the journalists surrounding him.

He believes that he can succeed in binding Trump to Europe and its values by way of a personal relationship, by way of this strange bromance. Or at least he seeks to generate a certain amount of influence over Trump. And with a little luck, perhaps he can keep Trump from completely abandoning the climate deal and the Iran agreement.

Thus far, Macron has seen no reason to doubt his seductive abilities. He has been successful in most of what he has set out to do. There have, though, been some setbacks. Despite his celebrated speech last year at the Sorbonne, the EU hasn't taken a significant step forward. His large gestures may be impressive, but are the effective?

The Rest of the World's Turn

Macron is aware that his recipe for success may meet its match in Donald Trump. Prior to becoming French president, he often answered questions about his future with an English phrase: "The sky is the limit." Thus far, it has been largely true. First as a young minister in Hollande's cabinet and then as president, he has stirred his country, reforming and renewing France more rapidly than any of his predecessors. Now, it is the rest of the world's turn.

Macron's visit to the United States was reminiscent of the beginning of his presidency, when he also intentionally staged memorable events with deep symbolic effect, moments that reinfused the presidency with the necessary dignity -- a process that seemed badly needed in the wake of Hollande's presidency, full as it was of images of the feeble-looking president with fogged glasses standing in a downpour. Macron's predecessor was a weak, sad figure of whom the French were ultimately ashamed.

But then came Macron, striding across the courtyard of the Louvre to the strains of Beethoven's "Ode to Joy." Rappelling down from a helicopter to the deck of a submarine in uniform. Signing laws at his desk surrounded by his cabinet. Last June, when his official portrait was presented -- to be hung in schools and government buildings -- he released a video at the same time, documenting the photo shoot. It was a kind of "making-of" video, showing him put down his two mobile phones and pick up a book, lost in thought.

"Politics is a style, a kind of magic. You have to define the essence of the message you wish to impart," Macron once said. That is his maxim and that is what has guided his actions from the very beginning. He establishes a feeling of closeness, an illusion of informality. But the amount of control he exerts over how it is depicted could hardly be greater.

Reliable Information

Some French journalists believe that Macron is so obsessed with controlling everything that this desire is even at odds with democratic principles. One reporter from a large French daily who has written about the country's politics for years even had herself transferred to a different beat. She says it is impossible to get reliable information out of the Élysée anymore. Macron is so bent on controlling the flow of information that his aides and confidants prefer not to say anything at all.

The most immediate images and videos of Emmanuel Macron are to be found on his Facebook page. And it was no different during his state visit to Washington. It is possible to accompany Macron live on Facebook without having to spend hours waiting behind red barrier tape.

You can watch videos of the French president shortly after his arrival taking a spontaneously arranged walk to the Lincoln Memorial and shaking hands with passersby. You can also watch an eight-second video of him and his wife Brigitte deciding to go for stroll. "Let's have a walk," Emmanuel says, in English of course. "If you want," she replies, briefly smiling into the camera.

But during his three days with Donald Trump, even a perfectionist like Macron was unable to control all of the images. There were several rather odd moments, such as when he and Trump planted a French oak together next to the White House, their wives sinking into the grass in their high heels as the two men shoveled a bit of dirt onto the roots of the spindly tree. Or when Trump brushed dandruff from the Frenchman's shoulders. Or when he grabbed Macron's hand and led him away like a small child.

Some admire Macron for his composure at Trump's side. Others are repelled by it. "Un voyage pour l'image," says one member of his delegation, a trip for the images.

The high point of his visit, though, was his speech before the two houses of Congress. He transformed the chamber into his own arena, cheered even as he entered. After all the criticism for his doting relationship with Trump, he thrilled the U.S. president's political opponents with a pugnacious speech.

Nationalism Is an Illusion

The worldview Macron laid out in Congress contradicts Trump's own on virtually every single point. He condemned isolationism, saying that pulling away from the affairs of the world leaves a vacuum. "Other powers, with a stronger strategy and ambition, will then fill the void we would leave empty," he said. "You can play with fears and anger for a time. But they do not construct anything." Nationalism, he intimated, is an illusion.

He said that America's Iran policy could lead to a new war in the Middle East. The sovereignty of all nations must be respected, he said, even that of Iran. Only the Democrats applauded that line.

The speech, like the entire visit, was akin to walking a tightrope. But at the end, everyone liked him anyway. Only one Republican Representative from Kentucky seemed put off, tweeting "French President is a socialist militarist globalist science-alarmist." Whatever that might be. 

The time has come for the final question in Macron's sit-down with journalists at George Washington University. It's almost time for him to board the plane home. Does he really like Trump as much as he made it seem during the last three days? Is the relationship between two such obviously different men actually real?

Macron slides to the edge of the armchair, but not because the question has made him feel uncomfortable in any way. "Listen," he says. "I have my way of expressing affection." His guests grin. "And Donald Trump has his. The two styles have now mixed," Macron continues to laughter.

"We are both mavericks in our respective political systems." Both are presidents, and both beat the odds by winning their elections. That's what binds them. Two outsiders who have managed to become the most powerful men in their countries. They both love the cameras and enjoy a good show. They are as different as it is possible to be, but somehow, they are quite similar nonetheless.

Macron has to go. He stands up, smiles and shakes hands with everybody in the room. Then he leaves, knowing that once again, he has won.


Read at :

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/macron-and-trump-put-friendshi...

 

The dreamer of bullshit planted a tree... Remember "Emminualle" helped the Donald bomb Syria recently for fucking nothing...

tree on the lawn...

This reminds me of a funny story, the real actors of which shall be kept alone, but let's say that soon Donald's dog if he had one, took the tree out anb buried a bone in the hole... wink wink...

 

Read fom top... Agent Merkel was on his trail...

the reality: dandruff on the poodle...

All the handshakes, hugs and smooching between Trump and Macron this week made for cringing viewing. Not because two males were being cordial and affectionate.

No, the embarrassment stems from the French leader being such a pathetic poodle to the White House bully.

The "dandruff moment" was perhaps the most revealing. At one point in the Oval Office, the American president interrupted himself mid-sentence to lean over to his French counterpart and he began grooming his collar, saying he was removing "dandruff". Macron seemed unfazed and continued smiling.

 

read more:

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201804251063899758-macron-trump-dange...

has the tree been removed?

Pictures taken by a Reuters photographer appeared to show that a tree planted at the White House this week by Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron has vanished.

The tree, an oak sapling from the site of a pivotal first world war battle involving the US marines, was a gift presented by the French president as part of his state visit to Washington.

The tree came from Belleau Wood, north-east of Paris, where 1,811 Americans died in a ferocious battle in June 1918.

In a tweet, Macron said: “100 years ago, American soldiers fought in France, in Belleau to defend our freedom. This oak tree (my gift to [Donald Trump]) will be a reminder at the White House of these ties that bind us.”

Macron and Trump planted it on Monday, using golden shovels and with wives Brigitte Macron and Melania Trump looking on.

The planting ceremony prompted jokes and speculation on social media, particularly about whether the French president had been “trolling” Trump over his environmental policies and withdrawal from the Paris climate accord.

...

tree on the lawn...

It's possible that the photographer looked in the wrong spot, or that the WH gardener replanted it somewhere else, less obtrusive. "The dog might have dunnit" as mentioned at the end of napoleon wins waterloo!...

 

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viva obama?...

 

By ERIC ZUESSE 

 

How the New York Times Lies About Lies: Obama v. Trump as Example


 


 

Although the New York Times says that President Donald Trump lies vastly more than did President Barack Obama, the definite liar in that comparison — based on the factual record, to be presented here — is the New York Times itself. It lies in alleging this, which isn’t to say that either President lies more frequently than the other, but instead, that the Times’s calculation fails to count, at all, but instead altogether ignores, some of President Obama’s very worst lies — ones that were real whoppers. These were lies that were essential to his maintaining support among Democrats (such as the owners of this corporation, the NYT, are), and that would keep Democrats’ support only if they failed to judge him by his actual decisions and actions (such as the NYT’s owners do — or else they secretly know the truth on this, but prevent this truth from being published by their employees). Even to the present day, Obama is evaluated by Democrats on the basis of his lies instead of on the basis of his actions. He’s admired for his stated intentions and promises, which were often the opposite of what his consistent actual decisions and actions turned out to be on those very same matters, on which he had, in retrospect, quite clearly lied (though that was covered-up at the time — and still is). 

For example, among the list of lies that the NYT counts from Obama, is excluded Obama’s having asserted on 20 May 2009, at the signing into law of both the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act and the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act: “This bill nearly doubles the FBI’s mortgage and financial fraud program, allowing it to better target fraud in hard-hit areas. That’s why it provides the resources necessary for other law enforcement and federal agencies, from the Department of Justice to the SEC to the Secret Service, to pursue these criminals, bring them to justice, and protect hardworking Americans affected most by these crimes. It’s also why it expands DOJ’s authority to prosecute fraud that takes place in many of the private institutions not covered under current federal bank fraud criminal statutes — institutions where more than half of all subprime mortgages came from as recently as four years ago.”

Also not counted, but excluded, by the NYT, as having been an Obama lie, was his 24 January 2012 State of the Union Address assertion: “Tonight, I’m asking my Attorney General to create a special unit of federal prosecutors and leading state attorneys general to expand our investigations into the abusive lending and packaging of risky mortgages that led to the housing crisis. (Applause.) This new unit will hold accountable those who broke the law, speed assistance to homeowners, and help turn the page on an era of recklessness that hurt so many Americans. Now, a return to the American values of fair play and shared responsibility will help protect our people and our economy.”

But both statements were lies. The Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice issued on 13 March 2014 its "Audit of the Department of Justice's Efforts to Address Mortgage Fraud," and reported that Obama’s promises to prosecute turned out to be just lies. DOJ didn't even try; and they lied even about their efforts. The IG found: “DOJ did not uniformly ensure that mortgage fraud was prioritized at a level commensurate with its public statements. For example, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Criminal Investigative Division ranked mortgage fraud as the lowest criminal threat in its lowest crime category. Additionally, we found mortgage fraud to be a low priority, or not [even] listed as a priority, for the FBI Field Offices we visited.” Not just that, but, “Many Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSA) informed us about underreporting and misclassification of mortgage fraud cases.” This was important because, “Capturing such information would allow DOJ to ... better evaluate its performance in targeting high-profile offenders.”

Privately, Obama, early in his Administration, had told Wall Street executives that he would protect them. That statement, made in private to the leaders of Wall Street, turned out to have been honest. Though he lied often to the public, he never (so far as the available public record has shown) did so in private (except that he lied in private to Vladimir Putin, but neoconservatives such as the NYT’s owners and executives and editors don’t mind that at all — but they also don’t count it, at all). 

On 27 March 2009, Obama assembled the top executives of the bailed-out financial firms in a secret meeting at the White House, and he assured them that he would cover their backs; he promised them "My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks". It was never on the White House website; it was leaked out, which is one of the reasons Obama hates leakers (such as Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, and Julian Assange). What the DOJ's IG indicated was, in effect, that Obama had kept his secret promise to them.

Here is the context in which he had said that (from page 234 of Ron Suskind's 2011 book, Confidence Men, with boldfacings by me):

“My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”

It was an attention grabber, no doubt, especially that carefully chosen last word.

But then Obama’s flat tone turned to one of support, even sympathy. “You guys have an acute public relations problem that’s turning into a political problem,” he said. “And I want to help. But you need to show that you get that this is a crisis and that everyone has to make some sacrifices.” According to one of the participants, he then said, “I’m not out there to go after you. I’m protecting you. But if I’m going to shield you from public and congressional anger, you have to give me something to work with on these issues of compensation.”

No suggestions were forthcoming from the bankers on what they might offer, and the president didn’t seem to be championing any specific proposals. He had none: neither Geithner nor Summers believed compensation controls had any merit.

After a moment, the tension in the room seemed to lift: the bankers realized he was talking about voluntary limits on compensation until the storm of public anger passed. It would be for show.

Obama said “Everyone has to make sacrifices,” but he was talking to people who simply refused to be included in that “everyone.” As the mega-crooks who had been profiting from the crimes that had brought about the global economic collapse, those “sacrifices” should have been life-imprisonments. Only by means of such accountability, would their successors not try anything of the sort that these banksters had done. But such was not to be the case. So, the crimes continued.

Obama kept his word to them. The banksters got off scot-free, and kept their personal hundreds of millions of dollars ‘earned’.

He had been lying to the public, all along. Not only would he not prosecute the banksters, but he would treat them as if all they had was “an acute public relations problem that's turning into a political problem.” And he thought that the people who wanted them prosecuted were like the KKK who had chased Blacks with pitchforks before lynching. According to the DOJ, their Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) was “established by President Barack Obama in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes.” But, according to the Department's IG, it was all a fraud: a fraud that, according to the DOJ, itself had been going on since at least November 2009.

The IG's report continued by pointing out the Obama-appointed Attorney General’s lies, noting that on 9 October 2012, “the FFETF held a press conference to publicize the results of the initiative,” and:

“The Attorney General announced that the initiative resulted in 530 criminal defendants being charged, including 172 executives, in 285 criminal indictments or informations filed in federal courts throughout the United States during the previous 12 months. The Attorney General also announced that 110 federal civil cases were filed against over 150 defendants for losses totaling at least $37 million, and involving more than 15,000 victims. According to statements made at the press conference, these cases involved more than 73,000 homeowner victims and total losses estimated at more than $1 billion.

“Shortly after this press conference, we requested documentation that supported the statistics presented. ... Over the following months, we repeatedly asked the Department about its efforts to correct the statistics. ... Specifically, the number of criminal defendants charged as part of the initiative was 107, not 530 as originally reported; and the total estimated losses associated with true Distressed Homeowners cases were $95 million, 91 percent less than the $1 billion reported at the October 2012 press conference. ...

“Despite being aware of the serious flaws in these statistics since at least November 2012, we found that the Department continued to cite them in mortgage fraud press releases. ... According to DOJ officials, the data collected and publicly announced for an earlier FFETF mortgage fraud initiative – Operation Stolen Dreams – also may have contained similar errors."

Basically, the IG’s report said that the Obama Administration had failed to enforce the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009. This bill had been passed overwhelmingly, 92-4 in the Senate, and 338-52 in the House. All of the votes against it came from Republicans. (Perhaps Obama was secretly a Republican.) The law sent $165 million to the DOJ to catch the executive fraudsters who had brought down the U.S. economy, and it set up the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, and had been introduced and written by the liberal Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy. President Obama signed it on 20 May 2009. At that early stage in his Presidency, he couldn’t afford to display publicly that he was far to the right of every congressional Democrat, so he signed it.

Already on 15 November 2011, Syracuse University's TRAC Reports had headlined "Criminal Prosecutions for Financial Institution Fraud Continue to Fall," and provided a chart showing that whereas such prosecutions had been running at a fairly steady rate until George W. Bush came into office in 2001, they immediately plunged during his Presidency and were continuing that decline under Obama, even after the biggest boom in alleged financial fraud cases since right before the Great Depression. And, then, on 24 September 2013, TRAC Reports bannered "Slump in FBI White Collar Crime Prosecutions," and said that “prosecutions of white collar criminals recommended by the FBI are substantially down during the first ten months of Fiscal Year 2013.” This was especially so in the Wall Street area: “In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the largest projected drop in the rate of white collar crime prosecutions — 27.8 percent — was the Southern District of New York (Manhattan).” On 29 July 2015, Syracuse University’s TRAC Reports headlined “Federal White Collar Prosecutions At 20-Year Low,” and linked to their full study, which showed that, whereas in fiscal year 2004-2005, under George W. Bush, “Bank Fraud” had been the #1 most-prosecuted of all ”white collar crime matters,” it was, in the latest fiscal year, 2014-2015, only #3.

These were extremely serious crimes: they crashed the world’s economy in 2008. But there was no White House interest in pursuing them. Instead, the Obama Administration blocked any such prosecutions, or even investigations into specific cases.

So: if these sorts of lies weren’t outright frauds against the American public, then what could possibly be?

But that’s not all of what belongs in the “whopper” or “Big Lie” category from Obama: he lied constantly about Ukraine, and about Syria, and about Russia and about his intentions toward Russia, and about his proposed international-trade treaties: TPP. TTIP, and TISA. 

None of these whoppers was included in the listing that the NYT presented in their 14 December 2017 article “Trump’s Lies vs. Obama’s”.

I am nonpartisan toward persons and toward political parties, and consider all of America’s Presidents since 1981 (if not since 1968, but with the exception of Carter) to be and have been loathsome people (not even well-intentioned), but ‘news’ media such as the New York Times aren’t any more trustworthy (nor more honest) than these Presidents have been, and the pontifications from such ‘news’ media (in both their ’news’-reporting and opinion-pieces) are just propaganda, mixtures of truths with lies — and more and more of the public are coming to recognize this disgusting fact, so these media’s pretenses to honesty and trustworthiness are having fewer and fewer believers. But these media claim that fake ‘news’ comes only from their non-mainstream competitors (some of which are actually far more honest than they). Preserving their cartel is crucial to them. And it’s crucial to the people who benefit from this cartel.

 

Read more:

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/06/17/how-new-york-times-lie...

 

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