There has long been a kind of love-hate relationship between the US and France.
Remember the “freedom fries”?
And yet, few countries are more politically similar, hence the regular skirmishes between these two enemy brothers.
Both countries have a presidential regime, which is in fact a modern form of monarchy, if one considers the exorbitant power and lifestyle enjoyed by those who sit on the throne.
Despite severe flaws, both countries view themselves as the pinnacle of democracy.
And this should be a cause for concern, since those who pompously declare themselves champion of democracy, freedom, and so on… are generally the worst enemies of the values they pretend to cherish and defend.
They are like these sanctimonious politicians who, for example, campaign to impeach an unfaithful president, even though their own private life is far from being beyond reproach.
Remember Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich?
Hussein Obama and Napoleon Sarkozy regularly show up in front of the cameras, with solemn gravity, in order to give democracy lessons to the rest of the world, even though they behave like despots at home.
The only difference between Western leaders and their foes, located for the most part in North Africa and the Middle-East, is that their grip on absolute power is limited in time.
And yet, they generally manage to stay long enough in power to inflict serious damage to their and/or other countries.
Remember Tony Blair and Gordon Brown (UK), Brian Cowen (Ireland), or a certain G.W.?
And don’t forget those actually in power…
Interestingly enough, the US and France will both hold presidential elections later this year.
Needless to say that, contrary to popular belief and government propaganda, elections do not automatically mean democracy.
As a matter of fact, what both countries are exhibiting is a parody of democracy.
They organize elections that offer no real choice to their citizens, since very efficient filters ensure that only candidates perfectly in step with the official regime are allowed to face voters.
In both countries, all is being done to make sure that the only candidate who could bring real change is not going to make it to the final round.
In the US, Ron Paul is at best ignored by the media, at worst ridiculed in front of millions of overfed couch potatoes.
And in France, the far right candidate, Marine Le Pen may not even be authorized to compete.
Even though polls show that she might get 20% of the votes, she has not yet been able to get the 500 mandatory signatures from a herd of some 45,000 elected officials, while other candidates, who represent 2% of the population, have got theirs.
This is democracy at work!
Napoleon Sarkozy’s only hope to keep his ass on the throne depends on Le Pen not being allowed to compete… therefore, the end justifies the means…
Another common feature between the presidents of both countries is their strong tendency to meddle in other countries’ business, as if they didn’t have enough on their plate at home!
Probably eager to share a wisdom they were somehow anointed with, they spend a great deal of their time, and of their nation’s budget, to teach lessons to foreigners.
Thus, Napoleon Sarkozy is busy preaching the benefits of austerity throughout Southern Europe, even though France is one of the most socialist countries in the world.
Until now, the country has only been better at hiding its monstrous deficits.
Yet, it is faced with gigantic challenges, having to deal on one side with communist public unions (transports, electricity…), who take the country hostage as soon as there is talk of reform; on the other side with unaffordable and unsustainable social programs, such as a 35 hours working week, or retirement at 62 when neighboring countries have already pushed back the retirement age to 67!
As far as he is concerned, Hussein Obama, who is both the commander-in-chief of a gigantic army and a Nobel peace prize winner, can do whatever he pleases.
And he doesn’t refrain from doing so.
He is willing to sacrifice whatever amount of lives and money is necessary to impose his idea of democracy wherever he sees fit, which doesn’t include the Democratic Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its impeccable record in… oil exports!
Having said that, it is likely that the US and France, like brothers in arms, will ultimately suffer the same fate (read below).
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When political leaders start playing with fear, not fire, one can be sure that serious trouble lies ahead.
The US has been in a state of fear since G.W. greenlighted Osama’s September 11th air show.
From then on, Americans have learned to live in the constant fear of the next attack (orange light, red light…), an attack which is unlikely to materialize as long as the government doesn’t need it to push its agenda one step forward (to start a war with Iran, for example).
The clueless couch potatoes that constitutes the vast majority of the population have happily surrendered their liberties in exchange for ever more “protection”.
Until then, the protection racket used to be in the mafia’s hands, but the government stepped in and extended the definition of who was “in need of protection” to the whole population.
And in the same way that small retailers “need” to be protected from those who ransom them, American citizens “need” to be protected from the consequences of their government’s mindless actions abroad.
Impressed by the politics of fear’s efficiency, European leaders have eagerly followed suit.
A troika, composed of the European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB) and IMF, assisted by a triumvirate, composed of J.C. Juncker (Dictator-in-chief), J.M. Barosso (Dictator in the making) and H. Van Rompuy (Bozzo the Clown), has proved to be up to the task.
With the help of a few traitors, such as M. Monti, in Italy, and L. Papademos, in Greece, these technocrats have undertaken the massive project of frightening whole populations.
Their propaganda speech can be summed up in a few words: “better be poor than poorer”.
And until now, it has been working quite well.
Afraid of being sent to Hell, Greek politicians have engaged in self-destructive policies, agreeing to throw their country in full depression mode, for the greater good of German and French banks.
The spineless Irish had long preceded them on that road, and the Portuguese, Spanish and Italians will probably follow them in a short while.
It is amazing to see how whole populations can be forced into poverty, for years, maybe decades, by a very small group of bullies.
* * * * *
I can’t help wondering why so many commentators, including a number of bloggers, expect, or hope that, at some point, governments will become aware of the reality, will acknowledge their mistakes and will change the course of their policies.
It is like hoping that the small group of dunces, sitting in the back of the classroom, will come to realize that good grades are necessary to land a good job in the future.
It never happens, never has, never will!
Western leaders are not so different from those they label as “fanatics” in Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere.
Instead of being religious fanatics, they are political, and/or economic fanatics.
They blindly adhere to dogmatic truths, without even being aware of it, and they never change their minds (just look at Japan’s and Bernanke’s printing policies, or European austerity policies).
If their policies don’t lead to the expected results, they blame it on “unexpected” events (weather, natural disasters, consumers’ erratic behavior…), or on the fact that their country needs more of their medicine (never less).
The Western world is now well engaged in a long and painful process of decline, and NOTHING will change that, because no one can undo what has led to this decline.
No one can undo the work of evolution, even if said evolution is manmade.
Over a rather long period of time, decline is not even perceived by the concerned populations, because going down one step at a time is not the same as falling from a cliff.
Before the end of this century, it is very likely that the US, Europe and Japan will be in a situation similar to that of Greece or Egypt today, countries with a glorious past and a not so glorious present.
And their populations will have had the time to adapt.
30% unemployment and $ 30 daily wages will be the norm and people will go about their business, unaware of the lifestyle enjoyed by their ancestors…