Lettre ouverte à François Hollande, le Frankenstein de la République

Arrêt sur Info

Par Bruno Guigue

Après ce nouvel attentat terroriste qui frappe cruellement notre pays, vous avez exprimé au nom de la nation tout entière, avec émotion et dignité, votre compassion pour ses victimes. Désignant aussitôt le coupable, et nous vous supposons bien informé, vous avez appelé les Français à faire preuve d’unité et de solidarité face au « terrorisme islamiste ». Vous nous avez conviés à serrer les rangs et à faire face, en mobilisant toutes nos énergies contre cette terrible menace.

Mais cet appel légitime à la cohésion nationale en ce moment où le pays entier se sent meurtri ne saurait interdire aux citoyens d’interroger la politique qui est la vôtre. Depuis votre élection, vous prétendez lutter sans ménagement contre les organisations terroristes. Mais, en réalité, tout donne à penser que vous avez fait exactement le contraire. Car au lieu de combattre le mal, vous avez concentré vos efforts contre ceux qui tentaient de le terrasser. Vous nous disiez que vous combattiez le terrorisme, mais vous n’aviez de cesse de diaboliser et de combattre la Syrie de Bachar Al-Assad.

Cet Etat souverain, détesté de vos amis américano-sionistes parce qu’il refuse de se plier à leur diktat, vous l’avez sciemment désigné à la vindicte des mêmes criminels que ceux qui mitraillent les terrasses de nos cafés. Les mercenaires du djihad cherchaient une cible, et vous avez cyniquement désigné Damas. Oui, des milliers de jeunes ont été encouragés, par votre propagande de guerre, à aller se battre contre cet Etat honni que vous rêviez d’anéantir sous les bombes. Et c’est votre ministre des affaires étrangères, Laurent Fabius, qui donna le signal de cette curée, lorsqu’il déclara que Bachar Al-Assad « ne méritait pas de vivre » et que la branche syrienne d’Al-Qaida faisait du « bon boulot » en Syrie.

Vous aurez beau tenter d’occulter vos responsabilités, chacun voit que les attentats commis en France sont le résultat de votre politique. Pourquoi n’y a-t-il aucun attentat en Italie, en Argentine, au Japon ? Les Français ont-ils pris la mesure de votre refus de coopérer avec les services syriens afin d’identifier les djihadistes français susceptibles de revenir en France ? Nos compatriotes savent-ils que vous interdisez tout transfert de fonds au profit de cette majorité de Syriens vivant dans les régions sous contrôle gouvernemental ? Réalisent-ils que vous n’avez jamais eu un mot de compassion pour les nombreuses victimes syriennes des attentats d’Al-Qaida, et que vous persistez à infliger des sanctions économiques à ce peuple victime du terrorisme de masse ?

Vous étiez décidé à prendre parti dans le conflit syrien, et vous l’avez fait sous des prétextes humanitaires qui se sont effondrés comme un château de cartes, exhalant surtout un âcre parfum d’hydrocarbures. Vous embourbant, et nous avec, dans cette ornière qu’il eût fallu éviter avec prudence, vous avez exposé les Français à un effet boomerang dont on mesure à peine le potentiel destructeur. Cette violence que vous avez déchaînée chez les autres par votre politique néo-coloniale, vous l’avez ramenée à domicile !

Je doute que les Français vous en remercient, surtout lorsqu’ils auront renoué les fils de cette dramatique affaire. Au lendemain de ce drame, M. Hollande, passé le moment de la compassion devant les caméras et de la célébration de l’unanimité patriotique, allez-vous remettre de nouvelles médailles aux banquiers de la terreur ? Condamnant le crime terroriste côté cour, irez-vous encore dîner, côté jardin, avec ses sponsors saoudiens ? Avec George W. Bush, les USA ont eu leur Dr Frankenstein, l’apprenti-sorcier de la géopolitique du chaos. Avec vous, c’est match nul. Les Français ont désormais le leur.

En rangeant la France du côté d’une rébellion sectaire, mafieuse et manipulée, en vous croyant habile alors que vous n’êtes qu’un semi-habile, vous avez nourri le monstre qui nous frappe aujourd’hui de ses tentacules. Allié objectif de Daech tant qu’il combattait Assad, vous avez juré sa perte après les premiers assassinats d’Occidentaux en Irak, nourrissant alors le ressentiment de cette mouvance criminelle dont vous attendiez sans doute davantage de compréhension !

Conseillé par de pseudo-experts dont l’indépendance intellectuelle est proportionnelle au chèque que vous leur versez, vous êtes désormais condamné à persévérer dans l’erreur faute de pouvoir vous déjuger. Vous allez continuer à nous jeter de la poudre aux yeux avec l’état d’urgence et à faire des moulins avec vos petits bras. Mais, à neuf mois d’une élection présidentielle où vous allez faire de la figuration, vous nous léguez surtout les fruits pourris de votre politique de gribouille, les manifestations d’incompétence d’un ministre qui confond Saddam Hussein et Bachar Al-Assad ne parvenant même plus à nous faire rire en ce jour de malheur.

Bruno Guigue|15/07/2016

guigue

Bruno Guigue, ancien élève de l’École Normale Supérieure et de l’ENA, Haut fonctionnaire d’Etat français, essayiste et politologue, professeur de philosophie dans l’enseignement secondaire, chargé de cours en relations internationales à l’Université de La Réunion, est l’auteur de cinq ouvrages, dont « Aux origines du conflit israélo-arabe, L’invisible remords de l’Occident, L’Harmattan, 2002 », et de centaines d’articles.

Lettre ouverte à François Hollande, le Frankenstein de la République

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Turkey’s downing of Russian jet in Syrian airspace a breach of Syria’s sovereignty

From Syrian-Arab News Agency SANA

al-Moallem - Lavrov

Moscow, SANA –Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem affirmed that Turkey’s downing of the Russian warplane is an “act of aggression” that encroaches on the sovereignty of Syria as the plane was shot down in Syrian airspace, adding that Turkey has failed to provide any clear evidence regarding this incident.

In a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, al-Moallem stressed that Turkey is supporting terrorist organizations with weapons and facilitating their movements through the Turkish lands and securing their families.

Al-Moallem hailed the stances of the Russian leadership towards Syria, mainly the efforts exerted by minister Lavrov in promoting the political process in Vienna, noting that these stances reflect the depth of the strategic alliance between Syria and Russia, describing his talks with minister Lavrov as “frank and constructive”.

Addressing those who are demanding President Bashar al-Assad to step down, al-Moallem said “You are delusional and the reason is obvious because President al-Assad believes in the right of Syrian people to self-determination and will not allow anyone to take this right away,” said Al-Moallem.

The minister pointed out that the Russian Air Force in cooperation with Syrian Arab Army had put an end to the dreams of Erdogan which prompted Turkey to mount this aggression.

Al-Moallem said that Turkey continues to provide a cover for ISIS oil smuggling operations from Syria and Iraq into Turkey before heading to ports abroad.

Al-Moallem challenged the US Secretary of State John Kerry to offer a single piece of evidence that the Syrian side is striking oil deals with ISIS. “After all, it is not his first lie,” al-Moallem mocked.

Commenting on the statements of the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, al-Moallem told journalists that Syria has always pointed to Europe’s wrong handling of the crisis in Syria, repeatedly warning that terrorism will backfire on those who support it and regretting that Britain and France are leading the European efforts against Syria’s legitimate government.

Fabius’ overtures and willingness to cooperate with the Syrian army, if proven genuine, is welcome, al-Moallem added, but said a drastic change is need in the approach to the Syrian crisis.

In turn, Lavrov confirmed that Russia will offer all it can to help Syria in combating terrorism, preserving its national unity, rebuilding it and providing Syria with the effective support on the international level.

Lavrov issued a blistering criticism against the statements of some Syria’s neighboring countries in which they fake commitment to UN counter-terrorism resolutions while “playing their own games” by forging alliances with terrorists, describing their conduct as “very impudent.”

He questioned Turkey’s interest in eliminating terrorism and restoring security and stability in Syria, voicing Russia’s full readiness to cooperate with all countries who want to fight terrorism which are part of the US-led anti-ISIS coalition that has so far “yielded no tangible results.”

Lavrov said it is important to prepare a list of terrorist organizations which ought to be kept away from any political process and excluded from any potential ceasefire agreement. If this does not happen, he added, Vienna meeting won’t bear fruit.

He pointed out the need to hold Syrian-Syrian dialogue which brings together the Syrian government and part of the opposition adding that all the parties concerned should contribute to supporting a peaceful political process and exert their efforts to launch dialogue.

The essence of the Vienna talks stipulates that the Syrians should determine the future of their country without outside interference, adding that Russia opposes Western attempts to come up with candidates for Syria’s leadership,” Lavrov added.

Commenting on the downing of a Russian Su-24 bomber by the Turkish Air Force, Lavrov wondered if Turkey is interested in combating terrorism in Syria and in the efforts to achieve stability and security.

Lavrov criticized Turkey’s contradicting statements concerning the downing of the Russian aircraft, particularly claiming that the Turkish air force did not recognize the jet to be Russian, only to contradict this later by stating that Turkey would have responded in the same way had any other jet violated its airspace.

Pointing to stepped up procedures against Turkey, Lavrov said Russia has decided to freeze the visa waiver system with Turkey in fear of “real, not hypothetical threats”.

Lavrov said eliminating ISIS is a necessity and Syria’s neighboring countries have a special responsibility in this confirming that combating terrorism in the Middle East requires abandoning double standard policies.

The minister said Russia strongly supports French President Francois Hollande’s statement about the necessity of closing the Turkish-Syrian borders, indicating that practical steps need to be taken in coordination with the Syrian government to defeat terrorism in Syria.

Al-Moallem: Syrian army making advances on all fronts backed by Russian air force

Earlier on Friday, the minister al-Moallem said the Syrian army is making progress on all fronts backed by the Russian air force.

During a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on Friday, al-Moallem thanked the Russian leadership under President Vladimir Putin for its sincere efforts in supporting Syria against terrorism.

He affirmed that the Russian airstrikes in Syria have so far outdone by hundred times the Us-led coalition in the fight against ISIS, expressing sincere condolences over the death of the Russian pilot whose aircraft was downed by Turkey, describing it as a “stab in the back.”

“We have been at the receiving end of such stabs for over five years,” al-Moallem said.

Lavrov, for his part, said his country highly appreciates the Syrian government’s commitment to counterterrorism, vowing continued support for Syria to rout terrorists.

“We will continue providing all the necessary assistance to Syria in its war against terrorism in parallel with launching a political process,” added Lavrov, thanking the Syrian army for rescuing the Russian pilot whose aircraft was shot down by Turkey and for providing protection for the Russian embassy in Damascus.

“The Turkish leadership has crossed the line of what is acceptable and risks putting Turkey in a most severe situation,” he warned.

Manar al-Frieh/Manal

http://sana.sy/en/?p=62798

La visite de Porochenko à l’Elysée est une honte pour la République

Le Parti de Gauche, 22 Avril 2015

Djordje Kuzmanovic – Commission defense

Le président ukrainien, Porochenko, sera reçu aujourd’hui par François Hollande afin de demander son soutien contre la Russie.

Le président de la République aurait dû refuser cette rencontre. En effet, la France n’a pas à suivre aveuglément les intérêts bellicistes des Etats-Unis. Ensuite la patrie des droits de l’homme ne saurait dérouler le tapis rouge pour un régime aussi criminel et négationniste.

Monsieur François Hollande aura de nombreux sujets à évoquer avec Porochenko :

  • La condamnation par le centre Simon Wiensenthal de la dérive néo-nazie et révisionniste à Kiev;
  • L’épidémie d’assassinats, de “suicides” et “d’accidents” frappant les opposants au régime de Kiev;
  • La nomination de Dimitri Yarosh (leader de Secteur Droit, milice paramilitaire néo-nazie) comme conseiller spécial du chef d’état-major de l’armée ukrainienne;
  • Les ruptures violentes et répétées par les bataillons néo-nazis du cesser-le-feu négocié à Minsk.;
  • Les crimes d’Odessa et les lynchages quotidiens dans tout le pays par les forces obscurantistes proches du régime de Kiev;
  • Des opérations “anti-terroristes” du régime de Kiev qui ont causé la mort de 6000 civils, 20000 blessés et plus d’un million de réfugiés – dont 92% en Russie.
  • Le refus de l’Ukraine (avec les Etats-Unis et le Canada) de voter à l’ONU la condamnation de l’apologie du nazisme;
  • L’effondrement de l’économie ukrainienne et la déliquescence de l’Etat qui vont coûter 20 milliards d’euros par an à l’UE;
  • La prédation d’oligarques dont le niveau de corruption est sans égal dans la région selon les observateurs pourtant conciliants de l’UE et du FMI.

A l’aune de ces quelques points, le Président de la République française aurait mieux fait de méditer le fait que l’aventurisme militaire de l’OTAN en Ukraine menace la paix en Europe.

Mais pour cela, encore eut-il fallu avoir une vision géostratégique pour la France et relu la déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme.

https://www.lepartidegauche.fr/actualites/communique/la-visite-porochenko-l-elysee-est-une-honte-pour-la-republique-32128

“The visit of Poroshenko to the Elysée is a shame for the Republic”

Posted on Fort Russ:

Djordje Kuzmanovic
in Parti de Gauche, April 22, 2015
April 25, 2015

Translated from French by Tom Winter
The visit of Poroshenko to the Elysée is a shame for the Republic
The Ukrainian president Poroshenko will be welcomed today by François Hollande to ask his support against Russia. The president of the Republic should have refused this meeting. In effect, France does not have to blindly follow the warmonger interests of the United States. The very home of the Rights of Man cannot be rolling out the red carpet for a regime so negationist and criminal.  
Mr. Hollande will have numerous matters to bring up with Poroshenko:
• The condemnation by the Wiesenthal Center for the neo-nazi and revisionist slide in Kiev;
• The epidemic of assassinations, “suicides” and “accidents” falling upon opponents of the Kiev regime;
• The naming of Dmitri Yarosh (leader of Pravy Sektor, neo-nazi paramilitary organization) as special counsel to the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army;
• The repeated and violent breaches of the cease-fire negotiated at Minsk;
• The crimes at Odessa and the daily lynchings throughout the country by obscurantist forces close the the regime;
• The “anti-terrorist” operations of the Kiev regime that have caused the death of 6,000 civilians, 20,000 casualties, and more than a million refugees, 92 % of them to Russia;
• The refusal of Ukraine (with the United States and Canada) to vote to condemn the glorification of nazism;
• The collapse of the Ukrainian economy and the state’s failing which is going to cost the EU 20 billion euros a year;
• The plundering of the economy by oligarchs whose level of corruption is unequaled in the region according to observers intermediary between the EU and the IMF.
In the light of these points, the President of the French Republic would have done better to ponder the fact that NATO’s military adventurism in Ukraine threatens peace in Europe.
But for that, he would need to have a geostrategic vision for France and to have read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

For another French political party that does not have blinders on, see http://fortruss.blogspot.com/2015/04/french-party-cries-shame-on-supporting.html

France moves to make “conspiracy theories” illegal by government decree

Posted on Global Research
Originally from 21st Century Wire, March 19, 2015

Political elites and super-bureaucrats are worried. It’s becoming harder to control consensus reality. 

A history stitched together by lies and cover-ups, political assassinations, slight-of-hand false flag deceptions, secret societies, dual loyalties and stolen fortunes – this has been the exclusive privilege of organized crime and the ruling elite for centuries.

Putting aside history’s ‘big ticket’ items though, the real reason for this authoritarian trend is much more fundamental. By knocking out their intellectual competition, political elites and their media moguls hope to minimalize, and thus eliminate any alternative analysis and opinion by applying the completely open-ended and arbitrary label of “extremist” to speech. They want to wind back the clock, where a pre-internet, monolithic corporate media cartel held a monopoly on ideas.

Although France has taken the lead in this inter-governmental effort (see below), the preliminary assault began this past fall with British Prime Minster David Cameron publicly announcing on two separate occasions, that all of these so-called ‘conspiracy theories’ (anything which challenges the official orthodoxy) should be deemed as “extremist” and equivalent to “terrorist” and should be purged from society on the grounds of ‘national security’. The first came with Cameron’s warped speech at the UN, and afterwards, a similar charge was made by the UK leader against anyone who dares press the issue of institutional paedophilia and child abuse.

Watch this UN speech by Cameron where he clearly claims that ‘conspiracy theorists’ are the ‘root cause’ and indeed, an equal threat to national security as ISIS terrorists currently running amok in Syria and Iraq (start 4:26)…

As yet, few are aware of how in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shootings, French Prime Minster, Francois Hollande delivered an official declaration (see full report and text from his speech below). However, Hollande takes it beyond the usual hyperbole and focuses on giving the state an administrative and legal foothold for policing both speech and thought crimes in France. If this can be accomplished in France, then a European roll-out would soon follow.

Ironically, in order to achieve this fascist leap forward, Hollande has equated “conspiracy theories” to Nazism, and is calling for government regulations to prevent any sharing or publishing of any views deemed as ‘dangerous thought’ by the state. Specifically, Hollande is citing “Anti-Semitism” and also anything which could inspire ‘acts terrorism’ – as the chief vehicles for what the state will be designating as ‘dangerous thoughts’. With the thumb of Hebdo still pressing down, this may just sound like politics writ large by the French leader, but in reality it’s full-blown fascism.

Worse yet, with all of the world leaders gathered togther in Paris in January supposedly marching solidarity for ‘free speech’ and proudly chanting “Je Suis Charlie” (image above), that Hollande would use this as political cover to restrict free speech in Europe should shock even.

RINF reports how the new censorship regime has already been implemented this week:

“Earlier this week, the Interior Minister of France — with no court review or adversarial process — ordered five websites to not only be blocked in France, but that anyone who visits any of the sites get redirected to a scary looking government website, saying:

While it could be argued that the four websites initially listed by the government for ‘blocking’ were exclusively for ISIS/ISIL-related activity and thus, should be kept hidden, the government has made no caveat in its reams of policy literature, other than some vague language as to what it defines as ‘extremist’, as to where this growing list will stop, or indeed, if it has any limits at all. Because this process is extrajudicial, then there will be no warning to gov’t targets of this new regime. In fact, as RINF reports, this has already happened:

“In that first batch was a site called “islamic-news.info.” The owner of that site not only notes that he was never first contacted to “remove” whatever material was deemed terrorist supporting (as required by the law), but that nothing in what he had posted was supporting terrorism.”

Will French gov’t censors also block this website – because it is challenging the government’s new public filtering program? Are we entering a new intolerant, Chinese-style policing culture in Europe, and throughout the west? Certainly they have the ability and the legal clearance to do just that right now.

Fear of losing control over manipulative narratives has always been a primary obsession with those in power, and clearly, based on what we’ve seen here – governments are making an aggressive move on free speech now. Skeptics will no doubt argue that this 21WIRE article itself constitutes a conspiracy theory. If that was the case, then why have western governments, particularly those in the US and Britain, already spent millions, if not billions in state funds in order to infiltrate, disrupt, and occupy forum websites, and social networking groups of so-called ‘conspiracy theorist and even creating entirely new groups just to contradict them? Does that not already prove what the government modus operandi is?

As if that wasn’t enough already, now France wants to take it to a whole new authoritarian level. It may sound ridiculous, but this is exactly what is taking place in government as we speak.

History shows that once this new regime is in place, they will not relinquish any new powers of censorship, and so a long, intellectual dark age is certain to follow…

http://21stcenturywire.com/2015/03/19/france-moves-to-make-conspiracy-theories-illegal-by-government-decree/

http://www.globalresearch.ca/france-moves-to-make-conspiracy-theories-illegal-by-government-decree/5438970

Vladimir Putin’s remarks following adoption of declaration on Ukraine, February 12

“Kiev authorities still refuse to have direct contacts with representatives of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics. Even though they have not been recognised, we have to proceed from the realities of life and if everyone wishes to achieve an agreement on establishing long-term relations, direct contacts are essential.”

From The Kremlin, February 12, 2015

Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande and Petro Poroshenko took part in the talks on a settlement to the situation in Ukraine. At the final stage, they were joined by Heidi Tagliavini, OSCE Special Representative to the Trilateral Contact Group on the Ukrainian Settlement.

Participants from the Russian side included Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Karasin, Presidential Aide Yury Ushakov, and Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office and Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov.

Following the Normandy format talks, the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany adopted a declaration in support of the Measures to Implement the Minsk Agreements adopted on February 12 by the Contact Group on the Ukrainian Settlement.

Vladimir Putin also made a statement for the press.

* * *

PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good morning,

This was not the best night of my life, but the morning, I believe, is good. This is because, despite the difficult negotiations, we finally managed to agree on the key issues.

Incidentally, you might wonder why the negotiations took so long. In my opinion, this was because unfortunately the Kiev authorities still refuse to have direct contacts with representatives of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics. Even though they have not been recognised, we have to proceed from the realities of life and if everyone wishes to achieve an agreement on establishing long-term relations, direct contacts are essential.

We operated under the existing conditions and, in my view, have managed to agree on many things. The first is that we agreed on a ceasefire to begin at midnight on February 15. The second item that I find extremely important is the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the current line of confrontation for Ukrainian troops and from the line established on September 19, 2014 in Minsk for the Donbass self-defence forces.

Then comes a set of matters dealing with a long-term political settlement. This includes several items, the first being a constitutional reform that should take into consideration the lawful interests of the people residing on the territory of Donbass.

This is followed by matters dealing with a solution to border issues upon agreement with the Donbass militia, humanitarian issues, and the implementation of the earlier adopted law on the special status of the Donetsk and Lugansk territories.

Finally, there is a set of economic and humanitarian items.

We proceed from the notion that all the parties will show restraint until the complete ceasefire. The problem here was that representatives of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics claimed that in response to the aggressive actions of the Kiev authorities they not only held back the Kiev forces but also managed to mount an offensive and surrounded a group of 6,000 to 8,000 servicemen. They, of course, proceed from the idea that this group will lay down arms and stop its resistance.

We nevertheless call on both sides to show restraint and in order to avoid unnecessary excessive bloodshed and casualties they should do everything possible to ensure that the separation of forces, mainly the heavy equipment, is conducted without unnecessary bloodshed.

Representatives of the Ukrainian authorities believe their troops have not been surrounded and therefore think this process will go sufficiently smoothly. I had some initial doubts that I can share with you. If the troops really had been surrounded, then, logically, they will try to break free, while those who are on the outside will try to arrange for a corridor for their trapped servicemen.

Eventually, we agreed with President Poroshenko that we will instruct our experts – I am ready to do so – to establish what is actually going on there. In addition, I will repeat, we will try to develop a set of measures to verify the implementation of our decisions by both sides.

I would like to call on both conflicting parties once again to stop the bloodshed as soon as possible and proceed to a truly political process of a long-term settlement.

Thank you for your attention.

<…>

(Answering a question from a Russian journalist.)

One document has just been signed by the Minsk Contact Group, it is called Measures to Implement the Minsk Agreements.

The other document does not require signing: it is a statement by the President of France, the President of Ukraine, yours truly and the Federal Chancellor of Germany to the effect that we support the process.

Thank you.

 

http://eng.kremlin.ru/transcripts/23594

Alexander Mercouris: Diplomatic talks in Moscow — a two-part analysis

Posted on Vineyard of the Saker, February 6, 2015

Talks in Moscow – a two-part analysis
by Alexander Mercouris

Part one (On 6th February 2015)
They have apparently continued for 5 hours and are still not finished though it seems some sort of document is being prepared for tomorrow.

Three comments:

1. If negotiations go on for 5 hours that does not suggest a smooth and conflict free discussion.

2. One of the most interesting things about the Moscow talks is that they mainly happened without the presence of aides and officials i.e. Putin, Hollande and Merkel were by themselves save for interpreters and stenographers. Putin and Merkel are known to be masters of detail and given his background as an enarque I presume Hollande also is. However the German and French officials will be very unhappy about this. The Russians less so because since the meeting is taking place in the Kremlin they are listening in to the discussions via hidden microphones.

One wonders why this is happening? Even if the Russian officials are not listening in Merkel and Hollande will assume they are. The fact that Russian officials were not present is therefore less significant than that German and French officials have been barred from the meeting by their respective chiefs, suggesting that Merkel and Hollande do not entirely trust them.

There has been an extraordinary degree of secrecy about this whole episode and it rather looks as if Merkel and Hollande were anxious to stop leaks and to prevent information about the talks from getting out. Presumably this is why their officials were barred from the meeting. From whom one wonders do Merkel and Hollande want to keep details of the meeting secret? From the media? From other members of their own governments? From the Americans? What do they need to keep so secret? The frustration and worry on the part of all these groups must be intense.

3. The fact that the British are excluded from the talks is going down very badly with many people here in London. It has not escaped people’s notice that this is the first major negotiation to settle a big crisis in Europe in which Britain is not involved since the one that ended the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. Of course it is largely the fault of the inept diplomacy of Cameron, who has taken such an extreme pro-Ukrainian position that Moscow simply doesn’t see him as someone worth talking to. Also one suspects Merkel and Hollande do not trust Cameron not to leak the whole discussion to whomever they want to keep it from. Having said that it is difficult to see this as anything other than further evidence of Britain’s decline into complete irrelevance. I cannot imagine Thatcher being excluded in this way. If the United Kingdom is indeed in the process of breaking up (and as I suspected the Scottish referendum settled nothing with polls indicating that the SNP may make an almost clean sweep of all the seats in Scotland in the election in May) then the slide into irrelevance still has a long way to go.

Part two (On 7th February 2015)
I am coming increasingly round to the view of Alastair Newman that Merkel and Hollande came with no plan to Moscow but with the purpose of having what diplomats call “a full and frank discussion” in private with Putin looking at all the issues in the one place in Europe – the Kremlin – where they can be confident the Americans are not spying on them. That must be why they sent their officials away.

It is also clear that Merkel’s and Hollande’s visit to Kiev before their flight to Moscow was just for show.

Poroshenko’s officials are insisting that the question of federalisation was not discussed during Poroshenko’s meeting with Hollande and Merkel. Hollande has however now come out publicly to support “autonomy” for the eastern regions i.e. federalisation, which makes it a virtual certainty that in the meeting in Moscow it was discussed. The point is that Merkel and Hollande did not want to discuss federalisation with Poroshenko because they know the junta adamantly opposes the idea and did not want him to veto it before the meeting in Moscow had even begun.

The problem is that since everyone pretends that federalisation is an internal Ukrainian issue to be agreed freely between the two Ukrainian sides, its terms will only be thrashed out once constitutional negotiations between the two Ukrainian sides begin. Since the junta will never willingly agree to federalisation, in reality its form will have to be hammered out in private by Moscow after consultations with the NAF and with Berlin and Paris and then imposed on the junta in the negotiations.

Saying this shows how fraught with difficulty this whole process is going to be.

Not only are there plenty of people in the Donbass who now oppose federalisation (and some in Moscow too I suspect) but this whole process if it is to work would somehow have to get round the roadblock of the Washington hardliners, who will undoubtedly give their full support to the junta as it tries to obstruct a process over which it has a theoretical veto. Frankly, I wonder whether it can be done.

If the process is to have any chance of success then Merkel and Hollande must screw up the courage to do what they failed to do last spring and summer, which is publicly stand up to the hardliners in Washington and Kiev and impose their will upon them. Are they really willing to do that? Given how entrenched attitudes have become over the last few months and given the false position Merkel and Hollande put themselves in by so strongly supporting Kiev, the chances of them pulling this off look much weaker than they did last spring.

I would add a few more points;

1. There is one major difference between the situation now and in the Spring, which might offer some hope of movement.

Anyone reading the Western media now cannot fail but see that there is a growing sense of defeat. Sanctions have failed to work, the Ukrainian economy is disintegrating and the junta’s military is being defeated.

That was not the case last spring, when many in the West had convinced themselves that the junta would win the military struggle with the NAF. The confrontation strategy Merkel opted for in July based on that belief has totally and visibly failed. It is not therefore surprising if she is now looking for a way-out by reviving some of the ideas that were being floated by the Russians in the spring. She now has a political imperative to look for a solution in order to avoid the appearance of defeat, which would leave her position both in Germany and Europe badly weakened. That political imperative was not there in the spring. It is now. In a sense the pressure is now on her.

2. I should stress that it is Merkel who is Putin’s key interlocutor. The reason Hollande is there and appears to be taking the lead is to provide Merkel with cover. The one thing Merkel cannot afford politically is the appearance of a Moscow-Berlin stitch-up that the hardliners in Washington, Kiev, London, Warsaw and the Baltic States will claim is a new Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact to divide Europe into German and Russian spheres of influence. Whether we like it or not in Germany the shadow of Hitler still hangs heavy and exposes Berlin to endless moral blackmail whenever it tries to pursue with Moscow an independent course. That is why Merkel needs Hollande present when she meets Putin for talks of the sort she’s just had in Moscow.

3. One other possible sign of hope is that there is some evidence that a sea-change in European and especially German opinion may be underway.

Whatever the purpose of the ongoing debate in Washington about sending weapons to the junta, whether it is a serious proposal or an attempt to secure diplomatic leverage or a combination of the two, it has horrified opinion in Europe, bringing home to many people there how fundamentally nihilistic US policy has become.

All the talk in the Western media yesterday and this morning is of a split between Europe and the US. That is going much too far. However for the first time there is public disagreement in Europe with Washington on the Ukrainian question. Whether that crystallises into an actual break with Washington leading to a serious and sustained European attempt to reach a diplomatic solution to the Ukrainian crisis against Washington’s wishes is an altogether different question. I have to say that for the moment I very much doubt it.

4. I remain deeply pessimistic about this whole process. The best opportunity to settle this conflict diplomatically was last spring. I cannot help but feel that as Peter Lavelle said on the Crosstalk in which I appeared yesterday, the train has now left the station.

A peaceful solution to the Ukrainian conflict ultimately depends on European resolve to face down the hardliners in Washington and Kiev. It is going to be much harder to do this now than it was last year.

Moreover, despite the bad news on the economy and on the front line in Debaltsevo, the hardliners in Kiev are bound to have been emboldened by all the talk in Washington about sending them arms, which is going to make the effort to bring them round even harder than it already is.

The besetting problem of this whole crisis is that the Europeans have never shown either the resolve or the realism to face the hardliners down though it is certainly within their power to do so. In Merkel’s case one has to wonder whether her heart is in it anyway. My view remains that this situation will only be resolved by war, and that the negotiations in Moscow will prove just another footnote to that.

5. If I am wrong and some autonomy really is granted to the Donbass, then I make one confident prediction. This is that the Ukraine will in that case disintegrate even more rapidly than it would have done if federalisation had been agreed upon last spring or summer.

Following such a terrible war, I cannot see people in the Donbass accepting federalisation as anything other than a stepping stone to eventual secession and union with Russia. If the Donbass secures autonomy, I cannot see people in places like Odessa and Kharkov failing to press for an at least equivalent degree of autonomy to that granted to the Donbass. If the Europeans are prepared to see the Donbass achieve autonomy, by what logic can they deny it to the people of Odessa and Kharkov?

More to the point, the November elections showed the emergence of what looks like an increasingly strong potential autonomy or even independence movement in Galicia.

Given that a terrible war has been fought and lost in the east to defeat “separatism” in the Donbass, and given the widespread disillusion with the junta in Kiev, it is difficult to see how many people in Galicia will not feel betrayed if the grant of federalisation to the Donbass is now imposed on them after so many of their men died to prevent it. If in reaction Galicia presses for the same sort of autonomy as the Donbass – which it could well do – then the Ukraine is finished. I doubt it would hold together for more than a few months. If federalisation had been granted last spring or summer before the war began then it is possible – likely even – that the Ukraine could have been held together in a sort of state of suspended animation at least for a while. I don’t think there’s much chance of that now.

 

http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2015/02/talks-in-moscow-two-part-analysis.html