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Cole writes: "It is a sad day for France, and for the world, that such a hateful person - a neo-Fascist - is in the running to be president."

Donald Trump. (photo: AP)
Donald Trump. (photo: AP)


For First Time, a US President Backs a Fascist France

By Juan Cole, Informed Comment

25 April 17

 

hile she is highly unlikely to win the run-off presidential election on May 7 against the Bill Clinton of France, Emmanuel Macron, Marine Le Pen managed to come in second in the first round on Sunday. She came ahead of the leaders of both major French political parties, the Socialists and the Gaullists. It is a sad day for France, and for the world, that such a hateful person– a neo-Fascist— is in the running to be president.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt hated fascism and was determined to defeat it, even if it meant allying with Joe Stalin of the Soviet Union.

During World War II, Germany occupied northern France and installed a right wing puppet government in the south of the country at Vichy, led by Marshal Henri-Philippe Petain, the victor at Verdun in WW I.

Roosevelt despised the Vichy, and ultimately his troops defeated it. [Roosevelt was the one who pressed for an invasion of Vichy-held North Africa. US troops took heavy fire during Operation Torch in Algeria e.g. Some “82,600 of the invasion force was U.S. Army personnel. Ninety-six percent of the 1,469 casualties were American.” It was the remnants and children of people like those Vichy soldiers who fired on and killed American GIs who formed the National Front of Le Pen.]

Today we are presented with the spectacle of the American president, Donald J. Trump, praising the Neo-Fascist National Front candidate, Marine LePen. It would be like FDR cozying up to Marshal Petain.

Trump said, “Le Pen is “strongest on borders, and she’s the strongest on what’s been going on in France.”

We are living in an alternate universe not so different from Philip K. Dick’s “Man in a High Castle.” The Nazis won after all.

Le Pen’s platform includes denying French Jews the right to hold dual French-Israeli citizenship. The National Front has moderated the anti-Semitic rhetoric of its founder, but let’s face it, they don’t like Jews very much, and French Jews are alarmed by the outcome of the election. Le Pen recently denied the responsibility of France for the round-up of Jews in the 1940s, even though there is plenty of historical documentation for it.

Le Pen’s wounded national pride, the seed of her platform, drives her to seek negotiations with the EU over a referendum on membership. In any case, she says, France will “recover” four areas of “sovereignty”: monetary, legislative, territorial, economic.

Here’s her security platform:

Massive build-up of the police, disarming the slums. Building 40,000 new prison cells. Restore borders, keep out all but 10,000 immigrants a year. Breaking Muslim fundamentalist networks in order to eradicate terrorism.

She also has a re-industrialization plan that will depend, she says, on “Smart protectionism” and “Economic patriotism”.

She wants to leave the NATO command. Her war department budget will grow to 2% of GDP and 3% by the end of five years.

Hatred of the 5 million French Muslims is central to her program, even thought the majority of French Muslims are not religious.

It is like she plagiarized from Trump. Or maybe it is the other way around and Steve Bannon, Trump’s Brain, has been studying far right European neo-Fascists as a blueprint for America.

It is a sad day when all those millions of American veterans who served in the European theater during WW II have their memory besmirched by the reemergence of fascism, in the White House and in French politics. How many Americans died to prevent a fascist take-over here and to end the Vichy in France itself.


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+5 # Johnny 2017-04-25 10:22
"Theresa May Hires Top Obama Aide for Re-Election Campaign" but Le Pen is a "fascist?" Bit of a double standard, no? Theresa May is to the right of Mussolini.
 
 
+1 # harleysch 2017-04-28 04:59
Macron appears to be a corporatist fascist, pushing for the same kind of anti-labor policies one associates with the neo-lib/neo-con axis running U.S. economic policy. One does not have to support Le Pen to recognize the absurdity of Macron's "front-runner" status, given his association with Hollande, who currently has about a 4% approval rating!
 
 
+37 # Jim Rocket 2017-04-25 10:23
Both Trump and Le Pen appeal to the dark side of humanity... and idiots looking for simple solutions to complex problems.
 
 
+24 # Kootenay Coyote 2017-04-25 10:27
Hate, alas, has no borders.
 
 
+40 # norman markowitz 2017-04-25 10:35
Some quick points. Le Pen's party remains neo-fascist, not "rightwing populist" as U..S. AndEuropean mass media contend. The failure of the left to seriously rally around Melenchon, who represented the only real alternative to the Hobson's chioce of neo-liberalism vs. neo fascism deserves strong criticism. Also, isn't it about time to stop dumping on the Soviets and even the ecumenical devil of all anti-Communists and left rivals of the Communist movement, Joseph Stalin, since from our President on down, we are dealing with the people who said in France better Hitler than Blum and throughout Europe and the U.S. better Hitler than Stalin, not to mention GM, Ford, Stndard Oil(today's Exxon) and IBM who did lucrative business with Hitler and were indispensable to the building of his war machine.
And of course, the Red army and the Soviet people made the principle contribution to the defeat of the fascist axis in WWII, suffering 27 million dead in the process
FDR sought to save capitalism by reforming and humanizing it, borrowing programs from the socialist movement to reject the Coolidge -Mellon-Hoover policies of detaxation, deregulation, and privatization that today are recycled as "neo-liberalism " and fighting rather than appeasing fascism. If we are serious we must find and work eith organizations, parties, and leaders who will do the same
 
 
-9 # Jaax88 2017-04-25 11:51
Why should the West re-write history and not call Soviet Communism and Stalin for what they were? I see no way of redeeming
them, except to close ones eyes and also write out of history the terrible things that were done under Stalin in the USSR and later in Eastern Europe. Better to be real and let those entities suffer their own fates in history.
 
 
+7 # Anonymot 2017-04-26 01:46
I was going to let this go by until I got to the gross last paragraph. We hear that all the time from Americans who complain in France. Allow me to point out that neofascism is no stranger to America's administration and direction.

Neofascism is certainly a flaw of the new President as it was of the candidate who lost and their predecessor and his predecessor and his predecessor and his also and his father's. It has been the lifeblood of many of our intelligence agencies and our military's. Our MIC is imbued with it. Deep State manufactures it. All of our regime changes put that kind in, from Chile to the Ukraine.

Destroying the world is a slow process. Have patience. We're getting there.

And Marine Le Pen is a very long shot for the presidence of France, longer than Trump was a few months ago when the other one was supposed to win and quickly get down to the business of a war with Russia.

Find a new bogeyman. There are some real causes out there to fight for.
 
 
+7 # Anonymot 2017-04-26 01:53
Add to your first paragraph: Prescott Bush and his bank who funded the Nazis until Washington stepped in in 1942 and made them stop. Prescott, G H W Bush' father, George W's grandfather then went into politics and became a Senator. That positioned the entire, like-minded family.
 
 
+18 # EternalTruth 2017-04-25 10:36
It's a sad day when...

Take your pick. They're all sad days anymore for oh so many reasons. I suppose it's healthier to be an optimist, to focus on positive things. I try to focus on the joy of my children and whatnot, but that only lasts til something inevitably reminds me of the fucked up world I've brought them into. Ignorance is bliss; enjoy it while you can little ones.
 
 
-4 # RMF 2017-04-25 10:39
Of course Cole is absolutely correct in his analysis.

Would only add it's an equally sad day, when so-called progressives and Bernie or busters drunk their own form of Kool-Aid, facilitating the narrow rise to authority of Trumpolini himself...not unlike the ascent of some recent historical figures.

These misguided progressives did this, ironically enough, by praising Trump as the peace-candidate , a perverse sort of praise indeed, as Trumpolini now prepares to ramp up aggression against N. Korea and militarism itself throughout the Mideast.
 
 
+15 # wrknight 2017-04-25 10:59
What do you expect from a wannabe fascist? That Trump would endorse anyone other than a fascist would surprise the hell out of me.

Having said that, however, I do have to take sides on the issue of dual French/Israeli citizenship as I am opposed to dual citizenship for anyone. Do people with dual citizenship pay taxes to both countries? Do they serve in the armed forces of both countries? And if the two countries suddenly become enemies, to which country does the person with dual citizenship owe allegiance.

People who want dual citizenship simply want the benefits offered by both countries without having to fulfill their obligations to either.
 
 
+1 # Cassandra2012 2017-04-25 16:18
Uh. like Churchill?
 
 
+23 # jwb110 2017-04-25 11:10
Firstly, I think it important from a historical perspective to note that the US government and that includes the President have backed every Fascist Dictator in South America. The Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines is another one. The Diems in Viet Nam were part of that policy. The Shaw of Iran was this policy in the Middle East and set the stage for what we now see in that region. The list goes on and on. Marie Le Pen is just another in a long list of Fascist Gov'ts either supported with money and arms or put into office by US intervention. Maybe FDR is exempt in this but his infatuation with Stalin was a support of what was just another form of Fascism. All the Presidential Hands, no matter the size of them, are guilty of this sort of support.
The other important fact to looked at is how enormous corporate interests brought pressure to bear to make that all happen. The marriage of Gov't and Capitol pretty much defines Fascism. Clearly, the same things are happening here and becoming more apparent everyday. It the GOv't uses the phrase "Us strategic interests" it is always about corporate money.
I don't like Trump and his cadre in the White House but in this instance I will give the Devil his due. Trump is not the first.
 
 
+5 # RMF 2017-04-26 00:26
# jwb110

Your assessment is valid, but may not go far enough to be comprehensive in it's conclusion.

In the case of France, the US has better alternatives than Le Pen, and this latitude of choice may not have existed in some other nations mentioned in your post, or in the case of Churchill's opposition to Hitler.

Another example is that the US and the entire globe would have been better off had we left Saddam in place, tyrant though he was, rather than toppling his govt and invading Iraq.

As distasteful as this may seem, and justifiably so, it is nonetheless an example of the conflicting pressure points at play in the exercise or real politik.

In diplomacy and international relations, and in world economies, the concept of "stability" has validity of it's own, and, at least in part, is a legitimate goal of US international policy.

The irony, or perhaps badge of incompetence, is that Trumpolini's foreign policy threatens to destabilize the international balance, even to a greater extent than W's invasion of Iraq.

And in this latter sense I would agree that we never seem to learn from past mistakes.
 
 
+1 # ThorunnPS 2017-04-26 03:13
Unfortunately very true, but "Shaw"?
 
 
+12 # goodsensecynic 2017-04-25 11:10
In 1867, Matthew Arnold published his poem, "Dover Beach."

He could not have known what his words foretold. Now, 150 years later, President Trump betokens an irredeemable time when the past has become the plaything of ideologues betokening only a future in which "ignorant armies clash by night."
 
 
+2 # mdj777 2017-04-25 12:23
And yet we have come to accept speaking like those formerly despised, as noted in the excerpt below.

http://www.marvinjones.blogspot.com/2017/04/the-long-goodbye.html

America was born in the times that try men's souls. Now we live in the days that try one's patience. And the destiny of the Republic depends upon answers to simple questions: What do you actually believe, as a matter of conviction? Is the United States of America a country or a country club?

Character--the union of thought, word, and deed directed toward a noble end--matters. And if the Bangles can walk like an Egyptian, we can talk like Americans.*^ H_ _ _land fails to advance the Preamble's first goal--"a more perfect Union"--and its variants, Fatherland and Motherland, are in conflict with the eagle's motto on the Great Seal, E PLURIBUS UNUM--Out of many, one. By definition, a nation of immigrants cannot be an H_ _ _land--a place for a particular ethnic or racial group. "Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer" belongs elsewhere. Thus, a constitutional phrase provides the proper name for the most recent Cabinet post--the Department of Public Safety--a phrase also used nine times in the commentaries on the Constitution. (Article I, Section 1, Clause 2 and The Federalist Papers, Nos. 19, 20, 22, 23, 26, 30, 50, 84 & 85)
 
 
+7 # mashiguo 2017-04-25 14:36
and why shouldn't trump endorse a fascist?
US is a fascist country.
Finally we are acknowledging our own.

Don't like it?
Do something about it other than whine.
 
 
+6 # rogerhgreen 2017-04-25 14:57
Let me also point out the recent reports that Trump and some of his business buddies are backing street riots in Indonesia, with the aim of overthrowing the elected president Joko Widodo (also known as Jokowi), who is a good man. See www.democracynow.org/2017/4/21/shocking_expose_reveals_trump_associates_isis .
 
 
+2 # Anonymot 2017-04-25 16:32
I was going to let this go by until I got to the gross last paragraph. We hear that all the time from Americans who complain in France. Allow me to point out that neofascism is no stranger to America's administration and direction.

Neofascism is certainly a flaw of the new President as it was of the candidate who lost and their predecessor and his predecessor and his predecessor and his also and his father's. It has been the lifeblood of many of our intelligence agencies and our military's. Our MIC is imbued with it. Deep State manufactures it. All of our regime changes put that kind in, from Chile to the Ukraine.

Destroying the world is a slow process. Have patience. We're getting there.

And Marine Le Pen is a very long shot for the presidence of France, longer than Trump was a few months ago when the other one was supposed to win and quickly get down to the business of a war with Russia.

Find a new bogeyman. There are sme real causes out there to fight for.
 
 
0 # Jaax88 2017-04-25 19:08
Why should the West re-write history and not call Soviet Communism and Stalin for what they were? I see no way of redeeming
them, except to close ones eyes and also write out of history the terrible things that were done under Stalin in the USSR and later in Eastern Europe. Better to be real and let those entities suffer their own fates in history.
 
 
0 # RNLDaWy 2017-04-25 22:02
French people are very independent people and 'revolution' is always in the air there. Even if she were as bad as she's portrayed and got elected in a Parliamentary System she can be recalled easily. It's not like in the USA. Her break away from the EU is along that line .. however her comments on regimenting dress and style will not work in that society or anywhere in the West. So most likely she will not get the votes .. either way .. it's being over blown .. Doubt very much she even sniffs the office ..
 
 
+4 # MDSolomon 2017-04-26 11:37
Let us pretend that by drawing the obvious comparisons between Le Pen and Trump with WWII-era fascism that the so-called centrist and so-called progressive parties are not, in the current definition of the term, fascist.

What we have today is corporate control over the state, one of the textbook definitions of fascism. To not see the actions of the US, UK, France, Saudi Arabia, and Israel--all proxies of the Anglo-Euro-Amer ican banking cartel and its corporations--a s fascist, is to live in denial of the slaughter they continue to perpetrate across the globe and their goal of destroying every nation that controls its own central bank and currency; that is, to destroy all sovereign nations and replace them with public sector subsidiaries of the cartel.

http://coloradopublicbanking.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-view-from-top-of-power-pyramid.html
 
 
+1 # Wise woman 2017-04-26 21:40
Oooh, a fascist backing another fascist. What a big surprise!
 
 
+1 # Aliazer 2017-04-27 10:38
Here is another case where the frying pan calls the kettle black!!

Mr. Cole, as well as most of the vowed liberals on this site have embraced Globalism(a crypto fascim that Hitler could only dream of)and without either of them even realizing it!!

It appears evident that both embrace fascistic globalism, disavowing the nation state and the right of citizens to govern themselves while insisting in holding the right of allegiance to more than one state!!

By all definition, Emmanuel Macron is a fully bought globalist whose intent is to undo the nation state while opening the door to zio-globalism that benefits only some special interests and the supremacist state of Israel!!
 

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