This is one of the “bio-centric principles” of Abwehr, as I call them. It probably is derived from the common maritime observations: “Smart Seagull drops crab on the fly to break it”: the higher you lift them the harder they fall, and then some smart seagulls will enjoy their fresh crab meat salad for lunch. M.N.
Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
|Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks|
|Smart Seagull drops crab on the fly to break it – YouTube|
|Treaty of Versailles – Wikipedia|
The Treaty of Versailles (French: Traité de Versailles) was the most important of the peace treaties that brought World War Ito an end. The Treaty ended the state of war between Germanyand the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919 in Versailles, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand which directly led to World War I. The other Central Powers on the German side of World War I signed separate treaties. Although the armistice, signed on 11 November 1918, ended the actual fighting, it took six months of Allied negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference to conclude the peace treaty. The treaty was registered by the Secretariat of the League of Nations on 21 October 1919.
|benalla affair – Google Search|
|benalla affair – Google Search|
|benalla affair – Google Search|
|benalla affair – Google Search|
|benalla affair – Google Search|
|Germany’s dangerous flirtation with nuclear weapons|
Berlin may be toying with the idea of embracing its nuclear ambitions, but doing so would jeopardize the delicate balance of power in Europe, writes a security policy expert.
As in a game of chess, there are geopolitical moves through which a country can – unwittingly – checkmate itself. Opening a debate on German nuclear weapons would be such a move. Yet this is exactly what some Germans have recently proposed. Supporters of a nuclear-armed Germany contend that NATO’s nuclear umbrella has lost all credibility because of statements made by US President Donald Trump.
Risk of domino effect
If Germany were now to break out of its non-nuclear power status, what would keep Turkey or Poland, for instance, from following suit? Germany as a gravedigger of the international non-proliferation regime – who could want that?
There are smarter long-term ways to bolster Europe’s nuclear defense than introducing a German bomb. For example, France might be willing to consider playing an extended nuclear-deterrence role, along with the roles of the US and the United Kingdom within NATO. While this would require a fundamental reorientation and Europeanization of France’s nuclear strategy, Germany and other European partners could offer financial contributions to such an initiative, in the context of a future European defense union with a nuclear component. But these are, at best, long-term options.
We hope you enjoyed this articleMake sure to sign up for our free newsletters too!
|france nuclear weapons and germany – Google Search|
<a href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germany_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction” rel=”nofollow”>https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germany_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction</a>
In 1958 Charles De Gaulle became President of France, and Germany and Italy were excluded from the weapons project. … The United States provides about 60 tactical B61 nuclear bombs for use by Germanyunder a NATO nuclear weapons sharing agreement.
PEOPLE ALSO SEARCH FOR
Aug 17, 2018 – Many commenters are tempted by the prospect of Germany buying a share, so to speak, of the British or French nuclear forces to create a …
<a href=”https://nationalinterest.org/blog/…/the-story-how-france-built-nuclear-weapons-26381″ rel=”nofollow”>https://nationalinterest.org/blog/…/the-story-how-france-built-nuclear-weapons-26381</a>
Jun 23, 2018 – Before the World War II France, like Britain and Germany, led the … France Has Lots of Nuclear Weapons (That Could Kill Millions of People) …
<a href=”https://www.politico.eu/…/german-bomb-debate-goes-nuclear-nato-donald-trump-def” rel=”nofollow”>https://www.politico.eu/…/german-bomb-debate-goes-nuclear-nato-donald-trump-def</a>…
Aug 3, 2018 – Those agreements are why the prospect of a nuclear Germany … nuclear weapons against an aggressor would prompt France to take the same …
<a href=”https://www.businessinsider.com/doubts-about-trump-us-defense-spark-nuclear-weapo” rel=”nofollow”>https://www.businessinsider.com/doubts-about-trump-us-defense-spark-nuclear-weapo</a>…
Aug 4, 2018 – “Germany developing nuclear military capability, a nuclear weapon, … President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron walk …
<a href=”https://global.handelsblatt.com/opinion/germany-dangerous-nuclear-flirtation-953009″ rel=”nofollow”>https://global.handelsblatt.com/opinion/germany-dangerous-nuclear-flirtation-953009</a>
Aug 8, 2018 – Opening a debate on German nuclear weapons would be such a move. … and France – has found it necessary to acquire nuclear weapons of …
<a href=”https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/05/world/europe/germany-nuclear-weapons.html” rel=”nofollow”>https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/05/world/europe/germany-nuclear-weapons.html</a>
Jul 5, 2017 – A formal assessment found that Germany could legally finance the British or French weaponsprograms in exchange for their protection.
PEOPLE ALSO SEARCH FOR
|france nuclear weapons and germany – Google Search|
New York Magazine–Aug 18, 2018
First, no one said: Why would Germany need a nuclear weapon? … Germany was neutered, Britain self-isolated, France too interested in its …
STRATFOR–Aug 17, 2018
But elsewhere in Europe, such as in Sweden and France, … The debate on a German nuclear bomb was started by a front-page article in the …
European Council on Foreign Relations–Sep 3, 2018
It is extraordinary that the anti-nuclear, peace-loving Germans should be toying … Anyway, French and UK nuclear weapons have the technical …
The National Interest Online–Aug 18, 2018
The ‘ Paris Agreements of 1954’ , where Germany agreed not to manufacture atomic weapons wouldn’t be much of an obstacle, French …
|france and germany – Google Search|
Express.co.uk–5 hours ago
The Europe minister suggested that the isolationist streak of US President Donald Trump could catapult France and Germany into a pivotal role …
|Character assassination – Wikipedia|
Character assassination is a deliberate and sustained process that destroys the credibility and reputation of a person, institution, organization, social group, or nation. Agents of character assassinations employ a mix of open and covert methods to achieve their goals, such as raising false accusations, planting and fostering rumours, and manipulating information.
Character assassination is an attempt to tarnish a person’s reputation. It may involve exaggeration, misleading half-truths, or manipulation of facts to present an untrue picture of the targeted person. It is a form of defamation and can be a form of ad hominem argument.
For living individuals targeted by character assassination attempts, this may result in being rejected by their community, family, or members of their living or work environment. Such acts are often difficult to reverse or rectify, and the process is likened to a literal assassination of a human life. The damage sustained can last a lifetime or, for historical figures, for many centuries after their death.
The phrase “character assassination” became popular from around 1930. One of the first mentions of the phrasing in literature is dated 1950 in the collection of essays by Jerome Davis.
In practice, character assassination may involve doublespeak, spreading of rumours, innuendo or deliberate misinformation on topics relating to the subject’s morals, integrity, and reputation. It may involve spinning information that is technically true, but that is presented in a misleading manner or is presented without the necessary context. For example, it might be said that a person refused to pay any income tax during a specific year, without saying that no tax was actually owed due to the person having no income that year, or that a person was sacked from a firm, even though he may have been made redundant through no fault of his own, rather than being terminated for cause.
According to Thomas, character assassination is an intentional attempt, usually by a narcissist and/or his or her codependents, to influence the portrayal or reputation of someone in such a way as to cause others to develop an extremely negative or unappealing perception of him or her. It typically involves deliberate exaggeration or manipulation of facts, the spreading of rumours and deliberate misinformation to present an untrue picture of the targeted person, and unwarranted and excessive criticism.
Psychopathy in the workplace
The authors of the book Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work describe a five phase model of how a typical workplace psychopath climbs to and maintains power. In phase four (confrontation), the psychopath will use techniques of character assassination to maintain their agenda.
In politics, character assassination is a form of negative campaigning. Opposition research is the practice of collecting information on someone that can be used to discredit them. A smear campaign is the use of falsehoods or distortions. Scandalmongering can be used to associate a person with a negative event in a false or exaggerated way.
The third is bottom-up attacks, or individuals attacking authoritarian leaders. Examples include:
In a totalitarian regime
The effect of a character assassination driven by an individual is not equal to that of a state-driven campaign. The state-sponsored destruction of reputations, fostered by political propaganda and cultural mechanisms, can have more far-reaching consequences. One of the earliest signs of a society’s compliance to loosening the reins on the perpetration of crimes (and even massacres) with total impunity is when a government favors or directly encourages a campaign aimed at destroying the dignity and reputation of its adversaries, and the public accepts its allegations without question. The mobilisation toward ruining the reputation of adversaries is the prelude to the mobilisation of violence in order to annihilate them. Generally, official dehumanisation has preceded the physical assault of the victims.
The International Society for the Study of Character Assassination
In July 2011, scholars from nine countries gathered at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, to debate “the art of smear and defamation in history and today”. They formed a group to study character assassination throughout the ages. The group included historians, political scientists, and political psychologists.
|cron – Google Search|
<a href=”https://www.npmjs.com/package/cron” rel=”nofollow”>https://www.npmjs.com/package/cron</a>
Aug 26, 2018 – Cron is a tool that allows you to execute something on a schedule. This is typically done using the cron syntax. We allow you to execute a …
|macron “gay scandal” – Google Search|
|macron “gay scandal” – Google Search|
|macron – Google Search|
|macron – Google Search|
|macron – Google Search|
|Jupiter and Rambo – The American Interest|
Most Americans have not heard the name Benalla, and if they have, they haven’t a clue why it should concern them. How could they? The White House is a region of spacetime exerting such a strong pull on our attention that no one can escape; a scandal in France that sounds inscrutable and insignificant will not be the exception to the rule, even if it is neither.
The manifest content of this scandal, as thus far reported in the highbrow press, is indeed a scandal. But as French scandals go, it is a tremblor on the French Presidential Scandal scale. The latent content is what matters—and it matters because of the larger geopolitical context.
France will soon be the only nuclear power in the European Union. The U.S. commitment to Article V of the NATO treaty is widely in doubt. Macron’s lucky streak has allowed some in Europe to envision the germ of a solution to the massive security and economic dilemmas it confronts: an intimate Franco-German economic and security entente, one that would use Germany’s wealth and France’s military to forge a stable, liberal, and democratic power center at the heart of Europe.
Given this context, it is hard to understand why the French would allow themselves to become consumed by a scandal that on its face is a scandal, yes, but no earth-shattering one. Nonetheless, Macron’s popularity has plummeted. Since Le Monde broke the story on July 18, he has tumbled in the polls by some ten percentage points, leaving a number of observers reaching for elaborate explanations: “The Benalla Affair,” writes Alexandra Schwartz in the New Yorker, “is not about Alexandre Benalla. It is about the French President, and the brash, self-confident manner with which he has blasted through his first year in office.” The story runs the “Culture Desk” section, which is usually reserved for “conversations about movies, television, theatre, music, and other cultural events.”
Not about Benalla? Perhaps it is true that had Macron not been so brash and self-confident, no one in France would have found the news that his intimate friend and adviser likes to dress up like one of the Village People and beat the snot out of anyone in his path especially notable. But this seems a tortured explanation.
The affair takes place against a restive backdrop. On May Day 2018, a year after Macron’s election and half a century after May ’68, the unions took to the street to protest Macron’s economic reforms. These included loosening France’s growth-strangling labor regulations, so rigid that desperate companies with an incompetent employee were known to hire a second one without firing the incompetent one, for it would be so expensive, time-consuming, and bureaucratically arduous to get rid the incompetent that it was easier to keep him on the payroll.
In September last year, Macron pushed through a package of labor law reforms, then turned his attention to the debt-ridden state railways.His proposal to end the guarantee of jobs for life—not, note, for those already employed, but for new recruits—prompted crippling, rolling strikes meant to galvanize France with the rejuvenating spirit of ’68. In reality the strikes just irritated the hell out of us, so much so that, for once, people on the street told me, “I’ve had it with these spoiled little shits. Just fire them all.”
You may remember “May Day in Paris Marred by Violence” headlines, accompanied by the clichéd stock photo of a burning car in Paris. The malefactors were the Black Bloc, a kin to Antifa. Some 1,200 Black Bloc thugs infiltrated an otherwise peaceful march of leftists and trade unionists and went wilding, throwing Molotov Cocktails, smashing windows, torching cars, ransacking shops, brandishing Soviet flags (seriously), tearing up pavement stones, and desecrating the holy symbol of capitalism (a McDonald’s). This happened near the Gare d’Austerlitz, in central southeast Paris. The news made it sound more dramatic than it was: I live about ten blocks away but had no idea it was happening until I received e-mails from concerned Americans telling me to flee for my life.
That evening, another scrap broke out at the Place de la Contrescarpe, which guidebooks describe as “a small, intimate, and pleasantly shaded square, lined by lively cafés, one of the most attractive in Paris.” The cops were in a crappy mood after dealing with 1,200 ravening anarchists, and another passel of drunken reds was the last thing they wanted to see. But with one notable exception, the cops were perfectly professional, if, obviously, not a bit in the mood.
Here is the video, recorded on May 1, that started it all.1 Look for the cop in the helmet who’s not like the others. He’s incompetent. He’s untrained. He’s neither in control of himself nor the suspect. He smashes him in the head in a way no professional ever would. You could give someone a concussion or brain damage that way. You could even hurt your hand. The video was released immediately, but only became a national scandal when the public learned that the cop in question was not a cop. He was 26-year-old Alexandre Benalla, a swarthy young man from the other side of the tracks, impersonating a police officer.
And who exactly is Benalla? On July 18, Le Monde identified him, triggering the firestorm. He is a man who has had seemingly unlimited access to the President of the Republic of France. But he shouldn’t have.
Other amateur videos of the May 1 incident have since surfaced. By now everyone in France has seen Benalla mashing his fist into a protestor and stomping on his stomach; they have watched him wrestle to the ground and drag off an unarmed woman; they have seen him flee the scene. We have seen the assault from every angle, in slow motion, captioned, illustrated with arrows and diagrams, or playing on a loop, in the background, as excited television presenters narrate the blow-by-blow.
We have since learned, too, that Benalla was granted gifts and favors exceedingly unsuited to his official role. And what was that role? It changes by the day, but in press accounts he has been described variously as “bodyguard,” “the President’s close collaborator,” “deputy chief of staff,” “assistant director of the cabinet of the President of the Republic,” “top aide,” and “adviser to the President.” One thing is perfectly clear: Nothing could keep them apart. France has seen photo after photo of Macron and Benalla skiing together in the Pyrénées and cycling in matching pastels at the seaside. Benalla had the keys to the presidential couple’s home. He was installed in a sumptuous apartment on the Quai Branly with a certain historic significance—it once housed President Mitterrand’s illegitimate family—and paid a salary grossly disproportionate to his role, whatever it was. He was given an official vehicle, with flashing lights and sirens, which perhaps a bodyguard might need, yes, but why then was he also given a chauffeur? He had no training as a bodyguard, but under Macron’s employ, in what Libérationtermed “the fastest promotion in French military history,” this retired former grunt in the gendarmerie became a five-bar lieutenant colonel with “expert” status. He had free range of the National Assembly, a diplomatic passport, and a security clearance.
This would all have escaped widespread notice if the far Left had not tipped off Le Monde. Note, though, that someone had to know Benalla was not who he appeared to be to grasp that the video would cripple President Emmanuel Macron’s presidency.
Benalla’s nickname was “Rambo.” His intimates say he has hot blood, or sang chaud, the opposite of the quality usually ascribed to heroic Frenchmen—sangfroid. He was granted a license to carry, even though his earlier applications had repeatedly been denied by the Interior Ministry; police officers considered his dossier “dubious.” Sources tell journalists that the Elysée would have had to intervene directly to overrule that judgement.
He had been offering his services as a bodyguard to Socialist Party luminaries since 2008, but in 2012, only days into a new job as Arnaud Montebourg’s chauffeur, he was fired “with utmost force, for severe misconduct,” as Montebourg told Le Monde. “He caused a car accident, in my presence, and sought to flee the scene.” In 2015, a woman filed a complaint with the police accusing Benalla of “willingly and violently” assaulting her so seriously that she couldn’t work for more than eight days. In March 2016, shortly before Benalla entered Macron’s employ, these charges were dismissed. Unusually, no legal explanation for the verdict was offered.
Directly before the 2017 election, hackers broke into Macron’s campaign and dumped a massive trove of documents onto the internet. No one paid them much mind, assuming the Russians had mingled with the real documents so many fake and scurrilous ones that none could be trusted. The documents about Benalla, however, appear to have been real: They note his fondness for riot shields and non-lethal weapons. It does seem he had quite the collection: When he wanted to play policeman, he had all the gear—the helmet, the armband, the walkie-talkie. But how could he have assumed he would get away with that in the era of the smartphone? Impersonating a police officer is, needless to say, illegal as hell. Clearly, he felt he was immune—and indeed, members of police unions have since testified under oath that Benalla “terrified” them, that he felt free to curse and threaten with impunity high-ranking officers of the police and gendarmerie.
The police had their reasons. In this video, shot in March 2017 and published by Public Sénat the day after after Le Monde identified Benalla as the rogue cop, we see Benalla manhandling a journalist, then stealing his badge. The incident was “so serious and so incomprehensible,” Public Sénat reported, “that the director of the channel sent a letter to then-candidate Macron’s team, noting that there was no threat whatsoever to the candidate and protesting this arbitrary interference with the press in in its normal duties.” It was a warning, Public Sénat wrote, “that should have been heeded, and should have prevented Benalla from following Macron into the Elysée Palace.”
We learned from sworn testimony before the French parliament that the President and the Interior Ministry had been aware of the incident as soon as it happened. Neither alerted the public prosecutor, as required by law, nor did they do so until the story was on the front page of every newspaper in France. Instead, they suspended Benalla without salary for 15 days, but for a “technical reason” he received his salary anyway and immediately reappeared, accompanying the President as if he had not been suspended at all. They knew Benalla had done something psychopathic on May Day, but not one of the people officially responsible for ensuring the security of the President insisted that his access to him be cut off.
The cover-up has been clumsier than the crime. After the story broke, no one could get the alibi straight. Neither Interior Minister Gérard Collomb nor the Paris Prefect of Police Michel Delpuech were willing to take the fall; both pointed the finger at Macron. On July 23, Delpuech contradicted the Elysée’s declarations that the police had authorized Benalla to attend the demonstration.
All of this is scandalous, yes. The corruption, the favoritism, and the carelessness with state security warrant stern condemnation. But none of it merits the unrelenting fever it has generated in France. It does not warrant the obsession, and it can be described no other way.
Why? As French scandals go, writes Arthur Goldhammer, “nothing here rises to the level of past presidential misdeeds.” He recalls the barbouzes of de Gaulle’s Service d’Action Civique, the Greenpeace Affair, Mitterrand’s private eavesdroppers. “These were affairs of state. Benalla is a choirboy by comparison.”
Benalla has since been indicted for assault, impersonating a police officer, gang violence, interference in public service, illegally wearing a police badge, and conspiracy to abuse police surveillance footage. The three high-ranking police officers who allegedly gave Benalla the footage of the incident have been indicted for misappropriating the images and violating professional secrecy. The judiciary is conducting an investigation into “cronyism.” Five have so far been indicted. The National Police and the Inspector General are conducting simultaneous administrative investigations.
Macron has taken responsibility. The buck stops with him, he says. He has assured us that Benalla was never given the nuclear codes. He has assured us, too, that Benalla has never been his lover. So that, at least, is settled.
So why, then, isn’t it settled? Why did the leaked video first force Macron into hiding—he went silent for days, completely aberrant for the normally voluble Jupiter—and why, when at last he emerged, did he stand before the flashing lightbulbs and say, “Benalla has never been my lover?” Any competent brand manager would tell you those are not the words to utter if you aim never to associate in the public mind the words “Macron,” “Benalla,” and “lover.”
Because, of course, everyone suspects Benalla is his lover. It takes quite a conspiracy theory to account for this any other way, doesn’t it? But that is not the heart of the matter. France isn’t anti-homosexual in the Russian manner. Marine Le Pen, for example, surrounds herself with gay advisers and insists that, far from being homophobic, her animosity to Islamic immigration stems from her homophilia. Homosexuality in France is now at best mildly transgressive. Few would have thought the worse of Macron had he come out of the closet. His taste for men was rumored before the election, and since nearly everyone had heard about it, not much of a secret.
Macron might have been better off saying, “Yes, he’s my lover, and it’s none of your business.” That’s an answer France might have understood. It is the reflex response here to any question about a public figure’s private life. An American (in all innocence, presumably) once asked Quora whether Macron was gay, and was taken to the woodshed by his French interlocutors. “I am not politically in favor of Macron, but this question is inappropriate. To say the least,” remarked one.
Unfortunately, this obvious retort was unavailable to him, because Macron had spent months of his campaign saying, “Yes, she’s my wife, and it’s none of your business.” In his 2016 memoir, the candidate described his “love often clandestine, often hidden, misunderstood by many before imposing itself.” But this love that dared not speak its name was to Brigitte, whom he met when he was a 15-year-old student at a Jesuit high school. She was 25 years his senior, married, and a mother of three. She divorced her husband when Macron turned 18. When Macron began his political career, in 2007, they married, and Macron became a grandfather of seven before his 40th birthday.
Their relationship has mostly struck the French as weird or romantic, but none of their business. Rumors that Brigitte was Macron’s beard were stilled by good manners, discretion, and respect for the beauty of their love story, the will to believe in their love story—especially among middle-aged women with a taste for le fruit vert. When the far Right—and Russia—had the bad taste to cast aspersions on the authenticity of their marriage, Macron won the round by calling such intimations odious: “Saying that it is not possible for a man to live with an older woman without being anything other than a homosexual or a hidden gigolo is misogynous. And it’s also homophobic.”
Were it not for this, Macron could have said, “Yes, he’s my lover, and that is none of your business.” It would have been met, probably, with a great round of public applause for his bravery. But precisely because he had so vigorously denounced anyone who suggested such a thing as a homophobe or a misogynist, the get-out-of-jail-free card was unavailable to him when he possibly needed it most.
Still, his presumptive hypocrisy is not the heart of this matter either. No one in France cared that Mitterrand had two families, or that Hollande had three mistresses. A touch of hypocrisy would have been easily understood. He’s a politician, after all.
So what is this really about? As is often the case in French theater, the action is onstage, but the meaning is offstage.2 The first clue is in the political correctness Macron deftly wielded as a weapon on the campaign trail. This scandal is political correctness in action, and it displays political correctness for what we all know it to be: a sinister system of internal constraints that serves simultaneously to highlight and to hide forbidden thoughts. It also serves as a signal of class status: It is the vernacular of the aspiring upper-middle classes, and deploying it is a sign of class anxiety. The aristocracy sees no need for it. We speak plainly, but only to each other.
Thus it is impossible for the French middle class to articulate, or even consciously to identify, the truly transgressive element of this drama. None can say plainly that yes, France was ready for a President who married his high school drama teacher; France was ready for a closeted gay President, if that’s in fact what he was, or even an openly gay President. But no, France was not ready for a closeted gay President with a taste for S&M.3
That is the heart of the scandal. Benalla is a sadist. Homosexuality is tolerated, but Benalla is different. He is not, for one thing, obviously homosexual. He has a long history of heterosexual liaisons. Perhaps he is an intermittent homosexual, but that is not particularly interesting these days, either. What is interesting, because it is something else entirely, is that Benalla obviously enjoys inflicting pain, and in his elevated disposition in the Macron era, he has been out of control. Thus the reaction to this scandal in France owes much to the hidden image of Macron as a willing victim of Benalla’s baton. There cannot be two sadists in a sado-masochistic affair. If Benalla and Macron were lovers, and Benalla is the dominant half of a sado-masochistic couple, where does that leave Macron? It leaves him where no one wishes to see a French President.
But this is only one thread in a complicated weave. The French press has gone out of its way to affirm that Benalla is French; he was born here; he is one of our own. This is not just political correctness: It is so. This is an important part of France’s conception of itself, made manifest in the law.4 And it is not so. The forbidden thought—and the obvious one—is that Benalla is not a French name. Benalla was born in France, but he is from a French-Moroccan family. He is part of the great wave of post-colonial immigration from the Maghreb.
For Macron to have gotten himself involved in this sort of debauchery smells of Rassenschande. There is to this affair a distinct air of racial defilement. No one wishes in the least to say this, but it is true anyway. If Benalla is an intermittent homosexual and not entirely French by blood—ah, that word does have a way of returning, doesn’t it—the fact that he is also a sadist means he has been showing the clubbing end of the baton to Macron, and in doing this, screwing over France.
Screwing over France in whose name, one might ask, if only because the question is always pertinent. Four or five million French Maghrebis—that is one answer. Go to any suburb around Paris or Marseilles and ask the locals whether they appreciate the fact that someone named Benalla is busy kicking the shit out of the President of the Republic, and, unbidden they would say they enjoy it very much. It is about time that someone did so. This has little to do with Islam and nothing to do with terrorism, it is a matter of redressing an old, old feeling of humiliation.
If in doubt, take a walk through my neighborhood. Try asking, at random, “What do you make of this Benalla business?” The responses are entirely predictable along class and ethnic lines. The waiter in the bobo café will say, “Lovers? Why, that hadn’t occurred to me. Or to anyone I know. What a strange thought.” But go exactly ten meters down the street and talk to the Maghrebi garbage collectors: All smirks and chortles. Their Ivoirian comrades? They’ve honestly got no idea what you’re talking about. Then try a high-ranking civil servant (in strictest confidence and utmost discretion, bien sûr—and only after you’ve established your aristocratic bona fides)—oh yes, the rumors get lewder. I would hardly be surprised if in the upper echelons of the Palace the word now involves Brigitte and a horse.
But in screwing over France by screwing over Macron, Benalla has made a symbolic concord with another constituency altogether: the police. Now, it is a simple and observable fact that no trivial number of police are, by psychological type, sadistic. This is hardly to impugn the police. Every polity needs its protective thugs; no society can long do without them. As it happens, Benalla loved the police. He wished to be one of them, and if not one of them, one of them in spirit. (This type is well known in the United States, too. Think Steven Seagal.) Even though no one in France is so stupid as to wish the police to disappear, the police are widely despised for their gratuitous brutality, their clan loyalty, and their flagrant dishonesty. The socio-economic class they represent lies between the edges of the working and lower-middle class. As they are despised, so they despise their betters: The attorneys, whom they loathe; the clever criminals, whom they sometimes admire; the politicians; and the press. In a country with fascist tendencies, they would represent a barely controlled Freikorps, a clan expressing their resentment in violence, first because violence does very well in expressing something, and second because violence has a latent psychosexual aspect. It is relieving to go beat people up.
These, then, are the first clues to the concealed drama of this affair. Macron has allowed himself to be used both by the Maghreb community and by the police in order to relieve them of their frustrations and resentments. To the French who can sense things happening, but not think about them or forthrightly discuss them, this is bound to provoke a shiver of discontent. Many in France dislike the Maghreb population because they fear, with some reason, that their allegiance is not to France at all—at least not yet. Many dislike the police because the police are not likable (nor should they be). The last thing they wish is for these groups to have their way with the President, and so with France. But this would seem to be what happened. One wonders how many French commentators and writers fully understand the meaning of the Ernst Röhm scandal in Germany? At some level, they all do. And at some level, this is a far deeper source of anxiety, for Röhm was Hitler’s Benalla.
Here is the another clue: The French delight in devouring the powerful and executing monarchs, even when it is not in their interest, and this to a degree unexcelled in any other Western country. They will re-enact the spectacle of destroying the monarchy every time in preference to asking whether it is the right moment to do that.
And a last clue: French libel laws are no joke, and any journalist who says in plain language what everyone is thinking will get his ass sued off. Thus all of this is happening between the lines. Look for the double-entendres. Such an event could be described in many ways in both French and English: the May Day scandal, the Benalla scandal, or even Benalla-gate—in both languages. The press has landed firmly on l’affaire Macron-Benalla, which in both languages means what you think it does.
Another one: “Might this be compared,” journalists are asking one other, entirely straight-faced, on television, “to the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior?” No, actually. The aptly codenamed Opération Satanique—more often known as the Greenpeace scandal—took place in 1985, years before the word “Rainbow” would evoke anything but a polychromatic optical illusion. The Rainbow Warrior was the flagship of Greenpeace’s fleet, en route to protest a French nuclear test in the Tuamotu Archipelago, when the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure (DGSE) bombed and sunk her in the Port of Auckland, killing a photographer on board. The New Zealand police captured two operatives and charged them with arson, conspiracy to commit arson, willful damage, and murder. Mitterrand managed to survive by denying everything, vowing to get to the heart of it, whitewashing all the evidence, accusing MI6 of sinking the ship to discredit France, forcing his Defense Minister to take the fall, sacking the head of the DGSE, and launching a trade war against New Zealand’s sheep. In the end, France was forced to confess, apologize, and pay massive reparations, and to this day, the French must ritually apologize for it every time they set foot in the antipodes.
Now that was a scandal.
This is far less—on the face of it—than Opération Satanique, but far more unspeakable in its subtext. The result is something delicious in its clever malice but horrifying to watch. As Bernard-Henri Lévy rightly put it, the press, like piranhas, have run clips of Benalla smashing protesters in a loop while simultaneously making “grotesque speculations about the private life of the presidential couple.” Photos of Macron and Benalla staring into each other’s eyes have been on the front page of every newspaper and magazine in every news kiosk in Paris for weeks. You can’t miss the billboard-sized advertisements for magazines like Le Point and Le Parisien, with headlines like, “A Too-special Advisor,” illustrated everywhere by those photos.
For the subtler, there are the French public intellectuals who have gone savagely intellectual on Macron’s sorry ass. Michel Onfray, a self-declared hedonist, atheist, and anarchist, has been especially vicious. He begins with an apt observation: A republican believes himself at the service of the state; a monarch holds the state to be at his service; and “in a monarchical republic such as ours, the president of the Republic is at less risk of republicanism than becoming a monarch.” But this risk, he argues, was overlooked by the naïfs who brought Macron to power. They thought “a man crowned while yet in his thirties (le trentenaire couronné) could wrench destiny5 in the other direction, oblivious to the qualities required to resist the monarchical temptation: a temperament of iron, a character of steel, and above all an impeccable moral compass,” none of which, he adds, were in evidence in Macron to begin with, and without which French Presidents inevitably “come to view the world through the eyes of their retinue of fawning courtiers.” Thus it is clear that Benalla was “the King’s favorite,”
Onfray proceeds to work himself into a regicidal frenzy, but rather than shouting, “Off with his head!” he launches into a glorious paragraph that serves the same function:
Have you understood? Of course you have.
1. The YouTube user who uploaded the video mislabeled the date as 01/04/2018.
2. Think of Ionesco’s Rhinoceros.
3. One may argue perhaps that France should not have been quite so ready for that. Perhaps taboos against molesting your students, betraying your husband, and breaking up your family exist for good reasons. But that is a different question.
4. I write here about the significance of the French conception of citizenship.
5. He uses the idiom “tordre le bâton,” literally “twist the stick.” Meaningless in English, but a play on words in French, for as in English, a bâton may refer to a police baton (the scandal was exposed precisely because Benalla was too enthralled with them), and the word is richer still: Beyond being a metonym for authority, it is also a symbol of dignity in governance and, of course, a vulgar synonym for what Rabelais called “Le membre viril.”
6. Laurent Wauquiez is desperately trying to rehabilitate Les Républicains, but doing so by imitating the National Front, a fatal mistake, for if voters decide that’s what they want, they will vote for the echtitem, not him. I have no idea what happened to Le Parti socialiste. Last I heard it was putting its hopes in a Belgian.
|macron gay scandal – Google Search|
The American Interest–Aug 21, 2018
But as French scandals go, it is a tremblor on the French …. presumably) once asked Quora whether Macron was gay, and was taken to the …
The Sydney Morning Herald–Jul 27, 2018
Paris: It was the week that Emmanuel Macron, the slick young French … a political scandal after being filmed beating up May Day protesters.
Macron plummets to new poll low after bodyguard scandal that forced …
Telegraph.co.uk–Jul 27, 2018
Telegraph.co.uk–Feb 1, 2018
Mr Macron denied being gay or having an affair with Mr Gallet. “Brigitte [his wife] shares my life from morning to night. And I don’t get paid for …
South China Morning Post–Jul 24, 2018
Emmanuel Macron’s administration on Tuesday defended its handling of the scandal sparked by a top presidential security aide filmed …
|macron – Google Search|
Reuters–15 hours ago
PARIS (Reuters) – The leader of the liberal group in the European Parliament Guy Verhofstadt said on Sunday he is seeking an alliance with …
Verhofstadt plans pan-European liberal alliance with Macron
POLITICO.eu–5 hours ago
Desperate Verhofstadt asks Macron to SAVE his party as nationalists …
Express.co.uk–20 minutes ago
Verhofstadt sides with Macron for the European elections
EURACTIV–2 hours ago
Macron party sounds alarm over Swedish election result
International–RFI–3 hours ago
Express.co.uk–4 hours ago
Brigitte Macron, 65, looked animated as she cheered France to victory against the Netherlands for their first home football game since their …
Business Insider–Sep 5, 2018
French President Emmanuel Macron faces his lowest approval rating yet at 31%. The news comes as voters have reportedly become wary of Macron’s …
Macron in tight spot as he looks to replace star ecology minister
International–FRANCE 24–Sep 4, 2018
The Independent–Sep 6, 2018
The French far-right has been the main beneficiary of Emmanuel Macron‘s continuing slide in popularity, as his approval rating hits a record …
Can Emmanuel Macron Defend Europe From the White Nationalist …
In-Depth–Newsweek–Sep 6, 2018
Express.co.uk–Sep 7, 2018
The hardline right-winger accused the young centrist of wanting to “divide” the European Union, before positioning himself as the defender of …
Emmanuel Macron takes on Viktor Orban and Matteo Salvini
Opinion–The Economist–Sep 6, 2018
USA TODAY–Aug 31, 2018
PARIS – For over a year, French President Emmanuel Macron has cajoled his counterpart Donald Trump, convinced he could make him …
France’s Macron faces fraught return after difficult summer
In-Depth–Financial Times–Aug 30, 2018
|auburn shooting – Google Search|
Shooting at Alabama McDonald’s leaves 1 dead, 4 wounded, police say
1 day ago
|auburn shooting – Google Search|
|auburn shooting – Google Search|
|auburn shooting – Google Search|