Berlin

After the wet Summer, a hot Winter?

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It has not been a good Summer over here, with many trips we did not wish for, and few moments of inspiration on the writing front. And those news… Seeing clearly through the  mass of lies, fake facts, false flags and other turpitudes of the neocon/neo-liberal media requires constant attention, and more than a critical eye.

As the US presidency under Donald Trump sank further into the sulfur of the neocon swamp, amid force applauds from the worse in US politics, we wondered what could be left of free-will for the man who defied the said swamp, not that long ago. With his clear-eyed advisers gone, who really now would explain to the president the realities of the world? Listening to outrageous statements about Iran and Korea, and the continuation of Obama’s shitty wars via proxies, drones and SOF, who could doubt that the generals are in charge?

Which takes us to Syria, where the battle front brings now the government forces and their allies closer and closer to the truth, which they no doubt have known all along: that “terrorism” was a mask, that there is no such thing as “ISIS” (or whatever) but an army of thugs, gangsters and murderers, set up, funded and armed by the US, under cover of an alleged “opposition” to the “regime”, to perpetuate their permanent attack on the last secular state in the Middle-East. The episode of the attack against the Syrian army and a small unit of Russian military police in Idlib, from positions held by Al-Nusra and the US SOF, the release by the Russian MoD of aerial photographies showing US armour and transport, in an area allegedly held by “ISIS”, and the absence of any evidence of fighting or air attack in the area, are a clear indication of the permanent intentions of the US government (or whoever is really in charge in DC). We knew from the very beginning of the Russian Airforce onslaught on “ISIS”, that the said “ISIS” appeared then remarkably untouched by the so-called anti terrorism coalition: oil quietly flowing from the stolen oil fields of Iraq and eastern Syria, to Turkey, installations in perfect order, after two years of alleged bombing by the said coalition etc. A sham. With the dismantling of “ISIS” and affiliated murderers, there is little doubt that what will be left, is the original sin: US SOF and gangs of thugs, armed and trained by them (“SDF”), from the very start of the conflict in occupied Iraq. No surprise that the Iraqi Kurds, allies of the US during the invasion of Iraq, are now calling their bluff: they want their independence, promised at the time to ensure their loyalty.

This is where the crunch lies: in the arc Turkey – Northern Syria – Iraqi Kurdistan and Iran. Is there any valuable comparison there with the Balkan situation pre-1914?

So, Germany just had general elections. The German system, its constitution and electoral laws, are without comparison elsewhere in the European Union. This is a federal system, where general elections (for the Bundestag, federal parliament) do not lead to an overall majority, without the formation of some coalition. Hence the debates, started even before official results were known, and behind the door negotiations that will last for weeks. Two notable facts: many voters deserted the parties (CDU/CSU and SPD) of the now dead “great coalition”, and the rise of the nationalist AfD. Nonetheless Mrs Merkel will still be Chancellor (head of government), and changes in Foreign Policies (NATO, Ukraine, Russian sanctions, Afghanistan) are unlikely in the medium term. But there is some hope that, with a real opposition in the Bundestag, assuming a likely CDU/CSU – FDP – Grün coalition, there may be some scope down the line.

On Sunday, the Berlin marathon was run on the wet streets of the capital. Heroic African runners won the race. The skies are grey.

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Choisir La France #ChoisirLaFrance

Prenons-nous tels que nous sommes. Prenons le siècle comme il est. Nous avons à mener à bien, malgré d’immenses difficultés, une rénovation profonde qui conduise chaque homme et chaque femme de chez nous à plus d’aisance, de sécurité, de joie, et qui nous fasse plus nombreux, plus puissants, plus fraternels. Nous avons à conserver la liberté sauvée avec tant et tant de peine. Nous avons à assurer le destin de la France au milieu de tous les obstacles qui se dressent sur sa route et sur celle de la paix. Nous avons à déployer, parmi nos frères les hommes, ce dont nous sommes capables, pour aider notre pauvre et vieille mère, la Terre. Soyons assez lucides et assez forts pour nous donner et pour observer des règles de vie nationale qui tendent à nous rassembler quand, sans relâche nous sommes portés à nous diviser contre nous-mêmes ! Toute notre Histoire, c’est l’alternance des immenses douleurs d’un peuple dispersé et des fécondes grandeurs d’une nation libre groupée sous l’égide d’un Etat fort.

Charles de Gaulle, Discours de Bayeux, 16 Juin 1946

Ce dimanche 30 Avril le ciel de Berlin est bleu, parsemé de petits nuages blancs. Le long des avenues bordées d’arbres aux feuilles de printemps, les résidents se promènent, à pied, ou en vélo, décontractés et souriant.

Nous sommes bien loin de la furie qui se déchaîne depuis la semaine dernière en France. Demain, 1er Mai, les Berlinois célèbreront la fête du travail, un jour férié ici, sans interruption depuis plus de cent ans. Dans une semaine je reprendrai le chemin de l’ Institut Français, sur le Kurfürstendamm, pour voter dans le second tour des élections présidentielles.

Il y a quinze jours j’ai voté pour Monsieur Mélenchon et la France Insoumise. La semaine prochaine je vais voter pour Marine Le Pen, et le Front National, sans hésitation. Mes raisons sont très simples: je suis un patriote, et je suis de gauche. Comme patriote je veux empêcher un représentant des banques corruptrices et apatrides d’accèder au poste suprême de la République, et je veux que mon pays retrouve son indépendance. Comme homme de gauche je crois à la défence des droits des travailleurs, je suis contre la délocalisation qui tue les emplois, et je veux une société plus juste. Je comprend les différences entre le programme de Monsieur Mélenchon et celui de Madame Le Pen, et je les accepte: la priorité maintenant c’est d’élire un président qui croit en la France, et la défendra, un président qui ne soit pas au service des oligarchies, et est prête à se battre contre elles. Je sais aussi qu’il y a des différences de principe entre ce point de vue, et celui de certains électeurs du Front National. Mais je ne suis pas quelqu’un qui traite les gens qui sont d’un autre avis de fasciste. Le vrai fascisme est celui du terrorisme international, des crapules neo-libérales qui font de l’immigration un moyen de trahir les travailleurs, et sont donc complices de ce terrorisme.

Si vous êtes Française, ici à Berlin comme moi, ou partout ailleurs, je vous invite à bien réfléchir, et à Choisir La France.

Charles de Gaulle Looking Over Map

Trotz Verbot nicht tot – Wie Dr. Goebbels die Reichshauptstadt für die Bewegung eroberte

From the dark side…

#WritersWednesday: In Praise of White Poppies

Dresden, Teilansicht des zerstörten Stadtzentrums über die Elbe nach der Neustadt. In der Bildmitte der Neumarkt und die Ruine der Frauenkirche.

We will wear a white poppy from now on, in November. Listening to the unctuous words of a political class that does not hesitate to send young men and women to war, on lies and idiotic excuses, of course guarding themselves to ever wear a uniform, we just felt utter revulsion.

Nothing is new. As a franco-german household, we’ve always seen the two European world-wars as civil wars, caused by the folly of politicians and their henchmen in industry and the media. That there is always a party of war is a sad truth. It is made of bigots, hypocrites, profiteers and the inept, the clueless, who end up as cannon fodder among the real innocent.

So this year, we remembered: our grand fathers who died on opposite sides of those trenches, but in the same spirit: that of awe and terror at the hell those liars had sent them to; the fallen citizen-soldiers in their millions, and the martyr cities of the 20th, and now, the 21st century, already (only a small sample listed here):

Verdun (1916-17), Reims (1917), Nanking (1937), Coventry (1940), Lübeck (1942), Hamburg (1943), Kiel (1944), Bremen (1944), Stuttgart (1944), Warsaw (1994), Dresden (1944), Berlin (1945), Leningrad (1941-45), Stalingrad (1943), Tokyo (1944), Hiroshima (1945), Nagasaki (1945), Pyongyang (1953), Hué (1968), Pnom-Penh (1975), New-York (2001), Bagdhad (to date)… 

Remembrance must not be an opportunity for liars to retell their tales: that political class and their lackeys only deserve our contempt and that of our Dead. We hope that some of these devils, at least, will face trial for their (war) crimes.