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12/16/2022

Europe “needs principled and committed leaders”

Europe “needs principled and committed leaders”

The recent visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to the United States has surfaced differences among the transatlantic powers in respect to the policy towards Russia and the Ukraine crisis. These constitute part of a quest for a new international order. At the same time, centrifugal forces within the European Union are gaining strength.

We spoke about these and more issues with Jacques Cheminade, President the French political party Solidarité et Progrès.  

In his visit to US President Emmanuel Macron made the following statement:

“We must address some essential points about the war in Ukraine. As President Vladimir Putin has always said these points are is the fear that NATO comes right up to its doors and the deployment of weapons that could threaten Russia. … We need to think how to give guarantees to Russia the day it returns to the negotiating table.”

There were many criticisms and responses against Macron’s statement, especially from Ukraine.

How do you evaluate President Macron’s last statement about Russia? Do you think that this statement signifies a real departure from NATO’s overall understanding of the situation in Ukraine?

Let me be a little long in my answer because it is a very delicate question.

Macron’s statement is useful, no doubt. The need for peace negotiations with Russia to end Ukrainian war and the emphasis that such a negotiation has to consider the general interest of Russia are very important. It is very useful to mention that the security concerns of Russia have to be taken into account, because of what Russia demanded receding the war in Ukraine. What we have not done before, we should do now. I think when NATO did not respond to Putin, this has triggered the conditions for the war.

The limit for freedom of action in France

Macron’s statement is appropriate and interesting. More interestingly, this statement was made during his trip to the U.S. Nonetheless it should be seen that actions should follow such a declaration. Because there is a limit for freedom of action in France and the French government, which is under the rule of NATO and EU, with the latter being also more and more associated with NATO. Besides, lobby of Silicon Valley in the US does control the French military and civilian data. For example the defense ministry assigned an agreement with Microsoft and interior ministry made one with Palantir – a company launched by CIA in 2004. Therefore it is still to be seen whether Macron and our institutions have courage to break their chains. And this is the issue for our country in the future.

Schiller Institute for a new world order

We, the Solidarité et Progrès party, participate in the international meetings organized by Schiller Institute for a new world order based on security and stability and development for existing nations. It is “peace and common economic development” as Charles De Gaulle put it.

Peace of Westphalia, the Bandung Conference and United Nations’ Charter

Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the international president of Schiller Institute has suggested 10 principles to consider for the security and development of all countries drawing from examples like Peace of Westphalia, the Bandung Conference and United Nations’ Charter.

What is very interesting in that context Sergey Glazyev, Commissioner for the Integration and Macroeconomics within the Eurasian Economic Forum, tweeted these excellent suggestions from Helga Zepp-LaRouche. So we have someone like Sergey Glazyev who is working to give a different orientation to the world and to bring the understanding of peace, common development and win-win system.

So for us, for me, the fight against war is good and necessary, but to bring all of our efforts to establish the conditions for peace, justice and common future for all of people. Creating friendly relations between all parties committed to human labor and human creativity is something in the spirit of the best for our countries.

The last declaration of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

Years and years, I was very impressed when I read the last declaration of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk: is “My principle is reason, science and fatherland”. This means that all people in the world should think in terms of principles and not in terms of geopolitics where all want to take the best for themselves not considering other ones. The Treaty of Westphalia also emphasized that all have a common interest in doing better and doing their bests.

In Europe rise of right-wing parties and movements has been a heated topic for years. To what extent do you think that right-wing parties such as Ressamble National in France and Meloni in Italy, which are increasing their popularity and rate of vote in elections, are consistent long-term opponents of Dollar hegemony and NATO, or rather do you think that they are short-term and relatively harmless opponents to imperialism?

‘A lot of water in the wines’

I have a lot of respect and hope for the people who voted for them. Including Le Pen and Meloni. They now say that they will remain as a part of EU, Euro region and NATO. As a saying in France goes: “A lot of water is in the wine”, in their commitment (laughs). Also in the left, for example Melenchon sometimes says very good things about the relations with China and Russia, but then he does not do at all what he had said before.

Lack of principle among Western leaders

We have a lack of principle among all the leaders in the West. The best way to understand it is to quote what François Mitterand, who once said: “I can’t apply my program, I can’t do what I want because the world is controlled by the financial system and every country by such an oligarchy.” Even if this statement is true, it is wrong that you can’t do anything against it. We all can do something against it. What really matters is such a commitment.

I see in the voters of Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Melenchon this commitment, but not so powerful and advanced, and even less in the leaders themselves. Rassamble National represented what really French people would see as necessary today. In that sense we should remember that about 2/3 of the voters voted for parties that declared their commitment to leave NATO. But they are not doing and not putting pressure for that.

We have discussions in the French National Assembly about this and that, but not about the main issues, which are peace-war and new economic order to secure peace and best of histories of our countries share. This is why the only thing that I believe in is the pressure that we try to organize in the population to have leaders who do what they have said. François Mitterand once said, “What I think, what I say and what I do are three different things”. So this is the spirit of Western leaders and we have to change that. This is our commitment.

Is a Europe heading for independence of the Dollar and NATO hegemony possible within the EU framework or only against it?

EU betrayed Europe and the European civilization

The European Union betrayed Europe and the best of the European civilization. This is what’s happening, because a sort of bureaucracy in Brussels, servant of international oligarchy, controls the EU. This is how it works.

There are reactions against it in different countries, particularly in France. I hope that France would be in a position to do something else than to be part of EU at some point to become a country working in the interest of humanity and world population.

We quote in our party the legacy of Jaurés and De Gaulle and also the best of our culture, Rabelais. I hope we can bring national commitment to French history, which was a history of science, reason, poetry, philosophy and also of a population that placed education and public health as two key points for their commitments.

‘Something is missing to the world and it is France…’

Once, in 1942, De Gaulle in Algeria in the middle of WW2, said: “Something is missing to the world and it is France. But France is missing from the best of the world.” France needs to bring the best to the world and taking the best of the world inside for itself. I think exactly in that sense Ataturk had this notion of bringing the best of Western values in Türkiye as part of Southwest Asia.

Observations on Vatan Party’s congress

You were in Türkiye 2 weeks ago as a guest of Vatan Party and you attend the congress of the Party. What are your observations? Do you think that the two parties can cooperate in the near future?

What impressed me the most is to see that there were 11.000 people and 700 delegates. A minute of silence for the heroes of the Party and I think the presence of people representing the honor of the past is something striking and inspiring for the future. And I am impressed when people said all together “We are the soldiers of Mustafa Kemal”, and the slogan that “The youth works, Türkiye produces.” To see a party that emphasizes labor and production is extremely important in the present situation in Türkiye, but also in the whole world.

I think we established a proximity of commitment between Vatan Party and Solidarité et Progrès.

‘Détente, l’entente et la coopération’

I was very much in agreement with the speech of Doğu Perinçek, the chairman of Vatan Party. Doğu Perinçek said that “Türkiye is heading for a revolution”. It is very important to think of that in the context of the change in the world. We have a situation of now being caught between two processes. One, a short-term process, is something that leads the world towards war and confrontation. And the second, long-term process goes in the direction of cooperation and a new world economic order. These two processes are now confronting and we have obviously to go in the direction of what De Gaulle called “détente, l’entente et la coopération” (peace which is also the spirit of the peace of Westphalia or General Assembly or the United Nations or the principles of Bandung Conference of non-aligned movement of 1955. We all share all this.

Against financial oligarchy

When President Doğu Perinçek said “In the next national government fingers will be raised for Iran, Russia, China, Asia, Africa and for Latin America”, it is exactly our commitment to see the world going in a different direction. Present direction is that of a financial oligarchy against any nation in the world including the people of the US, UK and Europe.

We need to shift the world from imperialist and colonialist grit of the past and bring it to the world of the future for common development and justice for all.

What Doğu Perinçek said about NATO was also very important “NATO’s place in Türkiye is only in the grave.” Vatan Party is the only party in Türkiye fighting to leave NATO.

Şafak Erdem

Şafak Erdem was born in Istanbul in 1993. He completed primary and secondary school in Istanbul, then studied philosophy and sociology as an undergraduate at Boğaziçi University. He is currently doing a master's degree in philosophy.

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