Emmanuel Macron moves into minefield territory

Emmanuel Macron moves into minefield territory

By Odile Mojon, Paris, France

After rumors of a possible “sharing” of France’s nuclear strike force, Emmanuel Macron spoke at a conference on February 26 about the possibility of sending French troops (or troops from other European Union countries) to Ukraine. This statement, which provoked strong protests, was made in front of the 27 heads of state and government and their ministerial representatives who responded to his invitation to take part in a conference in support of Ukraine, an event which also gave him the opportunity to step up his attacks and threats against Russia. The outcome of a process initiated under the auspices of NATO, outside any democratic control, confirms the Head of State in his position as a good pupil of the transatlantic alliance.

At the press conference following this statement, Emmanuel Macron said that France was taking the lead in a new coalition to enable Ukraine to “carry out deep strikes” inside Russia, using “medium- and long-range missiles and bombs”. He claimed that the conference had established a “broad consensus to do even more and even faster together” for Kyiv. This was certainly wishful thinking, since on the same day, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced his refusal to supply long-range Taurus missiles (capable of reaching Moscow) to Ukraine, citing the risk of Germany becoming a co-belligerent. Had Emmanuel Macron forgotten to get in touch with his counterpart before venturing onto a minefield, risking losing all credibility both internationally and domestically?

At the very least, driven by his perpetual desire for transgression, he has pulled off a “coup” with an announcement that came as a thunderclap and provoked deep indignation, particularly among opposition parties, who immediately underlined the ill-considered nature of his proposal.

With Emmanuel Macron’s tendency to confuse politics with “communication”, there’s every reason to believe that he has seized on a particularly internationally sensitive subject for mainly domestic reasons. It is now recognized that Ukraine has de facto lost the war, a reality whose implications are unacceptable to the Western world. What’s more, the United States’ withdrawal from this theater in favor of strategic objectives deemed more important to it – the Middle East, China – is accompanied by an injunction to European countries to devote more resources to their defense, in particular with a view to taking over in Ukraine to wage the Western war by proxy.

Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Sweden on January 30 and 31 at the invitation of King Carl XVI Gustaf is a case in point, and as Le Figaro headlined in a January 10 article, “Stockholm and Paris have maintained a ‘strategic partnership’ on green innovations and solutions since 2017, as well as ‘close relations’ in defense, trade and investment. Of the two areas of cooperation, defense was at the top of the presidential agenda, as evidenced by the upstream mobilization of Swedish defense industry advisors invited to work on a long-term cooperation program with France.”

Note the consistency of this visit to Sweden (whose membership of NATO is no more than a formality) with the warmongering policy announced as early as June 13, 2022, when the outcome of the war in Ukraine was most uncertain, during a visit to Eurosatory, the world’s largest land and air defense and security trade show, where Emmanuel Macron declared: “France and the European Union have entered ”a war economy in which (…) we are going to have to organize ourselves for the long term”.

Indeed, it’s astonishing that the term “war economy” was mentioned, given the tragic reality of the Second World War. The use of such a loaded term should have been the subject of an essential debate, but it was not. Worse still, this transformation is by no means limited to France. The multiple declarations of the “va-t-en guerre” in England, Germany and other European countries are not limited to inflammatory rhetoric; they are accompanied by a significant increase in defense budgets, explicitly to satisfy NATO’s demands, while populations everywhere are being asked to tighten their belts.

First and foremost, on the American side, the war economy shows that the king is naked. Without it, the plundering financial system, which has no real productive basis, would already have collapsed. For the most part, it can only survive thanks to colossal investments in research and production for the military. The social consequences of this are particularly perverse when, for example, elected representatives go out of their way to attract defense contractors to their constituencies to create job pools for their constituents, who are sure to vote for them at the next elections. Moreover, the perpetuation of bloody conflicts around the world is an imperative necessity, while automatically leading other countries to arm themselves …

Be that as it may, at a time when the French Minister of the Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, has announced to save 10 billion by 2025 (and 20 billion for the next financial year), the 3 billion in aid to Ukraine is not going down well.

When he announced his plans to visit Ukraine, Emmanuel Macron had already set the tone: “I myself will be going to Ukraine in February” and “we will be making new deliveries: some 40 Scalp missiles and several hundred bombs”.

What was at stake, as reported in 20minutes, was a security agreement with Kyiv along the lines of the 10-year agreement London and Kyiv had just signed. Quickly finalized by the Head of State, the agreement between France and Ukraine, which provides for a ten-year commitment by France to Ukraine and 3 billion euros in military support programmed from 2024, could not enter into force without being validated by parliament. This was done on Tuesday, March 12 in a vote of 372 in favor and 99 against, which will certainly be confirmed by the Senate. This vote is not only a defeat of the national will, but also confirms the rallying of American power, occupied by a financial oligarchy that carries the war within itself.

Despite a domestic situation in which all indicators are red, Emmanuel Macron has preferred to be NATO’s standard-bearer, potentially dragging France into a conflict outside its borders. Worse still, his intervention means a continuation of the war, with its attendant loss of life – mainly on the Ukrainian side – while significantly increasing the risk of escalation into a nuclear-armed world war.

Faced with this tragedy of history, many are wondering: was it treason or incredible amateurism at the top of the state? It’s the latter hypothesis that worries essayist and anthropologist Emmanuel Todd in a January 17 interview on TV5 Monde. In the program, devoted to the publication of his book La défaite de l’occident, he asked whether Western leaders were keeping abreast of developments in the defense doctrines of their “adversaries”, and, quite simply, whether they were working on their dossiers; in exchange for which they might understand, as far as Russia is concerned, that it has no intention of invading other countries, nor any interest in doing so.

But more likely – and one does not exclude the other – haunted by the specter of defeat in the European elections on June 9, Emmanuel Macron needs to divert attention from burning domestic issues: inflation, falling living standards, destruction of the social and economic fabric (agriculture, industry), calamitous management, stinging disavowal of his presidency, and so on. By giving himself the dimension of a “warlord”, by openly designating Russia as the “enemy”, by playing the card of strengthening the European Union, in particular through the desire for a common European defense, he not only hopes to restore his image and make people forget his domestic setbacks, but also to indulge his Europeanist obsession with liquidating the nation-states, consolidating the return of the old European money feudalism that was discarded at the end of the Second World War and, why not, dreaming himself into the leader of the political chimera that is the European Union.

Emmanuel Macron’s attempt has not yet been crowned with success. His European and NATO partners disassociated themselves from his statement. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov merely laughed when asked about his intentions.

In France, on the other hand, a noxious climate has been created, with witch-hunt impulses against anyone who doesn’t adhere to the official narrative, with liberticidal laws in the pipeline (which would equate people expressing a divergent opinion on Russia with “agents of a foreign power”), accompanied by hefty fines or even prison sentences. Let’s not delude ourselves: while Emmanuel Macron’s discourse must be deciphered with a view to the European Elections, the laws passed are destined to endure and set a precedent, and then there are the Olympic Games in Paris immediately afterward…

Emmanuel Macron’s pretentiousness and incompetence might, in other times and circumstances, be laughable, were it not for the fact that the world is teetering on the brink of the abyss and that France, which in these troubled times should be a power of balance and moderation, is rendered impotent and inaudible, unless new forces emerge – at last!

United World International

Independent analytical center where political scientists and experts in international relations from various countries exchange their opinions and views.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


May 2024