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Russia has a model for peace and stability for Afghanistan–it’s called Chechnya

One only needs to study Russia’s experience with bringing former Chechen rebels to the table, in order to learn why the Taliban must be spoken to rather than bombed into anger and alienation.

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Between 1994 and 1996, a Russian Federation weakened by internal political chaos fought the First Chechen War. The war was fought between the Russian armed forces and forces loyal to the self-proclaimed Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.

During the First Chechen War, one of the leading commanders of rebel forces was Akhmad Kadyrov. His battle field tactics helped win the war, forcing an uneasy truce with Russia.

During this time, Kadyrov’s forces were backed by foreign Mujaheddin, many of whom were battle hardened from fighting Soviet troops in Afghanistan between 1979 and 1989. As with Afghanistan, the US supported the Mujaheddin against Russia, albeit in a more covert manner than during the 1980s.

In 1999, war flared up again in Chechnya when Islamist extremists from Chechnya invaded the neighbouring Russian Republic of Dagestan. It was at this time that Akhmad Kadyrov switched sides, pledging his loyalty to Russia.

This was motivated by several factors. First of all, the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria was a self-proclaimed country of chaos, corruption and poverty, one which was ultimately in need of Russian material support, just as Afghanistan needs much the same from Pakistan today. Secondly, Kadyrov found that the Mujaheddin forces which helped win the First Chechen War were both unreliable and too extreme for his liking, their designs on the region were very different than his.

By the year 2000, the wars in both Chechnya and Dagestan were over and Kadyrov was once again on the winning side, only this time the winning side was the Russian side.

In the subsequent years, some local rebels as well as foreign Mujaheddin continued to cause problems in the region. Things came to a head when in 2004 Akhmad Kadyrov, who had become the President of the Chechen Republic, was assassinated. Chechen rebel Shamil Basayev later claimed responsibility. He was killed by the FSB (Russian Federal Security Service) in 2006.

In 2007, Akhmad’s son Ramzan Kadyrov became the Head of the Chechen Republic. Ramazan’s leadership marked Chechnya’s transformation from an uneasy hotbed of rebellion and foreign terrorism to a place that is generally stable, a loyal subject of the Russian Federation and a place with zero tolerance for trouble makers. Crucially, the region has a high degree of autonomy in which Islamic customs and local laws are integrated into the overarching laws of the Russian Federation. It is a balance that has worked far better than many could have imagined. It many ways, it is a textbook example of 21st century compromise in respect of cultural autonomy combined with sovereign loyalty to a large state.

Afghanistan requires a similar solution. Russia learned from experience what the US has failed to learn after nearly 16 years in Afghanistan: no peaceful solution can take place without the Pashtun majority having their interests accounted for. The strongest group around which many Pashtuns now rally is the Taliban and has been so for decades.

Russia who in the 1980s fought against the people who would come to support the Taliban in the 1990s, has realised that there is a time for war and a time for dialogue.

It was this approach that allowed Russia to accept Akhmad Kadyrov as a loyal subject to Russia even though he had been a supreme enemy of the state just years prior to this reconciliation. Likewise, in Afghanistan, Russia realises that the Taliban, the moderate rebels of modern Afghanistan, cannot be disregarded and nor can they be bombed into coming to the peace table, not least because many Taliban leaders have already made comparatively generous peace offers that Afghanistan’s neighbours such as Pakistan could easily work with.

Russia has let the ideological wars of the past slip into memory and Russia’s modern leaders have learned the lessons necessary to formulate a new Afghan policy. This new Russian policy of dialogue with the Taliban is in line with that of Pakistan which seeks a stable country free from American or Indian influence on its western border and it is also what China seeks as China requires a stable Pakistan and a comparatively placid Afghanistan in order to complete a crucial section of One Belt–One Road infrastructure in the region. Iran too has come to this realisation in more ways than one.

The future leader that Afghanistan needs is someone like Ramzan Kadyrov, an individual who is local, can implement Islamic law with sincerity and authority, can act pragmatically though patriotically when dealing with others, including non-Pashtun Afghans such as the Tajiks, Uzbecks and Shi’a Hazaras, and most of all, a leader who can work with the country which for all intents and purposes is Afghanistan’s lifeblood: Pakistan.

Such a leader may already exist among the more moderate rebel ranks of the Taliban. Such a leader would clearly by willing to work with Pakistan, Russia, China, possibly even Iran but certainly not with the United States. Russia understands this because Russia has the experience of Afghanistan in the 1980s from which Vladimir Putin learned that in order to bring peace and loyalty to a volatile region, one must work with locals who are willing to meet one half way. Putin learned equally from the mistakes chaotic Yeltsin regimem how to best deal with such issues within Russia, in Chechnya in particular. In return, Russia has not made extraordinary demands over the style of government in Chechnya, one which is now stable and increasingly prosperous, but very different from the kind of Russia one sees in Moscow, Crimea, Vladivostok and almost everywhere else in the Russian Federation.

This is the solution, but America is doing the opposite, because unlike Russia in respect of Chechnya, the United States is not looking for a solution in Afghanistan in the first place.

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Brendan Trainor
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Brendan Trainor

Yes I believe that Chechnya is better off now as a very conservative Muslim state in the Russian federation. However, I do not believe that respect for the Muslim social rules should extend to torture and honor killing of gays. Kadyrov said on American cable television in an interview over his love of MMA that there are no gay people in Chechnya, and if there were, he did not believe that people who act outside the law against them should be punished. Violence against anyone, including gays, should not be tolerated in Chechnya!

Isabella Jones
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Isabella Jones

I dont know if the people to whom you refer really do hold these emotions: “Merriam-Webster Dictionary: Gay: happily excited : merry in a “gay” mood : keenly alive and exuberant : having or inducing high spirits: a bird’s “gay” spring song. 2a : bright, lively “gay” sunny meadows : brilliant in color.” I suspect you are referring to homosexual men. If so, could you do so please, and leave the lovely old English word, for which there is no substitute, to it’s proper meaning. Re the Western MSM garbage you are quoting, there appears to be no evidence to… Read more »

BobValdez
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BobValdez

Perhaps you and your boyfriend should head over to Chechnya, in your crotch-less leather pants and Village People hats, wave your rainbow flags and protest. I’m sure they’ll listen to you.

Rastislav Veľká Morava
Member
Rastislav Veľká Morava

Gays are less than 2% of the population in most countries. Why is this issue so important to keep glorifying and using it as a tool to apply pressure to different societies and beliefs? Enough already! There are other peoples at a much larger percentage that are discriminated against, like left-handed people, and not a peep from anyone. This so called “gay lifestyle” is proven by statistics as destructive, with much higher suicide rates, drug use, and early death, when compared with Heterosexuals. Destructive lifestyles of small minorities should not be endlessly talked about and glorified as being something normal.… Read more »

AM Hants
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AM Hants

Nice photo of both President, owing to their body language.

The US is only there to make sure the poppy harvest is harvesting well and see what they can grab with regards natural resources. Not forgetting to upset China, with the ‘One Belt and Road’ partnership with Pakistan. That is the only reason they will not leave. Saudi – 9/11 and I never knew Saudi was part of Afghanistan. Bin Laden family and Bush family, partners in Carlsle Group, even after 9/11????

Isabella Jones
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Isabella Jones

It is a nice photo is not it? Marked by spontaneity and natural spirits. No, America is in Afghanistan for one reason and one reason only – it suits its personal agenda of making big money from the heroin trade, moreover, it uses that heroin as a social dis-locator in target countries. It’s a major problem for Russia especially. Plus they have a “base” to try and launch a much longed for attack on Russia via the “underbelly”. The American Ruling Junta are just a criminal Mafia gang who lie to cover their actions – lies now accepted only by… Read more »

AM Hants
Member
AM Hants

I was drinking water earlier, and it must be something to do with the sun around here. It only went and turned into wine and for some reason I cannot think nice thoughts. I have no problem with the people of America and feel sorry for those that have woken up, like us over in the UK. Wish them all the best. However, I am happily in a rage, with regards the things we elect. I do believe in karma, but, sure certain powers will not mind me wishing they all suffered some serious reaction from a Bill Gate vaccine… Read more »

Isabella Jones
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Isabella Jones

🙂 I’ve heard about that wine. Magic Water we call it – try and do it to make a few bucks, it never works 🙂 It is – beyond pathetic – I agree. But try and remember, when it gets bad – and believe me, I know how that is, I’ve let fly and sworn at them too – that if you get into a rage and filled with hate and bad thoughts, it’s you you’re hurting. They dont feel it at all, but your inner balance and serenity which you need for good health go right out the window.… Read more »

AM Hants
Member
AM Hants

That blasted water, I thought it was holy and my liver needed blessing. I don’t stay angry for long, as you say, it is a waste of energy. However, it is seriously frustrating. Like you, I no longer vote, owing to all parties in Westminster supporting the genocide in Ukraine and encouraging it. Not just Ukraine, but, that is where I switched off from UK politicians. I have just read a brilliant article by Robert Parry, over on RI. Here is a section, but, it is worth reading the whole article. Ukraine’s SBU security service also has been implicated in… Read more »

Samantharbuck
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Samantharbuck

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Scott Robinson
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Scott Robinson

The REAL reason the US is escalating the Afghanistan invasion….see the Jimmy Dore Show titled “Rachel Maddow Promotes Stealing Afghan Minerals & Endless War”

Isabella Jones
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Isabella Jones

I will, thanks for the link Scott.

Bessarabyn
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Bessarabyn

Spot on !

Isabella Jones
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Isabella Jones

Thank you Bessarabyn.

Neil
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Neil

Excellent article, Adam. Nice picture too.

Freethinking Влади́мир
Guest
Freethinking Влади́мир

Weird article. The comparison with Chechnya is incorrect. Chechnya is a republic of Russia. Afghanistan is not part of Pakistan. This article needed to flesh this out but didn’t. A reasoning such as “something something Afghanistan depends on Pakistan” doesn’t work for me. Besides, the peace with Chechnya is a burden. They don’t bring in anything, but are only a cost. Kadyrov himself is a high maintenance. I always raise my eyebrows when I read the comments of Russia-dreamers on these blogs who never even visited my country, yet judge or interpret the actual situation here. What you need to… Read more »

Simon
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Simon

A thoughtful comment, Vladimir. But many (vast) parts of the RF are as you say ‘a burden’ – in that they cost a lot of money. But that does not mean they are not Russia. And Chechnya has form compared to other regions – so just NOT fighting a war there is itself a huge ‘benefit’ which outweighs the ‘burden’. I do agree with you about the stability and its temporary nature; also it and some of its diaspora are in criminal syndicates throughout Russia. But imperfect as it is, this strongman (Kadyrov) stability is perhaps the best way forward.… Read more »

Freethinking Влади́мир
Guest
Freethinking Влади́мир

I don’t deny that peace is the better option, but I criticize this article for painting the current situation as too bright. This article cuts too many corners, not counting in the opinion that Afghanistan should have some kind of a dependency on Pakistan like Chechnya has on Russia. This article needs to elaborate on what that means and why the Afghani people would agree – other than assuming the people would go along with a leader comparative to Kadyrov.

Edit: also not counting in why the Pakistani would agree…

Gary Wells
Guest
Gary Wells

Whatever the Americans do will fail. Notwithstanding the fact that Afghanistan is probably unconquerable, ten or fifteen thousand US troops are certainly not going to achieve the task. These are sufficient numbers to ensure an ongoing simmering conflict and to make certain that the opium/heroin business proceeds unimpeded. This should be obvious to everyone. I think there’s an awful lot of willful blindness about.

Jeff King
Guest
Jeff King

Chechnya? You mean the place where they murder gays? Get a better example than that.

pogohere
Guest

Details? Sources? TIA

ajokete
Guest
ajokete

“…the United States is not looking for a solution in Afghanistan in the first place.” That exactly is the method in the US apparent madness.

Navneet Bhatnagar
Guest
Navneet Bhatnagar

The writer ADAM GARRIE seems to be highly mistaken , when he recommends ” Pakistan to be the lifeblood of Afghanistan, for all intents and purposes and proposing generous peace offers for Taiban that Afghanistan’s neighbours such as Pakistan could easily work with” . At one stage, he professes for a country, which should be able to deal peacefully with all ethnicities in Afghanistan , ” including non-Pashtun Afghans such as the Tajiks, Uzbecks and Shi’a Hazaras “. While on the other hand, he seems to forget the pathetic record , which Pakistan has in maintaining a peaceful environment for… Read more »

Daisy Adler
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Daisy Adler

Latest News from Russia: Spectacular!
Watch: Russia installs Crimea bridge railway arch in unique operation. Once finished, the 19 kilometer Crimean Bridge will become one of Russia’s and Europe’s largest.
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French opposition rejects Macron’s concessions to Yellow Vests, some demand ‘citizen revolution’

Mélenchon: “I believe that Act 5 of the citizen revolution in our country will be a moment of great mobilization.”

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Macron’s concessions to the Yellow Vests has failed to appease protesters and opposition politicians, such as Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who called for “citizen’s revolution” to continue until a fair distribution of wealth is achieved.

Immediately after French President Macron declared a “social and economic state of emergency” in response to large-scale protests by members of the Yellow Vest movement, promising a range of concessions to address their grievances, left-wing opposition politician Mélenchon called on the grassroots campaign to continue their revolution next Saturday.

I believe that Act 5 of the citizen revolution in our country will be a moment of great mobilization.

Macron’s promise of a €100 minimum wage increase, tax-free overtime pay and end-of-year bonuses, Mélenchon argued, will not affect any “considerable part” of the French population. Yet the leader of La France Insoumise stressed that the “decision” to rise up rests with “those who are in action.”

“We expect a real redistribution of wealth,” Benoît Hamon, a former presidential candidate and the founder of the Mouvement Génération, told BFM TV, accusing Macron’s package of measures that benefit the rich.

The Socialist Party’s first secretary, Olivier Faure, also slammed Macron’s financial concessions to struggling workers, noting that his general “course has not changed.”

Although welcoming certain tax measures, Marine Le Pen, president of the National Rally (previously National Front), accused the president’s “model” of governance based on “wild globalization, financialization of the economy, unfair competition,” of failing to address the social and cultural consequences of the Yellow Vest movement.

Macron’s speech was a “great comedy,”according to Debout la France chairman, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, who accused the French President of “hypocrisy.”

Yet many found Melanchon’s calls to rise up against the government unreasonable, accusing the 67-year-old opposition politician of being an “opportunist” and “populist,” who is trying to hijack the social protest movement for his own gain.

Furthermore, some 54 percent of French believe the Yellow Vests achieved their goals and want rallies to stop, OpinionWay survey showed. While half of the survey respondents considered Macron’s anti-crisis measures unconvincing, another 49 percent found the president to be successful in addressing the demands of the protesters. Some 68 percent of those polled following Macron’s speech on Monday especially welcomed the increase in the minimum wage, while 78 percent favored tax cuts.

The Yellow Vest protests against pension cuts and fuel tax hikes last month were organized and kept strong via social media, without help from France’s powerful labor unions or official political parties. Some noted that such a mass mobilization of all levels of society managed to achieve unprecedented concessions from the government, which the unions failed to negotiate over the last three decades.

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Soros Mimics Hitler’s Bankers: Will Burden Europeans With Debt To ‘Save’ Them

George Soros is dissatisfied with the current EU refugee policy because it is still based on quotas.

The Duran

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Via GEFIRA:


After the Second World War, many economists racked their brains to answer the question of how Hitler managed to finance his armament, boost the economy and reduce unemployment.

Today his trick is well known. The economic miracle of Führer’s time became possible thanks to the so-called Mefo promissory notes.

The notes were the idea of the then President of the Reichsbank, Hjalmar Schacht, and served not only to finance the armament of the Wehrmacht for the Second World War, but also to create state jobs, which would otherwise not have been possible through the normal use of the money and capital markets, i.e. the annual increase in savings in Germany.

The Reich thus financed the armaments industry by accepting notes issued by the dummy company Metallurgische Forschungsgesellschaft GmbH (hence the name Mefo) rather than paying them in cash. The creation of money was in full swing from 1934 to 1938 – the total amount of notes issued at that time was 12 billion marks. The Reichsbank declared to the German banks that it was prepared to rediscount the Mefo notes, thus enabling the banks to discount them.

Because of their five-year term, the redemption of notes had to begin in 1939 at the latest. This threatened with enormous inflation. Since Schacht saw this as a threat to the Reichsmark, he expressed his doubts about the Reich Minister of Finance. But it did not help, and Schacht was quickly replaced by Economics Minister Walther Funk, who declared that the Reich would not redeem the Mefo notes, but would give Reich bonds to the Reichsbank in exchange. At the time of Funk, the autonomous Reichsbank statute was abolished, the Reichsbank was nationalized, and inflation exploded in such a way that Mefo notes with a circulation of 60 billion Reichsmark burdened the budget in post-war Germany.

George Soros also proposes such a money flurry in the style of Schacht and Funk.

Soros is dissatisfied with the current EU refugee policy because it is still based on quotas. He calls on the EU heads of state and governments to effectively deal with the migrant crisis through money flooding, which he calls “surge funding”.

“This would help to keep the influx of refugees at a level that Europe can absorb.”

Can absorb? Soros would be satisfied with the reception of 300,000 to 500,000 migrants per year. However, he is aware that the costs of his ethnic exchange plan are not financially feasible. In addition to the already enormous costs caused by migrants already in Europe, such a large number of new arrivals would add billions each year.

Soros calculates it at 30 billion euros a year, but argues that it would be worth it because “there is a real threat that the refugee crisis could cause the collapse of Europe’s Schengen system of open internal borders among twenty-six European states,” which would cost the EU between 47 and 100 billion euros in GDP losses.

Soros thus sees the financing of migrants and also of non-European countries that primarily receive migrants (which he also advocates) as a win-win relationship. He calls for the introduction of a new tax for the refugee crisis in the member states, including a financial transaction tax, an increase in VAT and the establishment of refugee funds. Soros knows, however, that such measures would not be accepted in the EU countries, so he proposes a different solution, which does not require a vote in the sovereign countries.

The new EU debt should be made by the EU taking advantage of its largely unused AAA credit status and issuing long-term bonds, which would boost the European economy. The funds could come from the European Stability Mechanism and the EU balance of payments support institution.

 “Both also have very similar institutional structures, and they are both backed entirely by the EU budget—and therefore do not require national guarantees or national parliamentary approval.“

In this way, the ESM and the BoPA (Balance of Payments Assistance Facility) would become the new Mefo’s that could issue bills of exchange, perhaps even cheques for Turks, Soros NGOs. Soros calculates that both institutions have a credit capacity of 60 billion, which should only increase as Portugal, Ireland and Greece repay each year the loans they received during the euro crisis. According to Soros, the old debts should be used to finance the new ones in such a way that it officially does not burden the budget in any of the EU Member States. The financial institutions that are to carry out this debt fraud must extend (indeed – cancel) their status, as the leader of the refugees expressed such a wish in his speech.

That Soros is striving to replace the indigenous European population with new arrivals from Africa and Asia is clear to anyone who observes its activities in Europe. The question is: what does he want to do this for and who is the real ruler, behind him, the real leader?

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The French People Feel Screwed

For the first time in his presidency, Macron is in trouble and Europe and America are looking on.

The Duran

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Authored by David Brown via The Gatestone Institute:


On December 4, French Prime Minister Édouard Phillipe told deputies of the ruling party, “La République en Marche”, that a proposed fuel tax rise, which had led to the largest protests France has seen in decades, would be suspended.

The protesters, called Gilets-Jaunes — “Yellow Vests,” because of the vests drivers are obliged by the government to carry in their vehicles in the event of a roadside breakdown — say that the fuel tax was the last straw from a president who took office with a promise to help the economically left-behind but instead has favoured the rich.

Even by French standards, the protests of the “Yellow Vests” during the weekend of December 1 were startling. Burning cars and vast plumes of grey smoke seemed to engulf the Arc De Triomphe as if Paris were at war. Comparisons were drawn with the Bread Wars of the 17th Century and the spirit of the Revolution of the 18th Century.

For more than two weeks, the “Yellow Vests” disrupted France. They paralyzed highways and forced roads to close — causing shortages across the country – and blocked fuel stations from Lille in the North to Marseilles in the South.

During protests in France’s capital, Paris, the “Yellow Vests” were soon joined by a more violent element, who began torching cars, smashing windows and looting stores. 133 were injured, 412 were arrested and more than 10,000 tear gas and stun grenades were fired.

One elderly lady was killed when she was struck by a stray grenade as she tried to shutter her windows against the melee.

There was talk of imposing a State of Emergency.

The “Yellow Vests” present the most significant opposition French President Emmanuel Macron has faced since coming to office in May 2017. Unlike previous protests in France, which have divided public opinion, these have widespread support – 72% according to a Harris Interactive Poll published December 1st.

Fuel tax rises — announced in November before being retracted on December — were intended to help bring down France’s carbon emissions by curbing the use of cars. Macron makes no secret of his wish to be seen as a global leader for environmental reform.

He forgets that back at home, among the people who elected him, fuel prices really matter to those outside big cities, where four-fifths of commuters drive to work and a third of them cover more than 30km each week.

The increases have incensed people in smaller communities, where they have already seen speed limits reduced to please the Greens and cuts to the local transport services.

These additional costs-of-living increases come at an extremely bad time for ordinary French people working outside of Paris. Lower-middle class families are not poor enough to receive welfare benefits but have seen their income flat-line whilst cost-of-living and taxes have risen.

An analysis by the Institut des Politiques Publiques think-tank shows that benefits cuts and tax changes in 2018 and 2019 will leave pensioners and the bottom fifth of households worse off, while the abolition of the wealth tax means that by far the biggest gains will go to the top 1%

This is tough to swallow. Macron is seen as being out of touch with ordinary people and is unlikely to escape his new title, “the President of the Rich.”

“People have this feeling that the Paris technocrats are doing complicated things to screw them,” said Charles Wyplosz, an economics professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

It is probably not as complex as that. The French people feel screwed.

As employment and growth are slowing, Macron, for the first time in his presidency, is under serious pressure. Unemployment is at 9%; his efforts to reform Europe are stalling, and his approval rating has plummeted to just 23% according to a recent opinion poll by IFOP.

Images of Macron at the Arc De Triomphe daubed in graffiti calling for him to step down, or worse, have done little to bolster his image abroad.

So far, Macron had said he would not bow to street protests. To underline his point, in September 2017, he called protestors against French labour-market reform “slackers”.

The political U-Turn on the fuel tax is a turning point for the Macron presidency. The question is : What next, both for Macron and the “Yellow Vests”?

Macron most likely needs to plough ahead with his reform agenda, and doubtless knows he has the support of a solid majority in the National Assembly to do so. France is crippled by debt (nearly 100% of GDP) and its grossly bloated public sector. There are 5.2 million civil servants in France, and their number has increased by 36% since 1983. These represent 22% of the workforce compared to an OCDE average of 15%.

Tax-expert Jean-Philippe Delsol says France has 1.5 million too many “fonctionnaires [officials]. When you consider that public spending in France now accounts for 57 per cent of gross domestic product. Soon the system will no longer function as there will be less and less people working to support more and more people working less”.

Macron’s mistake, in addition to a seeming inclination for arrogance, is not to have made national economic reform his absolute priority right from his initial grace period after his election. Lower public expenses would have made it possible to lower taxes, hence creating what economists call a virtuous circle. Instead, he waited.

Now, at a time when he is deeply unpopular and social unrest is in full sway he is looking to make further reforms in unemployment benefits, scaling them back by reducing the payments and the length of time beneficiaries can receive the money. The “President of the Rich” strikes again.

There is talk that he may also re-introduce the wealth tax to try to placate the protestors.

Macron’s presidential term lasts until May 13, 2022. Understandably, Macron will be focused on the elections to the European Parliament expected to be held May 23-26, 2019. Headlines have signalled that Marine Le Pen and the National Rally (formally National Front) are ahead in the polls at 20%, compared to Macron’s En Marche at 19%.

The shift is understandable, given the divide between the countryside, where Le Pen has solid support, and the cities, where Macron’s centre-left prevail.

In contrast, the “Yellow Vests” have galvanised support after standing up for the “impotent ordinary”, and seem much buoyed by the solidarity they have been shown by both fire fighters and the police. There are images online of police removing their helmets and firefighters turning their backs on political authority to show their support for the protestors.

Whilst Macron’s political opposition may be fragmented, this new breed of coherent public opposition is something new. Leaderless, unstructured and organised online, the “Yellow Vests” have gained support from the left and right, yet resisted subjugation by either.

Being leaderless makes them difficult to negotiate withor to reason with in private. The “Yellow Vests” seem acutely aware of this strength, given their firm rebuttal of overtures for peace talks from the Macron government.

Enjoying huge support from the public and with reforms to the social welfare system on the horizon, the “Yellow Vests” are not going away.

For the first time in his Presidency, Macron is in trouble and Europe and America are looking on.

After Macron rebuked nationalism during his speech at the armistice ceremony, Trump was quick to remind the French President of his low approval rating and unemployment rate near 10%. A stinging broadside from Trump on twitter suggests that Macron may well be relegated to Trump’s list of global “Losers“:

“Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia. But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two – How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!”

The “impotent ordinary” in the United Kingdom, who might feel betrayed over Brexit, and the nationalists in Germany, who have suffered under Merkel , are no doubt staring in wonder at the “Yellow Vests”, wishing for the same moxie.

The historian Thomas Carlyle, chronicler of the French Revolution, said the French were unrivaled practitioners in the “art of insurrection”, and characterised the French mob as the “liveliest phenomena of our world”.

Mobs in other countries, by comparison, he argued were “dull masses” lacking audacity and inventiveness. The blazing yellow vests of the French protest movement , however, have made Macron appear increasingly dull and weak too.

David Brown is based in the United Kingdom.

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