A delegation of French MPs have toured Aleppo where they’ve inspected the destruction caused by years of terrorist occupation.
Hearing a French opinion on the internal matters of Syria is historically dubious at best. It was the French mandate rule over Syria in the aftermath of the First World War that sowed the seeds of political instability that haunted Syria from the 1940s up to the Corrective Movement of Hafez al-Assad in 1970.
The Syrian people know this and therefore it is only logical that French pronouncements on Syria are interpreted through the prism of neo-colonial arrogance. However, because President Holland’s policies towards Syria have been shambolic, hypocritical and ultimately a total failure, it is important that views expressed by members of the French delegation to Aleppo have undermined the confused narrative emanating from the Élysée Palace.
Among the delegation was Thierry Mariani a member of The Republicans party of Nicholas Sarkozy and current French Presidential frontrunner (along with Marine Le Pen), Francois Fillon. In a statement reported by RT, Mariani said
“If the Russian army wasn’t here for a few months, Syria would have had a chance of falling into the hands of terrorists. Fortunately, Russians came here, and this changed the [direction] of the war”.
Omit the words, ‘had a chance’ and replace them with the word ‘inevitably’ and one has an accurate statement from a front-line French politician, something that one could be forgiven for not thinking could happen outside the realm of fiction.
All of this shows that the Western narrative constantly reiterated by Obama, Hollande and Merkel is failing to win adherents. Mariani’s statement indicates he realises that terrorists are not ‘moderates’, that the legitimate government of Syria is the only force capable of rebuilding parts of the country devastated by conflict, and that the legal Russian aid that President Assad requested is a key reason underlying why the country didn’t fall into terrorist hands.
From the Syrian and Lebanese mandates to the brutal repression of Algeria, Paris has never had the simplest of relations with the Arab world. However, France has also often been ill at ease with the neo-liberal/neo-conservative NATO agenda. With the exception of the midget cowboy Nicholas Sarkozy and the grotesquely incompetent Francois Holland, every other President of the Fifth Republic has been sceptical of fully fledged cooperation with NATO. The most famous example of such trends was Charles de Gaulle, who withdrew France from the military component of NATO in 1966.
Realistically, Fillon and Le Pen are the only two candidates with a chance of becoming the next French President. Both of them seek to drop the Hollande agenda on Syria and Russia, Fillon because he is wise enough to see the way the wind is blowing in a multi-polar world, and Le Pen because she’s been totally consistent and courageous in her opposition to Russophobic policies.
The second most important power in the EU looks to be on an ideological collision course with the biggest. Obama’s darling Angela Merkel is about to get even more isolated.