Patriotism versus Nationalism? 4

Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, declares himself to be a patriot.

But not a nationalist.

“Patriotism,” he says, “is the opposite of nationalism.”

To his mind, patriotism is good, nationalism is bad.

He emphatically expresses his own patriotism, saying at various times:

Long live the Republic, long live France.

France is back.

France is a strong, wealthy country.

Our language, history, and civilization shine out across every continent.

I bring the spirit of French conquest.

He believes that France has reason to be proud – but not the French.

Not those who incarnate “the spirit of French conquest”.

For the French to be proud of being French would be nationalism. And nationalism is bad for two reasons:

First, because not just the indigenous French live in France.

Second, because France is only one of the 28 countries in the European Union.

If you are a citizen of one of those countries, you can like the country you live in, you can be proud of it. That makes you a patriot. Good. But you may not like it better than the other 27 countries. If you do, you are a nationalist. Bad.

Macron declares:

We are a continent of refugees, and if you say we can’t integrate refugees, that’s not consistent with our values, even if borders cannot be wide open. 

I want to be the president of all the people of France, for the patriots facing the threat of nationalism.

My responsibility will be to unite all the women and men ready to take on the tremendous challenges which are waiting for us, and to act.

He wants to unite them because very many of them – indigenous French citizens of France – still want France to be their country, not a country of refugees. They do not want the millions of (mainly Muslim) immigrants from the weak, poor Third World coming to live among them not to become French, but to benefit from the freedom and wealth  – which the French have attained through long centuries with their blood, sweat and tears – while keeping their own languages and customs, and even their own law. 

Those whose patriotism nationalism is expressed like that – the conservatives, the political Right – are Macron’s bad people.

The Left calls them “bigots”, “xenophobes”, “Islamophobes”, “Nazis”.

Macron calls himself a man of the Left, though not a socialist:

I am not a socialist.

I am from the Left, but I am happy to work with people from the Right.

Provided that the Right will accept the sharing of their country with multitudes of foreigners.

Macron saw his task as getting the nationalists to accept those multitudes. He called it “reforming” France.

We have no choice but to reform this country. I am not just a liberal movement. I come from the progressive Left. I am trying to refresh and counter the system.

To “refresh and counter”. A contradiction, yes.  Macron’s politics are bundles of contradictions.

On further thought, he was not sure that “reform” is the right word for what he believes he has to do. To “reform” France would be too local a project. Too … nationalistic. The French, all of them, have not only to accept that they must share their country with hostile foreigners – and be generous to them, and adapt their own ways to the foreigners’ because the foreigners are not interested in adapting to the ways of the French – they must fundamentally change from being French to being Europeans.

But wait! Even that is too self-serving, too vain and arrogant – still tainted with the stain of a kind of nationalism. As France is not better than the other 27 countries of the European Union, so Europe is not better than the rest of the world. (With one exception, which we’ll come to.)

It would not be enough merely to reform France into a different kind of country, changed from a nation-state into a constituent state of a United Europe. Not enough because France  needs to be much more changed, to have its Frenchness so eradicated that it will be transformed into just one geographical area named “France” among hundreds of other geographical areas in a United World.  

Macron announced:

I am for a progressive world. I do not propose to reform France; I propose to transform it at its deepest level.

That is “globalism”. It is the goal of the “progressives” – the Left – everywhere.

The Left has always understood that for their dream of a communist utopia to work, human nature must be fundamentally changed. Changed “at its deepest level”.

In fact, of course, Europe is not “a continent of refugees”. At least not until very recently. Now Macron and his fellow European Union leaders are trying to make it so by importing multitudes from Asia and Africa. Until that began to happen, the countries of Europe were largely homogeneous.

The country whose population is a mixture, is the United States of America. The American nation is the one that does not define itself in terms of origin and descent, or by subjection to king or chieftain, or by adherence to a particular religion. It is a nation of many peoples bound into one by a Constitution. It’s existence is the greatest political achievement of humankind. Those Americans who are aware of this have great cause to be proud of their country. Cause to be patriots. To be nationalists. Their nationalism is not a narrow arrogance. It is an achievement. And its present leader, President Donald Trump, is a proud patriot, a self-declared nationalist who puts the interests of his own country first, who wants it to be a great force and example for promoting freedom in the world. A country tolerant of all religions. With all its citizens equal before the law.

And it is this country, this leader, this patriotism, this nationalism that Emmanuel Macron and his fellow European globalists despise!

Within America, the Left, the “progressives” do not like their country the way it is. They are  trying, furiously and violently, to change it. Insurrectionist organizations, many of them financed by the multibillionaire George Soros, are fighting by all means, including treasonous conspiracy inside the agencies of the state, to unseat the president, align the country with globalist Europe. Also to abolish borders and admit as many immigrants from the poor, weak Third World as desire to come and benefit from the freedom and wealth of the US, while keeping their own languages and customs, and even their own law. 

George Soros collaborated with the Nazis in his youth, when his native Hungary was under occupation by the German Third Reich. He is a Jew who helped the Nazis kill Hungarian Jews. He calls one or a group of his organizations the Open Society Foundations. His “open society” ideal is a socialist – which is to say a closed – society. When Karl Popper praised the “open society” he meant a conservative, capitalist, free enterprise society within the nation-state. So George Soros, whether ingenuously out of misunderstanding, or disingenuously and ironically, is misusing the label by sticking it on the collectivist system he works treacherously in many countries to instate.

Opposition to this Nazi-assisting, communist sympathizing, promoter of civil chaos is deplored by President Macron. He has not only embraced the Soros idea of an open society (“I am for an open society,” he states plainly), he also accuses those who denounce Soros of “anti-Semitism”. (Which recalls the classic example of “chutzpah”: the murderer of father and mother pleading for mercy at his trial on the grounds that he’s an orphan.)

When Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, Emmanuel Macron courted him. The first state banquet given by the Trump administration was in his honor. On television news one could watch the slight figure of Macron scampering about to claim a place beside the dominating figure of Trump when photographs of NATO or European or world leaders were being taken.

But he reformed his fascination. As President Trump is a self-declared nationalist who likes the nation-state and insists on firm borders, Macron came to perceive him as the enemy. The enemy of globalism.

Breitbart reports:

French President Emmanuel Macron denounced nationalism during an Armistice Day centennial observance in Paris on Sunday.

“Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism: Nationalism is treason,” Macron said …

Macron spoke in front of world leaders including President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“If we think our interests may only come first and we don’t care for others, it is a treason of our values, a betrayal of all moral values,” he said. “We must remember this.”

Macron said that the moral values of France helped them fight for the future of their country.

He praised the world leaders that formed the first League of Nations, after World War I.

“They imagined the first international corporation, the dismantling of empires, and redefined borders, and dreamed at the time of a union, a political union of Europe,” Macron said.

The League of Nations! A horrible organization, brainchild of President Woodrow Wilson although his own country, the United States, never joined it. It was the precursor to the even more horrible United Nations. But Macron likes international bodies. He believes they keep peace between nations. The League, for all its imagining, did not keep peace between nations. World War Two broke out despite its being there. And the United Nations has not succeeded in keeping peace anywhere. It is a hopelessly corrupt organization. As is also the European Union. 

Oh, but for all his fondness for internationl bodies, for a United States of Europe, for open borders, Macron does not wish to be called a globalist.    

In an interview with CNN, Macron continued his condemnation of nationalism but was hesitant to claim the “globalist” label.

He doesn’t find it easy to say why. Perhaps because a lot of untransformed French voters understand that the Great Political Argument is now between Globalists and Nationalists and are on the side of the Nationalists.

“I would say I’m a patriot,” he said, but added: “I’m not a believer in a sort of globalism without any differentiation. I think it doesn’t — it’s very inconsistent, and it’s extremely — it makes our people very nervous. But I’m not a nationalist, which is very different for me from being a patriot.”

Missile strikes on Syria: punishment, prevention, and warning 4

“What did the missile strikes on Syria’s chemical weapons sites do for America?”

“Why should Americans expend blood and treasure for Syrians victimized by their own government?”

“America is not the world’s policeman.”

Such are the questions and protests that are coming from angry commentators, including many conservatives.

So was President Trump’s decision to act as he did right or wrong?

Claudia Rosett, for long a trusty reporter on the horror show called the United Nations, writes at PJ Media:

With air strikes on Syria’s chemical weapons facilities, carried out jointly with Britain and France, America has done the right thing.

Leading from in front, President Trump is finally redrawing the red line that President Obama erased in 2013. Whatever the threats and criticisms that will surely follow, the world will be safer for it. The vital message is that America is no longer the hamstrung giant of the Obama era. Tyrants such as Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, and his patrons in Moscow and Tehran, have been served notice that it would be unwise to continue to assume that America will waffle, appease or simply retreat while they take upon themselves the shaping – to monstrous effect – of the 21st-century world order. This message is also likely to resonate in Beijing (which has reportedly been planning live-fire naval exercises next week in the Taiwan Strait) and Pyongyang (with its nuclear missile projects).

The immediate aim of the US-led air strikes was to end the chemical weapons attacks that Syria’s Assad regime has continued to inflict on its own people – despite Assad’s promises in 2013 to surrender his chemical weapons, and Russia’s promise to ensure Assad did so. On Friday, speaking at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, Ambassador Nikki Haley charged that by U.S. estimates, “Assad has used chemical weapons in the Syrian war at least 50 times” – some of these attacks within the past year, including the gas attack that killed dozens … in the Syrian city of Douma.

There’s room for debate about whether it is America’s responsibility, on humanitarian grounds, to stop such atrocities. But whatever your views on protecting children in a far-off land from the hideous effects of chemical weapons, there is a larger, strategic reason for trying to stop Assad. Syria, with its liberal use of chemical weapons, has been setting a horrific precedent – repeatedly violating the Chemical Weapons Convention to which Damascus acceded in 2013, and eroding the longstanding international taboo against chemical warfare. This is dangerous way beyond Syria. As Haley told the UN Security Council: “All nations and all people will be harmed if we allow Assad to normalize the use of chemical weapons.”

In theory, the United Nations was supposed to prevent this, ensuring in tandem with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons that Assad would give up all his chemical weapons – with the specific oversight and guarantees of Russia, under a deal cut in 2013 by Obama and Putin. As I explained in an article earlier this week for The Hill, the UN has failed utterly, thanks to Putin’s cynical exploitation of the entire setup. Russia used the chemical weapons disarmament deal as a portal for its own military entry into Syria in support of Assad, and has since been using its veto on the UN Security Council, along with a torrent of Kremlin propaganda, to run diplomatic cover for Assad.

As many conservative commentators pointed out at the time, it was stupid (if not collusional) of Obama and his secretary of state John Kerry to hand over the responsibility for overseeing Syria’s WMD abandonment to Russia.

The upshot has been that if the US does not stop Assad’s use of chemical weapons, then nobody will.

Neither Britain nor France would have done it without the US.

The US could have done it on its own. British and French participation in the missile attack was useful for President Trump, though not necessary for the success of the operation. The huge majority of the missiles were American – 88 of the 105. Nine were French and 8 were British.

Prime Minister May allowed British forces to strike Syria along with US forces because she “owed” President Trump for his supporting her, when she hit back at Russia for the poisoning of two Russian expats in Britain by expelling Putin’s diplomats and closing a consulate. She asked President Trump to do the same, and he did. She was able to give the order for the strike on Syria by the RAF without consulting parliament because the MPs were still absent on their Easter break. She seized the moment, and now there’s an outcry in the Commons – as well as the country – about it.

As for President Macron, he seems to be fascinated by President Trump, wanting to follow him and yet also to direct him. Macron claimed that he had “convinced” Trump that he should keep the US military engaged in Syria – and then he retracted the claim.

Last April, after Assad used sarin gas in an attack that killed almost 100 people, Trump ordered a strike of 59 Tomahawk missiles on a Syrian airbase. Evidently, that was not enough to stop Assad’s chemical weapons spree.

At a Pentagon press briefing Friday evening held shortly after Trump’s public announcement of the strikes on Syria, Gen. Joseph Dunford listed three targets “struck and destroyed,” which he said were “specifically associated with the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons program.” The last two on his list were chemical weapons storage facilities, one of which included “an important command post”. On these, I don’t know anything beyond the generic descriptions Dunford gave at the briefing.

But the first target on Dunford’s list had a very familiar ring. He described it as “a scientific research center located in the greater Damascus area”. He added: “This military facility was a Syrian center for the research, development, production and testing of chemical and biological warfare technology.”

That sure sounds like the notorious Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center, also known as the SSRC. In which case there can be no doubt that these air strikes were aimed at an incredibly high-value target, an outfit central to some of the worst depravities of Assad’s weapons programs, and – as it happens – a longtime client of North Korea and Iran. On the 99 percent probability that this was the research center to which Dunford referred, here’s some background:

For starters, I’d credit Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis with telling it exactly as it is, when he said at the same Pentagon press briefing Friday night, “We were very precise and proportionate. But at the same time, it was a heavy strike.”

The SSRC has been on the U.S. sanctions list for 13 years, first designated under the Bush administration in 2005, with periodic, horrifying updates under the Obama and Trump administrations, targeting its various fronts, procurement arms, officials and connections.

This is not just any old research center. According to the U.S. Treasury, it is “the Syrian government agency responsible for developing and producing non-conventional weapons and the missiles to deliver them”. …

On April 24, 2017, following Assad’s sarin gas attack on the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun, the Trump administration blacklisted 271 employees of the SSRC, stating that these individuals “have expertise in chemistry and related disciplines and/or have worked in support of SSRC’s chemical weapons since at least 2012”.  In other words, during the same time frame in which Russia (and former secretary of State John Kerry) were assuring us that 100 percent of the chemical weapons were gone from Syria, the Syrian regime’s SSRC was prolifically busy plowing ahead with Assad’s chemical weapons program.

We also have it on good authority that during roughly that same interval, the SSRC was ordering up shipments from North Korea. According to the UN Panel of Experts on North Korea sanctions, in a report dated March 5, 2018, their investigations into weapons and dual-use shipments to Syria from North Korea turned up more than 40 shipments between 2012 and 2017 “by entities designated by Member States as front companies for the Scientific Studies Research Centre of the Syrian Arab Republic.” Among these shipments were items “with utility in ballistic missile and chemical weapons programs”.

If the SSRC was indeed struck and destroyed, the likely benefits are enormous. That would deprive Assad of one of the most diabolical laboratories of his evil regime, quite likely providing a big setback to his chemical weapons program, with the two-fer that it might also have zapped his bioweapons program.

It would also send a useful message to everyone from the SSRC’s suppliers, such as Iran and North Korea, to such predatory dictators as Russia’s Putin and China’s Xi Jinping. Destroying the SSRC with air strikes ought to drive home, in a way that no amount of UN debate and no quantity of sanctions designations ever could, that these days the U.S. and its allies are serious about their red lines. 

The SSRC was struck. According to the caption to this picture in The Independent, this rubble is what’s left of “part” of it.