Et Tu, Paris? France’s Hollande Faces Growing Opposition Against Syrian Intervention

  • Share
  • Read Later
Christophe Karaba / EPA

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius attend a press conference at the Quai d'Orsay after their meeting in Paris on Sept. 7, 2013

When U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry addressed reporters on Saturday in Paris about military action against Syria, he tapped into a deep nerve in this country: the memory of two horrific world wars waged on French soil last century, when Americans came to France’s rescue, and in the case of World War I, when Germany launched the world’s first chemical attack in next-door Belgium in 1915. “What we are talking about is standing together and speaking with one voice,” Kerry said on Saturday evening in an impassioned plea, some of it in fluent French, which aired live on French TV networks. Standing with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, Kerry — a Francophile with a grasp of European history — referred to Western Europe’s decision about whether or not to go to war against Adolf Hitler. “This is our Munich moment,” he said. “This is not the time to be silent spectators to slaughter.”

Kerry’s words were intended to sway people in Paris, a city which suffered under Nazi occupation and which narrowly averted widespread destruction during Hitler’s final days.

And yet, the plea to bomb Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces appears to have little effect in shifting the opinion of regular French people — and might in fact be complicating President François Hollande’s efforts to win his citizens over to the idea.

The conundrum facing Western leaders is that as they press their case to bomb Assad’s military infrastructure, so public opinion appears to have hardened against the idea of military intervention — a withering rebuke to the efforts of Western policymakers since Assad’s alleged chemical attack on Aug. 21. “Since the attack, there is no doubt that the kind of momentum and backing for military action has unraveled,” says Anthony Dworkin, a senior policy fellow with the European Council on Foreign Relations in London. “Hollande to some degree is having the same problem as Obama: the more they make the case, the more unclear it becomes what [military action] is supposed to achieve and what the costs will be.”

For months, polls have shown growing opposition among the French for having their military join U.S.-led strikes against Syria. That is despite the overwhelming sympathy for the plight of Syrians, and a revulsion for the massacres depicted on the ground, which have aired regularly on French newscasts since the war began in March 2011. About 64% of French are against their country intervening militarily in the conflict, according to a survey conducted by the French polling company Ifop and published on Saturday in the center-right newspaper Le Figaro. That figure is up from 58% in an Ifop poll conducted last June, before the alleged chemical attack.

One reason for increasing wariness about military action is that France would now be Washington’s sole big Western partner in any bombing campaign. Polls suggest that French opinion hardened against military action after the British Parliament voted against intervention on Aug. 29. It seemed to swing further after Obama’s decision last week to wait for a vote in Congress, which is expected on Wednesday, according to Jérôme Fourquet, director of opinion for Ifop. “The French who are already hesitant are feeling more and more isolated,” Fourquet told TIME on Monday. “This is a real problem for François Hollande. He is at risk of alienating people by being the U.S.’s assistant.” As President, Hollande has the authority to order his military to act without approval from parliament. But as France’s isolation becomes more pronounced, lawmakers are pushing for a vote — which Hollande could well lose. And Obama’s continued push for military action could leave Hollande looking like he is simply doing Washington’s bidding, he says, adding, “France might appear to be submissive to the U.S., that we are following from behind.”

But there are other reasons why the French oppose military action. Hollande is in the minority on whether to intervene in Syria not only among his countrymen, but also, it seems, among the E.U.’s 28 leaders. Almost all oppose launching bombing strikes without approval from the U.N. Security Council — a nonstarter, since Assad’s close ally Russia has veto power there. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has made it clear she is against sending her military to support a U.S.-led bombing campaign. And Hollande has found little open support elsewhere in Europe. On Saturday, E.U. foreign ministers meeting in Lithuania said the chemical attack warranted a “clear and strong response” but failed to mention military strikes.

Alone on the continent, Hollande continues pressing the case for action against Assad, but has said he intends to wait for the report from U.N. inspectors, confirming the regime’s use of chemical weapons — a caveat that some analysts see as Hollande’s attempt to address French concerns. “An overwhelming proportion of French do not want to go to war, because they have a very negative view of the rebels,” says Karim Emile Bitar, senior fellow at the Institute for International and Strategic Relations in Paris. Bitar believes the widespread opposition to military action might have caught Hollande by surprise, since France’s military action in Libya in 2011 and in Mali earlier this year had strong support from most French people.

This time, winning popular backing seems an uphill battle, in part because many French politicians fear that Assad’s defeat could open the way for a Syria that might be worse for Western interests. “Both left-wing and right-wing politicians are very cautious about the rise of Islamic rebels,” Bitar says. “At this point, Hollande is pretty isolated, domestically and internationally.”

82 comments
edwardsnowden
edwardsnowden

The Rule Of Zombies: Why Are Obama and Kerry So Desperate to Start a New War?

9/9/2013
By Paul Craig Roberts

What is the real agenda?

Why is the Obama Regime so desperate to commit a war crime despite the warnings delivered to the White House Fool two days ago by the most important countries in the world at the G20 Summit?

What powerful interest is pushing the White House Fool to act outside of law, outside the will of the American people, outside the warnings of the world community?

The Obama Regime has admitted, as UK Prime Minister David Cameron had to admit, that no one has any conclusive evidence that the Assad government in Syria used chemical weapons. Nevertheless, Obama has sent the despicable John Kerry out to convince the public and Congress on the basis of videos that Assad used chemical weapons "against his own people."

What the videos show are dead and suffering people. The videos do not show who did it. The Obama Regime's case is nonexistent. It rests on nothing that indicates responsibility. The Obama Regime's case is nothing but an unsubstantiated allegation.

What kind of depraved person would take the world to war based on nothing whatsoever but an unsubstantiated allegation?

The world's two worse liars, Obama and Kerry, say Assad did it, but they admit that they cannot prove it. It is what they want to believe, because they want it to be true. The lie serves their undeclared agenda.

...

http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Rule-Of-Zombies-Why-A-by-Paul-Craig-Roberts-Israel_Kerry-John_Obama_Obama-Effect-130909-624.html


* Dr. Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan Administration.
 

edwardsnowden
edwardsnowden

FALSE FLAG, as per definition (1):

False Flag – (N) Definition: When governments or organizations (usually connected to the former) stage highly sophisticated attacks on their own or foreign soil with the purpose of placing the blame on a desirable enemy foreign or domestic, one who has otherwise done no wrong. Essentially a setup, it provides the government entity with an excuse via fabricated evidence in complicity with media to fulfill its various agendas (i.e. war or law making).
 

FALSE FLAG,  as per definition (2):

False Flag - (N) Definition: Covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations, which are designed to deceive the public in such a way that the operations appear as if they are being carried out by other entities. The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is, flying the flag of a country other than one’s own. False flag operations are not limited to war and counter-insurgency operations, and have been used in peace-time.


edwardsnowden
edwardsnowden

WAR ON SYRIA; Rumors Of Chemical Weapons Attack On Israel By NATO’s Syrian Rebels To Blame Assad & Justify Intervention, ‘FALSE FLAG’ WARNING
September 9, 2013

(AE) – I’ve been planning on writing an article warning that the current situation in Syria is incredibly ‘ripe’ for some sort of provocation in order to rally US Congress, and NATO countries, to justify the unprovoked bombing of Syria, which has been under foreign invasion by NATO’s terrorist mercenaries for over two years.
An attack on innocent little Israel would perfectly fit the bill… either way, SOMETHING is going happen, very soon, to justify NATO’s unstoppable goal of… REGIME CHANGE.

arvay
arvay

Hollande has proven himself to be a twit. His idea for educational reform? Ban homework. France often invades places like Mali or the Ivory Coast -- resembles a semi-impotent old fool who pays prostitutes to tell him he has a big d*ck. 

 Who cares what he thinks? 

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

The American President stressed that the USA is ready for a diplomatic solution to the Syrian crisis.

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

The USA is ready to postpone the planned military operation against Syria provided the transfer of chemical weapons in this country under international control, said in an interview with ABC President Barack Obama .

Earlier on Monday, Syrian foreign Minister stated the consent of Damascus to the Russian proposal to transfer the Syrian chemical weapons under international control.
RF foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called on the Syrian leadership «to agree on the formulation of the places of storage of chemical weapons under international control, but also its subsequent destruction, and also about a full-fledged accession to the Organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons».

edwardsnowden
edwardsnowden

"War with Syria Would Fulfill Neoconservative Plan for Middle East Regime Change"

There is great division of opinion regarding potential U.S. military action in Syria. However, one group is ecstatic over President Obama’s endorsement of a military attack on Damascus. These are the Neconservatives who dominated the George W. Bush administration, and who still hold tremendous influence in Washington. An attack on Syria would be one step in fulfilling “stage two” of a longstanding neoconservative plan to bring about regime change throughout the Middle East in three stages: Iraq, Syria and finally Iran.

The pattern for this plan has been to wait for an event that can be sold to the world public as justification for military attack, and then to push forward, pressuring the military and government officials to move forward with the next stage of regime change.

...


-- William O. Beeman is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota, and Visiting Professor at Stanford University. He has worked in the Middle East for more than 40 years.
 

edwardsnowden
edwardsnowden

The long overdue Qatari natural gas pipeline project through Syria then Turkey to finally reach the European market must go on.

By all means. At any cost!

edwardsnowden
edwardsnowden

~~ on the video of the victims of the recent chemical attack in Syria blamed upon Assad govt ~~

while the media seems to forget already the chemical attack in July 2013, which was found out by the UN inspector to be carried out by the rebels!


Are you kidding me?
We in the USA are raised on a lifetime of Hollywood special effects,
have seen hundreds of thousands if not millions
of on-screen simulated murders and killings
from childhood, onwards in PG and R-rated films;
and now these idiot politicians expect the US to go to war over this?

These people need to be impeached if they are all that stupid, I'm sorry.

The US is going to spend untold sums of tax dollars on a war because of YouTube videos?

Is that all you've got?


-LOL

 

edwardsnowden
edwardsnowden

obozo's handlers are behind this... they have gone mad with powerlust... they will try and destroy the world when their dream of world conquest falls apart. its up to the decent human beings of the planet to stop them.
 

edwardsnowden
edwardsnowden

Simply stage another false flag to hike the popular support...the warmongers will never short of options. lol

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

Russia's foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called on Damascus to transfer chemical weapons under international control, to agree on the subsequent destruction of the Arsenal and the accession to the Organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons. The Syrian authorities have declared their agreement.

mrbomb13
mrbomb13

Gotta love the tag-line for this article on TIME Magazine's home-page.  President Obama risks FAR more than losing his "biggest ally" (France).  Obama has put all of his chips on a Syria strike, and it's looking like a fool's game of high-stakes poker.  He risks blow-back from all sides whether or not he 'goes in' at this point.

Regarding the notion of France striking Syria, it's rather like a child threatening to egg his neighbor's house.  The child can whine and boast all he wants, but in the end, he won't hurl that egg.  The reason is that the child (France) knows that his neighbor (Assad) and other neighbors (Russia, Iran) will make life very difficult for France on the international stage.  Furthermore, the child's 'guardian' (America) will not approve of such an action, especially if the guardian would not do it himself.  Therefore, the child would have to be brazenly foolish to even consider egging the other house.

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

«Which suffered under Nazi occupation»

Glamorous occupation. Rare Photos of the times of the Second World war The period of occupation in France prefer to remember, as the heroic time. Charles de Gaulle, Resistance... But impartial photo frames show that there was another... These photos did correspondent of the German "Signal" in Paris 1942-44 years. Color film, Sunny days, the smiles of the French, with the occupiers. After 63 years after the war, a compilation was the exhibition "the Parisians during the Occupation". It caused a huge scandal. The mayor of the French capital forbade her show in Paris. In the end, the resolution has been achieved, but France saw these images only once. Too great was the contrast between the heroic legend and the truth.   

http://censor.net.ua/photo_news/149066/glamurnaya_okkupatsiya_redkiyi_fotoreportaj_vremen_vtoroyi_mirovoyi_voyiny

Leftcoastrocky
Leftcoastrocky

france is wimping out -- are any of us really surprised

SonTran
SonTran

Vivienne Walt

You  are A STUPID little  rascals who  know nothing about politic.Putin pushes Assad to surrender its chemical weapons stockpile is enormous victory for US and its allies in the region.It's also a serious warning to Iran regime about its ambition to posesse nuke weapons.If Assad regime surrenders its chemical weapon stockpile.It also means Assad days are numbering.

How do you define STRONG RESPONSE ???????????? IDIOT ?

littleredtop
littleredtop

With the French loosing interest, the American public unanimously against this insanity and even the US military critical of the Obama administration's lack of planning, that leaves only Obama himself, a hand full of hardcore African American supporters and a small faction of the gay community currently in favor of this new war.   

stayne_
stayne_

@Iamkelzzz lol the French are so predictable. Irrespective of the government in power.

tinydodo
tinydodo

@TIME @TIMEWorld "Et Tu" is from Julius Caesar(Roman) as dramatized by Shakespeare(English). What is it doing on a France related news?

Donplus
Donplus

@edwardsnowden If you are who you claim to be

You need to go and hang yourself, you have fail us as a comrad, and you could not do one thing that you swore to do "Keep a secret" 

I for one I do not want to hear from you, I will be happy to hear a news about you that you are dead that is all

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

2 February 2013 Russia commemorated the 70th anniversary of the epic 200-day battle of Stalingrad. The bloodiest and longest standoff of WWII - the Battle of Stalingrad - lasted 200 days and claimed 2 million lives. Russia is marking the 70th anniversary of this epic struggle, which became the turning point leading to overthrow of Nazi Germany.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4KuIVnGRFk&feature=player_embedded

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, the country’s former envoy to NATO, opened the anniversary parade in Volgograd with a brief speech stressing out Russia’s role in the World War II: “In Europe I’ve seen cities which were not touched by the war, but we are not like them. Our grandfathers and fathers were fighting here for every building and every street... Glory to Stalingrad!”

2 February - a day that changed the course of history. This battle marked the beginning of counterattack of the Soviet troops and turned the tide of WWII in favour of the Allied Powers.

sensi
sensi

@Leftcoastrocky I guess that "any of us" is a group made of ignorant bigots brainwashed with bigoted propaganda and completely ignoring France and warfare History. Am I right?

"According to the British historian Niall Ferguson, France has participated in 168 major European wars since 387 BC, out of which they have won 109, drawn 10 and lost 49: this makes them the most successful military power in European history." The Telegraph. 2010-10-22


sensi
sensi

@SonTran Nice delusional interpretation, the US and its Sunni dictorships allies were  pushing for strikes but got their warmongering envy rebuked by most of the world opinion. The US support a side which doesn't want any peace talks so it is thank to Russia that we may have a peaceful exit to the latest US & dictatorships allies funding most of the Sunni terrorism worldwide tantrum.

sensi
sensi

@littleredtop The french polls are on the contrary pretty stable: they are not "losing interest" but rather most don't want moronic and counter-productive strikes made on dubious or forged "evidences".

APPropst
APPropst

@Rahill17 The more they make the case the more unclear it becomes what[military action]is supposed to achieve and what the costs will be.”

sensi
sensi

@stayne_ @Iamkelzzz 

Typical and predictable nonsense from a bigot not knowing one single french first hand but daring to generalize over them all. So pathetic.

bryanfred1
bryanfred1

@GinetSosemito @TIME @TIMEWorld It's not so much that they're having second thoughts, it's that they're doing it after being the biggest agitators for some kind of action.  I actually think the fact that they were so vocal about a military response is what pushed the U.S. to take a more aggressive stance.  Oops - never mind!

edwardsnowden
edwardsnowden

@Donplus@edwardsnowden

USG thank you for your thorough understanding and unconditional acceptance into the vast surveillances and wiretapping in all forms of electronic communication. Your willingness to bear such invasive intelligence gathering and sacrificing your personal rights have been quite helpful for the sake of intelligence community. You're the patriot. Please behave yourself. BigBro is watching your back! ~~ George Orwell - 1984

APPropst
APPropst

@Rahill17 what are the cost and how could this effect the governments efforts to end the "great rescission" ?