Western European News Digest
The French State Wants To Silence 2007 Presidential Candidate Jacques Cheminade
The following statement was issued by the Presidential campaign of Jacques Cheminade. Cheminade heads the LaRouche movement in France.
PARIS, Aug. 5Through an injunction dated July 31, 2006, M. Balgo Bin Harish, a bailiff of justice, ordered the seizure of Jacques Cheminade's bank account No. 410701774736 at the Crédit Coopératif de Paris. That is the account M. Cheminade intended to use to channel funds into his campaign account for the 2007 French Presidential elections. Thus, while his Presidential account itself was not seizedthey couldn't do so since it is under the name of his financial associationthe account which was to feed money into the Presidential campaign account, was shut down.
The Public Treasury is indeed demanding from M. Cheminade payment of 171,525.46 euros, which corresponds to the reimbursement of money extended to him in advance by the State (1 million francs, plus previous costs) during the 1995 presidential elections.
During that election, where M. Cheminade was the candidate having spent the least (4.7 million francs, against FF91 million for M. Balladur FF89 million for M. Jospin, and FF120 million for M. Chirac, according to official figures), the Constitutional Council, headed by Roland Dumas, rejected his campaign accounts in a decision dating from Oct. 11, 1995.
Following that decision, the State had demanded restitution of the million francs advanced and taken a mortgage on Cheminade's two-room apartment as payment. In several occasions, from Aug. 6, 1996 to Nov. 10, 1998, seizures were carried out on the bank accounts of M. Cheminade.
From 1998 until now, however, no initiative had been taken by the French State. The present initiative of the Public Treasury, renewing its harassment strategy, merits two observations:
1) It occurs at a time when M. Cheminade is the only candidate to denounce the takeover of French economic life by several oligarchic financial groups: Euronext by the New York Stock Exchange, Arcelor by Mittal Steel, GDF by Suez, and several other "guided" privatizations. Especially, M. Cheminade attacks the role played by M. Felix Rohatyn, former U.S. Ambassador in Paris, by the Lazard Frères group and other multinational investment banks (Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, JP Morgan, etc.) in the dismantling of French interests. M. Cheminade also attacked the way in which Ms. Clara Gaymard  and Anne Lauvergeon manage their respective careers, and in particular, the way in which Ms. Lauvergeon named M. Spencer Abraham, former U.S. Energy Secretary and avowed neo-conservative member of the Federalist Society to head the AREVA subsidiary in the United States.
2) The decision made by the Constitutional Council in 1995, upon which the present legal proceedings are based, was not grounded and was politically motivated. M. Cheminade was accused of having obtained too many loans from physical persons, too long after the date of the election. Those loans having been extended without interestsomething the Constitutional Council interpreted as a hidden intention to make a campaign contributionwere re-qualified from loans into contributions going beyond the authorized limits per physical person. This curious juridical construction, made up to fit a particular aim, led M. Cheminade to a situation of de facto personal ruin because of a "simple error." In fact, the National Commission of Campaign Accounts and Political Financing (CNCCFP), to which the verification of Presidential campaign accounts has since been attributed, judged, on the contrary, that the loans of physical persons to political parties must be made without interest. Understand it as one may, or rather, one understands all too well.
M. Cheminade is clearly considered to be a troublemaker. This is no reason for the French State to hound him, as it is notorious that at least two other candidates in the Presidential election benefitted from the indulgence of M. Dumas, then president of the Constitutional Council, and of his colleagues.
To attempt, 12 years later (1995-2006), to block the Presidential account of man having little financial means, is to act like a small-time Fouché. That is not worthy of the Republic.
It is worth noting that for the 1995 Presidential election, the Conseil Supérieur de l'Audiovisuel (Higher Audiovisual Council) acknowledged, in a communiqué of April 24, 1995, that M. Cheminade had been treated inequitably in terms of air time (45 minutes for him against 1 hour and 25 minutes for each of the other candidates), and that the National Commission of Control of the Campaign noted (letter of April 20, 1998) that the "balanced treatment of the presentation of candidates, of their comments and their declarations" had not been respected in certain programs insofar as M. Cheminade was concerned.
It is therefore clear that he is being subjected to a new harassment campaign because of his declarations and unambiguous denunciation of initiatives aimed at dismantling the means of the French Nation-State. Therefore, to show interest in his case is not only to defend a just cause, but also public liberties and the concrete means to gain access to freedom of speech in a State of Law.
At any rate, it should be noted that the bailiffs are always sent during the summer: The previous bailiff came to M. Cheminade's home on July 26, 1996, and the second one declared his injunction on July 31, 2006. Ten years have passed, but the methods to silence a "troublemaker," remain.
1. In the French Presidential elections, as soon as the candidacy is accepted, the State advances the equivalent of (formerly) 1 million francs to each candidate, in order to start his campaign. This million is considered part of the overall campaign expenses to be refunded by the State, if the campaign accounts are certified by the State.
2. Clara Gaymard-Lejeune was until recently, when she accepted the presidency of General Electric France, the president of the French Agency for International Investments (AFII). M Cheminade attacked here the conflict of interest and treasonous nature of such swaps.
3. Anne Lauvergeon is the president of AREVA, France's state-owned nuclear-reactor production company. Lauvergeon was Mitterrand's "sherpa" for many years, and then, before joining AREVA, spent a few years at Lazard Frères Paris.
EUROPEAN REACTIONS TO MIDDLE EAST CRISIS
Israeli Invasion Parallels Hitler's Invasion of Poland
In a lengthy article Aug. 2, Germany's Junge Welt daily wrote that Israel's attack on Lebanon should not be misread as just another "intervention." After all, it is the third front opened in the region (after Afghanistan and Iraq), and the attack follows a strategy defined by the Bush Administration neo-con war cabal of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, and the like. Their approach is so wild-eyed, that even "moderate imperialists" like George Soros or Zbigniew Brzezinski are opposing it.
The ongoing "war on terror," conducted under the banner of anti-Islamism, can be compared to the anti-Semitism of 70 years ago, Junge Welt wrote, and Guantanamo is just a modern concentration camp. Hitler did not acquire power, rather, power was transferred to him, by the fascists of his time. But fascism is not so much ideology as it is the most aggressive aspect of financial capitalism, and the same phenomenon is there, today. Recognizing that the same interests are operating behind the scenes today, one must indeed fear that Lebanon is not, as many misread it in 1939, when Hitler attacked Poland, another intervention like the Spanish Civil War wasit was the start of a world war. What is going on in Lebanon right now, might instead be the start of World War III, therefore, the daily mooted.
British Rail Workers Blame Bush and Blair for Lebanon War
In response to the Bush-Blair summit of late July, the British transport workers union RMT prepared a resolution, to be presented at the Congress of the (ITF) International Transport Workers Federation, which began in Durban, South Africa, July 31. The resolution attacked Bush and Blair for lending crucial logistical support to Israel's armed forces in their ongoing attack on Lebanon, and called for an immediate ceasefire.
"The number-one international priority is to stop the mass slaughter of innocent people," RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said July 31. "The unrelenting indiscriminate bombardment of civilians is a crime against humanity, which has been given tacit approval by the shameful silence of both the British and U.S. governments.
"Allowing the use of Prestwick or any other U.K. airport to airlift weapons of mass destruction to Israel in the midst of the carnage gives the lie to the pretense that the British government is somehow seeking a 'diplomatic solution.'
"While the rest of the world has condemned the bombing of southern Lebanon, Bush is sending Israel more weapons of mass destruction and Blair is standing by in criminal complicity. The world is demanding an immediate and unconditional ceasefire.
"Lasting peace will only be ensured in the Middle East through the implementation UN resolutions requiring Israel's withdrawal from the territories it illegally occupied in 1967 and a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine," the resolution said.
Former German Minister Says Israel Violated Geneva Accords
Helmut Schaefer, (Free Democratic Party), who served in the German foreign ministry from 1987 until 1998, used unusually direct language in Germany's public national radio station DLR August 4. He said that a political solution of the Lebanese conflict cannot be reduced to the creation of a pro-Israeli security zone in southern Lebanon, nor could it be based on the illusion of simply eliminating Hezbollah. A real solution must involve the entire agenda of the Road Map, which also calls for the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state.
Schaefer said that diplomatic pressure must be exerted against Israel, because it has "violated the Geneva Convention so massively," in devastating the entire infrastructure of Lebanon, forcing one million Lebanese to become refugees, killing hundreds of innocent civilians. If Israel continues with that, it will create even more hatred, and new conflicts are preprogrammed. The fact that German politicians hesitate criticizing Israel, is "complete nonsense," because that will neither help Israel nor bring peace in the region, Schaefer said, pointing to the example of "one of the few big names of the Bush senior Administration, Mr. Scowcroft, the former national security advisor, who last weekend wrote in the Washington Post that this tragedy will not be solved by creating some kind of security zone. The solution lies in a comprehensive, lasting solution.
The Germans, Schaefer said, are still operating under the syndrome of the German history towards the Jews, so they are afraid of criticizing Israel because they might be called antisemites: "but this cannot go on." There cannot be any double standards, no dividing of the principle of human rights: what applied to Serbia, must also apply to Israel.
OTHER EUROPEAN NEWS
Blair in U.S., Roasted at Home for Continued Support for Bush
Tony Blair spent the greater part of the last week of July in the United States, first with a meeting with George Bush, followed by his first trip to Los Angeles, where he spent two days, meeting with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and later being hosted by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. In his absence, the London press had a field day. A number of senior diplomats, strategic experts, and Foreign Office "mandarins" have publicly blasted Tony Blair's policy of fully backing the Bush Administration's Middle East policy and Israel. Here some examples:
* Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, now Leader of the Commons, said in a statement released after meeting Muslim residents in his constituency that while he grieved for the innocent Israelis killed, he also mourned the "10 times as many innocent Lebanese men, women, and children killed by Israeli fire."
* Sir Christopher Meyer, Britain's ambassador in Washington from 1997 to 2003, said: "Right now, in this crisis, the United States has only one special relationship and that is with Israel, and all other relationships including ours with them are in a secondary or even a third category."
An incomplete list of other officials to publicly criticize Blair in the last days includes: Oliver Miles, former British ambassador to Greece and Libya; Robert Lowe, Middle East specialist at the Royal Institute for International Affairs (RIIA); Sir Roderick Braithwaite, UK ambassador to Moscow 1988-92 and then foreign policy advisor to John Major and chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee; Matthew Parris, a former personal assistant to ex-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and a veteran of the Conservative Party, and; establishment figure Lord William Rees-Mogg.