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» Lessons that Hollande Failed to Learn

“If we can combat terrorism in Iraq, just as we did in Africa, we are ensuring our own security,” he said. His plan sounded as pathetic and all too familiar: “If necessary we will be able to act in Iraq with more intensity and more efficacy; the aircraft carrier will be working in very narrow communication with the other forces and will be able to attack in any point in the event of supplementary tensions,” he said.

As if nothing has been learnt until now, Hollande seems to be borrowing the same costly policies that were implemented by former US President George W. Bush after the deadly attacks of September 11. He too struck violently and thoughtlessly and at the urging of powerful neoconservative groups; he carried out pre-conceived policies to assure America’s dominance in the name of fighting “terror”. These policies backfired, none of the US strategic objectives were achieved, and the “New Middle East” which the US administration so desperately coveted, became a breeding ground for the same “terrorism” that the Americans allegedly fought.

Excerpts from Hollande fails to learn from Bush – Ramzy Baroud, Asia Times

» Ramzy Baroud’s Interview with Foreign Policy

Ramzy Baroud’s Interview with Foreign Policy

Excerpts from Ramzy Baroud’s Interview in Foreign Policy

“[The ICC move] is about assuring his survival.… He knows nobody is buying into the old game of ‘back to negotiations’ and making threats to quit,” said Ramzy Baroud, a U.K.-based Palestinian author and political columnist. “He needed something so impressive, a grandstanding type of gesture that would assure supporters that there is something different and new, and that should win him a bit of time.”

To make matters worse, Abbas has been dogged by rumors of ill health and has been confronted by political foes both within his own party and outside. “Abbas knows that new challengers are springing up. After the Gaza war, Hamas’s numbers shot up in the polls; Mohammad Dahlan is trying to stage a comeback; and others are trying to offer themselves as alternatives to Abbas,” Baroud said. Dahlan, 53, once a close Abbas confidant, was ejected in 2011 from Fatah, the West Bank’s ruling party, which is headed by the Palestinian president. This expulsion came following Hamas’s takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007, which wrested control of the territory from Dahlan’s forces. Dahlan is also facing corruption charges.

“It is really difficult to believe that Abbas, close to the age of 80, has decided to carry out a fundamental change of course” in the struggle for Palestinian independence, Baroud, the political columnist, said. “It’s all about winning time and creating distractions, but is it a strategy towards a specific end? I don’t think so.”

Read full article here: How Long Can Mahmoud Abbas Hold On?

» Repeating Bush’s Mistakes

Prior to Bush’s misadventures in the Middle East, Al-Qaeda seemed to have been a distant reality that had been heard of, but unseen. A decade after the US invasion of Iraq, Al-Qaeda penetrated the Middle East and North Africa, hatching into numerous groups, sub-groups and Al-Qaeda-inspired groups. In fact, Al-Qaeda-turned-Islamic State (IS) is now redefining borders, carving a “state” of its own that occupies massive swathes of land in Syria and Iraq.

But why is Hollande repeating the failed policies of the discredited Bush administration, and reversing the principled and sound choices of former French presidents, like Jacques Chirac? Foreseeing its potential disasters, Chirac stood defiantly against Bush’s war in Iraq; and he is still right. But since then, France itself has changed, and leaders like Nicolas Sarkozy, and now Hollande are responsible for that change.

Excerpts from Repeating Bush’s Mistakes – Arab News

» Lessons that Hollande Failed to Learn from Bush’s Blunders

Excerpts from Lessons that Hollande failed to Learn from Bush’s blunders – Middle East Eye

By Ramzy Baroud

Francois Hollande is not a popular president. No matter how hard the “socialist” leader tries to impress, there never seems to be a solid constituency that backs him. He attempted to mask his initial lack of experience in foreign affairs with a war in Mali, after his country enthusiastically took on Libya. While he succeeded at launching wars, he failed at managing their consequences as the latest attacks in Paris have demonstrated.

Following the attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, he is now attempting to ride a wave of popularity among his countrymen. On 11 January, an estimated 3.5 million people took to the streets of France in support of free speech – as if that were truly the crux of the problem. Nearly forty world leaders and top officials, many of whom are themselves unrelenting violators of human rights and free speech, walked arm in arm throughout the streets of Paris. It was a photo-op to show that the world was “united against terrorism”.

In the midst of it all, the embattled Hollande was at centre stage, ready to act as a statesman, decisive leader, and father of a nation. And as his nation tried to come to terms with the tragedy, Hollande made his annual new year’s address, promising to escalate the exact same policies that engendered violence and what many western pundits readily refer to as “Islamic terrorism”.

Lessons that Hollande failed to Learn from Bush’s blunders – Middle East Eye

» Francois Hollande and George W. Bush

Francois Hollande is not a popular president. No matter how hard the ‘socialist’ leader tries to impress, there never seems to be a no solid constituency that backs him. He attempted to mask his initial lack of experience in foreign affairs with a war in Mali, after his country enthusiastically took on Libya. While he succeeded at launching wars, he failed at managing their consequences as the latest attacks in Paris have demonstrated.

Following the attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, he is now attempting to ride a wave of popularity among his countrymen. On January 11, an estimated 3.5 million people took to the streets of France in support of free speech – as if that were truly the crux of the problem. Nearly forty world leaders and top officials, many of whom are themselves unrelenting violators of human rights and free speech, walked arm in arm throughout the streets of Paris. It was a photo-op to show that the world was ‘united against terrorism.’

In the midst of it all, the embattled Hollande was at center stage, ready to act as a statesman, decisive leader, and father of a nation. And as his nation tried to come to terms with the tragedy, Hollande made his annual new year’s address, promising to escalate the exact same policies that engendered violence and what many western pundits readily refer to as ‘Islamic terrorism’.  – from ‘Lessons that Hollande Failed to Learn from W. Bush’s Plunders’ – Ramzy Baroud

» Dabbling in Distraction: Abbas’ Costly Failure

As soon as Storm Huda swept across much of the Middle East, the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem received a fair share of terrible weather. The polar storm was somewhat uncommon in that part of the world. Also uncommon was the valiant response of the Palestinian National Authority(PNA) security forces to it. They sprung to the rescue in ways that, generally speaking, were unusually considerate.

Trained by the US and other American allies in the region, PNA forces are often affiliated with security coordination with Israel, and frequent crackdown on Palestinian protests. And also torture. Their human rights violations are well documented.

The charm offensive, however, followed another battle, which is led by PNA President Mahmoud Abbas, internationally. Indeed, a week earlier, on January 2, Palestine’s United Nations envoy, Riyad Mansour formally requested membership at the International Criminal Court (ICC) .. – Ramzy Baroud, Gulf News

» On Hollande and Bush’s War Legacy

Frivolous wars are like drugs. They may start with the intention of achieving a fleeting sense of ecstasy, but with time they become a lethal escape from reality. Like drugs, a warlord is dependent on war and can only be sustained and validated by it. French President Hollande is a warlord in the western sense – what Americans refer to as ‘a war president’. But as Bush’s notorious legacy has proven, while war-induced fear and vain patriotism may keep a leader in office long enough, the terrible consequences of unchecked violence will be felt for many years to come.

» Hope you like the new page

Dear friends and readers,

I really hope that you find the new page a serious improvement from my old website, which was launched in 2007. The new page is meant to be more interactive, personable and more social media friendly. Also, using this particular space, I will be updating you on my movement, latest publications, and work in general. Please take few minutes to familiarize yourself with the structure of the new site, read an article or two, and come back soon for more updates. Best from me – Ramzy