Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Sarkozy and Obama should be partners and not "rivals"

French newspapers banner Obama inauguration
A display of French newspapers and the International Herald ...
Wed Jan 21, 5:56 AM ET

From Yahoo news: A display of French newspapers showing front page coverage of the inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington D.C., in Paris, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009. Obama ushered in a new era for the United States, becoming the first black leader of the country. (AP Photo/Bertrand Combaldieu)

Crédits photo : Le Figaro

Meanwhile, Le Figaro playfully pits the French president against the new American leader: Sarkozy's American "buddy" will be a rival. I don't see why they should be rivals; they can and should be partners? For starters, they share a similar background, family, education and politics wise, i.e., both were abandoned by their foreign-born fathers and raised by their mothers; both grew into politics as community organizers and both are trained lawyers. Secondly, as they say, in unity there's strength.

But as ever in politics, national or international, we say, there are no permanent friends, only permanent interests. Oh well...

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Un moment historique: Barack Obama est le 44ème Président des Etats-Unis

Le 44ème président des Etats-Unis: Barack Obama

Toutes nos félicitations et nos meilleurs voeux pour une présidence pleine de reussite!

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Newsweek: "The Last Model Standing Is France" (Can't blame me for feeling smug!)

Hat tip to SuperFrenchie who reveals one of the final stupid presidential acts of outgoing US President George W Bush: Bush's last food fight by imposing a 300% tariff on roquefort. Yes, roquefort, one of the famous French cheeses. 300% tariff???? Hilariously ridiculous. It seems this is his final retaliation act against France for French refusal to back him in his illegal invasion of and war on Iraq that has culminated in more than 1 million deaths so far.

So what! I'm all for keeping our roquefort and Bush can keep his hormone-infested beef!

But there is a happy, and might I add, judiciously savourous note, thanks again to SuperFrenchie's That was then; this is now that's making me feel embarassingly smug.

Well, here's why: while the US and the UK, its bosom buddy, played France and French bashing games on the world bashing court in the run up to that stupid invasion of Iraq, France stuck to her guns and boy, was she proven right. There were no bloody WMDs and worse, we learned that Bush and Blair and their subalterns had been fixing intelligence data around the invasion. And as if things couldn't be any more worse for them, France played its cards right and guess what? France has not gone down as bad as Bush and Blair/Brown countries have fared on the economic front.

One might interject, "They had what was coming to them!" Alright, it's not proper to be showing one's smugness in the current situation but heck, and I'm sorry about it (Dad, sorry I'm embarassingly feeling smug*) but good news is hard to come by! So, right you are: I am a teeny weeny bit feeling smug about it.

Here's what making me feel smug:

The Last Model Standing Is France: "For better or worse, French-style intervention is gaining the upper hand as other economic models lose credibility."

(*My Dad is English but also happens to be against the invasion of and war on Iraq from the onset and believes that Tony Blair should be charged with war crimes.)

NOTE: 29 January 2009. Have just been to SuperFrenchie's blog and found that this post has been linked by a search engine that's called Skyrock India.

French doctors in Gaza tell of horror (Audio)

Thank goodness, help has arrived in Gaza.

French doctors are now in situ and a French A-310 carrying 40 tons of humanitarian aid to the civilian population of Gaza left Wednesday 14 January for Israel from where the cargo will be transported to Gaza, according to an AFP report published in Le Figaro.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the humanitarian aid cargo constitutes 6,000 blankets, 3,000 of which were supplied by a French NGO Voix de l'Enfant, 5,000 water cannisters, 30 boxes of medicine from Tulipe, a French organisation that federates medical donations from companies, and 14 water purification systems with a total value of 350,000 euros.

The cargo will be distributed in Gaza in collaboration with the World Health Organisation and the UNRWA, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.

A Gaza, un médecin français raconte l’horreur

Also in Le Figaro: A French doctor from the University Hospital of Lille has just arrived in Gaza with a team of surgeons and speaks of the horror. He talks of the total lack of equipment needed to treat the wounded and of the devastations inflicted on the families.
L'ONG française Help Doctors est entrée hier dans la bande de Gaza. Son président Régis Garrigue, médecin urgentiste au CHU de Lille avec une équipe de médecins et de chirurgiens sont sur zone. Cette mission est soutenue par la Communauté Urbaine de Dunkerque qui est jumelée avec la ville de Gaza depuis avril 1996. (French NGO Help Doctors arrived last night on the Gaza strip. Régis Garrigue, a doctor with the emergency unit of the University Hospital of Lille along with a team of doctors and surgeons are now in Gaza. Their mission is backed by the Urban Community of Dunkirk that has been a twin city to Gaza since April 1996.)
Click on link to listen to tape: A French doctor in Gaza talks about the horror

Click on link to read plea by Help Doctors: Gaza: "Il faut que les décès d'enfants cessent !" (Gaza: "Death of children must stop!")

The death toll in Gaza has reached more than 1,000, many of them children. Israel has been accused by Human Rights Watch of using a new weapon that causes worse and far bigger damage than the size of the Gaza strip itself and calls on Israel to stop its unlawful use:
Israel: Stop Unlawful Use of White Phosporous in Gaza.
(Jerusalem) – Israel should stop using white phosphorus in military operations in densely populated areas of Gaza, Human Rights Watch said today. On January 9 and 10, 2009, Human Rights Watch researchers in Israel observed multiple air-bursts of artillery-fired white phosphorus over what appeared to be the Gaza City/Jabaliya area.

Israel appeared to be using white phosphorus as an “obscurant” (a chemical used to hide military operations), a permissible use in principle under international humanitarian law (the laws of war). However, white phosphorus has a significant, incidental, incendiary effect that can severely burn people and set structures, fields, and other civilian objects in the vicinity on fire. The potential for harm to civilians is magnified by Gaza’s high population density, among the highest in the world.

“White phosphorous can burn down houses and cause horrific burns when it touches the skin,” said Marc Garlasco, senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch. “Israel should not use it in Gaza’s densely populated areas.”

Human Rights Watch believes that the use of white phosphorus in densely populated areas of Gaza violates the requirement under international humanitarian law to take all feasible precautions to avoid civilian injury and loss of life. More here.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Calling Israel: Stop the murderous rampage in Gaza

We all know now that Israel welcomed 2009 by launching a murderous raid into Gaza.

More than 120,000 people all over France mobilised last Saturday calling for a stop to this senseless war that has killed more than 700 Palestinians of whom more than 200 were children.

This blog supports the call for this murderous rampage to cease!

Manifestation à Paris contre la guerre à Gaza, samedi 10 janvier.
AFP/PIERRE VERDY Manifestation à Paris contre la guerre à Gaza, samedi 10 janvier.

Manifestation à Toulouse contre la guerre de Gaza, samedi 10 janvier.
AFP/ERIC CABANIS Manifestation à Toulouse contre la guerre de Gaza, samedi 10 janvier.

A Nice, samedi 10 janvier.
AFP/VALERY HACHE A Nice, samedi 10 janvier.

From Le Monde:

A Toulouse, une mobilisation similaire a eu lieu en fin de matinée. Entre 1 600 et 4 000 personnes ont défilé dans les rues de la "ville rose", sans que les autorités ne constatent de débordements. Réunis derrière un grand drapeau palestinien, les manifestants ont scandé de multiples slogans, notamment "Bush, Olmert, Livni, Barak assassins, Sarkozy complice" ou encore "Etat d'Israël, Etat criminel" et "solidarité avec le peuple de Palestine". Des syndicats et l'ensemble des partis de gauche étaient visibles en fin de cortège. A Lyon, entre 8 000 et 10 000 composaient le cortège qui s'est rassemblé devant la préfecture du Rhône avant de défiler dans le centre de la ville.

A Lille, ils étaient près de 10 000 à défiler derrière d'immenses drapeaux palestiniens et une banderole de l'Association France-Palestine solidarité (AFPS), alors que la précédente manifestation avait mobilisé près de 3 000 personnes. Entre 2 000 et 3 000 manifestants ont été recensés au Havre, au moins 3 500 à Grenoble, entre 2 500 et 3 000 à Mulhouse et près de 2 000 à Rouen. Des incidents ont été signalés lors d'un rassemblement qui a réuni entre 2 500 et 6 000 à Nice, samedi. Les vitrines d'un Mac Donald dans l'avenue Jean Médecin, la principale artère de la ville, ont été brisées avec des chaises et des tables qui se trouvaient sur la chaussée. La police n'a pas fait état de blessés. A Marseille , entre 2 000 et 5 000 personnes ont défile et à Bordeaux, entre 1 800 et 8 000 manifestants ont traversé les rues de la ville aux cris de "Israël assassin" et "Gaza vaincra, Gaza vivra". Dans un tract distribué aux manifestants, le comité Action Palestine a par ailleurs dénoncé la poursuite du jumelage de la ville de Bordeaux avec la ville israélienne d'Ashdod, "élevée sur la destruction de villages palestiniens et le massacre de leurs habitants".

D'autres manifestations ont eu lieu à Nantes, Strasbourg, Colmar, Besançon, Lorient, Saint-Brieuc, Caen, La Roche-sur-Yon, Laval, Albi, Auch, Agen, Angoulème, Pau, Roanne, Le Creusot ou encore Evry, partout à l'appel d'un Collectif national pour une Paix juste et durable entre Palestiniens et Israéliens. Outre les incidents à Nice et Paris, le ministère de l'intérieur a signalé de légers problèmes à Toulouse et Perpignan.