Le Pen's World View
Here are excerpts from a speech delivered in Toulon on September 4, 2006 by Jean-Marie Le Pen. The first several paragraphs make clear that for him the enemy is Israel and the US, and that they will be to blame for any great war that may occur. Iran, according to JMLP is doing the normal, logical thing by arming itself with atomic weapons.
After some introductory words he takes on the Middle East:
I - The situation in the Middle East is, at the end of the summer of 2006, particularly troubling.
There are at least four hot spots of tension, each one capable of destabilizing the region.
The first one is unquestionably the situation in Lebanon.
The southern part of the country is indeed prey to a permanent conflict between the militias of Hezbollah and the neighboring State of Israel.
Note that he refers to the IDF as a militia.
At the beginning of he summer, Israel engaged in a military operation of great magnitude to respond, it was said, to the kidnapping of two IDF soldiers and to the missile attacks by Hezbollah in Northern Israel.
The disproportion of the Israeli response was especially manifest: bombings of Northern Lebanon, of Mount Lebanon, of Beirut and cities of the south, systematic destruction of highway, rail and energy infrastructures, resulting in the displacement of more than 500,000 persons.
It was, of course, all about punishing Lebanon. But in what way is the Lebanese population collectively responsible for the actions of a minority?
I have also taken note of the dissymmetry of the reactions of the international community to this aggression: ordinarily quick to blame the attacking power, this time the world community of nations was very slow to condemn the Israeli military operation, and did so with half a voice.
While (Israel) was striking a sovereign power, respecting not one of the rules of warfare of International Law, a weighty silence surrounded the affair.
In France as elsewhere, few politicians arose to denounce the scandal.
Does he live in a cave? Is he a thoroughpaced liar?
Almost none, to be perfectly clear, and certainly not one of the famous "quadra" of the '80's who, with Philippe de Villiers as head, had demonstrated 20 years ago, and very conspicuously, their solidarity with Lebanon, and had paraded through the bombed out streets of Lebanese cities.
I cannot identify the "quadra" he refers to.
I must say that I do not approve of the official reaction of France in this international crisis. I am personally of the opinion that we must not become involved in this battle where our country, already without military means, has everything to lose.
First, I do not see how France could bring peace and law to the region, considering that the two main protagonists of the crisis, the United States and Israel, are not respecting any of the decisions of the UN in this matter.
Next, by sending supplementary military means to UNIFIL, Jacques Chirac is condemning French soldiers to be between the hammer and the anvil, to serve as a buffer between the Israelis and Hezbollah.
Will our soldiers have the right to shoot if attacked or placed in harm's way? Will they declare war on the Israeli army or will they find themselves in conflict with Hezbollah? The truth is our troops will serve as a breast-plate, a target, and I must say I am sick to death of watching Frenchmen die under the bullets of others.
The last sentence is strange. Unless it's friendly fire, a soldier always dies under the bullets of "others".
How are they going to patrol more than 110 kilometers of border between Lebanon and Israel, not to mention the near-by Syrian border?
Finally, I notice that by sending 2000 French soldiers, actually 6000 considering the rotations necessitated by our intervention, we no longer have maneuverability, there are no more available troops, no more working materiel.
President Chirac knows all that.
So why does he feel the need to put France in this new hornet's nest?
The truth is, it's an internal political operation that he is engaged in. Completely discredited in terms of economic, social, immigration, and security matters, he is trying to get back in the saddle for a new candidacy in the presidential election by means of grand international gestures.
For everyone knows that in a serious crisis, the natural reflex of legitimacy pushes the population into the arms of the incumbents.
Jacques Chirac is therefore trying to restore his political health.
Are the lives of our men worth the personal ambitions of Jacques Chirac. I don't think so, and I revolt against this cynical use of French lives...
Le Pen then turns his attention to Iran:
II - The United States of America is, I believe, determined to wage war against Iran. American diplomats are already making known that their country may sidestep any recourse to the Security Council ...
I have already had occasion to say that I didn't see how anyone could prevent a sovereign state from acquiring nuclear technology.
It is every government's duty to try to increase the prosperity of its population through civil nuclear power, at a time when we know that fossil fuels are not inexhaustible.
It is equally normal for a government to improve the security of its people by seeking to acquire special weapons, which in any case, are weapons not meant to be used, weapons that will never be used, weapons that have only dissuasive power.
Yes, anyone who uses the atomic bomb is certain to be destroyed, within minutes.
Now that the ultimatum addressed to Iran by the Security Council has expired, I admit that I am concerned, for I believe that the American government has decided, for the long term, more or less, to be done with it.
In the event of war with Iran, the straits of Ormuz will be blocked, breaking off transportation and communication lines for oil destined for Europe and Asia. At that point, the price of a barrel of crude could exceed 200 dollars, plunging the world's economy into an unprecedented crisis.
III - The third serious problem is Iraq.
Here, Le Pen launches into a scathing (but justified) criticism of the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both countries have become unmanageable, and civil war is more than likely in Iraq, he says, quoting General John Abizaid, whom he thanks for telling the truth. He reproaches (again with cause) the American leadership for not foreseeing the consequences.
He repeats his fear that a Third World War is coming and that France is in no way prepared militarily to defend herself. He lashes out at Chirac for abolishing the draft, for suspending nuclear testing, for becoming a vassal of the EU, for reducing human and material resources of the army and for making France a second-rate power with no international clout. He details the outdated and broken equipment in need of updating and repair, and points out that large sums of money were spent on projects, such as the Rafale fighter jet, yet hardly anyone is using them anyway.
In the next two paragraphs he barely hints at an Islamic threat:
We are familiar with the extreme sensitivity of certain foreign populations or people of foreign origins to the events in the Middle East, the extreme vulnerability of some to the religious and hateful propaganda of fundamentalist imams, who are permitted, against all reason, to preach with impunity.
The enemies of France can target our territory in a conventional way or through terrorism, from a bloody attack to the destruction of a critical site, such as a nuclear reactor or a chemical plant, not to mention poisoning the drinking water of a large city.
I'm not sure who the "enemies of France" are. Is it Israel, America or Iran? Or anybody?
He offers a 4-point plan for defense: increase the Defense budget, reconstitute an operational force on French territory, give armies of intervention the capacity to act autonomously, and reenforce the arsenals by limiting international aid and diplomatic support to those countries that place orders (for French weapons).
He ends on a patriotic note:
It is by restoring, in the hearts of our fellow citizens, especially the younger generation, the patriotic values, human and religious that gave our people grandeur, that we will reenforce the spirit of defense...
In short, his speech is a reiteration of notions he has expressed before. He does not recognize an Islamic threat - only certain bigoted imams that are stirring up the fragile immigrant peoples of France. Were it not for them, and the two terrorist States of Israel and the US, everything would be fine.
His desire to restore an efficient defense for France is justified, but would it be merely defensive? In a great war, how could an isolationist France avoid being engaged - and on which side?
The ten-year-old photo shows him hale and hearty.