To help you stay au courant of what French patriots are doing and saying in this time of turmoil and loss of nationhood. This website is for those with a limited knowledge of French and a boundless interest in saving European cultures from extinction. Leave a comment or send an e-mail to galliawatch.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
The Fractured French Right
The French patriotic Right has always had trouble unifying into one strong voice that speaks for French interests. The Front National was the best hope, but the party leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen, destroyed his own chances through his deliberate and well-timed provocations and his refusal to give up his one-clan rule of the FN. Determined to stay on as party leader, though he is now 80 years old, Le Pen denies to anyone outside the Le Pen family the opportunity of taking control. He even forces his daughter Marine to kill precious time as she waits for her father to give up his personal stranglehold over the party (although Marine's bad ideas were largely responsible for the FN's poor showing in the presidential election).
Over time many disgruntled and disillusioned party members broke with Le Pen and eventually formed a new party: the Nouvelle Droite Populaire (NDP), headed by Jean-François Touzé, which has as its goal a nationalist agenda founded on stopping the Islamization of France and restoring national identity, minus the provocative remarks that discredited the FN. Among these remarks were the well-publicized anti-Semitic cracks, as well as statements condoning the possession of nuclear reactors by Iran, and several attacks on the US, including one where he called 9/11 an "incident."
It now turns out that the NDP has split in two, with the ouster of Touzé, accused of being "pro-American" - what the French term "Atlantiste". This came about as a result of his comments condemning the "visceral" anti-American reaction on the part of the NDP to the events in Georgia, where Russia asserted her nationalist interests in the face of America's pro-European, pro-Georgian, pro-NATO and pro-oil-based interests. Yves Daoudal had this brief:
Jean-François Touzé was "general secretary" of the Nouvelle Droite Populaire. On September 13, he was "placed in a minority" due to his "liberal and pro-American positions that run contrary to the great majority of members of the party." And he did not change his "behavior". "The Statutory Bureau of the NDP therefore decided, by virtue of article 8 of the statutes, to proceed in the exclusion of Jean-François Touzé from the party for grave errors." This measure became effective "September 17, 2008 at 2:00 p.m."
Jean-François Touzé immediately announced the creation of a new party...
Touzé's new party is the Nouvelle Droite Républicaine, or NDR. How the NDR and the NDP will ever combine in a united front is not clear, although on certain issues they may agree. The NDP is now more than ever oriented toward a philosophy of ethnic identity, preservation of national preferences, French sovereignty (without breaking from the EU), and suspicion (to say the least) of America. While a sense of ethnic identity is essential to the resurgence of nationalism, there are dangers it will have to avoid, if it doesn't want to be shunned and marginalized as the FN was. Robert Spieler now heads the NDP (see below).
Touzé has, from the start of the NDP, been ridiculed by Le Pen's FN. In fact a satirical website that parodies the NDP was launched to discredit the party. It can be safely assumed that the FN was behind this parody.
Touzé runs the risk of becoming another Philippe de Villiers: good ideas, weak personality, no public support.
As for the NDP, it is now steered by its general delegate Robert Spieler (photo), a powerful regional voice for French nationalism and sovereignty, and for many years a dedicated fighter for his region of Alsace and his city of Strasbourg. A man who does not mince his words, he is possibly the one who can steer the NDP into the national landscape, while avoiding the pitfalls, but not ugly truths if they cannot be avoided. I will try to have more about Spieler (who at one time belonged to the FN) in the future, especially if he succeeds in gaining some national recognition. Before I move on, just a mention about a website I discovered through Spieler's own site. Called Causeur, it is a forum for fiercely nationalistic Alsatian writers and activists. French readers might enjoy browsing the site.
Meanwhile, another nationalist party formed in 1998, the MNR or National Republican Movement, that splintered from the FN, with Bruno Mégret as leader, has also cashiered two of its leaders. Bruno Mégret himself supposedly left politics in May 2008, turning leadership over to Alain Vauzelle, Nicolas Bay and Annick Martin among others. When Touzé formed his NDP, the MNR announced it would not meld with the new initiative, but remain at a distance, participating only in a selective way. Again Yves Daoudal reports:
A few days ago we suddenly had two NDP's. Now there are also two MNR's.
According to a communiqué from the ("new") MNR: "Bruno Mégret, who had announced four months ago that he was leaving politics and claimed to be living abroad, showed up without warning at a meeting of the National Bureau of the MNR that met today in Paris." He initiated a motion of exclusion directed at the general secretary Nicolas Bay and his adjunct Jacques Gaillard, who, with 8 others "urged the members of the MNR to continue their fight with them, and to rally to the movement called National Convergence, thus remaining faithful to the political goals of the MNR".
Mercifully, Daoudal points out that "National Convergence" was the name given to a group founded by Nicolas Bay and Jean-François Touzé before the NDP...
And so we have the NDP (minus Touzé, but with Spieler), the NDR (with Touzé), the original MNR (with an obviously engaged Mégret) and the National Convergence, about which I know nothing at all, except that Nicolas Bay (about whom I know nothing) is in it.
How are the French people to make any sense of this nonsense? How can the National Right ever assert itself as a force to be reckoned with? Those still loyal to Le Pen laugh at all this and see in it the predictable consequence of abandoning the only figure they regard as able to win any votes at all: Jean-Marie Le Pen!
Finally, what is the split in the MNR about, philosophically speaking? There is a long list of accusations published at the (original) MNR website. Here is just a brief synopsis:
Mr. Bay and Mr. Gaillard are responsible for at least three series of grave errors with respect to the MNR:
- They openly and repeatedly flouted the leadership committee ("direction collégiale") that was instituted by the National Council, as well as the statutory agencies of the MNR, thus compromising the unity of the party.
- They accumulated a history of initiatives that run contrary to the desires of the MNR agencies that were created by virtue of statutes, and approved through voting, during the last meeting of the National Council, thus destabilizing the party.
- They have, through their actions and their words, displayed a strategy that aims to put a rapid end to the very existence of the MNR in favor of an organization that they control personally.
- Moreover they are not up to date on their dues - Mr. Gaillard is six months behind, Mr. Bay one year.
French readers can consult the article linked for a detailed report on the accusations - it looks as if Bay wanted to seize complete control. Whether he had justification is beyond my knowledge at this point, but after Mégret, the MNR was run by a "college" of members, to prevent any one man from seizing the reins.
And so a Nationalist Right in pieces will have to fight the combined forces of Nicolas Sarkozy and the Socialists.
In addition, we have the lone rangers: Philippe de Villiers and Nicolas Dupont-Aignan. But I have to end this post somewhere...
This short article on immigrants who are granted legal status appeared at Yves Daoudal's blog two days ago:
"It is with satisfaction that we can announce today that we have broken through the barrier of 1000 legalizations of undocumented aliens," declared Bernard Thibault at the Zénith of Paris. "There are still thousands of cases to be resolved," he added, then proclaimed: "I say to employers and to the government: you would do better not to vacillate any more and to examine those cases where legalization is inevitable."
Note: The Zénith is a performing arts center.
Many undocumented aliens figured among the 4000 sympathizers and activists of the CGT from Ile-de-France, Burgundy, Normandy, Centre, and Champagne-Ardenne, who had gathered at the Zénith.
Note: The CGT (General Confederation of Labor), one of France's major unions, is headed by Bernard Thibault, a Communist.
While France continues to legalize groups of immigrants, 100 here, 1000 there, by degrees, The European Union is seeking to increase the populations of its member States through "selective" immigration of skilled workers from the Third World. Le Figaro reports:
Welcome Indian engineers! Though Europe hunts down illegals, it hopes to attract to its soil the most highly qualified workers from the Third World: Africans, Chinese or Indians. Gathered in Brussels on Thursday, the ministers of immigration put the finishing touches on a planned directive that would permit this educated elite to receive a blue car, the equivalent of the famous American green card. "We are sending a signal of openness," declared the French minister, Brice Hortefeux, who spoke on behalf of the French presidency of the European Union. A final agreement should be reached by November.
The 27 nations are worried about a lack of competitiveness in the EU, due to an aging population, especially in comparison with the United States and Canada where the borders are said to be open to talented foreigners. The future holder of the blue card will benefit from freedom of movement on the ensemble of the European territory and, as soon as he is settled, will be permitted to send for his family, without the need to satisfy integration tests. His spouse will have "access to employment". His social rights will be identical to those granted to nationals. And yet, the blue card is not an unlimited passport. Each member State will be free to grant it or not, according to the special needs of its own labor market. Hungary or France could settle for opening the door to doctors or nurses, where there is a need, while Belgium is seeking programmers and engineers. The salaries of the applicants are expected to be 1.5 times higher than the average salary of their home country.
Note: I hope you read the above carefully. It is an audacious example of misleading the public into thinking immigration is necessary. First, the article implies that the US and Canada have been doing something that the EU has not been doing - letting in foreigners! What about the Schengen Space? What about Europe's open borders?
Second, it is clearly a green light for those seeking easy benefits and medical care.
Third, why does France not have enough doctors and nurses? Is abortion partly to blame? Is emigration of some of the best and brightest Frenchmen another reason? Bad schools? Broken families, where children lack incentives to become professionals?
Fourth, how many doctors and nurses and programmers and engineers are there in Africa? Maybe there are some in India and China - I don't know, but aren't they needed in their own countries? And will they really want to return home?
The article goes on to say that the blue card will have no expiration date, but it will have to be renewed after four years.
The German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaüble says the Europeans who fear they will lose their jobs to foreigners are wrong:
"The blue card will not give access to the national labor markets." Scaüble regards as "exaggerated" the "expectations" nourished by the public. The States have made known their national particularities. Sweden, where no laws exist to establish salary levels, feared that Europe would impose a standardized salary norm. As for the Czech Republic, it refuses to open its borders to migrants from the Third World so long as its two neighbors, Austria and Germany, don't open their doors to Czech workers. This is scheduled to happen in 2011. Prague's objection represents the only obstacle that Sarkozy, as president of the EU, will have to overcome in order to reach a unanimous accord.
Readers of Le Figaro were not happy about this development. Here's one short comment:
- With rising unemployment... another great European idea! How I've learned to hate Europe in a few years. My God, what a colossal error we committed when we got involved in that mess.
BTW, go into any city hospital in the larger American cities and you will see an overwhelming number of Arabs, Indians, Asians, etc... Where are the American doctors? Are young men not going into medicine? I know the number of women in medical schools has grown exponentially, but I don't have statistics handy. I think American men have little incentive to go where there are huge numbers of women and foreigners. This nation-destroying affirmative action has existed here for a long while.
I cannot identify the white man in the picture which comes from Daoudal's blog, but the tags they are wearing say CGT. This may be part of the meeting mentioned above at the Zénith in Paris.
De Gaulle on Vietnam
My previous post on Tran Van Ba reminds us of the role France played in Indochina, before we engaged ourselves in Vietnam, with the consequences we know all too well. Besides Vietnam, France had had close ties to Cambodia which was a French protectorate from 1863 to 1953, administered as part of the colony of French Indochina. Cambodia gained independence from France in 1953 becoming a constitutional monarchy under King Norodom Sihanouk.
On September 1, 1966, Charles de Gaulle delivered a speech in Phnom Penh in which he praised Cambodia for remaining neutral in the conflict that was emerging between Vietnam and the United States, and warning that a military solution in Vietnam would not be possible. He also (rightly or wrongly) justified his actions in Algeria, on grounds that staying there was a wasted effort. Here are excerpts from his speech addressed to Prince Norodom Sihanouk. (His title was first King, then he abdicated in favor of his father, after whose death he took the title of Prince). His foresight, in this case, was accurate, and he would probably say the same thing today about Iraq and Afghanistan, although I feel he would have had the same instinctual reaction we had to September 11:
(...) Following the Geneva agreements of 1954, Cambodia chose, with courage and lucidity, the policy of neutrality that followed from these agreements and that, as France's responsability was no longer being exercised, alone could have spared Indochina from becoming a field of confrontation for rival dominations and ideologies and an attraction for American intervention.
That is why, while your country succeeded in safeguarding its body and its soul bacause it remained its own master, the political and military authority of the United States was seen installed in its turn in South Vietnam and, simultaneously, the war gained new strength there in the form of national resistance.
After which, illusions about the use of force led to the continual reinforcement of the expeditionary corps and to increasingly extensive escalation in Asia, increasingly closer to China, increasingly provoking in the eyes of the Soviet Union, increasingly censured by numerous peoples of Europe, Africa and Latin America and, in the final analysis, increasingly menacing for the peace of the world.
Confronted with such a situation - everything about which, alas, leads us to believe that it will continue to worsen - I declare here that France approves entirely the effort that Cambodia is exerting to keep itself outside the conflict and that France will continue to lend it her help and her support toward this goal.
Yes, France's stand is taken. It is taken by the condemnation that she harbors for the present events. It is taken by her determination not to be, wherever it may be and whatever may happen, automatically implicated in the eventual extension of the drama and, in any event, to keep her hands free.
It is taken, lastly, by the example that she herself set not long ago in North Africa by deliberately putting an end to sterile fighting on a ground that, nonetheless, her forces unquestionably dominated, that she had directly administered for 132 years and where more than a million of her children were settled.
But as this fighting committed neither her honor nor her independence, and since at that time it could result in nothing but losses, hatred and ever mounting destruction; she decided to leave, without thereby damaging - quite to the contrary - her prestige, her power and her prosperity.
Note: He was wrong to say that France's "honor" was not committed in Algeria. He dismisses entirely the desires of the French nationals in Algeria, as well as the Algerians who fought on the side of France.
Well, France considers that the fighting that is ravaging Indochina, by and of itself, offers no end. In France's view, if it is unthinkable that the American war apparatus will be annihilated on the spot, there is, on the other hand, no chance that the peoples of Asia will subject themselves to the law of the foreigner who comes from the other shores of the Pacific, whatever his intentions, however powerful his weapons.
In short, as long and cruel as the ordeal must be, France holds for certain that it will have no military solution. (...)
It should be pointed out that Norodom Sihanouk eventually joined the Khmer Rouge after being ousted by forces friendly to the United States. While we all know of the horrors of the Khmer Rouge, the whole history of these conflicts is far beyond the scope of this post.
Also beyond its scope is the issue of whether there could be a military solution in Iraq and Afghanistan, so long as we have goals that are, at the very least, ambiguous.
H/T: Secret Defense via Le Salon Beige
End of Hiatus
I must again apologize for the long hiatus from posting. I tried several times since Friday to post, and either fatigue or other obligations interfered. I was not home to see the presidential debate - I heard many Europeans watched it. I hope they found it enlightening, but right now I have no idea what happened, having been submerged since Friday in urgent matters.
I did hear about Paul Newman, a great actor (I temporarily suspend judgment on his politics). His death was expected, but you always hope that they can beat the odds. I will always admire The Verdict, a great tour de force for all the actors, but Newman was phenomenal. His earlier roles in Sweet Bird of Youth and The Hustler were also major accomplishments. He was good in everything he did. At the end of his life he performed on stage in Our Town, in the role of the Stage Manager, directed by Joanne Woodward. It was shown on PBS, and I realized he had come full circle: it immediately conjured up memories of his 1955 appearance in the same play when he took on the role of George Gibbs to Eva Marie Saint's Emily. Frank Sinatra was the Stage Manager then and the play was set to music by Jimmy van Heusen and Sammy Cahn. One of the songs that became popular was Love and Marriage. Unfortunately it was never preserved on video - I don't think there exists a kinescope copy of the single performance. But I was about 14 years old and have always remembered that performance.
As far as the financial "crisis" is concerned, even some French blogs have realized that it was primarily an affirmative action scam, orchestrated by the Bush administration, to give quality homes to immigrants and other unreliable people. The loans were thus granted under pressure, not to say at bayonet's point, by mortgage companies and banks that did the deed unwillingly. It may be more complicated that, but that is the crux of the matter. Else, why would so many default on their mortgages? Obviously they couldn't pay. And they couldn't pay because they were high-risk to begin with. Bush will never admit the truth, and I doubt McCain will either.
Three new posts will be put up within a few hours, with more to come. But next week-end will be another time of "limbo" for me, due to the hospitalization of a relative. Right now I'm trying to catch up with both French and American news from last week.
Labels: Off-topic posts
Friday, September 26, 2008
No Memorial to Tran
Here is an interesting communiqué from Chrétienté-Solidarité, an organization that actively promotes the Christian faith and traditional French values through publications, conferences and monitoring activities that expose the fate of the various Christian communities throughout the world. Founded by Bernard Antony, its website is part of the Reconquête site, also founded by Antony:
Is it because he was named Tran Van Ba and because there are crimes, and massacres and genocides that are less worthy of memory than others, that the prefect of Paris, Pierre Mutz, forbade the placing of a simple monument to his memory in a small public square in the 13th arrondissement?
And yet, Tran Van Ba was leader of the Vietnamese students of Paris from 1972 to 1980. He was from a family that was a friend of France - that of the president of the Constitutionalist Party of Vietnam, Bui Quang Chien, who was massacred along with his daughter and four sons by Red torturers in 1945. His father Tran Van Nan was also assassinated in Saigon on December 7, 1966.
In this heritage of heroism on the part of so many Vietnamese against Communism, Tran Van Ba denounced the endless executions, mass killings, and re-education camps as well as concentration camps, all those abomination perpetrated by the Communists of Ho-Chi-Minh.
When he dared to return to Vietnam in June 1980, he was immediately arrested, imprisoned for several years in atrocious conditions and finally died in 1985.
And in the Paris of Sarkozy-Kouchner we cannot even keep alive the memory of his sacrifice with a simple monument.
For Tran Van Ba was not Guy Moquet. (1)
And so it is that under Nicolas Sarkozy who forever puts on grand airs of pride in France and in the memory of the men of the past, the French State accepts the diktat of the Red Embassy of Vietnam, that cannot tolerate the fact the those who were assassinated by its reign of terror are remembered.
Just as he disdains the memory of the 3000 French women kidnapped in Algeria in 1962, the government of Monsieur Sarkozy once again displays a dishonoring racism in matters of memorials.
Chrétienté-Solidarité will soon organize a prayer vigil in memory of the victims of Communism in Indochina.
(1) I have written before about Guy Moquet. He was a young Communist militant who was arrested by the German army of occupation on October 13, 1940, for distributing flyers denouncing the new Vichy government. He was executed in October 1941, but not before writing a letter home to his parents. The letter is now required reading in French schools, thanks to a decision by Sarkozy. Though Moquet is venerated as a great hero of the Resistance, he was never in the Resistance, since at the time of his arrest, the Communists had not joined the movement. French patriots generally believe that the fact that he was a Communist has led to the cult surrounding him, though they do not deny his heroism.
Regarding the kidnappings of French women in Algeria, I have not done research on accurate figures. From what I know, the figures vary wildly and both sides may exaggerate. But Bernard Antony knows more than I, and you can accept his figures as reasonably correct. So many Europeans either disappeared or were murdered that accurate statistics may never be known.
A reminder that Sarkozy has been making a habit of appeasing Muslim or Communist States. He refused to meet with the Dalaï Lama in August for fear of offending the Chinese government.
Regarding Tran Van Ba, he was awarded posthumously the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom in 2007 in Washington.
At a website called Topix, I found this:
Born in South Vietnam in 1945, Mr. Ba as a young man watched his country ravaged by the civil war waged by the North Vietnamese communists. In 1966, his father Tran Van Van, a respected member of the South Vietnamese parliament, was assassinated by the communists. Sent to France to complete his education, Mr. Ba returned to Vietnam in 1980 to continue the fight for freedom and democracy in his homeland. He was arrested in 1984 by the Communists who executed him on false charges of treason. A memorial has been erected to Mr. Ba in Liege, Belgium, and a street dedicated to him in Falls Church, Virginia, by the Vietnamese community.
The picture comes from France 24.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife were in New York on Monday and Tuesday. On Tuesday he addressed the UN General Assembly on the financial crisis. The New York Times reported:
President Nicolas Sarkozy of France described the crisis as the worst financial mess since the Depression of the 1930s and the financial system as “insane.” He called for a summit meeting in November to determine how to address the problems and to develop greater international regulations of financial markets. Many leaders echoed that latter demand.
Mr. Sarkozy also said that at a news conference he had talked with Wall Street bankers, but that they claimed not to know who was responsible for the mess. When banks and hedge funds hand out fat bonuses, they are all willing to gloat about their success, Mr. Sarkozy said, “but when there are deficits we don’t know who is responsible.”
Note: I've heard the theory that loan and mortgage companies were under intense government pressure to give mortgages to immigrants in the name of "equal treatment" or "equal opportunity". Naturally these people could not keep up payments, and the bubble burst. Because of this, many neighborhoods went to ruin. But no one has (yet) advocated sealing the borders, least of all Sarkozy.
He also called for a "regulated capitalism in which whole sectors of financial activity are not left to the discretion of the market," and he called for a summit in November at the time of the G8 meetings.
One report said that Sarkozy had to be extremely careful about not offending anybody:
"It's a topic that is not dealt with in public but rather in small discreet groups of top ranking policy makers. One must be extremely cautious in the use of words when speaking of topics such as these," said a close adviser.
Sarkozy's speech at the UN is not of major importance, although this remark, as reported by Yahoo, says more than he intended:
"No doubt it's a weakness, I have never been on the Left, but I love justice..."
The connective "but" is what gives the phrase its true meaning: I am not a leftist BUT I love justice, i.e. justice is to be found on the Left. Does he mean Stalin? And since when is it a "weakness" not to be on the Left? Or does he mean that loving justice is a weakness?
On Monday Sarkozy and his wife had attended the 2008 Appeal of Conscience Foundation awards dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City. Sarkozy was presented with the Appeal of Conscience World Statesman Award for "his leadership in advancing freedom, tolerance and inter-religious understanding."
Not only the Pope, but now the cream of the New York liberal Jewish community, have praised Sarkozy for his "positive laïcité" and his tireless efforts to force Islam into the French cultural landscape, although they don't quite put it in those terms. For them he is promoting "inter-religious understanding." I do believe the Muslims understand very well.
If you're a celebrity watcher turn to this webpage for lots of pictures of their encounter with the crème de la crème of New York. The photo of him jogging is a bit comical.
The Afghan Trap
Here are the thoughts of economist Gérard Pince on how we were "lured" into Afghanistan:
Now that a parliamentary debate on the question of Afghanistan has been scheduled, we must remember that this war was launched in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks, in order to capture bin Laden, destroy al-Qaeda and prevent the return of the Taliban. Seven years later, bin Laden is still at large and the Western forces are facing a war without end. To justify themselves our politicians point to the need to democratize the country or to liberate the women. In the name of the same principles, why not attack Saudi Arabia, Yemen or Pakistan? In truth, the West got dragged into the Afghan trap because they refused to analyze the real motives of the 9/11 tragedy.
After the defeat of Soviet troops, the Islamic powers thought that they could also defeat the only remaining super power. The Soviets having been beaten in the Afghan desert, it would be necessary to attract the Western powers there. The plotters therefore ordered their mercenaries (bin Laden and al-Qaeda) to commit spectacular attacks, hoping that the Americans would rush into the Afghan trap. This ruse functioned perfectly and we see the results. While our troops chase phantoms in the desert, Islam pursues its conquest of Europe thanks to oil money and the massive immigration from Muslim countries.
It is necessary to change strategies by targeting the real instigators of terrorism and not their lures. Above all it is necessary to eradicate terrorist groups that prosper with impunity in Europe. Our vulnerability to terrorism results from the presence of a fifth column on our soil. It can never be repeated enough that the terrorists are in our land and not 10,000 kilometers away.
I recommend that you consult our new study on Afghanistan. We only chose the facts that have been verified, and avoided stupid conspiracy theories. We settled for a logical grouping of these facts in order to give you food for thought. It left me with a sense of malaise and the feeling that many things remain hidden.
He links to this English-language article at the Free World Academy, that expands on the article above.
Here are excerpts (the English has been slightly modified for clarity):
According to the new goals, the military forces were split into two components. The US enduring freedom is fighting al Qaeda. On the contrary, the NATO forces are supposed to be peacekeepers protecting the country and training a new Afghan army.
Seven years later, the Afghan army only accounts for 25,000 soldiers in a country that was able to enroll one million fighters against the soviet army! In the same time, the number of fights and suicide attacks has increased fourfold.
Despite thirty years of wars, droughts and famines, the population of Afghanistan (31,900,000 by mid 2007) is expected to grow to 50,300,000 by 2025 and 81,900,000 by 2050. As Napoleon said, a night in Afghanistan replaces the casualties of any long war.
Moreover, the secret services of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia provide the Taliban with arms and money while Pakistan is becoming the safe haven of the insurgency. Clearly, NATO is engaged in an endless war.
He goes on to define what he means by the "Islamic powers" referred to in the original article:
What are these Islamic powers? We have to remember that Saudi Arabia, Pakistan or the Gulf States are not real states. They are just composed of an aggregate of feudal tribes. Into this mosaic, the power belongs to the secret services that are not controlled by the official politic. These services depend on feudal lords and cleric devoted to a fanatical Islam and more precisely to wahabbism. Moreover, these uncontrolled secret services, companies and individuals benefit from the flow of money coming from their oil business. Therefore, in our opinion, these Islamic powers have organized the plot. Once the western countries are trapped in Afghanistan, they can pursue their final objective: the Islamization of Europe, thanks to immigration from Muslim countries.
And he offers some solutions:
The right question is: How long shall we tolerate these groups, which are plotting horrific strikes against our civilians? The solutions are easy: first, we should stop any immigration and tourism from Islamic countries. Second, we should expel all the groups engaged in terrorism, including individuals who are born in our territory and who do have citizenship.
The photo above shows the Soviet troops withdrawing in 1989.
Debate on Afghanistan
There has been much commentary on Afghanistan at the French websites thanks to a debate in the National Assembly on the French presence in that country. Furthermore, the discussions still go on as to what happened on August 18 when French soldiers fell into an ambush that left 10 of them dead and 18 wounded.
At the center of the controversy over the ambush is a secret report supposedly issued by NATO and published at the Canadian website Globe and Mail that reveals the inadequate level of preparedness of the French troops:
(...) The NATO report, marked “secret,” reveals woefully unprepared French troops surprised by well-armed insurgents in a valley east of Kabul. Ten soldiers were killed, the report concludes, but the other soldiers were lucky to escape without more deaths.
The French did not have enough bullets, radios and other equipment, the report said. The troops were forced to abandon a counterattack when the weapons on their vehicles ran out of ammunition only 90 minutes into a battle that stretched over two days. One French platoon had only a single radio and it was quickly disabled, leaving them unable to call for help. Chillingly, in an indication that the French troopers may have been at the mercy of their attackers, the dead soldiers from that platoon “showed signs of being killed at close range,” the report said.
By contrast, the insurgents were dangerously well prepared. The investigation found evidence of well-trained snipers among the guerrillas – highly unusual, because the Taliban are frequently mocked for their poor marksmanship – and indications they were supplied with incendiary bullets designed to punch holes in armour. (...)
The French military declined to comment for this article, but French officers have previously spoken about the ambush in fatalistic tones, as if the insurgents inevitably score an occasional success.
“Our comrades fell during an ambush. They couldn't have done anything. It's a tactic as old as Herod,” a French officer told Le Figaro, a daily newspaper in Paris.
But only a swift rescue mission by other international forces prevented more serious losses, the report said, also crediting a heroic performance by a French intelligence officer who was wounded in the leg but did not stop leading his troops. (...)
However, the authenticity of this "secret report" is questioned. The website Secret Defense, devoted to things military, gives reasons for doubting that such a report actually exists:
According to our information the NATO spokesman in Brussels denied the existence of such a report. And in Paris, the Defense Ministry declared that for the moment it had no evidence of the existence of this document. A staff officer insisted that there was no NATO report: "It's a hoax," he said.
Secret Defense goes on to warn about the presence of other spurious reports online about the ambush, in particular a document published at Le Canard Enchaîné, which is now subject to serious doubts. Part of the problem has been the inability of both military and political authorities to describe exactly what happened, and an unwillingness to admit that there were some glaring deficiencies in the preparedness of the troops.
At any rate, the National Assembly voted to maintain the French presence in Afghanistan. Le Parisien, dated September 22, reports:
343 votes for, 210 against: the National Assembly approved on Monday the continued presence of French armed forces in Afghanistan. The UMP majority party and the New Center voted for, the Socialist, Communist and Green parties voted against.
When he opened the stormy debate on the material resources of the French military, Prime Minister François Fillon denounced the "lies and misinformation" after the news became known of a document from NATO on the ambush that killed ten French soldiers.
Before the voting, François Fillon had announced to the deputies that one hundred additional soldiers and more materiel, including Caracal and Gazelle helicopters, would be sent within a few weeks. According to the Prime Minister the "president is learning a lesson from the murderous ambush."
Note: Isn't he admitting that there was a deficiency in materiel?
While the Socialist Party was readying to vote against the presence of troops, François Fillon repeated the "need for a national consensus" on the issue. He called on the responsibility of the deputies, emphasizing that France was not "safe from terrorism", and expressing the hope for a "political reconciliation" between Paris and the Afghans. He also expressed the need for France to respect the 2001 commitments made before the UN by Jacques Chirac and Lionel Jospin and recalled as well a "moral obligation" towards the Afghans. (...)
Majority leader Jean-François Copé denounced the decision by the Left to oppose the measure, and proclaimed: "You do not have the right to abandon our Afghan friends! To vote for troop withdrawal today is to capitulate to an ideology that regards the lives of others as having no value, and that regards women as having even less. To vote for troop withdrawal is to betray our values and our commitments without even preserving our safety. On the contrary! Remember the words of Churchill: 'When you choose dishonor to avoid war, you will have dishonor and war.' To abandon Afghanistan would be irresponsible. It would be the first domino that could make all the others fall, starting with Pakistan."
Neither Fillon nor Copé addressed the question many people (French and Americans) are asking: Could this go on ad infinitum? If so, will we not soon be depleted of energy and resources? The war in Afghanistan, which seemed to be an unavoidable response to 9/11, has been going on for about 7 years. When a calm plateau is reached, everyone breathes easy. Then it deteriorates and we start again, almost from scratch.
See the next post for an analysis of the situation.
The photo shows the National Assembly standing for a moment of silence in honor of the fallen soldiers.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Yves Daoudal has amassed an impressive list of recent crimes committed in the region of Ile-de-France which includes Paris and its surroundings.
An intern in the Second Chance Defense Center (CD2C) in Montlhéry was taken into custody after stabbing one of his fellow classmates. (The Second Chance Defense Centers attempt to prepare young people 18 to 21, who are in trouble, for a job, by offering them discipline and training.)
The Bobigny criminal court condemned a 60-year-old Tunisian and his 35-year-old son, owners of several bakeries in Seine-Saint-Denis, to a one-year suspended sentence and 15,000 euro each, for having hired eight illegal aliens and for not declaring all their employees to URSSAF (Union for the Collection of Health Insurance Contributions and Family Subsidies.) The son defended himself by saying they had to hire illegals in an emergency because he and his father were occupied with the preparations for a marriage in Tunisia...
Several minors suspected of raping two girls, 16 and 17, in Dammarie-lès-Lys were investigated and three of them arrested this week. The first victim was raped "repeatedly by the one who called himself her friend" before offering her to his acolytes. The second victim was raped on the very grounds of the middle school where they were all enrolled.
A 30-year-old man was placed in custody, suspected of having stabbed a customer during a barroom brawl in Meulan. The wounded man was taken by his sister to the Meulan hospital with a 5-6 centimeter knife blade in his skull.
The body of a man about 40 was discovered on Thursday evening by a jogger in the Saint-Germain-en-Laye forest.
Six policemen were wounded and three young people ages 19 and 20 arrested, during a police check in Asnières-sur-Seine. While patrolling, the police noticed a man riding a motor-bike that had no ignition key. They tried to question him, and "several individuals came onto the scene, very violent," according to police sources. Assisted by the BAC (anti-crime brigade), "the police had to resort to using their Tasers to neutralize one of the attackers." Among the injured police was a woman who was taken to the Beaujon hospital with a concussion.
The police in Mureaux engaged in confrontations with twenty young people on Friday night. Answering a call from a local resident, a police patrol entered the neighborhood of les Musiciens. There they were confronted with a gang of 20 youth who threw stones and smashed the police car windows, without causing injury. The police managed to disperse the youth with tear gas and rubber bullets. Calm returned when the riot police took control of the neighborhood.
A silent march took place in Monty in memory of a young man of 17 killed by multiple stab wounds last weekend. The marchers went to the place where the body was found. His friends unfurled a banner with the words: "Nicolas, rest in peace, we are thinking of you, we love you," and left a bouquet of white roses. An autopsy revealed he had been stabbed 88 times. The two assailants, arrested shortly afterwards, were charged with murder.
Lest you find this list to be insignificant, here's more from Le Salon Beige:
The adjunct socialist mayor of the 19th arrondissement of Paris, Mao (sic) Péninou, is beginning to worry about the violence in his neighborhood:
"These are serious acts. Dramatically exceptional."
Monday (September 15), two persons were stabbed around 8:00 at night on a public thoroughfare.
One week earlier, a 23-year-old man was shot to death around 1:30 a.m. At least seven bullets were fired.
Two days later a 22-year-old man was also shot several times. He escaped serious injury with a bullet in his leg.
All of these attacks have in common the fact that they occurred in the northern section of the 19th. A series that looks like a settling of accounts. For David Barbas, national secretary of SNOP (the national police officers union), it all began when "a small drug trafficking operation degenerated when a guy from one gang was beaten up."
For more than ten years, groups from the Curial-Cambrai have been at war with others from Riquet-Orgues de Flandres. And yet everybody seems surprised by the violence.
Note: Pretending to be surprised is one of the major defensive attitudes adopted by people who belong to the element of society who commits crimes or by people who defend the element of society that commits crimes.
Liberation, dated September 17, relates the same events. In the comment section, several readers who say they live in the 19th insist their neighborhood is calm and peaceful except sometimes for a tiny minority who cause trouble. I cannot resist translating this comment, despite its length. We can infer that the Buttes Chaumont, an area in the northern part of Paris, has remained authentically French:
I also live in this neighborhood. Sometimes there is a little noise at night when a few young people are having fun but generally it's calm. Here the communities live with an understanding of one another, the young helping the older ones. I know little Jamal who runs errands for the aging Sarah who is sick and cannot go down steps. There are no real gangs, just some groups of young people who constitute the future of France, because of their schooling. Many work late hours, do advanced studies, fight daily the insults and the racist and Islamophobic remarks they endure, alas. Contrariwise whenever I spend Saturday afternoon in the Buttes Chaumont, I say to myself that this old country that is France ought to become - and quickly - like the 19th arrondissement, for the vigor of its youth, the shouts of children playing and mixing (Note: he means racially), this tolerance that warms the heart. These differences are enriching and allow us to see daily events relatively. Your wallet is stolen? OK, life goes on! A few young people going through puberty annoy your daughter? Don't worry, we are not in Bush's United States! I repeat, the 19th is a celebration of ethnic and cultural richness. And so to all of you - whites, blacks, Malians, Togolese, Iraqis, Belgians, Muslims, Kurds, Bosniaks, Chechens, Afghanis, Pakistanis, Chinese, Somalis, Yemenites, Ivoirians, Senegalese, Mauritanians,... come, come live with me!
I have spoken before about the 19th arrondissement and the attacks on Jewish residents. Jews have a large community of about 20,000 some of whom moved there to escape the violence of the notorious Seine-Saint-Denis. In this video posted at YouTube, a Jewish girl relates how the Jewish residents are contemplating leaving France for Israel. She insists that the reason is their attachment to their homeland and their desire to serve in the Israeli army, but I very much doubt many of them would leave were it not for the Muslim and black presence. Not that they will be safe in Israel. But at least they will feel at home. To the best of my knowledge (in the absence of official ethnic statistics) there are fewer than half a million Jews left in France and many more than 5 million Muslims.
Read more about the attack discussed in the video here. It's quite interesting because one of the attackers was Jewish, leading authorities to insist that the attack could not be classified as anti-Semitic. However he was a Jew raised as a Muslim, hence not part of the Jewish community.
And Novopress relates how the police were chased out of a lawless neighborhood in Trappes in the department of Yvelines by "young people."
Last Sunday, the police were chasing a suspect on a motor-bike following a fight "among young people." Once in the lobby of an apartment building the suspect, named Malik, insulted the officers and struck them. He and his friend Jessy were arrested. Two policemen stayed on the scene and were then joined by a third. "As he got out of his car a large man got a stranglehold on him. The two men fell to the ground and more young people arrived. The other police officers threw tear gas to keep the youth at a distance," according to Le Parisien. "Finally the police got back in their car and fled the area under a rain of stones."
Sunday, September 21, 2008
England Bound and Gagged
An article at the Israeli-oriented, French-language website Bivouac-ID tells of more censorship in England (as if the UK weren't already bound and gagged) relating to a BBC documentary on Islam:
After the London attacks, BBC reporters began an in-depth inquiry to better understand the defenders of terrorism and its social and religious outcomes on their soil. They went into Muslim neighborhoods of London where the terrorists implicated in the murderous attacks had grown up.
The result of this investigation was supposed to lead to a television documentary in which the reporters would explain "how Muslims of British citizenship, having grown up in London, had become terrorists and provoked the death of dozens of people." To do this they obtained the consent of the families of the terrorists to investigate and to film inside their homes.
Journalist Nick Cohen of the Jerusalem Post, wrote that "it was one of the most impressive and audacious (not to say explosive) documentaries that the BBC would ever broadcast."
But since the religious element predominated in this investigation, the network's administrators decided to stop the investigation and to call back the reporters, on the pretext that "this documentary smells of Islamophobia and runs the risk of offending the Muslim population of Great Britain and the world."
(...) This attitude is typical of the way the Western media and governments react today to Islam. (...) their attitude is precisely the one hoped for by the Muslim world: the imposition of self-censorship by the "infidels" vis-à-vis anything that relates to Islam.
From the Danish cartoons, to a movie from Holland, from work on the Temple Mount to a documentary on Great Britain, there is a connecting current that signifies the presence of a psychological terrorism imposed by Islam and weighing ever more heavily on the West and on Israel, who, for their part, regularly abdicate in the most cowardly manner possible.
Read about the work on the Temple Mount at Honest Reporting.
The BBC logo dates from 1962. The logo has changed many times over the decades. The presence of the map is a reminder of the days when the "Beeb" considered itself British.
H/T: Yves Daoudal.
A Mosque for Cologne
On September 19, an article appeared at Le Salon Beige on a planned anti-Islamization demonstration in Cologne. The event was scheduled for this weekend September 20-21. The movement Pro Köln (For Cologne) had denounced the construction of a grand mosque and had intended to hold a rally on the defense of Christian values in the historic center of the city. LSB recalled the words spoken by Benedict XVI in Paris at the Collège des Bernardins: "Nations must never allow to disappear that which gives them their own identity..."
Apparently the Cologne municipal government does not agree. This was just posted at LSB:
The anti-Islamization rally organized by Pro Köln, a right-wing party that includes 5 elected deputies and that stands opposed to the building of the new mosque in Cologne, was eventually cancelled this weekend. The authorities made the decision from fear that confrontations that began on Friday opposing Right and Left might degenerate. Since Friday, left-wing activists have been protesting against the big demonstration, that was to last for three days, in Cologne. They managed to win their case. After confrontations involving both sides, the German police banned the meeting set for Saturday afternoon.
The construction of the mosque is sheduled to begin early in 2010 and is projected to be the largest mosque in the country.
The JDD (Journal du Dimanche) adds this:
Tens of thousands of persons mobilized against what they see as a return of Nazism. "Temples, synagogues, churches and mosques, we welcome everything," say the banners. The Christian-Democrat Mayor of Cologne, Fritz Schramma, who has himself fought for a long time in favor of this mosque, against officials of his own party, explained that they intend to "pull out the red card against racism." Another demonstrator agreed: "For us it is very important to demonstrate here. In Cologne there are Fascists in the City Council and we cannot accept that. We are trying to affirm our right to oppose the gathering of Nazis."
The destruction of Europe will come about because of the fear of repeating World War II. In truth, the real Nazis are not the ones on the Cologne City Council. And Europe, unwittingly, may be headed for an even greater holocaust where the victims are the bleeding heart, multi-cultural Europeans themselves. As Alain Finkielkraut famously said: "Anti-racism is the Communism of the 21st century."
HALDE vs The Ministry of Justice
I have written frequently about HALDE - the High Authority on the Fight against Discrimination, the government-created agency that seeks and receives complaints about discriminatory practices, and tracks down the offenders until "justice" is done. HALDE is not a court, but often behaves as if it has juridical power. This article from Le Figaro shows how far the agency can go, and how high in the hierarchy of the French State it ferrets out discrimination. A reminder that French judges are unionized:
The Ministry of Justice has been found guilty by HALDE of discriminating against unions when it appointed professors to the National School of Magistrature (ENM). Three cases concerning members of the Magistrates Union (SM) are involved in the judgment.
The three judgments, rendered on September 15 by HALDE, which had investigated two cases in June 2006, then another in January 2008, also request that the Ministry of Justice henceforth justify refusals to appoint applicants to positions at the ENM when it goes against the recommendations of the school administrators or of the recruiting committee.
This is "to permit the verification of equal treatment of applicants and to reenforce the guarantees against discriminatory practices," explained HALDE.
In one of the cases, a sentencing judge practicing in Bordeaux since late in 2001, who was then national councillor of the SM, had applied three times to be given a teaching position.
The judge was Emmanuelle Perreux, today president of the SM. She had been informed in April 2006 that the school administration had approved her application and that a letter had been sent to the Ministry of Justice which makes the final decision.
But the Minister of Justice chose another applicant, one whom HALDE deemed "less experienced."
Note: Pascal Clément was Minister of Justice in 2006.
A reminder that HALDE was created on December 30 2004, under President Jaques Chirac. Though the French government is responsible its creation, HALDE was in fact the response to a series of directives from the European Union. One can assume that if France were a sovereign State, no such inquisitorial agency would ever have been formed, French laws being sufficient to deal with all internal problems: the administrative courts would have taken up any cases of abuse of power or violation of rights.
Now the French government that created HALDE must bow to its own creation.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
France is promoting universal recognition of gay rights, according to this article in Le Salon Beige:
(Secretary of State for Human Rights) Rama Yade has declared that France intends to present to the United Nations in December a proposal asking for "the decriminalization of homosexuality in the entire world," on behalf of the 25 countries of the EU (Poland is opposed). She stressed that the agreement supported by France to "fight homophobia" is part of a campaign to promote the universal rights of man. She made her declaration during the 61st annual conference of NGO's at Unesco headquarters in Paris on September 5.
In June, during the meeting on AIDS organized by UNAIDS, held in New York on June 10-11, 2008, France made a commitment to promote rights of homosexuals on a world-wide basis, until the end of the French presidency of the EU (January 1, 2009).
On the pretense of decriminalizing homosexuality in the entire world, this is really about imposing the idea of the "normalcy" of the homosexual life style and making it accepted by the international community. A political declaration can be presented before the General Assembly without going through a commission, but without obligating the States. This type of declaration only serves to put pressure on the commissions, once the declaration has been approved by the Assembly. In this case, it would involve the 3rd commission on social, humanitarian, and cultural affairs. Since this commission has already rejected pro-homosexual declarations, it is a means of neutralizing this commission and those countries that do not accept juridical and social acceptance of homosexuality.
Conversions in France
While browsing through the Zenit website devoted to Church news, I came upon this article from April on conversions from (and to) Islam in France:
Between 150 and 200 Muslims convert to Catholicism each year in France, many of them the children of mixed marriages, reported a French daily.
According to the April 2 edition of Le Monde, the topic has been little discussed in recent years. But the Church is now affirming that religious liberty and reciprocity are essential.
Bishop Michel Dubost of Evry is a determined participant in the dialogue with Islam. A dozen Muslims are baptized every year in his diocese. This year, one was baptized in private.
Le Monde said the situation of Catholic converts from Muslim is often dire. The majority face misunderstandings from those around them, it reported, and others reproach them for having "disowned their culture." Some have hid their conversion even from members of their family.
In this sense, the widely publicized conversion of Magdi Cristiano Allam, baptized by Benedict XVI on Holy Saturday, brought joy to the converts in France: "I bless the Pope, who has put his finger there where it hurts," Mohammed Christophe Bilek, founder of Notre-Dame-de-Kabylie association, said. "Everyone should be able to be baptized. That flows from human rights."
Despite their growing numbers, converts from Islam to Christianity, including all confessions, do not exceed the number converting to Islam. In August of 2006, the French daily La Croix reported that some 3,600 people in France convert to Islam every year.
Note: These statistics do not necessarily apply to the rest of Europe. However, if they are true, it would mean that, in France, the number of converts to Islam is roughly 18X that of the converts to Christianity.
Another message from the Vatican goes even further than the preceding comments of Cardinal Bertone, in its conciliatory approach to Islam. This text was already in English at the Zenit website:
Here is a text published today by the Vatican of a message sent to Muslims by the president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. The message was sent on the occasion of the end of Ramadan.
Christians and Muslims: Together for the dignity of the family
Dear Muslim friends,
1. As the end of the month of Ramadan approaches, and following a now well-established tradition, I am pleased to send you the best wishes of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. During this month Christians close to you have shared your reflections and your family celebrations; dialogue and friendship have been strengthened. Praise be to God!
2. As in the past, this friendly rendez-vous also gives us an opportunity to reflect together on a mutually topical subject which will enrich our exchange and help us to get to know each other better, in our shared values as well as in our differences. This year we would like to propose the subject of the family.
3. One of the documents of the Second Council Vatican, Gaudium et Spes, which deals with the Church in the modern world, states: 'The well-being of the individual person and of human and Christian society is intimately linked with the healthy condition of that community produced by marriage and family. Hence Christians and all men who hold this community in high esteem sincerely rejoice in the various ways by which men today find help in fostering this community of love and perfecting its life, and by which parents are assisted in their lofty calling. Those who rejoice in such aids look for additional benefits from them and labour to bring them about.' (n. 47)
4. These words give us an opportune reminder that the development of both the human person and of society depends largely on the healthiness of the family! How many people carry, sometimes for the whole of their life, the weight of the wounds of a difficult or dramatic family background? How many men and women now in the abyss of drugs or violence are vainly seeking to make up for a traumatic childhood? Christians and Muslims can and must work together to safeguard the dignity of the family, today and in the future.
5. Given the high esteem in which both Muslims and Christians hold the family, we have already had many occasions, from the local to the international level, to work together in this field. The family, that place where love and life, respect for the other and hospitality are encountered and transmitted, is truly the 'fundamental cell of society.'
6. Muslims and Christians must never hesitate, not only to come to the aid of families in difficulty, but also to collaborate with all those who support the stability of the family as an institution and the exercise of parental responsibility, in particular in the field of education. I need only remind you that the family is the first school in which one learns respect for others, mindful of the identity and the difference of each one. Interreligious dialogue and the exercise of citizenship cannot but benefit from this.
7. Dear friends, now that your fast comes to an end, I hope that you, with your families and those close to you, purified and renewed by those practices dear to your religion, may know serenity and prosperity in your life! May Almighty God fill you with His Mercy and Peace!
Jean-Louis Cardinal Tauran
Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata
Note: I didn't realize that polygamy, forced marriages, honor killings, using children as human shields, etc... were family values espoused by the Church.
H/T: Le Salon Beige
Seeking Common Ground
The Catholic Church, its leadership if not its flock, seeks common ground with Islam. It has been said that the Church sees in Islam a ray of hope for the re-spiritualization of Europe. Priests see empty churches while mosques are bulging with true believers. They see the secular society addicted to pornography, abortion, and sexual promiscuity, while the Islamic society is tightly controlled. They see the French State divided by "laïcité", while Muslim nations do not recognize separation of Church and State. And they admire Islam to the point where they overlook the dark side and delude themselves into believing that the two religions can not only co-exist, but become strengthened through mutual contacts and understanding.
Here are excerpts from the comments of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, published in L'Osservatore Romano, on the reactions of the Muslims who heard the Pope's speech at the Collège des Bernardins on September 12:
(The speech was) a magnificent lesson that aimed high. The Pope urged us to place ourselves before the Word in an attitude of attentiveness, but of veneration also, and with the intention of allowing ourselves to be transformed by this Word, so that we can then act in accordance with the Word.
Hence, the Word and work, the former of God, the latter of Man.
That must have surprised some people because everyone probably expected he would talk about faith, culture and reason, or perhaps politics.
However, the Pope went far beyond that. When observing those who listened to him, I had the feeling there was a clear separation between those who listened as if ecstatic, and those who listened with that typical expression of one who feels disarmed or disturbed.
The Pope spoke of the Holy Scriptures, of the Christian book which certainly is not the Muslim book. I believe however that the representatives of the Muslim community followed it with much interest.
I noticed, for example, that they shared openly the urgings of the Pope to seek God. In that respect, their way of thinking does not differ from our own, and can even constitute a point of contact.
And I can say that, when the Pope finished his meeting, and conversed with them, exchanging a few words with each one as he greeted them, I could tell from their faces that they were in agreement.
They were very happy and congratulated the Pope. So I think they were satisfied.
Read more about Cardinal Bertone, one of the highest-ranking officials in the Church, at Wikipedia.
In February 2006, I posted a long article by Anne-Marie Delcambre on Europe's infatuation with Islam. Here is one excerpt from that essay:
First of all, these "ecclesiastics, alarmed by the loss of interest in faith and church attendance in Christian countries, particularly Europe, admire Muslim devotion....They feel it is better to believe in something than in nothing at all..." They see the near-empty churches and in contrast, they note that the mosques are full, even if these mosques are cellars or run-down buildings. The churches three quarters empty, the triumphant secularism, the contempt for the religious life all have become unbearable to Catholic priests...they feel sympathy for the community of Islam where everyone is close, where "the believers are brothers"! But they forget rather quickly, or they don't realize that "the Muslim is the brother of the Muslim", not the brother of the non-Muslim.
The second reason for the Catholic priests' Islamophilia lies in the "importance of Jesus and Mary in the Koran, without regard for the fact that this Jesus and this Mary are homonyms with nothing in common but the name with the Jesus and Mary that they know." This last point is very serious, stresses Alain Besançon "because it upsets the relationship between Christians and Jews." Thus for Catholic priests, the Muslims appear "better" than the Jews, since they honor Jesus and Mary, which Jews do not. ..
H/T: Le Salon Beige