by Jacques Cheminade, French Presidential Candidate
Over the night of February 4-5, when a new resolution against Syria was put before the UN Security Council, with the capability of leading to a chain-reaction global conflict, including thermonuclear war, China and Russia had the foresight to veto it. A majority of Western leaders violently denounced this position, surrendering to Anglo-American geopolitics aimed at fanning the flames of the conflict.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his Foreign Minister Alain Juppé in particular, have thus buried the “French exception” when it comes to foreign policy which had more or less survived up to the war against Iraq in 2003. They have aligned France along a direction which aims to replace a regime whose anti-democratic nature could have been identified much earlier, with the most backward elements of this region associated with Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Hence, Alain Juppé, who abandoned Colbertism in the 1980s and betrayed the traditional alliance of Gaullism with the French people with his 1995 health care reform, ends up betraying here and now the Gaullist policy of “peace through development” of the people. For nothing has either been proposed or done to actually develop Southwest Asia and Syria, just as nothing has been done in this direction for Libya and Tunisia.
From myself, I call for the immediate halt of the economic and military offensive led by NATO and its allies in the Near East against Syria and Iran. I demand the immediate halt to all build-up by American, British and French air, sea and land forces, underway in the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, and Indian Ocean, in preparation for armed interventions against these countries. Those who claim to not want armed intervention, yet impose sanctions that strike at the people are no more than the hypocritical face of the same thing.
Our perspective for peace must be an alliance of nations from the Atlantic to the China Sea, in view of great projects in the common interest. In October 2011, Dmitri Rogozin, then-Russian Ambassador to NATO, proposed NATO member-states to jointly launch a Strategic Defense of Earth (SDE) with the aim to defend all countries against both missile launches, and also against asteroids capable of threatening the Earth. Since then, other Russian proposals of the same type have been made in an attempt to avoid all military escalation. Vladimir Popovkin of the Russian space agency Roskosmos proposed immediate U.S.-Russian collaboration together with nine other space agencies, for the creation of a lunar base, and the former Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov has invited Russians and Americans to form a joint initiative for the exploration and development of the Arctic.
It is only by the common sharing of our resources to take up the great challenges of humanity that we can avoid the escalation towards war in this crisis. Aiming to impose regime change from the outside can only lead to a disaster under the appearance of humanitarianism. Allowing a situation to degenerate to the point that a territory becomes a battlefield and then to propose to intervene intervention is nothing but a modern version of 19th-century British imperialism.
There can be no peace without mutual economic development, and that is a policy that France should be an indefatigable instigator and catalyst for.