Marine Le Pen ‘reincarnation of Hitler’, says her party colleague


This video from France is about French National Front leader Marine Le Pen and German ex-officer of Hitler’s SS and neo-nazi leader Franz Schönhuber, a political ally and personal friend of the Le Pen family.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Rise of the French far right: Front National party could make sweeping gains at this month’s local elections

However, revelations about the bizarre candidates being fielded mean it may not do quite as well as its 30 per cent support nationwide may suggest

John Lichfield, Paris

Sunday 01 March 2015 …

One FN candidate on Aveyron in south-central France had called on his Facebook page for the “destruction of the Jews once and for all”. Another candidate in Ardèche in the Rhône valley had posted a swastika and the message: “Marine, you are the reincarnation of Hitler. You are going to clean up France.”

Another FN candidate in Puy-de-Dôme in the centre of France was dropped after it emerged that he had had been convicted last year of trying to run over a pedestrian while shouting racist insults. …

There are other telling signs that the FN remains rooted in shallow soil. One far-right candidate in Orne, in Normandy, was imprisoned last month for driving without a licence. He is permitted, under the rules, to remain on the ballot paper.

Marion Maréchal-Le Pen: the young face of France’s far right. Even more rightwing and socially conservative than her aunt Marine, Maréchal-Le Pen’s ferocity has shocked rivals and won her legions of admirers: here.

Madonna warns against French neo-fascism


This video says about itself:

Madonna Defends Use of Swastika on Marine Le Pen‘s Forehead: Front National Party Threatens Suit

27 July 2012

American pop singer Madonna is defending her use of an image depicting French far-right politician Marine Le Pen with a swastika superimposed on her forehead after Le Pen‘s party threatened legal action. Madonna said the image was meant to highlight intolerance toward immigrants and religious minorities and she refused to remove it from a video played during her live performances.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Madonna: France feels like Nazi Germany

6 hours ago by Lewis Smith

Madonna has renewed hostilities with France’s far-right National Front (FN) party in outspoken comments in which she lambasts France and the rest of Europe for intolerance.

The singer, fresh from her tumble at the Brit Awards, said in a radio interview that racial intolerance and other forms of discrimination had risen to “scary” levels.

Three years ago, she was drawn into a row with the FN leader Marine Le Pen, whom she portrayed as having a swastika on her forehead in a concert video, but said the level of intolerance today is even worse than in 2012.

“It’s happening all over Europe but particularly in France. The level of intolerance is so enormous, it’s scary. We’re living in crazy times. It feels like Nazi Germany.

France was a country that embraced everyone and encouraged freedom in every way, shape or form – artistic expression of freedom.

Now that has completely gone. It used to accept people of colour, and was a place artists escaped to, whether they were Josephine Baker or Charlie Parker.”

Madonna to Europe 1 radio

National Front racist Le Pen welcome, Holocaust survivor unwelcome at Oxford Union


This video from England says about itself:

“She’s not welcome”: Oxford Union Marine Le Pen protest

6 February 2015

VERSA report from the Marine Le Pen protest outside the Oxford Union. Interviews with key protesters, including the Joint National Secretary of Unite Against Fascism.

By Peter Lazenby in Britain:

Holocaust survivor barred as Le Pen speaks at SU

Saturday 7th February 2015

A HOLOCAUST survivor was barred from an Oxford University Students Union debate in which French fascist Marine Le Pen was allowed to exercise her “freedom of speech” on Thursday night.

Just a child when the nazis occupied France in 1940, Colette Levy, from France, was sent into hiding by her parents, who were later killed in the Holocaust.

Prior to the debate Ms Levy addressed hundreds of students and other anti-fascists demonstrating against French National Front leader Ms Le Pen’s presence at the union debating society.

“I am here because of my history,” she told the crowd.

“My father was killed in a concentration camp, most likely Auschwitz and we know Marine Le Pen represents a fascist movement. It’s shameful.”

Ms Levy “was effectively denied the benefit of freedom of speech that was given to Le Pen,” said Unite Against Fascism (UAF) joint secretary Weyman Bennett.

“A number of demonstrators got into the meeting and disrupted it but were evicted by police. They too were denied the benefit of freedom of speech.”

Ms Le Pen was forced to slink into the building through a rear door as around 400 protesters vociferously made their feelings known.

Mr Bennett said that the National Front had been able to rise in France because the party had been given a platform to spread its racism and fascism.

“In Britain, from the days of Cable Street in the 1930s, anti-fascists have had a tradition of No Platform for fascists,” he added.

By Chris Marsden in Britain:

French National Front leader Marine Le Pen addresses Oxford Union

7 February 2015

The Oxford Union (OU) has become the latest major institution to take its place in the international campaign to legitimise the French neo-fascist party, the National Front (FN).

Party leader Marine Le Pen addressed the OU, Oxford University’s independent debating society, Thursday, despite widespread opposition. The aim of the OU in inviting her to England was to lend academic prestige to Le Pen’s claim to have shed the fascistic legacy of her father’s party—what she calls its “de-demonisation.”

Jean Marie Le Pen is still the party’s “honorary chairman.”

See also here.

Paris murders, blowback of NATO wars


This video says about itself:

Afghanistan’s Endless Jihad: The Mujahideen Vs The Soviets

Afghan Jihad (2007): A look back at the mujahiddin who fought the Soviet-backed government of Afghanistan with US support, and who then fought against the NATO forces who invaded in 2001.

In 1979 the mujahiddin of Afghanistan rebelled against a Soviet-backed central government. The US threw its financial and technological resources behind the rebel movement, offering support in any way it could. We travel into the remote Kumar Valley and find that back in 1979 the US was arming the likes Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and his organisation Hizb-e-Islamia – the very group now waging a vicious counter insurgency against Allied forces.

By Ian Sinclair in Britain:

Western support for extremists will lead to more terrorist attacks

Wednesday 28th January 2015

IS IT safe to come out yet? Can we begin the rational, reasoned debate about the Paris terrorist attacks that is so desperately needed?

The media coverage and discussion over the recent shocking events in France has been predictably hysterical and evidence-free.

For Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow the attack was a “brutal clash of civilisations. Europe’s belief in freedom of expression v those for whom death is a weapon in defending their beliefs.”

The normally sensible Will Self labelled the perpetrators “evil.”

New York Times columnist Roger Cohen tweeted: “I am shaking with rage at the attack on Charlie Hebdo. It’s an attack on the free world.”

His frightening solution?

“The entire free world should respond, ruthlessly.”

Missing from the endless mainstream media coverage is any mention of the awkward fact that, as Noam Chomsky has stated, “traditionally the United States and Britain have by and large strongly supported radical Islamic fundamentalism.”

The historian Mark Curtis details the link in his 2010 book Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam.

Citing British support for the “crazies” in Afghanistan in the 1980s and their BFF, the ruthless Saudi regime, Curtis notes: “British governments, both Labour and Conservative, have, in pursuing the so-called ‘national interest’ abroad, colluded for decades with radical Islamic forces, including terrorist organisations.”

It’s important to remember all this is not ancient history. Just as the Western-backed jihad in Afghanistan gave birth to al-Qaida, by supporting those who wish to violently overthrow President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the West has helped to create the jihadi blowback of which Paris may well be only the beginning.

You don’t believe me? Let me explain. The West has been helping to arm the rebels in Syria since before May 2012. With its involvement initially covert and limited, the US gave a wink and a nod to Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to support the rebels.

This use of proxies has continued despite it being clear since at least October 2012 that arms provided by Qatar and Saudi Arabia were going to hardline Islamist jihadists.

How clear, you ask? Well, as clear as a New York Times headline stating “Rebel arms flow is said to benefit jihadists in Syria.”

The US, Britain and, yes, France, have continued to provide arms and training to the rebels, despite experts repeatedly warning of the danger of such a strategy.

In September 2012 the head of the UN monitoring mission in Syria said Western support for the opposition risked prolonging the conflict.

Writing in the New York Times in June 2013, two former Nato secretary-generals noted: “Western military engagement in Syria is likely to provoke further escalation on all sides, deepening the civil war and strengthening the forces of extremism, sectarianism and criminality gaining strength across the country.”

Experts from Chatham House, the Royal United Services Institute and the European Council on Foreign Relations all warned that weapons sent into Syria would likely end up in the hands of jihadists.

William Hague, of course, said there was no risk of arms falling into the wrong hands.

Who do you think has been proved right? Unsurprisingly, CIA-supplied weapons have been spotted being used by Isis to target armoured vehicles the US had supplied to the US-backed Iraqi government.

You don’t need to be a counter-terrorism expert to realise an increasingly militarised conflict, awash with weapons and populated by a burgeoning number of extremists, with no peaceful end in sight, is exactly the kind of conditions that encourage violent jihadists to travel to Syria.

Terrorism analyst Aaron Zelin’s February 2013 warning that “the Syrian conflict is going to be as big, if not bigger, than Afghanistan was in the 1980s in terms of mobilising jihadi fighters” seems prescient today.

However, it is veteran correspondent Patrick Cockburn who makes the key point about Western responsibility: “The West backed the uprising against President Assad, and still does, and this enabled Isis to develop, gain military experience and then use it back in Iraq.”

All of this information about our own responsibility for engendering radical, sometimes violent, Islamists is on the public record, having been published in widely read, highly respected newspapers over the last few years.

And yet it has effectively been excluded from the ongoing debate surrounding the Charlie Hebdo massacre and the terrorist threat to the West.

No overt censorship or terrorist intimidation was needed — just professional, career-minded journalists and well-educated commentators arguing feverishly within the narrow bounds of acceptable debate.

Dutch amphibians and reptiles in winter


This video from France shows a grass snake and an adder together.

Because winter weather has been relatively mild so far in January, some reptiles and amphibians in the Netherlands are already active, Dutch RAVON herpetologists report.

From 1 till 19 January 2015 were seen: two adders; four slow worms; eight Alpine newts; fifteen great crested newts; twenty smooth newts; eighteen common toads; 35 common frogs; one moor frog; six edible frogs; one red-eared slider turtle; and one loggerhead sea turtle.

Biodiversity, including small predators such as dragonflies and other aquatic bugs that attack and consume parasites, may improve the health of amphibians, according to a team of researchers. Amphibians have experienced marked declines in the wild around the world in recent decades, the team added: here.