Before we cover tomorrow (if the results are available as they should be) the results of the Israeli elections, let’s again visit picturesque Paris, as the Macron government once more reminds us that it is usually smart to have a founding revolution without beheadings.
In this column we’ve recently written about how all the Yellow Vest protestors are not angels, but certain are union thugs and leftist miscreants. Some of them loot, commit arson, and attack police. They should be cracked down on and Macron and his associates are doing that. Good. However, others are merely, like here, citizens upset with the political class and their habit of putting oligarchic interests above those of the people they purportedly represent.
They do this by silly green-themed taxes and other trendy measures the rich (who in France become successful by connections or government sinecures) can live with. The same type of fashionable legislation is an albatross around the neck of the middle and working classes. Yes, Macron is pro-market by French standards. But then mimes are funny and not just plain creepy, by French standards.
Last Saturday the protests entered their 23rd week. The chaos on the Parisian streets is not helping the president any, as his latest poll numbers put his popularity at 29 percent. One of our favorite European politicians, Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, went to the point of organizing a Vest meeting. The French got wind of it, were Segolene Royally miffed, and in an indignant snit withdrew their ambassador from Rome. So, Macron needs to try something different. What Louis XVI move comes to him?
He had one of his pet Army generals, Bruno Leray, imply that if the Vests got too out of hand (all the Vests, not discriminating between violent and non-violent), the 7000 troops he has on the streets could “open fire.” After the threat, soldiers themselves said since they were not armed with proper riot gear, if a situation got sporty “we’re going straight to the assault rifle.”
Tres autoritaire chic.
How does the government justify this massive overreaction? Easy. Semantics. They and their socialist collaborateurs (a term much known to the French) have simply switched the definition of all the Yellow Vests from “protestors” to “terrorists.” The aforementioned Bolshie pol and pun subject Segolene Royale rationalized this by saying the Vests “aren’t terrorists, but they terrorize, so it’s the same thing.” I am not joking. The Vests send her clutching for her stylish smelling salts, ergo, they’re “terrorists.”
Ah. yes, burn down the village in order to save it. Sure worked at Sand Creek.
As such, the next time you are treated to the pleasure of hearing the French lecture us on any number of subjects, be reminded there are not 7000 (granted, well-dressed) troops on the streets of DC with orders to “open fire” at the horrible provocation of annoying to the government, yet peaceful, protests. That is, if a politician feels “terrorized.” Looks like the French motto of “Liberty, Equality, Brotherhood” has been replaced by “Security, Semantics, Ammunition.”
I think it loses something in the translation.