28.2.07

French presidential candidate François Bayrou on Foreign Policy



Contrary to Ségolène Royal and Nicolas Sarkozy, François Bayrou has an independant and distinctive voice when it comes to foreign policy, as in domestic policy. Here, in this video(6 minutes), he explains why he supported Chirac's decision not to go to war against Iraq and his position on nuclear proliferation. He proclaims France's right to have an independant stance in foreign policy matters.
He reminds us that there are international treaties and that we should work within these treaties to adress two concerns: to control and accompany the development of nulear civil energy for every country and to curb nuclear weapons development. He states that the problem actually is the adoption of multiple standards when it comes to the right of countries for developing nuclear energy and weapons. Although he condemns Iran's president rethoric against Israel, he seems to be inclined to accept that as long as Iran is abiding by international treaties on nuclear proliferation it has the right to develop its own nuclear energy for civil purposes under the watch of international organisations.

19 comments:

Richard said...

Hi, Sophia. Still hard at work I see. Good. Keep at it.

Forgive me for 'barging in' off topic but I've just been sent this clip of George Galloway speaking on Lebanon, in the House of Commons, only last month -- and I am sure you would want to watch it.

Link here.

Loopy said...

excellent. it's amazing to see bayrou getting this support. i've been quite disappointed with some aspects of segolene's ideas as well. she doesn't fit into the classical PS cadidate at all. on the other hand, i was reading bayrou's website the other day, and honestly, at tiems his ideas seem more lefty than segolene's. i'm very very impressed by him. if i could vite, i'd definitely go for him.
yesterday, another sondage showed him up t 20%. which isincredible!
thanks for the video.
sz

Sophia said...

Richard,

Thank you for dropping by and leaving the link. I will look for it soon.

Sophia said...

Loopy,

Even if you don't vote you can at leat convince anyone in your entourage to vote for Bayrou. Bayrou is indeed impressive. He is a principled man, unlike Ségolène and Sarko who are just opportunists and excessively ambitious people.
Two main things worry me in Sarko and Ségo. Sarko wants to align France's policies in everything along US policies. Ségo will surely be impressed by power. She said once that she admires Tony Blair. Well one of the weaknesses Tony Blair has shown is that he was impressed by power and always wanted more. You can see that in Frear's movie The Queen which is much about Balir as it is about the Queen of England. It is bad to forget obeself and become impressed by power once you hold this power because you end up forgetting yourself, your principles and who you are and to be in power what you need most of all is to know who you are.

Bayrou is a chance for france and I hope he will be elected. I can identify with Bayrou's France but not with Ségo's France and Sarko's France.

PLease tell everybody around you to vote for him.

Thanks for visiting.

annie said...

I just heard Sarkozy to day on Israel and it was not very heartening; he did nevertheless support Chirac's opposition to the Iraq war. Thank you for pointing a decent candidate. Annie

Sophia said...

Annie,

Bayrou is mor than decent. I think he is France's last chance to stay authentic and to have a distinctive voice in Europe and the world.

N. said...

Yeah, the french have a distinctive "voice". I am yet to see their distinctive "action"!

On the nuclear issue, they just bent backward and supported America's position when push came to shove!

I don't trust the French!

Sophia said...

So you don't trust me ?

I think what is going on in the French presidential elections is quite new. Bayrou represents a real center, not an alleged or a fake center, like they say: center left or center right because if you are center left or center right you are never in the center, Right?
I believe that with Bayrou France will have a distinctive voice in the international community. The man is authentic, he is one of the remaining few that can proclaim to be authentic in Politics...

And I think you are being quite hasty and unjust in your judgement: how would you like me judging Iranians as one homogenous bloc ?

I think also that we should entertain some hope because the moment we start to become 100% cynical we leave the political arena to leaders who know nobody is expecting anything from them and so feel free from the moral contract that normally exists between them and the people...

N. said...

Sophia, last time I checked you were not a French politician!

I did not lump the French people together, only the French politics!

In my opinion, the politics of a country are not really determined by one man.

FurGaia said...

I beg to differ too, Sophia, although for reasons different from Naj! Check this latest:

Finkielkraut apprécie Bayrou : «Rentré hier de voyage, le philosophe Alain Finkielkraut dément les rumeurs – propagées entre autres par Le Canard enchaîné – selon lesquelles il se rallierait à Nicolas Sarkozy. Invité ce matin de France Inter, il a mis les points sur les i : «si j'interviens dans la campagne, ce ne sera pas sous la forme d'un ralliement. Ce sera par une analyse des problèmes». Constatant que le «Parti socialiste est dans le coma», il a cité François Bayrou comme candidat «plus apte que la gauche à prendre en compte les problèmes». - Source

Hmmm! Pas très encourageant ça! Mais alors, c'était à prévoir!

----
I particularly like his à prendre en compte les problèmes. Enquiring minds would very much like to know what "problèmes" Finkielkraut is referring to considering that himself, together with BHL, Kouchner and others are considered to be part of the French Israel Lobby. BTW there's a rumour that a President Bayrou "could appoint a socialist former minister such as Bernard Kouchner or Dominique Strauss-Kahn as head of the government"!!! Charming! As the saying goes: We're f***ed!

Sophia said...

Furgaia,
Zionists intellectuals will try to be on all candidates sides. They dispatch themselves as in the US you can find them on every side of the political spectrum. However, in france, a country I know very well and from which I am a citizen, Bayrou will be the least to be influenced by anybody, especialy when it is Finky. This man can think for himself and knows what Justice is.
Also Finky waited until the last moment to thro his support for Bayrou. One has to analyse this support as more opportunistic coming from Finky than as reflecting any allegiance fron Bayrou...

FurGaia said...

Let's pray that you are right, Sophia. I still worry, especially with that Kouchner rumour. If that's true, then Bayrou is trouble. But Sarkozy is even worse. Michel Rocard just labelled him un danger public with which I totally concur! That leaves Royal. Can she catch up? I don't know. I hope so.

Still, since one cannot do anything about it anyway, I shall go downstairs grab an ice-cream :-)

Sophia said...

Thanks Furgaia for the link. Rocard is someone I respect

Ibn Kafka said...

Well, I am wholly unable to be enthusiastic about Bayrou, being an Arab interested in the Middle east. Not only is Bayrou opposed to Turkey's EU membership, not because they do not reach the political standards needed, but because the Turks are overwhelmingly muslim - I remember a talk show with him in 2005 where he was faced with a secular Turkish journalist, who admitted being atheist, and begged with him to reconsider his stance on Turkey - Bayrou gave him short shrift, insisting that the EU was a "Christians only" club. He has rather hypocritically been on the forefront of the French move against the headscarf, a bit gross coming from him since he is a devout Catholic who opposed gay rights initially on religious grounds (not publicly, of course). During Ségolène's Lebanon trip, he fiercely criticised her for attending a parliamentary meeting there in presence of a Hezbollah MP (he considers Hezbollah to be a terrorist organisation). He also criticised her comments on the need to meet with everyone in Palestine, including Hamas officials.

As for his internal politics, they certainly are attractive to a degree - except when you remember that he voted for Raffarin's and Villepin's cabinets, and was part of the Balladur cabinet (93-95), one of the most conservative cabinets in France's last quarter of a century. His rise in the polls speaks volumes about Ségolène's and Sarkozy's shortcomings...

Sophia said...

Ibn Kafka,

I agree with you. However, I think Bayrou's positions are mainstream among French Politicians on the left, right and center. And there is total misunderstanding of the ME problem and the Muslim religion from the French political class.
Concerning Turkey, I always thought that the attitude of many European countries is pure bigotry and is encouraging Muslim extremists in Turkey and isolating Turkey instead of rewarding it for it represents all what the liberal west is looking for, an open and dynamic economy and a secular country. And I think one cannot ask Turkey to be secular like France for example. I think we have to accept the idea that different countries can have different standards.
Concerning Hezbollah, I was disappointed by Ségolène's stance; after having declared that she was going to meet with anyone elected, she retracted from meeting Hamas when arriving to Israel because of the fabricated controversy on her meeting with a member of Hezbollah.
The discourse on the ME and Islam is quite a closed discourse in France.
So how do I justify my choice of Bayrou ? I am a French citizen. I don't live in this country but my children will probably study and live there, definitely not my son who is a staunch anglophile and a permanent critic of anything French...
My choice of Bayrou is justified by the simple fact that coming from a party which has roots in the old fashioned vision of the atlantic alliance he is like those US republicans opposed to Bush's policies. Bayrou will be also less the candidate of the global economy than of the French capital. He will be a bit isolasionnit in matters of foreign policy and this is a 'moindre mal'. I think in the present climate we, in the ME, need to be left alone a bit, we need to have our freedom from the west and to rethink our future outside old colonial interference...
I read your answer to my comment on Pouillon and you are right concerning his academic record. I am going to scan this article form Qantara and send it to you today or tomorrow.

Thanks for visiting.

Salim B. said...

I love your blog but never commented before. Everything was perfect so far !

I am surprised that you are supporting Bayrou. Isn't he a notorious zionist ? Today, he viciously attacked his mentor Raymond Barre, because Barre denounced a Jewish Lobby. Bayrou owes a lot to Barre and to distance himself from Barre because rabid Zionist Claude Lanzmann requested that he does, is not very courageous or principled on the part of Bayrou.

When it comes to MidEast policy, I think the priority must be to defeat Sarkozy, and I believe that Segolène is the lesser evil, even though her adviser Julien Dray is an obnoxious zionist. According to Pascal Boniface, Dray's brother is a member of the Jewish Defense League.

Ségolène is close to Zapatero who is a great guy, pro-Palestinian and anti-zionist.

If you have more info on Bayrou's Israeli -Arab stands, I'd love to read it. But I know he used to be very close to the Zionist ideology.

Sophia said...

Salim,
Thanks for your comment. Who is not close to the zionist ideology when it comes to the political elite ? I think as Arabs we are in a pretty difficult position now. Ségolène appears to me as a shifting personnality wanting to please too much. I cannot see Ségolène as someone who can stand pressure from lobbying groups. My example is her travel to the ME when she declared that she was going to meet every elected politician just to cave in and not meet Hamas members after the fabrictaed controversy against her for meeting with a hezbollah member. I don'T like people who shift too much, for me they lack rationality and they are therefore more dangerous than others and can cave under pressure more than others.
I read the Raymond Barre story. I think he is right but he shouldn't have said what he said the way he said it. And I am quite sure that if this racism was directed against Arabs and Muslims nobody would have lifted a finger.
I am quite aware of the reality of Politics in France. Many of my friends were surprised by my choice of Bayrou.
The way I explain my choice is the following: I am always inclined toward the candidate who has a chance to win but who is positioned far from the establishement. Personal qualities of Bayrou have also motivated my choice. I admire his 'traversée du désert'. You have to have quite a strong identity and independance to stick to your line and refuse to join the party. Among the three candidates he is the most rational. Of course I didn,T like his reaction to the Raymond Barre controversy and I blame Raymond Barre for having emptied his bag this way because the crime is going to profit zionists who are always whining no matter what. I used to respect Lanzman for his work on Shoah but not anymore. I think he is not different from le Pen. He is the chief of the Islamophobics in France. He is a racist !
As for Bayrou again, he is not the ideal candidate but the most rational and the least under influence.
The main point now is to appease the zionist sirens in France who are going to exploit Barre's statements and that could be exploited by Sarkozy who is feeling the heat on him since Bayrou's rise in the polls.

I am not doing a search properly on Bayrou and his positions toward zionism and israel. I think as minorities in France, and a minority with a big problem, Islamophobia, we have to engage ourselves and promote a different idea, a more positive idea of who we are. The socialist party and Ségolène donL't have a foreign policy proper whenit comes to the middle east neither when it comes to the US. Bayrou comes from an atlantist party and old atlantism, the way the UDF was practicing it,if you think, is after all not a bad thing. However this atlantism is in disarray now and has been kidnapped by the US and its war on terror. When you think that the OTAN, the alliance that used to frghten the USSR and the likes, is fighting now fea radical muslims hiding in Afghanistan's caves. This is ridiculous and every rational man can see the ridicule of this...

My support for Bayrou is not unconditional. I wait and I'll see...

If there is anything can maybe explain or make more explicit to you I will be happy to do it. I owe it to the readers of this blog to explain my position on the French elections and I will be happy to do so...

Salim B said...

Thank you for your answer.
You're probably right.
Ségolène is far from being a perfect choice. But the socialist base is more propalestinian than the socialist leaders. Even pro-Israeli Socialist leaders like DSK cannot go very far in supporting Israel without alienating a big part of their supporters.

The other problem with Bayrou is that one of his main aides, UDF MP Rudy Salles is even more fanatical than Netanyahu. Rudy Salles is the President of the French-Israeli Parliamentary Committee, and I was told he has a big influence on Bayrou.

But if the main objective is to beat Sarko, voting Bayrou is a good option. He is best placed to defeat Sarko in the second round. He'll get all the left votes + his own.

But let's keep in mind that, as the Angry Arab says, we should never pin hope on anybody

Sophia said...

Salim,
You are right that we should never pin hopes on anyone but I think we should engage, we should occupy the political scene zionists wnat for themselves entirely. As for the socialist base, here again you are right but that tells something if the socialist leaders behave differently from the socilist base it means that there is a consensus in the political elite on how to behave vis-à-vis israel. It is not only the case of the socialist base, most french people are more sympathetic to Palestinians than they are to Israel, yet, the political elite gives us another picture. We have a big problem on our hand as Arabs and propalestinians and we should not retreat from it. We should fight zionists on their own terrain and work tirelesseley to repare distorted perceptions...
Now I am telling you frankly, I still don't know really for whom I am going to vote. The options are terrible and I consider Bayrou as the lesser of evils. I mean even Chirac who was perceived as pro-Arab did a terrible job. He was the kind of political leader sympathetic to Arabs and their causes but at the same time doing nothing effective to alleviate Palestinian and lebanese suffering. I don't need sympathy, I need effective policy to pull the region from its nightmare

 
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