Monday, April 11, 2011

sarkozy and the bush syndrome

ivory coast is another one of the former colonial playgrounds of the once-mighty french empire, and after their most recent election ended in a bloody dispute between the contestants, the west decided to take sides and oust the unyielding loser, Laurent Gbagbo.

if it can be excused, this hasn't been a story i've been too keenly following. with all the upheaval in the world, not to mention the smoldering wreckage of northern japan, there's only so much capacity for mentally processing yet another chaotic rebellion and its consequent cynical nation-building by former colonial masters.

but there's something else going on here which is genuinely disconcerting -- more nauseating bullshit when one's capacity for it is already way past the max.

the thought of the europeans following in the footsteps of the immoral george "dubya" bush into military adventurism is truly disconcerting. with the various stresses on economies by the 2008 crash, as well as simmering anti-immigrant movements, we are beginning to see the renaissance of europe as a force for nationalism and belligerence rather than progress.

nowhere has this been more plainly expressed than in france, which is repudiating civilized norms in the interest of  propelling france into the league of "players" in the pathetic, small-time, bargain-basement geopolitical game of the early 21st century. it takes only a craven, little-dick, napoleonic wannabe like nicholas sarkozy to seize an opportunity to assert french military power over its former colonies -- announcing its return, strutting forth as new kid on the nation-building block.

of course, reasserting french colonial interests is only a slice of this spectacularly cynical and dumb game. perhaps the bigger slice of of this foul concoction is craven appeal to french nationalistic impulses -- false pride in the face of intractable internal problems (from the guardian):
... Sarkozy has been treading a fine line between being damned for intervening – accused of neo-colonialism and of attempting to boost his domestic ratings with battlefield successes – or damned for sitting back and doing nothing. Inaction is not Sarkozy's default position – particularly in the Ivory Coast, which is home to 15,000 French citizens.
Le Figaro has suggested Sarkozy's war adventures could indeed be a vote-winner: 'The president of the republic thinks the French experience a certain pride in seeing their country play an important role on the world scene and that this role is recognised outside its borders. It's good for morale,' the paper said."
it's good for what ails ya, if your political fortunes need a quick boost, in other words.

it's also good for what ails you to remember the first president bush, who led the grand coalition to expel saddam from kuwait, and who afterwards basked in the reverential glow of a populace who saw its vision of itself as defender of all that's good and decent and true -- only to fail to be reelected a year later.

the world is renewing itself in rapid and uncontrollable fury. these desperate moves by the likes of sarkozy, cameron and obama to assert their superiority and dominance over sundry lands are destined to be ruinous failures. nations that have had enough of the old order are yearning for a better deal that oppression and exploitation. they don't need the white man to come save them, to return with a boot on their necks.

if the nations of the west want to save someone, perhaps it's time they put the effort into saving themselves from the predations of the global banking cartel that's ruining their economies and the environment in a maniacal, suicidal pursuit of profits.

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