Sometimes one imagines the world like an enormous, old fashioned time-bomb. The sort of naive image created with the available rudimentary means when silent, b/w films were made. But at that time things seemed far less complicated. The enormous discoveries and progress in all fields of science and technology, including the successful realisation of man's oldest dream and greatest aspiration: to be able to fly, inspired the world and gave it hope and confidence. The world was moving forward, with enormous strides, and all the various cultures of its populations were then naturally effected by this progress in a positive way.
But as history reveals, human nature never changes. It only adapts. Often we are totally out of clink with the sophisticated science and technology we are capable of creating and developing. This was tragically evident during the Great War. But even the lesson of the Great War was glossed over. The victors wanted the losers to pay an impossible debt, and the first territorial divisions and confiscations were decreed (Le Traité de Versailles, followed by the French mandate of Syria and Liban). Consequently the 'war to end all wars' ironically prepared the most perfect conditions to enable and encourage the birth of a far more evil monster only twenty years later.
Since then, since the second victory over tyranny, the powerful forces of justice took it on themselves once more to divide up the world according to what was then considered appropriate (the Conferences of Tehran, Potsdam and finally Yalta). Again, the division was determined by the horrendous consequences of WW2 and on whose side one was during the conflict.
Thus like the Olypian Gods, the victorious powers cast the seeds of destiny just as casually. Since then the world is once more having to contend with the consequences.
The last throes of Soviet communism finally renouncing to try to maintain its foothold in Afghanistan, together with the blind American reaction to the afgan fatigue and disunity exploited by Pakistan, helped to give birth to yet another monster. The most evil of all because it exploits the God it pretends to worship, to impose its will and gain power. The most abominable crimes have thus been committed and continue to be committed in God's name. And they are all the more atrocious when they are fuelled by hate and vengeance stemming from the consequences of war, division and social injustice. This monster who rears up its ugly head to exhale it's fetid poison and fire on all who dare try to oppose it, doesn't limit itself to any nation. There is no particular national pride, no particular frontier to defend. Ironically and incoherently this monster aspires to rule the whole world and impose its medieval values in the process.
The irony and incoherence is that in order to do so, it has to rely on modern technology developed by the civilisation that it is rabidly bent on destroying. It has to use advanced systems of communication and electronics in order to destroy innocent lives.
As the monster doesn't identify itself with any particular nation, it attracts acolytes from all nations of the world who, like the monster itself, are frustrated, confused, disillusioned, unstable and therefore ideal, brain-washable subjects. It seems that there is no shortage of such recruits, and this has been the case now for more than twenty years.
Such is the basic situation. The consequences of relatively recent history, although it be an over simplified summary.
There have been other monsters, of course. According to individual interests they have been tolerated, at least until the tragic and determining date of the 11th September, 2001, and up until more recently in Libya.
In the case of Bashar al Assad, who has shown no mercy in disdainfully crushing his people and their aspirations for two years now, even to the extent of finally using chemical weapons against them, we are now witnessing the incredible scene of his being warmly congratulated, even by American authorities and members of the UN Security Council, for his co-operation in allowing experts the right to confiscate and destroy his illegal stock of chemical weapons!
As Syria wants the weapons to be destroyed elsewhere, there is an understandable problem regarding transporting them via neighbouring countries such as Albania. There is also the problem of making them inaccessible to extremist groups.
However, to return to Europe.
The Italians sometimes believe that the French are right to actively reject government proposals. They might appreciate that recent manifestations against the 'ecotaxe' is an expression of exasperation. The French government has gone too far in trying to solve the deficit problem by over taxation on a short term basis. Hopefully we might even be witnessing the beginning of the end of French socialism. Indeed it seems that F. Hollande, his government and his brand of socialism are condemned, simply because the enormous mountain in front of them is insurmountable, and the French President is completely coincé by his red and green-red allies.
The fact that France is perhaps the only European country that still fully tolerates communism, most likely stems from its history. Naturally the French Revolution, La Commune, the arrival, somewhat belatedly, of the communists in joining the heroic body of resistant fighters during the German occupation of WW2, and thus Général de Gaulle's obligation to include a representation of the communists in his post war government, would legitimise the French brand of communism. But obviously the communist party, the socialist party and all the other French political parties, lamentably add to the division of French society.
There was a time in Europe when communism seemed to have a just and ideal reason of being. Perhaps the Italian communists who fought heroically against Franco in Spain, would have agreed. But Italian history is quite different from French history, even though some history has been shared, thanks to Napoleon, for example. Italy however, learnt humility as did Germany from the consequences of WW2. They learnt from the effects of communism just as well as they learnt from the effects of fascism. The French, thanks to the allies, the resistance and the imposing posture of Charles de Gaulle, came through it all somewhat less morally scathed. In spite of the embarrassing and painful obligation to collaborate, the ego finally suffered less and the banner of the Republic still flies nobly, even if one stoically continues to ignore its ignoble bloodstains and dismiss the ignoble facts that led to the birth of mythic Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité.
The stones of history have thus paved the way to the present situation. The French are still influenced or conditioned by the generous but paradoxical and incoherent ideals of the French Revolution. Even today some still continue to believe in what nature herself dismisses : equality, but only when it suits them.
To try to please the people, les sans culottes, the French President declared that 'he hates the rich'. Although it has since been revealed that amongst his ministerial entourage there are several multimillionaires, he has never retracted this transparent, populist statement.
The socialist scene one therefore tries to project in France is the classic one that dates from the times when Marie-Antoinette is alleged to have thrown some bread (or brioche) out of a window of the Tuileries as a modest gesture to contribute towards lessening the suffering of the supposedly starving Parisians.
But as the French monarchy has been decapitated, the elected Presidents of France, are virtual, monarchial substitutes.
In the case of François Hollande, who even according to his ex-concubine and mother of his children, 'has never done anything in the last thirty years', such an unexpected event of his actually being elected President of France, seems to have had an over-inflated effect on him. So much so that 'Moi Président', has made certain engagements based on election promises that were ill-advised.
But apart from the endless internal affairs and inconsistencies, what seems to me to be more determining as well as dangerous, is the arrogance with which he has conducted certain external affairs.
There is, for example, considerable incoherence in quitting Afghanistan where the French were fighting international Islamic extremists alongside of NATO forces, to fight international Islamic extremists in Mali without the support of NATO forces.
He was right, even if he had no choice, to eventually heed the Malian call for help, but he was wrong to make irresponsible and naive declarations about the intervention. From them one might suppose that Monsieur Hollande had the intention of purging the whole world of international terrorism. He was naive to believe that a strong, brief incursion in Mali would solve the problem. As suggested before, it could be that he has inadvertently contributed towards establishing another epicentre of terrorism in Northern Africa. Another Pandora's Box. And with regards to the latest tragic consequence, the assassination of two French reporters in Mali, he was wrong to first express his 'indignation', rather than his sincere condolences towards the families and all concerned. This, not only because giving priority to his indignation was incorrect, but also because the 'Moi Président' is showing himself to be personally 'vexed' by a callous and cowardly terrorist act.
Obviously this is exactly the result that the terrorists set out to achieve, to punish the French President for his commitment in Mali. Now that al-Qaida has received the confirmation from F. Hollande himself that the movement is succeeding in making such a personal impact on him, he has virtually sent the terrorists a formal, public invitation to continue.
If this is a reasonable conclusion, the French President would not be improving the security situation for the relatively few French troops in Kidal, Mali. In fact he wouldn't be improving the security situation for any French subject in that part of the world, or anywhere else for that matter.
All this might well be considered long-winded. Parts of it might seem too simplistic or trite. Should this be so, put it all down to nocturnal musing, because that's exactly what it is.