France in Free Fall

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    Tony Koretz
    Keymaster

    France In Freefall

    French officials evidently understand that the terrorists are engaged in a long war and that it will be difficult to stop them; so they seem to have given in. These officials are no doubt aware that young French Muslims are being radicalized in increasing numbers. The response, however, has been to strengthen Muslim institutions in France.

    At the time President Macron was speaking, one of his emissaries was in Morocco to sign the UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which defines immigration as “beneficial” for the host countries. Under it, signatory states pledge to “strengthen migrant-inclusive service delivery systems.”

    A group of retired generals published an open letter, saying that signing the Global Compact was a further step towards “the abandonment of national sovereignty” and noted that “80% of the French population think that immigration must be halted or regulated drastically”.

    The author Éric Zemmour described the “yellow vests” revolt as the result of the “despair of people who feel humiliated, forgotten, dispossessed of their own country by the decisions of a contemptuous caste”.

    French President Emmanuel Macron seems to hope that weariness will lead the “yellow vests” protestors to give up, but there seems no sign of it yet. On the contrary, the “yellow vests” seem dedicated to bringing him down. Pictured: “Yellow vests” protesters on December 15, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images)
    Strasbourg, France. Christmas market. December 11th, 8pm. A man shouting, “Allahu Akbar” (“Allah is the greatest”) shoots at passersby, then wounds several with a knife. He murders three people on the spot and wounds a dozen others, some severely. Two will later die of their wounds. The murderer escapes. Two days later, the police shoot him dead.

    He was known to the police. When members of the General Directorate of Internal Security and some gendarmes came to his home a few hours earlier, he had escaped. Although they knew he was an armed and dangerous Islamist ready to act, and that Christmas markets had been, and could be, likely targets, no surveillance was in place.

    The murderer, Cherif Chekatt, should, in fact, have been kept off the streets. He was 29 years old, his name was on the list of people reported for terrorist radicalization (FSPRT), and he and had already been sentenced for crimes 27 times. He was nevertheless roaming around free, with no police oversight.

    His case is similar to that of many jihadi terrorists in France in the last decade. Others include Mohamed Merah, who murdered Jewish children in Toulouse in 2012; Cherif and Said Kouachi, who murdered most of the staff at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in 2015, and Amedy Coulibaly, who murdered people at a kosher supermarket few days later.

    Successive governments have done exactly nothing to remedy the situation. Instead, they delivered speeches and stationed soldiers about the streets. “Young French people must get used to living with the threat of attacks”, then-Prime Minister Manuel Valls said in 2015. Two years later, just before the first round of the presidential elections, Emmanuel Macron, still a candidate, used almost the same words. Terrorism, he said, is “imponderable” and will constitute a “threat that will be part of the daily life of the French for the years to come”.

    French laws are extremely lax. Even serial killers and terrorists are not sentenced to long prison terms. Most prisons have become jihadist recruiting stations. Currently, more than 600 no-go zones are under the control of imams and Muslim gangs. Islamists, apparently “ready to act”, number in the thousands. The police simply do not have the personnel or material resources to monitor all of them

    The only political leaders who have proposed tougher laws against terrorism, or who have said that exceptional measures were needed — such as a wider use of electronic ankle-bracelets — to counter increasing threats, come from parties considered “right-wing”. The mainstream media immediately branded these leaders as “extremists” and their proposals were dismissed.

    Macron and his government continue their unfortunate tradition of submitting to political correctness. It seems they prefer to appease extremists rather than confront them.

    These politicians are undoubtedly aware that more riots could take place. In 2016, the head of the French General Directorate for internal Security, Patrick Calvar, spoke of a high risk of “clashes between communities”, perhaps even civil war.

    These officials evidently understand that the terrorists are engaged in a long war and that it will be difficult to stop them; so they seem to have given in. These officials are no doubt aware that young French Muslims are being radicalized in increasing numbers. The response, however, has been to strengthen Muslim institutions in France.

    Although these officials also presumably see that Muslim immigration into France continues, and that hundreds of thousands of illegal Muslim migrants are creating increased security concerns, they do nothing to reverse the trend. The number of deportations is rising, but are still rare: slightly more than 26,000 persons were deported in 2017. Meanwhile, more than 150,000 illegal immigrants live in Seine Saint Denis, near Paris. Macron, since becoming President, has repeatedly said that those who call on him to expel illegal immigrants are “xenophobic”.

    Macron and the current government, in fact, have been encouraging more migration: all illegal immigrants in France receive financial assistance if they ask for it, as well as free health care; and they run almost no risk of being deported.

    Each year, more than 200,000 residence permits are issued (262,000 in 2017), including to illegal immigrants. Many have no marketable skills, some receive for decades the minimum income paid to anyone in difficulty.

    Social support for migrants, legal or not, adds to the cost of an increasingly expensive welfare system. France today is the most highly taxed country in the developed world: compulsory levies correspond to more than 45% of GDP. Unemployment is high at 9.1%. Typical salaries are both low and stagnant. A public school teacher starting out earns 1,794 euros per month ($2,052). A police officer after a year of service earns even less: 1,666 euros per month ($1,906).

    Macron, when elected president, promised to boost growth and improve purchasing power. To encourage large and multinational companies to invest in France, he lowered their taxes and eliminated a tax on wealth. As he apparently did not wish to increase the French budget deficit (2.6% in 2017), he created new taxes and increased a few of the taxes paid by the entire population, including fuel taxes.

    It was in this context that the “yellow vest” (“gilets jaunes”) protestors – who have been rioting throughout France for the eight weekends, came into being. They have vowed to keep on demonstrating.

    The new taxes, plus the increase in existing taxes, have led many people into real financial straits. Many also saw the reduction of taxes on large companies coupled with the removal of the wealth tax for the rich as outrageously unfair. They see perfectly well that a lack of security is spreading, that immigration is exploding and that the government is not providing sufficient law and order.

    Macron’s remarks, such as a comparing “those who are successful and those who are nothing” — or his assertion that “the life of an entrepreneur is much harder than that of an employee” — gave him the image of an arrogant upstart who despises the poor and knows nothing about the problems they face. Some of his utterances — such as, “there is not a French culture” or the French are Gauls “resistant to change” — led many to believe that he did not even have respect for the French or for France.

    The proliferation of speed radars on the roads, and the lowering of the speed limit to 80km/h, apart from freeways, as well as a noticeable increase in speeding tickets as a result, also did nothing to help his approval ratings.

    Finally, an additional increase in fuel taxes sparked a revolt that has not stopped to this day.

    The first protest by the “yellow vests”, which took place on November 17, spontaneously gathered hundreds of thousands of people across the country and had the support of more than 80% of the population.

    Rather than react quickly and say that he understood the difficulties of millions of French, Macron waited 10 days until a second demonstration, bigger than the first, to respond. He then delivered a speech focusing on the environment and emphasizing that fuel taxes were necessary to fight “climate change”.

    His words appeared totally out of touch with the economic distress felt by the public.

    Four days later, on December 1, a third demonstration drew even more people than the second. Protestors waved French flags and sang the national anthem. People who spoke on television said that Macron had made fun of them and reminded him of his promises. They demanded his resignation, new elections, and a return of sovereignty to the people.

    Gangs from the suburbs looted stores and destroyed property. The police were particularly brutal to the protesters, but could not stop the looting or destruction.

    Macron said nothing.

    READ MORE https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/13500/france-in-free-fall

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    #9668

    Tony Koretz
    Keymaster

    UN Member States: Migration Is a Human Right

    It cannot be stressed enough that this agreement is not about refugees fleeing persecution, or their rights to protection under international law. Instead, the agreement propagates the radical idea that migration — for any reason — is something that needs to be promoted, enabled and protected.

    The UN has no interest in admitting that its agreement promotes migration as a human right; until recently, there has been little debate about it. More debate might risk jeopardizing the entire project.

    UN member states are not only supposed to open their borders for the migrants of the world, but should also help them pick and choose their future country by providing them with comprehensive information about each country they may wish to settle in.

    A new UN agreement, which almost all member states plan to sign in December, propagates the radical idea that migration — for any reason — is something that needs to be promoted, enabled and protected. Pictured: Migrants walk through fields towards a holding camp in the village of Dobova, Slovenia on October 26, 2015. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
    The United Nations, in a non-binding agreement that almost all UN member states will sign at a ceremony in Morocco in early December, is making migration a human right.

    The finalized text of the agreement, the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, although officially non-binding, “puts migration firmly on the global agenda. It will be a point of reference for years to come and induce real change on the ground…” according to Jürg Lauber, the representative of Switzerland to the UN — who led the work on the agreement together with the representative of Mexico.

    One immediate irony, of course, is that few countries have entry requirements as restrictive as Switzerland’s. If one wishes to stay more than three months, not only is a “residence permit” required, but, “In an effort to limit immigration from non-EU/EFTA countries, Swiss authorities impose strict annual limitations on the number of residence and work permits granted to foreigners.”

    These hard-to-come-by-residencies have, unsurprisingly, become a source of income as “[r]ich foreigners ‘buy’ Swiss residency.”

    The UN agreement, on the other hand, notes:

    “Refugees and migrants are entitled to the same universal human rights and fundamental freedoms, which must be respected, protected and fulfilled at all times.” (Preamble, section 4)

    It cannot be stressed enough that this agreement is not about refugees fleeing persecution, or their rights to protection under international law. Instead, the agreement propagates the radical idea that migration — for any reason — is something that needs to be promoted, enabled and protected. Almost all UN member states, except for the United States, Austria, Australia, Croatia, Hungary and possibly also the Czech Republic and Poland, are expected to sign it.

    The UN has denied that migration is being made into a human right. “The question of whether this is an invidious way to start promoting a ‘human right to migrate’ is not correct. It’s not in the text; there’s no sinister project to advance that,” Louise Arbour, the UN special representative for international migration, recently said.

    The UN has no interest in admitting that the agreement promotes migration as a human right; until recently there has been little debate about it. More debate might risk jeopardizing the entire project. The wording of the agreement, as documented below, leaves little doubt, however, that with the signing of the agreement, migration will indeed become a human right.

    The agreement is divided into 23 objectives toward which the signatories apparently wish to work. Objective number three, for instance, envisions the promotion and enabling of migration through a number of means. Signatory states commit to:

    “Launch and publicize a centralized and publicly accessible national website to make information available on regular migration options, such as on country-specific immigration laws and policies, visa requirements, application formalities, fees and conversion criteria, employment permit requirements, professional qualification requirements, credential assessment and equivalences, training and study opportunities, and living costs and conditions, in order to inform the decisions of migrants.”

    States, in other words, are not only supposed to open their borders for the migrants of the world, but should also help them pick and choose their future country by providing them with comprehensive information about each country they may wish to settle in.

    The service level envisioned to facilitate more migration is also high. Countries are called upon to:

    “Establish open and accessible information points along relevant migration routes that can refer migrants to child-sensitive and gender-responsive support and counselling, offer opportunities to communicate with consular representatives of the country of origin, and make available relevant information, including on human rights and fundamental freedoms, appropriate protection and assistance, options and pathways for regular migration, and possibilities for return, in a language the person concerned understands.”

    Once migrants have arrived at their chosen destination, the signatory countries commit to:

    “Provide newly arrived migrants with targeted, gender-responsive, child-sensitive, accessible and comprehensive information and legal guidance on their rights and obligations, including on compliance with national and local laws, obtaining of work and resident permits, status adjustments, registration with authorities, access to justice to file complaints about rights violations, as well as on access to basic services.”

    Migrants are, evidently, citizens of a new world, in which all countries must spring to the assistance of anyone who has chosen to travel and reside there for whatever reason. Borders may exist in theory, but the UN — comprising nearly all governments of the world — is working hard at making them disappear in practice.

    Migrants, according to the agreement, must also be “empowered to realize full inclusion and social cohesion” in their new countries (objective 16). This means, among other things, that countries must:

    “Promote mutual respect for the cultures, traditions and customs of communities of destination and of migrants by exchanging and implementing best practices on integration policies, programmes and activities, including on ways to promote acceptance of diversity and facilitate social cohesion and inclusion.”

    All cultures are equal and must be equally respected. Presumably, this means that, for example, the tradition of female genital mutilation (FGM), which almost all Somali women experience in Somalia, must be acknowledged in London and Paris as deserving of “mutual respect” in the same way that it would back in Mogadishu.

    The agreement goes on to enumerate the work that states must initiate to accommodate migrants. “National… policy goals regarding the inclusion of migrants in societies, including on labour market integration, family reunification, education, non-discrimination and health” should be developed. In addition, the host country should facilitate “access to decent work and employment for which they are most qualified, in accordance with local and national labour market demands and skills supply.”

    In other words, newly arrived migrants in, say, Europe, should have the same, or at least very similar, rights to education, the labor market and health care, as Europeans, who have worked hard and paid taxes for half a century to gain access to those very same things. Europeans, of course, will have to pay for all of this out of their tax money.

    READ MORE https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/13263/un-migration-human-right

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